Sunday, December 25, 2011

Sentimental Sunday The Hero on Christmas Day

It is Sunday, and it is Christmas Day.  What Christmas Day meant to the Hero  was two things, first, the celebration of the birth of Christ, and second family.
Until my parents moved to Texas, we altered going to either his parents or to mine mine in Oklahoma.  He had so much fun going to my family when we were first married, but as the older members of my dad's family passed away, the trip didn't seem necessary any longer as our parents were near us.
This what our Christmas day was like.  After reading the Christmas story, then opening presents, we would drive 2 hours to his parents to visit extended family that had come from places like Chicago, or Arizona.  As the scrapbook page shows, his family was a large group. The Hero would enjoy visiting with everyone and dining on yummy food.  He sometimes ended in the chair snoozing after all the "food" and activities.
Merry Christmas to all!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Today is the Third Year of Losing the Hero

The Hero with his family.
I wanted to thank all of my blogging friends and family on this night.  It was three years ago that the Lord mercifully took the Hero into his arms and gave him peace.  We did not want him to go, but it was at great sacrifice that the Hero stayed the extra month with us allowing us love and good byes that would not have happened if he had not given up freedom from pain for communication and hugs.  I am thankful to him that he desired to be with his family as much as possible during his last days.  We laughed, we cried, we said, "I love you."
He tried valiantly to make it to Christmas Eve to see his daughter that was driving through a snow storm to get home.  It was so hard to tell her he would not be home to greet her.  We were the only ones who knew she was on her way.  It was a surprise to the rest of her siblings.  We were thankful to have her with us.  My second daughter still doesn't want to be without family around at Christmas.
It has been a long three years, I know we will make it through, but not without some lingering tears.  I have had many around to shore me up when my knees were weak, for that I am truly grateful.
I will close tonight saying thank you again and thank you for listening to the Hero's stories.  He must be smiling at my being able to remember what he told me.  

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Treasure Chest Thursday Christmas Decorations

Beaded tree made in 1965, by Lillian Ellsworth Sherman.
Her gr granddaughter inherited her box of beads. She was fascinated by the tree when she saw it while visiting her grandmother this month. Now, she wants to learn the craft.

So excited!  I found a blog in Czec, google chrome translated it for me, that give the instructions for making a Christmas Tree of Beads.. 

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Sentimental Sunday. The Hero Was Protective

The twins. The Hero on the right.

 We stopped on the way from my son's graduation from college ("Big Yeah!") to visit with my mother-in-law.  We were discussing the different traits of family members and old stories about the Hero. When Hero's protective streek was mentioned, the Hero's mother declared, ""Oh yes he was!  He always been protective of his sisters and his twin brother! I put them in the same class in kindergarten... and the teacher left one of the mothers in charge for a minute. His twin got up and started running around and the mother said, 'If you don't sit down I'm going to tell the Sister' (it was a Catholic school). Hero stood up and shouted, 'No you're not! If you do I'll tell my Daddy. He's big and he'll come and whip you!'"  At this point in the story, Mom chuckled.  "Yes, he was always protective of his family.
It carried over to his own family as our children grew.  Good father and husband. : )

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Sentimental Sunday The Hero Had Christmas Traditions

While the Hero was living, we always split our Christmas days. We spent early in the morning with my mother, the late in the afternoon with his mother...  Both mom's are now in Assisted Living, and the Hero is gone, things have changed.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2011 Forgotten Cookies

At a church Christmas activity for the youth, a young girl brought some meringue type cookies for refreshments. I fell in love with them and asked what the recipe was. This is the recipe she brought me. I love that you make them and leave them in the oven to cook. Tastes wonderful and leaves time for you to play with the cowboys and princesses in the family.
Created for John

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2011 Parties

This is probably the biggest party I have ever attended for Christmas: Thomas McEntee's Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories.  : )
Since we were a plain family not prone to partying, this is a stretch.
I haven't any pictures for this post, but I know many of you have Polish, Bohemian, or Czech backgrounds and will be able to visualize.  
The year 1959, my parents and I went to my aunt's house in Albuquerque for Christmas.  There, I had my first experience with a Wigilia Christmas Eve Party.  My Uncle Stan's family was Polish.  They were bigger than life. I had never been to a boisterous family gathering before. In my dad's family, it was relatively quiet other than chatter while working in the kitchen and children running around.  Uncle Stan's family had great discussions, and loud speaking...I think to overwhelm the person they were "talking" with.  If I had not know better, I might have thought there were a lot of disagreements going on.
The food was a traditional Wigilia Christmas Eve event.  What I remember the most is the two dishes, Uszka and Barszcz.  The taste was exotic to my mid-western fried foods taste buds. Not to mention the coloring. Beets were a side dish usually, sliced and/ or pickled for us.  The Barszcz was pink!  I had never had pink soup before.  The taste was great.
Picture from Wikimedia Commons.

