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Posts Tagged ‘farm’

My life is sometimes defined by the losses of people, friends, family that I have had to deal with along the way. With each loss, a part of me seems to disappear. I attempt to move on but there is always something missing because there is lack of closure…missed times and saying goodbyes. I miss some of these individuals every day and some I miss less often but it doesn’t mean that I miss them any less.

 

About 2 weeks ago I received a call about the farm…business stuff. It was a neighbor from my childhood…we grew up together and are distantly related. He was sending some paperwork to me and said he had a picture of his older brother taken with me in 1963—WOE! Most of my family pictures were destroyed. I have a few negatives but my mom didn’t keep the family pictures with her when she moved and people destroyed everything when they broke in and stole stuff. People have no conscience.

 

I was both excited to think about a photo I didn’t remember but I was also a bit torn as I anticipated seeing the brother. He died over 27 years ago. It is so sad—a bad car wreck. Senselessness. Memories—some are very painful ones—some are very playful ones but they still hurt. I don’t know what was with all of us…most of us that grew up together got married and then divorced not long after. In fact, there were only a handful of people that I grew up with who stayed married and even less stayed married AND happy. And, that is truly sad.

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I didn’t mean to sound morbid. This was me at 3 years old. We were at the spring banquet for the Eastern Star. I remember we had to walk around together with a basket and give out gifts… 😀 …fun times. Later that year, in September, my paternal grandmother passed away and my family’s lives were forever changed. See how everything is sewn together with that thread that binds us. This is right before I began looking like a poster child for starving children because I was so sick. Pictures…memories… Oh the thoughts of good times and bad.

 

Have a great week! 🙂

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I have been gaining peace and tolerance and it was the best thing I could ever do because I have been able to see things from a different perspective and actually live the concepts of love that I believe in. My journey has been rewarding. I have learned so much and the first thing I learned was that I didn’t know anything. 😀 I thought I did. I wasn’t stupid. I even possessed wisdom but none of us know as much as we think we do—we know even less because we are such an arrogant people and so dang selfish. So, I try to call attention to things I think need improvement. Many others do, too. Nothing has changed in that respect.

 

One of the most difficult things to learn was that people will try to hurt me no matter what I do because I didn’t fit into their mold, meet their expectations, or when others fail to manipulate me. I’m me. This is what you get. This is it! There is no more or no less. We are all different and we should allow and celebrate others when they are trying to grow. We should be understanding. We all have lives to live and most of us are just trying to do the best we can. Sometimes there are things that happen in our lives and others don’t see it because someone is too selfish, too busy in their life/drama. We need to step in the shoes of others. There is room for forgiveness on both sides of the line—a lot of room! I am preaching to myself, too.

 

I made a promise to myself that I would not engage in opposition (take sides) if there was any way to get around it. I’m still like that and this has been difficult because I don’t like to turn away from a fight or from someone picking on someone. In the Bible, it says (in my words) to turn the other cheek. I’ve talked about the actual meaning I believe is to offer the other cheek—different meaning than what we usually think.

 

Think about it. A thief takes $100 from you and you offer him/her another $100? 🙂 First thing and last thing—LOVE! Then we don’t say, “Hey, I’m going to enjoy the day when God sends him/her to hell so he/she can live eternity there.” OR do we? I know plenty of people who do. I have said something similar. Maybe you think this way. Am I condemning you? No. Am I judging? No. I just want people to see things from a different perspective. We cannot love and hate at the same time. 🙂 In this instance it is truly one or the other.

 

wikipedia

A long time ago (once upon a time) there was this girl who entered college. She didn’t know what she wanted to do when she grew up (graduated). The two things she was good at were math and physics—go figure (eye roll 🙄). So, she planned to major in physics. Silly girl. 😀

 

Why do I tell you this? I love science. REMEMBER…I love science. There is a reason I’m writing this but it won’t become apparent right away. My dad instilled that in me–the science part. During the winters, we would pack up telescope, binoculars, star charts, coats, gloves, hot chocolate (the critical essential 😀 ) in the back of the old International pickup and sit out in the middle of a field to watch the stars and planets for hours at a time. I remember freezing my backside off—or I thought I was. I learned that there was a whole universe out there and later, I learned that there is a very complicated world here on earth. 😉

 

