Saturday, May 30, 2015

Happy Birthday to Steve May 30 2015

Every time one of our siblings was born at home, we children were dispatched up to Aunt Cindy's for the home birth.  Steve's arrival was no different on May 30 1944 when we were in Penrose and we crossed the field up to the home where Aunt Cindy and Uncle Norman lived for a short time.  Dr. Coulston did the honors and, as I recall, mother had made homemade bread with honey for him ahead of time.  I was 12 years old when Steve arrived, who blessedly dwelt in a crib in the living room for the first part of his journey in life.  And then, misery upon horror, the noisy, squally, little nuisance was consigned to my private bedroom.  Oh the injustice!  My life was no longer a luxury while all my sisters were crammed in the girl's dorm next door!  I couldn't help it if they were all girls.  Besides, they liked staying together.  Maybe.  Five years later I left home for good just after turning 17.  Steve was left with the luxury of inhabiting my formerly private bedroom all by his own royal self.  Oh the injustice once more.  Since Steve was so young when I left home, I only became acquainted with him as the years went by and as I returned home sporadically.  Steve was an apt and able pupil.  I taught him the scientific principle of centrifugal force by twirling the slop bucket up over my head without spilling a drop, thus saving Steve the necessity of enrolling in a science course.  I taught Steve music appreciation as he quickly and permanently learned all of the verses of "I won't go huntin' with you Jake" which we both could sing today as a lovely duet for the entertainment of the less fortunate.

So here is what we know about Steve today on his birthday.  Mischievous. Bright. Talented actor. Horrible musician. Consummate artist and creative genius.  Wouldn't Dad be proud of him for his wonderful artistry?  Persevered and never gave up through the tough times.  Never quit trying and never quit working.  Married Mary Lynn, a genius, one of his most outstanding accomplishments. Laughter.  Reminds me of Dad's laughter.  Great sense of humor.  Loves living in 30 ft of snow every winter.  Like Grandpa Wasden, he can create something beautiful and something incredible out of what originally looked like nothing.  Loyal sibling to the five of us and loyal dad to his kids.  Loves his ugly dog.  Remembers everything that he and Ann perpetrated.  Stuffed junk through the hole in the wall from the doorknob in my previously private bedroom.  Knew all the secret hiding places.

I have taken many thousands of pictures over the years but I have never taken any better photos than the two top photos of Steve.  They stand out as gems.  The third photo is from Steve's John Wayne and Clint Eastwood incarnation.

Happy Birthday, Steve, from Dwight, Louise, Elizabeth, Judy, and Ann

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Happy Birthday Elizabeth

Happy Birthday Elizabeth.  What do we know about you?  Melodious laugh.  World class fabric stash. Stubborn. Artist, quilter extraordinaire. Beet hoeing companion. Original owner of a doll buggy. Pre-school companion when Louise abandoned us.  Nose in a book. Reading under the covers. Reading when time for dishes.  Reading when supposed to do something else. Reading all the books in the Powell library.  Could not understand ditto marks.  Grammar whiz.  Loyal sibling.  Hand on the pitchfork.  Illegally.  Flowers.  Gullible. (Louise and I did not go to Paris to see Pierre.)  Keeps track of us all.  Smart. Bossy? I can't believe I said that.  Maybe I meant "Bussy", our childhood nickname for her.  Beautiful.  Kind. Friend. Never gave up during the tough times. Our day is always brighter when the telephone from Preston Idaho rings.  So, dear sister, we all wish you a bright and happy day and we wish we were all there to share it with you.  Instead, we send our love.  Dwight, Louise, Judy, Ann, and Steve. 

Friday, May 15, 2015

What Am I?

While I realize the blog hasn't had a lot of activity lately, maybe this is a good place to share these photos.

First,in talking with Elizabeth and trying to describe a flower that was planted last summer, my description wasn't doing any good. Perhaps a photo will help. The seeds sat there until late fall when low mounding leaves showed up before the cold winter set in. Then this summer it went crazy and grew to be over five feet tall and has been loaded with beautiful flowers that have a delicate fragrance and resemble phlox. So, what am I?

