Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sharing Memories Week 10 First Day of School and Year

I am again joining Olive Tree Genealogy Blog for Journaling. I find this to be helpful in writing my stories for my grandchildren if you would like to visit Lorriane click her name for the link.

My First Day at School was scary for me because that year was a great time of change in my life.  My dad had to enroll me because my mother was living at the college she was attending 60 miles away.  She was not able to drive back and forth daily.  We only saw her weekends.

I was shy, and this was a huge step into the world.  We lived in the country and my only friends were my cousins who were older or younger than I was.  The room seemed large and spacious with wooden desks.  There were windows, that later I remember I would look out of and day dream. There was a playground with swings, slides, a tether ball pole, see saws, and there were steps on the side that we would play on. I don't remember classmates names.  I do remember my teacher was Mrs. Stafford.  She was a lovely older lady and I still have my picture of her which I would post if I were at home.  My dad knew her husband well and took me over to meet her before I started school.    She understood shy children, and quickly put me at ease. 


Since it was a small town, there was a bit of 'class' division.  In other wards, there were those who considered themselves, wealthy and those they considered less because they were poorer.  Because my father had lost his leg and was working washing dishes to put my mom through college, we fell into the poorer class.  Funny, I didn't really have a sense of class.  They were all just friends to me.  There was one incident in which there was some drama.  At the end of the year, I was chosen May Queen for my class ( we had a May pole party every year).  My dad was so excited, he went out to find a dress for me.  In the mean time the wealthy store owner was miffed that her daughter wasn't chosen and she had already purchased a dress for her.  She insisted I shouldn't be allowed to represent the class because my parents wouldn't be able to purchase an appropriate dress.  The principal gave in and my dad was upset, but I still didn't get to be the May Queen for my class.  Oh well, I knew I was his princess.

Two other things that happened that year.  One was, my cousin would pick me up on the way her way from high school since my dad worked.  She had and activity and I started playing with my friends, some egg and color game that I vaguely remember now.  Long story short, she didn't see me and went on home.  I sat on the steps and waited wondering why no one had come.  As it was getting dark, my friendly big giant uncle (he seemed that to me) drove up and came over gave me his big hand and smiled.  Apologized that his daughter had forgot and took me home.

                                             My gentle giant Uncle Ed and little Fairy Aunt Dora

The second memorable event involved the girl that her mother later took my "Queenship away".  Once again it was after school and three of us girls were playing on the swings waiting to be picked up.  This girl had long auburn hair and a pretty white rabbit fur coat.  She was the envy of all the girls. 

We were taking turns playing on the teeter totter.  Suddenly, she slipped off the seat and fell hitting her head on the concrete at the base of the swings which was next to the teeter totter. The back of her head had a huge gash in it.  She, of course, was crying.  I stayed with her while the other girl ran for help.  I will always remember the red blood running down the white coat and her hair all matted in her face.  I don't remember her name though.  A teacher, not ours, came running out and took her inside.  I was scared, but she was back at school bandaged up the next day.

The year had more memories than I thought when I first started.  It wasn't a bad year, my biggest problem was math.  I got a B.  Math just was not my subject.  I did learn to love reading in this class.  Mrs Stafford was a great story time reader, and it was always nice to get close to her when we were in story time circle.
 Have you written about your first day of school and year?  What kind of memory did you bring to mind.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Butter Before Jelly or Just Jelly

This is my fun post for the month. An a wee bit of family history included.
Grandchildren, your grandfather LOVED peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. He used to "bug" me, because I would make a 'gourmet' meal and what would he do?...He would have to make a peanut butter jelly sandwich afterwards or the meal was not complete. I would say "I am so insulted, I worked so hard on this meal and you don't think it tastes good without a peanut butter sandwich."  Then I would pout and he would give me a smile, a kiss and finish his sandwich.  I so wish I had a picture of him with a PBJ. He had a special technique for making his PBJ sandwich.

The first step was to put butter (real butter) on the bread.

