Wow! I just found 5.00$!

Friday, August 31, 2012

All August, All Addie Lou, Almost Over

I have so enjoyed this month of All August All Addie Lou!! Thank you so much AnnN for the suggestion!!

My mother loved to learn. I never remember a day that I didn't know I would graduate from college.

My mother graduated from college in 1947.  When she went to college she took her ration book from WWII so the dining hall could use her coupons to get food.

My mother was the first in all her family to graduate from college.  And I mean first ever.  What a wonderful legacy she has now- John, Elaine, Charles, Frances, me, Carl, Andrew, Taylor, Kaitlin and John. Plus I wonder how many more of her cousins and their children have now graduated.
This is mama at her 30th  college reunion.  She is on the front right.  The officers are on the front row.
Here she is in 1947.  She is again on the far right.  I love her shoes!

I am struck this month by how all the pictures show that Mama treated Howard just like the rest of us.  She was not bound by his disability.  I knew this but to see it in pictures was so moving.   I didn't realize til this month how many times we went to the cemetery to Ronnie's grave.  I was talking to my brother, John, about this and he said that many years ago he decided to see if he could find the grave.  As soon as he found the cemetery, he drove right to the grave.  He said that he just knew where it was and it had been years since he was there.  I have several pictures of cousins that I plan to send to them.

I didn't get the wreck room cleaned out.  But I did give several bags and things away- like maybe 10.  It is a start.  Hopefully I'll do more in September!!

I hope to get these photos in an album soon so I can enjoy them more often.

My mama was such a special person.  I am sorry you all didn't get to know her.  I hope you know her just a little better through my rambling thoughts in August.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

More thoughts on my mama!

I have the daily Mary Engelbreit calendar. Todays thoughts of my mama are brought you to courtesy   of Mary.
My mama so lived this!
My mama gave us a love of books and learning
My mama loved to laugh
This helped me so often because I knew my mama loved me no matter what
My mama was always learning
When I picture my mother today, I realized she is my same age, just like she always has been!
This is for my children.  She loved bathing them in the sink.
I agree with Abraham!
 My mother cultivated happiness her whole life.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

62 years

Today is my parents wedding anniversary -62 years. They got married by a Justice of the Peace. Their courtship was 8 years long. They met in 1942 and married in 1950. World War II happened between.

My dad had these rings made from a coin while in Steyr, Austria in 1945. Notice the edelweiss. My mother wore these on a beautiful silver chain. Today Kaitlin wears my mother's and I wear my daddy's.

During the 8 years my mother finished college, went to Northwestern and was on Broadway.

My parents marriage lasted almost 26 years before my daddy died.

I am so glad my parents met and married. I am so thankful that their marriage was strong enough to endure the loss of two children.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Say Cheese and then lean together

My mother always had a camera. I have most of the pictures she took. She often wrote on the back of the picture the pertinent information. Here is a photo Andrew took with her camera when he was 2. This picture cracks me up! I love the way my mama is leaning!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Get your socks, shoes and snake.

I came across this picture today and had to write a post about it. This may look like a picture of my beautiful children as we were getting hair cuts one day but look closely.  Do you see John?  Do you see the snake around his neck?  That snake went every with us for several years!  Also, somewhere near John is a big plastic knife because sometimes he needed it to keep the snake in line.

John's favorite movie at this time in his life was Swiss Family Robinson.  He, with his snake and knife in hand would, start the movie.  He watched it poised on the edge of the sofa until....the part in the movie....his favorite part... when Fritz has to wrestle the big snake.  John would throw himself on the floor and he, forevermore, would fight, struggle, gasp for air and fight for his life against the snake.  He would watch the rest of the movie on the sofa because he was worn, slap out.  I was too!!

Once John got the urge to wrestle the snake while we were getting our hair cut.  You must get the picture of this in your mind.
 First, we were not the only ones in the salon.
 Hair was everywhere.
When John wrestled with the snake, it involved rolling and sound effects.
At times if often looked like the snake would win, but John always summoned super human strength and pulled off a victory.

A man in the salon waiting to get his hair cut told me that I had an all boy boy on my hands after he witnessed the snake slaying.  I completely agreed with him.

So now picture me as a young mother getting my children ready to go out the door asking if they have everything...your shoes, your socks, your bookbag, your colors, your snake...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

John is 25

My mother loved her grandchildren!!  Here are some fun pictures I found as I am cleaning up the wreck room.  The emphasis today will be on John since today is his birthday.  These 25 years have flown by.
This was our Christmas picture one year.  It summed up our life that year.
This was at my mama's 60th birthday party.  Just after this picture John got the cherry off the ice cream.
My boys have always loved football.  Andrew is showing John how to set up the football.
 Our family trip to Williamsburg
this pirate showed up at our house one day, he was wounded and had to use his gun as a crutch
taken 25 years ago today
his senior picture
I love that toothy grin.  John loved his grandmother!
My three dolls.  I love all the hands and feet.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Did you have hamsters in your bathtub?

