Monday, December 16, 2013

Thanksgiving at the farm town. . .

Headed up the farm for Thanksgiving a couple of weeks ago.
Shelbina Mo, still a very active farm community.

This is how the main street looked in the early 1900's. Busy, busy, busy.

Although the main streets have lost many of their old buildings, there are still lots of fine ones standing.

 Wife's fathers family gathers each Thanksgiving as a reunion of sorts.

Always a large crowd.

Most time they use one hall or another either at the golf course, senior center, library or old school.
Occasionally someone is brave enough to hold it in their home.

The whole gang this year.

 Pre-meal snacks.

'The Board of Mischief.' during a planning session.

We lose another from 'The Greatest Generation'

Just a few weeks ago, in the middle of November we said goodbye to my sister-in-laws step father.
We had known him and his family for about fifty-five years.
I guess at some point I knew he had been in the service, but it wasn't, as is often the case, until we were at his memorial that I found out to what extent. As with most of his generation he was pretty quiet about it, willing to talk about it if it came up, but otherwise kept it to himself.

He was in the army towards the end of the war.
Participated in the Battle of the Bulge.
His glider crashed in the river on landing and his commander was killed.
He was stuck in a wine cellar for a couple of days (he rather liked that part).
Fell in love with a french girl, but didn't get to bring her home.

He was buried with military honors.

 A very intelligent man, working at times for McDonald Douglas, Boeing and NASA.

Built an electric car years ago.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Sepia Sat. contribution - Aprons

Both of these photos, which I have posted before, are of my Grandmother.
This first one is of her when she was a young woman working in Ireland as a domestic, probably around 1915. She is seated on the ground.

This second is on Douglas Street, Selby, probably mid-1930's.
No indoor plumbing. The only row of these house's still standing on that block.


Monday, November 25, 2013


Now, my brother, for the most part, is not interested in our heritage or family history.
That's fine, we don't all have to be.
But I am.
And I find it kinda funny that there are tons of pictures of 'the one who does not care' on the QE and our trip over in 1956, but there are hardly any of 'the one who does', me.

But, still going through old photos with mom. . . I finally found one!
Wasn't I just the cutest.

I'm the adorable one with the overalls.

Must have been as we were getting to New York.

That's right! There are  pictures of my brother in front of the Statue of Liberty! But not me.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Our own Downton Abbey

While going through old photos with mom, I have discovered some I have never seen.
Aunts and uncles I had only heard about, but never pictured.
Pictures of dad as a young man.

Luckily mom is good with most of the names, so we have been able to identify most.

We came across this one while sorting.

It is me 'mums' mother.
Probably very early 1900's, before 1915. (She was married and back in Yorkshire by 1915)

This is probably Ireland. She worked in Ireland as a domestic when she met her husband. He was a blacksmith, probably in some shipyard because that is what he did back home. (But I don't know that, yet, for sure.)

Maybe we do have a castle in our heritage, but I bet I only would have had access to the stables.

Please forgive me if I use this one again if the appropriate theme comes up on another Sepia Sat.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Reminds me of Grandma. . .

Family in the UK just sent me this and it reminded me of a picture I posted yesterday.

The History of 'APRONS' I don't think our kids know what an apron is.

The principal use of Grandma's apron was to protect the dress underneath because she only had a few and because it was easier to wash aprons than dresses and aprons required less material. But along with that, it served as a potholder for removing hot pans from the oven.

It was wonderful for drying children's tears, and on occasion was even used for cleaning out dirty ears.

From the chicken coop, the apron was used for carrying eggs, fussy chicks, and sometimes half-hatched eggs to be finished in the warming oven.

When company came, those aprons were ideal hiding places for shy kids.

And when the weather was cold, Grandma wrapped it around her arms.

Those big old aprons wiped many a perspiring brow, bent over the hot wood stove. Chips and kindling wood were brought into the kitchen in that apron.
From the garden, it carried all sorts of vegetables. After the peas had been shelled, it carried out the hulls.

