Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
The neat thing about volunteers is we get to chose where we want to volunteer! I’ve volunteered for Meals on Wheels, Salvation Army, a Kindergarten Classroom, United Way and different Historical Societies, and have received untold blessings from each one of them! The people and their stories are probably what I enjoy the most.
This week I volunteered at the local Historical Society on two different days, and on each day I met a person who touched my life, both in different ways.
On Friday, as I was showing a lady how to thread a microfilm machine, I noticed she was from Virginia, and casually asked her if perchance she went to the Inauguration. Since I was an Inauguration Junkie it was still on my mind. Her reply was she hadn’t gone, but her husband had. Since he was sitting at a computer while waiting for her, I went directly over to talk to him, and he was the first person who touched my life!
I actually had tears in my eyes while talking to him. I explained why this inauguration meant so much to me. I was a child of the 50′s and 60′s and memories of Watts Riots and Medgar Evers, James Meredith and the Little Rock Six are still vivid for me.
Growing up overseas I knew no prejudice. Moving to the shores of our Nation in the 50′s taught me that. I couldn’t understand why the color of a person’s skin made him less a person than I was . . . I still don’t understand the theory.
This gentleman shared his experiences with me, from the “Scouting Trip” several days before, to the 4AM Metro ride into the District on the 20th, the bitter cold he endured with his daughter, sister and her friend, and the spirit of the crowd. I was thrilled to talk to a person who had been there! He pulled up his website for me with over 400 pictures of that day and showed me shots of the crowded train into the Washington, Riot Police, crowds of people, and many, many candid shots of the crowd. Then! He offered to send me a link to the pictures!!!
I have gone over and over the pictures! They are awesome and I am so thankful to him for sending me the link. I now have a first person view of that day. Unbelieveable!
The second person who touched my life was the next day and she touched my life in a completely different way. She was a researcher and the stories about her husband’s family are the stories that make a family real ~ warts and all!
In tracing his heritage they came across prison records, arrests and an ancestor who ran a “Bawdy House!” Think of all the information there is on that family! Newspaper articles, court documents, information in prison records, but the one thing she was looking for was not to be found. An actual maiden name for the ancestor who ran the “Bawdy House.” Why? She couldn’t be found in Church Records and that would be the only source that would have marriage records in the time frame she would need!
This woman told the story in such a Story Teller’s fashion that I was fascinated! She knew details of their arrests, who some of the clients were (Lawyers and Judges of the day) and where her “Bawdy Houses” were. She and her husband had gone by each location and seen them since the buildings still stand today.
Did I help my family research this week? No. Was the time I spent volunteering spent not in vain? To quote a defeated Vice Presidential candidate ~ You Betcha! Do I look forward to this week and my days at the Historical Society! Of course I do.
I never know how the next person I meet is going to affect my life.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
For more information on the historic site, go to the Brandywine website.
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Upon my father’s death, I inherited every bit of his family history that he had set aside at my Aunt’s house. Among the things were a stack of photographs and portraits that he had saved. Were they labeled? What do you think? I have managed to figure most of them out, but this family has intrigued me.
I’ve shared this picture with others in various family lines and nobody thinks anybody looks familiar. I know it must be family, otherwise it would not have been saved all these years!
What I know about this family:
Any thoughts on this? I wish the photographer had taken the time to put his name on this. He, after all, took the time to put it on a cardboard backing. . . .
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Another Meme has hit the circuits and I participated this time ~
Highlighted in red = I’ve done it!
Italized=I’d like to do it
Ignored=never happened; never will happen!
1. Started your own blog. (have 4 of ‘em)
2. Slept under the stars. (love, love, love camping!!)
3. Played in a band.
4. Visited Hawaii. (yessir! I was born there!)
5. Watched a meteor shower. (go back to #2)
6. Given more than you can afford to charity.
7. Been to Disneyland/world. (Disneyland the year it was opened then at least once a year thereafter. One year I went six times!)
8. Climbed a mountain. (lived in the Mountains and climbed many of them!)
9. Held a praying mantis.
10. Sang a solo. (nor would you want me to!!)
11. Bungee jumped.
12. Visited Paris.
13. Watched a lightning storm at sea.
14. Taught yourself an art from scratch. (quilting and then I won a blue ribbon at the County Fair!)
15. Adopted a child.
16. Had food poisoning.
17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty. (had a chance, but let Hubby and grandson do it instead!! not for me!)
18. Grown your own vegetables. (yup ~ and the deer ate everything EXCEPT the Zuchhini!)
19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France.
20. Slept on an overnight train.
21. Had a pillow fight.
22. Hitch hiked.
23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill. (Like when I had “Eye problems?” Can’t see going to work??)
