Tag Archives: Family Memories

A Block in Each Hand

16 Jul

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

I really must brag a little bit here…you will understand as this missive progresses.

Our oldest daughter, Karen, was born in Wiesbaden, West Germany.  She was already on-the-way when we flew over there for Fred’s Air Force assignment.  We were absolutely thrilled that she made her appearance pretty much on schedule.

I have a picture of her – and a cute memory – of an occurrence when she was seven months old. 

She wasn’t walking yet – or talking yet – but she looovvvved her Daddy.

I had her sitting on our bed this one particular instance and was talking to her, when Fred happened to walk past the bedroom doorway.  He did NOT come into the room.  Karen saw him walk by, and reached out her arm, as if to say – DADDY…COME HERE!  And here’s that picture.

Karen – 7 months old, Wiesbaden, Germany

I’m not quite sure just when I learned the following “trick” for when children are learning to walk, and whether or not I used it with our two girls, but somewhere along the line, I learned to do this, and have passed it along to many new mothers and fathers.  I thought I had told both of our girls when their children were growing up, but neither remembers me telling them about it.

To describe it:  I might have mentioned in previous postings that Fred and I have a great-grandson, Silas. 

Silas – 8 months old

Karen and her husband, Brian, get to see him quite often – about once a week, as they go to Forrest and Alyssa’s house to “babysit” so Forrest and Alyssa can have some time off and together time.

Forrest, Alyssa and Silas

Recently, while they were babysitting, Karen did a “duo” cell phone call with us, where we can see that adorable great-grandson of ours, and he can see us. He was a busy little bee that day. He also had one of those push-type toys that he was pushing and walking behind throughout the house.  At one point, Silas took Brian’s fingers in his little hand and began to “walk” around the house.

And so – here comes the “trick” – I mentioned to Karen and Brian that they – or Forrest and Alyssa – should put a block in each of his hands, and he would walk! He thinks that he is holding on to something or someone, and it gives him the assurance that he can really walk!

Credit Pixabay

And what to our surprise, but Karen sent us a VERY short (six seconds!) video of Silas walking – with a block in each hand!!  She said they had suggested it to Forrest and Alyssa, and they actually did it.  And they gave me credit for the suggestion!  (That’s where the bragging part comes in!)

So…if ever you or someone you know wants to encourage a small child to “walk” without help – just put a block in each hand – and watch them go!  It really works!

Judy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years .

  Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing. Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.

After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins as well as a great-grandson. She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Some Random Thoughts…

31 Mar

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 There are times when it seems like nothing comes to my mind to write about.  And then I will have some fleeting thoughts flit through my mind and disappear just as quickly.  Sometimes I can grab hold of some of them and put them down on paper – or in this case, on the page in the computer.

That happened recently, and here is what I grabbed onto:

When our oldest grandson was born and grew from a baby to a little boy, I was pleased to see that he looked like he would have more of the “Wills” side of the family than his father’s side.

 

One of my favorite pictures of a very young Forrest

 

But as he grew into his teen years, I saw him evolving into his father’s features more and more.  Not surprising, and he became a very handsome young man.  I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised – as here is one of my favorite pictures of Forrest with  his father and him, at a very early age.  They could be twins!

 

Brian and Forrest

 

But now Forrest is a grown man, and married to a delightful young lady, they have given us our first great-grandchild! Karen (our firstborn – and Forrest’s mother) and I were discussing Forrest and Silas (Forrest’s son – our great-grandson) not too long ago, and I was trying to determine who I think Silas looks like.  Karen stated that she sees my Fred in Forrest…..and I’m sure my jaw dropped to the floor!  I had never considered that!

 

However, here is a picture I found recently, where I can see the resemblance.  When I saw the picture, my thought was – “there’s Forrest!!”  Amazing.  And here I didn’t think there was any Wills influence in him at all.  Silly me.  What do you think of this comparison?

 

Fred and Karen, 1969 – Karen is 2 years old

Forrest, Alyssa and baby Silas

 

How Silas measures up remains to be seen. Hope Fred and I live long enough to see how that unfolds.

