Monday, February 12, 2018

Memory Monday

“A planet with no mountains, no storms and no earthquakes will create a planet of weak people!” 
― Mehmet Murat ildan

     It is March 27, 1964.  We are happily living in Reno, Nevada; Dick is stationed at Stead Airforce Base and I am finishing up my second round of being a tele-communicator for the America Cancer Society.  All over the airways is news of the disaster which has occurred in Alaska!  A 9.2 force earthquake with its center in Prince William Sound half way between Anchorage and Valdez, has erupted; the largest in the United States and the second largest in the world. (I have linked you to a short youtube presentation if you are interested in seeing how this earthquake changed the scientific study of earthquakes.)
An elementary school in Anchorage
Downtown Anchorage
Turnagain Heights-a housing area overlooking Knik Arm
   Amazingly, only 15 people were killed by the earthquake itself.  It occurred  around 5:30PM and it was Good Friday so many places were closed and school was not in session.  There were 139 deaths total, many from the following Tsunami.
     A few weeks after this disaster Dick comes home with some "exciting" news.  He is being transferred to Elmendorf AFB. Guess where it is located!  Yep...Anchorage, Alaska!  Needless to say that announcement caused great consternation with both of our families.  We, being young and naive, thought it sounded like a great adventure!
      Dick was to report around the first of July I think, although he was still working at Stead.  My little job was over at the end of April so I wouldn't be able to get another job for such a short time.  As I had said earlier, we wouldn't be able to afford the apartment if I wasn't working too, so we made the decision I would go home to live with my parents until we took off for Alaska and Dick would go back to the barracks on base....not a happy solution for we newlyweds! But sometimes you have to just live with the negative side of life too!
      So Dick took a week to drive me home and spend some time with his parents.  Then he went back to Stead and I settled in for a loooong (six weeks) visit with my parents!  I remember going to church with my mom one Sunday after Dick had gone back, and this elderly gentleman, whom I had known all my life but not intimately, came up to me and wanted to know if everything was alright in my life!  It was just not normal for a newlywed to be separated six months after being married!  So I explained to him why I was home (although I was thinking it was really none of his business and wanted to tell him some really wild tale) and he seemed to think that was OK!  When I  exploded to my mom about the nosey old man, she said he was probably just concerned and would have wanted to pray for me if there had been something wrong!  Bless his heart! Ah, small gotta love them!!!

Monday, February 5, 2018

Memory Monday

"Marriage is the highest state of friendship. If happy, it lessens our cares by dividing them, at the same time that it doubles our pleasures by mutual participation. "

     It is 1964; we have been married about six weeks; we are in our cozy little apartment in the middle of winter in Reno, Nevada.  Such a beautiful winter!  There is a fresh coating of snow on everything.  Reno is in the Sierra Nevadas and the Truckee River runs right through town.  We go walking at night, in the snow.  There is a bridge over the Truckee not far from where we live.  A special memory, standing on that bridge, watching the snow fall into the water which is really raging below us.
The Truckee River-Reno, Nevada
      I had never cooked much before we were married but Dick was very encouraging as I practiced on him!  Except for one time...I made a coconut pie which was one of his favorites.  He tasted it and said it was pretty good but not quite as good as what his mom made!  Well, to a newly wed, that was not the most tactful thing he could have said.  I wasn't angry...but my response to him was..."I am very fond of your mom, but don't ever compare my cooking to hers!"  And he never did again!  She is a really good cook, but over the years, I became pretty good myself.
     It is February 9, 1964.  Do you remember what happened that night?  The Beatles were in America on the Ed Sullivan Show!!  And we had our first party!  Some of the guys from the base who worked with Dick at Shakey's and their girl friends/wives.  