Second, about seven weeks ago, before the flowers grew and when we had gone for a long time without any rain/snow, the birds were on a hunt for some place to take a bath or get a drink. We began filling the bird bath and this was the result.  I had the wrong lense on my camera so they aren't as sharp as they should be, but they are still fun.
               Perhaps a fitting caption for these photos should be "Saturday Night Bath time

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Monday, May 4, 2015

For Judy and Robert and the Petersen Family

Dear Judy and Robert and Petersen Family, We have got your backs, we are all together, and that is the way we will stay.  With love and humble prayers from all of us.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

One More Post about James Brooks Wasden

Grandpa Wasden's signature inside the cover of the L.D.S. Biographical Encyclopedia, Volume III.
The three volumes contain biographical sketches of "all faithful men and women who have devoted their lives to the establishment of the Church.  There were to be further volumes - Grandpa undoubtedly had this one because his biographical sketch is in it.
     Since the book is copyrighted (in1920), I don't know if it's permissible to copy verbatim, but I'll just include the main part of the biography.
  WASDEN, James Brooks, Bishop of the Penrose Ward (Big Horn Stake), Park county, Wyoming, was born July 16, 1870, at Scipio, Millard County, Utah, the son of John Brooks Wasden and Anna Sophia Olsen.  He was baptized in June 882, by Isaac Pierce; ordained a Deacon in 1882; ordained a Priest Jan. 1, 1898, by Bishop Christian A. Madsen of Gunnison, Sanpete county, Utah; ordained a Seventy March 16, 1898, by Jonathan G. Kimball; ordained a High Priest July 30, 1910, by Jesse W. Crosby Jr.; called to act as Bishop of the Penrose Ward, Big Horn Stake, in April, 1915, and ordained a Bishop May 23, 1915, by Apostle Rudger Clawson and set apart to preside over the Penrose Ward, which was then organized. He filled a mission to the Southern States, leaving Sale Lake City March 17, 1898, and returning April 6, 1900.  During this mission he labored principally in the Florida conference.  At home for fourteen years, he was engaged road building in the Yellowstone National Park; after his arrival in the Big Horn country in 1904, he has followed farming as his chief avocation.  (Note:  From other writings, he continued to work on Park roads for some years.)  He built the first house at Penrose.  Since 1905 he has acted as a director in the Elk Canal Company, was elected road supervisor for District No. 3, Park county, Wyoming in 1914, [Note:  Was part of his job directing the Good Roads Day in Penrose?]  He was re-elected in November 1916.  He also acted as superintendent of the Penrose Sunday school from the time of its organization, Dec 24, 1905 to Oct 19, 1913.  In 1898 (March 9th) Bro. Wasden married Tilda Christena Christensen of Gunnison, Sanpete county, in the Manti Temple; his wife has born him seven children (they are listed in the article.)
    This is pretty detailed, and clears up a few dates I had wondered about.  We are all a part of history, for sure.

Judy, Ann, and Steve

More Treasures

As I'm finishing up recording the treasures from Grandma and Grandpa that will go back with our Sorensen cousin sometime today, I thought you might all enjoy these gems.

The first gem, in Grandma's handwriting, was written on paper from a tablet like we used in grade school, so the quality is very poor. The pages appear dark, but it was the only way I could get her writing to show up.

This next gem contains something that was transcribed from Grandma's handwriting, by Aunt Sofe. Please note where it begins "Mama" appears to be Sofe's own words. Dates need to be verified, which I didn't do, and how John and Christena crossed the plains is incorrect.  

Gunnison, Sunday evening
April 10, 1887
(Written in Tilda’s handwriting)
James would bet that in about 2 or 3 months Tilda would be married to some fellow.
Tilda said, “I will bet that I won’t be married when you get back and that I won’t be going with any boy in Gunnison.”
James said, “How much will you bet?” Tilda said, “A quarter of a dollar.” James said, “All right, that’s a bet.”
So that was settled as a bet.
James had a piece of paper with a name on it. He said, “I am going to keep this”. Tilda said, “Alright, I will bet you 25 cts that if you take that paper with you, that you can’t show it to me when you get back.” James said, “I will take you up on that too. I am going to take it with me, and I will bet 25 cts that I can show it to you when I get back home.”
So that was settled as another bet.