I love this world but we are beating each other up and not listening to the other. We don’t get another chance to do this ‘right’ or make it better unless we physically and consciously act. I have long thought the people who are living ‘right’ are the ones who are not yelling at everyone whether it is on youtube or what. They are quiet people. So… How do you help spread that thought? Right now, it is just one thought at a time. 😀

 

Happy Gardening! 😀

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Meet Lionel, Gus’ and Fern’s cousin—ok, maybe they are not so closely related and there are 1000s of miles between the three. When we last saw Lionel, he was about 15 feet up in the air and he was probably the size of my hand—maybe larger. 😯 We were on the farm looking at crops. My daughter saw Lionel first. His web spanned the entire field road (the black spot to the right of him is something in his web). 😮

Lionel is not some little spider and I will be quite honest…I do not like spiders…even the smallest. There was no one for miles but the closest person probably heard me yell and scream. We took photos and then backed down the road very carefully so as not to disturb him. 😐

By the way, if you wonder where these names come from…I have no clue. 😀

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I wish you a very happy and a very safe Halloween! 😀

And, Happy Gardening! 😆

 

 

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On the wall at the bottom of the stairs hangs a large portrait of a man who is my great-grandfather—my paternal grandmother’s father (my dad’s mom’s papa). He is a rather handsome guy with his well-groomed mustache and those curly locks that are a family trait. His mustache was always well groomed in every photo I have of him by the way. My children were a bit scared of him (understatement)—his portrait—just as I was when I was growing up. I used to hide and could never look at him in the eyes 😀 . I never knew him and neither did my dad. He was called Clayton and my father who was born a few years after his death was named for him.

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I still have some of the family property that was settled over 200 years ago. The farm was where I grew up, where I have such fond memories. It is said that my G-GF’s grandfather was born in Ireland and had married a Scottish lass. I cannot confirm this definitely and there is not a paper trail that is conclusive on what generation was born in Ireland or where exactly they came from but by 1785 at least one had settled in the area and by 1793 there were enough of the family to name a settlement after them. A couple of years ago, I was shocked to find a plat (1793) with the settlement listed. I had no idea. The area lost its name for a while but then was renamed for the families back in the late 1800s. Now, that is all but a memory. My G-GF was the postmaster for this little hamlet and the post office sat out in front of the old farmhouse. In my grandmother’s photo album, there is a photo of my G-GF on his horse and I have found newspaper writings of people talking about him delivering the mail. Today, very, very few of the surnames are left in the area and the road that was named for them that we lived on has been changed.

 

There is much that is unknown to me about our family history but there is quite a bit that I do know and that is how they treated others—always helpful—always courteous—always respectful. There have been times where I will forget and will get angry when I am provoked but this is not the way I was taught. I do not know the reasons for this family line settling in America but most likely it was to have a new chance at life. The story goes that there were two men—two brothers who came to America. One went north and one south. Why? I have no clue and I cannot confirm this. As I dug into the family history, I discovered that I have more questions than answers. Even the pronunciation of the name has changed—Americanized? Maybe. I may never know the story and yet I do know. The family that I knew were pious, modest, and simple. They never wanted glory, prestige, wealth, or power because they had more–more than they ever needed. 🙂

 

I love life. At times, I find that there are enormous barriers that get in my way—more than small obstacles–more like stone walls. I have to remember where I came from—my roots—my family and sometimes I have to be reminded. 😉

 

Happy Gardening! May all of your memories of family be wonderful! Take care and be blessed! 😀

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If my dad were alive he would be 83 today but he died back in 1981 which at the time he was my age now — actually several months younger. His first cousin called me yesterday. She shares his birthday. I planned to see her for the holidays but didn’t make it to Savannah so we will visit her later this month as we make the rounds.

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If there is one thing about my dad that I remember, it is that people respected him. That says so much about a person. We may never know how much respect we actually have until we pass away. Some people considered him a saint and others knew that they could count on him no matter what—even people he did not know. Not such a bad legacy to leave, I would say.

 

My dad (and mom) had hearts of gold. They genuinely cared for others. When times were rough for others, they were there to help no matter how bad they had it themselves. I saw my father cry when a guy tried to kill himself by setting himself on fire. I saw him smile at the smallest things that cheered his heart. I remember his strong arm of discipline which at the time I thought he enjoyed but deep down he hated. Later, I understood that he had to correct my behavior.

