Love Happy Reunions

This morning I happened to read about the happy reuniting of a wedding dress and its owner. Not just any wedding dress but the dress that has been worn for 3 generations of the owners family. When their home was destroyed by tornadoes in recent storms, the dress was rescued, still in it’s storage box and unharmed, by a river, 2 miles away. The thoughtfulness of the members of the community to help reunite the found dress with its owner is amazing. You can read about this story here.

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This reminded me of another story I had read about on Facebook last week and the great work of concerned strangers to reunite a Purple Heart award with the family of the recipient. I was amazed at how fast the reunion happened after the original post was made.

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Purple Heart Close Up

This story and the wedding dress story, both small and insignificant in the overall realm of things,  help make my day just a little brighter after waking to the news of more senseless death and destruction.

Easter

I had the opportunity to hear this beautiful Easter song performed two times yesterday. Both were done so very well that I cannot tell which one I liked best. The words are simple and true, a testimony to the life of Christ. I love the melody, haunting and pleading…

Gethsemane – by Jenny Phillips

Jesus climbed the hill
To the garden still
His steps were heavy and slow
Love and a prayer
Took Him there
To the place only He could go

Gethsemane
Jesus loves me
So He went willingly
To Gethsemane

He felt all that was sad, wicked or bad
All the pain we would ever know
While His friends were asleep
He fought to keep
His promise made long ago

Gethsemane
Jesus loves me
So He went willingly
To Gethsemane

The hardest thing That ever was done
The greatest pain that ever was known
The biggest battle that ever was won
This was done by Jesus.
The fight was won by Jesus.

Gethsemane
Jesus loves me
So he gave His gift to me
In Gethsemane

Gethsemane
Jesus loves me
So he gives His gift to me
From Gethsemane

 

A Sisters Quest for Family History

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The green, rolling hills of Missouri and Kentucky were home to our family.

Last summer, my two sisters and I did  a 22 day genealogy odyssey. The main purpose of our trip was to try to find some clues and answers to our Hunter family genealogy. We crossed state lines 17 times and saw beautiful country and many small towns and areas were our ancestors settled and then packed up and moved on. We saw lots of cemeteries and searched through a few of them. We visited small libraries and even smaller local genealogical societies. We met wonderful, helpful people that provided us with lots of information. We got lost several times, visited historic sites, quilt shops, and we laughed a lot.

We didn’t find the answers to all of our questions. We still don’t know the maiden name of James Overton Hunter’s second wife. We didn’t find missing birth, marriage and death dates, well maybe a couple of them. We didn’t find any photos of our direct ancestors and we didn’t find all of the graves.

This is what we did find:

  • Our Hunter ancestors were hard working, very religious, and brave farmers. They were for the most part, illiterate or at least very private. (That translates to “few written records”.) But in every community they lived in,we they were the family that built at least one of the churches in that area.
  • The men usually outlived the wives, so there were multiple marriages and many children.
  • We found out that our 5th great-grandfather lived to be 102 years old. He was a second generation American that never learned to speak English until he ran away from home when he was 14 years old and found work with a Revolutionary War veteran named Captain Wood.
  • We found that for the most part, our southern family (direct line) did not fight in the Civil War for either side. And that our ancestor Peter (Yeager) Hunter worked as an overseer in his younger days, he, nor the rest of the family, didn’t have slaves.
  • We learned when new areas opened up for settling, they would pack up and move on, always searching for a better place with more future.

As we drove through the lush green areas in Missouri, Illinois, Kentucky, Alabama and East Texas, we felt their love of the land and the spirit of pioneering. We realized why our Dad and his father had such a talent for planting and growing things, even though neither were farmers.

We learned lots of things about our family, brought home interesting stories to add to our genealogy files, and we definitely grew closer to our paternal side of the family.

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Bacon Creek, Hart Co. Kentucky,

Happy Birthdays ~ February 23

George Frederic Handel - Hulton Archive/Getty ImagesFebruary 23rd – Interesting day in the history of music. On this day in 1685, George Frederic Handel was born in Halle, Branden (Germany). In 1940 a baby boy was born to the Guthrie family-Woodrow Wilson Guthrie in Okemah, Oklahoma. A dichotomy of back grounds and style, but both of these men have given us such treasures of great music and talen.

George Handel was born to a fairly well-off family, his father was a barber-surgeon. Though in the beginning, Handel’s father discouraged his son’s music, pushing him to study law. Handel had to wait until his father was asleep and then sneak up into the attic to practice his instruments.