52 years later, the Polish party at my Aunt's house stands out in my mind. Can't believe it is just now being written about. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2011 Santa

A hero moment here.
When he was small, he and his brother visited Santa. As he grew, he loved playing Santa. When he reached his white hair and beard time period, he was mistaken for Santa.
I believe.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Christmas Advent Calendar Christmas Memories 2011 Outdoor Lights

Last year's visit to the Christmas lights.  Won't go this year they are 5 hours away.
Outdoor light have always been something we loved, but did on a very small scale. Lights around a window or around the porch.  We did love to drive around and see the more elaborate lights. Last year I blogged about the outdoor decorations. 
My most memorable year of viewing Outdoor lights was around 1959.  My parents decided to have a Christmas vacation and we went to visit my aunt who lived in Albuquerque.  There were many fun things around this visit, but the Luminarias Tours was one I would never forget. We did not take pictures.  The small lunch sacks with sand and candles in them, and their being set from the street to the tops of the houses was so beautiful! (If you missed it, you can click on the Lumiarias Tours in the sentence and see a picture) I couldn't believe that either the owners or someone hired by them would vigilantly watch the candles and if one went out, they would replace or relight.  I know there are electrical Luminarias you can purchase now, but it was more than the lights themselves. It was the background of the Spanish style homes, and walls that was so very beautiful. It really felt like maybe you had gone back in time. Visions of old style Spanish missions floated in my head.  Maybe, it was a forerunner to my love of history.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Sentimental Sunday The Hero Still Makes Me Smile

The last few weeks I have had several occasions to be driven by my son.  I have a tendency to tense  up or grab for the arm rest as we come to a stop or are changing lanes on the freeway.  My son thinks I am funny and will reassure me that he drives to work and home every day.  I laughingly tell him that I say a prayer for him every day.
The conversation turned to his dad and how he handled my driving when he was sick.  The thought made me think, maybe this is pay backs.  I then had to giggle, because the Hero would grab for the handle or shake his finger at me and say "I don't know what you are going to do without me.  I am not sure you will survive."  I would just look at him with a smile and say "Not very well."
Well, Hero, I am still going, but it was so much more fun when you were here.
Miss you.

Advent Calendar of Christmas Memories 2011 Christmas Tree Ornaments

Once again I am falling short in the picture area.  When my first 4 grandchildren were born, I made each of them a personalized Holly Angel hand sewn ornament.  I customized the angel to have the same color of hair and any other marks to match them.  When they moved away, I gave them the ornaments to keep.  I am also about 12 ornament behind for the rest.  My what happens when you are having so much fun.  I loved making the ornaments and still have the patterns for making the others. Here is one of the patterns. I saved the instructions because the patterns were not available any longer.  The plan is to finish when I settled down in my life one of these days.
Holly Babes Needlepoint ornaments.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Christmas Advent Calendar Christmas Memories 2011 Holiday Foods

Last year I wrote about the Hero's grandmother's Rum Balls.  Those are still in the oldest daughter's memories.  My food memory is of my mom's Date Roll Candy.  It was a process, not a a quick candy.  I looked forward to her making it, the recipe book she used has been  lost or she gave it away, but I found a recipe on the internet that I think is pretty close. Date Roll Candy.  She only made one and would watch closely and ration it out, because it was so rich.  Yummy stuff, may have to make some this year.

I don't write much about my mom. It hurts that the dementia has taken her from me.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Advent of Christmas Memories: Christmas Tree Wars

1st year in our own home.

Now, why would I say 'Christmas Tree Wars'.  Let's say it was for lack of a better way to express the recent memories shared by my son and daughter when reminiscing about their father and decorating the Christmas tree.
I was visiting with my son and daughter-in-law at Thanksgiving. The subject of getting a Christmas tree came up.  My son said, "You don't like decorating the Christmas tree do you, mom." (Said more as a statement not as a question.)
I was surprised then, smiled.  Before they were old enough to help, their dad and I would decorate the tree.  The Hero loved "perfect lights" on the tree, then he would let me put on the ornaments, next he put on the garland and finished it with icicles.  Okay, he had a plan and allowed me in on it. ; )
3 teen age children helping.

