My ancestors kept treasured family letters and diaries from the 1830s through 1929 in several hope chests at their Vermont farmstead. My cousin and I have accepted the responsibility of telling their stories and describing their place in history by writing a series of articles and booklets.
(Our current project is a collection of schoolgirl letters from 1867, when our 15-year-old great-great aunt traveled to Rutland to attend high school.)
In addition, to motivate my own exercise routine, I've imagined a bike ride from my home in Washington state to my cousin's home in Vermont.
Every day I ride 12 miles on my exercise bike, and I've mapped out where that would take me on this journey. At this rate, I'll make it to Vermont in less than a year!
The advantage of riding this trip virtually is that the weather is always perfect. The disadvantage with an exercise bike is that it's all uphill. No cruising along the flatlands, no coasting downhill.
I've collected photos from other people's internet postings to find out what I might see along the roadside on my way.
Next fall, before the leaves turn brilliant colors, I hope to fly to Vermont and collaborate with my cousin to complete writing a story from this family collection.