The second step was to add the peanut butter.

The third step was to add jelly.

The final step (I had to enlist the grandson for this )was to eat it all up.
The grandson decided that butter definitely added a great "eatable" flavor.
I asked on my Facebook page which would be preferred butter before the jelly or no butter at all.  My cousin answered my question with an affirmative.  She preferred, as my husband did, real butter then jelly.  She remembered something I had forgotten.  We used to eat sandwiches with butter and sugar.  Mmmm good. 

Which would you prefer? With or without butter?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Sharing Memories: Birthday Parties week 9

When I first thought about this challenge of writing about a memorable birthday party of when I was young, I drew a blank. I could not remember a single birthday party. Not one. I mulled the challenge over, reflecting on the fact that I could remember my children's parties. My second daughter and I reminisced over her two most memorable birthdays.

Then the other afternoon while driving, a picture came to my mind. I am not home, so I don't have it to post, but it was of me and the boy I had a crush on for several years at my Sweet Sixteen birthday party. We were sitting under a tree with our heads together, looking at the charm he had given me for my present. My mother must have caught the shot when we weren't aware. It was late in the evening so the lights were soft and the mood of the picture was innocent. He and my best friend came to help me celebrate a special time in my life.

That night, I received my first kiss. (Yes, my grandchildren, your grandma was sixteen and had never been kissed.)Your first kiss is always memorable, especially when it is from someone you have "dreamed of giving you a kiss". It was soft and sweet, enough said.

The cake was simple, white icing with pink writing on it saying 'Sweet Sixteen'. The party favors were just matching plates and napkins.

The picture above was taken of me getting the table ready for the "party". I have to say, I was never a big socialite, I have always preferred small groups where I felt comfortable. When I was of elementary age and younger, it was mostly my mom and dad or a couple of my cousins over to have cake sometimes with homemade ice cream.

Besides receiving my first kiss, it was probably memorable because it was one of the few times I had a "party". The evening was special because I felt special. My two best friends and fun of sharing jokes, and music we liked. I stayed friends with both of them until the young man, no longer a young man, died a few years ago.

Yes, I remember now........the memory is like a hug across the years.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Sharing Memories Week 8 Winter Time Fun

Winter time was never a time of excitement.  My dad was an above the knee amputee as a result of a winter time logging accident.  Going out for activities in the winter was just not thought of. 

I can remember the winter I wrote about in an earlier post, the snow was so deep that I went out side and made a snow angel.  I can say I don't remember doing that when I was little.  My memories of winter was sitting around the pot bellied stove and cracking nuts, listening to the adults tell stories, which I can't remember now.  Drat! 

That  is not true.  We did do one thing of winter time fun, and that was to make snow ice cream.  I am salivating thinking about it.  I loved to make the snow ice cream.  It was fun and tasted sooooo good!

Fresh Fallen Snow Ice Cream
1 gallon snow
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups milk
When it starts to snow, place a large, clean bowl outside to collect the flakes. When full, stir in sugar and vanilla to taste, then stir in just enough milk for the desired consistency. Serve at once.

Hmmm, maybe it wasn't the snow...maybe it was the vanilla.  LOL  Hope you had a good memory to pull up!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Teacher That Made a Difference in My Life

This is part of a writers challenge that Lori at Family Trees May Contain Nuts has posed for us to write about teachers that have made a difference in your life --good or bad.  If you click on the title of her blog, you can see other's posts on the same and participate too.
I have had many teachers in my life. There were some who were not so uplifting or found wanting in their desire to impart knowledge. Some, like my mother, were dedicated and inspiring. I am indebted to them all for various things.

The subject of this post is Wanda Beryl Gossett, born April 26, 1920 in Oklahoma, was my Junior High Sunday School teacher. She was a selfless, loving person. When she taught her classes, the students listened because she was sharing her love of Christ as well as the beauty of the love she had experienced in his love for her. Her eyes would light up as she spoke and she had a wonderful engaging smile.