I told my son, I loved helping when they were young, but when they were old enough to help, I got the decorations out and let them and their dad have the pleasure together.  The Hero would sing carols as they worked together.  My daughter-in-law laughed and said that must be where my son got his obsession with the lights.
I stopped by my daughter's home when returning from my son's.
She was decorating her Christmas tree, or maybe I should say she was putting on the lights.  I am giggling as I write this, because it reminded me so much of her dad.  No one was to touch the lights.  They had to be just right, no blank spots, full color, and evenly spaced.
Some traditions are handed down...even when it is not intended.
Now I am waiting for my youngest son to put the tree up at my house. It will be fun to see what he does.
Hopefully my other children will stop by and leave their comment on how the Christmas tree was decorated.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving, the 112th Carnival of Genealogy

Thanks Footnote Maven.
Carol at Reflections From the Fence reminded me I had failed to write my entry for Jasia's "An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving'', the 112th Carnival of Genealogy.  
I have always loved Thanksgiving.  When growing up, my mom, dad and I would make the 80 mile trip to Pawnee.  The family would alter who had the meal. Sometimes it was my Aunt Dora, sometimes my Aunt Lynn, and sometimes my Uncle Ed.  I loved especially when my Aunt Lillie came down from Kansas, because she made the best rolls.  Those were wonderful family days.  All the kids would go outside and play, sometimes getting hurt or in ant hills. (I remember my cousin stripping his pants off because he had stomped in an ant hill. Silly boy.)  Unfortunately, there aren't any pictures from that time that shows how we enjoyed each other.  I also remember there was always a table laden with food.  Two kinds of potatoes, (sweet potatoes, and white potatoes), green beans seasoned with bacon, white and brown gravy, jello plain and with fruit, turkey, and oh my so many desserts.  After dinner, the men would sit and visit about hunting, watch a TV, or snooze, while the women straightened  up.  All the older members of the family are gone. My mom is all that is left of that generation.
Her tradition was grabbing my children to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade on television.  My daughter told me even that is not the same. Today, my children are spread across the States, we occasionally may see one or two get together, but more often than not, they have Thanksgiving with their own family and lament that there isn't any family near.
Me with my cousins at Thanksgiving.
Two years ago I wrote this post of what I was thankful for.  No change in this girl's life.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Sentimental Sunday... The Hero Had An Entrepreneurial Spirit

The Hero was always interested in small businesses. He researched all aspects of business. What made it successful, advertising, legalities, marketing, so many different facets.  I asked him why the interest? He said he loved business, and his High School DE  instructor had taught them so much about being in business for yourself, that he was going to do it himself. He was a member of DECA.  DECA still exists today.
The Hero is on the far left. Below, he is in the center.

These are clipping of the same accomplishment. As you can tell their DE was very good.

The Hero had several very good business ventures. One was a decking company.  It was quite successful until the economy took a dip in Houston because of the down turn of the oil industry in the 1980's.  He had a couple more endeavors, but the timing never seemed right for his own company. When he began his battle with cancer, he decided that if he couldn't build his own company, he would make others successful.  He took on several different endeavors of others and in truth assisted them in succeeding.  He believed everyone should have a chance to achieve. 
I was always be amazed at his ability to write bookkeeping programs to fit the specific needs of specialty companies. He made beautiful brochures.  His ability to write legal forms, and fight legal battles for the companies was amazing.  His bookshelf was full of computer software instructional books, legal books, and marketing books.  He applied what he learned early in life to help others achieve their dreams.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sentimental Sunday The Hero Instructed His Children

My granddaughter was blessed last week and given a name in keeping with our beliefs.  My son, daughter-in-law and myself had come down to my daughter's house to be there for the blessing. There was 8 of us in the house with 2 bathrooms getting ready for the event.  I made the remark to my son, "How did we ever survive with all 8 of us as you all were growing up with only one bathroom?"  He laughed and said, "Dad gave us a Family Home Evening lesson on how to take a bath."  Now there was a smile on his face.  "I still remember the lesson.  Dad was standing there a bar of soap in one hand and a wash cloth in the other.  He said, 'You dip in the water and get wet.  Take the soap and lather and scrub with the cloth. Then dip and rinse.  You are done and out for the next person.' "  By this time my son was laughing just at the thought of the Hero standing with the soap and wash cloth and giving the dipping motion.  I didn't remember this one. I am so glad he shared.

 I hope some of the other children will stop by and give their perspective.  I am giggling as I write this because it is such a Heroism.
Thanks for stopping by. : )

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sentimental Sunday... The Hero Continues to Encourage Others.

When the Hero pushed me to attend my 40th (no old people comments), little did we know it would have far- reaching affects on myself and others.
While we were there, I renewed an old friendship. This is good.  The class was auctioning items to help cover the cost of the reunion. (They are probably the closest class in the Edmond High School ever.) Two of the items were original paintings by my friend. He fell in love with them and won the auction for them.

