Monday, January 22, 2018

The End of an Era

By the title you might think I mean, a death occurred. Not so. But it is the end of shared moments and fun times for these three lovely ladies that have had a long life of memories together. My mom, her twin, and their niece are the last of their generation living.  My cousin who lives in Virginia has moved her mom, my mom's twin, to be near her. Neither of the twins are able at 89 to make the trip back and forth now, and the niece may or may not fly to see one or the other, she is just a year younger.
Niece is on the left. The twins are on the right.
When they were young they were always together. The niece's mother was 23 years older than her sisters. When her mother died she was raised by her grandmother with her aunts, who were just a year older.

Can you imagine being a mother, grandmother to this group. 

Happy graduation day!

When they were raising their children, because they lived in different states and different towns and they all worked, there were few times they all got together at the same times.
My mom on the left, another sister, the niece, a friend, a niece of a younger generation, and mom's twin.
Then my father and the niece's husband died. That began the times of the three going on summer time adventures until they all retired, then they found time to go on cruises and long trips.
The last 10 years my mom has been in assisted living for a combination of dementia and depression. Her medication has helped her greatly. The result was we would have to get together on the birthday of the twins. My daughter hosted some meetings. Some get-togethers were at my aunts.
I have to admit that I cried the last time we all met, and so did my mom, who realized in spite of her dementia, that this was their last meeting while living. My cousins and I went to great lengths and distances to make sure they had a time to say good bye.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sentimental Sunday A Hero Story...Love At First Sight

I have told my story many times to others, but it is usually in conjunction with being a college student and trying to work full time.

I had just moved to Houston from St Ann, Illinois where I had been living and working with my best friend. I had decided I wanted to go back to college and finish. Now, I had only gone to one semester at the local college where I lived in Oklahoma, while living at home. I suffered a heart break and my best friend said come up and live with me to get away from it all. I was working for SW Bell telephone as an operator, so it was easy to transfer. We had a lot of fun.
My mom and dad encouraged me to go back and finish college. I started researching places to go for a Nursing degree, and the best one was in Houston. My best friend was up for an adventure and decided to move to Houston with me.
We got there. She had been able, if memory serves me well, to transfer with her skills. I on the other hand found there weren't any openings with the telephone company in Houston. The college posted jobs available in the area. One was to be an all night checker at the Methodist Hospital cafeteria. I guess they catered to students, because I got the job even though I had never worked as a checker before. It was a lot easier getting a beginning job back  in the day. I often now feel like it was meant to be. My thoughts were how hard can it be? I can work all night, probably get some study in, and then go to school during the day. I can do this.
Ahmad was training me. He was quitting, so he was training me to take his place. The first night I was in training, Ahmad had a huge group of friends come in during his break time to visit. The Hero was among them. He was home on leave from his Army Reserve Training.

My handsome hero

As I sat there, I just listened to the conversation flow. The Hero was asking Ahmad for help because his wife had filed for a divorce on him the 2nd month of his training. At one point, our eyes met and held. I was mesmerized. Later in life we reminisced about our first meeting. He said he thought my eyes were so pretty and he wanted to know me, but at the time, his thoughts were on his crumbling marriage.  I remembered being caught up in the moment in his eyes and wondering, how could I ever date a divorced man. Neither of us ever forgot the moment that everything else faded away and our eyes were locked.
It would be 2 months later before we dated, and a year later before we married, but the love was there. He hesitated fearing to be hurt again. I was not ready to hesitate, and never let go. He laughed and said on our first date I was the most forward girl he ever met... Okay, I told him I was going to marry him and have his children...not the most subtle way to let a man know you have chosen him.
It all worked out and we had our forever marriage sealed in the Mesa Temple...and ya'all have been hearing about the rest of the story.
Sometimes, not always, hearts touch each other through the eyes. I am glad ours did.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Blog Caroling... A Favorite Time of year.

Every year footnoteMaven hosts a fun event called Blog Caroling, a favorite activity for me. If you want to join, then head on over to this blog post at fM's. 
There are many Christmas carols and hymns that touch my heart, but sometimes you just need to stop and have some fun. When the Hero and I would talk about Christmas plays and our children were in the Church party Manger scenes, he would always break out in song about "The Angel in the Christmas Play". This Christmas song was written in 1949 by Spike Lee.  The Hero would have been about 3 when it first came out. 
Wonder if our children remember the song... Good question.
[One year my daughter's church ward had a funny nativity scene at their church party.  I was almost falling off my seat laughing at the antics of the shepherds and angels. Somethings never change. ] 
This is a link to the song done by Karen Carpenter on YouTube. 
Have a wonderful Merry Christmas my friends.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Family Traditions of the Past: A Hero Story in the Making.

Little Bytes of Life was a life saver. Her Genealogy Blog Party, gave me the push I needed to get back to my blog. Without further a do... on with the story...

