Monday, October 31, 2011

The Activities and Expectations of a Bride in 1914

What might have been the activities and expectations of a young woman in the summer of 1914 as she was planning and preparing for her September wedding and future married life to a young barber? My grandmother, Emma Bickerstaff, was a young woman in this circumstance. Was her heart aflutter? Did she agonize over her wedding dress or suit? Did her fingers fly as she pinned and stitched? Did her ankle become sore as she treadled her mother's sewing machine? Did she struggle to balance shopping, sewing, responsibilities at home, and time with her soon-to-be-husband?

In her 1914 book, Why Women Are So, Mary Roberts Coolidge gives some insights into the activities and emotions of a bride, as well as the preparations that would have taken place, during the days and months leading up to a wedding in 1914.
For months before the wedding-day [the bride] cut and fitted and sewed; crocheted and tatted and embroidered; in order that she might be able to exhibit to her female friends and, incidentally, to the bewildered lover, so many dozens of elaborate, hand-made chemises, nightgowns, petticoats; tablecloths, napkins, and towels. (p. 25)

...For the domestic woman the wedding-day was not only the first, but the sole time that she would ever be a person of public interest.... For a day of such importance nothing was quite good enough. The trousseau was... essential to the prospective bride...., it was like the equipment of a traveler who sets out for an unknown Oriental country--for who knew what might be needed and yet unattainable in the great adventure upon which she was about to embark! ...The trousseau, at the end of the first year, might be quite useless in view of prospective motherhood; and might be laid away in lavender, never to be resurrected, perhaps, except for some old-folks masquerade devised by her grown-up daughter. (p.26)

As the great day drew near the bride and her family were usually engaged in a whirl of feverish preparations; the house must be prepared for a wedding breakfast, supper, or reception, the church decorated for the ceremony.... Even for a "simple" wedding the fatigue and the expense were invariably greater than had been anticipated, and the higher emotions of all concerned were drowned in the effort to make as much 'splurge' as possible, and in anxiety about petty, material details. Thus the parents and the household went to bed on the bridal eve utterly exhausted, and with last admonitions to the young girl to sleep that her beauty might not be dimmed on the morrow. (p. 28)
Emma was the oldest daughter and second child in her family. Her father was a carpenter and contractor; her mother, a homemaker. Emma was the second of nine children in the family and the second to be married: her older brother, John, had married five years earlier.

As a bride on Tuesday, September 8, 1914, Emma's experience may, or may not, have mirrored the descriptions above; but I assume there would have been much activity to buy or make linens to start a new home and at least one piece of new clothing for the wedding day. There are no photographs of Emma in a wedding gown nor of her husband, William Carl Robert Meinzen, in a tuxedo. There are no written or oral memories handed down to record the day, nor even a newspaper clipping announcing their marriage. Nothing of her trousseau has survived.

All that remains is a civil marriage record and a few photographs that were probably taken around the time they were married. Carolyn Trowbridge Radnor-Lewis, in an article in the May, 1912, issue of Good Housekeeping, p. 658, "Her Wardrobe: The Trousseau," stated that "[some] brides prefer to be married in a good-looking traveling costume, with a stylish hat." I believe that may have been my grandmother's choice.

We don't know whether the transition to marriage was an easy adjustment or not. We do know that the couple's first child was born within a year of their marriage. Was it a happy marriage? Did all of Emma's hopes and dreams as a young bride come to pass? Unanswered questions, all. What we know is that Emma and her husband had 4 daughters, lived self-reliant lives, and that their marriage survived nearly 59 years, until Emma's death in 1973.

When I was a child my grandmother had an old trunk deep in her bedroom closet. In the trunk were some dark-colored clothes that seemed to me very old. Once or twice I saw her lift the lid and remove them. One of those times was when a cousin and I were looking for clothes for Halloween costumes. Perhaps what Coolridge said was true for my grandmother, that by the end of the first year of marriage, "the trousseau . . . might be laid away in lavender, never to be resurrected, perhaps, except for some old-folks masquerade devised by her grown-up daughter [or not-yet-grown-up granddaughters]."


This post is a contribution to the 111th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy: Autumn Weddings! which is hosted by Jasia at Creative Gene. Thank you, Jasia.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Your Name's Not Gonna Die

This is an excerpt from Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts. It's a conversation between Novalee, 17 years old and pregnant, and Moses Whitecotton, an older gentleman. Moses begins.
"Name's important," he said. "Keeps track of who you are."

