Thursday, October 23, 2014

Article #414 Not Forgotten

Benjamin Franklin said: If you would not be forgotten, as soon as you are dead and rotten; either write things worthy of reading, or do things worthy of writing. How many unforgettable moments do you wish you had recorded in some way. I often think of questions I’d like to ask my mom or grandmother, but they are both gone from this world. Now is the time to record moments with your loved ones or your own life that you’d like to share or leave for your family.
           Barbara Ainge of St. George wrote in her life history about her memories of World War II. Life was different during the War. Everyone pitched in to help. As men went off to fight, women filled in their jobs at the factories, making airplanes, tanks, jeeps, any type of vehicle to contribute to the war effort. Food was rationed so that commodities could be sent to feed the boys overseas. Our family had food stamps and coins issued by the government to use to buy food.
Margarine was invented when butter went to our soldiers at war. I can remember my mom stirring color into the white margarine when it was brought home from the market. Meat was especially limited. Dad used to come home occasionally with a couple of pounds of ground meat which we greatly enjoyed. It wasn’t until years later that’s our mother told my sister and me that she suspected this meat was really horsemeat, but she never asked my Dad.
                   Families who had soldiers, sailors or marines fighting during the war displayed little flags in their front windows. These flags had stars on them: one for each member of the family who was in the armed forces. If a star was a gold color it meant that their servicemen or woman had been killed. The United States and other countries lost millions of their men in that war as they tried to free Europe and Asia from the tyranny of Germany, Italy and Japan. It was four years before World War II was finally won: VE Day (Victory in Europe) came on May 8, 1945 and VJ Day (Victory over Japan) on August 14, 1945. When victory was announced, my Dad piled our family into the car to go down to Newark New Jersey where there was a huge public patriotic celebration for the peace that was finally won.

What important occasions do you need to write about? NEXT TIME: Family Pride. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fun with DUP

Daughters of the Utah Pioneers have a monthly meeting where we discuss the history of those pioneers who came to Utah. I have lots of Mormon pioneers in my pedigree chart and stories about them. See http://famhistory1867.com which is my website with all my genealogy stories and photos collected over the past 50+ years. Each month we have a different lesson on pioneer life at DUP. It's a fun organization. Unfortunately I have no daughters of my own to continue on this tradition but perhaps one of my grand daughters will one day. I have a couple of sons who are very interested in genealogy which is a blessing. Our lesson this month was on Pioneer Past Times.

My grandmother Vernon enjoyed handwork as did pioneer women. 
Our DUP officers, I started a camp years ago in New Harmony. 
Our meetings are held at church and all women in our area are invited.
Our new teacher Jerri Francis is a hoot-so funny and in pioneer costume.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Saturday Drive

Craving to see some autumn leaves, hubby and I took a drive to nearby Kolob Reservoir. It was fun to get out in nature and enjoy some time together. Then we stopped by Sonny Boy's BBQ for a quick lunch-delicious!

Redrocks of Utah and Zion National Park west side.
Amazing colors even though vegetation is sparse at this elevatio 
An old ranch house without electricity or water, not used now.
Some pine trees appear as we drive higher in up the mountains.
At last autumn leaves but no red leaves just aspen and scrub oak.

Bright yellows are so cheerful saying goodbye before winter comes.
A very pleasant uncrowded ride up in the mountains.

Here we are at Kolob Reservoir with its lower Fall water level.
Still used for boating but not fishing after September...maybe next year?
Yellow, orange leaves plus green pines welcome in the change of seasons
Time to return home through Zion Park's majestic beauty
Love the variety of rock formations and colors.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Slowing Down or Falling

I live in a retirement community and it seems someone is always falling: stumbling over a rug or a raised sidewalk curb not to mention after climbing up a ladder. I remember falling when young or twisting an ankle, but I seemed to rebound in a short amount of time. With aging, the body bounces back slower. So I decided to write a poem about an experience I had last Sunday.



HURRYING

Off to another important meeting
rushing out the door,
jumping in the car
only to discover I'm falling.

