Monday, July 10, 2023


 We all have issues in our lives that cause us to change course from time to time.  Mine is arthritis.  Occasionally it rears its ugly head and makes physical work difficult at best.  So, until this particular flare-up goes away, I am spending time doing things that require very little movement.

That doesn't mean that I am abandoning preparing.  It just means my grocery order this week includes items that don't need to be canned or dehydrated.  Paper towels, toilet paper, cleaning products as well as some canned goods will be delivered on Thursday.

And because I never have been able to just sit and stare into space, I am using this time to work on the never-ending project of organizing my family tree.  Even though my family doesn't share my enthusiasm for splashing about in our gene pool, I find it fascinating.  Especially when I discover the rogues and outlaws.  :)

And since all of my aunts and uncles and grandparents on both sides of my family have passed on to their reward, my kids and grands do not know what kind of people they were.  So, while sorting out ancestors, when I remember something about an aunt or uncle or grandparent, I write it down.  

My Uncle Kenneth is a prime example.  A veteran of the Second World War, he was the one out of a family of nine children to remain on the family farm in northern Minnesota, to keep the farm going and to take care of his elderly widowed mother until her death in 1955.

As a young child, Uncle Kenneth scared me.  He was always dressed in rough clothes suitable for the barn or for the fields.  Add to that his normal weeks growth of beard and his ever-present slouch hat.

Turns out, Uncle Kenneth was one of the kindest men I have ever known.

My best memory is of winter on that small farm.  There were 4 or 5 cows to milk, morning and evening.  In the evening, Uncle Kenneth would walk from the house to the barn, holding a lantern in one hand and guiding me along by holding my hand with the other.  I can still see in my mind's eye, the lantern light sparkling on the snow.

Uncle Kenneth knew I loved animals and there were cats in the barn.  They would line up while he often would squirt a stream of milk at them that they handily, each one in turn, would catch in open mouths.  And, with a twinkle in his eye, he sent one of the kittens home with me, much to the chagrin of my mother, who wasn't fond of animals in the house.

I think I might give most anything for just one more walk to the barn with my Uncle Kenneth.

Don't let the memories fade.  Our loved ones may no longer be on this earth, but they remain alive in our memories and in our hearts.


  1. Except for a sister, and we're not close, all my immediate family is gone. That includes my parents, grandparents, uncles, a
    and aunts. My wife's family has "adopted" me, and although the parents, and grandparents, are gone, the sisters and brothers are still alive.

    I tell them how blessed they are to still have so many to cherish, and have new memories. I think they try to understand, but really can't.

    1. Jess...I think that unless a person has lost all of the people they hold dear, it is hard to understand just how important the memories are. Most of my kids and grands didn't have the opportunity to meet all of my immediate family. The only way they will know about where they come from is if someone in our family tells them. They may not be interested now, but they will be when age catches up with them. It is important.

  2. My older uncle has taken it on himself to trace our family tree and keeps us all updated with his finds, as well as sharing long-ago family pictures. I appreciate his efforts, as younger family members don’t have the time that he does in his retirement.
    My Mom has done the same, mailing family stories from her childhood to all of her grandkids.
    We all love knowing the history of our families that came before.

    1. Anon...It is so good to know that others see the importance of preserving family history. I have shared some of what I have found with my kids. The grands are young and busy finding their way in the world just now. But when they are ready, the data and stories and pictures will be here for them.

  3. I love the story about your Uncle. And I was right there with you when he was squriting milk to the kittnes. Lovely.

    I have my Dad's scrapbooks but for the most part no names were written down. I wish he had included stories and names.
    Cheers, SJ now in California

    1. SJ...The story posted here is one of my best childhood memories. I can still see the lantern light on the snow, sparkling like a fairyland scene. The old family photos are also something else I need to organize and label, for my kids and grands don't have a clue who those people were or why they were important to me. In my opinion, one of the best things a person can leave for their descendants is a record of those who went before.

  4. Yes, memories of some of my loved ones who have passed are so precious and I am so thankful to have them. Sure hope you feel better soon. Flares are so annoying and painful!

    1. Thanks, Mandy...Yes to annoying and painful, but at least the worst of it isn't constant.

      I want to pass on some of those precious memories before my memory leaves me. :)

  5. Had to give up potatoes
    Terribly inflammatory to arthritis
    Also tomatoes and peppers
    Can only digest goat and sheep chase and gluten ist verboten
    So goodbye pizza
    There is no sub for potato and sometimes I just cannot look another bowl of rice in the face
    Try cutting back good tasting foods and see if inflammation eases