Monday, April 29, 2013

Memory Monday # 17 we are back in town...I don't remember too much about the move...but the house we moved into... (which would be home to me for the rest of my time living in Pittsfield)...was also just a block from the school where I attended the second grade....except a street over.  The school took up a block...the front facing my old home in the little apartment street; and the back of the school was on a street a block over.
     I did have to give up my pony; my kitten had already run away; and we were somewhat reunited with our Border Collie, Fuzzy.  While we still lived in town, Fuzzy took a real liking to an elderly couple who lived across the street.  They would feed her and let her in the house.  She would spend more time with them than with us, so when we moved to the farm, Mom talked us into letting the Morelands keep her as they had really become a pony for dog!  Sounded good!
     Being only seven, I was pretty flexible..ready for another adventure...I quickly became acquainted with the kids in our neighborhood and I could walk to school!  We were often "tardy" to school when we lived in the country.  My family, especially my mom, was notoriously late where ever we, church, etc.. So my teacher was delighted that I would be so close to school and not be late again!  Wrong!!  I was still late...I somehow could take a LONG time walking that block.  Not that I didn't like school, but there was so much to see on the way! Puddles, rocks, trees, birds....!
     And there was "Uncle" Jack's store...Uncle Jack was a tiny little old man who lived in a little house across the street from the school.  In his front room, he ran the mini equivalent of a 7/11 without the gas pumps.  He sold soda pop, penny candy, chips, etc.  And he had the most marvelous miniature stone village in his back yard!!  It was his hobby to create these miniature buildings...I thought they were just magical!!  So whenever I could get away with it, I would have to go over there to see the fairy land he had created!

Miniature stone village
     This is not a picture of Uncle Jack's village, but it is very similar in technique. I wish I did have a picture of his little town, but I do have a clear picture in my mind!

Friday, April 26, 2013


     Last week my daughter, Andrea, took her daddy and me to Hawaii!!   Andrea had reservations at a Hilton Resort and invited us to join her.  Hawaii was the only state we had not visited and had thought we probably wouldn't make it....being so far and would take a lot of planning.  So when she came up with the  plan a few months ago, we decided it would be a wonderful opportunity to visit our 50th State....especially on our 50th anniversary year!!
      We had a wonderful time...saw many fantastic sites!! We first flew to Oahu and spent the night so we could we could visit Pearl Harbor the next day.
the Missouri and the Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor
On the Arizona...Tree of Life window and list of  men serving on ship 
     Then we flew to the Big Island, and spent the rest of our trip there on Hawaii!
View from the balcony of our room at the Hilton

Lava Lava Beach...loved it of my favorite places!!

Pu'uhonua o Honanunau-the Place of Refuge
     A National Historical Park where we learned a lot about the original peoples of Hawaii!!  An archaeological find that had been reconstructed....very neat!!!
A green sea turtle at Lava Lava Beach...we saw several of new animal passion!!!
We took tour to the Observatories on Mauna Kea...very COLD!!!  but beautiful!
Dick and Andrea did Zipline.....
....while I visited some neat historical sites and did a little shopping,
We did the traditional luau....very fun!!!

...and our last tour was to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park..daytime
.....and same volcano...Kilauea night!!!
...and we walked through a lava tube!!
     I took over 900 you can see these are just a sampling of a wonderful trip!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Memory Monday # 16

     This memory Monday is not really about MY memories, except via the stories I have heard about family.  But before I go on with events of my life, I thought I would reminesce about some of my family lore before I was born.
The Quinlen's  (my grandmother-far left)
     My mom grew up in a very Irish family...Her great grandparents met on the boat coming over from Ireland in the 1800's.  Her mother was the oldest of eight children.  She and my grandfather were not blessed with children until they were in their late 30's which, for that generation, was  quite old. My mother's father was Welsh and a Protestant!  That would have been pretty hard for her to marry outside of the Catholic church back in those days....that is probably where my mom (and maybe me) got her stubborn streak!
      I never knew either of my mother's parents..he died when my mom was just seven years old of blood poisoning. The story has it that he had gotten a rose bush thorn embedded in his hand which became infected.  The town where they lived was between the Mississippi and the Illinois rivers and in the spring of that year, the rivers were flooded.  Now the town was far enough away from the rivers that flooding was not a concern but there was no doctor in town and no way to get to a doctor as the ferries were not able to operate because of the high water.  So when the infection set in, it went into his blood stream and he died.  That seems such an archaic way to die, but I guess it wasn't so unusual without the benefit of antibiotics.  This would have been early twentieth century when penicillin was very new.
My grandfather and my mom at age seven.
     According to my mom, this picture is taken at a town down by the river that was flooded....they had gone down to see it.  Mom told that he had his hand bandaged and held it behind her so that it would not be seen in the picture.  He passed away within a few days after this was taken.
     After his death, my mom, her older sister and my grandmother lived alone...she ran a boarding house..she never remarried.  My grandfather had been a conductor on a passenger train so after his death, my grandmother was given a life time pass to travel on the train with her minor children.  By then my grandmother's brothers and sisters were scattered all over...some West to California, others North to Chicago.  Mom told of traveling all over with her mother.  She said from what she knew of her father, he had run away from home at a young age so she never really knew anything about his side of the family.
     My mom and her mother were very close as her older sister was quite a bit older, got married very young and left home.  So there was just the two of them together.  My grandmother passed away about the same time I was born so I never knew her either.


