My Dogs

My dogs were actually our family pets. Rusty, Jocko, Corky, Trixie, Pinto, and Buddy.

Rusty may have been part Boxer, but we really don’t know for sure. My parents got him from a dog pound because with my dad traveling so much Mother was alone. They both felt better having a dog in the house with her, especially at night. After a few years they asked if we would give him a home and they brought him from Colorado to Michigan! They loved him and just couldn’t return him to the dog pound. We loved him too. At feeding time he would sit beside me watching me fill his dish, then he would wait until I said “Okay, Rusty,” and he would begin eating! That’s just one of his loving characteristics! We had Rusty for several years.

Timmy and Rusty. We were camping at Higgons Lake Camp Ground. He loved going with us. Pammy, Teddy, and Timmy all loved him, but Pam claimed him!
Teddy and Jocko. This is not a good, clear picture but it’s all I’ve got of Jocko. They are sitting on the tailgate of our pickup truck, with our new Gem pickup camper. He was a little Poodle. He was given to us by folks who were moving into an apartment where pets were not allowed. He was a one-person pet and he became mine. He followed me everywhere…but he was not allowed in our bedroom!
Corky. Ted’s dog was a very obedient dog and Ted taught him tricks! Here he’s sitting and posing, waiting for the treat in Ted’s hand. We got this dog and our neighbors took his sister and named her Muffins. Corky was hit by a car and one of his hips was broken.
Trixie. She was a tiny birthday present for Tim one year. She was so pretty and sweet! She even went on a trip with us all the way to Oregon!

Trixie loved it when I went cross country skiing in the woods behind our property. She would start barking and jumping as soon as I reached for my ski’s. She’d run ahead of me and then stop and wait for me to catch up and off she’d run again. This was a high light for both of us.

Then the day we got Pinto. Trixie and Pinto became great friends and played tag every day racing through the yard. But one day Pinto was hit by a car driving up the neighbor’s driveway. She lived and they were still best buds but their tag playing days were over.

Pinto. Our little Chihuahua. She pranced around like a little Pinto Pony, thus her name Pinto!
Pinto walking in her later years. She lived to be over 13 years old. We all loved Pinto. She was our baby.

Pinto was actually Christy’s dog. It was the fourth of July and we had gone to watch the fire works. Jerry drove his pickup truck to the fairgrounds and we were just watching from the parking lot. The kids were sitting in the back of the truck. A car drove by and stopped, a kid jumped out and ran to our truck. He then, tossed something at our kids, and the car drove off! We had no idea what it was… but Christy caught it! Oh my, it was a little tiny dog! We couldn’t just put it down on the ground, it would get run over. So we took it home with us, saying we would take it to the dog pound in the morning. Well…we went to our vet instead of the dog pound! Our vet said she was about two years old and she was part Chihuahua. Oh my, I have so many stories I could write about Pinto, but there just isn’t room here. One day she died in our family room thirteen years after Christy rescued her.

Buddy. Rob’s dog.

Rob and I picked Buddy out at the dog pound. He was a puppy and just looked at us like he really wanted to go with us. We couldn’t say no!

Buddy was a very obedient dog. He grew to be good sized. Buddy was a good pal and a good dog to have around for safety sake.

Buddy and I loved each other. He loved to sit in our swing with me! He never sat with anyone else! We loved each other! One night Buddy died after a tragic accident. I cried. I still miss him.

So this is the end of our family dogs…for now.

Our Greatest Earthly Gift

When Jerry and I were married we were given, as a wedding gift, a guest book. We were surprised but because my mother used one for special guests to sign, we decided to use it, and to be careful that no guests were left out.

This was the first house Jerry built for us and where we began using our first guest book.
Here we are, we moved into our new house in October, 1959, even though it wasn’t finished yet!

Our first signature in our guestbook was on October 28, 1959. An aunt and uncle of Jerry and his mother came to visit us in our new home. Mr. and Mrs. Luther May from Flint, Michigan and Frances Archer signed as our first visitors.

We had three children born to us in this first home.
Pamela Gail, Theodore Gerald, and Timothy Lee.


Timmy, Jerry, Teddy. Anita, Pammy.

We outgrew this little house, so we sold it and built a new, bigger house. Our family grew by two more children in our big house!

