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…”

 

What A Difference A Day Makes

The day was all planned. I would be joining four other friends, in our small group, to go to Bay City to pay our respects to our friends, John and Jan, over the death of their sister-in-law. Jerry was staying home. John and Jan seemed so pleased we had taken the time and made the effort to support them in their grief.

As we left, to go home, we decided to stop at a pizza shop, only a few blocks away from the funeral home. We parked across the street from the pizza shop.  No cars were coming so we jaywalked across the street. When I picked up my foot to step over the curb, alas, I didn’t pick it up high enough!!! I felt myself stumbling and going down! I put my hand out in front of me to break my fall. Well, I didn’t break my fall and I did break my wrist!!! I knew it was broken by the way my hand was hanging from my wrist! My friends helped me get up.

But I suddenly felt myself getting faint and cried, “I’m going to pass out!” They quickly helped me lie down on the cement sidewalk. Sharon called Jerry. John called 911. Jerry insisted they take me to Midland Hospital instead of Bay City Hospital. Our wonderful friends met us at Midland hospital. With the help of our friend, Larry, Jerry met us all there. Many hours later after lots of tests, x-rays, and a soft cast put on my arm, we were sent home along with lots of instructions.

The next day, Friday, our friend, Rose, brought supper to us! Oh how wonderful. As we visited she told Jerry and me details about my fall that I didn’t know or didn’t remember! One detail was that her husband, Larry, sat down on the cement and put my head on his lap, as a pillow! I didn’t know that! How sweet of him!

Saturday morning I became very sick. Extremely sick! Jerry didn’t know what to do for me. He called 911. So I was taken to Midland Hospital for the second time in three days! This whole mishap was quite an ordeal! But we have such good friends! John and Jan brought a delicious meal to us and then Creston and Sharon brought supper to us! Wow! We ate good!!!

But it was two weeks before I could see the surgeon! He said it was a bad break and I’d need surgery. So a steel plate, the shape of a T, was put in my wrist with seven screws! Two weeks of a soft cast and then two weeks of a hard cast! Oh what misery!

It’s now been almost three months since I broke my wrist and I’m still in occupational therapy! Please, whatever you do, don’t break your wrist! Of course it doesn’t help that I’m almost 80 years old! I guess the older we are the harder it is to heal! Whatever would I do without my granddaughter helping me out for the summer!

What a difference a day makes! It can be a great day with family and friends. It can be a lonely day. It can be a day where tragedy happens, or a fall and a broken bone.

What A Difference A Day Makes!

 

Ireland, My First Impressions

I love to travel! I’ve had several countries on my bucket list and I’ve been able to visit some, but not all! I wish I could say Ireland was on my bucket list but it wasn’t! So when our daughter, Christy, and her husband, Sean, and their two younger children, Mason and Maddie, moved to Ireland for Sean’s job, I quickly added Ireland to my list!  Our daughter, Pamela, and son-in-law, Gene, decided to go and invited us to go with them. They didn’t have to ask me twice! We flew by Aer Lingus. It’s a very modern airline and I loved it! They served us a very delicious dinner and of course, beverages and snacks. Our flight was long, about eight hours, but very smooth!Ireland Air Line (2) Traffic is, of course, very different. Driving on the opposite side is the norm. The traffic moves smoothly with few stop signs or lights because they have roundabouts! There are some traffic lights, of course. In the city of Dublin, there are more traffic lights, but not as many as we have in the US. There are few stop signs! It’s no problem! Roundabouts take care of the traffic! We have one roundabout here in my town and no one likes it! Folks get confused with it and complain about it all the time! But the many roundabouts in Ireland were very fascinating to me!

Ireland Parking Notice the parked cars are facing each other! That’s perfectly fine!

Signs were another very fascinating subject to me! Folks respected and obeyed the warning signs! Ireland warning sign (2) The end of this street ended in the Irish Sea! This sign warned drivers not to go any closer and they didn’t! Ireland sign (2) This man made right into the cement sidewalk showed which way to walk! It’s so simple! Ireland Pam and guard rail (2) Pam is standing beside the guard rail at this harbor! No one was falling in! This was warning enough! Ireland sign bends  I smiled at this sign. We would have written Dangerous Curves Ahead! But this works! DANGEROUS BENDS AHEAD.

We took the train to Dublin to do some sightseeing. I love riding the train, but oh my…I’ve never been on such a modern train before!   It was wonderful! It ran so smoothly and so quietly, it was incredible! 

Ireland Modern train (2) Ireland train                We sat and visited like we were in our living room! That’s how quiet the train was! We visited without raising our voices the least bit and we could hear just fine!

We took a tourist bus on a sightseeing tour of the city. This isn’t the actual bus we rode on but I wasn’t quick enough to get a good picture of our bus! So this one will do! We went all over the city! The driver explained everything to us! We had a woman driver and when we were in an area of not too much for her to explain about, she sang Irish songs for us over the speaker! She had a real Irish brogue!         Ireland tour bus (2) Ireland open air bus (2)              We sat upstairs on the bus, right in the front seats where we could see well! Pam, Christy, and Gene sat back where there was no roof over them! You can see them in the picture here. They could probably see even better but we wanted the protection from the sun or rain or wind or whatever! It was a ride worth taking.