"I guess so."

"That's right. Name's an important thing. You picked a name for your baby yet?"

"No, but I got some I'm thinking about."

"Well, take your time. Can't rush a thing like that. Name's too important to hurry.... Get your baby a name that means something. A sturdy name. Strong name. Name that's gonna withstand a lot of bad times. A lot of hurt."

"I never thought of that."

"I used to be an engraver . . . trophies, plaques. Cut gravestones, too. You do a thing like that, you think about names."

"Yeah, I guess you would."

"See, the name you pick out is gonna be with your baby when nothing else is. When nobody is. 'Cause you ain't always gonna be there."

"Oh, I'm never gonna leave her. The way some people just leave, go right out of your life. I'm never gonna do that."

"But you're not gonna live forever. You're gonna die. We're all gonna die. Me. Her. You. . . . You're dying right now. Right this minute." He looked at his watch, said, "Right this second," then tapped it with his finger. "See there? That second passed. It's gone. Not gonna come again. And while I'm talking to you, every second I'm talking, a second is passing. Gone. Count them up. Count them down. They're gone. Each one bringing you closer to your dying time."

"I don't like to think about that."

"You ever think about this? Every year you live, you pass the anniversary of your death. Now, you don't know what day it is, of course. You follow what I'm saying?"

Novalee nodded, but just barely, as if too much movement might break her concentration.

"Look here. Say you're gonna die on December eighth. Course, you don't know the date because you're still alive. But every year you live, you pass December eighth without knowing it's the anniversary of your death. You see what I mean?"

"Yeah." Novalee was wide-eyed, stunned by this startling new idea. "I'd never thought of that."

"No, not a lot of folks do. But listen. You're gonna die. But your name's not. No. It's gonna be written in somebody's Bible, printed in some newspaper. Cut into your gravestone. See, that name has a history. . . . And that history is gonna be there when you're not."

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Birthday Greeting for Elizabeth Laws Doyle


Elizabeth Laws Doyle is my g-g-grandmother. She was born on this date, October 28, in 1845 in Northumberland, England. I've been thinking about her today and wish to commemorate her day with this birthday postcard. It reads:


A Birthday Greeting
Of all the days of all the year
That bring their joys to you,
May this your Birthday bring you dear
The best you ever knew.


I hope you have a happy birthday, Gramma Doyle.

Orange Cake, Filling, Cupcakes -- Family Recipe Friday

This is another of Gramma Meinzen's recipes, copied into the Webster's Spelling recipe book.

I was surprised to see "crisco" as an ingredient in the cupcakes. I had no idea of Crisco's history and found that it was first available in 1911, at least a few years before my grandmother wrote her recipes. An excerpt from the Crisco website tells us that
Crisco was introduced by Procter & Gamble in 1911, to provide an economical alternative to animal fats and butter. To emphasize the purity of the product within, the Crisco can came inside an additional, removable over-wrap of white paper. Crisco, the first solidified shortening product made entirely of vegetable oil, was the result of hydrogenation, a new process that produced shortening that would stay in solid form year-round, regardless of temperature.

The first print advertisement for Crisco was released in popular women's magazines in January, 1912.
I also wondered about the "S. D. flour." I finally decided that it was Swans Down Cake Flour, "Americas #1 selling cake flour, [which] has set the standard for excellence in baking for more than 100 years." Who knew!
_____________________________________________________________________
Orange Cake
3 cups S. D. flour
3 level teas. Baking Powder.
1/2 cup butter.
1 1/4 " sugar
yolk 3 eggs well beaten
juice of one orange in
cup fill cup with water
making 1 full cup.
Rind of one whole orange
whites of 2 eggs.
Sift flour once measure
and add B. P. sift 3
times. cream butter and
sugar add grated rind
of orange and eggs yolks
well beaten now add flour
and water alternatley [sic]
beating long and hard.
Lastly add well beaten
whites of eggs.
_____________________________________________________________________
filling for cup cakes
hollow out centers
Mix crumbs with 1 cup
cream beaten stiff with
3 tablespoon powdered
sugar 1/2 cup diced
pineapple |drained|
refill cakes and replace tops
_____________________________
cup cakes
1 1/2 flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tea. B. powder
1/2 tea salt
1/4 cup crisco
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs.
flavoring

Orange cream filling
white of one large egg juice
of 1 orange 2 cup powdered
sugar. Put egg and
orange juice in deep
bowl. add sugar gradually
beating long and hard
until creamy and
consistency to spread
Spread on cake when cool

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

When She Turned 59

Mary Thompson Bickerstaff turned 59 on Monday, October 26, 1931. She was living in Mineral Ridge, Ohio. All of her children were grown, though her youngest daughter, Cora, 19, still lived at home. The photograph at right was taken in the spring of 1931.

