HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MEGHAN LEE !!

 

It’s time for what is becoming the annual birthday post.  Twenty-seven years ago this evening, I met my younger daughter, Meghan Lee, for the first time.  Weighing in at just six pounds, she showed early signs of being her own person, struggling to be released from the hospital swaddling that her sister, a year earlier, had found so comforting.  Being her mother, one might accuse me of prejudice, but I am so very proud of the young woman she has become. I am blessed to be close to her, not in proximity, but in mind and heart, the places that really count. I  have watched her grow over the years, overcoming challenges and learning to soar like an eagle!!

An early reader determined to keep up with her sister, likely based on something she read in a book, she began calling me “Mother.”  Not mom and not just to my face, but in reference to me as well.  It was very noticeable, coming from this little person, so formal – Mother.  She still does, today, but I’m used to it and no longer feel like Joan Crawford.  That’s Meghan Lee,  no nicknames, please.

This past year was one of continued growth in grace and beauty for Meghan, who, last year, began a tradition of wearing a tiara on her birthday, even on the bike 🙂 The year also brought a major life event.  On March 24th, Meghan became a wife, marrying Brian Smith, a perfect match for her, in a unique two-state wedding that began in Oklahoma and ended with the completion of the ceremony by Meghan’s Grandpa Buelow in Green Bay. An additional event that was very exciting for Meghan was the purchase of a new bike, an upgrade to a bigger and better motorcycle that she really enjoys and a passion shared with Brian, who has become a biker dude 🙂 since meeting Meghan Lee.  They were able to take several fun bike trips over the summer.

My younger daughter turns 27 today and I couldn’t be more pleased to claim her though I’m learning to share her with Brian and we jokingly refer to “our Meghan” or “our girl” instead of the former “my”.  She is kind, loving and generally an exceptional human being, grown now, with a blog of her own.  Ride on Tiara Girl 🙂   I’m thanking the Lord for putting her in my arms and into my care – a gift to me beyond compare.  Joyeux anniversaire, Meghan Lee, je t’adore!!

               Meghan Lee & new bike                                            Meghan Lee & Brian Smith

                                                                                                3.24.12

                


 

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A Special Woman 2012 Update

This post is an update of the birthday post published last year in honor of my favorite Auntie Arlene, whose birthday is today.  Much of the post is not new, just made current.  I spoke with her an hour ago, wished her well, told her I loved her and we’ll get together in the next couple days.  Here is the post:

Today my Auntie Arlene turns 94.   Regular readers have heard of her and seen pictures on this site before.  What makes her so special?  For one thing, it is through her that I own the Homestead.  She married one of my dad’s brothers, Uncle Elmer ( a twin), years ago and they raised their family here at the Homestead.    I spend time with her as often as both our schedules permit.  That’s right, both our schedules. 

     Auntie Arlene has a full life, full of family and friends and as of just recently, twin great grandchildren, a boy and a girl, that she got to hold yesterday!!  The newest additions bring the grand total to 13 great grandchildren.  Arlene Buelow, daughter of a twin, wife of a twin, mother of twins, is now great grandmother of twins – how cool is that?? 

She loves pro football, especially the Packers and she knows stats, more than I do.  She challenges her mind against the contestants on certain television game shows,  remains current on civic and community events and continues to engage in lively debates;  for the two of us sharing a meal  (my lunch is her dinner and my dinner is her supper)  topics range from people to politics to religion.  She’s an encourager, a woman of strength and conviction – always ready to go to prayer over whatever the need may be.  And she lets you know she’s praying for you!

      I’m thrilled to be part of her life and to have her as part of mine.  We have a conversation or visit as close to every week as possible.  When I’m in school she’s pulling for me all the time, especially when I appear tired or frustrated; I know I’m in her prayers because she tells me so.  She knows about my health, my children, my life.  At 94 she’s seen a lot and has a beautiful, serene wisdom and grace.  She’s quick to share a chuckle and loves to show you the photographs of her expanding family.

