September 4

September 4 was an important day in my life three times. I’ll write about two of them here.

September 4, 2012. My phone rang late that night. I gladly answered it, knowing it would be Lorraine, my sister. We often talked late at night because there were no interruptions! We could talk as long as we wanted to and we often talked for a couple of hours or longer! We talked about our childhood, our parents and brothers and sisters-in-law, our grandchildren, our feelings, our belief in God…and sometimes, non-belief. We both felt better when we hung up, knowing we both had shared our true feelings, knowing we both understood where we each stood on issues, and feeling a little closer to each other and to God.  Lorraine

But this night when I answered with a cheery hello, it wasn’t Lorraine. It was my brother, Richard! Well, that was a surprise, but I enjoy talking with him too. Then he told me why he was calling. Lorraine had died that day! No! No! It can’t be! What? How? When? Why? No! Not Lorraine!

How many times had we laughed about the longevity in our genes! We both hoped we’d keep our good health and clear minds as we aged. Our parents did so we should too! She was a widow and one year she flew from Oregon to Michigan to visit me! I was thrilled as we had a great time together.

We’d been so close as children but had grown apart when we were teenagers and then as young wives and mothers we were so busy and so many miles apart we just didn’t keep up with a close relationship, like we should have. I’m actually ashamed…

But now we were both retired and had time and needed each other so we spent hours on the phone late at night. We sometimes talked about death. I assured her of my relationship with Jesus and my belief in God. She had many questions and I felt her belief begin to blossom again. We even talked about death but it was a long way off and we needed to have a close relationship with God as time was going by so quickly. She told me she had forsaken her faith years ago and I assured her I’d be praying for her because God loved her. Then one night she told me she believed in God again. She felt Him with her. She wanted to be even closer to Him. I continued to pray for her daily. Now, suddenly, she was gone. But our conversations and prayers were not in vain. I believe she’s in heaven and I’ll be with her one day.

September 4, 2013. Mother, who had died on August 25, at 99 1/2 years, was buried beside Dad, in Stanwood, Washington. We struggled, debated, questioned and finally decided to have Mother’s ashes buried on September 4. Lorraine had died one year earlier on September 4. It was a distance from Castle Rock, Colorado where she’d been living and had died. Everyone had a distance to travel to get there and then to get back home, for some many hundreds of miles. Lorraine was also honored in the short burial service for Mother. It was a painful day.                                                                                                            Lorraine & Dog       OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA     6038 (2) (1)

September 4, 2018. The pain is still in my heart. It hasn’t gone away. It’s just as vivid as in 2012 and 2013. I loved Lorraine and I loved Mother. Someday I’ll be with both of them, when my day comes to leave this earth. I love you, Lorraine! I love Mother!

 

 

Manchester, Iowa Is In My Roots

Manchester, Iowa is on highway 20 halfway between Waterloo and Dubuque. It’s a lovely town in the county of Delaware and has very special meaning to me. Population: 5,053 (2016). Please read on…!        .

On June 27, 2018 Todd Piro a correspondent from Fox and Friends stopped in to Jude’s Cafe on Main Street in Manchester, Iowa! He visited with some of the men eating breakfast and drinking coffee! It was broadcast on Fox and Friends!

Jerry and I were watching Fox and Friends, as we do every morning! Imagine our surprise when this segment came on. Oh, are you wondering why it was actually exciting to us?

My dad, Glen Williamson, grew up in Manchester, Iowa! Dad was the youngest of seven children and was born on the family farm near Masonville, Iowa. When dad was nine years old, his dad, my grandfather, Andrew Williamson, retired at age 59 from farming. Andrew and Rose bought a lot, at 152 Gay Street in Manchester, where Andrew, built a house for them! They moved in on February 4, 1920. Dad was 10 and the only child still living at home. He built a large enough house for the rest of the children to know they could always come home and especially for holidays.                                                                                                Scan_Pic0006

That’s Grandma and Grandpa Williamson on the steps of the front porch,  in their old age. Grandpa died in 1942. Grandma died in 1948. The last time I was in Manchester the house was still there on Gay Street. Their car, a 1916 Saxon is parked in the driveway! He bought it new and never bought another car!