My foot slips on the garage floor,
my ankle turns, I land on my knee
then my elbow, my bottom, next
comes the head. I'm flat, but not out.

All this in a few seconds gives me
a real surprise. Now I'm no longer
caring for others, but I'm the one needing
help. Slowly I sit up, look around then stand.

Grateful that nothing seems broken,
I change my small high heels for flats
then return to the scene of the accident.
Slowly ease into the car and drive away.

Lesson learned...slow down, enjoy
the journey. Who knows when it may end,
suddenly without announcement. After
seventy-four years I should know that.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Article #413 Family Challenges


            Is there a family anywhere that doesn’t have its challenges? Sometimes we might think so when we look at others all dressed up and smiling at church or out on the town together. When we come to know individuals more closely, it’s amazing the trials each person has to overcome. It’s seem to be human nature to always think that life is easier for our neighbors or distant relatives or the other people in the world than for our selves.

            Why? Some may ask, is life so difficult at times? Why can’t it just be fun and games? These are questions many of our youth probably want to ask adults. Looking back at our immediate ancestors lives, we may find some answers. Through their diligence, hard work and perseverance, they worked to creaste more opportunities for us. Their example of faith and hope during trials can motivate us to carry the family tradition of conquering our challenges, overcoming personal weaknesses and striving to become a better person who contributes something good to the world.

            Why are there wars, epidemics, terrorism, suicides, corruption in our modern day world? It’s almost easier to become a pessimist and give up on there being any purpose or meaning to life. And many have. It’s a wild crazy mixed up world we live in these days with few answers or good examples to follow. Hopefully you can be an example to your family and descendents to give them courage to continue to find meaning in each day’s struggle. Strength and personal growth can come when we overcome tests that we each have. Finding faith in a higher power who created this universe can bring peace and purpose no matter what religion or belief system you follow.

            Are there examples from your family of loved ones who overcame tremendous odds and difficulties to become a beacon of hope for you as you strive to live each day better than the last one? I think back on parents, grandparents, cherished uncles, aunts or cousins who through their daily struggles showed me the way to overcome my trials. Not give up, but pressing forward, showing kindness and love to others as walk the daily journey called LIFE. Collect your memories and write down what you remember of family members who have helped you in life. Then share them with us and your loved ones. NEXT TIME: Not Forgotten.

Monday, October 13, 2014

One family at a time

Jeff and Rachel's family came back at a different time from Disneyland and stayed overnight so we were able to have a more relaxed visit with just one set of parents and two kiddos. Although I love having a full house with two sets of parents and 6 total grandkids, it's much easier to enjoy the chaos and excitement with just one family at a time.

Lorien playing with grandma's big legos saved for family visits.
Every little girl wants to be Elsa from Disney's  FROZEN this year...
Eddie enjoys playing with clay with his mom Rachel and his sister. 
Happy Grandma with her two  youngest grandchildren together on her lap!
Snacktime, Eddie's a non stop eater-he loves food of any kind....
All dressed up for church on Sunday, soon time to head home...
We'll meet up again at Thanksgiving time...

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Fun with a FRIEND

Some friendships are forever. I met Birgitta who lives in Sweden about 35 years ago when I was married to a Swede. She and I wrote letters back and forth before there were emails and eventually met. Over the years we have shared our lives and grown to be like sisters. How fun to see her. We went shopping, eating at several restaurants, saw the Meet the Mormons movie, attended the temple, walked, talked, looked at old scrapbooks and enjoyed renewing our friendship. Now she is on her way back to her homeland.

Soup and salad at Olive Garden and lots of conversation
Showing SunRiver to Gittan with St. George in the far background
Pine Valley Mountains in the distance
Birgitta taking photos of the St. George temple
Quite striking the whiteness in the blue sky
Photos from inside the Visitors Center where there is a display of Book
of Mormons in about 50 different languages out of the 110 that exist.
First Mormon temple completed in Utah by the pioneers
In early days the temple was on the outskirts of town,
now it's in the center of the city!
Birgitta seems herself in some of my many scrapbooks