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!







Happy Birthday, Rob

Happy Birthday, Robert Glen.


I can’t find a recent picture of just you! But this is a good one of both you and Jessica.

You were named after both of your grandfathers! They were both good men so you are honored to bear their names. You didn’t get to meet Robert because he died, from cancer, in 1951. He would have been pleased to have a grandson named for him. You did get to know Glen. He was a happy and proud grandpa to have you bear his name.

Your dad and I are both very proud of you. You’ve taken on a huge responsibility adopting two children, giving you a family of six. We wish we could celebrate your birthday with you. Happy, Happy Birthday!

Heavenly Father, thank You for Rob! Please give him an extra sense of Your presence today. Keep him safe as he drives, alert as he works, loving as a husband and dad, ever-growing in his walk with You. He’s a fine man, husband, father, son, brother, uncle, nephew, friend, and neighbor. I love Rob so much and You love him even more.


Happy Anniversary, Pam and Gene

Happy Anniversary, Pam and Gene. You were married in 1982! Thirty-three years ago! It doesn’t seem possible! Grandpa, my dad, married you! It was a very happy day! Pam & Gene & Dad wedding  In a couple of days now, you’ll be on a cruise! I’m so happy for you!

Thank You, Lord, for Pam and Gene and their happy marriage. Please keep them well and safe. Keep them living close to You. Life moves on and gets very busy. Please keep them close to each other and close to You. I love Pam and Gene so much and You love them even more.

Goodbye Again

Goodbyes are so hard. We’ve had so many lately. Christy, Mason, Maddie came on Tuesday, surprising us by bringing Elmise and Armon, children of Rob & Jessica. They left today after dinner today.  Tim and Shauna came on Thursday about six and will stay until next Friday. Pam and Gene came on Friday at noon and left today after dinner. Ted, Sydney, and Isabella came today! They arrived while we were all at church.  Ted left today, but Sydney and Bella will stay until next weekend when Ted comes back to get them! Here are the grown-ups having dinner together. IMG_1093                                           Jerry, Shauna, Tim, Ted, Gene, Pam, and Christy. We let the kids fill their plates and go outside to eat!

We had a very good week and weekend with some of our children and grandchildren. But today while some more came, some had to leave.  So we had to say goodbye. IMG_1097  These are the grandchildren, four are leaving and two have just arrived! Sydney-16, Maddie-8, Elmise-13, Bella-13, Mason-13,  Arman-10.

IMG_1096                                        Four siblings, one missing. Christy, Ted, Tim, and Pam. Rob is missing.

IMG_1094                                Grandpa (Jerry) is praying just before Christy and four kids, and Pam and Gene leave. IMG_1095                                         The rest of the gang, heads bowed in prayer.


Ashlynn and Elmise, Good friends. Goodbyes are hard.

There They Go…

The day I didn’t want to come is here. Rob, Jessica, Elmise, and Armon are on their way south to live. Haleigh is staying with us for a couple of weeks and then she’ll also be gone. They have lived next door to us for eighteen years! But life goes on… So while I’m sad, I’m also excited for them. What does life have in store for them?

We had our last breakfast together. Bacon, pancakes, orange juice.


Last breakfast.

They loaded up the truck Friday and Saturday. Loading the truck

Today, early this morning, they drove off. Elmise in the car with Jessica.


Rob is securing the motorcycle.


There go Jessica and Elmise, Jessica driving.

Armon, in the truck with Rob.


Armon and Rob



They’re off…

A Weekend With Grandkids

Actually it’s more than a weekend, it’s Friday afternoon to Tuesday evening. It’s going well. A very long ice-sickle took Armon’s attention! Icesicle '15 (2)  IMG_0579 IMG_0580

Jerry and Elmise cooked a ham and cabbage boiled dinner. It’s an all day project, starting first thing in the morning and ending with eating supper! FullSizeRender (2)  Grandpa and Elmise Ham & cabbage boiled dinner with family  Elmise and Armon love it…Haleigh does not!

I love watching Jerry teaching the kids new skills. He’s so patient and explains everything out, letting them try, then helping when they need a hand. The next big project was Armon building a fire in the wood-stove. Crinkled up newspapers came first, then kindling, then logs. Armon did each step, even lighting the match to start the newspapers burning. Grandpa & Armon  Armon  Armon & Fire  Good job, Armon! Then when it got going good, the kids roasted marshmallows!  Haleigh roasting a marshmellow  Elmise roasting a marshmellow  Armon roasting marshmellow .  We also went sledding and tobogganing. They had a lot of fun. Kids sledding  Tobaggoning fun  Our City Forest has a great winter program with sledding, tobogganing, ice skating, skiing, you name it they’ve got it! Warming House  The warming house, the fire place is so inviting! Fire place in the warming house  Church on Sunday. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA  Back to school on Monday. Parents come home Tuesday night. AHHHHH!

Happy Birthday, Jerry

Happy Birthday, Jerry! You are the love of my life!

Jerry & Anita Jan 8, '06  Oh my, where have the years gone? Well, they have been good ones! Here’s an interesting fact that I’m amazed at and proud of! Your grandfather died at 35, your dad died at 48, your brothers died at 66 and you’re still living at 79! I’m very proud and happy to be your wife! We’ll have a quiet day today, which is what you want. Then this evening we’ll have cake and ice cream with Rob’s family to celebrate both you and Haleigh!

Heavenly Father, thank You for Jerry! Neither of us can believe he’s 79! He’s lived a good life, trusting in You. Please watch over him as he lives from day-to-day, keep him safe as he drives, keep him healthy, give him strength. He’s a husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, friend, and neighbor. I love Jerry so much and You love him even more!