Photo Album Seven

Past Paragraphed:

This was one of the first photos taken of our farm in South Carolina in March of 1955. We had moved there from Norfolk when my father retired from the Navy. Everything was so the farm then, the house plainly visible, the white pines only partially grown.  I loved the big old oak you see in the middle, not yet leafed out.  Behind it is the fat cedar I wrote the "Old Cedar" poem about. All this is entirely different these days, but this is how it still looks to me in my memory. This picture was taken from the road that goes down the long hill to Abner Creek at the bottom of the valley. If you stood in this spot today, you wouldn't even be able to see the house because of all the trees that have grown up.  The long dirt driveway that led up near the oak is completely lined, too, with trees and bushes now and when I see it, I want to chop them all down and make it open once again like when I was twelve. 

I took this about 15 years ago so is probably much worse now. If you look at the old photo above just to the left of the big oak where there is a light-colored car parked and then down to the pale roof of the old barn...well, THAT is the area in the photo just above. You can see the remains of the barn in the distance.

 I used to walk to the end of the driveway the other direction and wait for the school bus. It was an hour and a half ride each way to school as the bus wandered from farm to farm.  My father built a barbed wire fence along the field side of the drive and I used to plop the trash over it and wheel my loaded-high aluminum wheel barrow diagonally across the field in the old photo to a deep gully that would be down and to the left from the point that picture was taken.  My mother used that photograph to paint an oil painting from.

She made it full summer, though, and added in fencing and three of our cattle...Mac, the Angus bull on the left, and Daisy, our milk cow with Jan, who was not actually her calf, but was given to me as my own personal calf. Jan, however, turned out to be worse than Daisy...MUCH worse...and loved to use her horns to bully the other cows.  The majority of the herd was Angus, but Daisy was our first cow. I didn't like her much.  I'd never met a cow up close and personal before and when she was delivered in a pick-up truck, she wasn't happy about it.  My father had a rope on her as she came down the ramp but she saw me, lowered her horns, and ran straight at me.  It was a bad beginning and though I would actually try to milk her from time to time (my hands got too tired, but my brother Allan has big, strong hands and it was his job to do the milking).  A calf came with her that day, though it wasn't her calf.  It was a little female Angus we named Smokey as she was more charcoal-colored than pure black. She I liked! She was a peaceful, nice animal...and had no horns. Heh heh!

This is Daisy guarding her calf, March. 

The top one is the very first picture of Smokey when we got her. She was one week old. In the middle one with a barbed wire fence safely between me and Daisy, Smokey has grown larger.  The bottom one is Smokey with Flossie, a really sweet calf she had.

One of the first pictures of me on the farm in March of 1955...with Clarence, our cat we'd taken from Charleston up to Boston, on a trip

up into Canada, to Newport, then to Norfolk, and now to the farm, where my father decided she had to go so we could get a puppy and as

she had a spot of mange she'd give it to the puppy, they said, so they took her out under a basket and dumped her in the countryside.

This is my mother in the yard on the far side of the house.  There was a terrible old chicken coop back there when we moved in and the four of us together tore the thing down.  I've always liked this line up of her and the dogs.  Standing up on her is Chief, our male Belgian Shepherd. He was grown when we got him and used to be named Jet. He was one gorgeous dog!  My father had been a chief in the Navy, hence the name change.  The lighter dog is Kim, mostly shepherd, part husky.  We got her as a pup

as you can see, and she adored my mother.  Both she and Chief lived to be 14.  Kim was our first dog, gotten that spring we moved in.  Gypsy, the black and brown one on the far left was also grown when we got her, but had a mean streak and killed several of my kittens.  Kim had always let the cats come freely into the yard, but after Gypsy arrived, they had to stay out or she'd get them. She had one litter of pups by Chief, which we sold to surrounding farms, and then she herself ended up being sold.

This is me with Gypsy on my 17th birthday.

This is my favorite picture of Chief.

I had a whole series of cats on the farm, but the one I'm holding here was my great favorite. She was born on the farm and I had her from her very beginnings. She was orange and white, though her mother was calico, and I named her Carey.  She was more my "dog" than the dogs were and would accompany me freely on my long walks all over the farm.  I liked to wade upstream in Abner Creek and she would follow, making her way carefully along the steep banks and crossing the stream on rocks or logs. She was a mighty hunter and mostly fed herself. She was still around when I went off to college and then got married. My senior year in high school we moved part-way down the hill to a house my parents had built and she would hang around outside the fence there, too.  Then my parents just stopped seeing her, so nobody knows what ever happened to her.  I figure something probably got her in the woods one day.

This is Cary as a little kitten with her mother, Calico. Cary had a black and white brother, who didn't live long. When Calico was pregnant with them, she got really fat and couldn't hunt well so one afternoon she followed me around and I caught 40 large grasshoppers for her, holding them out to her one by one as I caught them and she daintily took each one and devoured it.  Calico liked to sleep with the cows in the barn and one day she was curled up near the belly of, I think, Daisy and didn't wake up in time when the cow stood and got stepped on. Her whole back end was crushed, but she insisted on following my father everywhere he went that day, dragging herself by her two front legs.  Finally he took her out into the woods and shot her. I remember standing there, quite near where I am in the picture above with Daisy and listening for the sound of the shot.

This is Cary hanging out on the clothesline pole.

I love that I still have this series of photographs I took so long ago.  This is Cary and her half-sister, Taffy. They had the same father, Tiger, a solid orange tom that serviced every farm within miles.  In the top picture, Cary is trying to rest but Taffy keeps biting her tail, so then Cary sits up and warns her to stop.  But she doesn't stop and when Cary lies back down, Taffy bites her tail then Cary decides enough is enough. She didn't hurt her, though. Her claws are in. When Taffy wasn't much bigger than this, she was hit by a car on the road. I came across her body as I was walking down the hill and buried her. Life and death are very up close and personal on a farm.  And frequent.

We raised a lot of white rabbits for food. The two larger ones in the bottom picture are Penny on the left and Ester on the right. I named her Ester because we got the two of them on Easter.  Penny was my favorite, though, and I rather made a pet of her. That's her with one of her babies in the top picture. We ended up with 6 breeding mother rabbits and one buck, named creatively Buck. It was my job to take care of them.  They ended up, very inadvertently, having a profound effect on my life.

This is Rusty, Allan's FFA pig. After the little house was built and before Rusty moved in, I used it for a sort of playhouse and decorated it inside. That's a big window on the top left there, so it was well-lit.

This is a little section of Daddy's vegetable garden.  That's me behind him with two of my grandmother's sisters, Helen and Velma, who were visiting from Texas.  I do understand after so many years in the Navy, how much it meant to him to be able to plant. He overdid it...a lot...but I understand the why of it.

