Words of wisdom from a fellow blogger that I plan on following. It makes the most sense I have read, since years ago when I read “The Road Less Traveled”. I hope everyone who reads this loves it as much as I.
Memories, of the way we used to be….one of my favorite old songs. Misty water-color mem’ries of the way we were.
This next month is a bittersweet month for me. Filled with memories of beautiful autumn days, walks in the woods, shuffling thru fallen leaves just to hear them crunch under my feet. I still love that sound. I can sometimes close my eyes and remember the smells of autumn. I’ve lost that sense of smell now, but oh, the memories of crisp fall air. Sweet hay in the soft winds that blow across the fields. Grass mown for maybe the last time that year.
The goldenrod would be mostly be gone, but enough still hanging around to send its pollen out to all the noses in the Ohio Valley area, causing more than its share of misery for such a pretty flower. Just enough waiting around to catch us all off guard, just waiting for that first frost of the season.
School has been in session since Labor Day, and our bobbie socks and penny loafers are still looking like new, because they are only worn to school. Since the air is beginning to get crisp, there will be soup waiting for us when we get home from school. Mom will have put a huge pot on right after we left home in the morning, and by the time we get off the bus it will be hot and ready to eat. Milk from the morning milking, and crackers from the weekend trip to the grocery waiting beside our bowls on the table. Unless, of course, she had baked a pie. When mom baked a pie she would take the leftover pie crust and make homemade crackers from it. Those were the best. I can remember when mom would let me cut out the crackers after she had the pies made. That was fun, and I would almost — note, I said ALMOST — as good as eating the pie.
Of course, we all had our favorite pie. Tony and Larry, I remember, loved chocolate, Steve loves pecan, I’ll take either lemon or pumpkin, and I really don’t remember about the rest of the family. Possibly any and all of the above and every other kind known to man. This time of year though, for me at least, it has to be pumpkin. That just goes with autumn, like the changing color of the leaves.
I don’t remember how many years it’s been since I took this picture, but I still love it. I’ll never understand why one tree remains green while the one next to it and the one across the road are both orange, but it’s one of God’s wonders. I have always wanted a shirt or a dress this color, but have never seen it captured this perfectly in any store. They try, but not successfully. Kind of as a side note, the MS color is orange. During September it has also been the color for feeding the hungry, and somewhere I saw that it’s also the color for fighting animal abuse. That figures. MS is an orphan disease, so it seems only natural that our color should be used for everything else. I guess that’s why we are orphans.
Okay, back to the memories. I’m not sure if I have very many more. Oh, there is one, but it will not be shared tonight. Maybe later, but not tonight.
After the first frost, we would all take our large grass bags and go to the woods to gather the walnuts. There was one tree especially that we climbed all summer, and played under, and that I sat and dreamed in, and it was a prolific provider of walnuts. So we — Tony, Steve, Larry, Sylvie and I, along with Doug and Pat Blandford, our cousins who lived behind us and shared the tree on our property line, would gather walnuts. Maybe I should say, some of us gathered walnuts, while some used them as missiles in their never-ending battles against each other. It all depended on age and maturity — I myself, being most mature, though not the oldest. And everyone who believes that, I have a bridge in Brooklyn for sale, really inexpensive.
After bringing our bounty home we would spread the walnuts out in the driveway, and drive the cars and dad’s truck over them until a few weeks before Christmas, to get the heavy green outer hull off and let the black inner shells dry. Then came the real fun. Picking them up the second time, and staining our hands a nice walnut brown in the process. Tony usually got the pleasant job of cracking the shells, while mom and I would use our nutpickers to get the meat out of the shells. Then the baking and candy making would begin. Usually while we were at school. And usually already frozen by the time we got home from school.
My undying thanks to my cousin, Doris Goetz Clark, for sending me this photo. This is the picture of Mom and Pop on their wedding day. Somewhere here I have Doris’ notes on the date of that wedding, but I do know without digging them out that they were married in Jasper, Indiana. They lived there until my dad was four years old, then moved to Owensboro, KY, and bought the home place here that we all knew and loved. Doris also sent me photos of her family and some of the old family reunions, so those will be featured tonight.
This is the old home place, circa 1922, with the summer kitchen in the back. The summer kitchen was almost as important in those days as the regular kitchen, since the cookstove was usually a wood or coal-burning stove, and would heat up the entire kitchen, and in some cases, the entire downstairs of the house. By using the summer kitchen, the rest of the house was spared the heat, and stayed relatively cool. I remember playing in that summer kitchen as a child, but can’t remember if it was still used or not. I do remember Mom was very fond of her wood burning oven, and baked the best bread and pies I have ever eaten. I’m very blessed to have come from a long line of great cooks on both sides of my family.