More next week…

 

 

 

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

White Sands

24 Feb

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

Have you ever had the opportunity to “play” in a sand dune?  I remember outside of Albuquerque, New Mexico, where I grew up, were some great sand dunes, and we used to drive there and just spend time romping through the dunes. It was great fun!

However, I remember once when I was working in a multi-storied building downtown that we were able to watch a huge sandstorm blowing from the east into town.  It was blowing a lot of that sand from the dunes – and it was a rather frightening thing to see.

Each of our 50 United States has a state motto. New Mexico’s motto is: The Land of Enchantment.  And then, when you are out in a sand storm, you must be careful not to get any of that “enchantment” in your eyes!

 

 

Perhaps you’ve heard of White Sands, New Mexico? It’s a U.S. National Monument (part of the U.S. National Park Service), and is located between Las Cruces and Alamogordo, in central-southern New Mexico.  It was established as a National Monument in 1933.  It’s also near Holloman AFB.

 

Credit Google Search and National Park Service

 

On March 30, 1982, the space shuttle Columbia landed at the White Sands Missile Range, after being diverted from Edwards AFB in California.  Bad weather at Edwards had made the landing strip there too wet to handle the weight of the shuttle.

 

Space Shuttle Columbia landing at White Sands Missile Range, 1982

Credit Google Search and NASA website

According to Wikipedia:   Its white sands are not composed of quartz, like most desert sands, but of gypsum and calcium sulfate. Unlike other desert sands, it is cool to the touch, due to the high rate of evaporation of surface moisture and the fact that the sands reflect, rather than absorb, the sun’s rays. At 1185 meters [3888 feet] above sea level, there are approximately 442 square kilometers [162 square miles]of dune fields and is known to be the world’s largest surface deposit of gypsum.

 

Do you know the difference between a National Park and a National Monument?  I didn’t for a long time.  Here is an explanation I found online:

According to the National Park Service, “a national park is intended to preserve at least one nationally significant resource, whereas a national monument is usually larger and preserves a variety of nationally significant resources.”

 

If you have ever walked on a “beach” with the brown sand that is associated with beaches everywhere (except Panama City, Florida, whose beaches are white sand), you will remember you had to walk really fast – because the sand was so hot!  Not so with the sands at White Sands National Park.

I remember going with family to White Sands several times in my life.  Here are some pictures I have of the park, I’ve marked the ones I purchased.  The others are of my family.

 

Purchased slide – Battle for vegetation

Purchased slide

Purchased slide

My Granny and her sister – 1959

My Granny holding their dog, Trixie,

Granny’s sister and her husband,

a friend of the family

Granny and Trixie, inspecting the sand

 

This picture on the website caught my attention. The write-up stated:  Moonlight hikes and sunset tours are available throughout the year from the visitor center, so visitors can get a whole new perspective as the light changes.

 

Credit Google Search and White Sands website

 

If you are ever in that area, be sure and give the White Sands National Monument a visit.  It is well worth the time to get THAT sand in your shoes!!

 

 

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

That Cockroach

17 Feb

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

Back in 1990, our Aunt Jessie died.  She was the only “Auntie” on my mother’s side, and was quite special to my brother and me.  She was an antique expert, and had many items of antiques in her home – be it furniture or dishes, or whatever.

 

Jessie and some of her antiques

 

At this point, I want to copy from an older post of mine about Aunt Jessie:

Unfortunately, Jessie never thought any of us wanted anything of hers.  Because none of us had expressed an interest in any of her things, some time before she died I suggested we should all make a list of her things we wanted, and give it to her.  If there was a duplication in “wishes” – hers was to be the final decision. She was quite delighted to see how much we loved her things, after all.  And, I must admit that, after I had made my “list,” I finished it with the statement that we would rather have HER in our lives than anything of hers….but that we loved her and wanted to have keepsakes of her.

Consequently, we all were able to acquire something of Jessie’s that we loved, and reminded us of her.  One of the items was her car.