Dad had gone to the one room school house, through half of fourth grade, that all of his brothers and sisters had attended. But now he was enrolled in Manchester Elementary School. He was in fourth grade. He did well in school and was the only child in the family to attend and graduate from high school! Scan_Pic0011

This is a picture of Manchester High that Dad attended and graduated from.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This was the end of Dad’s Manchester days except to return to visit. But later Dad’s sister and brother-in-law, Bessie and Earnie retired from farming and moved to Manchester. We visited them several times. They lived very close to Main Street in a lovely home.

Bessie & Earnie                                    Aunt Bessie lived to be 102 years old! When she was 100 years a party was held for her at the Good Neighbor Nursing Home in Manchester where she then lived. What a wonderful party it was! Relatives and friends came from California, Iowa, Michigan, Washington, Illinois, Colorado, Arkansas, Minnesota and Saskatchewan, Canada all to honor my Aunt Bessie! This is a snapshot of Aunt Bessie and me at her birthday party. There were lots of pictures taken.  Bessie & me         DocFile (2)  She received this birthday letter from Willard Scott on the Today Show at NBC News.  Aunt Bessie lived for just over another two years.                                                                                      Uncle Earnie and Aunt Bessie are both buried in Manchester Cemetery along with their son, my cousin, Fred. Bessie & Earnie graveFred Sommer grave                                                                                             So you can see Manchester, Iowa means a lot to me and that’s why I got so excited when Fox and Friends featured Manchester, Iowa on their show! If you’re ever in Iowa it’s a great little town!

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Friend Barb

I’m thinking about some of my memories with Barb!  Hockaday_Barbara_20151108   I’ve known her since the year before I married Jerry. That would be 1958!

Barb and Dick attended our wedding in Winona Lake, Indiana. In fact, they were among the ‘friends’ who stole my suitcase and tied all my clothes in knots before returning it to our car so Jerry and I could leave on our honeymoon! Dad and me wedding  This picture is proof Barb was at my wedding! No, she’s not in the picture! This is my dad walking me down the aisle, and Barb’s husband, Dick, is in the picture! He’s the man closest to my dad! Barb is next to Dick, and can’t be seen! But she was there!

Dick and Jerry were both in the National Guard and had to go to National Guard Camp every summer. Barb invited me to stay with her since we’d both be alone.

Well, Barb and HoneyBee were alone! HoneyBee was her big, loveable, mixed Boxer dog! She was securely tied in the back yard. Our first night alone, after we were asleep, HoneyBee woke us up with her barking! She didn’t stop! She barked and barked. Barb and I laid in bed trying to convince each other not to worry. It was probably just an animal, maybe a raccoon. But, the longer she barked and the longer we talked, the more worried we became! What if some man heard that two young brides were sleeping in this house, with no husbands…! What if HoneyBee was trying to warn us? What if the man was trying to break in!? Oh, what should we do? We couldn’t just stay there! But how could we get to the car without him grabbing us? Then one of us, I’m not sure which one, got an idea… Let’s call Jim. Jim was our brother-in-law and lived less than two miles away.

(Let me explain the relationship here. Jim was Jerry’s brother. Marion, Jim’s wife, was Dick’s sister. So Jim was the brother-in-law of both Barb and me, but yet, Barb and I weren’t related.)

Then Barb and I had another problem! How could we look up Jim’s phone number without turning the light on? We didn’t want the ‘man’ to know we were up! We called information, in the dark, and asked for Jim’s number, which we wrote down in the dark. Then we dialed, in the dark, and waited and waited, for Jim to wake up and answer the phone. He finally did and I explained to him what our problem was and how scared we were. His reply? “So?” I swallowed hard and asked if he would come and get us and let us sleep at his house! There was a pause…and then he said, “Okay.”

The next night we decided to keep HoneyBee in the house. Ohhhh, every now and then, all night long, I had to push HoneyBee away and wipe her slobbers off my face!

The third night we kept HoneyBee in the house again, but we closed the bedroom door. In the morning, we were hurrying around, getting ready for the day. Barb had to go to work. I just needed to be dropped off at my house. But Barb couldn’t find her keys! We both searched all over the house. No keys. Did HoneyBee hide them? We searched some more. No keys. Finally, Barb said maybe she left them in her car and went out to look. No keys. She searched the ground, in case she had dropped them. No keys. She came back to the house, grabbed the doorknob… Her KEYS! In the lock were her keys on the outside!!! They were just waiting for some man to come in, in the night!