A child prodigy, he played violin, harpsichord, and organ. His father died when he was 11 years old and in 1702 he enrolled in the University of Halle to study law. After one year, he left the University and headed north to Hamburg where he played in the opera orchestra.

Moving on Germany, Italy and finally to England, Handel wrote scores for orchestras where ever he lived. In 1741, at the age 56, he was asked to write a score to be performed in Ireland. He decided to compose an oratorio for the performance. It is reported that he worked for 25 days with little or no rest and skipping most of his meals. He gave the world “The Messiah”. He is quoted as saying at the end of this period “I think that God has visited me.”

He was truly inspired by God to have created so masterful and remarkable, a score like this.

Now to the opposite side of the music world. Woody Guthrie young years taught and shaped his life. He said of his early years in Okemah-

“Okemah was one of the singingest, square dancingest, drinkingest, yellingest, preachingest, walkingest, talkingest, laughingest, cryingest, shootingest, fist fightingest, bleedingest, gamblingest, gun, club and razore carryingest of our ranch towns and farm towns, because it blossomed out into one of our first Oil Boom Towns.:

Excerpt from “Pastures of Plenty” by Woody Guthrie, Edited by Harold Leventhal & Dave Marsh.

Many of Guthrie’s have been sung by many vocal artists, some are ingrained in our minds and memories. Perhaps one of the most well-known is “This Land Is My Land”. It is said that he wrote the song after hearing the sentimental patriotic song written by Irving Berlin and sung by Kate Smith, “God Bless America”. His travels all over the United States, time in both the Army and the Merchant Marines gave him a real knowledge of this great land, it’s ribbon of highways and majestic views. For more information about Woody Guthrie, his life and his music, visit his biography page here.

Happy Birthday to two incredibly talented men.

I (re)Learned a New Word Today

Our brains are amazing! I mean really amazing! And so is nature! I am, well just let me say, past retirement age so I have read and learned so many things that I forgot I knew. The computer that we call “brain” does have the natural ability to remember everything we put into it. The test is our ability to recall or bring it out. This morning, reading a post on Facebook, I saw this photo-10537388_10152196698211316_1564039788177497304_n This is a spiraling Mexican cactus. I love and am fascinated by the cacti that surrounds me here in the Arizona deserts. They are the epitome of surviving and adaptation. Anyway, that is another subject.

I am also drawn to patterns, after all-I am a quilter, and this is one of my all time favorites. As I was glancing at some of the shared remarks, I found one that provided the name of this great  phenomena, Fibonacci. As I followed the link, it dawned on me that I already knew this, I probably learned it in high school math but my point is, I recognized the principle! My brain is still working! And THAT is a good thing.

And I loved reviewing what I had learned years ago and learning even more! Fibonacci numbers are awesome. They are in every living thing. Plants, humans, animals. I am going to try to define it here so I can better remember it-Nature’s numbering system. It is nature’s way of numbering the order of the growth. In plants we see it in the arrangement of the leaves, the petals, the sections that fruit produces. It is natures way of producing the plant to the fullest advantage of its production. The pine cone and the pineapple, the arrangement of the petals on a flower and the seed arrangements of a sunflower all display this natural order.

This is the link to learn refresh your memory about Fibonacci:

http://jwilson.coe.uga.edu/emat6680/parveen/fib_nature.htm

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Photo sources and acknowledgements-

The sunflower center photo is from the website link listed. the spiraling cacti photo from my personal photos and the blooming Mexican cactus photo is borrowed from naturalnews.com as shared on Facebook

January Was Pretty Busy Part ll

On our second day in St. George we drove to Toquerville. It’s only about 20 miles on the freeway and down into a valley on a twisty highway. We have some family roots in the area. This trip was to see the family home of John Conrad Naegle (Naile). He was a rancher, farmer, entrepreneur and a Mormon (LDS) Pioneer and Polygamist. We are descended  from his 4th wife, Verena Bryner.

John C. marched across the southern deserts of the west with the Mormon Battalion. When the men of the Battalion were released from duty in San Diego in 1947, many of the men traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah to meet up with the wives, parents and siblings that had come west with the Mormon Migration. Some of the men decided to stay in California and work to earn money before going to Salt Lake. Quite a few found work in the Yerba Buena area, building mills on the river in the mountains. John C. determined that he could learn a lot from the Spanish and Mexican ranchers in California. He found work on several of ranches from San Diego, north to the San Francisco area.