     Mama, Tilda Christena /Christenson, was born in the old Fort at Gunnison, Sanpete, Co., Utah Jan 21, 1871. Her parents were Swedish. John Christenson and Christena Akesson met in Copenhagen shortly before coming to America and crossed the plains in the Murdock Handcart Company (that is incorrect). They were married Nov 2, 1861 in S.L.C.
     So James and Tilda grew up in real pioneer homes. When they were about 27 years old, Mama answered a call to work as an ordinance worker in the Manti Temple. Papa received his call to a mission to the Southern States. So they were married March 9, 1898 in the Manti Temple. Papa departed for his mission and Mama continued to work at the Temple for a time. She was his financial support for the mission. At this time papa was about 5 ft. 9 in. tall, weighing 165 lbs, blue eyes and wavy red hair, rather slight and his health was never very good. Mama was 5 ft 3 inches tall and slender. Her hair was very dark brown and her eyes were calm and gray.
     My parents were both children of folks who, having given up home and friends and comforts, had come to a strange land to make their home amongst a people who shared the same vision and faith as they.
     Papa’s father, John Brooks Wasden, came from England, from Aston, at age 11, with his parents, Thomas and Mary Coucom Wasden, and his brother and sisters. A few years later, young John Brooks went to meet an emigrant train with supplies to help them on their way to Utah and there He met a beautiful young, auburn haired, Danish girl named Anna Sofia Olsen. With her parents, Ole and Marianne Danielson Jensen (or Olsen) and brothers and sisters she was seeking a home in the west. They were married Oct 5, 1869. Papa, J.B.W. was born July 16, 1870 at Scipio, Millard Co., Utah. His twin bro. Peter, died at birth and his Mother died July 23. He was cared for by his father’s first wife, Nancy Arrilla Herring who loved and raised him as her own.
     Upon Papa’s return from his mission he built a little home half a block and across the street away from Grandma Christenson’s house. He moved his family into it shortly before daughter Sofe was born.
     Our home was a peasant place, a 2 room log house. Papa hauled logs from the mountains and hewed them to make straight sides to build the house. Because lath was unobtainable, he put his ingenuity to work and substituted willows for lath, placing them close together and plastered them to the walls which were later white washed at house cleaning time. The plaster was a kind of mud or daubing which set very hard as it dried. With a food cellar underneath the house it was cozy and adequate. The floors were covered with a layer of clean straw over which hand-woven carpet was firmly tacked. Furniture was for use. In the kitchen was a small cookstove, the large woodbox, the huge flour bin which held a year’s supply of flour, the “coal-oil” lamp on a wall bracket, the dining table and chairs and 2 small rockers.

     The bedroom was furnished with 2 beds with high, high head boards and the cradle and mama’s little rocker, whos creak, creak as she rocked a baby to sleep was a comforting sound to other small fry.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015


Having confessed to our cousin, Newell Sorensen, that I need to get Grandpa's missionary journals back to him, which exchange is long overdue, I have been making sure my project is completed before the exchange in April. As I was going through everything, I ran across something that touched me more today than it did the last time I read it. The photo below is of Grandpa and the other missionaries in his mission in 1898. He is on the back row, third from the left, although I suspect you easily found him. He looked so young, but when I remember he had been working in Yellowstone before he left on his mission, underneath the young, handsome look there must have been an amazing amount of determination to accomplish what he had set out to do. However, on April 30, 1898, he must have been missing home and his "darling wife" as he wrote the following poem in his missionary journal. I thought you might enjoy this sweet sentiment from Grandpa. (Please note: It is transcribed exactly as it was written.)

Just to open wide my little cottage door.
Just to see my baby roling on the floor,
Just to know that I have something to adore,
Just to be at home again.
Just to hear a sweet voice calling papa dear,
Just to know, my darling wife is standing near,
You may wish for Gold in your lonely heart to cheer,
But I will take Baby, Wife and Home.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Grace and Her New Critters

Grace has two new critters, a terrier to hug, and a fierce lion to protect her.  She writes that she took them with her to the doctor's office but had to leave them in the car.  We're all cheering for her to find some relief for the pain she is suffering.

Corrrespondence between Dwight Blood and 7D Ranch

Hello Dwight, 

That is a very interesting and cool story.  Of course you can use our photos!  Thanks for asking.  My husbands grandparents bought the Ranch in 1958.  If you are ever in the neighborhood please stop by.  Our best to you.  -Andrea

Meade & Andrea Dominick
7D Ranch Managers
PO Box 100
Cody, WY 82414
307-587-9885 phone/fax

Check us out on Facebook and Tripadvisor

--- wrote:

From: Dwight Blood
Date: Mon, 09 Feb 2015 18:06:10 +0000 (GMT)

Hello, my name is Dwight Blood.  I am the son of Russell Blood who spent his growing up years on the Dewey Riddle ranch in Sunlight.  Dewey was his uncle; Elsie was his mother's sister.  Dad was an orphan.  He met my mother there when she went to Sunlight as a cabin girl one summer.  My brother and four sisters all love your facebook entries since it gives us a way to connect to the place where our dad grew up.  Would you be willing to give me permission to use an occasional photo to post to our family blog Penrose Mornings?  I will always cite the source as 7D ranch.  Your photos have such a special meaning for all of us in our family and we are so glad to see them.  Thank you.  Dwight Blood

Here is my letter and the 7D response, which I very much appreciate.  I believe we have some friends there now, and I'm sure any comments you wish to make to them or any family stories about the ranch and Sunlight would be welcome.  Meanwhile, I'll repost a few of the pictures that give all of us new insight into the ranch that was such an important part of our family history.