I remember vividly one Sunday, she taught a class on the love that Jesus Christ had for us. I don't know if it was the passion and deep feeling she was able to impart on this subject, or if it was the fact that she, herself exemplified the very teachings she was telling us about. She and her husband were deeply involved with the youth program, so we had the opportunity of observation up close and personal of her actions. She never went contrary to what she taught.
I can truly say, Mrs Gossett, that was our name for her, was the source of my beginning testimony of Christ. She taught us to think of Him as a personal being we could communicate with. I took her up on her advice, and that was the beginning of my long talks with Christ, and the beginning of my deep abiding faith in Him. I have told many of her and her influence on me. I am glad of the opportunity to share the love I have for her and my appreciation of her willingness to serve that opened the doors for me.

While I was working as an Inhalation Therapist in a hospital in Oklahoma City, she came in for an operation. It was distressing to me that she developed an infection and never recovered. She died September 23 1968. This was my first test of faith, because I found it hard to understand why someone so young and spiritual would be taken away. It is an affirmation of her ability to impart her belief to others that my faith did not waiver and I held on tight to that which she inspired in me.

Thank you for listening about an teacher that I hold in high esteem. She is a lesson to all; that one person can make a life changing difference in someone's life.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Sharing Memories Week 7 Winter Meals

I will be joining my friend Lorraine at Olive Tree Genealogy Blog in writing 52 weeks of Sharing Memories--a Genealogy Journal. I know my grandchildren will enjoy the journey.
This week's subject is memories of winter meals.
My mother was a teacher so she usually got home after I did. I have the memory of when my grandmother would come to visit, I would come in to a warm great smelling kitchen. She would bake and cook wonderful tasting meals. I am not sure about specific meals, but I do know that I have winter comfort foods. Potato Soup was a favorite of my father, and corn bread and beans is still on my list of favorites. I have a special corn bread I make that tastes so good it has been passed down to all my children including my sons, so they could include it in their cookbooks per their request.
My all time favorite winter comfort food comes from my best friend in High School. After school we would go over to her house, and her mom would be in the midst of baking cookies for us to eat. We would sit around in the kitchen watching her make the cookies and snack until at least one pan of cookies was gone. It set a pattern for me. I liked to have a good smell of baking food in the air when my family came home from school or after being outside in the cold. There was a special recipe that my friend' s mom had. When I went away to school, I begged for it and she gave it to me. It is a traditional cookie at my house now. When my children would come home from school in the winter or over the holidays we always made these cookies. They are now called "Mom's Sugar Cookies", but to me they will always be "Evelyn's Sugar Cookies" The thought just makes my senses go wild. I love the fragrance and the taste is divine. I will have mercy on you and share the recipe...I hope you enjoy.

Mom's Sugar Cookies
Oven 325 degrees 10 min or until crispy golden
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Brown sugar
1 Cup Butter
2 Eggs
2 Cups Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp Soda
1Tbls Baking powder
2 Cups Rolled Oats
1 Cup Coconut
Opt 1 Cup pecan pieces

Mix first 3 ingredients together, Add beaten eggs, Mix in each of the other ingredients on at a time. Drop tablespoon size batter onto a greased cookie sheet. Bake.

Sorry no picture now. Maybe tomorrow, I will make some for my grandsons for when they get home from school. Something I know now that I didn't when I was young is another reason you bake in the winter is to help warm the house.

The picture is of my friend and I after we had children of our own and came back home to visit.

Friday, January 8, 2010

What Do You Do On a Really Cold Night?

This is a fun post for me. It all started out with my teasing my daughter that she needed new glasses when she was playing a video game with her boys. She couldn't figure out what I was saying at first, then she gave me the slow grin that she has and said " oh, I am just being intense". That was the beginning of our teasing her. Of course she is on bed rest to keep from having her baby 2 months early, so she does have an excuse for not being involved. LOL.

The Story

What do you do when you are facing bone chilling COLD weather?

If you are on bed rest, as my daughter is, you might face fighting an addiction to playing video games. my little grandson is good at bringing the daughter back to reality.

