Climbing Family Trees: On Faith And Fumes by Tracey Long

Climbing Family Trees

More great stories, poems, and helpful hints about genealogy and searching for your family's roots from the twin authors of "Climbing Family Trees: Whispers In The Leaves"

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

On Faith And Fumes by Tracey Long

“On Faith And Fumes”
A college student relates the following story about one of her genealogy adventures. She was driving to a family reunion by herself in a friend’s borrowed car and was excited about the new information she might discover at the event. Being told the location was less than two hours away from her apartment, she filled the car with her genealogy notebooks, a camera, and the anticipation of meeting distant relatives she had been corresponding with. As she continued to drive through a lonely highway, passing all signs of civilization, her excitement drained, along with the gas tank. The reunion was taking place on a family farm, but she didn’t realize it was over 50 miles from the nearest town. Her gas tank was showing empty and she still hadn’t reached the farm. Her silent prayers were more of a plea to help her not miss the family reunion than of fear of being stranded.

As the red warning light on the gas gauge continued to blink she knew the tank only allowed further travel for 8 miles. She saw a sign announcing the farm site up ahead another 15 miles. Mathematically, she knew she wouldn’t make it. Miraculously, she made it to the event in her car and was overwhelmed by the large group that represented a lost branch of her own family. She was able to extend her family line and fill in dozens of family group sheets because of attending the family reunion. After they told her about a close and previously unknown gas station, she received both gas and renewed excitement. She smiled all the way home, knowing her car must have been carried by faith, fumes and a little help from the very ancestors she was researching.

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