I think I mentioned the little house at the end of the lane at one point. This is a picture of it, also circa 1022, also shared by Doris. It seems so stark in this photo compared to my memories. What I remember is a cozy little cottage, with a green lawn and trees around it, occupied by an aunt and uncle and cousins. At one time it was Aunt Hilda and Uncle Damien, and at one time it was Uncle Ed and Aunt Lucille. I don’t remember the sequence, or the circumstances, but they all hinged on one of them living with Mom and Pop, and then the other one buying the farm after Pop died. I do know that the home place is still standing, but is deserted, and is owned now by one of my Blandford cousins, and that Uncle Ed bought a farm in Eastern Daviess County at some point after Mom died. I think.
Okay, on to what I know for fact. This is Uncle Ed and Aunt Lucille on their wedding day. I don’t know the date, I freely confess this. But they were a happy couple, and blessed with two daughters and five sons. I think Mary Ann was the oldest and I know Doris is the youngest. In between, but not necessiarally in order, Fred, Eddie, Tom, Bob and Jerry. Somehow, that sounds right.
I’m fairly sure this was taken in 1954, when Uncle Charles came to meet us before he married Aunt Trudy. He was a Canadian diplomat and a photographer as a hobby, so he took photos of all of us. That was the one and only time Uncle Charles came to Owensboro. He and Aunt Trudy travelled extensively, since his job sent him all over the globe. We would correspond by email in later years, and he was an extremely intelligent man, but the job kept him occupied until his death.
Although I only see four people, this is supposed to be Tom, Mary Ann, Jerry, Bob and Mike Green. I know I need my glasses changed but I sure don’t see Mike Green in there. At least I don’t think I do. I do recognize Mary Ann, but the boys could be any of them. Sorry guys.
This one, I would say, is Mary Ann and Joe Green’s after wedding photo. The cute little girl there is Doris. In the background are Aunt Lucille, Aunt Ann Oberjohn on the left, and possibly Aunt Bertha Payne on the far right. I was a bridesmaid in Mary Ann’s wedding. About the only thing I remember, other than Joe taking my Mary Ann away from me, was trying to learn how to walk on one inch heels. I almost broke my neck then, and to think a few years later I was wearing spikes to work.
Back a few years before. Wow! Let me just say that we were at a family reunion in Rockport, Indiana, and enjoying ice cream cones. I’m in the front row, third from the left, Charlotte Oberjohn is in the second row next to the end on the right, with a cone stuck in her mouth, and her brother Bil is looking disgruntled in the row behind her on the end, without a cone. Being the oldest, he probably ate his the fastest. My dad is to Bill’s right, and I think my mom is half hidden behind Mary Ann. I’m just guessing here. The tall dude in the back would have to be one of the Payne cousins, and I’m just not sure about the rest. I hate to admit some could be my own brothers and sister and I don’t recognize them.
I do know all but one of these people. Uncle Damien and Aunt Hilda Goetz Blandford. Mom and Pop are on the right, parents of the bride, and Grandmother and Papa on the left, parents of the groom. This wedding took place in spring 1940. I know that because in August of 1940
this wedding took place. My mom and dad, Bernard and Mary Blandford Goetz. The beginning of two families of double first cousins. Uncle Damien and Aunt Hilda were my godparents, and since for so many years they only had boys, Aunt Hilda tended to spoil me a bit. Since I was born the day after Christmas, she assumed I didn’t receive birthday gifts, so she always made sure they gave me a birthday gift. No one ever told her that no one in the family received birthday gifts, probably so they wouldn’t embarrass her. We always got our favorite cake and ice cream, but no gifts, because there were more kids than money in the family. Tony always wanted a devils food cake, very appropriate in his case, and of course, I still enjoy the Angel’s Food cake with lemon glaze. Even more appropriate, if you ask me.
Okay, I’m getting hungry now, so that’s all for tonight. Part three tomorrow, so stay tuned.
Last night I showed you this picture of the Old Home Place, where my dad grew up. I wish I had some photos of the old buildings, like the dairy barn, the cherry tree I loved so much, the little house at the end of the road that was occupied at one time by my Uncle Damien and Aunt Hilda and their family, and at another time by Uncle Ed and Aunt Lucille and their family. They were all in and out of both houses so much that they just seemed to be interchangeable to me.