The Beatles with Ed Sullivan
The first song they sang was "I Want to Hold Your Hand" .  If you would like to get a taste of the show click on the song name which will take you to a youtube film of them and on the side you will see more links to more songs.  We had a great time until the neighbors complained about the noise...and everyone had to go to work the next day, so the party broke up pretty early.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Memory Monday

“Marriage: Love is the reason. Lifelong friendship is the gift. Kindness is the cause. Til’ death do us part is the length.”  -Fawn Weaver

     The wedding is over; the honeymoon is in the past; we are on our way back to Reno...January, 1964.  We are loaded with wedding, placemats, blankets. We decided to leave the crystal and silver at my parents' house. Then we have to find a place to live because Dick didn't have a high enough a rank to live on base. We found a nice little furnished bedroom and bath, a kitchen and living room combined. 

Our first apartment
    Our unit was downstairs on the front. The entry door was under the stairs. The building had four units...two down and two up.  It had been built in some guy's back yard...not many building codes at that time! It was small but relatively new and seemed pretty great to us for our first home together!

This is our kitchen.
      Right across the street was a appliance repair business.  There was only one parking place at the apartment per car but we could park one of our cars in front of the business before they opened at 8:00 and after they closed at 5:00 M-Sat...Sundays they were closed so we could leave it there.  Because Dick had to leave before I did, we parked the car he drove in front of the business.
     My job at Penny's was no longer there...they weren't too happy with me leaving during the busiest time of the year.  I was having a hard time finding anything and to be frank, in order to pay rent I HAD to have a job too...Dick's military salary wasn't great and he didn't qualify for off base housing allowance.  I finally found a job with the Heart Association as a of those obnoxious people who call you up and plead for money.  It was a six weeks' gig.  We were literally living one day at a time!

     I was soooo good at what I did that, after  six weeks' was up, I was hired on by the Cancer Society to do the same thing!  And for this, I went to college!!! We were living in the newly wed bubble though so all was good!!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

North Texas SAQA Meeting

“If you ask me what I came to do in this world, I, an artist, will answer you: I am here to live out loud.” 
― Ă‰mile Zola

     Last Saturday the North Texas SAQA Circle met in Grapevine at the Must Love Fabric shop.  We had ten members there and had a very interesting meeting. The month before we had brainstormed ideas of things we could do at our monthly meetings.  We came up with several ideas:  techniques to demonstrate, how we each work and where our ideas come from etc.  This week we all brought our sketchbooks/journals to share how we used them as a tool for our creativity.  It was really interesting to see how varied and yet how similar our sketchbooks were.  Some use theirs very frequently to get ideas started; others more casually and less often.  I, myself, am a kind of off and on...but I do enjoy journaling when I do it!
     Then we had our usual showing of what we had been working on which is always a favorite!  Always inspiring!
Deborah brought an abstract square she is working on and explained
how she worked with it and plans to continue 
Deborah had taken a class from Cindy Lohbeck
Another example of Deborah's dyeing
Jen is working on some small art after taking a bit of a sabbatical..
Glad to have her back in the swing of things!
Another small art by Jen
Jackie showed a stunning work of art. Be sure to enlarge this so
you can appreciate her hand stitched circles. 
Jackie had also taken a recent class from Sue Benner.
Taking a photograph and interpreting it into a fabric work of art.
Andrea has also been bitten by the ice dyeing bug and
had several beautiful pieces to show us.
Diane, a new member, had several small pieces to show us.
I think she will fit in quite well!!
Another work by Diane
And another.
Jaye showed her Century Plant which is finally finished!
You might be able to enlarge this to see the billions of French knots
which make up the  blossoms.
          Our last bit of business for the meeting was to discuss what we are doing at our February meeting.  We are going to be meeting at the same location and decorate our share of the tote bags that each Texas Circle is doing for the SAQA Conference hand outs. The conference is being held in San Antonio this year in April. Each of us is to bring paint, stamps, inks, brushes, stencils, whatever can be used to decorate the bags.  It will be a fun meeting!

Monday, January 15, 2018

NTAQ January Meeting

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” 
― Pablo Picasso

    My NTAQ Art bunch met always, a real boost to share our creativity with each other.  Our challenge this month was a painting by Georges Braque "The Echo".  It is an abstract picture with some definable objects.  Our challenges are not necessarily to interpret the pictures exactly but to use the shapes and colors as inspirations to create something original. Here is the picture on my design wall with my work.  It is not one of my favorites but since I rushed it together I guess it will do.  I was working most  of the day and night yesterday getting my "Century Plant" finished so I only spent from 10:00 to Midnight last night on the challenge!

