My sister, Jean Craven, is a quilt maker. She does it all by hand. One type is from an old fashioned quilt frame she has that belonged to Grandmother. I remember back when we were kids, she’d set that up in one room and us children would crawl around under it. My sister inherited that skill. She also hass made quilts from snall uniform sections each hand made then sewn together.
This is one she made for our late sister, Linda Sparks, gone now of breast cancer since November 30th, 2001. It’s called an Irish Chain.
Just returned from the funeral for my aunt. She was one of six siblings, fourth in line. My mother was the second after a brother that passed away only a few months into his life from pneumonia. Aunt Barbara left us on the twenty-third of October.
It was a moving service. Two of her granddaughters, sisters were to each sing one of her favorite hymns. When the first started to break down half way through, her sister rose singing and joined her to finish the song, then embracing each other. It brought a tear to these old eyes. Later one of the great granddaughters reads some notes others and she wrote about visiting their” Nanny.”
From right to left is Barbara Elizabeth Stallings, Lucy Inez Stallings Radford, Myra Elaine Radford Johnson(Burchett these days), and me, George Randall Johnson. One of Mama’s sisters is a Barbara. My generation has me named after an uncle, another George(Jr.). The next generation has an Elizabeth, a Lucy, a Myra, and a Randall. The newest line has a Gabriel after my Grandfather.
We’re big on passing names down the line.
The women in my family have always been good with crafts that involved a lot of handwork. My grandmother, Lucy Stallings Radford, made quilts. I think everybody in the family has at least one. I have two. She had this quilting frame she’d set up in one room when working on one that allowed one to work around the edges. It didn’t slow us kids down much as we were limber enough to duck and crawl under it in our ursuit of play. Grandmother also was quite proficient at macrame. I tried my hand at it with mixed results.
My mother, Elaine, and her sister, Aunt Barbara, worked in weave rooms for all their adult life, each raising a brood of kids on a small salary. They handled sets of looms that made sheets.
Mom loved to make afghans. Not sure how many she made, but the pictures here are the last one she finished and, at eighty-two, probably her last one period, she admits. The photographs are by my stepfather, not the best I guess.
I have a sister, Jean, who’s continued the quilt-making, having gotten grandmother’s quilting frame, using it and other means to make quilts. My late sister, Linda, made her own clothes in her younger days and was quite good at cross-stitching I believe. Other members of the family I’m not as close to I really can’t address their skills.
The 2012 Super Bowl is finally upon us and I hope we get a good game. I think I’m going to go with the Giants on this one. My great nephew, Zane Hazzard, adores Eli Manning. That’s him in the picture with his grandmother, my sister, Jean, and some other fellow.
What the score might be? I have no idea. I’ve never been much of a prognosticator and am far from an expert. The folks that handle betting seem to favor the Patriots, but almost everyone on ESPN think the Giants are hot and on another mission.
Giants win and Eli Manning is the MVP!
Today would have been my late sister’s sixty-first birthday. She passed away ten years ago last week(November 30th) from complications with breast cancer after a three year battle with it. It would go away for awhile, then return with a vengeance.
I remember Mama telling us that, because of the day, our father wanted to name her Pearl. Mama was having none of it though.
We still think of her every day.
I voted for the man and, though i haven’t always been happy with things he’s done since assuming office, I generally believe he’s making some sort of effort to get things done. I realize he can’t please everybody and so don’t feel betrayed when he doesn’t always do things that I might like. Would that everyone else with half a brain would do the same.
These Birthers never bothered me, because in the long run, they lost. As I knew they would. They demanded the long form birth certificate for so long(I might be wrong, but i don’t remember any other candidate ever being asked for such). When they finally got it, their reaction was just as I thought it would be. Forgery! They are not about the truth anyway.
What they never mentioned, whether by abject ignorance or just plain willfulness, was that it would not have mattered whether Obama was actually born in this country or not. His mother was American and that made Obama American. That is the law. If the place of birth mattered, McCain was born in Panama. On an American base to be sure, but the way these Birthers operated, it shouldn’t matter.
What it all boiled down to, and what these Birthers would never admit, was that it was because Obama was black. Pure and simple.
End of rant.
Once again, Happy Birthday, Mr. President!
And for purposes of honesty, I’ve never met Obama, though my sister and one of her grandsons have.
I got the call from my sister, Jean, early Friday afternoon, January 28, asking if I might want to leave for Indiana later in the evening rather than wait until 4:00 am Like we had originally planned. She’d received an email from Doug, Sue’s younger son and our nephew, saying she was failing, her health had taken a turn down. We ended up leaving at 8:00 pm and driving straight through, arriving in Jeffersonville, Indiana at 4:30 am. Getting a room, after a bit of trouble, we slept until 8:30, ran downstairs for the continental breakfast, returned to get cleaned up, then drove over to Sue’s apartment.
We were understandably worried about how we would be received. We were family, but had never met any of them. We’d maintained a relationship with Sue after we learned of each other’s existence(she was the child of our father’s first marriage), Jean and her exchanging letters until Sue’s strokes made emailing easier. We’d all spoke on the phone now and again as well. So we’d wondered how the rest of the family would receive us. Our concerns were without merit however, the family was wonderful, talking to us as if we were regular visitors. Sue’s mother, Merle, was a really sweet woman. Doug was nice. And Beth, the daughter of the other brother, Luke, a trained nurse who’d been looking after her mother, was good with us as well.