 

I have missed my dad for so long and would not allow myself to grieve until my mother passed away in 1993. My dad shaped the way I think. He molded the way I try to treat others and the way I see things. My dad was my biggest fan who prayed for me, prayed with me, and protected me. I have been lost without him. I don’t know what my dad would say about me today. I have made so many mistakes but I have always tried to make him proud in some way.

 

As for my tattoo… Daddy would have frowned on it but I would like to think he would have understood from what all I have had to go through.

 

Daddy, Happy Birthday!!! You are still my fan and I miss you so much!

 

Happy Gardening 😀 !

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I have so many great memories of Christmas on the farm. We were simple and celebrated very simply. Christmas was a cedar tree cut and dragged home from somewhere on the farm, old electric lights added, precious hand-blown ornaments that had been passed down through generations, even icicles that were reused each year… Christmas was also the best food I think existed, even Black Fruitcake—YUM! 😀 , and family that would gather around the big farm table.

 

MadonnaChristmas has always been very special to me and I have tried to pass that on. My paternal grandmother who died when I was 3 was the real lover of Christmas. It was her passion that was passed on to me through my dad, my mom, and great aunt. One year when I was a young teenager, I received the precious Madonna that belonged to my grandmother. Each year, I received something of hers for Christmas but this gift has been the most special. For years, I unwrapped her along with the carolers and cherubs to display on the Welsh Dresser my dad made years ago. When Christmas was over she went back into the box…that was until I decided that she should not be hidden 330 days of the year and is now enjoyed every day.

 

Christmas is lots of things to lots of people but to me it is the memories of Christmas past coupled with the memories of Christmas present that makes it so special. My passion for Christmas is not much different than that of my paternal grandmother. And, I hope that I have passed on much of her love of Christmas and what is truly important.

 

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

😀

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I didn’t know my father’s paternal family—not really. I remember Granddaddy and his second wife but as for the cousins and great uncles and great aunts—no. I only knew the ones on my father’s maternal side–the ones from the old homestead where we lived. I guess since I was the only grandchild, we made trips to Florida to see my granddaddy. I remember him well though I did not see him many times. Granddaddy had a flower farm right off the coast. He and his wife also had a store where they sold produce that they grew on the farm. I loved to see the beautiful flowers and gardens they had. It was like a wonderland.

Granddaddy holding me–and yes, that says, “Baby Gator” on the door

This is one of my favorite photos with Granddaddy. I remember this trip. There was a monkey exhibit where the people went into an area like a cage and the monkeys would thread a small can down for us to put peanuts in. They would draw the can up and take the peanuts much like pulling a pail of water out of a well. I thought it was so neat to watch them do this.

Granddaddy was a man of few words. I was about 12 when we were at his house one summer. The weather forecast seemed to call for rain with a chance of more rain each day. We drove to the beach one afternoon and ended up sitting in the car for the longest time waiting for the rain to stop. Granddaddy said, “This weather is for the birds.” Well, I couldn’t help myself and began to chirp in the backseat :). I thought my mom was going to slap me. Later, she thought it was the funniest thing.

Happy Gardening and may your memories be great ones!

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Do we really know what it means? I had a 4th  great-grandmother on my mom’s side (my great-grandmother’s great-grandmother to clarify :)) who married a man she loved very much. She was a little young and he was older, but they were married in Kentucky back when our country was in its infancy. How do I know of her love? Well, several clues are there but the end of her life said so much about the love she had for him.

from wikipedia

The women in my family have been very strong-willed. Some will say it is a character flaw while others will say it is a gift. It’s probably a little of both. There is no doubt that Elizabeth was a strong woman. After marriage, Elizabeth and her husband moved south as lands were opening to new settlement in order to build a home and raise a family. My mother’s family line remained in this area until just shy of the year 2000.

I have the good fortune of possessing written information passed down through the family as well as stories that were shared along the way. As I was searching for more information about my family and relations, I found journal records belonging to a neighbor farmer of the time that detailed some of the events that led up to those stories and no, the family didn’t get the information from the journal. Little pieces have been put together to tell a bigger story (one I am not telling here :)).