Georges Braque/ Jaye
And here are the ones done by the others:

We had a couple people not able to be at the is a picture of all the challenges together
Michelle's is upper left...I didn't get an individual pic of hers

     Then we had our "show and tell" of other works! Kay had really been busy since our last meeting.

Kay says this was done "just for fun"!
Kay added the circles after finishing the quilt, feeling it needed a little something more!
A small work Kay brought to get some suggestions on what to do with  the background.
This is a sea turtle Kay did as a reminder of her recent trip to Hawaii
     Bethany had been busy doing some ice dyeing:     

Bethany plans to leave this as a whole cloth quilt and add stitching
      Wendy had a most spectacular quilt to show....the backs of her quilts are alway as wonderful as the fronts!!
The front
The back
    And I showed my Century Plant.  I had originally planned on entering this in a show in South Texas named "Life on the Rio Grande".  I didn't get it finished by the I am now going to get it finished to enter in the SAQA Conference Texas Only SAQA members' show in April.

My "Century Plant"
It is not quite finished....I need to quilt the borders and stitch down a few of the blooms that I haven't done yet.  I also took several pictures on the process of this quilt as I did a few things that I had not done before and plan to write a blog on that.  So I am not going into much detail on how I did this one.
     And the meeting ended with lunch, conversation and lots of laughter, as always!

Monday, January 8, 2018

Memory Monday

“I celebrate the connections in my life, from my past, present, and future. I joyfully accept love in all its healthy forms!” 
― Amy Leigh Mercree,

     We are now back at Dick's parents' home.  While we are there, all the neighbors throw us a shivaree.  Now for those of you who are not familiar with the  custom, shivarees were "celebrations" of marriage. Originally they could get pretty wild...usually a newly wed couple would be in their new home and the community would show up one night and mischievously wreck their home! Nothing malicious...all in good fun! The couple would expect this to happen so would have beer and snacks set aside for when the partiers would show up.  Sometimes the bride would be "kidnapped"  while the groom had to watch his domain being wrecked!  Then all would get back together and help clean up and the party would  begin. Crazy, I know!  I wonder if they still do that anywhere?

    Because we were not living in the area, what we got was just the party!  It would not have been appropriate to wreck his parents' house!  It was a nice party, a chance for me to meet all the neighbors. And their tradition was to give the couple a "money" tree.  Bills had been collected and some creative person would make flowers or something out of the money and place them on a branch....a much nicer tradition than what I was used to!!!
Dick and Jay after the shivaree with money tree
This picture was taken in Dick's parents living room...that is a window behind me, showing off the beautiful farm land that surrounded them. Right down the road were his paternal grandparents and just a few miles away, his maternal grandmother...all of whom were at our wedding.  His brother and little sister Janice are still living at home.  Fay is nineteen and farming with his dad; Janice who is 14 years younger than Dick and in total awe of him, is eight.
25th anniversary
This is a picture of Dick's mom and dad celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary August 14, the summer before we got married.  We were in Reno at the time so not able to attend.  Brother Fay 18 and sister Janice 7, in the background.  Again, a community party held in the church hall.

    Next stop...Reno, Nevada...our first apartment!

Monday, January 1, 2018

Memory Monday

“You can start anew at any given moment. Life is just the passage of time and it’s up to you to pass it as you please.” 
― Charlotte Eriksson

     How appropriate that today, a Monday,  is the first day of the New Year!  I am returning to my Memory Monday blogs and I love "fresh starts"....a new day, a new week,  a new year!  And also appropriate is that this memory is also about New Year's eve!

    So here we are,  back in Pittsfield after our brief honeymoon in St. Louis. It is December 31, and we are going to yet another Dance Club party at the American Legion....there will be much drinking and eating and general chaos!  My sister and her family are still at Mom and Dad's...totally, there are 12  of us sleeping there.  My cousins who don't party with my parents stay home with Judy's babies...Doug 2 and David 20 days old.