My brother, John, raised hamsters.  So that means we all had hamsters.  Often the hamsters chewed out of their cages.  We were all used to them getting out.  

One night when I was little I got up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom.  As I was 'taking care of business' I saw something , maybe even the soap, running up and down the bathtub.  I remember freaking out.  I remember screaming.  My poor mama ran into the bathroom and asked what the matter was!?!?  When I asked her what it was that I was seeing, she calmly said "It is just hamsters in the bathtub."  She said it like it was a normal thing.

Kaitlin thinks I should write a book.  She thinks I should name it- Hamsters in the Bathtub.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

My brother John and an eagle named Tiger

My brother, John, was a member of the fraternity at AUBURN that took care of the eagle.  He wanted my daddy to come AUBURN and take his picture with the eagle on his arm.  When John told our daddy that he wanted his picture made, daddy said, "Sure Thing."  When my mother told my daddy that he would have to be in the cage with John and the bird to get the picture, my daddy was not too sure or happy!!  But for the love of a son, my daddy did it.  My mother then sent the picture to a company that made pictures into posters.  She proudly hung that poster up behind her desk.  When folks would see the poster, they would ask, "How did you get that picture?"  My mother would calmly say "Bill took it with a Polaroid." 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Mother and her brother and sister

Here are a few pictures of my mama and her brother and sister.  My mama was the middle child.  Most of these pictures were made in North and South Dakota in the 30's.  I love all the hats and shoes and stockings!

Addie Lou, Ruby Nell and Albert

My uncle was in the Air Force or Air Corps.  My mother is on the right and I have no idea why she has her tongue out!  This picture was made in the 40's in AL

Thursday, August 9, 2012

36 years

36 years ago today I was with my friend, KimR.  We were just being happy go lucky 18 year olds.  My dad had been in the hospital for most of the summer but he would get out soon, right?  Wrong.  36 years ago today, my daddy died.  Those next few weeks I remember as a blur.  I remember that two of my friends, KimR and JodyB, drove with us the 3 hours to the graveside.  I remember all the food that people brought.  I remember the disbelief, surely this was a bad dream and I would wake up soon.  I remember when all the family was gone, there was such an intense quite in our house.

My daddy loved me.  I was his only daughter and I was a princess.  I remember one time, he was joking with me about me polishing my toes nails.  I said, "Daddy, I bet I could polish one of your toe nails and you would never even know it."  Famous. Last. Words.  My daddy wore steel toed boots to work and you know it, he dropped something on his foot and yes, he had to go to the emergency room and yes they took off his boot and there was his big toe painted RED!!!  It took a few days before my daddy saw the humor in the situation!!

My daddy could build anything.  I am the proud owner of three pieces of furniture that my daddy built- a table and two bookcases.

My daddy fought in WWII.  He was left for dead in a field.  He woke up to find his dog tags in his mouth- which is what they did for proper identification of the dead.  He recovered in a hospital and memorized all the poems in a poetry book to keep himself sane.  My brother, John, has that very same poetry book and I have a copy.  The book is One Hundred and One Famous Poems.  My daddy fought in the Battle of the Bulge.

My daddy met my mama when she was performing in USO shows at the army base near Anniston, AL.  She was 17 at the time.  He told her he was 19- he was really 22.  She found that out after they were married.  He told her that he knew her father wouldn't let her date an old man of 22!

I miss my daddy.  

Hug your daddy today.  

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mining for a Memory in a Photograph

I started reading The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp last night.  It is on the creative habit and how to learn it and use it for life.  One of her exercises is called 'Mining for a Memory in a Photograph'.  I realized that that is what I have been doing with my August blog.  I am mining memories of my mama and my family.  I like that phrase.  I mine memories often.  

To help you mine the photo for today- In the picture are John, Charles and Howard.  Howard never moved or spoke but Howard could laugh.  We all loved to make Howard laugh.  This picture was made in November 1968.  John is 16 and Charles is 13.  Did my mother make them sit and play with a balloon in front of their little brother so he would laugh?  I seriously doubt it.  But what Mother did do is make our home a place where we thought about others.  She often encouraged us that if we were thirsty, get Howard a drink too, because he could never ask for a drink. She always brought Howard into every part of our lives.   I think my brothers had a balloon and they showed it to Howard and he laughed and the game was on.  

Do you mine photographs?  Isn't that a cool thought?