The U.S. was just two years into the Great Depression in 1931. No doubt times were as tight for Mary and her family as they were for nearly everyone else. Gramma's dress was probably more than a few years old considering that its very low waist and ankle length were very different styles from those popular in 1931.

What might Gramma Bickerstaff's concerns have been in 1931? I have no way of knowing her most personal concerns but the October 24th issue of a local newspaper, The Youngstown Vindicator, gave me an idea of news of the day and some community and worldly concerns.

In Chicago, the tax evasion trial of "gangster overlord" Al Capone ended and Federal Judge James A. Wilkerson passed sentence of 11 years in the penitentiary and a fine of $50,000. Additionally, he ordered Capone to pay court costs.

Double headlines went to Los Angeles "Trunk Slayer," Mrs. Winnie Ruth Judd, 20, wife of a physician and daughter of a minister. One set of headlines read, "Woman Gives Self Up in Trunk Killings. Says She Shot Two Victims in Self Defense. Claims Murders were Committed in Fight with Victims. Tells of Being Wounded. Says Fear of Lockjaw Made Her Surrender--Expresses No Regrets." I didn't follow this story but surely my grandmother must have read about and wondered at the motive of Winnie Judd. Perhaps she and her husband, Edward, debated about the circumstances preceding the killings and whether she was telling the truth.

Another topic of discussion might have been the elections. The pages of the paper had articles about who was running for which office and what the issues were. Voter fraud was a problem. It seems that more than a few people registered to vote giving addresses where foundations remained but where homes no longer existed.

Prohibition was a topic of discussion in the newspaper. The churches took a stand with an ad about Temperance Day.

The paper filled a page of church-related articles including an illustrated Bible lesson.

There were the requisite sports pages; society news; and stock market reports. Other market reports included livestock, poultry, oil, produce, metal, rubber, feed, and foreign markets. And of course there was a weather prediction: a high of 77 and a low of 50 degrees.

The Vindicator published news columns from towns around Youngstown and in Trumbull and Columbiana Counties, including Newton Falls, Evansville, Lowellville, Southington, Damascus, Girard, McDonald, Kinsman, and Sebring. (Unfortunately, Mineral Ridge was not included. If Mineral Ridge had had a suburb, Evansville, barely a crossroads, would have been it.) The news from these towns included sentences such as, "John I. Evans has gone to Ruskin, Fla., where he will spend the winter." "George, little son of Mr. and Mrs. Hayes Mayan, is very ill with bronchial pneumonia." And "Mrs. Margaret Williams spent the week-end with relatives in Salineville."

Did my grandmother go to the movies? Would she have gone to the theater to see The Beloved Bachelor, Platinum Blonde, or Honor of the Family? Would she have thought Susan Lenox a little too risque?

Gramma certainly would have listened to the radio. She may have already had the schedule memorized it if was the same from day to day but just in case it wasn't, she could have checked the radio broadcast schedules of all the local stations in The Vindicator and read a list of highly recommended broadcasts.

If her grandchildren came to visit, the newspaper could have helped her entertain them with a Thornton Burgess bedtime story, "Bugler Becomes Humble," which offered the admonition "Beware the arrogance of pride;/ An humble spirit be your guide."

One of Gramma's very real concerns was probably keeping her home warm during the coming winter months. There were any number of coal dealers in the Youngstown area. She may have ordered her coal deliveries from Youngstown or maybe there a more local supplier. No doubt once she found a reliable source, she was a repeat customer.










Whatever her cares and interests of the day were, I hope she was remembered and honored as wife, mother, grandmother, and friend. I hope she had a happy birthday that year -- and I hope she has a happy birthday this year.

All images are from The Youngstown Vindicator.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

List of Old English Occupations - Tuesday's Tip

If you have ancestors from England and you've found an occupation listed on the census but you're not quite sure you know what it means, you may find List of Old English Occupations helpful. Even if you think you know what your ancestor did based on the name of his occupation, you may not be correct. If you don't find your ancestor's occupation on the list at this site you may still find the site interesting or amusing. There are 40 screens of definitions listed.