This one of the painting he won. It is items from her life.
When he visited with her about them, he was saddened to learn she didn't have a great image of herself as an artist and her mother had discouraged her from pursuing her love.  This was just something she had started doing again. He told her, in his estimation, that her work was of great worth.  She should continue. He repeated to me when we got home that he hoped she would keep painting.  He had hoped to sell at least one painting to prove to her it had great worth.  Unfortunately, we found out about his cancer and that diverted his attention so he was never able to achieve his goal.  It was with gratitude, I received this letter this week. I have modified it to keep her family names out of it.  It would have made the Hero very happy to know.

Hi Fran, If this works, you should see included, a pic of the painting I took to my first granddaughter who lives in Colorado Springs.  I'm writing a story or series of stories to go w/ it.  My granddaughter loved it & sat right down & started naming the animals & making their sounds!  She's 19 mos.  I've got new granddaughter, her painting planned-a fish tank w/bright saltwater fish.  It'll be 22x26 same as the other one.  I think of your email informing the class of your husbands passing & the last part telling me he said to keep painting.  That was such an inspiration to me!!! I've been doing just that - thank u so much! Love u 

Friday, November 11, 2011

11-11-11 Happy Veterans Day!

While my dad was living, Veteran's Day was always very important to him. He was proud of having served in the Army Corp of Engineers. I wrote a little about him in a previous blog post.  
I thought I would just post some pictures from when he was in Europe in WWII.  Hope you enjoy.
Newspaper write up in the Pawnee Chief

Marcelle France. The 12 year old girl he always wondered what happened to her. The fellow soldier unnamed

Company 1308 D Army Corp of Engineers

Unknown Soldier and Lester Langley on right in Nice, France.  Maybe some one will recognize.

Lester on the left, T4 Good on the right, Picture says 'the day I got out of hospital in France' (Lester's hand writing)

Lester 1943 Marcelle France
Record of Honorable Discharge. Is not online.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Sentimental Sunday The Hero Helped Save His Granddaughter

I was thinking of my granddaughter, Iris, while driving and a story came to mind.  
When Iris was about 18 months old, she was an adventuresome child. (maybe her mom will drop by and correct any information I may remember incorrectly. It was a highly emotional time.) Her mom put everything up as high as she could because Iris liked to climb.  
One early evening, I received a call from Iris's mom who was clearly upset.  She said Iris had climbed, using the dresser drawers, to get to the top of a high shelf where she had put the cleaning products and had apparently gotten some rust remover called Whink on her hands.  She wasn't sure if she had gotten any in her mouth.  What should she do?  The only thing I could think of was call 911.  

The Hero came in asking what was going on.  I told him and we pulled down my bottle of Whink to see what was the active ingredient in it that removed rust. It was Hydrofluoric Acid (Hydrogen Fluoride).  I will digress here a minute to fill you in on the Hero's background.  When he worked for the building materials company, he was in charge of safety and making sure the OSHA rules were followed. He held regular safety meeting, and kept a MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) on each product they sold, even the cements.  When he heard Hydrofluoric Acid, he thought it sounded familiar but couldn't remember.  
We took our daughter over to watch the other children, while we took the mom and Iris into the Emergency Room. They had said bring her in. Redbeard was meeting us at the hospital.  While we were waiting, some red spots appeared on her arms and thighs, then disappeared.  The wait continued. She wasn't sick, but the worrisome reds spots would come and go. An hour later, Redbeard got them to at least let the physician's assistant see her while we waited.  
Our faith believes in laying on of hands.  While we sat in the back room, still waiting, the Hero and Redbeard gave Iris a blessing, that said among other things, "that her caretaker would know what to do."  A few minutes later, the PA came back in, examined her and said she didn't see any challenges, and to give her Benedryl for the apparent red rashes and sent us home. 
The Hero was upset, but it wasn't his call, so we all loaded up in the cars and left for home.  As we were driving, the Hero slapped the steering wheel and said "I remember what Hydrofluoric Acid is!  We had it for a cleaning fluid out on a job, and it was so caustic that the men had to dress in spaceman suits when cleaning with it.  I need to see a MSDS on it, something is not right!"
When we arrived at home, he immediately got on the computer and looked at the MSDS online.  Oh, wow!  It was an awful chemical.  He found the emergency medical service number, an 800 number, and called Redbeard and told him to call.  
Later Redbeard called us back and said it was a poison control center in Denver. They were the only ones with the treatment information on the product.  The Benedryl was the wrong thing to give her.  The red splotches was the chemical moving through her body.  It was like an internal burn. He was told to give her tums, and to make pastes of the tums and apply it where the splotches had been.  
The next day my daughter took her into see the pediatrician.  The Doctor had never heard of Whink, or the treatment.  Later we found she had talked with her friend in chemical who confirmed what we had found.  She said she couldn't believe they never taught about that when she was in school. 
In the end, all was well.  In truth, Iris's caretakers found what to do.  Her granddadE loved his "Copper Top" so much.  He loved being around her and watching her never ending energy.  I wanted her to know that he was always there for her.  