     Looking back, I am sure this whole "everyone together" was a little foreign to Dick who although had a large family of aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents...more than mine...but they all lived close enough to go home in the evenings!  I do remember at one point while we were all there,  all we girls were in another room doing something, baby David began to cry, but then got quiet.  Judy went to check on him and came back just astonished!  He had been on his back and was now on his stomach!  He had rolled over at 20 days old! It is a miracle!  Then Dick quietly (he was a quiet person), said "Oh, I hope it was alright.  He was fussing and I had seen others turn him over which seem to quiet him, so I just did that too!"  Well, you can imagine!  All my female relatives just thought that was the bravest, smartest thing a man could do!  From that moment on, Dick could do no wrong in their eyes!  You have to realize, men had very little to do with babies back then so for him to even think about what to do was amazing!

Judy with baby David, Doug and my mom looking on
     So that evening we all dress up and head to the American Legion; after the dance we went to a house party of some friends of Mom and Dad.  Now we are going home and are all feeling no pain at this point.  I remember as we six (mom, dad, Judy, my BIL, Dick and I) all pile into Dad's car, Dad driving, he begins to back out to the driveway, swerving backwards while gunning it.  Dick looks back and hollers...Dad brakes and we stop just inches away from a large tree! 
    When we get back to the house, my poor sister who was just 20 days away from having a baby and who had probably not had an alcoholic beverage since her own wedding, became very ill!  While Dad who is pretty bombed himself, takes care of her, Mom and I are taking care of baby David....he needs a bottle...and we rock him.  The strangest thing about having been drinking and gets very dizzy!  So when one of us got dizzy, the other would take over!  We took turns until he finally fell asleep! Tough kid!  He survived!
     Then, before we headed to our new home in Reno, Nevada, we go to Dick's parents to spend a few days with them.

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Last Blog for 2017

“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.” 
― Frank Herbert

     I haven't blogged for the whole month of December, so for my final blog of the year, I am going to combine LOTS of topics!
     Early December, Andrea and I flew to Portland, Oregon to attend a wedding of Dick's brother's granddaughter...or my great niece!  We planned to be there a bit longer to see something to the area.  On our first day, we did a personal walking tour....and went to the Portland Museum of Art.  One of the exhibits that was going on was a retrospect of Three Wyeths, N.C., Andrew, and Jamie!

A Window painted to honor the Illustrator, NC Wyeth
Three Generations of Wyeths

Then we walked to Powell's Bookstore....advertising to be the largest Independent new and used bookstore in the World!  And I can believe it! It takes up a whole city block and contains over 68,000 square feet of retail floor space....several stories high... nine-color coded rooms and over 3,500 different sections.  Needless to say, we did not see the whole store!

Just a sampling picture of Powell's
     That afternoon, my SIL Janice flew in for the wedding from Belton, Missouri and had planned to stay at the same hotel where we were.  She texted me when she got in and, coincidentally, she was in the room right next door to us! We had read about a craft fair down by the river that evening in a big warehouse, so we ordered a Lyft and took off.  

The Fair
Food trucks are a big item in Portland....we saw them near Powell's when we were there, but it was too cold for us to partake in outdoor eating....but this evening, there were several set up behind the building with many of those outdoor heaters.  We ate our dinner standing up huddled under a heater, then went in to join the crowds!  None of us are too fond of crowds so we stayed about an hour then called another Lyft to go back to the the bar for a hot toddy!!
     The next morning, we had scheduled a city tour for the morning.  The wedding was to be at 3:00 so we had plenty of time to check out Portland!  It was a good tour, although, again...chilly and damp!  But that did not "dampen" our spirits! One of our stops was a Japanese Garden which was very lovely...then a stop along the river, the Wilamette...and then a tour of one of the best known homes in the area, the Pittock Mansion.  It is now a part of the Historical Society of Portland and one of their moneymakers to go towards the up keep, is to rent various rooms at Christmas to different groups to decorate according to their interests.  Then, of course there are the fees for visitors...but it was a beautiful place...and again, very popular!
The Japanese Gardens
Andrea, Jay, and Jan with Portland on the Wilamette in the background
The Pittock Mansion overlooking the city
The staircase at the split at the landing and went to the left also.
     We returned to the hotel to shower and dress for the wedding.  It was a lovely affair; the venue was a unique location...I don't know what the building had been originally but the huge room, which the family had transformed into fantasy, was just perfect for this couple. After a very short service, the entire attendees, approximately 300, I think I was told, were served  fun buffet dinner of the couples' choice...tacos and all the traditional sides!!