     We’re sharing lunch/dinner in a couple days.  I’ll take some new pictures of us and maybe post one here, but regardless, to me, Auntie Arlene is perennially as young and happy as she appears in that old photograph below on the right.  The photo on the leftt was “re-staged” last summer and we had a grand time doing so  🙂  Our newest fun time together is for me to bring my laptop and we go online together.  She gets a giggle out of seeing and reading the posts, understanding that this is on the World Wide Web and anyone in the world with an Internet connection can see and read about us.  We’ve gone to FaceBook and looked at lots of photos and she knows how Internet commerce is conducted.  I just called her again to do a fact check on her dad being a twin and told her that when we’re together next week, I’ll bring my laptop and show her this post; we laughed together.

                Happy94th Birthday, Auntie Arlene,  you are so loved!!  

 

 



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A Much-Anticipated Event

I have a group of friends that I believe may be fairly unique. We have a name and we gather annually, heading to the North Woods of Wisconsin from as far away as Florida. We’re old friends, some among us go back literally 57 years, the rest anywhere from roughly 30 to 50 years. We graduated from high school together 39 years ago last week. This is the year we are 57 and our annual gathering begins in just three days. Our host is Lana, the youngest of the group; for seven years we’ve invaded the North Woods to stay at Lana’s fabulous property north of Eagle River on a chain of 22 lakes. Our name, The Gazebo Girls, comes from the fact that we spend a fair amount of time in the awesome gazebo on the property and have a group photo taken there each year by a neighbor.  This is our fourth year with a theme.  Themes began with the year of Gazebo Gangstas, due to the fact that the Dillinger movie starring Johnny Depp had recently been filmed nearby.  We dressed in 1920‘s costumes and had dinner at a restaurant famous for being the site of an actual Dillinger shootout.  That was followed by the year of the Gazebo Pirates, in which we hired a pirate ship that cruises around the chain of lakes and is great for special occasions.  Picture eleven women dressed as pirates on a big ship flying the skull and crossbones, with blaring pirate music as we cruised the chain of lakes for three hours.  That was followed by Gazebo Cowgirls – more costumes and a trail ride. There will be the traditional Saturday on the pontoon boat with sun and food and lots of laughs.  Saturday night is our big dinner, prepared by our very own chef extraordinaire; she’s never let us down.  Coffee with Redi Whip, you know, that fabulous whipped creme in a can, is another tradition.  We’ll sing old favorites, loudly perhaps, laugh a lot, share a year’s worth of photos and bring each other up-to-date.  In just a few days, we’ll gather for a Gazebo Wedding, the theme for this year.  There’s a story behind the theme, which will remain untold at this time to protect the innocent 🙂

   This year maybe somewhat bittersweet as last year at the beginning of our weekend, two of our group members lost their moms. The rest of us left the North Woods at the end of our weekend and headed home to attend funerals.  We’ve shared family rites of passage, marriages and grandbabies – supported one another through death, divorce, cancer and remission thereof and the safe return of a son serving his country. We know each other well and while this is about shared history for sure, it’s also about making new memories together.   I’m excited to get there; we’ll have a blast – incorporating a local street dance into our wedding theme and generally celebrating life and friendship.  As the childhood song says, “Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold.”  I’m getting ready to go; to get together and celebrate with friends as precious to me as gold!!  