 

 

Bill and DiVoran drove it from Albuquerque to Florida.  He kept that car for many years.  Here’s his description:

Jessie’s car that I bought from mother after Jessie died was a 1978 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme, that had only about 75,000 miles on it. It was in excellent shape, having been a “high-desert” car (no humidity) and having been kept in the garage all its life (no rust). I had the entire car Ziebart rust-protected and undercoated as soon as we got home to Florida.  After all the years I drove that car in our Florida weather (and with it parked in our driveway), it still had very little (if any) rust on it (and still had just over 150,000 miles on the speedometer) when I traded it in on the 1984 Oldsmobile Cutlass Supreme we bought in 1988. That’s about all I can remember.

 

At one point, Fred and I (and I think Janet) came down to Florida from Virginia for a visit.  It was probably Spring Break, but I’m not sure.  I do remember Mother was with us.

We were out one day, riding in that Olds.  It was a two-door car, and I was sitting in the back seat.  I saw a “movement” of some sort out of the corner of my eye.  I looked down and saw – A COCKROACH!  I let out a yelp and Bill, who was driving, said, “what’s the matter?  What is it?”

I said, “there’s a cockroach back here!!”

Bill looked at DiVoran and said, “I thought you took care of that roach!”  And DiVoran then looked at Bill and said, “I thought YOU took care of that roach!”

We continued on our journey, but I made good and sure that I didn’t see that roach at any other time on the trip!  I hate cockroaches!!!  I’m sorry God saw fit to make that particular insect!

 

Credit Google Search and http://www.schendelpest.com

 

 

 

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

A Sweet Memory

27 Jan

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

I have mentioned, in previous postings, that my Father came from a large family – he was number five in a group of 13 children. He was born in 1892, and was 20 years older than my Mother.

 

10 of the 13 children – 1936-1938  Daddy is fourth from left. Uncle Ed is on the left.

 

I think his closest sibling was a brother, Edwin, who we called Uncle Ed, or E.O.  He had left the family farm, went to college, and had a typewriter shop in Shreveport, Louisiana.  He had married, but had no children.  He became a widower in about 1961.

While Fred and I lived in Fort Worth, Texas, he married a lovely lady, Joecilla, who had been widowed very young, after about four years of marriage, and never married again – until she met Uncle Ed. He moved to her house outside of Shreveport.

 

Uncle Ed and Aunt Joecilla visiting Albuquerque, New Mexico – 1960’s

 

When our little family was moving from San Antonio, Texas to Florida in 1974, we stopped to visit and stay with Uncle Ed and Aunt Joecilla for a few days.  She had a dress shop in her little town, and women from Shreveport would drive the 30 miles from Shreveport to shop in her store.  She had quite good taste in clothing.

Uncle Ed was two years older than my Father, and at his age at that time – 84 – was in rather ill health.  As a footnote – my father had already passed away by this time.

To tell this story, I must brag a bit here – both of our daughters were reading before they ever went to school.  That includes kindergarten at age five.  I have always said that being able to read is probably one of the most important things in life.  If you can’t read, you can’t do math, since many math problems are word problems.

I have a sweet memory stored away in my mind of Karen, sitting on that big blue couch in the picture below, with a book on her lap, as if she were reading it.  She was about three years old, and the book was upside down!  But she wanted to read so badly, she was trying to make the words work for her.

In any case, at this point of time, our Karen was seven-years-old (7) and Janet was four-years-old (4).

 

 

Karen had been through kindergarten and first grade before we moved to Florida.  However, she and I had been reading together since she was quite small, and by the time she was in kindergarten, she was one of only a few in her class that finished the reading program the school offered.

All of that is important to this story.  You see, while we were visiting Uncle Ed and Aunt Joecilla in 1974, there was one day that I went looking for Karen for some reason.  I couldn’t seem to find her anywhere.  However, when I looked in the den, there was Uncle Ed, stretched out on the sofa with an afghan draped over him.  And there was Karen, sitting on a stool at his side, reading a story to him!  He was enraptured with her and her story!  I have no remembrance of the story she was reading, but she was having a great time reading to him, and he was having a great time listening to her!  They just enjoyed each others’ company.  I waited until she had finished the story before approaching her with whatever I needed her to do.  I most certainly didn’t want to interrupt that sweet time between the two of them.

As I said – it is a sweet memory for me.

And just incidentally – she is a librarian now!