This is Mom Kleumper Goetz on her wedding day. Since she was an accomplished seamstress, as well as being a school teacher, I am almost certain she made her dress herself. Somewhere I have a photo of Mom and Pop together, but have been unable to download it to this site. One of the many annoyances with my computer, but one I seem to have to live with, at least for now. My cousins, Doris Goetz Clark and Bill Oberjohn have both sent me photos of the Goetz family, but again, a lot of them I have been unable to download. Tonight I will try to retrieve them again, but possibly will have to wait for a geeky brother, nephew or grandson or granddaughter to come home and help.
I love this photo of my Aunt Bertha Goetz Payne. She was my dad’s oldest sister, and the christening gown, I am sure, was also made by Mom, and probably used for all of her seven babies. She had five daughters and two sons, with my dad being the baby of the family. He wasn’t interested in farm life, so left the farm as soon as possible after high school and got his first job as a bag boy at A & P grocery store. I can remember him telling us the manager told all the new employees to eat all the candy they wanted when they started working there, because he knew that after a week or so they would all be sick of candy, and would never be tempted to steal it. Dad said it worked well, and candy was never high on his list of favorite treats.
This is a photo I treasure. Aunt Bertha and Aunt Olivia. Aunt Olivia, whose name I love, grew up to become Sister Mary Benedict, a sister of Providence at St. Mary Of The Woods Convent in Terre Haute, IN. She had such a beautiful, peaceful face, with a perpetual smile on it, and was always making gifts for her nieces and nephews. The girls all got Raggedy Ann and Raggedy Andy dolls, with hearts embroidered on them, and dressed in matching outfits. I think my sister still has hers, after all these years. But as the youngest in the family, Elaine didn’t have the brothers tearing her things up the way Sylvie and I did. Just sayin’.
I think Aunt Hilda was next in line. I’m not really sure though. I do know, however, that she married my mom’s brother, Damien Blandford, and my mom married her brother, Bernard, so her kids and our family are double first cousins. My mom tells a funny story about a time when we were all visiting my mom’s aunt at the Mount, and she gave Tony and Dan, our cousin, apples. Mom had always sliced the apples Tony ate, while Dan was used to grabbing them off the tree in the orchard and biting in to them. So Tony stood there turning it over and over in his hands while Dan started eating his. After a few minutes, Dan apparently realized the problem, so he grabbed the apple out of Tony’s hand and took a bite, then handed it back. Tony got the idea then and managed to finished it off okay.
Well, looks a lot like bedtime, so more tomorrow about my Old KY Home.
So last night had to finish watermelon pickles. First thing happened was knocked bottle of peroxide off shelf, lid broke, peroxide spilled all over floor. Threw kitchen towels down to sop up mess. Also cleaned towels at same time. Well, maybe not. But peroxide bottle now has pop-off lid and only half bottle left.
Pulled pork out of fridge and knocked glass of water with fresh basil out on floor. Basil not so fresh after that. Took time to clean mess up. Really needed food then. Gettin’ seriously dehydrated too. Felt like Andrew. Slowly dyin’ of dehydration. Didn’t need swimmin’ pool though. Just needed glass of water. Quicker to pull out orange crush. Drank half bottle in one big glug. Well, more like lots of glugs.
Fin’ly got pickles in water bath. Should have been three pints. Got three pints, two half pints, and one pint left over that went in fridge. Put top on canner, sat down, forgot about it. Remembered hour later. Pulled jars out of canner. Already sealed, but okay.
Thought finished making syrup, but had to do somethin’ with watermelon, so put in crockpot today. Had to put honey in to sweeten little bit. Don’t know what time will be ready to put in jars, but have jars. Cold pack pan ready for use when needed. Just hope I’m ready, not asleep.
Had to “cook” pale green jeans last night. Got stains from sauce on sandwich on them. So after got jars out of canner, put peroxide in and added jeans. Soaked all night and have ’em hangin’ on shower rod now. Didn’t wring out, so no wrinkles. Hopin’ boilin’ water shrank ’em. Too big, and too long. Stains gone though. Have more stained clothes need to cook after finish syrup. Guess could just heat water ‘n cook anyway, but more fun after cannin’ somethin’. Wish Don hadn’t called it cookin’ my clothes. Now got in habit too.