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sentimental Sunday... The Hero Had a Friend

Tonight instead of writing a personal story about the Hero, I am going to use something that recently happened to illustrate how others can verify stories told by a family member.
The Hero's twin brother is active in the alumni of their High School.  He was contacted by the developer of a website for their class.  When looking at it he was surprised that his brother was not listed among the deceased.  He contacted them.  They said if he would write an obit, they would put it on the site, and oh, by the way, we need a picture.  He contacted me for the picture, and used the obit written for the newspaper to compose his own eulogy for the Hero.
This last Thursday, he was at the Halloween party at my mother-in-law's assisted living home. I told him I couldn't the find the page online.  He assured me it was there and, oh, by the way, one of the Hero's old friends who was into conspiracy theories with him in High School, wrote on the page saying he was sorry to have missed the Hero.  I went back to email he had sent me, and was able to find it as well as the comment. Up to this time the only thing any of us knew about the Hero's High School days was what he had told us.  The man verified that the Hero was indeed someone who cared about his country as early as 15 years of age.  I am going to contact this person to see if he will write any stories about his and the Hero's journey in fighting for America and Freedom.
The Hero's twin brother called it conspiracy theories, I have seen what is happening and read books regarding the warnings given about Communism taking over America without a shot.  Nope, would not call it conspiracy theories, just pretty much what was happening.
The Web page for the Hero:
Hope this tells you to never quit looking for those who knew your family member before you knew them. 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sentimental Sunday The Hero Went to His 20th HS Reunion

In 1984, the Hero decided we needed to go to his High School Class's 20th Reunion.  He had graduated from  Westbury High School in Houston, Texas. His class was one of the first to attend, as it was opened in 1961.  He loved his High School and there are many stories to be told from this time period.  He kept in touch with most of his friends, and lamented the loss of some who died in the Vietnam War.

When we arrived, his twin brother and his wife were already there.  We worked our way over to sit near them. It was an interesting crowd.  They were from diverse walks of life and some well traveled.  I enjoyed listening to them renewing acquaintances. Then a (hmmm, what do I call her) young blond woman came and threw her arms around the Hero and said "You made me cry."  Needless to say, it was a bit startling.  He looked at her puzzled and said, "I did? Sorry, I don't want to be rude, but I can't remember your name."  She laughed and said, "It is okay, I'm ... I was a year behind you and had a terrible crush on you.  (someone's name) and I decided to crash the party and see our old friends."  He smiled. At that time, the Hero's brother came back to the table and positioned himself in between them, and said "Hi, I don't remember you." and steered the conversation away from the Hero.  As soon as she left, he turned to the Hero and said "I can't believe she was making a play for you in front of your wife!"  
Later the Hero and I laughed that his brother had been observing from a far and felt the need to come and protect his brother from a "huzzy".  (Their words not mine, I was staying out of it...a bit overwhelmed.)
It made the Hero feel good on both accounts.  He found out that a girl had a secret crush on him and had cried because he didn't notice.  He wouldn't have done it on purpose.  However, the male ego loved the boost.
Also, it made him feel good that his brother cared enough to come and "protect" him, even though he was the oldest.
For years after that, if I wanted to tease him, I would look at him with big eyes and say "You made me cry."  He would look at me and a slow smile would cross his face. He would wink and say,  "I love you."
I miss that smile.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Open Thread Thursday, The Genealogy Experience