 

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

My Children in Church~Part 2

20 Jan

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

As I mentioned in my previous posting, a memory came to my mind recently that caused me to giggle.  When I described it to Fred, my husband, he chuckled, as well. Hope you think it’s funny, as well.

Also as I mentioned, we were in a fairly large church at that time – the time of this incident.

 

Credit Google Search and First Baptist Church, Panama City, Florida website

 

Because it was a large church, the Minister of Music wanted the choir to stay in the choir loft during the entire morning service, and, surprisingly, he wanted us to stay up in the choir loft during the EVENING service, as well.  Being dutiful choir members, we did just that.  We weren’t too keen on staying up during the evening service, as that meant that we were never able to sit with our children during any worship service. But that was a sacrifice we made, to be part of the music program at that church.

Well, I know that children will get into all kinds of trouble in church.  Just the nature of the beast, I guess.  I remember some stunts I pulled as a child, so I guess I should have expected our girls to follow along that path.  And they did!

But this one particular evening service – it was along about the same time frame as the incident mentioned in my previous post – as I was in the choir, listening to the pastor give his sermon, that I noticed our two girls.  They happened to be sitting with two of their good friends.  The boys’ mother was also in the choir with us.

I noticed that all four of the children would look down together at something in the hands of one of the boys.  And then they would look way up.  That puzzled me.  What in the world were they looking at?  Look down….look way up…..look down….look way up.  On and on it went.  I finally managed to look up at the same time they did – and what did I see? The reflection of a hand-held mirror, bouncing off the mirror from one of the chandeliers in the Sanctuary – and hitting the ceiling of the Sanctuary!  He must have finally found just the right angle for the mirror to reflect on the ceiling!

Before I had time to get up and leave the choir loft – the service ended.  As you might imagine, I made a mad dash to the children!!  I told them two things: 1) you four are NEVER to sit together again. 2) don’t ever bring a mirror into the Sanctuary again!  Actually, I told the girls a third thing – LOOK AT ME OCCASIONALLY!!  I would give them “the look” and they knew that I meant for them to stop whatever they were doing and SIT STILL!  Pay attention to what was being said!

Oh well, kids will be kids, I guess.  But it’s a funny memory to have.  And, as I posted last time:

Children are a heritage from the Lord….

Psalm 127:3

 

Karen and Janet – 1976

 

 

 

JUDYJudy is living in Central Florida with her retired U.S. Air Force husband of 50+ years. Born in Dallas, Texas, she grew up in the Southwestern United States.She met her husband at their church, where he was attending the university in her town. After college and seminary, he entered the Air Force, and their adventures began.They lived in eight of our United States, and spent six years in Europe, where their oldest daughter was born. She was a stay-at-home mom for many years
Judy has always been involved with music, both playing the piano and singing.
Always interested in exercise, she was an aerobic dancing instructor, as well as a piano teacher for many years, and continues to faithfully exercise at home.
After moving to Central Florida, she served as a church secretary for nearly nine years.Her main hobby at this point in time is scanning pictures and 35mm slides into the computer. She also enjoys scrapbooking.
She and her husband have two married daughters and four grandchildren, including grandtwins.
She and her husband enjoy the Disney parks as often as possible.

Hermit Dam

8 Jul

My Take

DiVoran Lites

 

Our family, Ivan, Dora, DiVoran, andDavid moved to Westcliffe after Dad came home from WWII. We lived in the Wet Mountain Valley with the Sangre de Cristo Range to the west of us.

 

 

 

This is part of the 9.6-mile road to Hermit Dam. Nowadays it is considered one of the most dangerous roads in America and one of the ten highest in Colorado. The road becomes a trail before you get to the lake, so you must get out of your four-wheeled vehicle and walk. No horses are allowed on the road or on the trail. I have a bit of news about that. Tell you later.

 

Hermit Lake

 

Dad became involved withthe local men who hunted and fished in the mountains. He enjoyedhelpingstock the lake with Rainbow, Brown, Cutthroat, and Brook trout from a small private airplane. He also took tourists on tours up into the mountains, on horseback.