These occupations and their definitions gave me a chuckle:
  • buss maker: maker of guns ("Buss" is an old English word meaning "kiss.")
  • funambulist: tightrope walker (Fun, that is, if you don't mind heights.)
  • honey dipper: one who extracted raw sewage from catch basins and out-houses (Some honey!)
  • secret springer: one who made watch springs (Yes, a watch spring is so small that it would seem like a secret.)
  • zythepsarist: brewer (I hope the brewer didn't sample his brew too often or he probably had trouble stating his occupation.)

In the 1841 England census the occupation of my great-great-grandfather, Abel Armitage, was noted as
I have trouble deciphering those words. Could it be "Hordes Keeper" or "Horses Keeper" or "Heorde Keeper" or . . . . Unfortunately, I didn't find anything similar in the occupations list above. That's why I say you may find the list helpful. (If you have an idea what those two words are, please leave a comment and tell me. Thanks!)

In the 1851 England Census, Abel was listed as a rail porter. From the list of occupations, a porter was a door or gate keeper. Was there some transition from his keeping responsibilities in 1841 to his rail porter (door keeper) responsibilities in 1851?

Michael and Janet Wood are the compilers, keepers, and copyright holders of Old English Census Occupations and host the list on their website, World Through the Lens. They also offer Genealogy Index and Family History Sources.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Learning to Like RootsMagic

My responses to RootsMagic thus far:
  1. excitement when I finally had time to open the package and install the program
  2. surprise at its speed in transferring my family's names, dates, and sources from PAF
  3. uncertainty -- why are there blank spaces when there were no blank spaces in PAF?
  4. amazement at the variety of reports available for printing
I've found some good things about the program already.

I can see that RootsMagic offers more options for source documentation than PAF did, which is excellent. It's easy to add the kind of source (census, education, illness, occupation, will, etc.) from a drop-down list. I haven't yet added any documents yet. I want to learn more about the program before doing so. I don't want to have to go back and make corrections. It's easier to get it right from the beginning.

I like how the program suggests that we decide whether the source we're adding and transcribing is a primary document not. That will help with the credibility of my research.

The BEST thing to date is that I was able to change the color of the background. You can see it at the top of this post. Yes, I know that's a little thing. Really, it's a non-essential thing and if I couldn't have done it, I could have lived with the program the way it was. But you know how when you move to a new house with a new kitchen -- or for the guys, with a new garage or work area -- and you have to organize it before you can actually begin working there comfortably? Maybe you paint the walls or build some shelves or move things around? I have to get comfortable in my environment before I can do serious work. That comfort comes either with time, if I can't change things, or with being able to adjust the environment. The color was blue. Blue is my least favorite color. I was thrilled when I found green (though there are about 2 dozen other options, too). The font size on the screen was a whopping 14 point when 12 is plenty large (and still too large for notes). The program let me change that.

Renée TOMLINSON PETERSEN of Whispers from the Past/Tales Told, Jenny Lanctot of Are My Roots Showing?, and Amy Coffin of The We Tree Genealogy Blog all recommended that I watch the RootsMagic Webinars. I looked at the list of topics and will return when I have an hour and a half to concentrate. Soon! In the meantime, using Getting the Most Out of RootsMagic, a book which came with the program, and exploring the program are giving me plenty to do in small chunks of time.

It's Magic! was my first post about RootsMagic. I'm sure this one won't be my last one about the program.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Fourth Graders, Mineral Ridge School, 1924-25

This is my mother's 4th grade class at Mineral Ridge School in Mineral Ridge, Ohio. You can see her photo -- but not her face. She's the child in the front row, 5th from the left who scraped off the paper where her face had been. She turned 10 in 1925. Enlarge the photo for a better, clearer view by clicking on it.

Some of my observations about this photo:
  • Most of the girls have their hair bobbed.
  • Only two children have glasses: both girls, both with round frames.
  • More than half the girls' dresses are sewn from gingham or plaid fabrics.
  • Nine of the boys are wearing coats with belts that button around the waist.
  • The boys whose legs we can see sport short pants.
  • There's no teacher standing with the children.
  • I want a sweater like the one the boy in the upper left corner is wearing.
It's hard to read the expressions of some of these children. Most look serious or angry. A few have smiles. It's interesting to think that I probably knew some of these children when they were adults and I was a child.