Ireland is a country that cherishes and protects its history. I love it! Notice the building here behind the tree! It’s been there for hundreds of years! It’s only what’s left of the building but its hundreds of years old! Ireland Old Building (2) Ireland preserves its history! I love it! Another interesting feature here is the wall around the property. Everyone has a wall around their property! This one, above, is of bushes and vines and is hundreds of years old! Ireland Pam & Jerry by wall (2) Jerry and Pam are beside a wall covered with stucco.

Ireland stone wall (2) Jerry is standing beside a stone wall. This next one is an ancient stone wall with vines overgrowing! It’s hundreds of years old!Ireland, very old wall (2)

Most walls are stone, some are cement! The height varies from a few feet high to several feet high. Some are hundreds of years old and some are new. It was very interesting to me! In Canada, almost everyone has a fence. In the USA some folks have a fence and some don’t. In Ireland, everyone has a surrounding wall!

100_6090 (2)

This is Christy’s house with a brick wall across the front and a high wall covered with stucco along the side yard! The house is very nice and fairly new. Downstairs it has a living room, completely separate from the rest of the rooms! There is a family room, office, laundry room, kitchen, dining/sun room, and a half bathroom. Upstairs there are four bedrooms and three bathrooms!                                             Then there is the third floor! It’s all open but with the spiral stairway going up in the middle so it’s like there are two rooms. There are two skylights, one in each room.

Ireland spiral stair (2)

Mason

 We visited places that go clear back to the 11th century! Unbelievable! I’ll show a few examples here.  Trim Castle! The building of this castle was begun in the 1100’s! It was added on to in the 15th century and again in the 17th century! The folks standing here aren’t quite that old, but getting close! It’s Jerry and me, in case you don’t recognize us! Castle with Jerry and Anita Ireland Cemetary Dublin 3 (2)

Cemeteries are so old and some date back to the 1300’s or older! This picture is of one in Dublin. It’s unreal! I have more cemetery pictures I’ll show in a later post.

It was chilly that day but you can see the sky was blue with white clouds! We had beautiful weather the whole time we were there! It rained one day! We were so thankful because it was quite unusual! I’m going to stop now and write more another day! It’s actually taken me several days to write this!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Scottish/Irish Roots

My dad’s side of my family came from Ireland and Scotland, so I have roots there!  This is a picture of my great-grandparents, William and Jane (Ramsey) Williamson, and their son, Andrew Stuart Williamson. William & Jennie Williamson (2) Actually, this picture was taken after they came to America. Andrew was born in Seaford, Delaware. He, eventually, became my grandfather! But going back further we can find out a little more about William and Jane in Ireland.

William’s family lived in Scotland where he was born in 1817. The family moved to Ireland while William was still a boy. They settled in or near Belfast. William became a baker.

Jane Ramsey was born in 1827 in or near Belfast. William and Jane met and were married in 1850. They had a baby girl, Mabel. I have no dates for Mabel, but she lived only a short time and was buried in a cemetery somewhere around Belfast.

The ‘great potato famine’ hit Ireland and hundreds of families left to make new lives in America. Heartbroken, William and Jane left Mabel in her grave and in 1864 boarded a ship for America. They lived first in Seaford, Delaware, where Jane gave birth to their second baby, Andrew Stewart, on September 22, 1865. When Andrew was a year old they made their way west to Iowa, where other family members had settled. William and Jane had two more children, William and Jenny.

William and Jane had moved from Iowa to Nebraska. Jane died and was buried in Bayard, Nebraska. Jane Ramsey Williamson (2)

William returned to Iowa and died in 1902. Grave of William Williamson (2)

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Andrew grew up and married Rose Williams. They had seven children. Six children are pictured here with Rose and Andrew. Bessie, Floyd, Eva, Claude, Rose, Roy, Andrew, and Louis.

Scan_Pic0032Scan_Pic0108                                                    One more son joined the family on December 22, 1909.                                                         The youngest, Glen Edgar, shown here, became my father! So there, you now have a short version of my Scottish/Irish roots!

 

Ring…Ring…Hello?

Telephone. A luxury I’ve had for most of my life. Telephones have come a long way! Let me begin by retelling my dad’s exciting telephone experience.

Dad was born in 1909. His family had their first telephone. They were on a party line, of course. The number of rings had to be counted to know when an incoming call was for them! I don’t know how many rings meant a call for them.

Eight long rings meant important news was being broadcast across the party line!               In 1918 good news came across the wires telling families World War I had ended!

July 5, 1919, there came eight lon-n-ng rings again! This time to tell everyone to look in the sky, south. There my dad and others in the family had their first sighting of an airplane, just a tiny speck, moving steadily along!

Dad’s sister, Bessie, was seventeen years older than Dad! She went to school through eighth grade, then she got a job as a telephone operator until her marriage to her young boyfriend, Earnie!  619px-texasrichardson_telephoneexchangeoperator-2 This isn’t a picture of Aunt Bessie but I imagine she looked something like this on the job!