In the autumn, the apron was used to bring in apples that had fallen from the trees.

When unexpected company drove up the road, it was surprising how much furniture that old apron could dust in a matter of seconds.

When dinner was ready, Grandma walked out onto the porch, waved her apron, and the men folk knew it was time to come in from the fields to dinner.

It will be a long time before someone invents something that will replace that 'old-time apron' that served so many purposes.

Send this to those who would know (and love) the story about Grandma's aprons.

Grandma used to set her hot baked apple pies on the window sill to cool. Her granddaughters set theirs on the window sill to thaw.
The Govt. would go crazy now trying to figure out how many germs were on that apron.

I don't think I ever caught anything from an apron- but love...

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Some thoughts from a friend, who got them somewhere. . .

As  I was lying around, pondering the problems of the world,
I realized  that at my age I don't really give a rat's ass anymore.
.. If  walking is good for your health, the postman would be  immortal.
.. A whale  swims all day, only eats fish, drinks water, but is still  fat.
.. A  rabbit runs and hops and only lives 15 years, while
.. A  tortoise doesn't run and does mostly nothing, yet it lives for 150  years.
And you  tell me to exercise?? I don't think so.
Just grant  me the senility to forget the people I never liked,
the good  fortune to remember the ones I do, and the
eyesight  to tell the difference.
Now that I'm older  here's what I've discovered:
1. I  started out with nothing, and I still have most of it.
2. My wild  oats are mostly enjoyed with prunes and all-bran.
3. I  finally got my head together, and now my body is falling  apart.
4. Funny,  I don't remember being absent-minded.
5. Funny,  I don't remember being absent-minded.
6. If all  is not lost, then where the heck is it ?
7. It was  a whole lot easier to get older, than to get wiser.
8. Some  days, you're the top dog; some days you're the hydrant.
9. I wish  the buck really did stop here; I sure could use a few of  them.
10. Kids  in the back seat have accidents.
11.  Accidents in the back seat cause kids.
12. It's  hard to make a comeback when you haven't been anywhere.
13. The  world only beats a path to your door when you're in the  bathroom.
14. If God  wanted me to touch my toes, he'd have put them on my knees.
15. When  I'm finally holding all the right cards, everyone wants to play  chess.
16. It's  not hard to meet expenses . . . they're everywhere.
17. The  only difference between a rut and a grave is the depth.
18. These  days, I spend a lot of time thinking about the hereafter . . .I go somewhere  to get something, and then wonder what I'm "here after".
19. Funny,  I don't remember being absent-minded.

My northern family are jamb posers - or my Sepia Saturday contribution for this week

Door jamb posers that is.

I think this will be my forth contribution to The Sepia Saturday blog, and a theme on which I found I had a lot to share.

This weeks theme is people posing in doorways of some sort. So I started going through our old family photos.
It turns out, at least the photos we have collected, that the northern (Yorkshire) side of my family are more likely to pose in doorways than my southern (London) family is.
I don't know if this is a regional tendency or just a coincidences.

This first one is of my Grandparents on my mothers side.
They are standing in the doorway of their home on Abbots Road in Selby.
This would turn out to be the first place I ever lived.

He worked at the local ship yard. They had met while working in Ireland.

The house is still there. . . .

. . . and it would seem I tend to get my posing genes or habits more from my northern side.
Here I am, with daughter, at two of my moms old homes in Selby.

This is the same house, although we are at the front door, and not the side, which you can barely see to the right.

This one is on Douglas St.

By the look on daughters face, I think she is going to be a southern poser.

But one or two photos would not necessarily make my northern family jamb posers. I have more proof.

 This one is my mom, her parents and two of her sisters in the 1930's

Abbots Road, Selby
 One of my moms sisters with her kids and once again her mother.
Probably late 40's, early 50's.