I have thought about this all day.  First, I had read Lynn's post at The Armchair Genealogist about "The moment you knew...  Then I read Thomas's post at Open Thread Thursday, and decided I would give the topic a whirl.
My reason for collecting family stories.
I was enjoying the puzzle experience of finding the pieces as I started researching my family in the 80's.  I loved solving the mystery.  It was exciting to fill in the blanks as my aunts and cousins shared family information with me.  
Then one day I looked at my surnames list, and realized it had gone beyond names, I felt a connection with those names.  I knew where they had come from, where they lived, what they did, and who their children were.  Now it was turning into, why did they do this? What was it that drew them from other countries or across the US from one state to another state.  The story within the story is what I am wanting to achieve. 
I think eventually I would like to write a historical fiction about one or two of my ancestors as they seemed to have an interesting time, place, and connections.
I began to look at my research and discovered I was doing a terrible job of documentation, sourcing, and citing, not to mention keeping track of all my papers.  It was time to bring about a change. I attribute the becoming acutely aware to Geneabloggers community and twitter.  I became a FamilySearch missionary about 2 1/2 years ago.  I found myself thrown into first looking at the and the mandate to the LDS members to clean up their trees.  This brings a big sigh out of me, because there are so many things you can add a different opinion on but cannot change. I was brought to a great awareness of do it right the first time.  As the Ward Family History Consultant and I assisted the Family History Teacher in teaching that which had eluded me in the beginning. 
Realizing I was inadequate in formal education regarding genealogy, I enrolled in several online classes through ProGen, and now participating in a study group mentored by Valerie of  Family Cherished  and Toni of Tonia's Roots. What I am hoping to come away with is a mindset that will be more organized and focused than I have been, resulting in well documented and clear family history for me and any I will be helping. 
I love genealogy. I love my ancestors and the Hero's ancestors.  I crave to learn their stories. The bottom line is I want to be a better genealogist. Yes, pretty much that is me.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Sentimental Sunday: Hero Takes the Lead in Geneology

Who was the first in the family to begin searching for their ancestors? Why the Hero of course.

He followed the correct methods of starting instinctively. He first sat down and wrote what he knew, his birth and what were his parents and his grandparents names. Then he went to his grandmother and asked her questions about where, who, and what she knew about his grandfather. Next he visited with his mother and asked about her family. He quickly had his four generations sheet filled out.

Next he began collecting stories and history behind his family. But life pressed in and he began to lose momentum. He told me all he knew and quit actively researching himself, but when I would say I had need of his help, he would assist me. He continued to visit his grandmother and take our daughters so they would know her. When she died, he was distressed because his father decided he didn't need to attend the funeral, but to stay and watch over the company while the rest of the family attended. It wasn't surprising when he said he needed to visit and view his grandparents and great grandparents graves in East Texas.
He had a great love and testimony of family. In fact, that was one reason I was chosen by him. He wanted a large family and wanted someone that believed in family too. I still work on his family for him and our children.  It is a need.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sentimental Sunday ...The Hero and Fashion

Many of us have had the experience of arriving on a business trip and discovering we left one of our bags sitting on our desk, in the hall way, or in our car trunk not transferred to the other car.  Such was the dilemma the Hero found himself in when arriving in Louisiana on a business trip with the company's salesman.  He had left his bag in the trunk of his car.
Fashion wise, I would say the Hero was pretty much traditional in clothing, with a tendency leaning toward wanting to be elegant like David Niven with a smoking jacket.  (He smoked pipes when we were first married).  I have to say I was not prepared for the fashion the Hero came home with from his trip. 
 He and the salesman had gone out shopping.  The salesman had talked him in to some very faddish duds.  (It said a lot for the salesman's abilities of salesmanship.)  Let me describe them to you. First there was platform shoes, then brown bell bottom slacks, with a bright yellow tie, and dark blue shirt..  The salesman had apparently convinced him he looked really in style so he would seem up with the times to those they called on.  I really am not sure what he was thinking of, but I can tell you he did not wear the platform shoes or bell bottom pants once he got home.
In all honesty, I don't think I remember what happened to those clothes. The experience taught a good lesson.  When leaving on a business trip, the Hero always checked twice before leaving to make sure he had the things he needed.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sentimental Sunday The Hero Was a Romantic Who Sang

Lately a song has been running through my head reminding me of a tender time with the Hero.  He was such a romantic. From the time we dated until he left this world, he sang to me with great love.

There were many mornings I would be awakened by the Hero leaning over me on his elbow, singing "My Cup Runneth Over With Love." I would open my eyes to his loving glance, and slow smile. I can tell you the Hero had a  nice bass voice for singing.  It was a wonderful way to be awakened, a song, a smile, a kiss.  What more could one ask for.
I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday. I am listening to our church's conference today.  I am reminded we would never miss the conferences when he was living.  We were uplifted and filled with love for the Savior when attending.  I have a testimony that marriage is a wonderful thing.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Organizing My Genealogy Files

I joined the study group organized by Valerie of Family Cherished. and Tonia of Tonia's Roots .  They are wonderful in encouragement and offering ideas.
The first order of the day was to read chapter 7 in A Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy, set goals for organizing and write a blog about it.
I have been working on my assignment, just had not blogged about it.  The group is a gregarious group and I have learned much from them.
My secret...I am a closet perfectionist.  I love organization, and I constantly purchase file folders, bins, file cabinets, and binders to do my organization in. I watch the blogs and twitter for new ideas.  Unfortunately, I find myself with stacks of organizational material to be utilized or "organized".
Therefore, my First goal must, of necessity, be to pick a method,Second it to USE IT, Third is to begin with one family.
I had heard of using OneNote as a organizational method reading Elyse's blog about it. I knew I had the software, and had used it for my FamilySearch mission to keep things in order.
With a little encouragement from Valerie, I set up my Genealogy Notebook on OneNote.

