Sunday, May 28, 2017

Memorial Day 2017

A stroll through Arlington National Cemetery.
Lest we forget.











Saturday, May 27, 2017

The journey begins--Moving

Military families always seem to be on a journey.
My daughter was military and married military, but decided two moves were too much for her. They got out and plan on never moving again.
My son moves next week.

My family did ten moves in sixteen years.
Wuerzburg, Germany/ Alexandria, VA/ Indianapolis, IN/ Manhattan, KS/ Fort Riley, KS/Monterey, CA/ PokFuLum, Hong Kong/Honolulu, HI/ Riyadh,KSA/ Flagstaff, AZ.

My son's family is on track to be close to our record. They are currently starting their fifth move with about half of our sixteen years done.

What I have learned about moving?

ALWAYS have a safe room. That is where you put the stuff that you cannot live without (like your passports when going overseas).

Don't let them pack the trash in the trash can.

Let it go.  Once those boxes are packed, there is nothing you need from them. Ever. You may even learn that you can do without everything in those boxes. We had one move that our crates went all over the US while we lived in an empty house with blow up mattresses and borrowed pots for six months.

If it is larger then a bread box, expect that it will get dinged.

If you are expecting the move to go without some screaming fits or some wild antics, you are crazy. We spent one move trying to convince our seven year old that her undies were NOT different and she could wear them. Children need outlets and comfort zones. Dogs are almost as bad.

Drive for 100 miles, get out, go to the bathroom and begin again. This will be important this time as my husband and son will drive two cars from CA to NY. My husband says they will be in NY in seven days. My son is less optimistic.

When you get to the new place, set up a children's room and do not mess with it. Same thing if you have a family member that hates to move. Set that room up first. My husband does well if the kitchen is ready to roll.

The journey begins this week. I feel for my daughter in law. I am planning on meeting her on the NY end of a six hour plane ride (with two under 4) with a large cup of coffee and a cruise up the turnpike to her new home.





Friday, May 05, 2017

Sometimes we just have it so easy

My role of Nana is so dear to me.
My oldest grand is on the couch right now, getting ready for a day of homeschooling at my table.

Two days ago I met with some of my distant cousins.
They shared pictures of a side of the family I knew little about.
On picture was of Grandmother Mary.
"She was always such a sour puss."
"Look! I think that is the first time I have ever seen a smile on her face."

So I did some leg work.
Mary was the wife of Oliver. Oliver was the youngest of seven (living) children. My great grandfather was his brother- 17 years apart. Unlike most of his sibs, he did not go on to university. His parents passed away before his teens.
Mary had been brought up by first generation Americans who worked for the railroads. My husband's family was brought up in the rail business. Tough, hard, dirty, underpaid work. She was one of ten.
Oliver and Mary lived with her parents for the first ten years (and three children) of their marriage.
Oliver was a steel man, before unions.
My understanding is that Mary and Oliver had ten children in their first twenty years of marriage (they were married at least fifty years).
Of the ten children: two were stillborn, two passed in infancy, six were raised to adulthood.
I cannot imagine. One miscarriage and I am a mess.
Oliver worked hard, but never seemed to make enough money to sustain them.
Their oldest daughter bought a farm in Northern Maryland. Oliver and Mary moved onto that farm and the two city folks began to work with the rest of the family to raise Christmas trees.
No nice and relaxed retirement for her.
Oliver passed away in 1955. I think this picture (with her best friend and her oldest daughter) was probably at her husband's funeral. One of those rare (although probably fake) smiles on her face.
She went from family to family until she passed in 1963.

Here is Sally. Oliver's middle sister.

She had ten children as well.  Four died in one week from the flu.  Two years later two more were killed in a car crash.  She passed from the flu that year.  Of her ten children, none lived to be adults.

I cannot even imagine.
I have it so easy!