Posts Tagged With: celebrate

FAMILY LORE AND OLD PHOTOS

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We are parked at my Cousin David Moore’s get-a-way camp. His wife Melissa took me on a first adventure, canoeing on Lake Kokanee in the morning. Another cousin, Bob Moore joined us at noon. We toasted our get-together and talked about family and it was interesting to compare our basic family experiences.

img174William H. Moore Family, tprow-Daniel Maximillian,Ward Byron,Mary Martha, John L., William B.-Leonard Clyde,Lydia (Moore) Donald, Adel June Cutware. Taken 1938 (Copy)

From right to left, my father William,  Bob’s father, John,  David’s father, Ward,  then brother’s Dan and Leonard, left front row, with our  grandmother, Lydia. Daughter Mary, was born after Leonard, daughter Adele, is the oldest, and George, the youngest  of the family.  Bob was wondering about the order of their births. It surprises us what we forget or failed to think about growing up.

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David’s family, Eva, Ward, David, sister’s Joan and Gail. A younger brother Bruce, I have no pictures of. The Ward Moores were city folks and lived most of their life in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Ward worked at several levels in the Harnischfeger factory for 30 years and died at seventy -nine.

img022Lorraine, Bobby, their Grandma Cousineau, & Diane. (Copy)

I only have one picture with Bob at about age seven, with his mother, grandmother and sister Diane. He has an older brother, who was probably taking this picture.

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Bob’s father was a submarine Commander at the top of his military career and died young at age 52. Bob was only 16 years old when his Dad died. John, (we called him Uncle Jack) was away from home a great deal.

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My father was a farmer, logger, welder, laborer, jack of all trades. We moved around a lot. Our fathers did not attend high school, because there was no high school close enough for them to attend without getting their own transportation.  My dad died at age sixty-four.

img007Mary Martha Moore (Copy)

The youngest sister, Mary, recently died at age ninety-four. She is the source of much of our family history. But what we discovered during this time together were some strong, similar family traits.

It behooves me to explain that I hadn’t seen David in over 60 years. And Bob and David hadn’t seen each other in 43 years. It wasn’t because our families were estranged, it was the simple economics of the times.

My father, his brother’s Dan and George, his sisters Adele and Mary, all migrated to the West coast.

Ward, Leonard, & Jack stayed in the Mid-west.  Realize that in the 40’s and 50’s, and 60’s, making a long distance phone call was prohibitively expensive for average working people. Relatively few middle class people had gobs of vacation time to take leisure trips,  nor could they go flying across country in airplanes. You either drove or took a train. Everyone kept in touch by letter, which was a woman’s responsibility.

David moved to the West Coast about 12 years ago from Pennsylvania. Both he and his wife Melissa are educators.

Bob moved West in 1974 and I’ve had contact with he and his brother Jim off and on in California. Bob is retired from being a Fireman.

What we learned was that our father’s didn’t talk much about their past. In their own homes, they ruled the roost. And, each of us reported being raised in fear of our father’s  wrath.

They shared a  common frugality.  No waste, use everything. Pinch pennies. Stretch a nickel. Make do.

David’s parents rented out rooms in order to help pay for the house. When that was paid for, they lived in a duplex where again, the renter helped pay the freight. Our father’s were hard working, didn’t waste words nor did they discuss family business with their kids. David said that at age 12, his father announced, “Mother has a job, and you are now the cook.” And, just like that he had to learn to learn to prepare meals.  His father taught him to cook meat and potatoes type of standard fare.

My father was promoted to a foreman at the factory where he worked. He didn’t want to be in a position to fire friends, so without saying a word to my mother, he quit his job, and moved us to a cheaper, smaller rental.  My mother got a job cleaning fish and we kids had to instantly learn to fend for ourselves until he got another job.

In Bob’s family, the income was regular, his mother didn’t work, but his father was absent a lot. So, mother would be less strict, then when Jack came home, he’d lay down the law and the  household had to accommodate and switch to a different set of rules.