My grandmother's sister rather chopped Allan's head off in this one, but this is my family group when I was a teenager. Grandmama and Granddaddy didn't live on the farm at the time, but visited when they could.  I see this picture in color. My mother's dress is yellow with red trim and red flowers. My grandmother is in white and I am in a pale aqua with a white stretch belt.

This is the end of the living room in the new house. I grew up with books everywhere and today my own house has every possible wall covered in bookcases. Ah, I well recall this sweater and skirt...were rust-colored.

This is me being silly and posing with a machete and a pith helmet. I've got on a pair of black silk pants that my father brought back from China for my mother in 1949. The wall behind me is covered with my mother's oil paintings.

When I was in college, my grandparents, who'd been living for a while in Atlanta, moved up to the farm and parked a trailer just up the hill from the new house. This is my favorite picture of my grandfather, George William Glass.  And I think it's sorta neat that it was actually taken in the septic tank he was building for the trailer!!  I loved this man (my mother's father) with all my heart and soul and coming into his arms to be hugged was like a ship arriving in its harbor. 

Granddaddy had a lot of different cars over the years, but this is one of the more memorable English That's him beside it.  I remember when he first got it and I was out with them as he was getting used to it and the instruction booklet used very Brit terms like "gradient" instead of "hill." They had this while they lived in Atlanta and I spent a couple of summers down there with them. Once when they were driving me back home, I rode the whole way in the back seat holding this over a foot tall statue of Zorro on a rearing black Toronado that I'd gotten for my mother. (She liked Zorro!)

This is him at 21 in his cavalry uniform. His father had died in the Oklahoma land rush days when George was 9 months old, and his mother had died when he was 9 years old. He joined the cavalry when he was still a teen and turned out to be one heckuva horseman, so good they used him to teach the officers how to ride.  He could mount at the gallop and could ride two horses with one foot on the saddle of each. He was stationed in El Paso at Fort Bliss and was part of the Pershing Expedition in northern Mexico that chased Pancho Villa. 

He adored my grandmother (whom I take after) all the days of his life. This is my favorite picture of the two of them together.  It was taken in Norfolk when they lived a couple of blocks from us.  I remember this navy blue skirt of hers.  I get my hair from her, too.

This is them on their 58th anniversary.  They were married on Groundhog Day in 1918. Is always easy to remember their anniversary, thusly. Especially since I live in Pennsylvania where groundhogs are a big deal. Heh heh! But you know what's neat when you look at these two pictures of them? He's looking at HER, not at the camera in them both. She was always and ever the center of his attention.

This is her on the beach in San Diego with me. In many ways she was more my mother than my mother was.  We lived with them my first two years of life and when we would go anywhere, my mother would take my brother, Allan's, hand and she would take me.  We had a "thing", she and I, right from the beginning. I was born in Seattle, but when I was about 5 weeks old my father had to go to the Aleutians for two years (Kodiak and then Cold Bay) and so my mother took Allan and me by train down to San Diego to stay with her parents, who were then raising lemons and avocados in the Lemon Grove area inland from San Diego. 

In San Diego during the time I was in kindergarten.

This is her and me many, MANY years later.

My grandparents had this little trailer they parked on the land they'd bought and lived in it while my grandfather built them a house by himself from scratch.  This is him adding on a room to it when he knew we were coming.

This is the house when he was finished, and below that is what my grandmother turned it into with her flowers.  That's Allan by the fence, my grandfather on the far right.  My grandmother, with a spirit of enterprise and hope, called the place "El Rancho Grande."

This is her in front of the house. Lucy Merle Eugenia Dale Glass, called "Merle", though George always referred to her as "Mums." I called her "Grandmama", which is why I have the Barbarian Horde call me that now. 

This is her when she worked in the Pentagon.

My father made it down for a visit to El Rancho Grande and this family portrait was taken. The dog is Skipper, mostly called Skippy.

When my father left for Alaska, he was a skinny seaman.

When he came back, he was a big chief. 

My mother was a great romantic who never found great romance. Hence, she wrote the "Rusting Carousel" poem I have up on site.  She had a lovely soprano voice rather like Jeanette MacDonald and should have married Errol Flynn or some such.  The nearest she got to that was that her son went to Duke with Errol's son, Sean, and my husband is 1/4 Irish Flynn.  I don't think it was enough.

This shows seven generations of direct mother/daughters down our maternal line.  The first is Adeline Eugenia, my great, great grandmother, who was left a widow when her husband died from the aftermath of his Civil War wounds. Then is Nannie George (Georgia), her daughter and my great grandmother. If I'd been born 5 minutes later, I would share the same birthday with her. She died 3 years before I was born.  Next is my grandmother, Lucy Merle Eugenia (Merle), then my mother with the blonde bob...Verne Adele (Verne).  Then me, Laura, and Kimberly.

Laura often reminds me of my mother. Here they both are in their very early 20's.

My mother and father around the time they got married (1938).

My maternal grandparents and my parents.

Jonathon James McDaniel, my great, great grandfather, born in Winston County, Mississippi Sept. 5,

1838. He enlisted in the Confederate Army on May 14, 1861 and fought with the 13th Mississippi, Co. A,

to March 12, 1864 when he was exchanged to the 5th Mississippi, Co. F, which his younger brother, William,

had been in. He was wounded at Sharpsburg (Antietam) and lost his leg in Tennessee on November 29, 1864

in the Spring Hill battle under Gen'l John Bell Hood. He married Adeline Eugenia Supple in Montgomery,

Alabama on August 28, 1866 and had 4 children with her (see picture below, taken some years after his

death) and died on January 12, 1876. He was my maternal grandmother's grandfather.

This is my great, great grandmother Adeline Eugenia Supple McDaniel and her four children. In the back row,

standing, are Nina Lillian and William Colby. On the left, sitting, is Nannie George (Georgia), my great grandmother,

and on the right is Audra May.



Adeline McDaniel when she was older.



This is my great grandfather, Leander A. Dale, standing on the left with two other preachers.


This is my great grandparents, Leander Dale and Georgia McDaniel Dale with their baby, Audra May, named after

Georgia's sister. 1895



This is Georgia McDaniel when she was seven.



My grandmother, Merle, her mother Georgia McDaniel Dale, Lily, Audra May, Leander, Cecil, and Homer Dale


My brother and only sibling, Allan David, two years older than me, was always very good to me. Here we are at El Rancho Grande having a tea party. He himself figured out how to give me walking lessons by having me hold onto an empty cardboard box while he walked backwards holding on to the other side of it.

Allan and me at El Rancho Grande

At 3 in Baltimore. 

At the genuine Quonset hut area we lived in in California briefly.

By the Pacific in San Diego.

Me on my 4th birthday in Dallas.  One of the things I got was that string of pearls.