For a weekend, Barb and I drove up to Grayling, Michigan to the National Guard Camp, to be with our husbands for a couple of days. We rented a cottage on a lake to share and had a great time. We watched them march in a parade and go through ceremonial maneuvers.

The next year, when the guys went to National Guard Camp, Barb stayed with me in our new house. I had my new baby, Pamela Gail! Barb loved her! We rented a cottage on a lake again for a weekend and Jerry and Dick joined us again. But this time, I had all kinds of baby paraphernalia!

Years went by, we continued our friendship. We had more babies, five total. Barb and Dick were blessed with two babies, Terri and Brent.

As the years passed, with the business of life, I lost contact with Barb. I’m glad I have these fun memories of her.  Now she’s gone. Today I attended her memorial service. I know she had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, so someday I’ll see her again.

I’m Ready, Are You?

Another funeral today… the sister of my very close friend. I barely knew the person who died so suddenly, but yet I considered her a friend. We saw each other mainly at family functions: weddings, anniversaries, and funerals. Today was her funeral, her death was so unexpected. She was 78 years old, about a year and a half older than I am.

So another funeral today. There have been so many…! Lorraine, Joan, Lynne, Dean, Norma, Oates, Twila, Jim, another Jim, Jack, Bob, Margaret, Carolee, David, Evelyn, and there are more. These are just the names that came to my mind just now as I’m writing.

These are also close to my age! I didn’t name the folks who’ve died in their old age, upper 80’s and 90’s! Yes, I’m in my middle seventies. But, I don’t feel old! I know I must look old! I get offers of help at the supermarket! When I was in Haiti in June of this year, the wonderful Haitian folks wouldn’t allow me to do anything! They would hold up their hands and say, “Oh, no, Grandma. No, no!” They would then do the task I was needing to do! I do admit to having aches and pains that are new to me, but I’m not ready to die!

Well, physically, I’m not ready to die. Spiritually, I am ready to die! I’m forgiven, I’m born again, I’m living in praise of my personal Saviour! What a wonderful place to be! When my day comes for me to breathe my last breath, I don’t want anyone to wonder if I’m  ready! New haircut  Praise God, I’m ready! Are you?

The Death of a Friend

I lost my very good friend, of fifty years, to cancer, last week. Dean Beguhl Way back when I was in high school and jr. college, 1955-1958, Dean Beguhl and I were very good friends. He wasn’t my boyfriend, but he was my very good friend. Dean 1956  He was a year ahead of me in school. Dean was from Idaho and I was from Iowa. He was a wonderful singer! The best, my favorite! anita 1957 We lost track of each other after leaving Wessington Springs Jr. College in South Dakota. He went to New York, I came to Michigan. But our friendship remained even though we lost track of each other. In 2000 I saw a post on Facebook about a man splitting logs. It was on a mutual friend’s page. It said the man was Dean Beguhl! So I wrote a comment: “What is my favorite singer doing, splitting logs?” Then Dean and I became friends on Facebook. He explained to me that when he and Norma retired they moved to Michigan, bought five acres of woods and built a log home. They lived by their daughter and family. I wrote back immediately: When Jerry and I retired, we bought five acres of woods and built a log home! We live near our son and family! That was the beginning of our renewed friendship. We invited them to come for a visit…they came! This picture of Dean and Norma is in front of our spiral staircase!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Norma & Dean Beguhl

It was the first time for Norma to meet us and the first time for Jerry to meet both of them and for them to meet him. Dean and I picked up our friendship from about 50 years ago! We had a great time!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Norma & Dean at the Midland Tridge!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Two sets of grandparents!

One day he mentioned a wood carving class he’d sure love to attend but just couldn’t pay for the class and also for a motel for a week. I asked where it was and he replied at the Midland County Fairgrounds! I immediately told him it was only about four miles from our house! He was welcome to stay in our guest room! So he came. It was a very good week for him! He was a very talented wood-carver! We have several of his masterpieces in our curio cabinet.

Dean Beguhl at work

Dean Beguhl at work

When Dean was staying that week with us, he and I renewed our own friendship from 50 years ago! We had great visits. One night we stayed up just talking, in the sunroom, way past 1:00 AM. Jerry had gone to bed early so we just reminisced, looked at old pictures, we discussed our happy marriages and our children, and our relationship with God through Christ. I’ll never forget that night.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Dean is eating a piece of my blueberry pie.