Twice when my dad was out of work, my oldest brother went to work and sent money home to help out. I worked the cafeteria at school for a free lunch, so it wasn’t necessary to pack my lunch. I babysat and bought most of my clothes for school.

David had  jobs as a teen and had to give up certain creature comforts to accommodate renters.  He relates this story about his Dad’s upbringing. Ward wanted a motorcycle so he secretly worked a second job, bought the motor cycle and stored it in a friend’s garage. Of course, his mother found out, and without a word, sold the motorcycle and kept the money. That is kind of how things went.

Bob claims he really wants to be a recluse.  David says he has a bit of that in himself. We differ greatly in that regard. But, my brother Bill is much like that, a loner. Has lived alone for at least 30 years. Bill married twice, my other four brothers and my sister, married once, divorced and never married again.

The Moore father’s were never demonstrative, they didn’t use the “L” word, couldn’t say “I Love You” even to their wives. Never a hug, or a kiss, or a pat on the rear in public. Maybe it was a generational thing, but I think not.

Our grandmother divorced our grandfather, and not even Aunt Mary knew why. Lydia  did tell her that our grandfather,  William Senior,  was good to her daughter Adele, from a previous marriage, and he was a hard worker. She gave him credit for that.

Bob was a rambler, and took up hitchhiking at age sixteen worrying his mother sick while he was on the bum.  He wandered all over the United States, riding the rails, hitchhiking and living from pillar to post.  Independence, frugality, wanderlust, learn to make do. That is what life was like. My father bummed around the country before marriage, those many years ago in the same fashion, riding the rails, living in hobo camps after the depression.

I’m looking forward to future contact with my West Coast cousins. Family is still a strong connection, even at this late state of affairs.

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My parents were hardworking, loyal, and of their time, just as we are of our time.

 

 

 

 

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OUR BUSY LIVES.

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These last two days have been horrendously busy ones. My friend Ann was hospitalized, I went to visit her. She is out now home and her caretaker is sick. I went to look after her on the 5th for several hours while her live-in caretaker went to prompt care.  The home healthy care nurse ordered the place quarantined because both of them have pneumonia and don’t want Ann exposed to anyone else’s germs.

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My living room propane heater needed servicing. I have wood heat for back up, but just like to take the chill off cold mornings before starting my day. We don’t need to fire up the wood stove yet because daytime temperatures are still ambient. Art Alexander fixed it. It needed a new thermocoupler and the fan needed oiling. Art is a good friend.

His daughter was murdered for insurance money by her husband, Karl about 20 years ago. She was in the shower when the house erupted into flames. The broken bathroom window was boarded over. The fire supposedly started from a kerosene soaked rug in front of the bathroom door. In those days we had a volunteer fire department and they were not educated enough to detect whether the fire was deliberately set or not but Art and the neighbors suspected. Karl took off with their two kids and moved to the East Coast as soon as he collected the $100,000 insurance settlement. (The house was rented.) Karl then collected $700,000 in insurance money on his 21 year old son last year. He saw the opportunity to kill him by shoving a car the son was working on off the jack so it crushed him. This time, Karl’s wife turned states evidence. She was wired, she got him to admit on tape that he killed him and now the investigation into Christine’s death by fire is also part of the investigation. Art is jubilant that at last this monster is behind bars and facing a trial. He prayed for this day to come and we celebrated over a glass of wine.

I also had my Prius serviced before Art arrived. The check engine light went on while I was on my way to Orgeon.  These smart cars have a computer in them. The computer told me that some dampness occurred near the inverter board which is installed under the driver’s seat. Doug and I verbally traced the probable source of moisture from my air conditioning system. Now I can have my air conditioning system flushed without an expensive trip to the dealership in Modesto.

I began work on fixing a sprinkling system leak. The pipes are buried about ten inches deep and digging them out around entwined root systems was a huge job. I put a soak hose on them to finish the job today. I found the crack in the pipe. Two major water leaks have cost me a bundle in water bills over the last three months, two of those months I was gone. My yard worker fixed one leak two weeks ago; this leak was pretty invisible but the water bill alerted me to the second leak.