In Dallas with our great grandfather, Leander A. Dale, who married Jonathon's daughter Georgia

This is us in 1950 in Spartanburg, South Carolina in my other grandmother's back yard.

The top picture is  South Converse Street in Spartanburg, SC. My Charles grandparents lived at the top of the far hill on the right. The town of Spartanburg is a few blocks more behind the car (I took it through the windshield).  My grandparents house (number 522) is in the bottom picture. Mother and Allan and I lived with them for several months after we left San Diego and were heading toward Charleston, SC, and when we later moved to the farm, we were only about 15 miles west of here so visited a lot.  I remember the big oaks along the front and how we used to run around under them in the evenings chasing fireflies. When I think of this house, I hear the sound of blue jays in my mind. Mama and Allan and I used to walk up South Converse to go into town to shop or to the movies, so this valley in the top picture is very familiar to me.  I still dream about it from time to time. In those days there was a teensy little market right at the very bottom of the hill on the right and we would go down there and get ice cream or penny candy.  I had already been to a full year of kindergarten in San Diego and a half year of first grade divided between San Diego and Dallas, but in Spartanburg they said I was too young to attend school, so while Allan went to second grade, I stayed home with mother. Then next fall when we were in Charleston, I started first grade and had an advantage over the other kids as for most of them it was their first day of school and I'd already been for a year and a half. 

This is me and the kids beside 23 Ocean Avenue in Winthrop, a suburb of Boston that sticks way out into the sea. We rented the bottom floor of this house when I was in the 4th grade and it looked pretty much the same here in 1975 when we stopped by. It was only a half block from the sea wall where huge waves crash over during big storms. Is actually quite well-known for that. I used to play at the rocky beach a lot and one of the main things I remember is how many, many little starfish would be washed up on the rocks.

And this is us in our backyard in Newport, Rhode Island. I loved that dress. My mother had made it for me when we lived in Charleston, SC.  It was a pale lilac color with this big ruffle that went completely around me and two straps over the shoulders. I'm standing beside hollyhocks.  It was here in this old rented house (since restored and on the historic list) that I first learned to love hollyhocks, which, if you've looked at my flower pictures album, you'll know has lasted till this very day.

This is the house from that picture of us in Newport. At the time, we had NO idea is was an historic place. We knew it was old and, well, sorta crappy. These two pictures were taken in the late 90's by Laura's father-in-law at my request when I knew he was visiting Newport.  The lower right-hand window was my bedroom. We only had the first floor and, at first, not even all of that. This is 74 Spring Street and it was from the top step there that I saw this huge wedding cavalcade of limos passing by to the left. I didn't know at the time whose wedding it was, only that it was a big one! Later found out the groom was some guy named John F. Kennedy. 

In 1975 as a part of a long driving vacation, we stopped by the house and it looked rather on beyond terrible. Parts of it had been ripped off. You stand looking at it with your children around you and you say, "Um, yeah, kids, I used to live there." The top picture is in that back yard where Allan and I were standing years ago.  There had been an apartment building of, oh, 7 or 8 stories on the left side of it when we lived there and that's torn down in the bottom picture with Doug and my kids. My best friend, Charlie, lived there and one day the manager said he'd pay us if we swept the staircases for him. So we did and he gave us each a root beer. I HATE root beer! Urk!

In Concord, where the first shot of the Revolution was fired

Me on my 11th birthday in Norfolk.                    In our living room in Norfolk with Clarence the orange cat.

Allan and me by the oak tree on the farm in 1958.  When I look at these old black and white pictures, I see them in color. This dress was a dotted swiss with the palest pastel large green checks.

When I was in the second grade in Charleston, SC we put on this big Valentine play. Everyone was just assigned roles and I was given the one I liked the very least...the "bad Valentine".  I had to primp in front of a mirror and I just hated it! My mother made my costume out of a white sheet.  I liked the costume fine, but the role was yukky.

More in Charleston. One on left was olive green.  One on right white with thin red stripes and a red ruffle.  The other=a pink rosebud.

When I was a kid, this was my favorite picture from a storybook.  It was the illustration for The Nightingale and the Rose by Oscar Wilde.  I have it framed and just to the right of my computer screen even as I type.  Is 5x7.  This story always just got to me and I thought the illustration was just so perfect for it, a story of great and totally unappreciated sacrifice.

Allan by the fireplace in the new house.

Speaking of which, THIS was the new house. Mother drew up the plans for it and it was built of concrete blocks for something around $6,000.  That's Chief on the patio, Kim on the doorstep.  I remember watching the big machine drilling the well for this.  It's still there, this house, only is painted a sorta dull red and is ever so much more grown up around it. I helped my father string the fence around this yard.  It was made of hogwire with barbed wire atop that on locust poles. When we did it, we made the yard really huge, going all the way down the hill to the edge of Abner Creek.  Later, he chopped off a goodly portion of the down hill section and made a new fenceline closer behind the house. 

Many years later it became the red house, but was pink for most of the years they lived in it, which was from 1961 to 87. That's my mother on the patio.  I think the dog is Sparky. Maybe not. So many dogs came and went in my adult years that I forget who was whom since I didn't see them all that often.

Back of the pink house was a narrow flat area then a steep drop-off into the woods.  The picture on the right with the snow on the pines was taken by my mother out the kitchen window.  It rather shows how at tree-top level her view was.

My grandparents gave me a camera for my birthday one year on the farm and most of the pictures that exist from those days were taken by me.  I played around with it a great deal, too.  This is me perched daringly atop the cattle chute taking a picture of my own shadow. Even though I was high up and using my hands to hold the camera, I lifted my leg just to make the picture more, um, interesting.

My 9th grade school picture.  The blouse was purple and I'd made the cameo, which had tiny shells around its edges.

This is one of those old photo booth pictures I sat for while visiting my grandparents in Atlanta one summer.  Looks like the poor thing has been through the wringer rather literally!

This one was taken by my grandmother in Miami the summer I traveled with them down the western coast of Florida and back up the eastern coast. Surf Side 6 was a TV show at the time and I'm posed by the houseboat they used as a location for that. You can see the name on the life preserver.

This is the trailer we circumdrovagated Florida with. We are getting ready to leave at this very moment and Granddaddy is behind the wheel of his car. A year or so later I went with them...and this trailer...from SC all the way out to El Paso, which my Grandmother always and ever considered as "home."

This is me on the front steps of my great aunt Helen's house in El Paso.  When we got there it was decided the little trailer was, well, TOO little for all three of us to spend over a month in, so I went to stay at Helen's. In the distance is Mount Franklin. The ashes of a great many of my ancestors are scattered on there somewhere. 