Below you’ll see two photos, one with most of the group present, the other an example of Lana’s dedication to theme – a Cowgirl centerpiece on an outdoor table.  I believe Patty went home with those boots 🙂 I can’t wait to see how the Gazebo Wedding 2012 unfolds; stay tuned…

                   Ten in the Gazebo ’08                                                                                                           

                                                                                                   

                                                                    Lana’s creativity                    


                                                                                                    

                     

 

    


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A Noteworthy Day Addendum

I do not believe I’ve ever done this before, but then my mom is a fairly new blog subscriber, and that should explain what’s to come. Having located the “Noteworthy” post yesterday, she called with a few corrections, or should I say clarifications, which I asked her to email rather than just tell me over the phone.  Now, I could  list them, but why not copy/paste Mom’s email and give the voice to her?  I think that would be more fun.  Keeping in mind that I asked for this email, here goes and please note, the italics are mine:

“FYI—

We did not have the plumbing in until during the summer after we got back to WI.  We lived on the farm in the home with Grandma, Aunt Arlene, Uncle Elmer, Jane, Janice and Roger.  The twins were 11 years old.  Art Gast and his father (another story) put in the bathroom, etc.  It took us 8 days to travel to Europe on the SS America.  Dad had the church service on the boat on the way there.  Billy Graham had the service on the SS United States on the return voyage.  We did not fly all the way home, just from Frankfurt to Paris.  We spent several days in Paris.  I think that’s when you acquired your love for the city and its language (I was a precocious baby).  We took the boat train to Le Havre, then boarded the ship.  Our return trip to NY took only 4 days.  However, you were correct in saying that you were the youngest baby to fly Lufthansa after it was reorganized after WW2.”

There we have it, straight from the source.  I’m pleased to post these clarifications and make sure the information you find in these pages is accurate!  And now y’all know where my French fascination may have originated.  Big smile here, Amusez-vous avec ça!! 🙂

Is there any chance for me to pull a lesson out of today’s efforts?  Of course, you know I will find one.  The lesson is that we all make mistakes sometimes, some more public than others 🙂 However there is grace enough for any of us, as the David Crowder Band sings; just follow the link and sing along.  Au revoir…

 

 


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Bunnies With no Heads? 2012 Edition

Today is a rerun and  a favorite of ours.  It’s all  true; you bet I really did the deed. So without further ado, here you go – enjoy and be blessed!

Do not be dismayed, this post will give you hope and encouragement,  I promise :) As often mentioned in these pages, I’m a traditionalist;  I believe tradition is the glue that binds us together.  Today I’ll tell a quick story about a mother who used to buy solid chocolate Easter bunnies, the big ones, $16 each, the best for her girls, year after year.  Tradition was that early Easter morning, the mother would hide the colored eggs and then the baskets.  While the girls were hunting for eggs and baskets, the mother was cooking a special breakfast, one for each of her daughters as they had different favorites.

This particular year, the night before Easter as the mother was preparing the baskets, the temptation of those fabulous bunnies overcame her.  Just one little nibble, the mother thought, who’ll notice?  Y’all know how this goes – the edges had to be evened out and smooth so one nibble followed another and all of a sudden one ear was gone – Horror!  What could the mother do?  She had to do the same to the other bunny; it would never work to give one daughter an intact bunny and the other, one with a missing ear.  On with the “evening-up” process.  Now two bunnies without ears, very uneven, more work to do;

Holy cats, what now?  May as well even things up, you know, neaten it up a bit.  One head gone, on to the next – gotta be fair.   Enough already.  So the mother tucked each bunny back into its little bag and tied them shut with the original ribbons, pink and purple.  It’s Saturday night, Easter eve, no replacing these special bunnies.  Early Easter morning, the mother went about her business, then woke the daughters to begin their hunt, while the mother went into the kitchen to begin cooking those special breakfasts, didn’t miss a beat….

All of a sudden – horrified screams.  The girls had discovered their headless bunnies in their otherwise beautiful baskets.  And they had no doubt as to the culprit.  Good thing they were of the age to know that the Easter Bunny really was the mother.  The thing that I remember most clearly was Meghan’s absolute indignation that there were teeth marks in her bunny – eeeuuuu!! To use FDR’s words spoken years ago, this was a day that ” will live in infamy.”  And it has; brought up every Easter and shared with love and much laughter.