About the time he found himself in Northern California, the news was out that gold was found. John C. became a gold miner. When he had determined that he had enough gold, he left the gold fields and turned back toward the coast. He purchased a ranch in the area between the Bay and the mountains and successfully ranched there for several years.  (Family history states that the ranch was located in what is now Fremont and the California School for the Deaf and the Blind is built on the original ranch lands.)

After running a very successful ranch operation in California for several years, John C sold his ranch to some of the new Mormon settlers in California and headed to Salt Lake City. The rest of his life, John C Naegle spent taking care of the families of his 7 wives and the responsibilities of his Church duties and responsibilities. He was asked to go to “Dixie”, the southwest corner of Utah and develop farming and ranching in that area. He built this home in Toquerville for several of his wives and it also served as the storage and distribution center for the sacramental wine for the LDS Church that was made from the grapes grown in the area.

John C eventually went to Mexico to avoid prosecution for polygamy and died there. As he moved farther south, he set up wives in homes with property to help provide for the families. That is how our Great, Great Grandmother Verena and her son Casper Conrad (our Great Grandfather) came to St. Johns & Concho, Arizona.

Toquerville, Utah

Toquerville, Utah

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While we were in St George, we had a great visit with another cousin, Rachelle Naegle Crawford. Rachelle was given one our Great Grandmother Helena Naegle’s quilts and we were able to look at it and share some information with Rachelle about the pattern and construction of the quilt.

Here are a couple of photos of the quilt. DSC_0245 DSC_0248

January Was Pretty Busy

In January I had the opportunity to go to St. George, Utah for a quilt retreat (Quilt St. George.) But my best friend and cousin (isn’t it great that it’s the same person) and I didn’t go for the classes. Instead we made this trip to view 2 wonderful antique quilt trunk shows by Sandra Starley. Sandra’s website, Textile Time Travels has more information on the quilts I am going to share with you and her collection is absolutely amazing both in variety and condition.

These are just a few of the quilts Sandra shared with the group but they are among my favorites:

Flying Geese This Flying Geese block set on point creates a strong secondary pattern with the red sashing. Made c. 188o but many fabrics are older.

DSC_0008 I love hexagon quilts. This one, done in an Around the World pattern could almost be a “charm” quilt (no fabric is used twice) except for the piece of fabric that Sandra is holding next to the quilt. This fabric is printed in a “printed patchwork” design or more commonly known as cheatercloth and was used to make several of the hexagons. The quilt was made c. 1885.

DSC_0030 This Blazing Star or Star of Bethlehem has my vote. I love several things about it: the blue background really makes a statement, the surrounding stars (which also means that we can call this a Lone Star quilt) and the great skill this quilt maker had. I have seen several quilt tops of this design that can’t be finished because they don’t lay flat and cannot be “quilted out”. Probably late 19th century.

DSC_0013These Flying Eagles are perfect. The twisted wings show the bird in flight as opposed to many other Eagle quilts, shown with straight out-stretched wings as seen here. Applique Eagle quilts have been popular since the early 19th century. The red saw-tooth border adds to the appeal of this great quilt by defining the central motif.

One more, okay?

This one is my favorite because, well what do you think…

DSC_0021 This is amazing! Every motif was appliqued on to this background. The circles are perfect and the proportions are exact.  Made in c.1860, she could have made this pattern up or perhaps saw it on a piece of china. She didn’t use straight-edge acrylic rulers, rotary cutters or design walls. She just cut out each element and stitched it in place.

I think the amount of work that went into making a quilt in the early days of quilting is what draws me to antique and vintage quilts. They tell a story of a woman that had very little free time but used her talents and imagination to create a thing of beauty.

I had permission from Sandra to take these photos. If you want to see and learn more about them, visit her website and ask her permission to use her photos.

How Did I Get Here?

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I never know where a road or a click on the internet will lead me but I love to take a chance sometimes. I was reading an interesting new blog about Arizona history called Arizona Archivy, The Blog of Arizona State Archives and I clicked “follow” and this is where I ended up. I had a blog at one time but didn’t keep it up. In fact, I think the password got messed up with an upgrade or update and so I just let it drift away. So, here I am again. Let’s see where this road takes me.

The blog from the Arizona State Archives looks really interesting and I look forward to learning more of this great state’s history (good and bad). Check it out if you like history. The first post is a story about one of Arizona’s early territorial governors, Lewis Wolfley, who also started The Arizona Republican which is now The Arizona Republic. Who knew? Well I learned something new today.

So what’s next? Hmmm, let me think about it.