View of the 7D Ranch

Back lawn beauty.

As we have learned, the 7D Ranch came into being when 7 Dominicks bought the Dewey Riddle Ranch in the 1950s.  The Dewey Riddle Ranch was owned by Dad's Uncle Dewey and Aunt Elsie and is where he spent some of his growing up years.  And this ranch is where Dad met Mom.  Photo is shown here with permission of the 7D Ranch, with appreciation.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Sunlight and the 7D Ranch

When Steve enlightened us about the 7D Ranch being the original Dewey Riddle Ranch, I linked to the 7D facebook page so I could recycle the 7D facebook posts.  Dewey Riddle was married to Elsie, my grandmother Louise's sister, so Dewey and Elsie were Dad's aunt and uncle.  We heard so much about Sunlight and the Dewey Riddle Ranch when we were little that these places became magic in our imaginations.  Here was where Dad met Mom when she went to the ranch to be a cabin girl one summer.  When I see the various photos of the ranch, Sunlight Basin, and the surrounding mountains and countryside, I feel that for the first time I am seeing the area that was so familiar to Dad and that I am seeing what I have always wanted to see as I look at pictures of the ranch and the Sunlight Basin. The 7D Ranch, I learned, is named after the 7 members of the Dominick family who run the ranch.

Today is Grace's Day

Today we are thinking about Grace.  Grace is a beautiful little girl who has been in a lot of pain. These pictures were taken several years ago during a visit from the Galas. Now she is eleven years old and I am sure even more beautiful.  So we all send our wishes and prayers for relief from the pain that has caused so much concern and misery. We need to see this smile back on her face and listen once more to her laughter.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

February 3rd - Dad's Birthday

This picture was taken in my little house in Powell on South Clark in 1973 or thereabouts, when we had the Wasden family reunion in Lovell.  Brooks and Lorraine parked their pickup with the camper on it in my back yard, and Mother and Daddy stayed with us.  (I remember that Diana came and she slept on the floor in the living room.) Brooks was admiring one of the painted plaques that Dad did during his folk-painting brief career.   My kitchen was so small that when pulled the table out to have a meal, Brig could turn around and open the frig, Pat or Dorothy could reach behind for a utensil, etc.  Worked, anyway.  Dwight and Velna and family were in Lovell for this get-together, too.  Even uncle David and then-wife, Lucille were there.

Name These People

Hi Liz, hope it's all right with you, but I took the liberty of enlarging the photo so I could see it.

You'll have to enlarge this picture to see it more clearly, but here is Judy in her May Day blue organdy dress, and a few other people that we know so well.  Love this picture of Mother!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Just Cataloging Pictures -

Did all of us remember our brother when he was young and debonair.  Was this the infamous car from Earl?  Where was this picture taken, Dwight?  I will try to find more pictures from the file that are reminders.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Circular Bridge to Yellowstone

This photo is from Grant Wasden's collection which he included in his video regarding his mother, Clara Wasden, and her days working in Yellowstone.  The "overpass" is a model for today's freeways.  This is probably the bridge Grant is asking about Grandpa's involvement. 

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Grandpa Wasden and the Bridge at Yellowstone

Grant Wasden had a question about Grandpa Wasden being involved in the construction of the corkscrew bridge in Yellowstone.  I'm not sure I have the name of the bridge right, but it is the circular bridge.  Unfortunately I can't find the Facebook post with the picture on it.  However, if any one has any information from memory or from records about this bridge, please let us know.  I do remember something about Grandpa's involvement with this bridge but that's as far as my memory goes.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy New Year!

     I know, there should be photos to accompany this post but there wasn't time to take any. After 12 gallons of milk, 10 loaves of bread, five containers of home made strawberry jam, 3 bags of oranges eaten, lots of meals cooked, games of all kinds played, snow piled on either side of the driveway in the front yard, for protection during snow ball fights, sledding, colds shared, Christmas lights checked out, broken thermostat replaced, cold winds and temperatures survived, etc,, our house has shuddered back into its normal, boring routine.
     This morning, as Paul left to begin another semester of teaching, we looked at each other and said something about thinking we might be just a little tired. We had anywhere from 30 to a mere 18 busy big and little people filling up the house's nooks and crannies with lots of laughter and a few "please don't jump on the air beds" requests.Challenges were shared, successes acknowledged and lots of hugs exchanged. It was a wonderful way to begin the New Year.
     May the year ahead find us all recognizing the many blessings that come our way, even when life isn't perfect. Love you all.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Visit by Dwight and Velna to Olympia 1974

 Petersen family, Velna, Mom and Dad
Dad in the woods near his house

Velna getting the mail

Elizabeth in Arizona

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Dwight and Louise with the House Family

Now here is a real surprise.  The original photo was so spotty and defunct but it came to life a bit after doctoring it up.  Looks like, l to r, Louise, Peggy, Dwight in monstrous sheepskin coat, Dean, Stanley, maybe Verne in front?  Aunt Elna and Uncle Oscar in back, looks like puffing on his pipe.  Don't know man on left or on second row in back in Tom Mix hat.