I promised encouragement?  You bet.  My friends, regardless what you may be thinking about your shortcomings, faults or misses, remember the mother who ate the heads off the bunnies and laugh!  You haven’t done that yet, have you?  There is HOPE and there is GRACE.  My daughters love me, forgave me and we share another precious memory.

Easter is a special day, not a present-giving holiday, at least not in our home, but without it, we would all be hopeless.  Remember, because of what occurred on that first Easter morning, there is abundant hope and grace for all of us.  I hope you’ve found or find yours in our risen Lord.  All the blessings of Easter to each and every one of you!

 

 

 

 

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Do You Know Who You Are? Conversation with Kat…

Regular readers know I favor TA DA moments and Special Days.  On a special day recently, I called my sister-in-law, Kathy, to wish her a happy birthday.  Kat’s an encourager, always one to cheer you on and she’s been solidly in my corner for quite some time.  So on her birthday, I reached out via phone and we had a marvelous conversation, which is the basis for this post.  I’m not sure how the conversation started, but pretty soon we were on one of my favorite subjects – the uplifting and encouragement of women,  these days especially younger women.  We talked  about my daughters and how I had determined early on that I was going to parent them in a way that they knew unconditionally that they were of immense value and loved, not for what they did, but for the sheer fact that God created them and put them on this earth and thankfully, into my arms. 

Kat and I had been talking about their birthdays and how I posted a blog for each of them as a Special Day post.  That led to many other things and we ended up talking about younger women in general, the choices they’re making and for what reasons.  I firmly believe that if today’s generation had a better grasp of their personal worth and value, they would make far better choices.  And not just the younger generation, though it’s much more in-your-face, if you will; this applies to women of all ages.

I ended up telling some stories from the days of  facilitating women’s recovery groups.   Those ladies heard my “speech” as they called it, regularly and every so often, one brought a woman whom she introduced by saying, “This is —-, she needs your speech.”  We’d laugh together and at the appropriate moment I’d segue into the speech that usually begins with Do you know who you are?  Do you really know?  You’ve got some guy calling you names and disrespecting you?  Do you know who you are?  And better, does that guy know with whom he’s messing? 


The answer and today’s lesson – you knew one was coming – is You Are the Daughter of a King – a princess, if you will.  But not just any king, the almighty Creator King of the universe!!  And do you know what?  That means something!

That means that you have incredible worth and value, that you are most worthy of being respected, loved, treated well!  Let that thought permeate your being, your mind, your heart and your soul.  Disrespect yourself with bad choices?  Not as likely if you have a solid sense of your value.  Accept disrespect or worse from others in your life?  Not as likely if you have a solid sense of your worth. 

Do you know who you are?  Head up high, friend, confident and comfortable, standing your ground on the Solid Rock, knowing that you are indeed unique, special, worthy and of incredible value to your loved ones and to a hurting world all around you.  You have a legacy of grace, dignity, value and you have much to give. 

Follow the Solid Rock link, turn up your speakers and sing as you dance around your kitchen with joy and peace in your heart.  Do You Know Who You Are?  You bet, no doubt about it:   Worthy, Valuable and full of Grace – go on out and make a difference in the life of a woman, young or old, that you know!  

In closing I’ll share a favorite verse that closed my Conversation with Kat,  given to me by a woman in one of those aforementioned recovery groups.  Zephaniah 3:17 says that not only does the Lord take great delight in me, He’s singing with joy about me!!  Check it out for yourself then follow the Solid Rock link above; sing out loud as you dance around your kitchen reveling in the knowledge that you are most worthy!!!

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What’s One Degree?