Monday, April 15, 2013

Memory Monday #15

My Dad and Mom....early 1930's before they were married
     As I mentioned early in my memories about living in the country, my mom was not as crazy about the idea as my dad...and ME!!  I loved living out there...but looking back I can see how it was not as good a choice for my mom.  My dad was an auctioneer; he loved to hunt and fish; he enjoyed a night out with the boys!  My mom loved to play cards, especially bridge; enjoyed reading, movies, and her children...and visiting with her friends.  We were living in the same town where they grew up and went to school.  While living in the country, we did not always have two cars, so she was kind of stranded a lot of the time.
     Mom would occasionally have to get out and round the calves up when they got out of the pasture...and a couple of times I think there were some pigs that she had to corral!! But what I think really turned the tables in her favor of getting to move back to town was an incident that was harmless but did scare us all!!  Daddy was gone for the evening; it had gotten dark...had been stormy and there was a  knock, or rather, banging on the door.  Mom went to the door with us right behind her to see who it was.  This rather scruffy...and rather drunk man...was there...asking to see someone whom we didn't know.  Mom told him that the woman he was looking for was not there...did not live there anymore.  He got kind of belligerent, insisted that Mom was lying to him..that the woman he was looking for was there...that Mom was hiding her from him!!
     I don't remember exactly how long this conversation went on...Mom had gotten the door closed and I do remember he stood on the porch hollering for a long time...or so it seemed.  And that she had started calling around to see where my dad was...and had my sister, being the older, ready to go out the back door and over the fence to the go to the closest neighbor up the road when the guy did finally leave.
     I never heard any of the discussion between my parents, but within a few weeks, we were moving into a house in town where I lived the rest of my days with my family until I was on my own!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

Memory Monday #14

      While still living on the "farm", my sister and I  had to create our own fun...especially on rainy days.  We weren't "blessed" with television so had to rely on our own imaginations.  We were very fortunate to have a  remarkable woman for a mom. Although she herself never had the opportunity to go to college, she was a intelligent, very well read person.  And she instilled in us the love of books; the stretching of the imagination; the creative impulse!
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
       Longfellow was one of her favorite poets..she would read his poems to us at a very young age. I was six or seven and remember that one of my favorite poems was "The Wreck of the Hesperus"....

The Captain of the Hesperus and his darling daughter
The poem is really a tragedy, about a captain who takes his little daughter out to sea on his boat...a terrible storm comes up; he lashes her to the helm so she won't be blown away; the boat crashes on rocks....they all...well, you really need to read the poem for yourself!
     We loved playing "The Wreck of...", racing around the house shouting...  "Ho! ho! the breakers roared! " and..."Christ save us all from a death like this, 
On the reef of Norman's Woe! "

Mom would let us turn the dining room into the ship...we would use turned over chairs and blankets and create quite the set for our play...this room was the site for many fantasy settings from other stories and poems that she exposed us to.

     Another favorite of mine was "The Burial of the Minnisink" about the death of an Indian Chief.  Another tragedy, but really cool to act out!!  The Minnisink were a tribe...probably of the Mohawk line and Longfellow was fond of writing about the lore of nature and people of action...sailors, Indians, blacksmiths, etc. 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Memory Monday #13

     The house we lived in when we were in the country was an old farm house with a cellar.  Cellar doors were usually slanted doors outside the house which led to a concrete or wooden stairway leading down into the basement/cellar.  Cellars were used as storm shelters (think tornados like in Kansas..."Wizard of Oz") and storage for canned goods  (think Ball jars) and other sundry boxes of stuff!
     My sister and I weren't very fond of going down was pretty dark and covered with cobwebs....kind of dank and musty!  And of course with our fantastic imaginations we were sure it was haunted and full of monsters!!  One day, our dad asked us to go down and get some item that was stored there....I can't remember exactly what, but I do remember as we shined our flashlight around, we saw a snake!!!!
     You want to hear some screeching little girls making a beeline back up those stairs!!!  And our brave dad went down to catch that snake!  Well, he searched and searched then he finally found it and brought it up for all to see!  Our "snake" turned out to be a metal, shiny belt that sure did look like snake scales in the dark!!  Poor dad...he had to  "save" us from an awful lot of scary stuff!!
Sitting on the cellar door