Friday, December 14, 2018

Meredith

The Southwestern border city in Texas where I was born and grew up in is as far from the wee toon (now engulfed by the major city close by) in Scotland where my mother was born, grew up, and met and married my dad as can be.  But the Texas city is where my mom passed on the Irish stories she had heard from her mother, Elizabeth, nicknamed Lily.

As mom would comb out  my long dark hair after washing it,  I learned about Gubby Flynn, the Toothless Wonder; the Leprechauns and their pot o' gold at the end of the rainbow; and others.  The story that scared me the most, though, was the one where she encountered the Banshee in all its shrieking majesty!  By throwing a penny piece at it, my grandmother took the wind out of its wails!

Mommy told me her mother was from County Armagh in Northern Ireland but didn't know the name of her hometown.  I knew what she looked like because we had photographs but I never met her because she died in Scotland when I was 3 years old.  I used to pick "flowers" from what I now know is crabgrass for her.

Mom was able to tell me about her maternal grandparents, Robert and his wife Mary.  In Ireland he was an officer of the Orange Lodge and apparently carried his membership with him in Scotland.  In Scotland, he worked for a chemical works where he eventually lost his leg and life to the "dry gangrene.". As he was dying in his bed, a black dog, which he saw, was in his wee garden.  He is said to have said, 'Wait for me, Mary, I'm coming to ye.'

Mom didn't know what her grandmother's maiden name was.  I wrote to my mother's sister, Aunt Sheila, did she know her grandmother's maiden name?  No.  Did she know the name of the town my grandmother was from?  When she wrote back, she had written the name of the town in her letter.  Jubilantly, I looked it up in an Atlas!  Well, uh, there were two places in Ireland that were similar to that name but none in County Armagh.  Some time later, I was able to find the town and realized that Aunt Sheila was writing the name phonetically as she heard it pronounced, Caddagh, not how it was spelled, Keady.  I was also able to tell my mother what her maternal grandmother's maiden name was.   It was on my gran's death certificate.  In Scotland it was spelled one way, in Ireland, it is spelled another.  Phonetically it is the same name but does show that my gran's ancestors were of Scots and English plantation stock.  If you wany to know her maiden name, private message me.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

It's Begun To Look A Lot Like Carismus!!


I haven't written for a while but I find it hard to open up sometimes.  The holiday season has begun and I won't be doing a lot of shopping this season.  My husband and I aren't flyingor driving  anywhere to visit any of our daughters and their families.  I find that I am not keen to put up any decorations although I have put a wreath on the door.

Despite it not being winter yet, we have had a blizzard and various other types of precipitation that discourage me from setting foot outside if I can avoid it, and avoid it I do.  I have to force myself to go to the gym but once I am there I really enjoy it.

I used to love drinking hot apple cider, eating Dutch windmill cookies with almonds, and making Christmas decorations.  My girls were under 10 and we lived in Old Town Alexandria.  There wasn't a lot of money for real decorations or toys.  We were blessed by our family, including my former in-laws, at the holidays.  If not for our family, Christmas would have been very grim indeed.





Tuesday, November 20, 2018

'TWAS THE SEASON

A Peek Into Their Life

My stars! What a  time it has been nationally!  I am so upset, sad, and confused so I shan't trouble you with these things.  Instead, I shall continue the saga of my parents' family history.  One of the things my mother told me long before she passed away was to tell me she felt much more comfortable with my in the Big City rather than in the wee town she lived in.  When I asked her why, she said it was because everyone she ran across in town thought my dad was a "darky." That means two things to me and those are (1) the townfolk had never seen a Mexican before and (2) if you were different from the townsfolk, you were immediately a subject for scrutiny. 
 
My grandfather, Neely, did not like my dad.  Mom said it was because her father recognized the alcoholic in my father.  My dear grandmother, whom I never met, was very kind and hospitable to this American who was courting her daughter.  These grandparents of mine also had an odd courtship but that's a tale for another week.
My older sister, Elspeth Clewer, my Dad, my Mom, and me, Lady Margaret.

Monday, November 12, 2018

OH, HEY, CAN YOU SEE?


Yes, folks today the US of A celebrated Veteran's Day.  Officially, though, the special day was celebrated yesterday on November 11, 2018, 100 years from the termination of the Great War.  My
great-grandfather, Charles Dunn, returned to his family in Scotland and my former husband's grandfather, H.V. Powell, returned to his farming in the Midwest.

Later, my father served his country during WWII where in 1945 he met a beautiful Scotswoman, they fell in love and married in her "wee hometown church" later that year.  That's the only reason I'm glad there was a war then because otherwise how would a poor boy born in Mexico and raised in the US have met a half-Scots, half-Irish girl who baked oatcakes at Nairn's?  Then almost 3 years after their wedding, he was able to bring her to the US to live with his family on the border north of Mexico.  My sisters and I came along.

When I was 18, I joined the now-defunct Women's Army Corps so I could travel and benefit from the G.I. Bill.  Well, let's see, I got to travel to my final duty station in Arizona.  The distance is about 300 miles from my hometown. 

Monday, November 5, 2018

Be Still My Racing Heart

Jamie Fraser, you handsome man of my imagination!  Tonight, Season 4 of  Outlander continues the saga of Diana Gabaldon's book series.

That was last night.  This is today.  I just got back from the gym.  I didn't go as long as I usually do.  But when I got home, I saw there was a phone message from my youngest daughter, Renny.  I got right on to FBMessenger and who was it my delight to see but my three grandsons!! GC, Dex, and Luca!

Have you ever had one of those days where it seems you are in a slapstick comedy?  I did, on the way to the gym my windshield wipers are going.  It had rained earlier today and my hubster had used my car to go to the grocery store.  The darned things would not shut off!!!! This sort of thing ALWAYS happens to me.  Get in the shortest line somewhere and watch the longest line finish before I get to the cashier or clerk.  Get a really good manufacturer's coupon and find at the counter that it's last year's. That's me!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

A New Page

I'm turning a new page in this Book of Life.  You might think "Oh no, not another one of these rediscovered myself blogs!!"  Think what you like, reader, I am going to write things on here as I feel them.

I love genealogy and family history.  I might enlighten you about some things or tell you a story about my ancestors. On the other hand, I might talk about food or coffee and tea.  I collect many things: Books, tea cups, teapots, stationery, pens, original art (through cards and post cards), and other items I can't recall.

I love the Lord with all my heart.  I have a personal relationship with Him.  I got saved at a Billy Graham campaign in late 1972.  When he called the attendees who needed healing or salvation to come up front and be prayed for, I stood in front of the television and accepted Jesus as my Lord and Saviour.