That depends on the subject. I can tell you, having just gotten unbundled, when it comes to outside temperature, one degree is pretty darn cold, but it is north of zero, which makes a difference, at least psychologically. I took the time to go through the dress-for-cold routine this morning before heading out with dogs, trash and recycling; it’s one of those things that makes winter in the country more work.  I walked around the kitchen last night looking for a spot to move the coat rack in from the back porch so when I go for my outside clothes they’d at least be as warm as the kitchen, including my ski bibs (can’t bring myself to call them snow pants) and despite the enormity of this old farmhouse kitchen, I’m not seeing a spot that will work for a coat tree loaded with water-proof gear, two ski jackets, bibs, the Ugly Coat, you bet, that one has a name of its own and is loaded with family humor.  Accompanying the coat tree are the baskets of mittens, hats and scarves, including that fun face-mask hat, you know, the kind bank robbers wear.  Then there are the serious boots, which along with the Ugly Coat, do not go into town; maybe the boots on occasion, but the coat, not one time in the eight years I’ve lived out here; its name is most accurate, but it has its place in life here at the Homestead.

  Yes, folks, mid-January and we’re finally entering what’s supposed to be a cold spell.  It might be that temperature is relative at times – what’s cold for me in church has other women fanning with their bulletins and men shrugging off their jackets. When my South Carolina daughter complains about cold, we’re talking about 50 degrees – absolutely balmy compared to this.  

Back to one degree; looking at the night sky through my telescope, a one-degree correction isn’t necessarily all that much.  Ask a ship captain and a one-degree course correction might just prevent a mishap, though I’m not a sailor so that’s speculation. 

Just as in life, sometimes it’s a small thing – a low number, that will sink us if we let it. One degree above zero is unpleasant, but manageable and there is a positive; it’s not 30 below and the sun is shining bright and skies are beautifully blue.  It is more work, everything seems more challenging, but look around.  I had luncheon plans for today and woke up dreading having to get dogs out and trash up to the road early, and then thought about what I was going to wear to my lunch so I wouldn’t freeze.  Lunch is cancelled because my friend’s father, confined to a nursing home, is causing concern and she was heading to see him.  So I’m spared from going back out, which I don’t mind at all, but I’m missing time with a special friend and know my friend is traveling a couple hours in vicious cold to see an ailing parent.  Kind of puts my complaint of one degree into perspective, doesn’t it?

Be blessed and when feeling challenged, try to bless others – you will feel better for reaching outside yourself, I promise.  And with what regular readers will recognize as a theme comes the admonishment to please, let those you love know for sure you love them, speak it often, cherish the times and memories as you never know when just one degree in time or space could change your world for a lifetime.  Be blessed, stay warm!!

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Encourager, Encourage Yourself

Today’s title is a spin on the old proverb, “Physician, Heal Thyself,” words Jesus quoted in Luke 4:23According to Wikipedia, the moral of the proverb is to attend to your own defects before attending to others.  And knee-deep in defective thinking is exactly where I found myself for about 12 hours, beginning last night and ending in the last half hour or so.

I’ll not relate the litany of events that led to this sorry state.  Late last night I poured out the pitiful tale to one of three people I can call after 11pm.  We actually commented that it was very unlike me to be so morose.  That may be, but you wouldn’t have known it if you were on the other end of that midnight phone call.  So now I conduct personal therapy, putting my thoughts on paper (figuratively speaking).

Why publish the story?  In the interest of transparency, I’d say; I know transparency is a buzz word, but I like it.  Everyone has their moments; it’s how you address them that matters.  Being known among friends and family for speaking positively, applying a positive spin where it can be applied and admonishing others to do the same, it’s only fair to admit to missing the mark from time-to-time.  Besides, then I get to say that all those little truisms I toss off to you all were used on myself last night and early this morning when I awoke still in the depths.  Oh, yuck; bad enough to end the day in the depths, but start today that way, too?  This would not do. 

Buck up, baby!! Yes indeed, those were my words to myself before 6 a.m., and while not instant, with the help of determined thinking and the counting of blessings, aided by lively music and reaching out to share a positive story with a family member, I started coming around.