Just a half block the other direction from Helen's house and across Pershing is THIS house.  This is where my Grandmother lived her teen years, this is the porch she was standing on when General Pershing rode up on horseback and spoke to her, it was just inside these doors that my Grandfather got his first sight of my Grandmother standing at the top of the inside staircase.  No one from our family had been inside it for MANY years as it had been made into an apartment house, but I  marched myself up one day and knocked on the door and explained my relation to the house and the woman showed me all through it. Grandmother and her sisters were so impressed that a number of years later, they, too, marched themselves up to the door.  I have many, many stories written down that took place inside this house nearly a hundred years ago.

This is me on that same El Paso trip when we went up to White Sands, NM. I'd been hiking on the dunes and was hot and tired and plopped down and my Grandmother took a picture.

These two pictures are of me and my friend, Brenda, in her back yard pretending for some reason to be homeless folk.  In the one on the right, we're washing clothes in a little stream and hanging them on bushes to dry. 

This is me being a flapper at a high school dress-up event. That's my brother's girlfriend's brother dressed as a girl on the left. Ack!

This was on a wade up Abner Creek with Allan and said girlfriend, Connie. I slipped and sat down hard on that rock and she took a picture.

This is actually in the mountains of North Carolina, but I posed there because I was in full Hemingway swing at that time. 

The other is just me posing with our 22, which I only ever fired once.

Here I am at 17 at the beach in Charleston with Brenda and her Mom and Dad. I loved this bathing suit! It was ice blue and silver and made in such a way that the colors of it changed according to the light.  This was the best time I ever had at a beach!

Ah, yes...our forest fire. This was on Mother's Day and my first cousins had come out with my other grandparents (who lived in Spartanburg, 15 miles east) and while the rest of us young folk were down at the swimmin' hole in Abner Creek, the oldest cousin, Michael, went off alone into the dry woods and played with firecrackers...this being the result. I took this from the fence along the driveway, looking downhill across the pasture. The whole middle section of woods went up in flames. I remember watching as a tall pine would catch afire, flames shooting up its entire length.  Cars kept passing down the road and even parked to watch, but not a single person offered to help.  They just sat there watching women and children fighting a big fire.  My job was to carry this bucket of water around the right end of the pasture and douse the edge, trying to keep it from spreading further there. The bucket was white enamel and about 18 inches tall with a slender wire handle that cut into my palm as I carried it. The spigot I filled it at was right here where I took the picture from, and you can see how far the woods are, and I had to go way off to the right-hand section of them out of the frame of the picture. I went back and forth and back and forth with that bucket!

Across Abner Creek and part way up the slope was an area that I used to plan to build a house in some day.  This is it, taken in April, 1992. 

I took almost the exact same view about 10 years later and was pleased that, though so very much has changed about the farm, "my" area was so much the same.  This was the last time I saw the farm.

I took this in 1992, too. That's my brother, Allan, there near the base of the chalk cliff. My hill is atop this and slightly left. When we first moved to the farm in 1955, I remember how the first time we ever found this area you could tell that it had been used as target practice.  I always thought it was such an interesting feature for the farm to have and liked that it was there. In the two pictures above this one, the brownish area just to the right of center ends at the top of this cliff.

This is the view (also 1992) from the top of the cliff looking back over the farm.  The original farmhouse would be almost at the horizon behind the largest tree.

I took this in 1982 on Carl's first trip to the farm. This is the bottomland on the chalk cliff side of the stream. Abner Creek is in the line of trees on the far left.  I always liked this large oak that dominated this area of grass and it was nice to see it still there.

Carl and I were walking in '82 around the farm so I could show it to them and the cattle all stopped to stare at us as we passed by. Those are the trees along the creek.

This is Carl after he decided to walk down and take a look at the bovines. This was July and very hot and very green.

This is (on my last visit) Allan with Laura, Melanie, Stephen, and Kimberly in the area not far from where the view of my hill was taken. You can more plainly see the curving edge of the top of the chalk cliff here.  It didn't used to be so overgrown as this between the hill and the road.  I don't think anybody pays any attention at all to this part of the farm any more.

This is Allan in high school. I remember him standing in front of the mirror working real hard to get that wave just so!

And Allan in his Navy dress whites. He was aboard the USS Enterprise aircraft carrier in the Gulf of Tonkin.

And this is the way he looks now, happily sailing his boat.

Allan and me, my mother's shadow, my grandparents coming out from their trailer. My mother made this cape for me. Was black wool lined in red satin with a hood.  I remember one cold day with a bit of snow at college having it on with some high-heeled black boots and was walking briskly across the front campus sidewalk, the cool wind blowing back my hair and making the cape billow a bit.  I just felt so...good...and can still tune into what I was thinking as I walked along.

This was taken at the door of the pink house in one of those ol' "fluffy" dresses gals used to wear to dances. I actually only ever wore this for about 10 official minutes and to a dance my freshman year at college.  It was too hard to dance in and so I ran back to my dorm room and changed into a shorter black cocktail dress. And this was never worn again. I still have the yards of lace from it rolled up on a spindle in a drawer somewhere. I look at this picture and wish the bugs hadn't so obviously eaten on the canna leaf that sticks out like it does there.  Sigh.

My sophomore year at college, at the height of my Lawrence of Arabia passion...heh heh.  There was this sand pile that had been left for a couple of days on campus and I had the bright idea of using sheets to turn myself Lawrencey and go plop myself on it and let Sybil, my roomie, take a picture.  We sorta "Lawrenced" together, me the O'Toole character and her the Omar Sharif.  During the week of midterm exams, we decided not to study for them despite my having to keep an A average to maintain my scholarship, and trucked off down the street to go see Lawrence of Arabia three times a row each day all week. That was when they played movies with only a 10 minute or so break between them and you could just sit there and wait for the next showing. Each showing was, what, some 3 1/2 was a looooong movie.  The manager of the theater got so's he'd see Sybil and me coming and let us in for free.  He even took us out to dinner at the weekend then up the 25 miles to Charlotte to the distribution house where we got to pick out all the 8x10 glossies from the movie we wanted.  I still have my stack.  It made the newspapers in Spartanburg where my other grandfather worked on the paper there.  He was not pleased.

Me being Santa by my dorm door. I'd made that same door cover in high school and won a contest with it that ended it up on the post office door.  We always all decorated our doors in college, too, and I made it again. Is the Littlest Angel standing on a cotton cloud with his sling shot, looking up at his box of prized possessions that are becoming the star of Bethlehem. For some reason looking at this brings another story to mind that took place in this hallway. We had a series of parakeets as I was growing up and I always said that since I couldn't teach them English, I'd had to learn to speak parakeet. I actually spoke parakeet fairly well and one day was walking down this hall parakeeting away and looking all around as though I were trying to find the bird.  Pretty soon I had several people all looking all over the place for the escaped parakeet.  My bad.


Me, my senior year in college. I was married the same week I graduated, to Doug, who graduated that same week from Harvard Law.  We went to Grand Cayman and Jamaica (my first airplane flight) and then lived in Indianapolis for 5 years...