Pam, Ted, Tim, Jerry, Robby, Anita, and Christy!

We lived here for thirty-five years and had many guests from all over the world. I worked as an English as a Second Language tutor, ESL, and had students from many countries around the world. Most of them were in our home at least once, some several times. They all signed our guestbook.

This is our third and last home. Our dream come true! Our log home! We’ve lived here for over 20 years already and have had many guests who’ve all signed our guestbook.
We’re back down to only two of us! Sometimes Jerry kids our guests and says we need their signature so we can bill them for our next house payment! Usually they laugh, but once in a while a guest will look up with a worried look on his/her face and so Jerry quickly says, “Just kidding, just kidding!”
Our family all grown up!
Pam, Ted, Tim, Christy, and Rob. Anita and Jerry.

Oh, so many memories, so many changes! Some friends had married, some have died, and some are divorced. We get lost in our memories as we read through the books. We’ve had four bishops; and thirteen pastors, including assistant pastors. We’ve had many, many international friends from all over the world. What a privilege has been ours!

We’ve had at least twenty-one missionaries from all over the world! I’ll list the countries they served in or are still serving. China, Ecuador, Hong Kong, India, Mexico, Mozambique, Myanmar, Paraguay, Rhodesia, Rwanda, South Africa, Taiwan,
The Philippines, and Zaire. What a privilege has been ours!

My most treasured signature is that of Alice Taylor. We had an unforgettable time with Alice Taylor, missionary to China and Taiwan. She was visiting in our home in 1974. I invited a Chinese couple over to meet her. Oh! We were completely left out of the conversation! It was all in Mandarin! But, never the less, we had an unforgettable time with Alice Taylor!

I have so many interesting stories I could write about! One is about a guest who took his turn, along with his children, riding our sons go-cart! A few years later, he was voted in as one of the distinguished bishops of our church denomination! His signature in our book!

Days Gone By… Part 2

I, like so many of you, have wonderful memories and art to remember my family by. img_2683 This little chicken, made by punching holes in a sheet of metal, was made by one of my great-grandfathers!                                              img_2687 This bookend was made by one of my grandfathers! There are two of them, books stand between them, and I’m using them. I love them!

IMG_2695      The Lord’s Prayer was embroidered, by my mother, as a gift to my grandparents for their golden anniversary on January 1,  1940! Today it’s hanging in my living room.

IMG_2693 This rolling pin was made by Jerry, my husband, in his high school shop class. I have many more of his projects: a beautiful hope chest; a beautiful gun cabinet, which we’ve given to our daughter and husband; a bookcase; and several more.

I’m wondering what will become of these treasures when I’m gone. Will my children or grandchildren treasure them?

Do you have antique treasures you’re keeping? Have you shared them? I hope I’m not alone in this…!

 

 

 

 

 

 

My International Friends

I’ve always loved International folks. I’ve always wanted to travel to all the world and make friends. Even as a little girl I was fascinated with folks who were a different color or spoke a different language than I did. I’m so fortunate! I’ve now been to 15 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America! Oh, there are so many more places I would love to go to!

I suppose this came from when I was a very little girl! You see, my great aunts and uncles and my grandma Aanas all came from northeastern Iowa where many Norwegian folks lived. The farm that my great-great grandparents homesteaded was still in the family. My relatives were all white, of course, but they spoke a different language. Norwegian. It was a fascinating language to listen to. I can still see and hear my great aunts walking down the sidewalk to my great-grandparents house in Waterloo, Iowa. They were three or four women all talking at once, each trying to get the attention of the others! It was quite hilarious and I’m sure the neighbors had a good laugh!

Another recollection was in the early 40’s when a Japanese couple lived in a room in our upstairs in Des Moines, Iowa. They spoke English to us but Japanese to each other.

After my youngest son entered high school I became a tutor for folks who needed to learn English as their second language. I loved my job and I loved each of my students. They came from many different countries from all over the world! They were all ages and they were all here legally!

One evening I got a phone call from a girl with broken English, who asked if I would meet her to talk because she had a problem. Of course I said yes. When I arrived at the house where she was living, she immediately came out to my car and got in the passenger side. She said, “I need to talk to you. I have a problem!” I had never met this young person before and didn’t even know her name! But she slowly and softly told me she was pregnant. I felt we needed to back up so I could get to know her and her situation.