Turned heat up today. Just too comfortable under covers to get out of bed. Noon came, decided had to get up. Gettin’ hungry. Had waffle with peach syrup ‘n lots of butter. Good, but ready to eat again. Tonight have to make fritatta. Have fresh veggies for it. Have bacon, have sausage, have eggs. Celery leaves. Want fritatta. Even have good recipes. Prob’ly just make own though.
Couldn’t resist this. Remember when Don called one day while in college. Asked how to hook up VCR. Hooked own up, so called me to ask how to do his. So sad. Tried to walk him thru, but couldn’t, so told him read instructions. Told me he was hoping could skip that part. College kidz! Supposed to be learnin’ that stuff, but calls mom to ask how. Really!!! We paid for that???? Turned out okay though. Just doesn’t like readin’ instructions.
Mike totally different. Didn’t like readin’ anything in school. Now reads instructions about everything. Smart kid.
Do you remember days not so very long ago. Oops, got my John Denver goin’ again. Spent some time outside today. A little hot in the sun, but in the shade with the wind blowin’, So many memories came back.
Just a swangin’ for a while. Wishin’ we had one that we could really push off on and fly way up like we did as kids. Sometimes would loop over top of swing pole and come down other side. Or get perpendicular with the ground and jump. Prob’ly turned a lot of the good sisters hair white (if it wasn’t already), but oh, so much fun. No thoughts at all of broken bones back then. Never got one. Don’t remember anybody getting one. Just remember stern, nun voices commanding “stop that at once!” Then having to pay the piper. Usually no more time outside the rest of day, and dreaded letter home when day was done. Hey! Another song title there. Peter, Paul and Mary that time.
Loved lying on back with family and friends watching clouds. Always changing. Would always find pictures in the clouds. Haven’t stared at this one long enough, but this was such a nice day with blue skies, smiling at me, nothing but blue skies — can’t remember who sang that song, but always loved it. Didn’t really lie on ground today. Wouldn’t be able to get back up. Someone prob’ly call EMT’s, and then would have to tell why was lying there. Quick trip to mental institution. Not a good idea.
Fish pond in front of building. Nice to sit there and watch fish. They swim close to people because they have high expectations. Always hope for extra food. Too bad. Not allowed. Closeup of fish. Used to have lots of colors, blue, green, really bright. Some idiot poured bottle of Clorox in pond one night and killed them. These are okay, but just not as pretty.
Sign at back of pond. Nobody lookin’ today, so I walked on rocks. Wanted to take shoes off and walk in pond, feel fish nibble toes, but afraid Bingo game would end too soon. Pond not bad, but still gives me sour taste when look at it. Money to build it was diverted from money designated to improve apartments. Not many left here who remember that. I do though. Kinda illegal, but so are most decisions of present management.
Back to pretty things. Almost lost this tree during ice storm. More clouds, white puffy marshmallow clouds. Ooooo, think I want to roast some marshmallows now. Still light enough to get to K-Mart and get some. Nah. Too tired. And sinuses acting up from time outside. Always happens. Worth it though. So many memories of days like this. Just getting harder to get up when I get down.
Soon be time to harvest pine cones from church across street. Love making ornaments from them. All shapes and sizes. Thinking of new ways to make new ornaments. Can’t believe summer almost over. Think I’m dreading winter. Crazy summer weather. Afraid of crazy winter weather. Don’t want another ice storm. Never get snow any more. Just ice. Hate ice. Snow easy to maneuver. Ice — uhuh. Last time out in ice got down and crawled to car. Figured if slipped wasn’t so far to fall. Watched friends falling, but not me. Crawled to car, but dern doors frozen shut. Found some Windex in trunk that was liquid, so sprayed it on door. Opened right up.
Ah, memories. Love ’em.
Been fighting with my computer again. It doesn’t like WordPress. Won’t let me send things out. Might send this, might not. Keep trying to send comments to friend Jess on her blog. Shuts down computer. Guess I’ll have to have another go round with Windows people.
On the other hand, has been okay week. Went to doc on Tuesday. Had to weigh in. Not as bad as thought it would be. Blood pressure not too high either. Surprised at that, cause was really upset about holdup on new power chair. Doc said he doesn’t get involved in that kind of stuff. Asked him what exactly he does get involved in. Then we discussed new hospital. Found out they now accept my insurance again, but haven’t notified me about it. Told me all the administrators had gotten out of Dodge, so no one running place now. Doctors won’t go there, so patients are kinda on their own if they are there. Told him I won’t go there either. Said that was good decision on my part.