We all have been having a good time and teasing her for her intensiveness at trying to win.
The boys have told her she can lose.
I reminded them she dates doing games back to before they were born. Her father would play Tetras, Frogger, Pac Man, and Joust with her and her siblings.

The boys don't have a chance.

On the other hand, as the clock begins to strike 10, and the older boys are not prone to seeking bed, you might pull out a good book and read to them in front of a warm fire. The wonderful thing is the boys really look forward to reading a chapter a night if it is possible.
Do you have such a tradition?

Our reading time was as we drove down the road, someone would read, but I digress...

This is the first really cold front that has stayed longer than a day or two in fourteen years on the Texas Coastal area. I still remember the last time it was this cold. I had just started growing my windmill palms. I spent the afternoon in already freezing temperatures watering my half acre of palms to keep the baby roots insulated. It was 3 hours after I went into the house, and a long warm bath, before my temperature came back up to normal. As you can tell, it made an impression on me, but it was worth it. I only lost two palms to the 15 degree temperatures.

I am glad that this time my choices are reading a book, writing on the computer, and cooking for my grandchildren. It will be interesting to see what the rest of this 'winter' brings. ; )
The first picture of the fountain was taken by my friend in Madisonville at her school.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Winter Weather Memories Week 6

Charlie Wilson of Weather History  described the  four-day snow and ice storm as the worst major ice storm in Oklahoma in more than a decade. The storm affected all but the southeast part of the state, with ice accumulations of a half to 1 inch. Local ice accumulations of 4 inches were reported at Cordell. More than 225 people were treated for injuries, after slipping on the ice. Charlie reports that there were at least 170 of the injuries in the Oklahoma City area. I called it 'The First Blizzard of My Life, and I Wasn't Prepared For It.
This picture is of a later snow storm but it is very much like the one I went through and this link is a picture of a road near where I drove in 1967

Lorraine, of "Olive Tree Genealogy Blog", invited us to join her in weather memories for the 'Sharing Memories a Genealogy Journal'.
This is a memory I had just shared with my daughter while I was in California.


I was 19 and working as a telephone operator in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. I lived an hour away from my job. I had not yet learned the value of watching the weather for what to expect.  When I left home at 9am, it was sunny warm and a beautiful day.  I was dressed in a light skirt and blouse with sandals on, silly teen girl. About 8pm, some of my co workers began to talk about there being a storm coming in. Still I did not think much about it. It was Oklahoma, weather was always changing.
At midnight, I walked out into a blowing, snowing, icy world.  I slipped and slided my way to my car.  I had never driven on snow or ice before, so my mind was searching for the instructor's words for what to do if your car started in a spin.  Something about turning your wheel.  It was not coming back to me.  I began my journey towards my home.  There were people sitting on the side of the road everywhere.  I was not dressed for a night in the ice and snow, and I had not (another improvident act) filled up my gas tank, so it was precariously close to empty.  I had enough gas to make it back home, if I could not stop to fill up. I was doing fine, until I hit the ascent to the over pass. At that point, I began to slide, I turned my wheel because I did not want to slide into the cars near me, it caused my car to go into a spin.  I came to a halt sitting with my front wheels off the road and on the slope down towards the feeder street.  I couldn't get traction to go backwards on the road, so I held my breath and put the car in drive and slid down the hill to the feeder.  It was a go.  I made it and proceeded homeward.  After two hours of inching down the road, I arrived at home, hurried inside, and collapsed down in front of the fireplace to tell my story to my dad, who had waited up holding his breath hoping that I would make it home safely.  There weren't any cell phones back then. 
Two years ago, I made a trip to Idaho at Christmas time. My son could not understand the apprehension I had about driving in the snow.  I just said, it is not my thing to do.  Oh yeah, I have a weather memory!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year to All

Thank you to The Graphics Fairy for the Vintage Post Card
Stone Accents graphic contributors are my source for the scrapbooking elements