Posts Tagged With: memories


I love this poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It really suits my feelings at the end of a year. I miss those family members gone, and as I go through the rituals of Christmas and the new year, I think of them, little memories tickle in, mostly sweet, some regrets. And, I appreciate the sentiment of “anniversaries of the heart.” Here then, the poem. And, a ritual my mother and I shared for more years than I can remember.

The holiest of all holidays are those
Kept by ourselves in silence and apart;
The secret anniversaries of the heart,
When the full river of feeling overflows;—
The happy days unclouded to their close;
The sudden joys that out of darkness start
As flames from ashes; swift desires that dart
Like swallows singing down each wind that blows!
White as the gleam of a receding sail,
White as a cloud that floats and fades in air,
White as the whitest lily on a stream,
These tender memories are;—a fairy tale
Of some enchanted land we know not where,
But lovely as a landscape in a dream.

img178Orella Elizabeth Moore around 1970 (Copy)

My mother was a hard-working person, who tried to make everyone’s dreams come true at Christmas. She cooked enough on Christmas to practically keep all of us full until the New Year. An early riser, she would get up before everyone and savor those early morning moments with her first cup of coffee and the crossword puzzle from the morning paper. Other than that, she rarely took time off for herself, but the week between Christmas and New Years was hers. She’d set up the card table and begin a jigsaw puzzle. Anyone and everyone could take part. If someone dropped in, she would engage them in the puzzle. Time floats away as you concentrate on working a puzzle and she chose them to be challenging. Then on New Year’s day, the puzzle finished, we took down the tree and put the ornaments away. I kept that ritual going in my home after she died but then, somewhere, I stopped working puzzles. And this year, for the first time, I missed putting my ornaments away yesterday.

A couple of days after Christmas, I got into my stuffed full quilting closet and there, the “anniversaries of the heart”, lay hidden. Memories came pouring out. Lacey doilies she had crocheted. Patches she had made for a bedspread. Her handwriting on wisps of paper pinned to fabric describing its future use. Her button collection.

I kept scraps from clothing she wore or made for my daughters. The closet had so many unfinished dreams, I’ve yet to finish the job.

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With most of the material and stuff I’d put into the closet gone, it is looking much neater on this side. My sewing machine is giving me trouble and out of the closet. I gotta find something better.

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On this side of the closet, those nicely closed drawers were so stuffed full, the bottoms were warped and the drawers couldn’t close.

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My office is practically unnavigable for the stuff I unloaded from that closet. Yes, it was full of unfinished projects, but marvelous memories it contained have inspired me anew to finish them. Thanks Mom. Thanks Henry.

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Being snowed in is an opportunity to pick up a quiet project and enjoy the day. I had several tasks that I could complete unhurried. I got news that a service is being held today for my friend Anne Williams which put me in a contemplative mood.

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Years ago, she and I would quilt together, before the rotary cutters and modern quilting innovations. We would have lunch and spend and afternoon chatting and cutting quilt blocks, simple diamond squares or nine squares. We always made rescue quilts, meaning using up salvageable material from old clothing. We didn’t buy new material unless we needed muslin to applique on. Backing material for me was almost always an old sheet. Then I’d make a quilt or she would make a quilt from the blocks. I designed this one for my oldest daughter who was young and single and a runner at the time. The blocks we made were divided into earth and sky. The quilting reads run,run,run on the background pieces.

It isn’t an expert quilt like quilt guilds specialize in today where they nearly mass produce perfect quilts. I think they miss a lot of what I liked about quilting. Maybe not. I shouldn’t judge. But when I examine my quilts and take a few minutes to really look at them, memories of a certain dress I loved, now preserved in a tiny square, delight me. I’m looking at a square dance dress Anne and I made when we served on the design committee one year; a piece of my son’s shirt, a square from my daughter’s blouse. I must have spent a half hour enjoying this quilt.  My friends Pam and Russ own a store called Stories In Stones. Quilts are stories too, each one unique.

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Leaving the Cousineau’s farm, a quick hug with Bernice before she went to work. Warm good-byes to Marie and Mark. We left with a mixture of reluctance and joy at the great memories we forged and excitement to be back on the road again, looking for what’s around the bend. We headed for Iron Mountain and Kingsford, another place I lived and where my grandmother Lydia Moore Kraus lived before she died. Her funeral  was the first time I had ever been to one.

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From Karen Halderson Bruchman we learned my other best pal, Judy Gedvick Orler lived in Quinnesec. I love the name Quinnesec, and  Keewenaw, Ispeming, and so many other Native American names that dot the Upper P. And, of course, I love Pasty. We had a brochure like this one on our dashboard and bingo, there it was in Quinnesec which is on the way to Iron Mountain.

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We pulled in and enjoyed an early lunch. I can honestly say, this was the very best pasty we’ve tasted so far.  Moist, enough meat, flaky crust. Scrumptious. We bought two extras for the freezer and if there had been more room, I’d have filled it up with pasty.  A full one pounder for $4.24. How can you beat that?

