Monday, May 31, 2010

"Decoration Day" Weekend

This is a re-post from 2 years ago. May each & every one of you have a great Memorial Day with your family & friends. We will be celebrating late this afternoon as Karen is helping bring babies into this world & April is busy with all of you that think a holiday means..."let's shop!". Burgers & hot dogs are on the menu. Hopefully the rains will hold off until the grilling is done.

May we all take a moment to remember our loved ones. I went to Bonnie & Sherry's gravesite on Saturday & spent a few quiet moments by myself. Seems like I go there more than I thought I would...partly because I am too far away to go to my own parents.

May we also remember our soldiers of the past and the present, those serving our great Nation & protecting us from harm. I proudly fly our American flag! Happy Memorial Day! ...

Do any of you remember when we used to celebrate "Decoration Day"? I think the holiday had a different meaning a few years ago and we celebrated more solemnly. Now our Memorial Day celebrations are more "the beginning of summer"! Not that there is anything wrong with that...

My grandmother & great-grandmother lived next door to each other. Both yards had beds of peonies and I remember these grand ladies gathering up armloads of the huge blossoms to take to the cemetery to put on their family graves. There were probably purple iris and maybe some white lilacs to add to the centerpieces also. But there were always peonies! Neither grandmother had a car so it would be my Mom or Dad's appointed duty to take the grandmas to Mt. Zion Cemetery...just down the gravel road a few miles out of town.

At the old country church, glass Mason jars were filled with well water from the old iron pump that was just outside the cemetery gate. The grandmas would arrange their peonies to make beautiful bouquets and then would walk the cemetery to place them next to their loved ones.

Mt. Zion Church & Cemetery Hallsville, Boone County, Missouri

As a little girl, I remember running through the tombstones, careful not to step in the area where our ancestors were sleeping! I knew my great-grandfather was buried there, along with a few great aunts & uncles. But no one told me of the legacy that was really there. Years later I would return to that very cemetery, and after doing family research, realized that many of those markers were in fact links to my family bloodline. I recognized names that through genealogy research I knew were connected to me, but as a child I had no idea and more than likely didn't care. There were Pembertons, Fulkersons, Turners, McMinns, Flints, and on and on...not to mention the names of family friends that meant so much to all of us. My great grandmothers two young sons are buried there...and I have been told that there are 5 slaves buried near my Fulkerson family, but there are no markers. Later my great grandmother Pemberton would be buried by her husband, Samuel. There are more great grandmothers and great grandfathers, and even some great-greats!

Just today I did a little research, wondering why we used to call this holiday "Decoration Day" but now it is "Memorial Day". Seemingly it all began after the Civil War when the ladies of the South would decorate their fallen hero's grave site late in the spring when their springtime flowers were in full bloom. The tradition spread & it became a holiday to remember our fallen soldiers.

And we still remember them on this our Memorial Day weekend, along with celebrating family time and the beginning of our summer season.

Now that I know that my families migrated to Missouri from Kentucky, Tennessee & Virigina, maybe they brought with them the tradition of Decoration Day. I know the grandmas would never let the last of May pass without putting their jars of peonies on the tombstones of Mt. Zion!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Girl's Day Out!

After a busy few days of preparing for Kylie's graduation open house
we finally found a day without a hectic schedule
and off we went!

Some how out in blogger land, I stumbled across Nell Hills blog which features
the shop in Atchison, Kansas.

We had lived in the Kansas City area for several years quite some time ago,
and I never realized that Atchison was just a hop, skip & a jump away. My sister still lives there & had been to Atchison, along with the scenic little town of Weston, Missouri. Luckily,we just happened to glance at Nell Hills website before leaving & learned that there was bridge work & we would have to take a detour.

That hop, skip & a jump took us on County Roads that ribboned up & down the pretty countryside, just north of Kansas City, not too far from the Missouri River.

Carol saw a 55 mph speed limit posted & those County Roads
turned into some tummy ticklers!

We crossed the Missouri River into Atchison, Kansas & thanks to
"Karen" (Carol's GPS lady talker) we almost drove right to it.
I accused Carol of naming her GPS after my daughter--who likes to talk : )
but she claims her lady already had a name! Yeah...right!
Nell Hills is located on a historic covered street
& I was happy to find room after room
of very reasonably priced decorating accessories.
I was in home interior heaven!

Kelcie & Kylie
ready to shop

Carol likes to refer to us as little sister & big sister...
hmmmm--maybe it would sound better to be
younger sister & not quite so young sister!

( Bob's just lucky I didn't try to haul those gorgeous urns home with me! I think they would have fit just fine through our sun roof. )

"If I were a rich man
toodle doodle doodle doo..."

The girls loved this room

Upstairs...table scapes!

I don't think this would fit in my 8 foot ceiling dining room
but I love it!
We saw this same aviary in several different shops.
I may have to buy a bird!
I did buy a basket like this & hope to end up with an arrangement similar to this.

We loaded up the car with our purchases & walked a couple of blocks
to Marigolds for lunch.
It was a drizzly, chilly day & tomato basil soup & grilled cheese sticks hit the spot!
It was a delightful girls day out.
And Kylie was such a good sport about sharing her graduation day with me.
It was getting late & we thought we would take a different route home
only to find out we drove straight into the dead end of the detour.
After a quick u-turn, we found those ripply roads & headed home.
Next time we'll have to try the Nell Hills at Briarcliff...closer to Carol's house,
but this was definitely worth the adventure!
You might like to check out

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Graduate

The reason for our journey to Kansas...
Kylie's high school graduation!
My niece, Kylie Ann
Family hugs
Kylie with Mom & Dad
(my sister, Carol & my brother-in-law, Garry)
Kylie with her Grandma Jean
all the way from Tennessee!

