Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Farewell, George

Last week, I said goodbye to an old friend: my camera, George. I haven't been able to take pictures with him because my eyes just don't seem to focus right. My cousin, Carole Darby, has begun taking pictures and I thought she should have a good friend to encourage her so I sent her George. Today I got an email from her mom saying George had arrived safely. I am excited for Carole because she is about to discover a wonderful world. Somehow, you look at things differently thru a camera lens. You notice more. You find you want to tell a story with the camera. I have had a chance to tell many stories and I hope to tell some more but it isn't quite the same for me now. It is ok. I have lots of pictures to treasure and they bring forth lots of memories. The wolf is from the Philadelphia Zoo. My brother, Ross and his wife, Sharon and I went there because the Zoo was the oldest in the US. The bear is the Kodiak bear from the National Zoo in DC. I use to go there regularly before 8am and the animals got fed. The animals were more active. The frog was taken in Vancouver,BC when Carolyn Shoup and I were exploring the Chinese Gardens. The wild burros were taken from the highway on the way back to Las Vegas. Carolyn was driving(very fast) and we saw them and she put on the brakes. Thank God there was no one behind us.

Here's to your stories, Carole. May the memories begin.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Today is Memorial Day when we remember those who gave their lives for us. I have some memories of different Memorial Days over the years. When I was a kid, Memorial Day was usually the first backyard picnic put on by my Mom. I remember having the picnic table under the crab apple tree and having to pick out baby apples out of the salad. I remember my Dad cooking stuff on the grill. We always had fruit salad made from watermelon, canteloupe, blueberries and grapes. The friends that came were the same. It was a pleasant gathering.

Memorial Day at Grier School was very different. If I was lucky, I got to ride Hi Test in the parade. It would tour around Birmingham and end up at the little graveyard at the top of the hill. I don't remember alot about it except we use to go for a short ride after and then go to HorseHaven Inn.

After school, Memorial Day was just a holiday that I didn't have to go to work. The day just didn't penetrate my thick skull. I didn't really know anyone in the military. My brother served in the Marine Corps but he was discharged before Vietnam heated up.(THANK GOD).

Now, things have changed. I think about our troops over in the Middle East and I think about my nephew in law, Joe Coleman, who serves in the Navy. I am grateful to these men and women who have given so much. We are so lucky. Because they were willing to go and serve, we get to stay and enjoy our lives. I hope I never again just think of Memorial Day as just a day that I don't have to work. Please, God....bless each of those who are serving and who have served.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

The Travelers

Meet the Travelers. These are two of the windows from the United Methodist Church in Fairfield, ME. The people did not start out with a church but they did have a traveling preacher: Jesse Lee. He brought revivals to Fairfield Center. He brought one in 1794 and then again in 1808. By 1809, Ebenezer Newell led the people to form the first Methodist Group. Other groups were formed in Kendall Mills(the original name for Fairfield) and Nye's Corner(there is a cemetary there where some of my ancestors are buried.

These are two of the the three Traveling Windows. They were given in memory of William and Lydia Bryant(The Angel one is theirs), Ezra and Elizabeth Totman(Their window isn't shown) and Nahum and Susan Totman(Theirs is the Good Shepherd). William Bryant was a third Great Grandfather who sailed on the USS Constitution(Old Ironsides). His daughter was Susan French Bryant who married Nahum Totman. He was a second Great Grandfather and the owner of the Totman Lumber Mill. Ezra Whitman Totman and his wife, Elizabeth, were Nahum's brother and sister-in -law. The windows were given by relatives of the the Totmans. I haven't gotten all the connections yet but I am working on it.

The windows were installed in the Universalist Church in 1856. The church was closed in 1941 and the windows went to the Fairfield United Methodist Church which is since be demolished.

The windows have been moved several other times but they still exist even though their orignal churches do not. Two of the windows are in the Fairfield UMC and the other is in the Fairfield Center UMC.

I think it is kind of cool to have three such beautiful windows in memory of our ancestors. Hopefully, someday, we will have color pictures.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Diva Hits It

This is the cover to my niece's new CD called "Breathing". It has been a long time in the making but it was worth it. It is fantastic. Wendy Lane Bailey is totally awesome. Her choice of songs and her interpretation of the words were just incredible. Three of my favorites were "So In Love" , "Night Ride Home" , and "Mother's Prayer". They were positively haunting.

This amazing photo was taken by Isaac Bailey and he captured Wendy the way she will capture

you when you hear her sing.

I was honored to be one of Wendy's investors. I definately got my money's worth.

Well done, Diva. Well done, indeed!!!!!

PS. I used this picture without permission but I hope Wendy and Isaac will for give me.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

I Remember Mom

She loved people. She loved to hear their stories, what they liked, what books they had read, what music they enjoyed. She was always a good listener. I use to get embarassed when she would strike up a conversation with other people in lines or at concerts but that was Mom.

She had a passion for people. Of course, she enjoyed the spotlight too. She was crazy about being on stage and performing. She and her second husband, Kenneth, would do stories to music. Mom would pick short stories that were funny or sad or romantic and you, the listener, were transported. It was a rare gift.

There are so many reasons for remembering Mom. She would love what Elinor and I are doing with genealogy. She'd be right with us making phone calls or writing letters to cousins or historic
societies. I think she and Elinor would be fighting over the phone because Ellie likes that part too. They'd probably work it out because Mom didn't like to fight and Elinor is a Peace by nature and name.

I miss Mom but she's right out there in our backyard (pretty soggy with all the rain of late). I am so grateful for all she gave me. You did good, girl!!!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Way To Go, Ginny!

I lost a friend yesterday. Her name was Ginny Fant. She was a member of the Golden Girls Softball Organization and a fiesty one at that. Ginny was not what you would call a strong player. She couldn't field very well. She didn't run very fast and she didn't hit very far but on occasion, she could dazzle you. She loved to play first base but she had a hard time remembering to git off the base and get the ball.

I coached Ginny on several different teams during several different seasons. She was also on my 70's team when we won the Gold in Pittsburgh. She was mad because I didn't play her very much but I think she forgave me.

She also played basketball and competed in the triatholon. I couldn't believe she could do that but she did.

She was amazing and tough. I enjoyed knowing Ginny.

I would like to think that she is up in heaven getting things ready for a softball game when the rest of us join her. At least Janet Hull will now have someone to play catch with. I know Ginny will stake out 1st base and she will have seniority so no one can argue. Way to go, Fant. See ya later, I hope.

Dinner With 'The Guys

I got a call from

my niece, Maureen , asking me if I would like to take two of my Great Nephews to dinner. She had some things to do and her husband was out of town. I said sure.

Dining with Thomas and Sam is pure joy. I asked the boys where they would like to go. Maureen had suggested Wendy's because it was cheap and quick but that didn't really appeal to me and it didn't appeal to guys either. Sam suggested Rib City which happens to be one of my favorite places. Thomas was not adverse to the proposition so off we went. Getting Sam to eat is a major feat now-a-days. He is on some medication and his appetite just isn't there.(Oh, should I have that problem!!!!!!!!) But Sam loves Rib City so I figured he just might eat. I was right. He ate a not only ribs, but french fries and a little corn on the cob. Of course, being Sam, he wore most of his dinner on his shirt but he enjoyed himself and I enjoyed him. It was sweet the way Sam looks up to his brother and Thomas is very good to his little brother. It isn't easy for him because he is 12 and getting to be a young man now but he is kindhearted and that is a blessing. We had a lovely time and I enjoyed my "date" with such handsome fellows. By the way, the little guy sitting with Thomas is his young cousin, Joe Bailey(George's oldest).