This is a Sepia Saturday post. Click on the link to find others posts with old photographs.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Ordering Civil War Compiled Military Service Records

I've known for a few years that my great-great-grandfather, Ellis H. Bickerstaff, was a Civil War veteran who served in the 157th Regiment of the Ohio Volunteer Infantry, Company D. I soon learned that I could order information about his time in the Army from National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) but they'd just increased their fees and the charge for a Compiled Military Service Record (CMSR) was about $75.00. I just didn't have that much in my genealogy budget at the time so I laid that research aside until later.

Ellis was on mind today and I knew I needed to do something for him: find his Civil War service records. I pulled out my Bickerstaff file, found his Graves Registration Card, and headed to NARA's website, Civil War Records. It is an excellent resource detailing what records are available at NARA (though it didn't have a direct link to a site where I could order records). At this site I found
  • a good bibliography of other resources
  • details about the basic records including CMSR, pension records, and records of events of the companies
  • where these records can be found
  • links to Civil War photographs and maps
  • sources for photographs and maps that are not available online
  • information about the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) which is not affiliated with the U.S. Army
  • and sources for information about other Civil War records
My next step was to find how to order records from NARA. I searched again and found Civil War Service Records Research Guide. This site was focused on finding Compiled Military Service Records and offered
  • information about the records for Union and Confederate soldiers
  • finding aides and a list of the information required to order records
  • links to indexes where I could find regiment and company (if not yet known)
  • a direct link for ordering records online
  • a direct link to a site for printing mail order forms
  • the locations of microfilms containing CMSR
  • a link for information about ordering Union and Confederate pension records
I was surprised to learn that Fold3 has some records available online (but not Ohio) for both Union and Confederate soldiers.

I finally arrived at NARA's Veterans' Service Records where I ordered Ellis H. Bickerstaff's Compiled Military Service Records online. The fee was $25.00, about 60% less than I expected to pay. The cost is the same for either paper copies or a CD with the records. If you prefer to order the records by mail, you can print the form there. I ordered paper copies.

And now the waiting begins. Records may take 30 to 90 days to arrive.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A Change to My Blog Template

It's an unnerving experience to change my blog's template and format, particularly because my technical abilities are limited. But it had to be done. The only way I can show you before and after views is with screenshots. What do you think? Which looks/looked better on your screen?



I originally chose the wider format because the art background in me says "fill the page" and that format did. But I realized while on a computer at the public library that the screen was filled with a messy jumble. I questioned a few other readers and realized that some of them sometimes saw a jumble, too. Honestly, I suspect that some readers left in disgust when they saw the mess. All that time so carefully arranging photographs was for naught.

Obviously the change was necessary. I hope you now see a narrower format that neatly fits on your screen without a jumble. I've changed some colors for the autumn season, too.

Please tell me what you see now when you look at this new format-- jumble or not? I'd appreciate the input.

Thanks to all of you who have continued to read my blog posts despite the mess. I appreciate it.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Helps for Translating the Old German Typeface - Tuesday's Tip

As you search for your German ancestors there may be times when a search engine will find an ancestor's name in a newspaper which is printed in German. (Isn't OCR amazing?!) What happens when you know or suspect the article is about your ancestor but you can't read German? There's help if you're willing to patiently examine the letters and translate them.

I find the chart at right useful because it shows our Roman letters and both the old German type and the old German script. It will be helpful when translating newspapers as well as old German documents with mixed type and script. This is from KrauseHouse.

America Writes Home is another source showing Roman letters and both German type fonts and script letters. From all of these sources you can see variations of script, though the type fonts are essentially the same. If you are trying to translate a document with both type and script such as a church or civil record, it's helpful to have a variety of sources since you may need to determine which type of script was used. A previous post, Helps for Translating That Old German Handwriting, gives sources to aid in the translation of script lettering.

The chart at left, also from KrauseHouse, may be a bit better than the one above because it includes modified vowels and compound consonants, integral parts of the German language.

KrausHouse has another chart which shows Roman letters, German letters, German script letters, and approximate pronunciation in German. It could be helpful if you need to spell out a word to a German speaker.

After you've translated the old German font into Roman letters, you'll still need to translate from German to English unless you're already able to do that. If you can't, I find BeoLingus helpful for just such a situation.

