By 1990, I had been researching my family history for about 16 years. I'd made a couple of research trips to Michigan, written countless letters to libraries, archives, distant relatives and courthouses, and spent endless hours at the Seattle Public Library and National Archives on Sand Point Way, cranking the handles of microfilm machines.
I had determined that my parents were sixteenth cousins three times removed (or something of the sort), and traced certain lines back to the 1400's, plugging in names and dates from printed books and genealogies on the shelves at the Seattle Public Library. I was a member of the National Genealogical Society for a year, but the NGS Quarterly was way, way above my head. I was entering all this information into my database, the DOS-based Roots III, and printing out pedigree charts and narrative reports on my dot-matrix printer.
Then I had to stop everything to cope with a difficult pregnancy. After my son was born, I now had to find someone to watch both my children (not just one) in order for me to go research. The problem was, there wasn't really anything else for me to find. I was tired of brick walls that would never get torn down, and my heart just wasn't in it any more. I figured I had found all I was ever going to find. When my computer crashed, I didn't bother to replace Roots III, and though I kept all my records and printouts, they just gathered dust, packed away in boxes under my bed or in the closet. Genealogy had lost its fascination, and I figured that was more or less permanent.
In all of my 16 years of research, I had not yet learned that there is ALWAYS something more to find!