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

She was a writer

This picture shows how I often remember my mama.  My mother loved to write letters.  When she sent birthday cards to her friends, they also got a wonderful letter as she recalled what all had happened and was happening in our lives.  When I left for college at age18 until she died when I was 38, she wrote me a letter every week unless we were together. That's lots of letters!!!  It is on TO-DO list to put the letters in order and get them bound.

Another thing I like about this picture is the books behind my mama.  She had her encyclopedias and a dictionary within her reach so she could look up what she needed.  When I picture my mama today, I see her at her desk with a computer!!  

I always loved this desk.  It has lots of cubbies and drawers.  My mother used this desk for years and then she bought a roll top desk.  When mother died and we were talking about her things and who wanted what- I asked for this desk and my brother, John, said that was great because he wanted the roll top.  So this desk resides at my house now and I fondly think of my sweet mama and all the letters she wrote at it.  

Monday, August 6, 2012

The heart of our home

I love this first picture.  If I had cropped it in close enough you would have just seen smiling faces but if you really look at the picture you will realize that we are in a cemetery.  My daddy wrote on the top the names of all those who are in the picture.  He even listed Ronnie and we are at his grave.  This picture speaks to me of the resiliency of my parents.  They never gave us the feeling that they were victims or that the world had something against them for the loss of their children.  My mother had a small plague in her kitchen that said 'When Life gives you lemons, you make lemonade'.  My parents loved us dearly and I never doubted that.  My mother turned her loss into true appreciation of the children she had.

Here is your laugh for the day!! Notice the cups on the table- Just like Uncle Si in Duck Dynasty!!
I love the smiles on my parents faces.  They loved Howard and celebrated  all his birthdays too!!
I love the hands in this picture.  My parents loved us all.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Here's to 100 more!

Five years ago today I was here, with lots of you!  Andrew and Taylor got married here in AUBURN, AL.  When I think back to that weekend, I smile.  We had such a fun time!

This picture was made in December of 2011.  They look even happier than they did 5 years ago.  I am so thankful for Taylor.  We prayed for her for years before she and Andrew even met.  

Andrew and Taylor, please know that Papa and I pray for you daily.  We pray that your marriage will grow stronger and you will love each other deeper every day.  But even greater than that, we pray that you will love Jesus more and more each and every day!!

I love you both, Mama/ Bubbles

Friday, August 3, 2012

Devil's Lake, ND? why yes it is!

My mama all bundled up!
My mother was born in SD but soon moved to Devils Lake, ND.  If you google Devils Lake, you will find that the population today is a little over 7,000 folks.  Mother always said that she could remember laying in bed at night and hearing the coyotes howling.  Living in ND meant that for Mother's whole life she wore an undershirt from November 1 til May 1, if she didn't, she was chilly.  She tried to make us all wear an undershirt for that time also.  I am sure we did as kids.  When my precious mama died during March of 1996, I was charged with picking out the clothes that she was buried in.  My sweet brother, John, reminded me to get her an undershirt!  

 I had to add the last picture in this group.  It is me and my daddy.  I never knew he was the third Blue's Brother!!!
Sorry this picture is blurry but there is a little Scottie on the porch named Bonnie
All bundled up.  Look at those stockings!
My mama is the young girl on the right

Thursday, August 2, 2012

My Mother's Outlook

My parents both had the same recessive gene for a neuro-muscular disease.  Werdnig Hoffman or Spinal Muscular Atrophy.  61 years ago when their first child was born with the disease it didn't have a name.  The doctor sat down with my mother and told her that her son, Ronnie, was going to die because they could see the atrophy happening.  The doctors suggested that my parents have more children.  47 years ago, when Howard was born, the disease had a name and a life expectancy- 6 months.  Also, my parents found out that they had a 1 in 3 chance of having a baby with Wernig Hoffman.  My mother said that if she had known that she wouldn't have had any more children.

Below are pictures of Howard.  He was born when I was 7 and died when I was 15.  As I was going through these pictures I was struck with how full Howard's life was.  He never said a word but that never stopped my mother from exposing him to so many things.  He never had a bed sore and I know why, my mother kept him moving, which was a major feat.  When Howard died he weighed 57 pounds.  We could all pick him up because mother knew his life might depend on us getting him out of the house someday.  

My mother never complained about having a baby with this disease.  Mother said that she was thankful that God had given this baby to us and not an unwed mama who couldn't handle his care.  I never realized all the sacrifice until I had my children and I got a small taste of it.

I am more impressed with all my mother did with each passing year.
books were important to us all

Howard was at all birthday parties
Charles with Howard outside
Mama and Howard outside at our house
Howard loved to laugh.  We all enjoyed making him laugh.
 outside on a hot summer day
Notice the fun jammies and that he had a boy haircut
Howard and the Christmas tree


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