Had to wait long time in his waiting room for GRITS to pick me up for trip home. Not sure what that stands for. Green River ? Transportation System. I think. Was in my chair. Almost scored new chairs for my living room. And some kids toys. Sorta got hung on power chair. Almost got a nice side table too, but managed to turn before knocked it over. Got chairs free before got to door. Too bad. Don’t have room for them, but nice chairs. Can’t remember how comfortable, but not for me to sit in anyway.
Kinda like this. Really says it all. ‘Specially for me. Roll out every morning, look for anything I can pick up while down there, then squirm to dresser to look for clean clothes. Guess it’s almost time to do laundry again. Getting hard to find anything clean. Have a lot of stained things need to soak first. Could do that tonight. Or could wait. Prob’ly will wait. Still have enough for couple more days.
Started to cook something for dinner. Then decided easier to get burgoo out of freezer. But wait! If get it out in next 10 minutes can get out 2 for same price. Just pay extra shipping and handling. Oh, sorry. Heard that 173 times on TV today. Anyway, have burgoo for tonight, and more for tomorrow. Then have to cook Sunday. This is Friday, isn’t it? Couldn’t find pen to mark days off calendar, so flying blind right now.
Have this going again. Watermelon in crock pot turning into syrup, or jam, or something. Rind in ‘fridge waiting to be turned into pickles tomorrow. I’m so in love with those pickles. May have to ask friends to save rinds for me. Love melons, but can only eat so many in a season. Can eat pickles all year. Well, can freeze the melon for smoothies. Almost forgot ’bout that.
Didn’t take picture of it, but made some butter today. Had some heavy cream left over from recipe, so didn’t want to waste it. Put it in baggie, zip locked it, and just shook it in hands while watching TV for a while. Got about half cup butter, and cup buttermilk, maybe less. Buttermilk biscuits and fried chicken Sunday. Maybe fresh green beans and corn too. Depends how I feel Sunday.
Also have batch of summer sausage going. Really need to go mix it up again. Freezes hands, but rubber gloves help a little bit. Wish wool gloves would work.
Remember the mess I made when I fell against the shelves a couple days ago? Well, today my cleaning lady was here. And this, is the beginning of the cleanup area. More to go, but at least it’s a start. Now just have to go on another scavenger hunt for more missing items. Reminds me — found my battery charger again. On top of the microwave. Can’t for life of me figure out why I thought that was good place to put it. Left it there though. Looked at home there.
Got another delivery from the farm today. Four ears of beautiful corn. Two tonight, two tomorrow night. Watermelon, squash, green beans, tomatoes, cherry tomatoes in lots of colors, red and green sweet peppers. Green beans are ready for crock pot tomorrow, along with potatoes, onions, garlic. Corn on side. Mostly leftovers tonight, but at least they are good. Called Hillbilly Skillet. Except made it in crockpot, so guess it’s now Hillbilly crockpot. Tastes good. Recipe on Facebook. Had to make one substitution though. Calls for can of corn. Didn’t have corn, so put in some squash. Not bad.
Mushrooms I got at grocery yesterday. Didn’t need that many, but they were on sale. Don’t find mushrooms on sale very often, so got two pounds. Used what needed last night for dinner, then put rest in dehydrater today. Four trays of dehydrated mushrooms. Think they will need another hour or so, but looking good. Now won’t worry if recipe calls for shrooms. Just soak in hot water for a while. Can get things on sale now even if don’t need them at moment. Just dry and store for later.
Have doctor appointment tomorrow. Should charge him for time spent in waiting room.Maxine always says it best. Think I’d rather stay home and clean more shelves. Have lots of room under counter. Could put lots of things in there that aren’t used much. Save a lot of dignity used when I knock things off on my head. Just have to make sure posterior is firmly in place on stool this time. Hard to explain the pain in the butt.
Planned to go to K-Mart tomorrow. No particular reason. Just to get out. Still sneezin’ from yesterday, but sneezin’s fun. Drippy nose, not so much. Have to stay home though, before and after trip to doc, and do more cleanup. Don’t know if I could live in a place that doesn’t look like a train wreck happened there. Or tornado came thru during night.
Still sawing pieces off the fudge. Severely overcooked, but tastes so good. Just like chocolate. Supposed to be just like chocolate, so that’s good. Can’t share though. Hate to be the one responsible for someone breaking a tooth.