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Showing posts from October, 2019

Six Sentence Story: Migration

Photo: An old black-and-white photo showing a man and boy in overalls, a woman holding a toddler, a girl who appears to be in her teens, and two little girls.  Denise hosts the Six Sentence Story blog hop each week. This week the prompt word is migration . I cannot claim credit for the following story; it is taken from a transcript of a video of my grandma telling about her move as a young girl from Arkansas to California in the fall of 1929. I think it was around the first of November when we started, and we had a Model T Ford touring car, so we put as many of the possessions that we had in the car and on top of the car and behind the car and on the running boards of the car. Newman was driving, and Dad was in the front seat, so Mom and Bernice and Lucas and Quince and I were in the backseat, along with boxes of stuff to eat and clothing to keep us warm and blankets to keep us warm, because there was no heat in the car. We left our mountain home where we lived on Grandpa&#

Ten Things of Thankful: A Bittersweet Funeral Week

Photo: Photos of my grandma, and a guest book and pen sit on top of a white tablecloth on a small table. (Credit for the photo of the display goes to my dad.) I've been mostly MIA for the past week, as I've been spending time with family following the passing of my grandma. It has been a tender time of gathering, remembrance, and connection. A funeral is a great example of how it is possible to be thankful even in times of sorrow. I am sad I won't be able to see Grandma's sweet smile nor hear her soft voice in person anymore, but I am thankful for so many things. 1. I am thankful for the belief that this life isn't the end, that Grandma is reunited with her loved ones who preceded her in death, and that I will see her again at a future time. 2. I am thankful that Grandma has been released from the grips of Alzheimer's. She is a bright, strong woman, and the disease tried to hide those qualities.  3. I am thankful for Grandma's example of endurance

Six Sentence Story: Legend

Photo: A smiling woman with black curly hair, glasses, and a pearl necklace Determination and hard work defined her life, as I suppose it would for anyone who grew up with fourteen siblings, especially during the Great Depression. Her strength exceeded what might have been predicted, though. While she did the expected and necessary tasks--farming chores and working outside the home as a secretary--when she reached retirement, she did not slow down. Quite the contrary; her senior years found her learning how to use a computer, beginning piano lessons, serving a mission for her church, regularly attending water aerobics classes, and even doing cartwheels in her living room! This slight-of-frame dynamo with smooth skin (and hair that took over 90 years to even think about graying) will surely become a woman of legend to future generations. For those of us privileged to know her during the almost 103 years she lived on earth, we will forever remember that her gentle, loving, and kind n

#RootsTech: Something for Everyone!

Photo: The words "AMBASSADOR rootstech February 26-29, 2020 Salt Lake City, Utah Register at" on a black and grey background As I mentioned previously , I am delighted to be an ambassador for RootsTech 2020, which will be held in February of next year. RootsTech is the world's largest genealogical conference, but the appeal goes far beyond die-hard historians.  RootsTech provides classes for everyone from the beginner to the professional, and if you go to the schedule page on their website , you can filter the classes by difficulty. A special "Getting Started" series of lectures lists classes such as "How to Build My Family Tree", "How I Can Preserve My Family Story", and "What Can DNA Do for Me?"  The theme for RootsTech 2020 is "The Story of YOU." We all have stories to tell, and the stories of this generation are just as valid as those of previous generations. Family history includes now, and Root

Ten Things of Thankful: Life is a Gift Edition

Photo: John and I on a roller coaster. John is smiling and looks relaxed; I have my eyes clinched shut tightly and am holding onto John's hand for dear life. I'm old enough that I think I'm supposed to dread birthdays, but I'm not mature enough to do so. I like birthdays, and even though an actuary would disagree, I'm convinced I'm not "over-the-hill" yet.  I had a birthday this week. I also have a grandmother who, it appears, is nearing the end at almost 103 years old. Combine those two events, and I've found myself in a contemplative frame of mind.  In last week's TToT post, I listed more than 10 items. (T he exact number depends on whether or not you count my typo--I labeled two different items as #11--as one or two things). This week, I'm keeping my list shorter: 1. I am thankful f or life. What a gift it is to be here on Earth, have so many different experiences, and meet so many people! When life gets overwhelming or s

Six Sentence Story--Design

Photo: A wooden house emerges out of a Scotch-broom covered hill The concept fit more neatly into Middle Earth, or perhaps into a future, more well-received environmentally-conscious age, but regardless of whether it was an old idea or cutting-edge, the point was that the House-Built-into-the-Hillside was a dream come true. The planning started well before the blueprints were drawn up, for in order for a passive-solar, underground home to work in cloudy Oregon, the slope and orientation of the hill had to be just right to maximize exposure to the sun. Once the perfect property was located, and the concrete slab was poured so the only exposed side of the house would receive the sun's rays, the outer shell of the house went up quickly. The family moved in prior to interior completion, but the home was abundantly filled with the most important ingredient--love--so what the house lacked in "finishing touches" (i.e., interior doors) provided personality rather than emba

Ten Things of Thankful: Can't Stop at Ten Edition

Photo: A silhouette of a bronze statue of Joseph and Hyrum Smith on horseback sits on a hill above the Mississippi River. The setting sun turns the sky red, yellow, and purple.   The Ten Things of Thankful blog hop is open from Friday to Tuesday each week, and here it is Tuesday and I'm just now writing my post. I don't usually like to leave things to the last minute, but I've been on a whirlwind of a vacation to Illinois and Missouri since October 5 and just got home last night. Future posts will go into more detail, but I wanted to share some of the many things I've been thankful for recently, before the sun sets on this link-up. 1. I'm thankful for an unexpected upgrade. While sitting in the airport waiting to board, I pulled my boarding pass up on my phone, only to notice my seat assignment was blinking, then changed. Without any request on our part, John and I had our seats upgraded! I imagine that a family needed to sit together, so we got bumped up t

Ten Things of Thankful: Autumn Harvest, Weather, and Other Delights

Two Asian pears sit on a grey granite counter 1. I'm thankful for sweet neighbor children, who make me smile for lots of reasons. I posted this on Facebook this week: I pulled into my driveway as my little neighbor was leaving my porch. He told me he brought us some Asian pears: “One for you, and one for your father.” I was feeling pretty youthful until I got inside, and John told me the neighbor had given him two Asian pears, “One for you, and one for your mom.”  🤣 2. I'm thankful for customer service representatives who listen and quickly come up with a solution. We have a robotic vacuum that has been making a strange noise. The representative quickly came to the conclusion that the vacuum needs to be returned and replaced. So far, the process has been hassle-free. 3. I'm thankful for books, and that I have always had a love of reading. I'm re-reading the Little House books, and am as delighted with them now as I was in my childhood.  4. I'm thankfu