Saturday, September 16, 2017

52 questions in 52 weeks - week 12

Share some memories of your grandparents.

My Grandma Alice was a quilter and a baker (and a Baker... her maiden name). I don't remember a time where there wasn't a cookie in the red apple cookie jar (which I now have!) or a quilt in the frame to quilt or the sewing machine working on another quilt top. She was a decent cook, though I hated it when she put hot dogs in the mac & cheese... I still don't care for that.

Grandma Mary crocheted and was a great cook. I loved her lemon pound cake and no one has the recipe. I've tried a many and never found one that has come close to the way she made hers. She had a huge garden and canned everything. Years after she canned and had passed, the peaches were still just as gorgeous and peach in the jars! She was the sweetest, kindest, gentlest person I have ever known. I am no one where near the level of compassion she had for people. She went through a lot in her lifetime. I aspire to live up to the standard she set with her life.

Grandpa Leo was a farmer. I was never as close to him as I was with my Grandma's. He was kinda grumpy. The one most vivid memory I have of him was in the nursing home as a visitor when my grandma was there (pancreatic cancer... he couldn't take care of her...). He broke down in tears when the stupid mean administrator told him not to worry about the level of salt in my grandma's meals because "she doesn't have much longer anyway". I have never seen anyone so crushed and defeated and broken hearted. She was the love of his life and in that moment it was so evident. I think he left feeling as though he had failed her somehow. The other memory I have of him is in his chair in their living room.. and on the back porch cutting up a watermelon fresh out of the garden... warm watermelon is not good... just sayin'

I never met Grandpa Joe. He passed away before I was born. The stories I have heard vary between his days when my Dad was growing up and Grandpa wasn't the best person (drank too much, stayed away from home for days on end, never knew where he was) and when my older siblings were growing up and he was a good grandpa who favored my brother. I really just don't know that much about him.

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I ran across this challenge about a year ago and thought it was a marvelous idea...

The whole idea is to tell your own story by answering one question a week. People that love ancestry love finding diaries, journals, and letters, because they tell about everyday life. Not just the big stuff, but the every day little stuff.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

52 Questions in 52 Weeks - Week 11

Did your family have special ways of celebrating specific holidays?

4th of July - Dad always bar-b-qued or had a fish fry. When he did the fish fry, he fried up all sorts of things

Thanksgiving was not the normal "turkey" dinner... most of the time it was ham and all the trimmings.

Christmas my parents have been flexible since the kids are grown and have multiple places to be... they swap years for eve and day of. Very thankful for that.




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I ran across this challenge about a year ago and thought it was a marvelous idea...

The whole idea is to tell your own story by answering one question a week. People that love ancestry love finding diaries, journals, and letters, because they tell about everyday life. Not just the big stuff, but the every day little stuff.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Are you an Outlaw?




**** This is not a typical post...***

Outlaw
1. a person who has broken the law, especially one who remains at large or is a fugitive.
synonyms: fugitive, (wanted) criminal, public enemy, outcast, exile, pariah; More
historicala person deprived of the benefit and protection of the law.

In my daily life, I follow the rules. I live up to the "social norm" I grew up with. I try to be a "good" person. I volunteer. I work. I am typically a good wife (come on, we all have a moment where we're not at our best). Also typically a good step-mom, too. I try to be a considerate person. I hope I'm a good friend. I am most critical of myself. I know where my full potential lies and when I fall short, I have no one but myself to blame. I don't accept the part of a victim in any area of my life. 
There comes a point where you need to challenge the "norm". I've felt that tug on my heart more and more lately. Remaining silent on topics seen in the news every day. Trying to remain neutral in conversation with those that don't share my views, even when they aren't as neutral in their conversation. I look at my 15 year old entering High School and pray for her safety. not because of gun violence but because of the types of questions she has to answer on a daily basis. I have even apologized for the world she is growing up in. She is facing turmoils I never gave a passing thought to at her age. I'm not sure where the turn on the path was made for society, but it was made. 

It makes me think back to a time when our country fought against itself. It's sounding too familiar these days and I keep hearing "history repeats itself" over and over in my mind. I know there is going to come a time when each of us has to take a stand for what we believe. 

My questions for you (and mostly myself) are:
  • Do you have what it takes to be an outlaw? 
  • Do you have enough fire and passion to stand up for what you believe in even if it isn't the easy path? 
  • What will it take for you to say "that's enough!"? 
  • Are you willing to put aside your fears and commit to a cause? 


All of those questions are really for me. I don't know if I can answer them, either. I don't know if I'm willing to sacrifice friendships and open myself to scrutiny and judgment. The mere thought makes my head shake and I hear myself sigh. I'm not sure if I'm strong enough to be an "outlaw" in today's world. But, I'm feeling the tug... and until people stand strong for what's right, the world will continue to spin out of control.  It's time to stop screaming for respect and remember respect is earned. You can't gain equality by oppressing the opposing side. Violence, in any form, is never the answer. 
My final thought is this... are times really so much worse or is it that we are so much more connected? Are mountains really made out of a mole hills due to the escalation of those not physically present and affected? It's easy to fly into a frenzy when you are only given one side of the story. Take time and evaluate. Take a breath. Rationalize. Contemplate a plan that resolves. Don't throw gasoline on the fire and then question why it explodes.

Be kind. 
Be humble.
Be forgiving.

We need outlaws as described in this song. I hope I can be that kind of outlaw.


Friday, September 1, 2017

52 questions in 52 Weeks - Week 10

What were some of your family traditions that you remember?


Traditions revolved mostly around holidays... my Grandma would bake a ton of cookies and send them for me to decorate. But here are some "non-holiday" memories.

Mom baked cakes when I was growing up as a small business. She would level the cakes and save the tops for me. I can't even count the number of times I had cake for breakfast. Best.Mom.Ever!

Dad planted a garden each year. I loved helping him. So, he would plant the corn 3 per spot... he would drop 2 and my "job" was to follow and add 1 more. Same with beans. I liked the corn the best, because they added fertilizer to it that made the seeds hot pink. I was always disappointed that the ears of corn weren't pink.

In the Spring and Summer, we would "go for a drive". We'd travel back country roads looking at fields and watching for wildlife. Sometimes, we'd stop for an ice cream on the way home. Crazy how simple things were the most memorable.

****************************************************************************
I ran across this challenge about a year ago and thought it was a marvelous idea...

The whole idea is to tell your own story by answering one question a week. People that love ancestry love finding diaries, journals, and letters, because they tell about everyday life. Not just the big stuff, but the every day little stuff.