By the time he was eight, David was a better horseman than I, so he would ride Dixie, a skittish paint, and I’d ride Derby a more gentle soul. One time going back down, we got ahead of the parents and came to a fork in the trail. In that spot we were on flat ground, so we decided to gallop. David and Dixie went first and as always, Derby and I followed their hard pace. Then the trail forked and Dixie took the left side. Fully expecting my horse to follow I leaned left. This was one time, however,that my horse sense failed me. Derby served to the right and I flew off, thus receiving my first flying lesson. Thank the Lord I was not hurt. The parents were still lollygagging behind and never knew a thing about our shenanigans.

Another time I went swimming in a freezing cold alpine lake made by a beaver dam. When I got out I couldn’t stop shivering, but everybody thought I was pretty brave, so it was worth it.

One fine spring day we were in the mountains and mother made a camping stew. We always kidded her that she put everything in the pot including cans of sardines and peaches. This particular day, she found dandelions growing and stripped them of their leaves to cook apart from the stew. She had been a campfire girl and knew a lot about camping and nature. She would never pull a wildflower out by the roots because then they wouldn’t be able to grow again. As we sat down to eat, giant snowflakes fell, but it was only one of those spring storms and uskids enjoyed catching the cold flakes on our tongues.

When I grew up, I married Bill and we had two children. Bill got laid off from work at the Cape and we took a six-week camping trip out west with our children.

We went to Westcliffe so the kids could see the schools I’d gone to, and where I had lived with my family. While we were there, I urged Bill to go on up to Hermit Lake so they could all see where good times with my family took place. We didn’t know it required a four-wheelvehicle. I will let Bill tell you rest:

 

“This was the roughest road (if you could call it a road) I had ever traveled in any kind of vehicle.  Here we were in a 1958 Ford station wagon (adjusted for sea level operations), pulling a pop-up camper up that one-lane road to an altitude of almost 12,000 feet.  Once we started up that road, we had to keep going.  At some points,we were moving no faster thana slow walk, having to steer around large boulders.

“I was getting worried that we would not be able to find a place to turn aroundwhen after two hours we came to the end of the nine miles of road. Luckily there was a flat space just large enough that we could turn around. Since it was getting dark we decided to set up the camper and spend the night there. Even though it was summertime, at that altitude the night was cold. The next morning we cooked breakfast, packed up the camper and got ready to head back to Westcliffe.  Well,guess what?  The car wouldn’t start!

It seems we had developed tiny cracks in the spark plugwires.  Now, with the air at this high altitude being so thin, the spark was jumping from the spark plugwires to the block, and not to the plugs. I removed the wire from each plug, cleaned and dried it, wrapped electrical tape around it, and reinstalled it. That coupled with the rising afternoon temperature, seemed to do the trick. With the car running, we now embarked on our two-hour adventure back down the mountain to Westcliffe.  WOW– What a trip!  I sure don’t want to ever have to make a trip like that again.

As I remember it, the reason we didn’t walk on up to the lake that morning was that the clouds were covering the mountain below us and we could barely see the road to get down, so we wouldn’t have been able to see the lake which was higher than where we camped.”

 

Thanks, Bill, not only for writing your take on itbut for getting us out of every jam we’ve been in for most of our lives. I thank God for you.

For years I’ve thought my life was regular and uneventful, but when I look back now and see the things I was privileged to participate in I know I had many adventures that perhaps others had not had. I also thank God for my mother, father, and brother and for all the things we did together.

Here’s a YouTube link that shows the road to Hermit Dam as it is now.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iRqcN1Ozv0

 

 

 

Author, Poet and Artist

 

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

I Remember…Cousins, Mother’s Side-Part 3

10 Jun

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

 

Uncle Frank didn’t like to have his picture taken. We only have a few pictures of him. After Mother and Jessie died, and Bill gave me all the family pictures, I began scanning them into the computer. Jessie had a bunch of slides, and they were scanned as well.  When I told Pat about that, he requested copies of any pictures I had with Frank in them.  And I have done so.  Here are a couple of them.

 


1959 – Uncle Frank and Aunt Lillie – San Antonio, Texas

 


1959 – Uncle Frank, Aunt Lillie, my Granny – San Antonio, Texas

 

1959 – Uncle Frank – San Antonio, Texas

 

 

At least he’s smiling in this one.

