Monday, March 26, 2012
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
“So you take about forty nine cling free peaches, two and a half cups sugar, and about five cups water, unless you don’t like them quite that sweet.” She probably said more in detailing the recipe but my mind had already drifted back to a summer day and the sweet juicy goodness associated with it.
We sat on the wide porch together in the warm sunny afternoon. Bees buzzed lazily among the trumpet flowers and columbine in the front yard; the yellow and black bodies darting in colorful splashes in and out of the deep yellow and red of the flowers. In the grass the children were blowing bubbles with the large flowers, dipping them in the soapy water Judy had made.
The little girls giggled as the large light bubbles lifted above their heads. Who would ever have thought of blowing bubbles with flowers?
Looking out over the yard, I saw many small peach trees hung with the rosy golden fruit. My mouth watered thinking about the peach cobbler Mom would make from Erma’s peaches. I could hardly wait till we could go home. But that would be hours –days. We were here to visit.
In the driveway Dad, Uncle Jack and the boys were working on the car. Uncle Jack loved to work on cars and enjoyed having the boys around to share the fun. Uncle Jack was a happy man. I never saw him when he wasn’t smiling. He spent most of his life working for the poultry company. The smell alone would keep me from smiling. But then again when dinner was ready I could enjoy that crispy fried chicken as much as the rest of the family
In the living room behind us a long, low table was filled with Erma’s African Violets. I didn’t know they came in so many different colors, pinks, purples, rose, even a variegated one. The blossoms smiled shyly through the dark velvet leaves. Erma was proud of these violets. They are hard to grow—at least I’ve never been able to keep a plant alive and blooming much less a whole table full. Hanging overhead was a large Christmas cactus. Although it wasn’t blooming yet, I knew it would be filled with red flowers in time for the holidays. It always did. Mother had taken a cutting home with her once so we could have flowers during the cold winter months in the mountains.
I don’t have many memories of Uncle Jack and Aunt Erma. But I remember sitting on the porch, eating peaches and fried chicken. I remember the magic of the flower bubbles and the happy smiling family I belonged to. I took a cutting of my mother’s Christmas cactus, Erma’s cactus to continue the tradition. I hope it blooms!
Saturday, March 3, 2012
My friend Virginia was pleasantly surprised to open the March Ensign Magazine and find an article about her 2nd great grandmother on her father’s side, “Nancy Naomi Alexander Tracy, A Faithful Pioneer”. I go to church and enjoy the poetry of my great great grandfather Parley P. Pratt. It’s always fun to meet up with our ancestors in one-way or another.
On a recent trip to New Mexico I picked up some diaries and letters from my brother that were written by older family members. I enjoyed getting to know them better as I read their writing. I’ve been thinking about my ancestors lately. It makes me sorry that I didn’t know my parent’s siblings better. I wish I could go sit at their feet and at my grandparent’s and listen to stories of their past. This should make me want to write my history for my own children shouldn’t it? Maybe I just don’t think my life was as interesting as my ancestors was. My parent's lifetime spanned the times between horse and buggy days to rocket ships and computers; mine from typewriters to cell phones and I Pads. I wonder what kind of advances in life my children will see that I’ll miss.
My younger brother helped me get into the 1880 US Census and I was finally able to find the name of my husband’s Grandparents and a surprise the names of eleven children. I thought his grandfather was an only child. Another surprise,-- my brother wrote to a woman in California who was also looking for information about this man. We’ve been in contact and I hope to learn more about this large and so far silent part of our family. It’s exciting! In telling her about our great-great grandfather I was reminded that he and his wife made a red and white quilt for each of their grandchildren. We have one of them. It’s nice to have something tangible from an ancestor like that.
March is National Quilt Month. Have you thought of making a quilt? It is something I have enjoyed for many years. Quilting is an American art form that has enjoyed resurgence since the 1970’s. It was a necessity to our American Pioneers. Women made quilts from scraps to keep their families warm. I make them to cuddle babies and hang on walls, an art form.
Many years ago I started a cross-stitch pattern with a poem on it that I really liked. It said,
Our family is like a patchwork quilt
with kindness gently sewn.
Each piece is an original
with beauty all its own.
With threads of warmth and happiness
it is tightly stitched together.
To last in love throughout the years.
Our family is forever.
I always liked that image. Each of my family members is definitely different. How did we all come from the same parents and grandparents? And yet we all love each other and want the best for each other. We make an interesting quilt.
Do you have a family treasure?
Do you keep a journal?
Did you know that the stake Family history center has a lot of new information that can help you find your interesting family members?