This is what my paper file looked like...
My pictures, which I will not fill you with the visual horror of the stacks in boxes, file folders, tubs, etc., are being organized by scan into folders on my external hard drive.

I am the guilty person who has a stack of 'backs of envelopes', scratch pads, multiple notes for different people on the same notebook page.
I am now sorting out the physical file folders one family at a time and am scanning information and adding it to the OneNote folders, and I love the feature of being able to 'print to the folder'  It saves when working on line, Copying and pasting or printing, scanning and sending  to folder.  I can print it out later for the hard copy file.
This is my hope for a better genealogy life, and I plan to stick to it this time instead of giving up because it is not happening perfectly.

If We Were a Tree In The Forest...

created by Footnote Maven
This is my entry for the 110th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy. "What tree best represents your family’s history?"
The Quercus alba L or White Oak is a great match for my Langley Tree. The White oak grows throughout most of the Eastern United States. It is found from southwestern Maine and extreme southern Quebec, west to southern Ontario, central Michigan, to southeastern Minnesota; south to western Iowa, eastern Kansas,  Oklahoma, and Texas; east to northern Florida and Georgia. The tree is generally absent in the high Appalachians, in the Delta region of the lower Mississippi, and in the coastal areas of Texas and Louisiana.
The west slopes of the Appalachian Mountains and the Ohio and central Mississippi River Valleys have optimum conditions for white oak, but the largest trees have been found in Delaware and Maryland on the Eastern Shore.
My wonderful family is 100% US grown.  I know that once I get back to the early 1600's it will be different, but for now they go back to the late 1600's in the US. They are as the Oak tree.  Deep roots that thrive anywhere but in shallow soil.  The family profession was farmers and planters, not city folk at all.
The Oak is long lived. Many of our family members lived to be 90 to 100.  
The tree is characterized by a short trunk with a wide crown. It is the tree on our farm that has beautiful character developed from resilience from storms, adverse growing conditions, and time weathering.  Just as our family has developed as it moved from the east to the central area of the US.  
The Langleys came from North Carolina, to Kentucky, to Missouri and ended up in Oklahoma where I was born. This family is still growing on my genealogy tree making tangled and interesting branches.
The Carriers, Kemps, and Hankins came from Virginia to Tennessee, to Missouri and then to Oklahoma. They had loss of family members from wars, illness, and anger, but survived and thrived.
Just as the oak has a large crop of acorns in adverse times to continue, so did this family have a fine bumper crop of children. 
The Gildons and Sellicks came from Connecticut to Georgia, to Texas, and then to Oklahoma where I was born (oh I said that already).This family is an object of my second submission for DAR.  
The resemblance of this tree and my family is so close, that I think it is the perfect match.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sentimental Sunday The Hero Helped Vietnam Refugees

The Hero 
This will not give exact dates, as I do not have them. They are in the Hero's Journals that were lost.
The Hero was in the Reserve Army Medical Corps.    In 1975-1976 Fort Chaffee became one of the processing camps for the refugees from Vietnam after the war.  The Hero's troop was one of the many that rotated through to assist in the medical screenings and treatments for them.  
He enjoyed this time and developed great respect for those that he met while working there.  He often would wonder what happened to them and if his troop had helped any.
In the late 80's, he was going to a dental school to have his teeth done.  The student who drew him for the dental work was oriental.  He asked her where she was from. When she told him that she was from Vietnam, he told her about his experience.  Lo and Behold.  It turned out she was there with her mother at the exact same time as he had been.  She said that the Army troops had been very nice and she was so thankful she had been given the chance to come here from Vietnam with her mother.
I wish I had his journals because he wrote her name and the special feelings it gave him that he had been a part of this young lady being able to be in this great country and learning a profession, which she probably would not have been able to do back at Vietnam.  They had wonderful conversations about her experiences when he went to have his teeth done.   It was sad when she moved on to other classes and was no longer his student dentist.  She knew he wished her all the best.
The Hero was a part of history.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sentimental Sunday The Hero Fell Asleep On the RailRoad

I was reading in a notebook we had kept the last few weeks of the Hero's life.  He had gone over stories with our third daughter as a exercise in memory and telling her the stories.  She wrote them down.
There was one in which she was a major player and remembered more that he did.  Well I will let you decide if that is true or not, but I believe you will agree with her.