What’s changed?  All the things that led up to yesterday are still real – hassles, disappointments, frustrations; they haven’t been miraculously fixed or removed, but my attitude has been adjusted.  I still have to deal with the messes, but whining or crying won’t help.  As was mentioned in that late-night conversation, what are these challenges compared to a malignant brain tumor; get over yourself, hon 🙂  Just  letting you know I try to hold myself to the standards I have for others 🙂

Follow the links; listen to two of my favorite pick-me-ups:  He Reigns and Blessed Be Your Name!  Sing along, dance around your kitchen. Make it a fabulous day remembering two last things:  God’s mercies are new every morning and we will rise up like eagles!    BE ENCOURAGED!!

 

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Post-Thanksgiving 2011

I didn’t do the usual O Give Thanks essay last night and in the bright sunlight of the day after Thanksgiving, it seems inappropriate.  So a new direction for this day.  Am I out shopping?  Not on your life; I have never done the Black Friday thing and Lord help me, I have no intention of starting any year in the future.  So if you’re easily offended, you may want to tune this one out because I’m about to speak my mind.  Why? Because I can; this is my site. 

I will venture out today, but no further than the hardware store and only to pick up pellets for the water softener so my cousin, Dan, can add them when he comes by later to change the furnace filter, which I’ve determined may be the cause of my allergy challenges these last couple of weeks.  I’ll say right out of the gate, I do not get this mad frenzy to camp out in parking lots in the cold, to battle other folks to get a “deal.”  Not only do I not get it, I’m fairly appalled by the whole idea.  This year it’s even worse.  Stores that used to open at 5:00 a.m. on Friday were open ALL DAY on Thanksgiving so folks can be grabby and pushy and rude  in pursuit of  stuff to show how much they love others!  I do not get it.

Why do I care?  Why not just quietly not participate?  Because I don’t have to be quiet; this is the place I can speak my truth.  It hurts my heart to see and hear the level of greed and want to which this nation has fallen.  Late last night, while knitting a Christmas gift for someone special, yep, I said knitting, a good old-fashioned hand-made gift, I turned on the BBC news on Wisconsin Public Television (WPT).  That’s a clue – I don’t have cable.  A guest in the US was asked his opinion of what he was seeing.  His comments were enlightening – first he was shocked that people were in tents with small children to be first in line at an electronics store. It actually got funny as his amazement continued.  It was Thanksgiving, an American holiday, and he didn’t see a whole lot of giving thanks; he saw a whole lot of scrambling for stuff, stuff that doesn’t make a bit of difference in the big picture and I don’t mean televisions. 

On the other hand, I spent a fair amount of time yesterday on the phone with a very special 15-1/2 year old who doesn’t have a place to live, no home, right here in Shawano County on Thanksgiving Day 2011, because of an abusive, alcoholic parent, a mother, no less!  It breaks my heart.  This young woman, a former student of mine, is very intelligent, motivated, an A student involved in lots of activities.  Additionally, she is musical, funny, loves to read and had just begun her first job to save money for a car so she could continue to get to work and not be at the mercy of her mother’s sobriety or lack thereof.  

We spent a good deal of time trying to come up with a plan, nothing big or grandiose, just a plan that would get her through the next six months, allow her to finish the school year and get that driver’s license in safety and some semblance of sanity without the constant stress jeopardizing her ability to continue to do well.  Thanksgiving?  She initially wasn’t very thankful – she’s angry, understandably so.  Two parents and no parental stability or guidance; one not very available and the other physically, emotionally and spiritually very ill, resulting in a barrage of venom, hateful name-calling and constant battering of this 15-1/2 year old spirit.  

What does this young woman want for Christmas?  Not another gadget, that’s for sure.  She wants her mother to be sober and to quit calling her names and provide a home.  Is that too much to ask?  Is this all true, you might wonder.  Yes, it is.  I’ve seen this mother in action going back five+ years.  I’ve had this young woman sit down on the piano bench and when I asked the standard, “How was your week?” have her burst into tears because of a ruined 13th birthday party. 