Since Karen gave us rudimentary information from memory about Judy’s whereabouts, her married name, Orler. She lived on a street that sounded like Maple but wasn’t, probably Mapes?  I asked to borrow a phone book at the Pasty Oven but they didn’t have one. At lunch, Jim whipped out the computer and checked Google Earth. No maple or mapes, but he found a street a short distance from the The Pasty Oven called Marpe.  We drove up Marpe St. about a half block when I spotted a guy outside working near his garage. I walked up and asked him if he knew the Orler family, I was looking for Judy Orler a childhood school friend.

“The woman across the street is a Judy, about your age. I don’t know her last name, though.”

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And, it was the right Judy from Longfellow School in Foster City. She didn’t remember me but I remembered her and Karen with such great fondness. No one knows how meaningful a childhood friendship can be or what affect a person you meet along the way will have on you or you on them.  She and Karen would periodically come to mind and I would think about my school days, and wish that someday I could see them again. I would  wonder what happened to them and what their lives were like. Serendipity twice. It was a full circle for me of pleasant surprises, and I am so grateful that on this trip to Michigan I found them both. I really believe that memories light up our lives.

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Bark River, Michigan – Day 2

The motorhome is parked in the yard of Mary’s old friend, Bernice, at Bark River, Michigan. We expect to depart here on Sunday.

A few days back I mentioned problems I was having with the electrical connection between the Bronco and the motorhome. While Mary, Bernice and her sister Marie went off in search of memories, I changed out the male portion of the electrical connection attached on the Bronco. With the help of Mark, Bernice’s son, it took us three hours to do this job…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…

The electrical connection is under the spring-loaded cover…


I’m planning to change out the female portion of the electrical connection on the umbilical cord today.

About 4:00 PM yesterday I went out to check the temperature. When we arrived the day before yesterday it was 108 degrees. Yesterday it was only 98 degrees. Where’s my long underwear?  🙂


While out to check the temperature, I found Mark cleaning the garage…


Just then, the ladies were returning from their memory search, so I got this photo of them…


Who’s driving that tractor???


It’s Mary!!!…


She’s decided she wants to be a Tractor Model…


I’ve mentioned in the past about how great our cameras are at practically taking photos in the dark. Here’s a photo taken under a full moon about midnight last night…


And here’s the sky at 6:30 AM this morning with a temperature of 50 degrees and 96% humidity…


Enjoying visiting old friends is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows our approximate location in the State of Michigan. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…


Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures with low humidity most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein


On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2013
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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Theresa, my brother Clark’s fiance,  is an excellent cook and I should have taken pictures of the food, since I did such a lousy job of taking pictures of the people gathered at my brother’s  home yesterday. Some days are like that.

Dawn, my sister, with our visiting  cousin, Gary Rowe  enjoyed a rich artichoke dip with a variety of crackers and chips;   brie, pomegranate & pepper jelly, candied pecans, cookies,chips, and assorted drinks. I rarely indulge in such rich foods, but couldn’t resist snacking and drinking a good barbera wine. Theresa makes everything from scratch. Delish!

It is naturally an event when an out-of-town cousin visits.  Conversations around the table get quite spirited and old memories are displayed and hashed over for the fun and laughter they bring.

Clark was known most of his life as Corky, and only took back his real name late in life. He and my son,  Doug work together sometimes.  When dinner was served, I was full of goodies and could have skipped dinner.  I didn’t though.  Why resist the most beautiful Cobb Salad with roasted chicken and bacon, three different dressings;  four different kinds of quiche, jumbo shrimp, and apple cobbler for desert. Naw!  I loaded up and went home feeling like a stuffed toad.  Food for a King or Queen. Some days are like that.

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Yesterday, I started on my mail.  Here it is stacked in neat little piles. Paring it down by doing much of my correspondence on-line, subscribing to less magazines and periodicals has resulted in a huge reduction from last year at this time. That said, when it all came out of the packaging and envelopes, I had two sacks of paper for the recycling and a mess on the table.

On the sideboard, my taxes started. Emptying out the old files from last year, and discarding what isn’t needed. Oh, for yesteryear!

Instead of chugging away at home, I was at the visitors center in Lafayette, LA. enjoying this beautiful pond,

from a mosaic bench, one of several  to sit on in the shade..

Near the driveway is this attractive sculpture of Rosie’s Bar.

Then, later in the day, we went to a museum where we viewed the faces of cajun life in the area. These are all pictures of pictures from the museum about Cajun Culture.

Such a beautiful face.

Simpler times.

Full of belly laughs.

And joy as they “let the good times roll.”

The groom does look a little nervous.
Its wonderful to have my pictures to look back on and remember the fun of yesterday in Southern Louisiana. Many people ask me what was my favorite place to visit on the road. Southern Louisiana was high on the list.We blogged  that area at this time in 2010.

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