Elizabeth was not a woman of money, fame, or power—well, maybe a little money. She, like so many women of that day, made do of what she was given per situation. She loved her husband so much that one day after he had been sick in bed for quite a while—they were up in age and watched all of their children grow into adults-even buried a few—her husband passed away. The story goes that she was so brokenhearted that she laid there with him in the bed and willed herself to die. She did die that same day–passing away almost 100 years before I was born. This story has touched my heart ever since I heard it almost 40 years ago and brings a tear to my face each time.

After my great-grandmother died (Elizabeth’s great-granddaughter) I went with several relatives to visit the old homeplace. No one had lived there for years. I was young and wasn’t into family history but I remember people pointing to a corner in the room talking about how “he” died first and then “she” willed herself to die. I thought how creepy this was. Later, when I was putting some family history pieces together, I found out who this “he” and “she” really were and that they were interred in the same grave for all eternity. Imagine the love and devotion she had for her husband. This is not a Romeo and Juliet type of story. This is as close as it comes to the happily ever after story you can get though it is still a bit morbid. It is true to life and tells us so much about our ancestors.

And, to add, this house was still standing as of several years ago when I was back for a visit but the land is no longer held by any of the family.

May your life be blessed and filled with love and devotion and may your gardens produce beautiful bounties no matter where they are! Happy Gardening!

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When my maternal grandmother sold her huge house in the 1970s, my dad rented a U-Haul to truck over some of the stuff to our house. She lived in Alabama and had a basement full of old furniture passed down through the family. The biggest piece of furniture we brought back was this built-in bed—you could see where the cornice molding was actually built into a house but not in this photo.

Midnight on the mahogany bed

The bed was queen size and had a huge headboard going all the way to the ceiling—about 9 feet and was at least 8 inches thick—probably more like 10 inches or more. The footboard was a bit smaller—only rising to about 4 feet. The bed was a real beauty! Two people—strong people—could barely move the headboard. It was so big that when my dad got ready to finish my new bedroom we had to take the bed into the room before putting up the wall—that and the fact to get to my room, one had to navigate a tight turn. The next photo is from the web and used to show size only…

from hap moore antiques auctions – shown for size

Believe it or not, someone stole my beautiful antique bed when my mom still had the house in the country many years ago. They stole a lot of other things like an antique drop-front desk and the wardrobe from my paternal grandmother that I was using for my hope chest plus many more things but I cannot for the life of me figure out how they got the bed out. I bet they sold it for a lot of money. Shame on them!

My father built our house and no, it wasn’t some cheap dive. It was craftsman quality that people would kill to get their hands on these days. Over the years, he built two additions without getting the garage constructed. Right before I graduated high school, he finished my room—huge room. I loved my room.

I remember my parents wanting to buy paneling rather than sheetrock—white with green stained accents. It was not gaudy like it sounds. My mom bought the bedspread (as seen in the photo above) that Midnight is lying on. She also made matching curtains. The room had variegated green carpet and was located at the other end of the house from everything else so I felt like it was my hideout/haven from the rest of the world. I could blast my music without bothering anyone and I think that is what my parents were really after since my dad had given me a pair of huge speakers to go with my tuner and all.

The bed and room were beautiful and will always be in my memories. I do not know the origin of the bed but just hope it wasn’t the one that my 4th great grandparents died in on the same day so many years ago.

Happy Gardening in all of life’s beautiful treasures!

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Continuing down the animal and pet tales of my life—this one is about cats. And no, I cannot tell you about all of the pets, but I can show you some of the special kitties. This one was not the top cat but she was one of my favorites. You see, we lived in the country and people would drop off all types of animals… Even friends and family would drop them off :(. Don’t ever do that, please.

Midnight

This kitty was named Midnight. I was out splitting wood one afternoon when I was about 15. I thought I heard something, stopped, and saw nothing. Then I heard this very faint “Meo—ow, me—ow.” I stopped, looked around, and again saw nothing so I continued with my work. It happened again. Finally, I saw her by a tree. Obviously, she was trying to get my attention which I thought was unusual since most cats will not approach if there is a lot of noise.

I didn’t know it at the time, but a friend was moving away and could not take her cat. Someone in their family dropped her off. So sad! We tried to find out if she belonged to anyone and later learned of this story. She was a beautiful cat but a little temperamental. She would not eat out of the other cats’ plate—she had to have her own… Here she is sitting on my mahogany bed (which has its own story in my life) with some of my stuffed animals. She thought she was royalty and we treated her that way :).

Happy Gardening and as Simon likes to say, “Happy Scratching!”

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