June 3rd at my mother's house (her oil paintings on the wall) the day we got engaged. 

This was taken on a picnic with Allan and Ada the day before we got married.  I call this "pre-marital bliss." Heh heh!

Indianapolis...where I did the whole lawyer's wife thing...then we moved to the suburbs of DC so he could work under Kissinger at the State Department.  This was my favorite long dress...was the softest, thickest black velvet. Speaking of which, yes, that picture on the wall IS, sigh, done on black velvet.  I did a set of them my last year of college as presents for Doug. One was of Mont St. Michel and the other is this one, the castle that was used in The Vikings movie.

This was our house in Indianapolis, Doug at the door. It was quite bare, too, when we moved in and when I saw it in later years, had large trees all around.  This was in the little hamlet of Fishers, northeast out of the city. Even though Doug's law firm was right downtown in the city, I'd gotten a job teaching 4th grade at the Fishers Elementary school and so bought a house out that way.

That's me in the upper left corner.  I'd been trained to teach high school history, geography, and government, but the only job opening in all of metro Indianapolis that year in that field required that the boys' basketball team be coached.  So I ended up with 4th graders, having been given my choice by Fishers of 1st, 4th, or 6th.  I loved my nine year olds and we had a blast as I rather winged it. We did everything that was required, but branched out into a lot that was not, doing a heckuva lot of creative writing, art, putting on plays, and learning more about history and geography than any other 4th graders before or since.

This is Soldier, the German shepherd we got when he was 9 weeks old.  That X-block wall behind him was the first wall I ever built.  It actually managed to stand up!  Was the first time I'd ever used mortar. 

On a picnic in Brown County, south of Indianapolis.

This is actually the same black cocktail dress I'd switched into from that huge white gown.

On a visit to the farm when son Allan was 6 months old. We'd driven from Indianapolis through Memphis, Vicksburg, and down to New Orleans, then along the Gulf Coast and up to Americus, Georgia to visit some of my cousins, then to the farm.

Doug with Allan being "cool" in DC.

Going back just a bit, this is me pregnant with Allan. Since in those days we never knew the sex of the coming baby, I always tended to make my nurseries in shades of green, yellow, and white. I'd just painted that big Disney picture for the room.

Two days before Evan was born.

When I was pregnant with Allan, we drove to SC for my brother's wedding to Ada. I'd met Ada my freshman year of college and so had known her for 4 years before brother Allan met her at my wedding. Here's Allan getting off the plane in full uniform upon his return from being on the aircraft carrier Enterprise in the Gulf of Tonkin during the Viet Nam war.  I was there to greet him as his wedding was in a couple of days. He wore his dress whites for the wedding and they cut their cake with his sword.  He and Ada had hidden their car, most likely from me, the day of the wedding so's nobody could do any of that "Just Married" crap folks tend to do to cars.  They were driving to Canada on their honeymoon. Pregnancy never stopped me, though, and I found it and on a piece of masking tape wrote the "Just Married" thing and taped it to the gas cap. All the gas stations were full service back then, so I knew he'd not be filling up the tank himself. And when they DID stop for gas, the man opened the little door and there was my tape, and he laughed and laughed.

My grandfather in his trailer holding Allan.  I love this picture. It was the first time they'd met and they just seriously regarded one another for a long time.

Gads, every picture from back then tends to be a tux one! Doug was very active politically and we were always going to some inaugural ball or dinner or some such.  I think this one was when future Senator Lugar got elected mayor of Indianapolis.

Allan and me at Easter.

Packing boxes in my kitchen in Indianapolis. We were getting ready to move to DC and I like to joke about this photograph that it's how I sent my sons to the new city.

This is Allan and Evan when we lived near DC.  They are almost exactly two years apart.

This is the house we lived in on New Hope Drive in Springfield, VA.  When we moved in, it had red trim and shutters, but we had a new greenish roof put on and the trim painted to match. I liked it much better than the red!  The bird bath there is the same one I have now in my "tunnel" in my gardens here.  It was a good place for little kids, had flat sidewalks, was only 2 1/2 blocks from the elementary school, and had a fenced-in, flat back yard.

Still near DC with a big dahlia I grew.

Joined by a baby sister.

Still in DC. I remember this day well. I'd taken the three to a Burger King, hence the crowns, and that day was the day Doug was attending the Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow with Kissinger.

Piper, the Scotty pup we got when Laura was a baby. Her full name was Black Piper of Ballantrae. She's sitting amidst crab apple blossoms on the sliding board that led up to the boys' fort in the back yard.  We had her for 13 years. 


While we lived in Springfield, I made this doll house from scratch.  Had always wanted to try one of my own design.  I asked for a saber saw that Christmas so I could make it.  Had a fieldstone fireplace in the kitchen (made from little pebbles) and a beamed ceiling. Upstairs was a little chapel with a stained glass window and a couple of rows of pews. I also made the western fort for the boys.  This picture was actually taken in Pittsburgh, though, when I was asked to display them at a craft show. I don't have either of them any more.  I do have the one below that I made later from a kit, which I changed around a bit to make it more the way I wanted.

On our way to Pittsburgh in 1974, we spent the night in Gettysburg and reenacted the Confederate charge. We started at the NC monument in the distance, which was where the Confederate lines were drawn.  I took this from the stone wall at the "Angle", which is where the Union troops were. Piper did the charge with us.  It was July, so the perfect month to get the feel for the real charge. We collected wild flowers along the way. That's Allan on the left, Evan on the right. It was such a peaceful, beautiful day. Was hard to imagine how littered with bodies this field once was.

In Pittsburgh.

When Laura was little, she looked a lot like I once did. That's me in San Diego (we lived there twice) and her at age two.

My mother with Laura.

Blowing out the candles on her 7th birthday cake. She's probably looking at one of her big brothers there.

When she was a little younger, before she decided she wanted her hair cut, I had been asked to give a teaching one evening at church comparing the scientific process of the growth of a tree to living the Christian life, and she was in another part of the church with a woman who was watching over the kids. A larger girl was flipping some of the younger ones and stood behind Laura and had her lean forward and put both hands between her legs.  She then took Laura's hands and pulled really hard, intending to flip her, but what she did was pull Laura forehead first onto the concrete floor. You can see the impact spot. What that did was break a blood vessel in her forehead and all the blood drained down around both of her eyes, leaving her rather looking like a raccoon for a long time. I took her to the hospital for a head x-ray, but she didn't have a concussion. For a long time after this, whenever I would take her out in public, it seemed like folks would look at her as though she were an abused child who'd been beaten about the eyeballs.  It took several months for the darkness to gradually disappear.