24. Built a snow fort.
25. Held a lamb.
26. Gone skinny dipping.
27. Run a marathon.
28. Ridden a gondola in Venice.
29. Seen a total eclipse.
30. Watched a sunrise or sunset.
31. Hit a home run. (Yessir ~ when I met my husband!!!)
32. Been on a cruise. (8 of them! 5-Mexico; 2-Caribbean; 1-Panama Canal)
33. Seen Niagara Falls in person.
34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors. (I live there!)
35. Seen an Amish community. (once again, I live there!)
36. Taught yourself a new language. (Pennsylvania Dutch and HTML.)
37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied.
38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person.
39. Gone rock climbing.
40. Seen Michelangelo’s David in person.
41. Sung Karaoke.
42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt.
43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant.
44. Visited Africa.
45. Walked on a beach by moonlight.
46. Been transported in an ambulance.
47. Had your portrait painted.
48. Gone deep sea fishing. (Halibut fishing in Alaska)
49. Seen the Sistine chapel in person.
50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris.
51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling.
52. Kissed in the rain
53. Played in the mud. (who hasn’t??)
54. Gone to a drive-in theatre. (uh huh)
55. Been in a movie. (my parents’ home movies count?)
56. Visited the Great Wall of China. (I’d love to visit China and if I did, this would be a “have to see!”)
57. Started a business.
58. Taken a martial arts class
59. Visited Russia.
60. Served at a soup kitchen.
61. Sold Girl Scout cookies. (Yup and eaten a lot as well)
62. Gone whale watching.
63. Gotten flowers for no reason. (Nice hubby. . . . )
64. Donated blood. (I don’t even like blood tests!!!)
65. Gone sky diving.
66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp.
67. Bounced a cheque.
68. Flown in a helicopter.
69. Saved a favorite childhood toy. (Singer Sewing Machine and Sweet Sue Doll both from the 50′s)
70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial.
71. Eaten Caviar. (on a cruise)
72. Pieced a quilt. (see #14 above!)
73. Stood in Times Square. (Oh yes! Love that City!!!)
74. Toured the Everglades. (Yes, on my final trip to Florida!)
75. Been fired from a job.
76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London.
77. Broken a bone.
78. Been on a speeding motorcycle.
79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person. (Several times)
80. Published a book.
81. Visited the Vatican.
82. Bought a brand new car. (My Murano a year ago!)
83. Walked in Jerusalem.
84. Had your picture in the newspaper. (last one was for an article about RAOGK)
85. Read the entire Bible.
86. Visited the White House. (Now I’d love to visit it!)
87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating.
88. Had chickenpox. (on one of those Grand Canyon visits!)
89. Saved someone’s life.
90. Sat on a jury. (no but I’m called for Jury Duty on the 23rd of this month!)
91. Met someone famous. (Dan Rowan (remember him??), Richard Nixon, Red Skelton, Tina Sinatra . . . I lived in Palm Springs!)
92. Joined a book club.
93. Lost a loved one. (step-son, father, grandparents)
94. Had a baby. (two, both grown into wonderful adults!)
95. Seen the Alamo in person.
96. Swum in the Great Salt Lake.
97. Been involved in a law suit.
98. Owned a cell phone. (since the early 90′s ~ can you say BIG BAG phone??)
99. Been stung by a bee. (one flew in my open car window and stung me in my ear as I was driving!!)
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Jim was just a child, and seemed to enjoy sitting in this Model A. Standing in front of the car from left to right are his brother Gerald (deceased,) sister Hilena and brother, Pete. Jim doesn’t remember who this car belonged to, but at the time, I don’t think he really cared!
. . . and for Christmas, 2008, he got to relive some childhood memories when he found this 1928 Model A and had to have it!
Merry Christmas, Jim. Enjoy your Toy!
Wednesday, December 31, 2008
Favorite Wreaths from my 2007 collection:
. . . and so ends the holiday season of 2008. . .
Monday, December 29, 2008
Today is Mother’s Birthday. She has lived through the roaring 20′s, the depression of the 30′s, the war of the 40′s, the rebuilding of the 50′s, the hippies of the 60′s, the “Me” Decade of the 70′s, the materialism of the 80′s, the emergence of personal computers in the home, and into the 21st century!
She was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, the 4th child and 2nd daughter of a growing family. The first known picture of her was taken in 1920, at the age of 2 months.
The next picture was taken in 1921. She and her mother were on a trip to Honolulu from Hilo. Her older sister, Maralee June, had just died and her mother needed to get away. According to my mother, her mother’s dress was a lovely blue velvet.