 

An amusing story about that family came up when we were staying with Aunt Lillie in 1974.  You see, back in the 1940’s, Jessie owned a small diner in downtown San Antonio, Texas.  (Please see my post of November 17, 2013 –My Aunt Jessie – Part 1)

 

San Antonio, Texas – Jessie’s little diner

 

Granny made some delicious pies for that diner that were a hit with anyone who ate a slice.  My favorite – to this day – was her chocolate cream pie (we just called it Granny’s Chocolate Pie). Yummmmmmmm!  Lillie loved it, as well, and made it often for her family.  She told me that one time she had made the pie, and it looked so good that she ate a slice.  Then she wanted another slice and ate it.  Then she realized that her boys would know that she had eaten so much of it, so she ate THE ENTIRE REST OF THE PIE!  And made a second pie for the family.  When I told Pat this story in 2001, he said “I didn’t know that.”  I said:  “she didn’t want you to know!”

One more thing about Aunt Lillie – she was a great cook!  As a matter of fact, she was a cook at an elementary school near her house.  When we were staying with her in 1971, she saw that we ate a Sara Lee Coffee Cake nearly every morning.  When she noticed that we were discarding the foil containers the coffee cake came in, she asked if we would save them for her.  Seems that road workers would come into the school and purchase a lunch from them, because the food was so good, but she had nothing to put the food in.  So our little foil containers were just what she needed.

For a time, Pat and his wife, Lee, lived in Albuquerque.  Actually in Rio Rancho, just outside the main city of Albuquerque, on the west mesa. On one of our visits there, Fred and I agreed to meet them at La Placita Mexican Restaurant in Old Town Albuquerque. Later, Pat said that, when they moved back to Texas, he could see Lee’s fingernail grooves in the road all the way! She really loved New Mexico and didn’t want to return to Texas.

Back in 2001 when Pat and Jimmie came to visit, they stayed with us for a few days.  We met up with Bill, DiVoran, and their family in Titusville for dinner one evening.  Bill agreed to escort them to Kennedy Space Center the next day, and the boys were excited by that prospect.  They went with Bill to KSC on September 10, 2001.  When 9-11 happened, I remember thinking, “WOW!  If they had been one day later, they wouldn’t have been able to get onto KSC, as everything was closed after the terrorist attack!”  I’m glad they were able to have a good day there.

Fred and I were able to meet up with Pat, Lee, and Gary last year on our road trip.  Here is a picture of them at the table at the BBQ place where we ate.

 

Cousin Gary, Lee – Pat’s wife, Cousin Pat

 

And on a recent trip, Bill was able to meet up with Pat and Lee for a meal.  He hadn’t seen them since that 2001 visit, when Jimmie was with Pat.

Family is always important, and these cousins have meant a great deal to my family.  I’m glad we have been able to stay connected all these years.

 

I thank my God every time I remember you

Philippians 1:3

 

1989 – Albuquerque, New Mexico
Stepfather Sid, Cousin Pat, Aunt Jessie, Mother

 

 