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Ann’s situation reminded me of my friend Sandee Voges, who has myasthenia gravis. She fell and hit her head on the tile in her bathroom and couldn’t get up. She adopted a medium sized dog who was about to be euthanized. The dog she rescued saved her life. Amy came to her rescue, licking her awake. Sandee held onto Amy’s collar and the dog dragged her to the nearby bedroom where Sandee could reach up,  pull the cord of her phone down off the night stand, and call 911. Pets. They are such a wonderful presence in our lives, especially as we age. (Sandee lives in Arizona.)

Then, I like to keep up with the news and politics. Saw this funny poster:

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I hope this doesn’t offend anyone. I thought it was pretty funny.

Then the rather meager “study”, where two scientists dissected two different chicken nuggets from two different fast food restaurants and found 40% chicken in one, and 50% chicken in another, except, the chicken had ground up blood vessels, cartilage and skin with very little muscle meat. That, as they say, is disgusting. The scientists admit, not all chicken nuggets were examined and it was a tiny sample just to see if the nuggets lived up to their claims of “healthy and good for you..” etc. I guess, they’ll do a bigger sampling in the future. Fatty, breaded, laden with sugar and flavor enhancers, you would do well to keep your kids away from such stuff no matter how good they taste. (That is my opinion.)

Yes, I’m busy. Retired people I know claim they don’t know how they ever worked and raised children. They are busier than ever. Would I have it any other way? NO!

 

 

 

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SEMI-IDIOTIC

It’s New Years Eve, a cause for celebration. A symbol that all things from 2011 can be put away and everything begins  anew. The idea  is semi-idiotic, but we love its symbol of hope for better things to come.  Why not make a resolution and promise to make the New Year personally better than the year we’ve left behind?   There is room for much improvement in this world,  so, lets celebrate: (Click the link.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GwjfUFyY6M&feature=player_embedded

Its time to get the party started and put all cares away:

http://www.nutsie.com/song/Auld%20Lang%20Syne/2144120?artist_id=1000315&album_id=2813801

And have a toast or three to good things to come:

Here’s to the bright New Year
And a fond farewell to the old;
Here’s to the things that are yet to come
And to the memories that we hold.

In the New Year,
may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship,
but never in want.
In the year ahead,
May we treat our friends with kindness
and our enemies with generosity.

“Let us resolve to do the best we can with what we’ve got”, says
William Feather

Worthy thoughts and deeds we set before us. It gives us a breath of happiness to see  the numbers on the new calendar.  Was the old year a good year?  A bad year?  We can spare for one day to set all of it aside and share with others, strangers even,  a bit of nostalgia.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lvJRmdN9iyU

 

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SIMPLIFYING THE HOLIDAYS

I ran into my friend Suki Tutthill at the bank  yesterday. She is hosting 31 people for Thanksgiving dinner. I groaned. Too much work. “No”, she said. “Its a free for all. I’m not even allowed in the kitchen. The women bring stuff and cook. The men do the clean up and I provide the place. Finding the dishes after everyone leaves can be interesting,” she chuckles. Hmmm. Sounds like fun. My simplify Thanksgiving this year is going to my daughter’s house and bringing the cranberries and a salad. We are a games playing family and enjoy the day long into the evening where turkey sandwiches, snacks, cards and loud competitive family stories are as much a part of the day as the dinner.

Our holiday get-to-gethers need simplifying in the future. Welcome holidays “lite”.  No more  wobbling, overloaded  from the table and packing on the  pounds between Thanksgiving and Christmas every year.

My plan is to unsweeten the sweet potatoes, salads that don’t sog,  berry and apple pies without bottom crust. No side dishes and snacks with cream and sour cream. (Rich side dishes can be the centerpiece of another dinner.)

