My husband and I live with his mother in an old farmhouse with parts dating back to 1842. Except for the window lined porch that faces west, the house is structurally the way it was 100 years ago when the third generation of the Hunter family lived here. Their ancestors were a Scottish Presbyterian family who cleared this portion of Depreciation Lands.
Often my thoughts go to life as it may have been stretched out over a nearly 200 year history when the family sustained themselves with their labors in the fields and there were horses in the barn. Now the horses are gone. The farm is in transition. Our work of the day includes for me, the care giving for my mother-in-law, Lois—almost 90—and the patients my husband “sees” on a computer in his office that was at one time our dining room and in generations past, a kitchen. The beauty of the evolving nature is one constant. We especially enjoy our summer evenings.
On one of the first warm nights this year we sat together on the back deck after mom was in bed, I grieved the loss of the horses and a pasture plowed under by Farmer Beahm, who will soon plant field corn. The sun was heading for its sweet spot between the tree-lined hills as clouds gathered bits of gray.
I remembered an evening nearly 35 years ago on May 31, 1985, the evening a 25-mile long twister took out the trees of that hill and my mother and father-in-law, along with our three-year-old son, hit the basement. I think they wanted a room with windows to better see a storm a coming in addition to daily witnessing the beauty of nature.
On this May evening—one of the first ones a coat and blanket not needed—another storm was brewing. It was May 12, just before the world began opening up to our “new normal” and all of the unknowns this will bring. Then in the skies, a real storm collected clouds and we were fascinated as we watched where the sun would soon disappear in the West. Rick had a Scotch in his hand. I had my camera.
The beauty of the moment mesmerized us and we didn’t heed the warnings of the winds. Our eyes were on the skies, when rain pelted us. For the moment we laughed through the winds, making sure my camera was safe and Rick anchored down the furniture we had to evacuate.
I thought of the storms of the past and the ones that are brewing and a word came to my mind about life on the farm. Resilience. Crops fail. You replant. Animals that sustain you will die. It’s not a moment to moment feeling. It’s a joy that doesn’t depend upon what is happening to you. It’s about being grateful for every moment in every time.
Life goes on and it’s always day by day. Farmers look for their rewards at the end of the day.
A faded school photo found in a desk drawer while cleaning.
In the middle row. Second from the left. Charlotte Rowley in the dark dress and her younger sister Edna Rowley next to her. The handwriting of the list of students is unknown to me but I thought it was a good find, to see all the names. No date I could see but Charlotte was born in 1888.
So many old photos are unidentified.
Now the printing on the cardboard is my mother’s hand–Historical Pictorial
My paternal grandmother, Mary Alta Kerr, born February 7, 1895 and her brother and sister. I need to do more research, dig around in a box, to get info on her siblings details. I know she called her sister “Sis”.
This is the grandmother who taught me to knit when I was little. No date on the photo. She looks to be 5 or 6? Maybe 1900-1901?
Mary Alta Kerr Hendricks passed March 13,1979 and is buried in Morrisonville, Illinois.
For my cousins who are across the country- Here are some photos and names and dates.
Great Great Grandfather Henry Otto Hendricks and Grandmother Mary Sonfelt on my father’s side. Came to America in 1851.
Born in 1823 and 1824 in Berlin How fortunate there are names and dates in the backs of these photos.
Frank Hendricks top left is my father’s Grandfather and here he is below with his wife Rosa Dayton
Here is Rosa Dayton in the middle with her two sons Glenn Hendricks and my father’s father on the right, Floyd Merle Hendricks (also father of Alan Hendricks and Shirley Speer and Harold Hendricks) No years on the back of this one.
Don Anderson and Ed Kichi Sept 1966
Phu Bai, Viet Nam
Mike Kichi USMC Sent by blog follower and friend and frequent commenter Toni Kichi
Mike’s brother — Ed Kichi — 2nd from the left in the 2nd row. In above photo of the 1st Platoon D Co, 39th OCC
From Anne Hamilton- UK-
Charles Albert Kydd ” I thought Ruth might like the attached photo of my great uncle, the brother of my English grandmother (the one you met). Charles Albert Kydd was born in 1896. He went missing and I’ve also attached a document relating to this which I found in amongst my gran’s papers. Unfortunately I don’t know anything else – not even what regiment he was attached to.”
Thankfully he did survive the war and lived into old age!
To include those currently serving in the military This photo sent by Sally Nauer of her son’s unit (Jonathan Nauer) neighbors at Ft. Knox in the seventies
Email a photo of a veteran with name and information about service and I will add it to the gallery. rutheh at gmail dot comMy Uncle Alan Ray Hendricks (USA)
, Uncle Harold “Butch” Hendricks (USN) My grandfather Floyd and grandmother Mary Alta and my father Roy J Hendricks
and my son Mark
SIGNED INTO LAW MAY 26, 1954
Veterans Day. More than a day off from school. A day in November to honor all veterans- men and women in the military who have served. And the correct spelling “the attributive (no apostrophe) rather than the possessive case is the official spelling “ according to an article “Apostrophe Sparks Veterans Day Conundrum”. I had to look it up. WWII, on the left my father’s brother Alan Ray Hendricks who “observed his 28th bday by flying a bombing mission over Japanese-held Koror Island in a 7th AAF Liberator on which he is a gunner”.(old yellowed newspaper clipping) Received the Distinguished Flying Cross.
Who do you know who has served? Scan and email a photo of a veteran you know , along with name and service and I will post a gallery of veterans. Suzanne sent me her father-in-law and father and that sparked the idea. rutheh at gmail dot com
MY SIL’S Grandfather and Father
James’ Maternal Grandfather
(Grandson Charles’ Great Grandfather)
Charles Wade Emig Born: DEC 31, 1923 Coshocton, OH
James’ mother brought down a box filled with memorabilia
James’ father Charles (Chuck) served in Viet Nam holding grandson Charles 3 years ago
My grandmother and grandfather and my mother held by her grandfather on the right
with my mother’s grandmother and great-grandmother seated- Durand Illinois- my mother born in 1912
Marian Van Sickle in the middle with her brothers on either side John(l) and Robert(r) with parents Judd and Charlotte Van Sickle
My brother David and sister Mary and me in our mother’s arms Montclair NJ 1952
Me in Germany 1983 with Laura (’83) Mark (’76) and Matthew(’80)
On the left, Laura (and James) expecting first baby and Mark (back right) with his family- Erika, Anna, Michael, John Patrick (Jack) and Maura and my sister in the middle back and Erika with her mother and father and aunts and cousins and Henry in the front.