I’ve seen this coming, observing her recent comments on Facebook and receiving a plea for help via Facebook message in the last two weeks.  Yesterday we talked about the reality of her life, what IS, not what she dreams. We brainstormed practical solutions and a six-month plan.  We talked about alcoholism,  rehab and relapse and the odds of her Christmas wish coming true in the next four weeks and how to persevere through broken dreams.  O Give Thanks, I thought to myself and sighed a prayer that my Lord remembers this young woman, which I believe He does. 

Our conversation ended with a shared chuckle.  I haven’t mentioned that she loves to write.  I told her to think about the story she’s got inside and being able to tell it to the benefit of others.  She laughed that wonderful laugh of hers at the thought of being a published author someday and speaking from a stage to a group of young people.  We hung up the phone with a bit of hope for better days to come.  This young woman is a survivor and I believe she will triumph, and in the scheme of things, that big picture, again, there’s not enough stuff on the planet to fill the holes in our souls. 

Going into this  Christmas season, look around, find a way to share yourself and your blessings with someone in need.  They’re everywhere and I believe the best way to lift your own spirits is to help or encourage someone else.  Lets truly be thankful during this season and demonstrate the sentiment by sharing it!  Happy Thanksgiving and looking ahead, Merry Christmas, too, and yes, it is Christmas with a capital C!

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Happy Birthday, Hattie! 2012 update

Today’s post is a rerun, first posted several years ago in honor of my paternal grandmother. On top of that, it’s a day late 🙁  From what I remember of her, she would be happy to have the greetings and tardiness would be overlooked with that smile I remember so well.  Her birthday was November 10, same as Martin Luther.  This year I decided to purposefully post on November 11, and will likely continue this into the future.  One day late every year and I’m sure she’s smiling.  Ninety-five years ago, today, the day after her birthday, she gave birth to twin sons – Elmer and Alfred, my dad’s brothers.  Uncle Elm went on to marry my Auntie Arlene, spoken of often in these pages and together they raised their family here at The Homestead.

Hattie – a name you don’t hear too much anymore, in this case short for Henrietta, my Grandma Buelow who, if she was still with us, would have been 123 years old yesterday.  She passed away at age 85 and played an important role here at Her Father’s Homestead. She came as a young bride in 1907, when she married my grandfather, Henry Buelow. That’s right, Henrietta Jantz married Henry Buelow, as you can see in their wedding invitation

                                                          Hattie’s wedding invitation

That’s where I first saw her referred to as Hattie. She came to the Homestead and built a life here, raised ten children, seven boys and three girls, all born in this wonderful old house I call home. She lived here until she passed away, cared for in her later years by her son, my Uncle Elmer and his wife, my favorite Auntie Arlene, well known to readers of this blog.

We saw Grandma often, as on any given Sunday we’d drive to what my Dad called The Farm, the place he grew up along with his brothers and sisters, the children of Her Father’s Homestead, and the place we visited with those aunts, uncles and cousins, because this was where Grandma lived. So many memories… A white-haired Grandma, saying grace in German and smiling; I remember her smile just like you see in the picture in the barnyard with my Grandpa, who passed away long before I was born.

  •         
  •              Hattie’s happy!

That photo is a bit unusual for its time in that it shows what’s today called a public display of affection – Grandpa has his arm around her, she’s snuggled into him and is holding his hand and she’s smiling. In the background of that photo, you see her brother-in-law, the gentleman with the hat, and also her son, my Uncle Elmer, hatchet in hand if you look closely, whom I remember with a great smile and quick to laugh, who’d be 95, today, if he was still with us.

The last photo, again a smiling Grandma, in front of what may be the old lilac tree at the corner of the house where I live.My smiling Grandma Buelow

I said a long time ago that this old Homestead of mine would tell a story, herstory, I called it. And that it has, the story of Her Father’s Homestead told through my eyes with gratitude for the women who came before me – the great grandmother I didn’t know, Grandma Buelow, Auntie Arlene and now me. Happy belated birthday, Hattie! So many memories…

 

 

 


 

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