As told to Milly and edited by her:  She said why is it me who takes the heat... he fell asleep!   ; )

"It had been a long Wednesday.  We had gone to youth activity and he worked in the church clerk office while I attended our youth activities.  It was late when we left town, and started up the long dark country roads to get home.  He seemed to be okay and chatted back at me, answering questions.  Then we came to a stop sign just before we crossed a railroad track.  He stopped, then started up turn and stopped with the front wheels on the railroad track and fell asleep.  Just down the track was a train coming!  
(She says she never felt Perilous Pauline... I would have.)
His memory and mine are different perspectives due to adrenaline rush at the time.  I remember at first thinking this is really stupid, why are we stopped here?  I looked over at daddy and knew he was asleep and thought, if I don't wake him up we might get hit. (no duh, my interjection) I also thought, 'I might get yelled at if I wake him up.'  Logic overcame and I called at him and shook him to wake him up.  He woke up and moved forward across the tracks to the other side in plenty of time. "
So who do you think would have remembered it better?   This became a long term discussion and tease of the dad. He was comfortable enough with his weaknesses that he could laugh about it and tell the story on himself.   It was even included at his funeral by his special friend.
The hero loved his children and the thought that he could have been a cause of harm to one upset him greatly. He loved them so very much.  I will interject, he did go to a sleep study and they found an oxygen deficit.  He had an oxygen machine for sleep.  There is a reason for everything.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sentimental Sunday The Hero Was Thoughtful to the End

Have been avoiding writing about the Hero's last months, but as I have been following FootNoteMaven 's challenges as her husband is recovering from a heart attack  the memories have flooded back.  It is not quite the same because the Hero had col-rectal cancer and the end was creeping in.
I was so blessed by his thoughtfulness.  It was hard to let him go, but it was understood by him and me that it was going to be a temporary separation.  He knew I didn't want him to go, but knew it was going to happen.
When Maven was talking about Mr Maven telling her he loved her through the C-Pap mask.  I was taken back to a time when I was draining the fluids out of the Hero's chest with a vacuum bottle.  It had to have hurt just my moving the chest tube around, but he looked at me through the oxygen mask and said... with a smile, "I love you".  I love him too.

The Hero with two grandchildren 
After his death, two of his friends shared stories of things he had said to them.  One had asked him if he felt like Job because of a chain of events he had experienced. He told him no, that he had a personal angel with him that loved him that Job didn't have.  (You know how that made me feel)
The other friend said they had been joking while he was watching the Hero so I could go to the store.  All of a sudden the Hero stopped and said "She has been an angel to me. I love her."  
These were little gifts he left me that I hold on to, knowing one day I will see him again.  
I am able to talk about this a little at a time now, it is not easy, but I need to begin opening that door.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Sentimental Sunday: The Hero, His Religious Beginnings for the 109th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy

Created by FootNoteMaven
 This is for the 109th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy. 
The topic for this edition of the COG is: Where did your ancestors worship? 

This is also for the Hero's grandchildren who would not know he grew up as a member of the Catholic Church.  The Hero said he vividly remember attending church when he was little.  A favorite story of his was once when leaving mass, his dad reached out to swat the hero's sister on the bottom for something only to have her move and he swatted a lady who was walking by.  There were apologies, and embarrassed faces, but it made for a great memory for the Hero.    

The Hero's mother left the Church of Christ to become Catholic and marry his father in the Catholic Church.  There were actually long years of persecution by her family for choosing to change her faith. 

Lillian Sackley Ellsworth, his grandmother and her ancestors as well as his grandfather, Edward N Ellworth, and his ancestors were Catholic.  I found the Heimbach family in Germany in Catholic church records.  I found the proof for the spelling of the  Aylwards in Prince Edward Island Catholic Church records.

The Hero' GreatGrandFather.  Found on
He completed his Catechism study. It has changed since he took the lessons. He took his first Holy Communion.  He was an alter boy.  At one time, he thought he might want to be a priest.  
Then he met a young lady and married her, only to have her divorce him.  Because he was a good guy and knew it would be ugly, he would not go through the process to have the divorce annulled by Catholic Church, therefore he left the faith of his ancestors when he when he asked me to marry him.  His new faith would be a topic for a different blog post.
Created by Hummer