Monday, August 31, 2009

Missour--ahhh! Part Two--Those Country Roads

We used to travel this gravel road at least every other Saturday,
going to Grandma & Grandpa Brown's, to spend the day with them.
Dad would do chores that needed to be done for them,
& more often than not, we would make a grocery store run for them too.
I loved going there.
Grandma & Grandpa moved from an old unpainted farm house
into a tiny trailer, just across the road from Uncle George & Aunt Bert,
the ones with 9 kids!

The old house never had electricity, but the trailer did.
But Grandpa Brown preferred his old kerosene lantern & it brought that soft glow into their home every evening when the sun went down.
Neither house had indoor plumbing
I always dreaded the trips to the old outhouse.
And believe it our not,
there was sometimes an old catalog in there...
and those of you old enough, will know what that was for!

Just down the road from Grandma's was an old log cabin
where Billy Joe lived. He was the typical wild teenager of the '50s, the one who was always in some kind of neighborhood mischief.

As we drove down the road, we found
the cabin still standing, after all of those years,
but weeds, briar's & brambles were surrounding it.
We didn't venture too close but I wanted to peek in the old door.

We made a stop at the old country church where Grandma Brown
sometimes attended. I remember going there for services with some of my cousins. And 3 of the girls were married in the little church.

Kylie, Kelcie & Jacob
on a trip, down roads they had never heard of before

Out behind Sulphur Springs church
we found the markers for some of our family members.

Dad's brother & sister-in-law
Another brother, Joe, is here in a grave without a marker.

Just across the road from Grandma's...
This isn't the original house, but George & Bert lived here,
in a very small house, heated by coal with no indoor plumbing
or running water. Water had to be carried from
Grandma's well pump,
down the lane, across the road...quite a chore for a family of 11!

We saw a few deer running along the road & had to honk our horn to scare them away from running out in front of us! And we also saw a wild turkey, along with beautiful wild flowers growing in the ditches & fence rows.

Just up the road from where Grandma lived...
Grandma & Grandpa lived off of old Hwy 40,
near New Franklin, Missouri
6 miles of gravel
The view I remember from across the road from the old unpainted house
which is no longer there. I love the Missouri country hillsides.
An old photo of Grandma Brown & Aunt Rose
at the old unpainted house on the gravel road
An old grain elevator that has always been a landmark.
Katy Trail runs beside the old grainery...
a bike path that runs over 200 miles across Central Missouri

The weary travelers--Garry & Bob
Neither had ever been on this road before & they were very good sports about it. However...Bob doesn't plan traveling this way again!

The City Slickers
Jake-Kelcie-& Kylie
They claimed this was their first ride in the back of a pickup truck!

It was a beautiful drive & I'm so glad we did it.
Steve was with us & we both did a lot of "remember when" talking
on our little journey. We moved away from this area before Carol had too many childhood memories of these weekend trips.

I can't think of a better way to grow up than to spend your weekends going to see Grandma & Grandpa...especially when they lived way out in the country!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Missour--ahhh! Part One

It was a family gathering to honor our cousin, Philip, that drew us all back to the little town of Hallsville. Our Missouri roots run deep and when major family events happen, we show up. There just aren't as many of us as there used to be...

The Church of God (Holiness) welcomed our family in for a visitation. Several of the community members came, cousins & friends that we hadn't seen for a long, long time. Phil would have been honored to know how many people cared about him.

This church was built when I was a teenager and living away from home in the KCCBS dormitory. Dad & my brother, Steve, spent many hours helping build this house of worship. But we moved away when it was just a little over one year old. So when I think about the little church of my past, it isn't this one, but the little white block building just a few streets away.
Phil's children:
Cindy, Scott, Rusty & Malinda

The family with their Aunt Luana
Cindy & her son Carl

Rusty & Tina

Scott & Jenny & children
(I didn't get their names!)

Luana & Duane Toalson
& Duane's buddy, Dotty the Dog!
(Luana is our Aunt Paulene's daughter)

The Goodwin's
Debbie (Toalson) & Russel
Hannah & Matthew
(Luana & Duane's daughter)

Paula (Toalson) Cunningham
& her brood!
7 boys
Michael, Kyle, Zachary, Scott, Nathan....Carter
(& I'm missing one name)
(Luana & Duane's daughter)

The Dillons
of Fremont, Nebraska
Sid & Hazel Dean (Liddell)
Dean is our first cousin
Dean is our Aunt Thelma's daughter

The Barthel's of St. Joseph, Missouri
Dan & Cherie (Fulkerson) Barthel
Cherie is our first cousin
Cherie is Uncle Millard's daughter
First Cousins
Cherie, Luana, Dean, Carol, me, & Steve

The '49ers
I've had my 60th birthday this year...
& Cherie & Luana's are to come!

The in-laws...except Steve!
Garry Wheeler, Duane Toalson, Bob Thompson
Steve Brown, Dan Barthel, & Sid Dillon

The Palmers
Luana with her cousin Larry
from Mexico, Missouri
We lived in Hallsville until I was seventeen. Most of the other family members had already moved away, but I remember that they would come home on summer vacations, for fishing & hunting trips, sometimes Thanksgiving & almost always for Christmas. Grandma's house would be a gathering place & we loved to get together & visit.
This trip found us thinking back on those times, telling tales on each other, laughing about what used to be, & just enjoying being together. Everyone commented on what a good weekend it was, in spite of the sadness of loosing Phil. I can just imagine if it were a short while back, he would have been right in the middle of all of the talking, getting his two cents worth in! We're sure going to miss him...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Another Sentimental Journey...

