Saturday, March 20, 2010

Sepia Saturday: Aunt Mary & Uncle Bill

My earliest recollection of this darling couple was during the fifties when they would pack up their three boys and drive from Lakeland, Florida back to Birmingham during summer vacation.
Bill is my father's baby brother. He was born when my dad was nearly 12. Both of them were in the Army Air Corp during World War II. This photograph was taken in November of 1943, just six weeks before Bill was shipped off to Iceland. I have just been talking with him (another great benefit of these Sepia Saturday projects) and he told me he remembered that he was crossing the North Atlantic on Christmas Day of 1943. He served as crew chief with the rank of Tech Sargent in Iceland through all of 1944, and returned home in the spring of 1945. He reminded me that he and my dad returned at just about the same time, and that he remembered several family gatherings to celebrate their homecoming.
After the war , my father and Bill both returned to their jobs with U. S. Steel. In the early fifties, Uncle Bill decided to try something different. He became a jeweler. He and Mary moved to Lakeland, opened a business, and raised three sons. Since my mom and dad had some post war babies as well (Sue and I were the same ages as Bill's boys), Bill would always make sure that our house was one of the stops on the summer trips back home. Today, Mary and Bill are retired and living in the mountains of Western North Carolina, near all three sons and their families. However, Bill is still singing in a barber Shoppe Quartet organization while Mary is doing the same in the Sweet Adelines! Aren't they a beautiful couple? This photo looks like something out of Hollywood to me.
To visit other Sepia Saturday posts and learn about the project click HERE!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Happy 1st Anniversary to The Keeping Room

After discovering a most enchanting and inspiring community of blogs and their creators during the winter of 2009, I took the leap into this warm stream of consciousness, of the hearts and minds which had so enriched my life, and created The Keeping Room. It was nearing the 20th anniversary of my younger son's diagnosis of cancer at age seven, and I wanted to do something to celebrate his survival and triumph over the ordeal. This is Cuyler at age one. The portrait is the work of Sam Oliver, a local photographer who was and still is in great demand in our area. This is just one of a series of photos that he took in October of 1982. We were outdoors on a warm, autumn afternoon and years away from the trials and sleepless nights and months and years of coping with cancer. I know we have not been alone in this experience. Also, I know we have been extremely blessed and graced with a recovery.

One of the themes of the American Cancer Society is celebrating the birthdays of cancer survivors. My school is a leader in fundraising for the Relay for Life this year. Yesterday, during each of the four lunch waves, a cancer survivor--a student or school employee--was recognized and students could donate fifty cents and have a piece of birthday cake. So today, as I reflect on my one year anniversary of a most wonderful year of blogging, I dedicate this post to each of you who are survivors or who have loved ones who are survivors. From my grateful heart to yours, I honor your birthdays and your lives. Peace be with you.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sepia Serendipity: Just Jiggs

One of the unexpected benefits of joining in on the Sepia Saturday project has been the photos I have found along the way. While many of these have been just plain old Kodak black and white, they are nonetheless treasures for me. This is my early childhood playmate, Jiggs. When each of my three older siblings were off to school each day, I remember long hours of quiet strolling through the pasture with Jiggs walking right behind me. Sometimes he would nudge me forward with his nose and snuffle & wuhuffle his way back to the barn in high hopes that he might convince me to put some oats in his feed box, and I would always sneak him an extra scoop. I loved using the curry comb to brush his winter coat. It was during this ritual that I could always talk to Jiggs. He was a great listener. My mother hanging out laundry nearby would ask, "Who were you talking to out there?" My reply, "Just Jiggs."

My sister Sue took these photographs with her Brownie camera.
This one certainly captures the rough and tumbly and often stubborn Welsh pony who was a family pet to my mom and dad, a noble steed to Sue, and just Jiggs to me.

"To be loved by a horse,
or by any animal,
should fill us with awe-
for we have not deserved it."
Marion C. Garretty

About Me

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Recreational scholar, former high school and junior college English teacher. Animal lover (especially horses, dogs, and people), live in the South, sometimes poet and essayist... "Ireland, Scotland, Britain, and Wales...I can hear those ancient voices calling..." Van Morrison from Celtic Heartbeat