Jon and Lauren
Sister of the Bride-Emily/ Mother of the Bride- Cathy (my niece)
Jay and Andrea having a great time at the wedding!
    Dick's brother, Fay, took all of us back to our hotel.  Jan was flying home the next day, so we made a plan to meet at the airport for a brunch before she had to leave.  Cathy who lives in Portland, picked us up and for a least a short time, we all got together...all 13 of us minus the bride and groom.   After we saw Jan off, we went back to Cathy's house to visit for awhile then the suggestion was made to go see Multnomah Falls, just outside Portland along the Columbia  Gorge. What a site!  611 feet of cascading icy water!

Multmomah Falls
Then Andrea and I were taken back to our hotel.  All of the family were heading back home on Monday; we had planned to stay another day and had scheduled an all day tour along the Oregon coast.
     That Monday, we woke up to sunshine for the first time we since we had come!  Although it was still pretty cool, it was good to have sunshine while we toured because we did a lot of getting in and out! The coast is beautiful; we did a lot of walking /hiking at various stops. At one stop we were really in the forest primeval! There was a steep path leading down to the beach which I only tried part way.  On the path, there were many surfers in their winter wet suits heading down.  Brrrr!  I headed back to the top to wait for the others!

Pacific Coast, Oregon
Rock formation at certain locations along the coast
A temperate rainforest with fantastic mossed covered trees.
Not a sign we see in Texas!
The next day, Tuesday, we had an early flight out and got back to the DFW area before noon. Great trip; beautiful wedding; got to see lots of relatives and lots of fabulous scenery!!
     The rest of the month of December was spent with my art groups, working with my art, and celebrating Christmas.   My first art meeting was the North Texas SAQA  at which we all brought goodies to celebrate the holidays. We discussed what we want to do next year and then our fab show and tell!!

     And my North Texas Art Quilters (NTAQ)  met at my house...again plans for next year and another fabulous show and tell...

And then we went to lunch at a new restaurant, Rise, in the  Shops of Clearfork area.  It is a souffle eatery, very yummy...the best French Onion soup I think I have ever had!

Most of NTAQ
    Another nice surprise...a couple friends took me to Dallas for a belated birthday dinner...a new place for me.
Yummy seafood!
     Andrea and Leo came over on the Saturday before Christmas.  Sunday we went to see "An Act of God" at Stagewest where we also had dinner.

Cast of An Act of God
    We had a nice quiet Christmas Day...Marti and her family had decided to go on a Caribbean Cruise over the holidays; they all like to do physical stuff...snorkel, zipline, etc. which Andrea and I are not that crazy about so we opted to stay home, saving our money for a trip next spring to Colorado.  I can say I had a Wonder Woman personal hero since childhood!

     Then on the 29th, Dick and  I would be celebrating our 54 anniversary if he were still with me.  As it was, I had decided to go out to the National Cemetery where he is interred in part.  I say in part, because I am still dispersing ashes when I go on trips where he would have gone too.  Andrea offered to go with me so I met her for lunch and we drove over there....very nice surprise...I did not know that Christmas wreathes were placed at each and every tombstone and along the columbarium.

Nor did I know that there is an organization where one can donate and/or volunteer to lay the wreathes known as Wreathes Across America.  I will get involved in it next year.  They may be the ones responsible for other times of decorating the cemeteries...I'll have to check it out!

     So in drawing this lengthy blog to an end, I wish each and every one of you a Happy New Year with this card I stole off Facebook, posted by a fellow Unitarian Universalist!
Love to all, Jaye