Tag Archives: Family Memories

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.

 

People Do the Funniest Things

18 Mar

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

Have you ever just sat back and “people-watched?” You know – just watched people as they passed by you and noticed some of the things they were doing? I find it a fun and fascinating thing to do.

One of the first things I learned about my now-husband, Fred, is that he didn’t like mayonnaise – or mustard – or catsup – or anything with vinegar in it – or….well, you get the picture.

 

 

He didn’t like ANY of that stuff! Curious as to why, he told me that, when he and his siblings said something bad, instead of washing his mouth out with soap – she would put mustard on their tongues!!

 

 

Credit Google Search

 

Now, I like mustard, but that’s a bit too much! Consequently, none of the Wills siblings like those condiments! I have always wondered where she got that form of punishment. From her mother? Don’t know I’ve been told that, when I play the piano, I tuck my head down – until I have a double chin showing! Never knew that. I had to make a conscious effort NOT to do that!

My Dad had the “manly” habit of clearing his throat, then spitting the mucus out onto the ground. I’ve seen so many men and boys doing the same thing. But Daddy’s habit got himself into a fix one time. I’m going to copy what I wrote about him from a previous post (February 2, 2014 – Daddy):

Once, when Fred and I were visiting Albuquerque, Fred had gone out driving with Daddy. That evening, Fred related this story of the day, but could hardly get it out for all his giggling. They were driving along – Fred driving – and Daddy cleared his throat, turned his head, and spit. Unfortunately, he had forgotten that the window was still closed! Fred said Daddy cleaned off the window then turned his head back to Fred and sheepishly said, “that’s only the second time in my life I’ve done that.” Fred said he had to “bite his tongue” to keep from laughing out loud!

Fred and I always laugh when we remember that story. And we get laughs when we tell it to other people.

 

 

Fred’s Mother had one little quirk that I enjoyed. After she finished stirring a pan on the stove, or a pot of tea, she would hit the spoon on the edge of the bowl/pot/pitcher in the following pattern:

tap, tap, ta-tap, tap…..tap, tap.

For those of you old enough to remember, it is the sequence for “shave and a hair-cut…two bits.” I always thought that was cute. She was such a jewel. If you want to know her better, please see my post of October 2, 2012 – Kitty. I really loved her, and miss her still.

 

 

Our Grandson, Forrest, had the habit of whistling through his teeth – sort of “whispering” rather than a full whistle. Used to drive our daughter crazy! She said he’s pretty much outgrown it – until he gets around her!

 

 

So….what about you? What quirks do you have? Or someone near and dear to you? Or someone you work with? It might be fun to look at someone you know and find out what their quirks are. Or, your own. Enjoy!

 

 

Let Me Tell You About My Grandchildren~ Katie Part 2

28 Jan

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills 

 

 

I mentioned last time that we have two sets of grandchildren – one set (boy and girl) from our oldest daughter, and one set (boy and girl – twins) from our youngest daughter.

I also mentioned that our oldest granddaughter, Katie, has complained that I have written about all the grandchildren except her! So I wrote that post for Katie. And so is this one. I’ve remembered some things about her that I would like to share.

I mentioned that Katie has recently graduated with a degree in Theatre Design and Management. Her specialty is stage management. And she’s very good at it! When she was here back in September of 2017, Fred and I took her to see La Nouba at the Cirque du Soleil at Disney Springs. Fred and I have seen it several times, but Katie had never seen it. While I knew she would enjoy the show – it is very much like a three-ring circus at times!! – I also knew she would be keeping an eye on all the production end of the performance. That’s just her nature now. She did just that, all the while enjoying that magnificent performance. We are sorry to see it ending in 2017. We hope they will bring another type of performance like La Nouba to this venue.

Katie, Karen and Brian came down for a visit January 1st this year for a few days. The weather was not the best, and so we thought to do some things indoors. One of the things we did was to take them to Disney. Well, we parked the car at the Polynesian Resort at Magic Kingdom, hopped aboard the Monorail, and got off at all the resorts along the Monorail track. We saw all the Christmas decorations still up in the Grand Floridian Resort, and Polynesian Resort, and the Contemporary Resort. It’s a fun thing to do, and free. And Disney really does it up right!

 


Credit Google Search – Grand Floridian Resort

Here’s a picture of her in front of the Gingerbread house in the Grand Floridian Resort.

 

 

While at the Contemporary Resort, we came upon a “Gingerbread” stand – there was a small gingerbread house, with a booth where one could purchase a cookie and cider.

 

Credit Google Search – Contemporary Resort

As we were ogling the display, we noticed a remote-controlled BB-8 rolling around. It rolled toward Katie, and stopped and “looked up” at her. Katie was enthralled!! It is a memory to keep, for sure! (P.S. – in case you don’t know who BB-8 is – it is a robot from the Star Wars series)

 

 

Karen told me once that Katie had asked her why Grandpa (Fred) called everyone “Jack?” Well, you see, when Fred gets upset with other drivers, he says things like, “where did YOU learn to drive, Jack??” And other goodies. Just a name he pulled out of the hat to call other drivers.

I know there are other funny and adorable things about Katie that I will remember in future times, but at the moment, these are for my readers to enjoy. I have most certainly enjoyed remembering them and putting them to paper.

Katie – I love you! Granny

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Memories From My Childhood

14 Jan

SUNDAY MEMORIES

Judy Wills

 

 

 

When I sit myself down and try to think of something that might be of interest to someone else, I find myself going through my pictures. I have scanned quite a few into the computer, and looking through them gives me pleasure and fond memories.