Gonna take a Sentimental Journey,
Gonna set my heart at ease.
Gonna make a Sentimental Journey,
to renew old memories.

Got my bags, got my reservations,
Spent each dime I could afford.
Like a child in wild anticipation,
I Long to hear that, "All aboard!"

Seven...that's the time we leave at seven.
I'll be waitin' up at heaven,
Countin' every mile of railroad track,
that takes me back.

Never thought my heart could be so yearny.
Why did I decide to roam?
Gotta take that Sentimental Journey,
Sentimental Journey home.

Sentimental Journey.
Recorded by Doris Day

Our "track" will be Interstate 70
just off the highway
to where the gravel roads begin

It is a bittersweet journey
One to mourn the loss of a dear first cousin
One to see other cousins kept miles apart
by the different paths our lives have taken us
Except for times like these
When the family always comes together
to share in each loss

I have been anxiously looking forward to this weekend, a gathering of our family to remember cousin Phil. But now that it is almost time to leave, I feel a sadness in my heart.

For it is the "cousins" that are gathering. Except for our sweet Aunt Thelma, the eldest of the Fulkerson siblings, all of our mothers & fathers are gone.
This is the second of the "first" cousins to leave this world. And it seems like such a brief time ago when we would gather in at Grandma's house for the occasions when all of us would be home. Our circle is becoming smaller with each passing year.

So for just a few days we will be gone, Bob taking me on a trip that will truly be a sentimental journey for me. Now to just get him to take me down those gravel roads!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Snapshots of our Wedding

August 19, 1967

Mom & me

Where have the past 42 years gone?

Yet when I look in the mirror I realize the years are taking their toll...

And as I thumb through my photo albums

I see our family circle is becoming smaller with the passing of each year

Sherry...just minutes before she became my sister-in-law
Dad & me

We both look scared!
Dad & Mom

Bob with his Mom & Dad
and Vickie caught the bouquet!
(I think I actually threw it to her)
Mom & Dad Thompson
My sweet little flower girl...
Carol Jean!
The Wedding Party
Steve Thompson, Carol Hood, Leon Ziegler, Sherry Thompson
Carol Jean Brown
The Bride & Groom
Luana Palmer
Leroy Ross
Cherie Fulkerson
Steve Brown
Somewhere I had seen another bouquet like this
& I just had to have it.
All of my flower for our wedding were about $75.00!
Looks like we were on the run!

Our Cake
Remember Madam Jay's Bakery
near Milgrims on 75th Street?
That's where it came from

and running out the front door of the Overland Park church!

And our song...

by "The Turtles"

Imagine me and you, I do

I think about you day and night, it's only right

To think about the girl you love and hold her tight

So happy together

If I should call you up, invest a dime

And you say you belong to me and ease my mind

Imagine how the world could be, so very fine

So happy together

I can't see me lovin' nobody but you

For all my life

When you're with me, baby the skies'll be blue

For all my life

Me and you and you and me

No matter how they toss the dice, it has to be

The only one for me is you, and you for me

So happy together

I can't see me lovin' nobody but you

For all my life

When you're with me, baby the skies'll be blue

For all my life

Me and you and you and me

No matter how they toss the dice, it has to be

The only one for me is you, and you for me

So happy together

Monday, August 17, 2009

Our Hoosier Cabinet

Several years ago Bob & I started browsing the antique malls & shops. He was hunting old car signs or anything to do with car memorabilia. I was more interested in dishes or glassware that my Mom or grandmothers might have had. Somewhere along the line we both became interested in the old Hoosier kitchen cabinets.

We located a man that made a business of refurbishing & refinishing these fine pieces of furniture.

Some of you may remember when your grandmother had one in her kitchen. Mine did! But at the time it was painted white, matching her other cabinets, & as a young girl I didn't realize what she had.

As you can tell, I love to collect.

If my Mama had it, or maybe my Grandma, I want it! Here is a look at some of my "treasures" we have found on our antiquing trips. Along the way I've also had several things handed down to me. Some have little value, yet are pieces of my past & I wouldn't get rid of them for the world! Dad made a habit of scouring the yard sales for something he thought I might like, and quite often brought me an old piece of days gone by, when they came to visit. Mom would say "why, Sheila won't want that old thing"...but I would!

This little red pitcher belonged to my Grandma Fulkerson but I've had it for years! Inside it is crackled, probably partly from me potting a philodendron in it years ago.

Mom made batch after batch of cookies in that brown crockery bowl. At some point it had a lid. Cookies were often kept in that bowl. Our little dog used to hear that lid rattle & she knew it meant someone was going to get a cookie & hopefully share a few crumbs with her!

And there is my Grandma Brown's rusty old apple corer. Dad remembers her making apple butter & sweet applesauce from apples picked fresh from their local orchard.

Before the days of lemon concentrate, fresh lemons were squeezed in a juicer. Carol has Mom's original, and I found one just like it!

Then there is the White Mountain ice cream freezer-this one bought by Dad at a garage sale--ours was larger...the Central Dairy glass milk jars (that used to be delivered fresh to our door!)...a Charles Chips tin (some of the best potato chips around)...a pink Fiesta Ware pitcher, drinking glasses from the '50's...2 little red floral drinking glasses that were in Mom's first apartment...

Anyway, you get the idea that we love things from our past. Each piece represents something that brings back floods of pleasant childhood memories.
Just in case one of these days when I'm gone, and no one has a clue what piece belonged to which Grandma, I'm beginning to mark things. A tag with a description inside a jar, a note hidden inside a box...and hopefully my treasurers won't end up as worthless junk to my children.