Fast forward to 1932. What the occasion of this picture was, I have not a clue! The picture was taken next to a pond and mother is wearing a lovely dress.
A few short years later she celebrated her high school graduation. She graduated from Hilo High School in 1937 and was preparing for college in Sacramento, California. She had grandparents, aunts and uncles in that area.
In 1945, she was a young mother and had three children. In this picture, she is holding her middle child, a lovely young daughter . . . ME!
The next picture was taken in 1948 when we lived on Pauhau Sugar Plantation on the Big Island of Hawaii. I, again, don’t know what the ocassion was, but wasn’t Mother lovely?
In the 1950′s we moved to Guam. We spent a lot of time at the beach, picnicing and hunting sea shells. We have an awesome collection from those days. This picture was taken just before we left on a vacation to visit my granddparents in Hawaii. When we returned, I no longer had my braids. I got my wish and got a hair cut and a permanent! I was cool!
In the 1960′s all three of her children got married and she became a grandparent for the first time. My parents took an assignment in the Philippines and traveled extensively throughout the Far East. This picture was taken at the wedding of her youngest daughter, Priscilla, in December of 1964 in Riverside, California. (the picture was creased ~ there is nothing wrong with her face other than the crease!)
In the 1970′s a lot of changes happened in her life. She retired, my father retired, they sold their home in Riverside and retired to their weekend home in Fallbrook, California. Life was good! The following picture was taken in the mid 70′s in their home in Riverside. With mother, are her two daughters, I am on the left and Priscilla on her right.
My parents established themselves in life in Fallbrook. Mother volunteered at a local charity’s thrift store and they were members of the Symphony. They traveled. They made friends easily and family came for the holidays. This picture was taken of them at my father’s 50th class reunion. He graduated from Lowell High School in San Francisco in the early 1930′s.
In the 1990′s Mother lost her mate of 50+ years, but found another man to spend the remainder of her life with. Paul and Mother have been married for over 15 years and seem to be soulmates, never forgetting the full life they each shared with their first loves. In this picture, Mother was preparing Thanksgiving dinner for her family in Fallbrook, one of the last the entire family would share together.
Which brings us to the present decade! Her family has become larger with grandchildren added and her family has spread out ~ Linda in Pennsylvania and Priscilla in Wyoming, and grandchildren living in Oklahoma, Nevada and up and down California! Bud still remains in California, close to her. He and his wife, Cherrie, threw a mother’s day luncheon this year and the majority of the family was able to attend. This picture was taken there.
Happy Birthday, Mother! We look forward to the Big NINE O next year!
Friday, December 26, 2008
Times were rough in the Niess household in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and Catharine Auxer Niess, my great-great-grandmother kept a diary. I am blessed to have a copy of that diary and this Christmas I’m sharing her entries for several different Christmas entries. I have transcribed them exactly as written (spelling and punctuation included.)
December 10th – This was another beautiful day, the streets were crowded with walkers, people are prepareing (sic) for Christmas. I think we will spend a poorer christmas this year than we have for a long time . . .
December 18th – The weather to day is rough. Yesterday it rained, hailed and snowed and the wind belw so hard that some old buildings fell to the ground. I just got over a hard spell of head ache and feel weak, but I thank God that I am what I am and where I am. I can scarecely (sic) realize that Christmas is so near. I baked a few cakes to day, as we are so deep in debt I must bake sparingly.
December 28th – Clear and cold, and good sleighing. Christmas day was cold and cloudy in the evening about ten o clock it began to snow and snowed all next day. On Saturday it still snowed some and began to get colder.
December 26th – It has been raining all week. Yesterday (Christmas) it was cloudy but did not rain much. We all were out to Uncle Harries except Katie. Her and Lou were up to my Sisters to dinner. We got many nice presents. This eve Katie took a few things up to Mrs. Shafers and a little cake to Mrs. McCann. This evening it is blowing very hard and is getting very cold. Gertie Carns is still sick, is a little better.
December 26th – The weather is very cold. I got a half ton of coal last friday now I can makea the house comfortable. We had a real nice Christmas. It being on Sunday, I went to church in the morning. We did not have any in the evening. Today we had a small turkey. katie and Lou were here to dinner. Sadie was here. Last week two of the River Brethren Ministers were here. They talked and prayed beautiful. O how I love Christian people. Everything is going better now hope it may continue. The river is froze over.
I wish Catharine would have provided just a few more details about Christmas. Wouldn’t it have been a great thing to have?
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
1949, Pauhau, Hawaii:
1968, Riverside, California:
1993, Tehahapi, California:
1995, Tehachapi, California:
Blessings on this most sacred of Eves. . .