We were invited to visit them in their home and had an enjoyable time with them. Our log homes are different in style but both are unique and we all loved both of them!  Their logs were from British Colombia, Canada. Ours were from the upper peninsula of Michigan.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Archer’s log home.

Beguhl's log home

Beguhl’s log home

They came back to visit us one more time. We had another very good visit and time together.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Jerry, Norma, & Dean.

Norma was beginning to have some serious problems. She was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. In between cancer treatments, they began fulfilling some of her bucket list. A concert by a favorite singer, tandem skydiving! Norma Skydiving  Dean Skydiving  What an exciting adventure for both of them.

About six months ago, Dean revealed to us that he also had pancreatic cancer. While Norma has outlived all the predictions, Dean’s life ended May 24, 2015. It’s so sad to think about. But at the same time I’m so thankful for the past couple of years when we renewed our friendship from so many years ago! We’ll meet again someday when it’s my time to go, there’s no doubt about it! But I truly thank God for giving us this time of renewing our friendship.

Lorraine Roseann and Me

Lorraine and I were sisters. We played together all the time as children. 2414_1029994670148_9430_n  This picture of Richard, Lorraine and me, was taken in 1942. Grandma Aanas came to stay with us because Mother was deathly ill with our baby brother, Billy. Neither were expected to live. Billy was born three months premature and weighed 2lbs 9oz. . Grandma dressed us up, curled our hair, took us on a city bus to a photo shop and had our picture taken for our mother! I was three years old, I’m in the middle. Richard was seven. Lorraine was five.

Lorraine and I loved our dolls and played with them every day. We also played School, Lorraine was always the teacher. We played Jacks, Jump Rope, Mother-May-I, Paper Dolls, and more.  kids 1947  Richard, Anita, Billy, Lorraine. 1947.

Then Lorraine turned teenager! I was still a child. I couldn’t understand why she didn’t want to play with me anymore! She began to hang out with new friends! In her sophomore year of high school, she went away to school. Richard went to the same school in South Dakota. Our life at home was never the same.

Lorraine and I were in each other’s weddings,Lorraine 010 but we lived so far apart, South Dakota and Michigan, so we seldom saw each other. In this picture, left to right: Bill and Richard, ushers; Christine, flower girl; Lorraine, matron of honor; me, bride; Jerry, groom; Mother and Dad. Then we both became so busy with babies and raising our families, we didn’t take the time to write letters. I’m ashamed and so sorry that we drifted so far apart.

Lorraine and her family moved to Germany for nine months in the late sixties. On their way and on their way back they came to our house and stayed about a week each time. Lorraine and I became close during those visits. I even confided in her at her prompting. She sensed something was bothering me.

In our retirement, we finally came close once again. Lorraine, on the left. 334297_10150350549117528_639567527_8289434_855443489_oWith the change in phone systems, it became easy to call and chat for long conversations. We called often. We called late at night. We talked long…hours. We reminisced. We discussed God, church, family, death, ourselves, brothers, parents, children, grandchildren, news, weather, etc. We did not discuss politics!

Lorraine & Dog

We often laughed at the longevity in our genes. Aunt Bessie lived to be 102 years, Great Uncle Will lived to be 101 years, Mother lived to be 99 years and five months and Dad lived four days shy of 96 years! We both wanted to live long lives, but we didn’t want to be a burden to our children.

September 4, 2012 my phone rang late, I answered thinking of another good chat with Lorraine. Instead, it was my brother, Richard! He simply told me Lorraine had died. We didn’t talk long. I was in shock. He gave me a few details. She hadn’t answered her phone so Christine went to check on her. Christine’s mother, my sister, had died! I was in shock.

Lorraine was 76 years and seven months old. How could this be? What happened to our longevity? Oh, I miss her so much!

I’m now 76 years and five months old. Whoa…

Every morning I thank God for another day!

 

Pearl Harbor Day

???????????????????????????????   Today is Pearl Harbor Day. What a privilege it was to go to the Memorial last year. I remember the day! I was just a little girl, but I remember the day when everyone, EVERYONE, was started and listening to the radio, wondering what was going to happen next. It was as if the world stood still. ???????????????????????????????

PA240248  God bless America!