Sunday, January 24, 2010

Kelsey Jill

Today is the 24th. It is my dad’s mother’s birth date. I have some things written about her that I will share at a later date. Because we will be gone on the 27th we took the Kelsey and her family out to brunch today to celebrate her birthday.

(No she did not get Ziploc bags.)

This lovely gal is our “First”. On Wednesday she turns 16. Yes, “16 candles make a lovely light”.

To say we were excited at the birth of our first grandchild is an understatement. Her Mom and Dad did not want to know until she was born if she would be a girl or boy. Once we knew we had a granddaughter we had fun buying lots of girl stuff, toys, outfits, and a beautiful walnut cradle.

It was love at first sight. We soon got into a routine where she would spend one day a week with us instead of the babysitter. On that day, she and I would play, read, cook, eat and do most anything but work. One by one I would introduce her to her Mom’s and Uncle Rhett’s old toys. I had saved most of the games, and some of the toys. There is a cupboard in the basement that held tinker toys, blocks, the Sesame Street playhouse, barn, and airport. We discovered legos, old books, dolls, cards, Lincoln logs, and more. Now unless the Australians come the toys, books, and childhood games are stored for another generation.

It sixteen she will get her drivers license. Her world has changed much since she was born but the love we share with her grows. We take delight in being part of her life. She is a lover of animals, books, drawing, soccer, and her Grandma’s omelets. She and I have had fun sewing together. I have helped her lean to weave a basket, make a posters, and cook for 4-H. She helps her Grandpa with projects on the farm. He had her painting some small projects this past summer. We now have 4 regular white LP tanks and one yellow submarine. The back on the one building is covered in graffiti.

We are both delighted to call Kelsey Jill our lovely 16 year old granddaughter.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Grandpa's Dream Machine

On the 15 of January in the year 1888 my mother’s father was born. He was the third of seven children born to Lydia Hannah Easterday and William Van Dorn Glasener.
My guess is that the picture below was taken when my Grandparents had been married about 40 years.

My grandma was his second wife and eight years younger than him. His first wife, Hattie, died shortly after they were married of Typhoid Fever. He once told me she was the love of his life. Family members told my Dad it took him years to get over her death. My grandparents were married a little over six years after her death. The wedding picture of them shows Hattie as a beautiful lady. Grandpa followed his father and other family members to the Lampman, Saskatchewan area of Canada in about 1915. The home and farm they had in Grundy County, Iowa was one of substance. For some reason his father thought they would be better off moving to wheat country. One wonders if it had anything to do with WW I. After a number of years they moved back to Iowa. I suspect they were all of broke. The land they owed is now in oil country. They always knew there was oil in the ground but because it was shallow oil the way to capture it was not available.

Grandpa was a farmer, fish seller, and orchard owner in his life time. In the 80's would visit him and Grandma at their home in town. The rather small backyard had pear trees, raspberry bushes and grape vines. All were delicious. The grapes were like none you can buy in stores.

I have been told that this picture was taken on their honeymoon.  He looks rather handsome.

He invented the Glasener Gleaner which was a machine that was simpler than the combine. He attended Cornell College for one year before they moved to Canada.  There hw was in the engineering program. Grandpa was always tinkering with something and would much rather make it himself than buy a similar item. In 1980 Malissa went to National History Day with a presentation on this invention. She sat on a bale of hay in a blue and white gingham dress with her hair in pigtails. In part of her presentation she used a tape recording of him telling about his invention.  Malissa titled her presentation "Grandpa's Dream Machine".  On the back of this picture is the notation, "shocker in N Dakota."  Mom said that Grandpa is standing in the fore ground beside his invention.

I was born when he was 60 years old.  Grandpa died 10 days after my Grandmother in 1985 at the age of 97. I am certain he willed himself to die. He was in good health at Grandma's funeral.  All his living grandchildren were in attendance.  I am the oldest granddaughter. As it was a cold winter day I stayed with him at the church while the others went to the cemetery. We held hands and talked. They had lived together in the nursing home their last year of life. When I would visit, Grandpa and I would always hold hands and talk. A couple of days after the funeral when I stopped in for a visit he refused to hold my hand and talk with me. I felt completely rejected. I think it was his way of handling the death of his wife of 67 years. When she was gone he lost all will to live.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Dad

My Dad and I have our birthdays on the 11th of different months. Today is Dad's birthday. I called my parents in Florida and wished him a very happy day. This is his eighty first birthday. One of many things I remember about my father is that for a number of years he raced cars.

 Old Wine and Gold

Here Dad, with Mom on his left, is surrounded by friends after he won the main event in the summer of 1953.  I do not know where the trophy is but I did find a newspaper write up about the event.  (Take a look a the flowery draperies and green lamp.)

That is me perched on top of a wrecked car.

There is no date on an article from the news paper but Pit Passes on the same page are for 1952. The writeup reads in part: "The climax came in the fender bender when Gene started to spin, then was hit by the car driven by Bud Slater. Gene made five complete rolls, bouncing high in the air with each turn. He started to flip in the first turn and by the time the car came to rest he was in the backstretch.
Police, ambulance and spectators converged on the scene expecting serious injury but Gene climbed from the car unhurt. The car, however was a complete loss."

Dad raced on a team with his brother in law. The cars were 11 and 711. My Uncle Carroll raced long after Dad quit. Carroll drove 3/4 midgets after he stopped racing stock cars. Growing up Dad had relatives in the automotive and collision business. As a kid he hung around them learning the repair and mechanic trades.  I suspect Dad and Carroll did most of the work on the cars.  Hook's Radiator was their sponsor. 

At the raceway we always sat in the same spot.  I recall the stands were white painted boards and rather high.  Usually we sat about a fourth of the way up but when I was older I was allowed to sit at the top once or twice.  The summer before I started school, I wore a white and red striped dress with a narrow black patent belt that was bought new for Kindergarten round up to the races.  I think the thing I liked best was the concession stand and the fireworks on the 4th of July.

Friday, January 8, 2010

First Post of 2010

Gosh, I am not off to a very fast blogging start!!

Yesterday I took down most of the Christmas decorations.  Our entry now looks like this. 

For Christmas I put out several collections of Santas.  Pictured below are some of the santas. Santas are fun because like people they come in all different, shapes, sizes, ages, and sexes.  I have always thought the female, or Ms. Santa gets the short end of credit and exposure.  Most of them were given to me as gifts.  The very small bell on the left side of the shelf was found when I helped clean out my Grandmother's basement.  I love the bell.  Most of the santas on the side board are by Isabel Bloom.   

Last year my goal was to post weekly.  I made the goal!  That did not mean I posted every week.  It does mean there were over 52 posts.  I will try to do the same or better this year.  I love the blogs that post every couple of days.  I just do not think that I will make that happen. 

I enjoy all comments and connections with my blog followers.  Thank you for stopping by.