Thursday, May 29, 2014

Article #294 Blending Cultures

              Joan Cordon of St. George shares a short story about how her family’s old world traditions have changed or evolved from living in America. Grandfather’s Will: My German born grandfather settled in Wisconsin and began a dairy farm where my mother and her brother were raised.  My father was a hired man on their farm for several years.  When anyone asked to take my mother out on a date my grandfather only allowed her to go if her brother accompanied them.  My grandfather made an exception for the hired man who would eventually become my father. 

         They married and moved to Illinois where my father could find work at U.S. Steel Company.  When my grandfather died in 1952, he left the entire farm to my mother’s brother as was the custom in old world German families.  Mother never knew of her father’s will because her brother went to the bank and mortgaged the farm enough so that he could send his sister half of the value of the farm.  It was many years later that my mother learned of her brother’s generosity.  It may have been German tradition to leave all to the eldest son, but it was the eldest son’s love of his sister that changed tradition.

I (Lin) remember growing up in Southern California in the 1950’s; my best friend Mary Anne Schmitt’s father was from Germany and her mother was from Italy. Having different backgrounds religiously and culturally, this couple were quite successful at blending their cultures into a truly American lifestyle. The dad agreed to have the children raised in the Catholic faith while the mom learned to cook German dishes specializing in a lovely pork roast with sauerkraut as well as her traditional Italian spaghetti and pasta. I loved to eat at their house. Each spouse brought their specialties and unique traditions to blend into a  totally new American household.  Talented as a musician, the dad taught piano lessons and was in a private band that played at dances to bring in extra money while the mom stayed at home 24/7 dedicated to rearing their three children. Two sons and a daughter attended Catholic schools, college, married and raised blended families of their own with spouses of immigrants from other ethnic cultures.  They lived the American dream. Tell us about your family briefly. I’ll help you edit. NEXT TIME: The American Dream.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Happy Memorial Day

Here's to new growth on our winter frozen but not dead palm tree! 
Sand Hollow reservoir ready for the holiday boaters...
Four wheelers and ATVs love this area for its sand and views

Not many trees but rugged beauty abounds, love the colors of mountains. 
One day we'll try this reservoir with hubby's boat but not yet!
Recreation time...

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Final Shopping Trip?

Soon time to say goodbye to my snowbird friend as Caryn heads north for the summer. Sounds like a good idea to me as I can feel the summer heat in the wings waiting to enter any day now.

Being silly at Roberts Craft store-I bought  some house decor for summer.
How true is that, your closest friend knows you better than your mom does.
She's crazy and fun to be around...who wouldn't want her for a friend?
I went Christmas shopping early, Caryn's carrying all my bags! 
Off to my favorite Southwestern store in Santa Clara to window shop!
Southwestern sconces or light covers-would love to have some,  one day. 
Love all the colors and patterns in one room-almost makes you dizzy!
I could spend days looking and taking photos here. 
Love the wood and pottery. Although my house is filled says hubby!
I like the Mexican rugs hanging on the walls for color...
Lots of pots for planting flowers or just placing in your house or yard.
Sun and sunflowers are my favorites...going to miss my shopping partner.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Hummingbird Saga

It's almost like having new grandkids-twins. Each is different as I've watched and photographed them for weeks. Soon they will fly off as all hummingbirds do and leave an empty nest. It's been fun documenting them develop and seeing their mother bird's patience in sitting on the nest to help them incubate then feeding them several times a day. She eats insects and nectar then makes a slurry inside her body that she puts down the beaks of her two hungry little fledglings. I made the IMovie with stills and movies I took out our back window. Click here to see my production.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Article #293 Culture Shock

              I wonder how many of us consider the culture shock involved for our ancestors who immigrated from other countries to America. First of all was the language barrier, if they didn’t speak English. Then other adjustments had to be made to a different lifestyle and customs in a new homeland. Perhaps your grandparents were farmers from Europe who ended up in one of America’s big cities like NYC or Philadelphia trying to find employment in order to afford to travel to other states where free land could be had for homesteading––working and living on the land for a period of time. What culture shock did they experience? Or maybe your grandparents were well to do immigrants that followed the call to immigrate to America for religious freedom and had to leave their lands, wealth and accumulated goods behind to start over in a humble log cabin in the west.
             Even modern day immigrants to America have to make adjustments. Dina Fife now living in St. George is from Brazil-her country of birth explains her challenges: I was born into a poor family in the Brazilian jungle near Bahia. My mother was married at age 12 and had 18 children though 6 of them died young. My father was a farmer and occasionally worked in  nearby cities. He died when I was young. There were no opportunities for schooling where I lived. When I was older, I moved to Brasilia-the capitol of Brazil where I studied and attended college. I worked for 30 years in education and administration. When I retired, I came to America to visit friends and decided to try to stay here. With only a tourist visa, it took some work to accomplish that. Luckily, I met Duwayne Fife through an online dating service. He lived in Twin Falls, Idaho and decided to travel to Mesa, Arizona to meet me. We were married and five years later I became an official citizen of America.
How is this country different than my homeland? There are more opportunities here for education, less social upheavals, more jobs and safety in the community. The most difficult problem is learning to speak English. In Brazil, everyone speaks Portuguese, but here few do. I have been able to take some ESL classes locally and hope to study more English at DSU. I love my new country and all the possibilities there are for me. 

NEXT TIME: Blending Cultures-Would love to have any of my blog readers send me their ancestor's stories to publish in my weekly column LOOKING BACK... or in my blog.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Spring becomes WINTER again

Coming home last weekend the previously green fields were now
snow covered as winter snuck back to haunt us with it's coldness

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Anasazi Museum in Boulder Utah

Displays about the Anasazi Indians in this area of Utah
I'm always fascinated by their history and how they just disappeared. 
Intricate designs show pride in their craftsmanship for items used daily.
Click to enlarge the historical map
Reconstructive kiva dwelling  
How they survived and their daily patterns is fascinating

Pottery shards tell a story 
Reconstructing a pot from archeological digs is intricate
What a process...
It was a many days long labors to create just one pot
Having studied pottery, I know the efforts involved from start to finish
Neighboring settlements 

Many villages were burned before they moved on
Different patterns used in decorating their pottery
Arrowhead display intrigues my hubby
Outdoor digs and reconstruction displays show where the village was
Information about pithouses
Reconstructed pithouse used for religious ceremonies
Trying to understand their past from examining their ruins 
A replica of what their dwelling might have looked like
Small doorway about 5 ft tall, they weren't very large in stature
Fascinating roof structure
On to our Skyridge Bed and Breakfast in Torrey, Utah