Lighten the work load, too.  Mash the potatoes with the peelings on. Make stuffing on the side ahead of time. Smoke the turkey. Smoked turkey takes one and one-half hours on a kettle barbeque with a drip dish at the bottom and the guys do it,  leaving the kitchen and oven free for other things.  Gravy  made days ahead by roasting a chicken and two turkey thighs. On the big day, just reheat.  Use  paper plates and paper napkins with dinner served buffet style.  Yup! Traditions can and do change.

I used to try and prepare everyone’s favorite dish for Thanksgiving. Pretzel jello for Laurie, sweet potatoes with rum, pineapple, orange juice and banana for Virginia, macaroni shells stuffed with Italian sausage for Kristanne. Ken, Doug, and Rich always concentrated on the potatoes and turkey.

Now, Doug picks blackberries every year for pies at Thanksgiving, Christmas and our July family reunion. Cedric makes walnut and pecan pies to die for. Virginia makes a pear tart that no one will give up. At one time, I  prepared no less than three vegetable side dishes such as corn pudding, creamed baby onions, burgundy carrots, spinach souffle, Harvard beets, marinated mushrooms, artichoke quiche. An embarrassment of riches.

As we give thanks  for our bounty,  suitably lighter,  we  know our table is still overladen compared to 98% of people in the world. It is appropriate that we are thankful, that we share, and that we have the means to help others at this special time of year and still enjoy our celebrated feast.

 

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BETTER PIE CRUST.

When I returned from the grocers yesterday, son Doug was cutting up my fallen tree. He cleared the driveway and piled the brush. Since I managed to celebrate Ken’s and Kristanne’s birthdays with them, his older siblings, I invited him up for his favorite dinner to celebrate his birthday.  The next thing I knew he was busy in my kitchen making blackberry apple pie.

I like to cook, but baking has never been a talent to which I could lay claim. Its really kind of annoying that my son makes a better pie crust than mine. He pre-bakes the bottom crust so the filling won’t make it soggy. He picked the blackberries last September and stored them in my freezer. He likes to put on a dainty lattice top.

HIS pies NEVER bubble over in the oven. Cooked to perfection, beautiful,  and, he is quick  besides. He can chit chat while working and never miss a step. I mean, I CAN make a pie, but cut up a tree? No! Two of my brothers and a sister came out for the celebration. I was having so much fun, I forgot to take pictures—except for that pie. After a certain age, birthdays are kind of meaningless if inevitable, but throw in a home-made  pie and its an occasion to remember.

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GENERATIONS, MARRIAGE, RITUALS OF LIFE.

Marge and Gary Rowe celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary with friends and family Saturday night. Gary’s older sister celebrated her 50th a couple years back and his youngest sister will celebrate her 50th next year. Not only admirable but quite unique for a single family where every sibling is still with their original spouse.
Reminds me of a story when my oldest son was dating. He brought a girl home to meet we parents and Ken explained that she was quite nervous about meeting us because among her friends and acquaintances, (this was high school age) she didn’t know anyone whose parents were still married to each other.

At the celebration, I also took a five generations photo. My cousin, stands next to his 94 year old mother, his son to his left, and his grand-daughter and her new baby complete the five generations. What a wonderful message of stalwart peoples, who have learned to take on life and play the hand they are dealt without caving in along the way.

Another sign of the test of time is Marge with her oldest friend-from kindergarten.

The DJ changed the music from hits of the fifties to more current tunes and the young people taught us some new, wild and crazy dance steps, kind of like line dancing.

With some serious moves on the dance floor, it was time to remove the spikes and get into it.

Like an Italian wedding, even the baby got a chance to dance, with Mom’s help Sisters, and nieces…

Son-in-laws and brothers..

First cousins and second cousins..

and sons and daugthers,  all gather to honor their relative or friend in common, but also to share fond memories, and re-aquaint. and catch up with each other’s families.

These rituals of life are an important element of family and thank goodness we had such a wonderful occasion to bring us all together.  Congratulations Marge and Gary.

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