Sunday, October 4, 2015

Happy Birthday to our Mother

October 4 was always a special day for me because that was mother's birthday.  I tried to send her a birthday message and a card every year that she was still with us.  Today we, your children--Louise, Dwight, Elizabeth, Judy, Ann and Steve--remember and honor you on your birthday.

Here is the home where you grew up with your parents and three of your siblings.

Here is the church you attended as a girl and where I was given a blessing by my grandfather.

Here you are in Sunlight with Louise and Dwight

Family photo minus Dwight and Elizabeth

I was fortunate to spend only seventeen years of my life at home with mom and dad.  Those years, however, were enough to light my life with memories to last a life time.  One of the saddest times of my years was when we moved back from Pennsylvania to Wyoming to be near our families only to have dad and mom move far away only two years after we returned.  I was only privileged to see mom a precious small handful of times during the rest of her life.  The influence that mom had on me during my years at home and the support she gave me by writing weekly letters during my four grueling years of college have enriched my life forever despite our limited contact during the later years.

I remember Mom reading to us from her college Children's Literature text, one of the few books we had.  I remember re-mopping the kitchen floor at her behest when I had given it only a lick and a promise.  I remember her long nights of care and concern during the lonely years when dad was gone so often.  I remember Mom and Dad letting me leave for college at age 17 without a penny in my pocket without either of them stopping me and asking me how on earth I thought I could get through college without any money.  I remember mountains of fried potatoes and invalid eggs and pancakes and orange cake and chocolate pudding and beans and tomatoes and macaroni and applesauce and canned peaches and pears and beans and peas and anything else she could can.  I remember Mom turning the water from the Shoshone River down the rows of her garden where she raised everything that could be raised plus gladiolus and dahlias.  I remember the worries and concerns our parents had during the long days and weeks of various illnesses that we children seemed to excel at experiencing.

I watched Mother teach Sunday School and then I knew how to teach.  I watched Mom and Dad work and then I knew how to work.  I watched my parents subsist on practically nothing and then I knew how to be frugal.  I watched my parents persevere and then I knew how to tough it out, how to get by. I learned not to cut corners, to do the best job possible and I learned the penalties of shirking one's duty.  These are the eternal gifts I received from home in lieu of money.  These are the gifts that have guided my life and have lit my path during troubled times.  These are the gifts that have made my own accomplishments possible in the face of overwhelming odds against success.

I know that somewhere Mom is in a garden picking big red strawberries and raspberries and digging new potatoes and picking corn and fresh peas.  I know that she is in a field of flowers, tall multi-colored gladiolus and gigantic dahlias.  I know that she has spent every day of her existence both during and after her earth life with feelings of concern, hope, and love for each of her six children. We were never perfect and I know you never considered yourself perfect.  But, thanks to you, we were good enough. We made the grade.  We learned our p's and q's and our abc's.  And we owe it all to you.  So, once more, happy birthday.  May your flowers be beautiful and your pain be long gone and may we all look forward to a reunion some day.  With love from your children.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Happy Birthday To Dwight

Now that's a smile that lights up a room and because we know the humor behind it, the face also warms our hearts.  Today we honor him on his 83rd birthday.  We reminisce of days past and treasure days present.  Whether we bow to his "position" in the family or not, we all care about what Dwight thinks about us:  What we are doing, how we are doing it, etc.  We love you!  Keep encouraging us!  Keep us laughing!  Keep us from taking ourselves too seriously!  And most of all....Keep happy and healthy!  
May today be a good time for you!  Our love, also, to Velna, who stands loyally (with her own humor, I might add) at your side.  We are grateful. 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Our Great-grandfather, Moses Blood

Above is a picture of the funeral card - evidently used in place of a program for those attending the funeral.  

The information about our great-grandfather, Moses Blood, father of Roscoe Marion Blood comes from our second cousin, Betty Sullivan, who has done a great deal of research on our Blood line.

Moses was the grandson of the first Moses, pioneer from Vermont, was born in Flora Township south of Belvidere, ILL.  He grew up on the family farm about three miles south and one west of Charles City, Iowa schools, and went into town to an old stone school building.

Young Moses, the grandson of the pioneer from VT, was b. while the family still lived in Flora Township, south of Belvidere. But he would have been too young to start school until they arrived in Charles City, IA.

He grew up on the family farm, about three miles south and one west of Charles City schools then were pretty modern in Floyd County. There were no one-room school houses. He went clear into town to school in the old, stone building that was blown down in the terrible tornado in the 1930's, which changed the whole look of the downtown.