Don't know where the door is.
 Mom's mom, Douglas St., Selby.

Interestingly, the six homes that constituted my mothers building on Douglas, as of two years ago, was the only one still standing.
 One of my cousins and her husband in a door jamb.

Unknown jam.
Me or my brother getting an early posing start.

Looks like maybe a caravan or something.

Now on my fathers side, the southern family, or as my mom's mom would say, foreigners, from London, they tended to be more walking posers. Getting photos of themselves while walking.

 In our box of old photos we have a very large collection of my dad's family posing while walking.

Here, one of my dad's brothers and his wife. . . walking.
 One of my dad's twin sisters,. . . walking.
 Again, one of dad's brothers  . . . walking.

Now, I don't mean to imply in any way, shape or form that my southern ancestry was any more active than my northern one.

If I am to deduce anything from these few images, it would be that my northern family had a camera closer at hand.

At most of the sea side resorts, photographers would be setup on the walkways to get pictures of strollers. And I think that would prove to be the case with these walking pictures.

All posers, whether jam or walking had to take some time off from posing. And back then, both northerners and southerners would usually head to the seaside.
Both families seemed to enjoy an occasional trip to the coast.

However, it would seem my northern ancestors were more likely to do it with less clothes.

Northern cousin. . .

 Northern family. . .

Mom and sister,( although, almost southern dress  ) - Aunt and kids. . . -            My mom and dad.                            

Southern family.
This is my dad's mom.
I have several photos of dad's family on the beach that day, but Grandma is wearing the same coat and hat and the rest of the family is dressed about the same.

Now I do have one uncle who seemed to be the non-conformist of the southern group.
Seen here posing with less clothes than his southern kin.

He could also be found, on occasion, posing in doorways.

I don't think southern family ever held these tendencies against him, after all . .  he wasn't a blood relative. Just married into the family.

My Uncle John. I only got to meet him a couple of times, but he was a favorite.

He did however seem to eventually embrace his wife's southern style of dress on the beach.

Here is me, working on my seaside pose.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Busy Veterans weekend. . . .

Sat. morning found us first at one church, getting ready for the Christmas program.

Then it was off to the farm. . .

 Daughter on the porch of the near one hundred year old farm house. Where the grandma without the English accent grew up.
 The one with the English accent in the background.
 With her two grandma's.
Great Grandpa on the porch where he has lived for all but one year of his life. 93 or so years.

Then it was off to grandpa's old family church. . . .

 . . for the annual Harvest Fest. to raise money for the small town church.
The feast is held in the basement, seating about 75 people at a time. Probably nearly two hundred came through.
 The church was finished in the late 40's. . .
 . . . to replace this one that had burned down.
Great story; Caretaker builds fire to warm up church, young girl sees smoke coming our of the steeple, mom doesn't believe her, caretaker is afraid he will be blamed so he runs home and hides in a closet. Not found till later, after everyone fears he had died in the fire.
 Daughters Great Grandfather on the other side helped in the rebuilding of the new church and is featured in several of the photos.
 After dinner the auction starts. All donated stuff and home made goodies.
Gooseberry pies always bring the most money. I think this year it went for $75.00.
 Wife's nephew after his winning bid for banana bread.
 Daughter getting help bidding on 'survivor bracelet's.
Auctioneer gave her the hat,

Afterwards. . .

slumber party with grandma. . .

Next morning . . .

Martha's of course. . . .

. . . for a nice hot breakfast before heading home for a gymnastic birthday party.

Me with my new best friend. This guy never meets a person he doesn't like. He is a big hugger and hand-shaker.

Monday was of course Veterans Day where we started by. . .

Visiting the Vets (my dad) that are no longer with us.

 Then off to the school to honor other Vets . . .
 . . . where we had a pancake supper where, just like fishing. . .
 . . . you had to catch your dinner.

Daughter caught most of hers. . .
 . . . as did grandma.
Dad on the wall of honor.