She had been hired and brought to the US illegally, by the folks she was living with, to be the caregiver for the ailing bed-fast mother, of the husband, in the family!

During an evening off she became pregnant by a young man who now wanted nothing to do with her! She needed to talk with someone and my name and phone number had been given to her! Our city had a medical clinic for low income folks but I told her first she needed to get a green card so she was here legally. I assured her I would go with her to Detroit to get it. I had made this trip before and she agreed to go.

A day before we went she called me again to tell me we didn’t need to go to Detroit now because she had gotten married! A friend offered to marry her so she was now legal! A few months later she lost the baby. I haven’t heard from her now in many years.

Today we have a problem! A huge problem! I still love all the international folks I ever see or meet. I’m for all people no matter their color, language, age, religion. God made them, He loves them and I love them.

My country has laws. I’ve been taught to obey the laws. I believe everyone should obey the law, citizens and non-citizens. Yes, there are non-citizens living here.

Those hundreds and hundreds of people in Mexico wanting to cross the border and come to live here are wrong to think they can just enter and make a new home here illegally. No, we have laws. I obey them as most all citizens do! Love has nothing to do with it! I still love them but they must obey the laws and come across our border legally. I don’t see any other way.

One person said to me, “Well, God loves them and He wouldn’t keep them out!” To which I replied, “Yes, God loves them, He sent His Son to die for them but even God has laws. God gave His Son for us so we could go to heaven when we die, but those who don’t accept Him will not go to heaven. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. John 3:16. A person who is not born again will not go to heaven when they die. I believe it and I am born again.

I love all those people wanting to come across the border to live here. But they must come across legally.

Days Gone By…

I’m a saver. Well, just look what I’ve saved…!

img_2673
Haleigh’s hand about 20 years ago!
img_2675
Christy’s hand about 46 years ago!
img_2674
My hand about 75 years ago!

These three little hand prints! The last one is the oldest! It’s mine! It doesn’t give the date. But my name is on the bottom. The first one is the youngest. It’s my granddaughter’s, Haleigh! It’s so small! She went to a pre-school and I think that’s where her’s was made. The one in the middle is my youngest daughter, Christy! I need to refresh the paint. I think her’s was done in kindergarten. I wish I had one of all my children, five, and all my grandchildren, 15, and my great-grandson! Do you have hand prints or other items to remember and keep?                                                           

Eighty…

It’s past time for me to write about turning eighty years!

My birthday was on Halloween Day. IMG_2420                    But I feel I must get my feelings out in writing. This was a difficult birthday!

Yes, I turned eighty! I don’t feel eighty! Some folks have a hard time turning 30, 40, 50… I had no problem with those years. But 80…! I remember when my mother turned eighty!

Friends tell me I don’t look eighty! But maybe they’re just being nice! I don’t feel eighty… Hmmmm! What does eighty feel like? I don’t know…I’ve never been eighty before! IMG_2375 I’m holding a month old Husky puppy! This is the latest picture of me and was taken on my eightieth birthday. No, the puppy was not a birthday present or any kind of present! He/she is not mine! Although I would love to keep  him/her! My niece invited me to visit and hold the new puppies!

I do get tired and worn out easily. My hair is almost all white, there’s still some gray in the back. My hair is thinning!!! Help! Jerry and I don’t drive at night any more. I’m buying frozen dinners for us to eat several nights of the week!

Our children…are pictured at the top of this page! We have five and none of them live near us. Only one lives in Michigan! The others live in Illinois; Sask., Canada; New Mexico; and Georgia! But they are taking charge!!! Pam moved us down from our big, beautiful bedroom upstairs to a bedroom downstairs! Tim drove us to South Carolina to a grandson’s wedding. Ted, Christy, and Rob are all in agreement that we shouldn’t drive outside of our town!!!  We’re all in contact often. What?! Is this eighty?