Evan sharing his blanket with our dog, Soldier, in DC.  We'd gotten Soldier in Indianapolis the same month I got pregnant with Allan. He was 9 weeks old. But when we moved to DC, we were in an apartment for the first year and couldn't take him with us, so he went to live with Doug's parents during that time. They brought him along once on a visit. Then when we bought a house when I was pregnant with Laura, we got him back.

My two Allans in DC.

The two of them some years later.

This was our house when we first moved to Pittsburgh. I eventually dug up a LOT of that front lawn and made gardens. Nowadays the lawn is back.  That seems to have been a real pattern.  I would dig out lawn and make gardens and then we'd move and somebody who didn't like gardens would buy the house and take them out and put back grass.  Happened several times.  See photo album # 1 for pictures of that.

This is my little Dec. 17, 1977 saga in that house. The first picture I took when the fire truck with Santa was coming down the hill.  The kids and I went out on that front porch area to watch it. Then when I went back inside my kitchen was on fire, yep, so I sent Allan racing down the hill after the fire truck. It was already at the bottom of our long hill and when he ran puffing up, they tried to give him candy rather than listen to him explain that his house was on fire.  Finally he convinced them and they turned around, called for reinforcements (hence the other fire truck in second picture) but before they got back to our house, I had put the fire out with my trusty fire extinguisher and removed the large parakeet cage to a back bedroom and closed the door to keep them away from the smoke.

When they arrived, Santa himself came inside and...well, me being me, I hadda photograph him with the smoke still swirling past and all.  I love the look on the other fireman's face.  I think he thought I was a blithering idiot because I was so...happy. They opened all my doors and windows and put big fans in them to suck the smoke out and I was bopping around chirping about wasn't it a great day for a fire because, well, it WAS December and it was in the 60's outside, could you imagine, and so, therefore, was a great day to have to have your doors open and fans sucking air hither and yon...right? And firemen got up in my crawlspace attic to make sure nothing was burning there and the phone rang and it was one of my friends and I happily said I couldn't talk right then because my house was on fire.  That's a bit of my kitchen there in the other picture.  I'd painted those cabinets green myself, too. Sigh. But I was so not bothered by any of this.  Doug and I had plans to meet another couple downtown for dinner and a performance of somethingorother...I forget...and we went ahead and went.


Well, our insurance company was SO pleased with me that I, myveryself, had put the fire out right away like I had, that they could not do enough for me and when they redid my kitchen, they made it ever so much nicer and THEY paid for all the work, too.  I usually painted and wallpapered myself.  This time I just got to pick it all out. The top picture shows part of it (with back to stove area) when my ferny green wallpaper had been stripped and before the new stuff went on.  I was rather taken with those big yellow iris, but didn't want a whole room done in them, so just that one wall was irised and the rest done in solid green. I'd had a really cheap area rug on the floor and they wall-to-wall carpeted the whole thing. This time I went for yellow cabinets. They replaced my light fixture with a lovely yellow, flowery thing.  Everything was just so new and so nice.  In the bottom picture you can see the big parakeet cage back in its place, too.

The January of 1978 that all this restoration was going on was also the January of the much snow.  The kids only had 11 days of school the whole month. That's Laura in a cave they made in the front yard.

This is the rabbit we had for a while at this house.  His official name was Banner because of the black stripe down his back, but we all called him BunBun.  He was let loose in the house a lot and if you stood still, he would run around and around and around you in a tight little circle.  He had a wire cage, but I built him this hutch for the back yard.  Having taken care of rabbits on the farm, I knew how a hutch was made, though I'd never actually made one before myself.  But I find if ya wants ta do something...just start and usually it gets done. It was really quite sturdy. Later we gave BunBun away, hutch and all.


The top picture is Piper and Andy regarding each other in that house. The kids really wanted to try a kitten and so we got Andy (Andrew Murray Burns), but Doug was allergic to him and we had to give him away after just a few days.  The bottom picture is of Piper and Toby, our box turtle.  I obviously believe in letting kids experience all sorts of animals. Anyway, Piper would follow Toby around and thought the turtle went waaaay too slowly, so she would give Toby little pushes from time to time with her nose to hurry him along.

Toby "played" with the kids in the backyard pool but one day, alas, when they got otherwise occupied, Toby ran away. Yes, Toby the Turtle who went too slowly for Piper the Pup "ran" away.  He managed to make it to some bushes or some such and though we looked and looked, we never found him again.

Other pets we had were (and these are by no means all) the three gerbils.  We'd had a solid brown one in Springfield named JoJo, who used to ride around atop my pregnant belly when Laura was on the way. Here the top one is Mary, who belonged to Laura, Wally, who was Allan's and got his name by walking up the walls of the cage and then upsidedown across the ceiling, and Peachy, who was Evan's (those are his fingers). Peachy came to a bad end in the furnace, alas. Wally was the most entertaining of them and had a ball, see picture below, he rolled around in.  The kissing fish are Kissy and Squeeky, named by Allan when we first moved to DC and who lived for many, many years getting steadily larger in the tank with a number of other fish, such as Sylvester the catfish.  The white parakeet was our first, got in Indianapolis and named Berengaria and called Berri.  Berengaria was the name of Richard the Lionhearted's wife and when we moved to Springfield, I got a green male parakeet for her and named him, of course, King Richard. He would hold onto his perch and go forward really fast so that he could do complete circles around and around. The grey rabbit is Babbit the Rabbit who lived with us in Indianapolis.  Babbit once went behind the couch, bit through an electric cord, went straight up in the air five feet and turned three flips before coming down.  Babbit lived but never bit another cord.

 The black cat is Adrea...pronounced AH dree uh, named thusly because the day she came, I was reading one of the Tarzan books aloud to the kids and we were at the part about the black lion he called Numa el Adrea. Makes sense. Right? She adopted us in the brick house a few days before we were going for a week or so to visit Doug's parents in Indianapolis.  She was fully grown but decided we belonged to her and so I told her that we would be gone and if she were still there when we got back, she could stay.  She was and she did.  This was after the Andy experiment had failed, but Adrea had this special fur that was thicker and richer than any cat's I've ever known and I've known plenty...she was pure velvet...and was the only cat in the world Doug was NOT allergic to. So we could keep her.  She lived with us for quite a number of months and liked to sleep in the master bedroom but developed the habit of meowing about 4:30 AM to go out.  One morning when she was doing that, I lay there wanting so much not to have to get up that I thought silently that I wished she would go away and not come back. And she did. She went out that morning and never returned. Life for me is like that. I'm very strange. But then you knew that, too.

Adrea very appropriately finding a photo prop in the storeroom and staring at my cast iron Piper doorstop.