 

~~~~~~~~~~The End~~~~~~~~~

I Remember… Cousins, Mother’s Side-Part 2

3 Jun

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

 

 We always made the time to go see my cousin’s family when we went to San Antonio for a visit.  I always thought their little house was an interesting house.  Turns out that it was actually hand-made – quite literally – by Lillie’s husband, Frank.  I think they added onto it as each son was born.  Aunt Jessie and Granny lived in San Antonio until about 1952, when they moved to Albuquerque.  We didn’t make as many trips to Texas after they moved to Albuquerque, so didn’t see the cousins as often.  I just remember how much fun we had playing together.

Here are a couple of pictures from 1944.  That’s me with my cousin Gary in Granny’s backyard in San Antonio.

 

 

 

 

And here’s one of Bill and Jimmie Mac in San Antonio.

 

 

 

Here’s one of the three sisters.

 

Granny, Lillie, Loa

 

I think it’s in front of Lillie’s house in San Antonio in 1950.

When Fred was stationed in San Antonio 1971-1974, we stayed with Aunt Lillie until we found a house.  Janet called her “Aunt Willie.”  Here’s a picture of Lillie and our girls.

 

 

Pat and his wife were living in the area, and we were able to see them frequently. We didn’t see much of Jimmie or Gary.

However, I remember one Christmas while we were there.  Aunt Lillie had invited our family to join hers at her house for Christmas Day, and so we went there.  Our Karen was probably six years old, and Janet was just a little thing – probably around 2½ years old.  All three boys were there, as well.  We had the traditional Christmas of opening packages, and the Christmas dinner.  While we were cleaning up from the meal, Janet was quite interested in the ornaments on the tree, and began examining them. Unfortunately, that meant pulling at them, trying to get them off the tree and into her hand.  I realized, just too late, what she was doing, when….down came the tree – ornaments and all!!  Fortunately, it didn’t land on anyone!  The boys came in from the kitchen and said, “well, I guess it’s time to take down the tree!”  We all pitched in and took off the ornaments and Christmas decorations and they hauled the tree outside.  I felt rather bad about it, but they assured me it was okay.

 

And I really want to tell you about the boy’s father, our Uncle Frank.  There are a couple of things that we’ve chuckled about through the years:

 

  1. For some reason, Frank decided that he was going to die when he was 40 years old. When he didn’t die at age 40, it made him mad….and he was mad for 30 more years.   He died in 1968 at age 70!

 

  1. We had a saying around our house – “I had one of Uncle Frank’s days today.”  And everyone would laugh.  It took a while for Mother and Aunt Jessie to explain that expression to me.  You see, he would come home from work (I never knew just what his work was), and proclaim that “well, I had a h***uvaday today, just a h***uvaday!”  So, even now, when we have a difficult day, we look at each other and say, “I had one of Uncle Frank’s days today” and know just what we mean.  It’s been a source of laughter in our family for quite a while.  I’ve told many friends about it, and they enjoy it, as well…and usually say it back to us!

 

~~~~~~~~~~To Be Continued~~~~~~~~~~

 

A 1960 California Family Christmas

25 Mar

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

I know….I know….Christmas was either three months ago – or nine months to come. So I am either WAY late or WAY early with this post! However, in going through my pictures recently – something I really enjoy doing – I came upon the Christmas before Fred and I married, and it was in California with my parents and Bill and DiVoran.

We stayed with Bill and DiVoran in their tiny little house, so it was cramped spaces, but sometimes that can be the most fun, right?

 

 

In any case, we drove from Albuquerque, New Mexico early that morning, and drove straight through to Inglewood, California. It was a long drive, but there were four drivers, so it wasn’t too bad. We drove in Fred’s car – that lovely, classic 1957 Chevy Bel Air.

 

It was a dream to drive and to ride in. And with the four of us in the car together – Mom, Dad, Fred and me – we had a great time together. I remember starting out that there was frost on the windows. It didn’t take long before the sunshine on the car melted the frost, even though it was so cold outside.

Because Bill and DiVoran’s house was small, DiVoran made the best use of the space, knowing we would really crowd the place. There was no room for a Christmas tree, so she made one out of a tinsel garland, tacked on one wall.

 

 

She placed ornaments on the “tree” and a star at the top. They had a credenza underneath it where we placed our Christmas gifts. It was quite unique and imaginative. She’s so creative, and it shows in the paintings she does, as well.

I remember them setting up a cot for Fred to sleep on.

 

Bill and DiVoran sitting on Fred’s cot

 

There was a couch that I suspect folded down to make a bed, where my parents slept.

 

 

I have absolutely NO memory of where I slept, but perhaps there was another cot somewhere in that room that was my spot for sleeping. Perhaps they put me in the kitchen? It was a one-bedroom little house, and Bill and DiVoran slept in their bed. It was quite cozy!

We had some plans for things to do while there. I know we went to Disneyland one day.

 

 

 

We went to Marineland.

 

 

To Knott’s Berry Farm.

 

We kept busy, and made the most of our trip.

When Christmas Day arrived, we had a great meal together. And it was made even better because DiVoran’s parents came and joined us at the table. My mom and dad ate from TV trays, but that didn’t lessen the fun. It was just a great time together.

It just goes to show that you don’t have to have a lot of space, or expensive tastes, to have a wonderful family time together. And that’s the key – time together. That’s what makes family. We are blessed.

 

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