I actually had three celebrations for my 80th birthday! First one, planned by one daughter and two daughters-in-law, was in South Carolina the day before my grandson’s wedding! IMG_2016 (1)    The second was our small group, we are members of, when they surprised me! IMG_3455                                             The third was dinner at Lucky’s Steak House with Jerry! It was my first time to go there! Both of our steaks were cooked to perfection! He gave me a beautiful Nativity set to go with my collection. IMG_2360 (1) So you can see I had a good  birthday. So I should be happy…!!!

But eighty? I’m not ready to be old!

One day a realization came to me. I have loved ones who have already died: parents, sister, some close relatives, some close friends. Favorite Bible characters: Joseph, Daniel, David, Mary, Luke, Timothy, John, and many others! I’ve always looked far ahead knowing that someday I’ll join them. Well, someday is getting closer! I won’t have quite so long a wait! That’s a good thing! Something to look forward to!!!

I do have longevity in my genes: Dad – 96, Mother – 99, Aunt Bessie – 102, Great-uncle Will – 101, and maybe some others I’m not aware of. I guess I’ll just live one day at a time and one year at a time. When my time comes I’m ready. I’ve asked Jesus for forgiveness and to live in my heart, so I know where I’m going when my time comes. I’ve been born again! I hope when your time comes that you’ll join me!

“What a day that will be…when my Jesus I shall see! When I look upon His face, the One who saved me by His grace…”

 

My Big Brother and Me part 2

In 1950 we moved to Elk Run Heights just outside Waterloo, Iowa. Waterloo had a baseball team, the Waterloo White Hawks, a farm club of the White Sox. We loved baseball. That year the baseball club came up with a solution to a problem they’d had for years. Kids would line up along the fence surrounding the ball field to watch through the knot holes, probably making new ‘knot holes’ just so they could watch the game. In 1950 they advertised t-shirts that read across the back, KNOT HOLER! Mother bought each of us one. Richard and I, especially, loved to go to the games and as long as we wore our t-shirts we got in free!

One game night we had a dilemma…it was Wednesday evening. We always went to church on Wednesday evening. In fact, we went to church twice on Sunday and to every Wednesday evening  prayer meeting. We never missed. Oh boy, this evening Richard and I really wanted to go to the ballgame. We begged and coaxed.  Mother finally agreed but…we had to go to prayer meeting first and each give a testimony! We agreed. For some unknown reason prayer meeting was held in a home that evening instead of at the church. Harvey and Minnie Nichols were hosting the service. They happened to live in the same direction as the stadium! We arrived on time. First we sang some hymns, then Bro. Nichols, prayed. Oh, it was the longest prayer!!! Finally it was time for testimonies. Richard jumped to his feet  and declared his love for Jesus, I immediately followed him with “I love the Lord with all my heart!” Then we politely excused ourselves and went to the ballgame! I don’t remember who won the game but it was an evening I’ve never forgotten!

In my seventh year of school and Richard’s 11th year he went to South Dakota to Wessington Springs Jr College and High School. Then someone graciously paid Lorraine’s way to also attend the same school. Our life at home changed dramatically with only Billy and myself at home with Mother. Dad was traveling most of the time as an evangelist. This picture is Richard and Lorraine, brother and sister, who became great friends while away at school!Richard & Lorraine

The school year went by quickly and in August we moved to Des Moines, Iowa. Dad had been appointed pastor of First Free Methodist Church. Lorraine returned to South Dakota to school but Richard stayed home with us in Des Moines. He had decided to join the Army.

I’ll never forget the night before he was to leave early the next morning. My bedroom was right next to his. I wanted to go to him to tell him good-bye, I wanted to give him a hug. I wanted him to know I loved him, I would miss him and I’d be praying for him. Our family wasn’t a demonstrative family. We never hugged or said I love you. But that night I wanted to so badly. The Korean War was going on and I didn’t know what that would mean for him. I tossed and turned all night but I didn’t go to him. I just couldn’t risk being rejected by my big brother. It seems ridiculous now but that was then.

Richard was stationed at Camp Gordon, Augusta, Georgia for his entire three years! Mother and Dad and Billy and I took a trip down to Georgia for his basic training graduation. I was so proud of him. I was a teenager now and he told me some of the guys were asking him who the pretty young girl was with his family. He said he told them I was his sister and they’d better not bother me! Then he gave me some big-brotherly advise about guys and how I should be careful! This was the first of a few big brother talks he gave me through my teen years… Scan_Pic0168

In the army Richard became a radio communications instructor; got married; had a son… Life goes on but life is not always fair. The marriage didn’t last but his son did! Richard Anthony Williamson, my nephew!