I just happened to hit upon those taken of myself – and family and friends – in 1952.

I was 11 years old that year (do the math – I’m now 76!). My brother, Bill Lites (another blogger) was 14 years old. He’s about 3½ years older than I am. We used to fight like cats and dogs – until he became aware of GIRLS!!

In any case, here are some pictures of that time of my life:

 

Bill and me

 

A few years before she died, mother asked if I had the “chalk pictures” of Bill and myself. I did not – nor did I ever find them. All I have are these pictures of them, and the memories. Here are the pictures mother took of Bill and his chalk picture,

 

and then of myself and my chalk picture.

 

 

They were done by a friend of mothers, and always hung on our living room wall. Mine was when I was probably a toddler, while Bill’s was when he was probably four years old. They were quite unique pictures, and I wish I still had them. This is the only picture I have of them in color – I’m sorry it isn’t any better quality.

 

 

 

We had a great deal of fun together as a family. We would sit/stand around the piano and sing together.

 

 

We made jokes with each other.

 

I always knew that my mother and father loved each other fiercely. Daddy traveled quite a bit around the state of New Mexico with the Baptist Convention, but we always enjoyed having him home with us.

 

 

Here are a couple of pictures of us clowning around – making daddy the “man of the house” for sure! Waiting on him “hand and foot” so to speak.

 

 

After my grandmother (Granny) and her daughter (Aunt Jessie) moved to Albuquerque, they played an important part of my life. We were quite often over at their house, or they were at ours. I’ve always been grateful they were so close. I’ve always missed our daughters and their families, but that’s what military (and retired military) people – they usually don’t live close to their children and grandchildren. But that doesn’t stop the love flowing back and forth among us all.

 

Granny, Bill and me

Aunt Jessie, Bill and Me

Aunt Jessie and me

God has been so good to us. He allowed me to have the kind of growing-up time with my family that is so precious to me. I just hope I’ve passed some of that love to our daughters – even though we moved around quite a bit in their growing-up time.

Gone Fishin’

24 Jul

My Take

DiVoran Bowers Lites

 

Photo from Pinterest

 

My dad learned to fish from his dad. He loved it the best of all recreations. The first fishing trip I recall going on with dad was when we lived in Westcliffe, Colorado. We had a little restaurant and bar on Main Street called Min’s Café.

One early fall, Mother and Dad closed the restaurant and we went up into the Sangre de Cristo Range to fish in a creek. We drove our black 1946 Ford two-door car to about 9,000 feet elevation. We took a tent, fishing gear, and an aluminum set of pots, pans, and flatware that all fit together in a cozy kettle.

It wasn’t far, so we arrived early in the day and found ourselves in a high meadow. Dandelions with their green leaves grew all around, some of the flowers were yellow, and some were dressed in white fluff. The air was cool and fragrant. Grasses along the creek had begun to change colors. As soon as the tent was set up Dad took my brother and I down to the creek to start fishing. Our poles had two hooks each so we’d have a chance to catch more rainbow trout and more browns. Dad thought that since I was such a big girl I ought to be able to thread the worms he’d brought along onto the hooks. They were wiggly and squishy and I didn’t like doing it one bit, because I knew it had to hurt them. Dad was proud of me for doing it, though, so I was proud, too. He wanted us both to learn to enjoy his favorite sport. Dad and my brother went to fish further up the creek. Mother was resting in the car after a long week of working in the café. Feeling lazy, I released the fishing line into the creek in a quiet place and propped the rod against the bank with rocks. I then crawled into the tent and picked up my Nancy Drew mystery from the library. Reading was already my favorite recreation. Before I got through even one chapter I heard a commotion outside and crawled out of the tent to see what was going on. Dad and my brother were waiting for me. Holding up my fishing pole to show me that I had caught a fish on each hook. Wow, was I ever satisfied with my talent for fishing. Dad took them off the hook for me, thank Heaven. We put them in the creel, then Dad and brother went back to fish for our supper. Mother was ready to pick dandelion greens and wanted me to help her. I had never heard of such a thing as eating dandelion leaves before, but she said said Auntie Elvira had taught her in Camp Fire girls when she was younger.

After we picked a batch of green and started them cooking in the kettle, mother gave me a bar of soap and told me to wash my hands. I got down as close as I could to the water and put my hands in holding the soap. Whoosh, the creek took it, and it was gone. I went back to tell Mother and she was understanding about it. “Oh, well,” says she, “we’ll just have to wash our hands with sand.”

Dad had brother and I watch him clean the fish so we’d know how to clean our own next time. I’ve never had to do it, but I can see clearly in mind mind’s eye how he slashed it from the bottom of the belly to the gills and pulled out the guts. It was pretty cool and then after it was fried in cornmeal in a skillet over the camp stove dad taught us how to get the bones out. We started at the tail, got hold of the inner skeleton and pulled all up together. We then pulled that from the side and had two clean sides.

During supper, my brother kept casting bright-eyed glances at my dad. Did they have a secret? What could it be? I would find out one way or another.

As I was finishing my canned peaches for dessert I looked up and saw that gentle snowflakes were wafting down. I’d never seen it snow in summer

Later on when no one was looking I got my brother in a headlock and made him tell. Did I mention he was younger and smaller?

Anyhow he talked. He said that after he and dad had caught a few, they sneaked in and put a couple on my hooks. “That’s what you get for readin’ when you’re supposed to be fishin’” my brother said. He then ran away. I gave chase, but I never caught him. Did I mention that he was swifter a well?

 

 

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