I've been a bit under the weather and maybe even a bit blue this past week which is why I haven't posted lately. One thing about getting old(er) is that you are repeatedly reminded of how few people are left that share the same memories as you do.
I've been spending a lot of time with my only remaining grandmother, Nana Betty, and thinking of my paternal grandparents, Jack and Elsie. Nana is doing fairly well now; whenever she gets any kind of infection it affects her brain and she becomes very confused and bewildered, not unlike an abandoned child. As soon as the antibiotics kick in, she becomes herself again until she is ill (or overtired). Yesterday she asked me to bring her some pretzels on Tuesday and things are going back to normal...
During the July 4th holiday, I thought a lot about Pop-Pop and Nana Elsie. July 4th is Pop's birthday; he would be 105 this year. Nana and he were married on his 21st birthday (1925).
Theirs was the only anniversary that I remember being celebrated as a child. Each year we would go to Willow Park for a family reunion picnic. It was a magical day for my brother, cousins and I. Nana would buy us each a present of our choice and Pop would hand us a fistful of tickets for the rides. There was plenty of food, (I remember watermelon in particular and spitting our seeds the furtherest distance) and an unusual amount of freedom for we children. Somewhere in the park there was a large pool but I only remember one year when we actually went swimming there. The park is gone now and my grandparents have been gone for a long time but I still feel them around me, especially this time of year and I am filled with such a yearning to see photos and share memories with others that remember.
In my father's family--besides my brothers--I have only one Aunt and a few cousins. My aunt is going to let me pillage through her scrapbooks and memory boxes to photograph and record what I can before all the history is gone. It's important. It's who were are as a people. My family--both paternal and maternal--was built by strong self-made individuals and all of them were storytellers. A story, told well, was valued in our tradition. So I'll be starting a blog for all these memories and hope to hear from you family members who read the blog on a regular basis....let's post all our memories and give a gift to the future generations. I will share what stories I hear from Aunt Carole and what I can remember. Also as I scan photos, let me know if you want me to make you a CD of the photos. I'm going to do both the Wilson and McLaughlin family on the one blog but I'll always post which side I'm writing about, both are such colorful families it should be fun. The blog will be at http://www.toadjuggyhill.blogspot.com/ and I will do some work on it later this week. In the meantime enjoy Nana Elsie and Pop, this pic says on the back, "LVRR (Lehigh Valley Railroad?) Bethlehem 24977 for (illegible)"
Nana Elsie and Pop-Pop. I'm not sure which son this is, possibly my father (he has curls)?