When the Hero and I were married, my parents lived in Oklahoma and his parents were 30 minutes away.  My mother-in-law sat down and talked with me and it was decided that the holidays would be split. Reminds me of how my daughter who is divorced has their holidays split. One year it would be Thanksgiving at Oklahoma one year and Christmas at Houston, then the next it would be reversed. This continued all the years of my children's growing up.
The trips to Oklahoma were always more that just a trip to see my parents. It would then be, on Thanksgiving day, a two hour trip from Edmond up to Pawnee. There we visited my two aunts and uncle. Fabulous memories. The Hero developed relationships with my dad's family which led to letters and sharing of memories. Things I didn't fully realize at the time would be so valuable now. I wish he were here with his fun mind to tell the stories. The gatherings were very informal. To my knowledge (note to self, as mom) no one assigned the side dishes, everyone brought what was their favorite. As they came in they would put their dish on the table with the rest of the spread of food. When the main meat dish was ready,  people filed in and loaded up their plates, then found a spot to sit and eat. The men loved the football games same as now, and there were hunting stories from their excursions earlier in the morning. There was one draw back. Due to a family spat, we would go and visit each of my dad's siblings separately.  When I was growing up, it was all his siblings together with their kids in tow. Now, those were really the unruly days.
A special love of his was my Uncle Ed. Oh my, they would out tell each other in how things were. I unfortunately followed the  trend and went in and sat with my mom and aunt and we would talk about who was where and doing what.

When we went to Houston, it was so different.  The Hero's mom had a beautiful table setting, and my father-in- law would carve the turkey or ham depending on the holiday. He had 3 siblings, later 4, a foster daughter, and included at first were his father's mom and uncle's family of  5. I was and only child. These gathering were somewhat overwhelming at first for me, because of the formality of the setting. She even would have settings later for card playing... Bridge. I do not play.
My mentor mother-in-law once sat with me and told me, it was her mother-in-law who was her mentor because she had grown up as I had, going and visiting a big unruly family and they did not do formal dining. One of my daughters took her grandmother's example to heart and when you attend her holiday dinner, it is one of formality. Others grabbed a page out of my history and they are much more informal.
Both family gatherings are wonderful. The most important part is the family coming together and the children of those family making connections. If allowed and nurtured, the relationships built will continue when the older generation is gone. That is what we are now working on in our family, hope it sticks. The second and very important thing coming from the gatherings are pictures.

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Hero and the Rottweiler ~ Sentimental Sunday (thought of then.)

The Hero did flooring jobs to supplement his day time job income. His primary workers were his family members.
This one job was for a doctor resurfacing a second floor patio above the first floor patio.  Everyone was excited and thought, this will be a fast easy job.
The doctor had a pet Rottweiler.  He looked like this dog.
 A beautiful healthy, happy, big dog.  The guys were apprehensive at first about how he would accept them, but soon found him to be friendly and funny, because he would run up the stairs to greet them then his claws would slip on the wood floor and he would end up in all sorts of positions, and gyrations trying to get in control.  No one minded his presence, until... they noticed tools would go missing.  He would come out get petted and when they turned back to work, he would pick up a tool, tape, what ever was sitting there unattended, and quietly slip back inside.  This started causing lost time because the guys would have to go looking for the item, and would find it with their friend the dog. It ended in him being banned from the area, and them keeping a watchful eye in case someone would forget to close the door.  He was then such a sad dog looking longingly out the door.
The Hero laughed telling the story and loved petting the Rottweiler when he was there. The guys would hoot and laugh talking about his antics.  All in all, the Rottweiler made the job a fun one that had good memories.

1. Image, Rottweiler3.jpg ,

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Christmas ~ My Testimony of Jesus Christ, the Son of God

As I was contemplating my Christmas post, I was broadsided by a health affliction that left me in painful dark places reaching up for help.  One night, I wrestled almost the entire night with my feelings and thoughts until the Lord and I came to an agreement it was time to write my testimony for the future generations of my family.
It started with parents that had been taught of Christ.

My children have never known our home without Christ, but that doesn't mean that they didn't have to develop their own testimony. That is what one does.  You can't go on other's testimonies for all your life, at one point; you must develop your own. Over time my testimony of Christ and his divine mission has grown until it is just like breathing for me. It is me.
I will begin with what took a time for me to understand as my testimony was developing. I wondered, "How did God feel when he observed the atonement of Christ in Gethsemane?"  Then I wondered about how He felt when he withdrew himself from Christ while His son was facing the last hours during the Crucifixion.  I am not a Prophet or biblical scholar, just a child of God and a mother, so I am sure my perspective must come from there.  I felt as I was wrestling that night, that what God felt was gratitude.  Not pride in his Son, but gratitude for Christ facing his personal challenge and bearing it without being coerced and a pressured into those actions. Christ did his Father's will because it was his desire to do so and because he loved us. Christ embraced his Father, us, and the plan of Happiness in his actions, which testified to me that his actions were, in truth, a sacrifice.
"Christ in Gethsemane" by Heinrich Hofmann - Brigham Young University Museum of Art.1.

"Christ at the Cross - Cristo en la Cruz" by Carl Heinrich Bloch 2.

It all began on a night in Bethlehem when Christ came to this earth to be born to Mary in a lowly stable. Such a lovely tale, and I have crèches that I have collected to commemorate that event.  

God did not abandon Christ when he came to earth. He sent angels to guide and protect this family of Joseph, Mary, and Christ from the beginning. God is always with us. 
The babe in the manger that was Christ the Savior has been my friend and has always been the person for me to go to since I was little.  I remember seeking places to sit and talk with Jesus (another of Christ's names) when I was as young as 5 years old. If there were problems I didn't know how to deal with, I knew He was always there and listening. The comfort, the unfailing care, and the guidance I have received over the years, has never left me found wanting and always His footsteps has been a chosen path to follow.
I not only believe in Christ, I know He is there.  He cares for me, and He takes my up lifted hands and guides me.  He lives.  He is The Savior.  He is my all.
This is my Christmas testimony which I will save in 
Memories on FamilySearch for when my blog is long gone. 
~Frances Ellsworth

1.  Licensed under Public Domain via Commons -

2.  Licensed under Public Domain via Commons -