Google News Archive has several German newspapers if you'd like to practice your translation skills. (You can look at this one if you like.) I tried it and decided it's not easy. Nor was there much incentive since I chose a large font advertisement (because I couldn't find a news article about my ancestor).

My motive for learning to translate old German into English is this: a year or so ago I learned that my great-grandfather, Henry Meinzen, may have served in the Civil War. Since he would have recently arrived from Germany, I thought perhaps his enlistment would have been mentioned in one of the local German newspapers. I thought it wouldn't be too hard to recognize at least his last name if I saw it. How wrong I was! German newspaper typefaces of the 1860s look as unlike Roman letters as possible. Armed with the aids I've shared in this post, I will make a second attempt at deciphering the local German newspaper of his day. I think I'll translate "enlistment," "Meinzen," "soldiers" and other words that may have been used to publish an enlistment announcement into German, then find the old German letters for the words. I am ever hopeful of finding more about Henry.

For readers hoping to translate old German script go to Helps for Translating That Old German Handwriting.

Copyright © 2010 by NDM for My Ancestors and Me.

Monday, October 17, 2011

It's Magic!

RootsMagic, that is. It really did seem like magic as I saw the names from my old program appear on the RootsMagic screen.

I've been using PAF (Personal Ancestral File) since I began searching for my ancestors. I have been perfectly satisfied with it. It's easy to use and I can record all the information I've found that documents the lives of my ancestors. Keeping track of them has been easy as I click through the pedigree chart and change between that view and the family group screen. But I knew PAF was at a dead end. I knew there would be no more updates, no more improvements, and no easy connection between my database and new.FamilySearch.org to make finding duplicates of my ancestors easier. I knew it was time for a change.

When I talked to others about what program they used many of them not only recommended RootsMagic; they raved about it. When it went on sale a month or two ago, I bought it. (And have just now had time to install it.)

After installation this evening I viewed the brief tutorial and then created a file. The program asked me if I wanted to begin typing new information or import information from another program. I chose import and told it where to find my PAF file. Truly, it looked like magic as I saw my family's names appear in the RootsMagic screen between blinks. Fast and efficient.

All of this is not to say that I like RootsMagic. At least not yet. I may come to like it, maybe even love it. But at the moment it's too new for me to feel comfortable with it yet. I need to learn how to maneuver through it, explore it's capabilities, and learn how to best put it to use. I've already noticed several advantages but there are other aspects of it that seem cumbersome.

Change is sometimes hard. Blogger is making enough changes without my putting myself through the adjustment to a new genealogy program, but I knew it had to be done. At least I can rely on PAF while I learn the ins and outs of RootsMagic.

Do you use RootsMagic? What's great about it?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The New Mr. and Mrs.

Presenting Natasha and Jesse, my daughter and her husband, who were married on Saturday, October 8, 2011.

Sometimes one searches for family history. Other times one is involved in making family history. I've been doing the latter these past few months as I've tailored Natasha's wedding dress (with the help of an expert seamstress) and prepared for a celebration following their sacred wedding ceremony.

Saturday's weather offered a clear, crisp, bright day as its gift to the couple. Inside, the temple presented them with refreshing peace and calm. Family and friends showered them with love as we gathered to support them in the beginning of their new life together.

My family and I wish them all the best!

Photograph is courtesy of Frozen in Time Photography.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Welcoming Jesse

Jesse became our newest family member on Saturday, October 8, when he became my daughter Natasha's husband.

Perhaps you can guess from his photo that Jesse has a healthy sense of humor. He makes my daughter (and the rest of us) laugh. He is creative, not just in terms of the arts, but is also a creative thinker. He sees solutions to problems that others may not think of. He is a hard worker with a strong work ethic. And he is perceptive. When he sees that something needs done, he does it.

Best of all, I believe he will love and honor Natasha and do all within his power to bring her happiness.

Welcome, Jesse!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Marsha on Her Trike

This photo was taken a while ago when my sister was 4 or 5 years old. Don't you love her neat little blouse tucked into her skirt with the tiny light-colored sweater? And notice the bow in her hair. It's surprising that she's so dressed up and Mom let her ride her trike. She was probably a very obedient child who stayed clean when Mom told her to.

I can't tell what's behind her trike but it almost looks like something is attached and she's pulling it.

This photo looks like it was taken in my grandparents' driveway. They had grape vines on fences making a border between their driveway and their back yard.

My sister Marsha's birthday is today, October 9. Happy Birthday, dear sister.
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