Sunday, September 30, 2012

What to do to celebrate eleven years of life...

You mark flying off your bucket list.

You even allow your mother to go with you, since she's never flown before either.

Said mother must agree to sit in the back, since it IS your birthay after all.

You take over the controls from the pilot.  After all, you are eleven!


You leave Grandma and Grandpa behind, protected by OCHAs

While you do a fly-over of the state capital and the capitol building


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

"We moved in and they forgot to move out."  This is what Uncle Cy told us about this shack in Folk, Mo.

It was the mid 1920's, a few years before 1929's Great Depression.  For some, though, Black Friday came early.  Mom lived in this shack when she was a little girl, along with her two older brothers, Cy and Tom, her mom and dad, and apparently, for a short time, with her grandma and grandpa - until they remembered to "move out".   

Mom (on the right) and her cousin

Times were definitely hard. 

Joseph Forck

As I look into the eyes of this ancestor I never knew, I have to think his heart hurt to not be able to provide for his family the way he would have liked to.  He was an unsuccessful farmer most of his life. 

This was also during the time of Prohibition.  Desperate times meant desperate measures.  As Uncle Cy tells it, "One day dad came home all excited.  He knew what he was going to do to get rich."  You guessed it.  Moonshine. 

Uncle Cy poked his finger at the picture and said, "Dad put in a still in the upstairs of that house.  But we never did get rich.  He drank more than he sold and was never right in the head after that."  As Cy got into his story, embelishing as he went along, his much younger brother sat there and shook his head.  There was some disagreement about the "never right in the head after that" part.  But there was no disagreement that times had been hard.

Seven people in a shack with no electricity or running water, bugs and mice, probably a snake or two, with an illegal still being run out of the upstairs....  I have to think they were very lucky that the weight of the still did not fall through the upstairs floorboards to the floor below. 

Monday, September 3, 2012

As the sun rose in the sky this morning, and I watched all of the Labor Day posts on blogs and Facebook, I couldn't help but think about how this season has played out. 

We had one of the most beautiful Springs ever. 

We were energized.

Beginning of Summer 2012

Our energies waned as the heat of the summer took its toll.  We watched helplessly as the virbrant colors of Spring turned to brown.  This is not how it is supposed to be.  But it is what we have been dealt.  A rain dance or two was done and prayers were offered up daily.  We needed relief from one of the worst heat waves and droughts on record.
We watched in horror as Isaac ravage the South, knowing it was going to bring some welcome relief, to the Midwest, from relentless heat and devastating drought.  It is strange how that works sometimes.
On this Labor Day I am thinking about all of the good people in Louisiana, who are still without power, as they once again work to pick up the pieces of rebuilding their lives from yet another storm with a name.  I can only imagine that they are wondering which name is going to hit them next...   

End of Summer 2012
I am also thinking about all of the hard working Americans - my fellow Midwesterners - who are drooping from working day after day in the intense heat of this past summer, in the end to only realize no reward for their hard labor.

Even when things look impossible - hopeless - we don't give up.

We look to the future and dream of what can be if we work hard and believe.