Every Halloween the kids would come up with things they expected me to bring into being. This year Laura was a butterfly, not hard, and Allan was a Willie Mays baseball card.  But, Evan, well, Evan announced that this particular year he was going to be, um, a bush. I think he actually came out looking rather more like a mountain with growth on it, but it is sort of a way...a little bit...maybe.  But he was a bush made out of tissue paper and, alas, this was the Halloween it poured rain and so there I was trucking along after him, holding an umbrella over him so he wouldn't melt.

This is me on the eve of my 33rd birthday by that big window that was so great for putting huge Christmas trees in front of...and before the room became yellow. I like yellow. It's, well,...sunny. This room had grey carpets and off-white walls and was just so blah.  So I papered the end by the fireplace with forsythia wallpaper and then painted the rest, including the ceiling, yellow.  I imagine it's all off-white again now.  People who take out rose gardens to put back lawn also probably take out yellow and put back off-white and grey.

I had also always wanted a canopied bed.  When I was a kid, I used to rig up netting or other stuff over my beds trying to get a canopied look. But this was my first and only actual real live canopied bed. The walls in the brick house in the master bedroom were actually NOT off-white, but this sort of golden color, so I got this ecruish lace bedspread and canopy to go with them. I only had this bed about a year then went to Versailles and got carried away by a gold swoopy bed and gave this one to Laura. The swoopy bed was king-sized, too, whereas this one was merely double.

This is Dolores.  She was my best friend most of the time we lived in the brick house. She was about 10 years older than me and was the one who taught me the tissue paper painting method. I thought she rather looked like Susan Hayward. This is her with Laura, who happened to have a terrible cold at the time.

Dolores lived about 10 minutes away in this house...that's her at the door.  It was in this house that I met Carl on May 18, 1977.  Dolores had many influences on my life, probably more than any other friend I've ever had, but the fact that Carl was visiting her that day is the biggest of all.  

In late May of 1977 I got my one trip to Europe.  London, Strasbourg, Munich, Zurich, Geneva, Paris.  This is too late at night in a Munich beer hall with a batch of overly-beered lawyers and wives.  Doug had a big law meeting in Munich which paid for his portion of the trip and got us a room at the swanky Four Seasons hotel there.  I'd not had sleep for about 24 hours when this was taken and was so tired I could hardly bear it. I remember not liking at ALL being in that room with those people. The redhead in yellow and I had taken a bus together out to Fussen to see Neuschwanstein Castle (hence the background on my index page).  She sat by the window on the way out and I remember thinking she'd let me sit by it on the way back, but she wouldn't. 

There is a story to this field of poppies which I'll tell below the next one.

Doug and I were staying in Geneva and one day rented a little car to circumnavigate Lake Geneva (Lac Leman). As we drove along, I would see poppies growing along side the road and wanted to get a picture of them but there was never a good place to pull over to do that so we kept passing poppy patch after poppy patch. There was one that was almost 15 feet long and I felt especially bad not to be able to get a picture of that one.  We stopped by the castle of Chillon (the poem had always been a great favorite of mine and I have a few parts of it in the My Wings section), then curved around the far tip of the huge lake and drove down its southern side, dipping for a while down into France. When we were almost back up to the Swiss border again, Doug stopped by the Saleve, a mountain he intended that we climb. But there was a cloud sitting on its top and so he decided it wouldn't be worth the effort as there'd be no view. You can see a little bit of the mountain in the top of these two pictures. So, instead, we followed a path over a little hill and, lo and behold, came out on THIS!  It was the most enormous field of poppies I'd ever seen and I only have a little bit of it in these shots.  There I was...on in hand...and poppies were just...everywhere!  It was one of those absolutely perfect moments in life.

Me making a rubbing in Westminster Cathedral of 6 sisters.  You put black paper over the relief and rubbed it with gold.

Me with a Scot near the Tower of London.

Allan and me on a visit to South Carolina when I was 35.  I think we look quite alike here. This was the year, after 12 years of marriage, that Doug and I were divorced.

Allan and his wife, Ada, had bought a large parcel of land in SC that had this pre-Civil War house on it.  The first time I saw it, it was in such sorry shape that one seriously considered it should just be put out of its misery and possibly a match be tossed in the door.  But this is what they did with it.  They called it Oak Grove because a large semi-circle of, well, oak trees surrounded it.  I took this on one of our Thanksgiving trips to SC from DC when Laura was two. That's Daddy, Mama, and Ada on the porch.  But after not too long a time, they moved into the town of Union, where my father had been born in 1915 in an actual log cabin where the high school now is.

This is the house on Wilson Street they lived in for many, many years.  I always really liked the big, screened-in porch.  That's my nephew David with Carl there on a visit in 1982 (we went there after we finished our visit to the farm on our way to Virginia Beach). 

I married Carl, and as I write this we've been married 27 1/2 years.  This is what he looked like the year we got married.

He was very, um, approachable with the kids and they liked that a lot.

And was very...hands on.

Reading to Laura.

Being greeted by Evan.  That's Samuel, his Impala.  I name cars. You are not surprised, now are you?

This is the house about 15 minutes from the one I lived in, where Carl grew up from the age of 10 on.


This is me in the back yard of his house.

This is him on October 19, 1978 when Samuel had a little did he...when he was only saved from going off a mountaintop by the propitious coming-around-the-curve of a second car. He broke the steering column with his chest, the dashboard with his knee, and the rear view mirror with his forehead.  Other than a dime-sized bruise on his chest and a cut in the shape of a smile on his forehead that a plastic surgeon stitched up nicely...he was ok.

Right before we moved from the brick house, I got this rather large porcelain dove set.  I thought it was the most magnificent figurine I'd ever seen and adored the way the male dove had his wings out protectively over the female.  Carl made me feel like that.  I had this for over 10 years and an older friend of mine, Be, who was a widow and always rather dreamed some day she might yet have a husband again who would make her feel like this, admired it with her whole New Year's Eve we were at her apartment and as soon as midnight had passed and the new year begun, I gave her a box I'd brought for her. It was the doves.  This was her response when she saw what it was.  I was hard, giving those away, as I loved them dearly and they meant a great deal to me...but I find the best gifts just are those that cost us more than mere money. 

A week or so before we got married.

In our first year...still in that brick house.

10 years later at McConnell's Mill. 

Evan and Allan with me.

Then we had to move as the brick house was being sold, and Carl and I bought this old grey one.  It had 21 steps from the sidewalk to the front porch.  Carl really did a LOT of work on it during the 7 years we lived there. In the bottom picture that's him up on the ladder.  He rebuilt my attached greenhouse there. (see photo album # 1) The kids really liked this house and when they think nowadays of what was "home" growing up, this is it. Allan had the whole third floor, and there were 3 nice bedrooms on the second floor, so Evan and Laura had their own rooms, too.

It was old, but it had some really nice touches.  This was its dining room.  I think I liked this room the best of any room of any house I've ever lived in.  The people who bought the house from us painted all the woodwork white and the wallpapered areas bright pink.  Sigh.