An early telephone.antique-telephone-1-2

The first telephone below was in the farmhouse where my mother grew up in northern Iowa! It is now in my brother’s kitchen. The board on the box at the bottom has been replaced, as you can see. But my mother remembered the phone well from when she was just a girl. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA   momonoldtelephone3-16-08   This is Mother, in her old age, pretending like she listening to someone on the phone of her youth!antique-telephone-in-georgia-2  This phone is in the history building in Winder, Georgia! I was given permission to post it here.

When I was a little girl, we had a phone most of the time. When Dad was a pastor, he needed a phone. Many emergency calls came to him. Black phone (2)  Some years he traveled and my parents couldn’t afford a telephone!

Jerry and I were married in 1959. We had a phone like the one in this latest picture. It started out being a party line with eight people on our line. It was very soon cut down to four people…then later, two people. We were very conservative. Long distance calls were made very seldom. Of course, when we had a new baby, calls were made to spread the news!  I’ll never forget the day Jerry told me, in the early 70’s, that I should start calling my parents once a month and have a nice visit with them! So I did! Black phone (2)  In the eighties, we finally got a private line! It was wonderful! Calling became normal and usual. With five children, how could it not!

I was hired by the school system to call the substitute teachers for the secondary schools in our city. A new private phone was installed in my kitchen! Blue telephone  It was very similar to this one! Yes, I picked out a blue one to go with my kitchen! The big difference of this picture is that my new school phone had push button numbers instead of a dial! I loved it. But, it was for school calls and paid for by the school system so our family still used the old black phone, most of the time. There were exceptions!

When we built our new log home twenty years ago in 1997 we bought a new phone with an answering machine! Oh yes! I wish I had a picture of it! We didn’t have to miss any messages! We also bought an old looking phone and hung on the wall in the kitchen. It worked but, of course, not anymore. new-old-phone-2  Now it just looks old-fashioned!

All this to bring us to today! Of course, businesses still have telephones and a few people still have a land line with a phone connected.

We don’t. We have our cell phones. But even so we’re not up-to-date! Jerry still has his flip-phone! jerry-on-phone-2 He says it works fine. I have my iphone. img_0052-4  What a difference in telephones today! I have instant access with anyone anywhere! I can text or message or talk at any hour of the day or night. My daughter, in Ireland, and I message or talk to each other whenever we want to! It sounds like she’s next door! I have friends all over the world and it’s wonderful to be in contact with them! My phone gives me the weather anywhere in the world, instantly! International and national news comes over my iphone! Pictures? My phone has a camera and I can even edit my pictures before I post them! I carry my phone with me all the time. I charge it at night while I’m sleeping.

This morning one of my sons called so we facetimed! That means we are both on a camera so we could see each other as we talked! Wonderful!

But back in about the seventies, a prediction was made that in the future we’d be able to talk on our phones–live! Oh, no, I thought! What if my house was messy! What if I looked bad, like I wasn’t dressed up! My hair might be a mess! I thought it was a bad idea! But the prediction came true and I love it! I love facetiming with my grandchildren and my children and even friends!

Yes, the telephone has come a long way from when it was first invented! But we still answer with “Hello?”

 

 

 

 

Bucket List 2016

  1.  Enjoy time with each of our five children. It’s only the middle of January and I’ve already accomplished this! Rob's family  Our youngest son, Rob, with his family, was here for the week between Christmas and New Year, 2015. They left January 2, 2016! All Here  Our other four children, January 9, 2016, celebrating and surprising Jerry, for his 80th birthday, which is the next day! Pam and Ted on either side of the window. Christy and Tim on either side of Jerry.
  2. Travel to Iowa with granddaughter’s, Sydney and Bella, to visit LeRoy and Carolyn and their horses!
  3. Travel to Ireland.
  4. Travel to Norway.
  5. Downsize.
  6. Sort books, keeping only precious books!
  7. Clean out and throw away non-essential ‘things’.
  8. Remodel downstairs bathroom and reading room, making it one larger bathroom.
  9. Go to E. Michigan Conference as a delegate.
  10. Go to E. Michigan family camp.
  11. Plant flowers in Flower Bed.
  12. Yard Sale.
  13. Finish my writing on My Big Brother and send it to him!  Accomplished in March! 
  14. More later…!

Happy Birthday, Chrystalene Beth

Happy Birthday, Christy!  Christy & Pam 2015 (2)  You are on the left of my two beautiful daughters, Christy and Pam! I don’t seem to have a recent picture of just you! But this is a good, recent one! Sisters! I love both of you! You were the baby of the family for five years! Then a new brother, Rob, was born, giving us five wonderful and beautiful children.

Now, even though you assured me you were not following me, you have five wonderful, beautiful children! You’ve given me five fantastic, gorgeous grandchildren! Thank you for this precious gift! I wish I could be there to help them, and Sean, celebrate your day!

Heavenly Father, thank You for Christy! You have blessed her with five children. Please help her as she guides, plays, comforts, disciplines, and loves them. Please keep Christy well and safe as she drives here and there. Help her with her business. Keep her trusting in You, draw her ever closer to You. I love Christy so much and You love her even more.