When he was a young man helping his dad farm, Sarah  Batty HAWKINS bought land right across the road from them, and they were married in 1870. They had four children but the first baby died shortly after birth. So Mabel Clare BLOOD was their only girl, and they also had three boys. They had a nice farmhouse and outbuildings, still standing in 1997, but by then in pretty bad shape, as the ground had just been sold to a quarry, and the people renting were obviously very poor and uncaring about the looks of the place.

Moses and Sarah lived on the east side of the river, about five miles from town. When Moses was just 45-years old, he had a bad accident in the woods, followed by a long illness, and died, leaving Sarah and her four children. When he died, the farm was foreclosed for back taxes, and so Sarah and the children moved to town. He is buried in Riverside Cemetery, Charles City, IA., but there is no marker. (Source: "Riverside Cemetery Records", Charles City; "History of Floyd Co", (1893), p. 393; Personal Knowledge from Father and Grandmother & three visits to Charles City to see land, get land records, take photos, etc.).

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Shadow Box Full of Memories

 Map of the northwest corner of the State of Wyoming with important locations in the Russell M. Blood - Minnie A. Wasden Blood family life.
 Piece of very light pink and tan blanket in the background was a wedding gift from Aunt Sofe (Wasden-Johnson), and our Grandmother, Tilda C. C. Wasden.  This picture was taken after the wedding in Lovell, with a partial shot of Aunt Cindy, Dad, Mother and Grandma sitting on the running board of the car, and Grandpa to the right.  Mother's car loaded with bedroll and whatever else they needed to get to Denver.
 Picture on the left is Mother's teacher placement picture from college.  On the right is a picture of Dad found in an old photograph album that was given me by Uncle Norman after Aunt Cindy had passed away.
The complete shadow box - picture taken at an angle so that I wouldn't get a glare on the 50th wedding anniversary picture on the right.  And, everyone knows that the upper right-hand picture is the one taken of Mother holding baby Louise and Dad in his cowboy hat and work clothes.  These are some of my favorite pictures from the past.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Addendum to Pictures from Family Visit Down South

 Banter went back and forth - Paul was so tired from working on the front bathroom, but he hung in - except for the short nap both he and Ron had somewhere along the way during the afternoon.

 We did laugh more than a little - One of the joys of brothers and sisters!
And, we got to add to our visit by stopping to see Louise in Layton.  She had this beautiful quilt on the frame to begin quilting.  Her self-discipline puts me to shame!  She has made so many beautiful things in the last year.  Like the Ever ready bunny, she just keeps on going.  The compensation for having to go to Salt Lake to see doctors is that we get to include these visits - probably not often enough, but thoroughly enjoyed when they happen!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Visitors Come to Riverton July 26 2015

Ann, Dwight, and Elizabeth

Ann and Paul, Elizabeth and Ron come to Riverton

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Two More Birthday Pictures for Louise

Here are a couple of pictures of Louise that we haven't seen quite as often to add to the birthday festivities. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Tuesday is Louise's Day - Time to Celebrate Our Sister

 Here we are - all spiffed up for the first day of school.  I was beginning sixth grade - note the penny loafers with the penny in each one.  Louise looked so put together with her matching brown and white dress and shoes.  Didn't we look grand?  Dwight was ever the "poser" and picture taker - thank goodness for his passion for pictures so that our family history is more complete.  (You really did do Family History work, Dwight.)
 This is a favorite picture of my beautiful older sister.  This was excerpted from a picture of friends who were working on the high school annual.  About 1948-9?
 And I love this picture! Is this a pleased look or a quizzical one? - but where is our paradise of Penrose remembered?  We really must have had fun playing in the dirt.
And this is my quilting mentor.  Louise always paved the way for me.  She was tidy, I was not, but later in life, I realized that was the only way to go.  She wanted to be a teacher, and cut pictures out of all of the magazines to save for future use, so I had to find pictures in the discarded ones and do the same.  She loved paper dolls, so I loved them.  She loved to do puzzles, but wouldn't let me put a piece in her first 1,000 piece puzzle.  Oh, well.  But, it was the quilts that got me.  She made quilts for her first babies, so when I was going to become a mother, I had to do the same.  Louise was always there to help me when I became stuck on a project.  One example she is to me is that she has such a funny sense of humor, and, in spite of a tough life, looks on the bright side.  She is a fantastic Mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, and is very blessed to have children close by.  She earned it!
And, to cap it all off, Louise continues to set the example for all of us, by living a full life, with enthusiasm for new projects to do.  I wonder if she ever counted how many quilts she has made????
A Very Happy Birthday to You, Sister Dear!

But, how could I forget our dishes sessions?  She was the boss, so she washed, and I dried.  Lots of important conversations and topics were covered during this time.  Always remember that doing dishes together is a a wonderful together time?

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.