Grace, whom we bought at the pet store while still in the brick house and took with us to the grey house. They told us he was a girl and I named the kitten Grace....then later we discovered they were wrong. But the name held. Here he is contemplating the wonders of lemon meringue pie. 

Grace helping Carl eat cereal. 

This is me in the yard of that house with Piper.

Carl, me, and cake in that dining room.

There was a huge hedge of mock oranges between the grey house and the house to its right.

In Evan's bedroom he wanted one long wall papered in a moonscape. 

In the summers we went over a lot to the pool in Carl's mother's back yard. There was a lot of danger to toes there, though.

I was always the sort of person that inspired large stuffed pink elephants as Christmas gifts.

Though sometimes I got...clothes.

For almost 3 years while we lived in the grey house, I was nanny to Amy.  She was just a few months old when I started.

This is Carl, with Evan and Laura, holding Amy and in the bottom picture, Laura with Amy.

When the grey house was sold, we rented this one for 2 1/2 years. It was ok, but the landlord was a horrible woman and I was glad when we left.  I moved a lot of flowers with me from our grey house to this yard despite the fact we moved in July, and then when we moved out of here in the depths of winter, I used the hose to melt snow off them and dug them up and moved them again to where we are now.

This is "my" niche in the Western Wall.  In 1988 Doug went to Israel on a trip and I sent along with him the most special scrap of paper I had or will probably ever have.  It was sealed and he didn't know what it was, but agreed to put it in the wall for me. He actually put it in on Sept. 13, 1988 and came back to take the pictures for me on the 16th. My niche is the wider crack between the two men in the top photo.  In the bottom photo it is a bit left of center between the tall man in black with the hat and the shorter man in tan. I can find it easily from a distance because I look for the two widest stones in the 4th course of the wall and come straight down from the middle of the one on the right. If/when I get to Jerusalem, I won't be able to go up to this myself because it's in the men's section and women cannot go there.  Carl could, though.

James, our fluffy male cat we got at the humane society as a little kitten.  We were still living in the grey house when we got him. We'd had a grey and white cat, Grace, before that. James lived with us in three houses, dying at the age of 7 because he was born with tiny kidneys.  His name, given by Allan, was James Tiberius Cat, though he liked to introduce himself as Cat, James Cat.

James as a kitten.

Watching parakeets.  The big cage could hang (it had removable legs) and I thought it do so.

James liked to hang out, literally, on the front screen door or perch upon the high places of the house.

The boys and their friends always tortured him a bit.  But he was used to it and they never hurt him. They had gotten used to Grace, who despite his name, was all guy.  The pet shop had told us he was a girl kitten and the name I gave him just stuck even when we found out differently.  He would go outside the grey house at night and fight with other males, coming home in the morning all bloodied.  The boys thought he was really neat.  He died from feline leukemia, got from one of his battles, and when we got beautiful and white...I decided not to let him outside as I didn't think I'd care for the look of blood on white fur.  Allan insisted he must have a very male name, though, to make up for Grace's.  He wanted no Marshmallows or Snowballs. 

Evan with James in his jacket.

Piper and James sharing a bed. 

Our next cat, got from the same place as James, was a little girl named Belle.  She liked to watch the carousel inside the microwave turn while it was cooking.

And fenced her own self in by deciding to lie down in the area Kimberly had made for her toy horse. She also died from kidney problems. 

"I tell ya, I don't KNOW who killed the horse and nuttin' ya can do will make me talk."

SammieDog and Belle helping Carl eat.  He always had much animal support whilst dining.

More pictures of Sammie.  He died on New Year's Eve, 2004, at the age of 14.  He was a purebred Sheltie, but was much larger than the typical Shelties, who tend to be about 13" at the shoulder, while he was 19".

Sammie liked large women.  This was his girlfriend, Cinnamon, who lived a couple of doors down from us here where we are now.  She was a mixture of several breeds and was the best-natured dog I've ever known.  She adored Carl and would come and stand at our door until I let her in, then she'd find him and love him up, then go back to the door to be let out. She's dead now, too, so I look back at these pictures very fondly.

Making pathways so Sammie can walk in the deep snow.

When we lived in the rented brick house on Sunset, I took care of Carl's older sister's baby, David, for the first 6 months of his life.  Now he's an astrophysics major at Pitt and wears size 18 shoes.

This is me taking a bow after winning the, um, er, well....insult-hurling contest at the Renaissance Festival. I didn't have to make up my own insults, there was a was just who could deliver them with the most, um, verve. Most of the other contestants were male and didn't have a chance.  Heh heh heh!

Part of a house in suburban Chicago Evan's architecture firm designed.  That's him in the doorway.  Laura took this when she and baby Joey flew to Chicago while Evan lived there.  The roof is made to look like it's thatched with the curled edges and all.

I took this when Laura and I flew up for a visit the next year.  Was a long process building this thing. You can see how the roof has weathered.  I like it better with the golden look, actually.  The house itself is made of bluestone.

This is a little bit of the back side of the house.  Note the flower made of stone as part of the wall.  The round room is the breakfast area and the top picture shows what the ceiling inside that looks like.  The detail in this house was marvelous. I was so glad it was still empty and Evan could show me around inside it.

This is Evan by the house.

This is another Chicago house Evan worked on.  He drove me around one day and we went from house to house.

This is the first wedding we did after Carl was ordained in 1989.  It was just the four of us in the woods of North Park. Victor, the groom, was Carl's younger brother Tommy's best friend growing up.  He liked this section of the woods because of the way the pines went up with no branches for a ways and the pine needles lay all about.  I circled them during the ceremony, taking pictures with Victor's camera.  He's a professional photographer.  He came to Carl's and my wedding a decade earlier and took pictures for it was kinda neat to do that for him.

Carl the summer of 2005 just before doing a garden wedding.

Being grandfather to twins Stephen and Melanie.

Two days after open heart surgery November 2005.

October 2005

also 2005

Just before a summer 2005 wedding in South Park

A June 2006 wedding

My German castle that comes apart in big sections so you can assemble it all sorts of ways.

With Kimberly, to show the size of it.

A bit of the inside.

The tournament grounds. 

Kimberly and Meri, the golden retriever we had for 6 months.

Meri helping Kimberly with the computer.

Laura's house about 10 minutes south of mine. The green hedges are gone because when it snowed, they would flop over onto the steps and block them.

And this is Pittsburgh, where I've lived the longest part of my life...since 1974.  Doug lives in the tallest building on the hill on the right and I live about 5 or 6 miles further to the right out of the picture.

In 2006 I went from coast to coast.  To LA by plane in March by myself and... New York City by car in May with Carl. And some of the same people I met in LA were also in NYC, for SOME strange Australian reason. But, then, that's a whole, um, other site, now isn't it.