Sue was a frail looking figure lying in the bed. She’d been diagnosed with throat cancer in the late nineties, about the same time we found each other, and had two strokes since then. Because of the throat cancer she was unable to eat food, taking nourishment through a feeding tube. It caused her robust self to gradually waste away it seemed to me. Looking at early pictures, she was a healthy woman, full of life(her mamma bear look in the photo with her son, Doug, in his high school football uniform was telling).
Sue lying in bed was a shock. Jean talked softly to her, the family telling us, though in and out, responded to voices, calling out her own name. Which caused Sue’s eyes to pop open. She knew we were coming and one likes to think she knew we were there. Jean held her hand, receiving squeezes now and again as she talked. I sat on the other side of the bed and for a few hours, we were there.
Then we left to get some lunch and returned to our room to rest a bit before we returned to the apartment, only to get a call from Doug saying Sue had passed at 4:48 pm. We hurried over then and stayed with the family for a few hours.
Funeral arrangements are different in Indiana from what we have down here. The family viewing was 1:00 pm on Tuesday, then 2:00 to 6:00 pm for the public. A large room with the coffin on one side, a TV with a DVD of snapshots of Sue’s life on the other, numerous couches and chairs scattered throughout between. People came and visited and that’s where we learned just how awesome a woman Sue was. One lady detailed the incredible meals she would prepare for family and friends, all the while knowing she couldn’t eat any of it because of the feeding tube, deriving pleasure from watching people enjoying her preparations. A number of such stories.
We met the cousin that got us together when a letter Jean sent inquiring of the family’s medical history for our sister’s sake in her battle with breast cancer fell into her hands.
We’d always planned to meet someday and now we were all starting to fall apart from ailments, and one sister already gone from the breast cancer. I just wish we HAD gotten up there years earlier when we could all do things together to further cement the relationship. It was really strange for me to meet family members at our ages, ones we should have known years earlier. They were all so much nicer than I could have imagined.
Sue will be missed. The brief time we were with her and her family made us wish for more. Will it happen? Who knows.
My two sisters and I were the oldest grandchildren(me at the top; that I’ll be turning 39 line stopped working long ago). One of our favorite things to do with our grandparents was playing the card game Rook.
Papa was always at his grocery store every morning by seven a. m., so going to bed early was his usual pattern. Except when we were over to play cards. It was usually on a Friday night. We all wanted Papa as our partner as he was the best Rook player I’ve ever seen.
Admittedly, our experience with other players of the game was limited. He was good though. Sometimes I think he took it easy on us. He “Shot The Moon” often and I don’t think I remember him ever missing when he did.
A brief tutorial for anyone who might not know the game. I’ll try to keep the info dump short.
Sometimes called Christian poker, it was a game of four suits with numbered cards(1-14) in four colors(black, red, yellow, green) and a rook bird card. The version we played threw out cards 1-4, leaving forty-one including the Rook. Playing partners, the dealer dealt them out, every fifth card going into a pile in the middle, leaving nine per player. You bid in five point increments(minimum70, maximum 120) and the winning bidder got the five in the pile to make up his nine hand. The Trumps hand was floating, depending on the hand the winning bidder put together. You agreed on a game winning score(300 points and up).
Play commences to the left of the dealer who’d lead out with a card. Everyone must follow the color except for two reasons: void of the played color or if you had the rook(the most powerful trump). You sloughed if you didn’t have a color and, if you had it and didn’t want to play the Rook.
When the bidder says he’s going to shoot the moon, he’s saying he will take all tricks(120 points) and if he didn’t, he went back the 120 points. As I said earlier, I never remember Papa missing.
We always played around a glass topped coffee table, Papa in his favorite chair, my sisters and I on foot stools and bean bags. Grandma rarely played, serving as hostess for us while we were in the game.
That meant popcorn most of the time. Not any of the prepackaged stuff available now, no microwaves to get it done in a few seconds. Grandma manned a big metal bowl with a glass top, measuring cooking oil and loose kernels in and watching as the heating coils started the popping going, stopping just at the right time to keep it from burning.
The smell was wonderful!
Top that off with a cold, eight ounce bottle of Coke. You can’t beat that. Sometimes there was ice cream or cake. But the pop corn was a favorite of us all.
As I said earlier, Papa was at the store by seven a. m. every day it was open(six days a week). But when we played cards, it was hard to get him to stop. He’d keep us going late and we’d go right along(we lived just down the street), laughing and having a wonderful time.
Those were wonderful times when we sit back and think. We didn’t have all the distractions kids have today and I think we had a much better time than most of them do. I’m sure they would disagree and they might be right. It’s all a matter of perspective really. We made our own entertainments as children and spent more time with the old folks than today’s world. Heh, now that I think on it, I’m older than my grandparents were during those times and I don’t consider myself old.
I haven’t played Rook in a good many years, not since Papa passed away in 1977. I don’t even remember all the rules now and I may be wrong on some. But I can never forget those long ago times.