I remember the day like it was yesterday. Richard had come home to seek counsel from Dad and Mother. I didn’t know he was coming. I walked through the living room, Richard was sitting on the sofa. We looked at each other…his eyes looked wild! What was wrong? Later Mother explained to me what was happening. I was heart broken for Richard. I cried, sobbed, cried some more; praying all the while. Divorce! How could this be happening to my wonderful big brother?

Richard had graduated from De Vry Technical Institute in Chicago.

I was a freshman at Wessington Springs Jr College. Richard returned to begin his college career. It was very nice for me to have my big brother so close. We didn’t spend a lot of time together but just knowing he was near was a comfort to me.

The summer of 1958 I met Jerry and we fell in love! So I decided to transfer to Spring Arbor College in Michigan. We were married the next summer. Richard was an usher in our wedding. This picture is our family: Bill, Richard, little Christine, Lorraine, me, Jerry, Mother and Dad. Dad married us. Bill and Richard were ushers, Christine was flower girl, Lorraine was matron of honor, I was the bride!Lorraine 010

Then Richard married again. He and his new wife moved to Spring Arbor so he could go back to school. We got together several different times. We had three children by then, Pammy, Teddy and Timmy. They had a son, Andy.

Richard is a good actor and while he was attending Spring Arbor College he played the part of Silas Marner in the play of the same name. Jerry and I drove down to see the play and were so impressed. Richard was an excellent actor.

From the time I was very young I knew Richard was going to be a pastor. I don’t know how I knew, I just knew. While they were living in Spring Arbor Richard began to feel this call. They moved to Iowa where he became pastor of the Knoxville, Iowa Free Methodist Church. A baby girl was born to them, Susan Diane. We went to visit them while they were living there.

Then they moved to Walla Walla, Washington where he pastored the Free Methodist Church. He also worked with teens who needed help. It led him to write a short book, El Shaddi.

While living there Richard also completed his college work and graduated from Walla Walla College in ‘69 with a degree in English and a minor in Religion. I was very proud of him.

Another move was made, this time to Golden, Colorado where he pastored the Free Methodist Church. The conference superintendent was our own father, Glen Williamson. We went to visit them and had the wonderful, unforgettable experience of going to The Flying W Ranch. We enjoyed it as much as all our children, Pammy, Teddy, Andy, Timmy and Susan.

But trouble was brewing again and again there was a divorce. My heart was saddened again for my big brother. As I prayed for him I questioned God, “Why, Lord? Why?”

This divorce, of course, meant the end of his pastoral ministry in the Free Methodist Church. I was saddened. He was a good pastor.

He continued living in Colorado, moving to Greeley. He had several jobs, he was successful at every job he had! A printing shop, The Pony Express. He headed up a ministry for troubled boys. He managed a home for senior citizens. He always left the job a better position then when he started with it.

I mentioned before that he was a good actor. The Hollywood movie Centennial was being made. Richard tried out as an extra and got the job! He was a minister in one scene and…

Then he met Cookie. They married and a year later Heidi Ann was born!

He still acted in plays. He was often the leading man.

Richard began attending the Methodist Church in Greeley, often filling in when the pastor was gone. Then he was hired as Pastor. 17 years over 3 different times.

Richard loves old radios and has collected and repaired them for years. He also has had a radio program “Oldies” for 22 years! At present he’s on The Pirate Radio station in Greeley, Colorado every Sunday evening, 5:30 to 11:30 PM. He plays music from the 40’s and 50’s and old programs like Fibber Magee and Molly, Inner Sanctum, Jack Benny, and so many more.

Richard is a busy man at 84 years of age! He just had a birthday! He’s a husband, grandfather, and great grandfather! He also makes up cross word puzzles and other word puzzles for the Greeley News!

I’m very proud of my big brother! There is a lot more I could have written but I didn’t. I wish we lived closer but we don’t. I’m thankful for telephones and internet and mail. Today it’s very easy to stay in touch. I love you, Richard!