Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Coveted Treasure Chest

My wonderful grandmother (marked with the bow) always had a trunk.  I loved going into it to see what she had for me to look at.  When she died, she left the trunk to me.  My Aunt Lynn had saved it.  She took out all the pictures and misc items that my grandmother had always kept in it, and stored it in the barn until I had a home.  I was glad of the help because in a one bedroom apartment there isn't any room. 
Then I received the bad news.  A lightening storm had hit and the barn had burned to the ground along with my trunk.  I was very saddened.  The wonderful part was my aunts foresight.  She brought me wrapped in a box the contents, the pictures above and other items, of my beloved trunk.  I was thankful for that.  I used elements from
Contact:  Lori Cobb - to try my hand at creating a backdrop for some of my treasures from my lost chest.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Our Past Can Give Us Direction

Studying the events of the day can sometimes take us back to learning of our past if we are looking to the cause and effect of actions and looking to not making the same mistakes.

I was studying the U.S. Constitution and I came across facts that made me thankful for the heritage I have.  I have written about my ancestor's (Benanuel Bonfoey) testimony of the good character of George Washington.  This line is through my mother.  Her grandfather George Washington Roberts fought for the United States.  During the Civil War (I have ancestors on both sides as do most), he fought to preserve the Union.  Just as his ancestor fought to make a Union, he fought to make that dream of his ancestor continue as conceived.  Benanuel fought at Valley Forge.  I did not know the total facts until just now (American History class just said they suffered and we went on)  There were 8000 men originally, 3000 abandoned and went home, 200 officers resigned, and over 2000 died of starvation and disease due to exposure.  Benanuel looked to the positive side and had a vision of what he wanted for his family and hung in there to see it through.  How thankful I am that he stuck it out so I can have the priviledges I do now. 

I think that is where I am in my feelings about this nation now.  My ancestors fought to create this nation, and then their prodigenity worked hard to up hold the Constitution and the Country.  I must follow suit to help my children and grandchildren.  Some of my help may be in teaching of their forefathers, and some may be to raise my voice in unison with those who are trying to uphold the Constitution and this Nation as One Nation Under God.  Facts are facts and principles are principles.  There are true principles in the Constitution and we need to seek and uphold truth.

Friday, September 11, 2009

History Affect s Our Perspective

I was fifteen when President Kennedy was assassinated.  I was saddened and shocked by the event, but put off by the members of my class who were crying and moaning all through the school halls. Most of them had never given a thought to politics other than the Civics class we were required to take. It gave me pause to think.  Why would they act that way?
I now understand that different personalities react in different ways.  As you can tell, I can remember where I was on that day and I remember the days afterward of television coverage. 

When my son was 11, 9/11, or the attack on the Twin Towers occurred.  I was appalled when I heard the news and my heart stopped at the gravity of it all.  I was not prepared for my son's reaction.  When I arrived home, he was all over me to learn more and to talk about it.  I never had even thought about him feeling even remotely connected.  Come to find out he really identified with the twin towers.  It felt like a personal attack on him at the time.  I bought him a commemorative edition of the occurrences of the attack when TIME published it.  He still has it in a protective sleeve to help him remember.

Today on the anniversary of this horrible event, it is gratifying to see how many still remember and send their hearts out to those who survived or are families of those who did not. I too feel strongly for those who involved in the act in anyway.  It has to have been life changing for each.  My prayers are offered for them.   It still has a profound effect on the society as a whole, and I hope we never forget the need to be unified as a nation.  I was impressed to read what one survivor has to say.    If you click on that sentence, it will take you to his You tube interview.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

School Pictures Record How We Grow

It is funny how the mere mention of School pictures still brings back negative feeling into my mind. Some of it was because my mother always decided to try something new (the night before the pictures!) for the school pictures. One year it was a permanent, the next it was rag rollers, and it went on and on. Oh well, I survived it and so did my children. Now it is fun to look back and see how we grew. The first of my pictures is myself first at 6 then 15.

The second pair of pictures is my lovely daughter, my first, and as you can see the schools have themes in their pictures by this time. This is the same daughter that is a contributor here.
This is her in the 4th grade, then 1st year in college.

This set of pictures is of my cousin that I have gotten back in contact with for the first time in years. I wonder what he thought of his grade school picture? The second is his graduation picture.

Oklahoma Tornado Memories 1954

1954, I was in the first grade. We had just moved to a new house that had plumbing. It was just about two miles from my Uncle Ernest and Aunt Lynn's home. ( There will be more stories about them later).
It was a great time of life...for a 6 year old. One night, my dad and I were sitting on the front
porch talking about going over and playing with my cousins Donald and Robert the next day. They were like brothers to me. I was an only child.
Then, looking off in the distance, my father got a very concerned look on his face. He yelled "Mary! Get to the cellar!" and ushered me to the cellar next to the house. My mom was slow on the uptake and he had to go back and get her. He had seen a funnel cloud forming to the west of our house. Strangely there wasn't a door on the cellar, so he tore the shelves at the back of the cellar off and pushed them against the opening to 'hold the "door" shut'. The wind was terrible and howled unmercifully. To this day the green clouds can turn my stomach into a panic mode.

When all became quiet again, we ventured out to find the trees laid low, and mangled. Our house was not harmed, but my dad went into overdrive worrying about our neighbors and my Aunt and Uncle. We were piled into the car and off we took in the rain. My heart was racing along with the car engine as we set out to check on everyone...
The scene of my Aunt and Uncle's home was enough to stop the heart.
This is a picture of my Uncle Ernest in front of what was left of their house. They lived next to a railroad track, had been inside and took the sound they heard to be a train coming. All of a sudden, the house began to implode around them. My Uncle was next to the bedroom door and the closet. The doors came together to shut him in a protected spot. My Aunt and cousins were in the dining room. She threw them on the floor and covered them with her body. The bricks from the chimney, fell just past her body. The house was removed from its foundation and set next to it. Leaving the cellar a gaping hole filled with all manner of debris. It was a good thing they were not down there. A huge oak in the back of the house had a straw be thrown into it, sticking out on either side...It was still there the last time I spent time there. Hearts were filled with great joy everyone was united, alive, scared to death, but unscathed.

My Aunt and Uncle are both gone now, but they embodied the preserving spirit. They rebuilt and continued to farm in tornado country. We moved.