Main Street of our Hometown Powell Wy Probably about 1948 or 1949

Main Street of Cody WY Back in the Day

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Early Day Views of Garland Wyoming

Garland was about seven miles from where we lived in Penrose and was our mailing address all the time I lived at home.  I remember when there were still some stores there when I was little that Mom took me there to buy some overshoes in one of the stores.  It seems like there was a  boardwalk.  I also remember going with Grandpa Wasden to see Isaac Wasden who was living in one of the abandoned stores for a time.  The corner lot by the telephone pole became a general store that was still open when I was in high school.  We stopped there occasionally for Nehi grape soda.  The Garland postoffice was a little tiny structure somewhere near where these tracks are where for decades "Joe Bob" Cubbage dutifully tended (and read our postcards, maybe?) our mail which was then delivered by Ezra Lewis, or "Ez" as we called him on a long rural route that he serviced for many years. The highway from Powell to Lovell came down the street then lined with telephone poles, turned south, (on the left side of the photo), and that is the way that we ultimately got to Penrose.  Gail Burke ran a well patronized traditional blacksmith shop that we often needed repairs from.  Now, nothing is left and Garland sees only the ghosts of its former proud existence.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Penrose Church Memories

     If this keeps up, I won't have to print my story. I'll just use pieces of it here and then I'm done. Dwight asked about our memories of the Penrose Church. Here are just a few of mine.
     For many years, the church had been used as a voting place during election time and for Saturday night dances. Before we started school, Steve and I would spend voting day at the church with Mother, who was one of the voting judges. She probably heaved a sigh of relief when older siblings got home from school so she could send us back to the house.
     Either Steve or Judy discovered we could get inside through the outside coal chute so once in a while we would go adventuring. Other times we would ask Mother for the key and then we didn't feel like trespassers. The front steps provided an incredible place for “stair hopping” and stair jumping. We would compete with each other to see how many steps we could take at a time.
   Inside the church were hidden treasures. There were books, some of which eventually came to our house and became favorites. One of the best, for me, was Song of Years. There were a few chairs, two of which came to our house and were treasured possessions because they were just the right size for little people. The smallest one was mine to keep in my bedroom and was a favorite possession during those early years.
     One Saturday night the church was being heated for a dance and it caught fire. Watching from my bedroom window, it was scary to see the flames coming out through the roof. The Powell fire department was called and we were all excited about having a real fire engine come to Penrose. That put an end to the Saturday night dances in the church.
     There was an outhouse by the old church and every Halloween it seemed to get tipped over. Strange because who, besides kids in Penrose, even knew that outhouse was there?
     Dad paid $500.00 for the 5 acres of land and the church building on November 13, 1956. The receipt was signed for the Big Horn Stake by a Mr. Jolley. One of the conditions of the purchase was that the church and foundation were to be cleared off “in reasonable time”.
     When the dismantling of the church began, Dad discovered the walls on the north side were full of honey from bees that had been there for a long time. The honeycomb was wonderful and we ate “church house honey” for years. When Mother and Dad moved to Olympia, they took the honey with them and I think someone mentioned there was still “church house honey” after Mother died, which would have been 1981.
     The ceiling of the old church was made of large embossed tin tiles. In the mid 1950’s no one thought much about them but today they would probably be worth a lot of money. Not knowing what else to do with the tiles, Steve says they were eventually used on a shed for the dairy cows. That was probably the fanciest roof ever for a bunch of cows. The wood flooring was rescued and used in the room that was built on to the Penrose house. Everything that could possibly be used again was carefully saved, including a bucket of nails. Steve tells the story about the roof trusses. I don't remember that part exactly, but I do remember how grateful Dad was to have escaped being seriously hurt when the trusses fell.

From the Salem Family Reunion at Tanner's Date Unknown

These may have been posted before but I have just learned in my 83d year finally how to resize little bitty previously unuseable photos so we can at least see who is there and what is going on.

 Organizing the Posterity for a Photo
Elizabeth and Velna, dig the bell bottoms