3 Generations of Wheelers

Almost 500 students graduated from Shawnee Mission East
They came in alphabetically
& we waited & waited & waited
& finally spotted Miss Wheeler almost at the end of the line!
Heading to the podium

Diploma in hand!

Congratulations to Kylie!
After a soggy weekend, with much concern that the ceremonies might have to be held indoors, the sun broke through the clouds early enough on Monday afternoon so the program could still be held outdoors. It was a bit chilly, but we were thankful that all of the family was able to attend as tickets were limited to 5 per family if held indoors.
A touching moment came when the parent of a student who was killed a few months ago in a car accident, came forward to present a scholarship in her son's memory. She is a newscaster on a local TV station & well known in the community. With tears in her voice, she told of her sons life & how he would have been so proud of his fellow classmates for completing their journey. And she sweetly slipped in a reference for his friends to follow,
Joshua 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Senior Moments!

Tomorrow we are out of here!
We will be spending a few days away from home.
It's been 3 years since I've been to Kansas
 & I can hardly wait to get there!

And this little girl that stole my heart some 18 years ago is the reason for your trip.Somehow, without me realizing that she had hardly grown up, our little Kylie blossomed into a beautiful young lady & is graduating from high school in just a few short days.

The next few days we will be visiting with family & friends,
& celebrating Kylie's accomplishment.

Congratulations, Kylie!
And I absolutely love her Senior you can see.
I'll have access to a computer while I'm going but I'm sure I'll be way to busy visiting to do anything other than take a peak to see if there are any new blog posts. So for now...I'm on vacation!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Della...a gardener's friend

Yesterday afternoon found me getting down & dirty out on the patio!
I had taken Bob's truck to the garden center & hauled home a pick-up load of annuals I spent the afternoon & evening getting dirty as a pig on the patio.
When I work out doors, I'm more than likely by myself
so have tons of time for reflection & usually my mind goes racing.
Since it's almost Mother's Day, I found myself thinking about my Mom,
& also my mother-in-law. Both of them loved their flower gardens.
This story is about Bonnie & her friend.
As I looked around &  found that some of my perennials need some dividing,
it brought back memories of Bonnie, my mother-in-law, &  Della, her dear old friend.
When the Thompson's moved to Columbus in 1968, Bonnie found a friend in Della,
a much older saint in their church. Della was an "old-maid", never married,
& had spent her lifetime as a school teacher. She lived just across the Brown County line,
living on the old home place where she was raised. Bonnie was the first to live in the new parsonage & the yard was fresh for plantings of annuals, perennials, shrubs &  trees.
Bonnie & Della became gardeners on a mission,
to beautify the new parsonage grounds.
Della was known for her eccentricity.
She loved animals, & if I remember right,
at first there were horses on her farm.
And dogs.
She had lots & lots of dogs, who interbred
& had lots & lots of puppies.
I remember one extremely cold winter, Della came to church & sat all bundled up in her coat, which wasn't really that unusual for her. As she left the church foyer that evening, she quietly showed Bonnie what was under her coat....a very small puppy! The puppy wasn't doing well &  she had brought it in her car. When she got to the church parking lot, she was afraid the puppy would freeze, so she brought him in & kept him hidden under her coat!
Della also loved her flowers.
And she shared them with Bonnie!
She would come into town with a trunk load of a variety of things she had dug up from her gardens, wanting to share with her young pastor's wife. The parsonage yard began to blossom, partly from the shared blessings from Della's Brown County gleanings. I remember Bonnie saying that Della would be coming so she would have to spend most of the day outdoors.
 Both of them spent many hours of labor in those flower beds.

Another thing that Della liked to share was her "fertilizer"!
It was the natural kind...
the kind she scooped up from the barnyard...
& usually stinky!
But she knew that it did wonders on the plants & insisted that Bonnie use it in her gardens.
Later, when her mind began to fade, Della would sometimes bring "fertilizer" from her dogs!
And that kind was not much appreciated by the lady of the parsonage.

A day or two ago I was looking at my Iris & decided I needed to divide them &  move them around. I'm about to run out of room &  don't want to dig up any more beds in our yard.
So the thought breezed through my mind that I should share some of these with our new Pastor's wife. You see, they too have a new parsonage & are just beginning to do some gardening of their own. And I thought that Darla might enjoy a clump of my Iris, which also had been shared with me by my friend. That is what perennials are pass along.
And that's when it hit me.
Darla has become Bonnie.
And I've become Della!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

More Paige-isms

She got us again!

Once again, we were on our way to Sunday evening church service & Paige chose to ride with us as usual. She was the only one this time & she took advantage of having our full attention & jabbered away. In case you hadn't noticed...she loves to talk!

Anyway, it was a beautiful spring evening with some billowy clouds in the sky and Paige was watching out her window.

I heard her talking about the sky & she suddenly said, quiet emphatically..."I don't want to go to Heaven..." (Grandma about had a coronary on the spot!)

"...cause I don't know what Jesus looks like" ( Grandma is shocked!)

with a pause she continued "....I don't even know what God looks like..." (Oh dear...Grandma is thinking we are in big trouble!)

"...but I know what Elvis looks like cause we have a movie of him at home!" (Grandma about rolls out the door in laughter!)

And with that she was off & talking about something else.

Kids! I cannot even begin to fathom what is racing through their little minds, especially after an afternoon of getting in Grandma's candy dish. (I'm blaming it on too many Kit Kats...Kitty Kats to Paige!)