Tag Archives: Family

Watching History Being Made…

…while memories from my childhood came flooding back.

IMG_0361IMG_0360IMG_0356IMG_0355

Yesterday’s day was full. While in Glenwood Springs we went to the pedestrian bridge to view the demolition progress of the main street bridge.

Upon arriving at the site, fragrance in the air drove my memories. I detected a mixture of huge equipment exhaust and oil; broken cement; dirt and hot metal smells. It reminded me of my father. He spent his life doing road construction work. My dad smelled like this when he came home. He’d take us on weekend drives to see his work. Those sites were always close to completion, had minimal equipment there, no workers and not yet opened for public use.

So, though I could say he did road construction work, I knew little about how he spent his days, or what that work entailed. He didn’t talk about it much and when he did, it always sounded like ‘just a job’ and effortless.

After his death I learned more about what he did. He was in management for the company he worked for; they created a special position for him. Because they wanted him in management, and he wanted to still drive the big equipment the company created a new status allowing both sides to gain what they wanted.

People approached me at his visitation and spoke at length and with great respect for what they learned from him. Former co-workers remembered him as a man of his word. Men talked about some of the larger projects where they had worked with him. I saw a few pictures of him on ‘big equipment’ and he was always smiling.

Great as it was to learn those things, yesterday’s glimpse into the bridge demolition opened his world more. Amazed, I watched this huge equipment maneuver heavy pieces of demolished steel, and load it onto a semi trailer. The big claw making tiny movements, shifted the heavy load to just the right place on the truck. The obvious uncertainty of how these large pieces of mangled steel would be transported away, meant there were additional people and pieces of equipment at the ready, to ensure the work gets done.

I’m sure we’ll return to the site. History is being made in Glenwood. The old Grand Avenue Bridge is being replaced. Who knows that my thoughts will be on a subsequent visit?

 

Summer in the Mountains

Each of the seasons in the mountains offers something special.

Summer always seems to be so short. This year it finds us enjoying outside meals, some fresh veggies, explosion of color from flowers blooming and sharing some time with family.

Hope you’ll share some of your summer memories.

In Only a Moment…

Flowers

Things can change.

 

I experienced one of those moments on January 18th, when I slipped and fell while shopping and broke, not one arm – but both of my arms. With one elbow broken and the other shoulder fractured life slowed.

I have time to reflect on the blessings surrounding me. Beauty encircles me and resides within each of us. Family, friends and my beloved hubby are needed to help me achieve nearly everything.

God heals in many ways. Healing is a daily transformation that happens one step at a time. I’m confident His healing power is at work in my body.

 

FOUND…

I’ve been on a quest.

After moving to Colorado, Tom purchased the book, “They Came From Missouri “ for me. The book is about the people who settled the area where we live.

I never got very far in the book because the second family listed was Edward Stauffacher, whose parents were from Canton Glarus, Switzerland; originally settling in Green County, Wisconsin. Edward was born outside Monroe, married and moved west. He set up an early cheese factory and a post office here called Catherine Store. There’s a road called Catherine Store Road. They lived here for a number of years and moved to California to escape winter.

My mother was a Stauffacher and there seemed to be too many similarities.

  • From the same area of Switzerland.
  • Settling in the same area in the U.S.
  • …and now me, living in the same area here.
  • Could this have been a distant relative?

I found it interesting to think a distant relative of mine also found this area so captivating they wanted to make it home.

I’ve mused the thoughts many times.

I’ve gathered information.

This week I was able to put all the pieces together.

My grandfather was removed by six generations from the link – but it was there.

Dietrich Stauffacher
Born: 10-21-1677   Died: 3-7-1760

So if you’re thinking about visiting me, and are related through my mother’s side of the family be warned. The Swiss blood may be stronger than you think. And who knows what the effect of that is?

A Nurse, I’m NOT!

As a young child, I idolized my second cousin Joan. She was a nurse. I was sure I wanted to be a nurse, like her. I stuck by that dream until I was 16. Something happened during the year to make me realize I had no tolerance for seeing others in pain, or even seeing things I perceived as being painful.

Over time my sensitivity to issues requiring medical attention increased. As I had children, I could attend to their cuts and bruises as needed, if no one else was around. If some other able body were in the vicinity, I would get hot, and then dizzy, rendering me worthless in dealing with the problem. The other adult would dress the injury. With things bandaged up, I could attend to their other needs.

Fast forward, now I’m home with a husband requiring attention to a surgical wound. YIKES! I’m able to get the initial bandage off. But the gauze around the drain tube is stuck. I feel myself getting hot, and my head getting lighter. I back off and sit down.

The good news is, my being a wuss about medical things is no surprise and we both laugh about it. He references how funny he thought it was listening to the doc telling me the things I would have to do at home.

After taking a break, I get the old bandage removed. Photo the site and the pictures off to the doc. Hubby is enjoying the break from having is neck all bandaged. I’m not enjoying his freedom. The sight is unsettling for me. We work together and get the bandage back around the drainage tube.

The phone rings. Doctor’s office calling. He has to take this call. Then he asks me to make some calendar adjustments. When I’m done, he’s completed his taping up of the new bandage.

Why this happens I don’t understand! Intellectually I understand what needs to be done and why. Yet when it’s time to take action, my mind doesn’t respond the way I need it to.

 

 

Brown Sauce with Chicken

This will become a new favorite at our house!

We enjoyed a new great new sauce last night and a new way to fix chicken. (no photos – I had no idea how great it would be.) The chicken was a golden brown, and the sauce was flavorful with a touch of freshness.

Here’s the how to instructions. Please note, when cooking meat, I rarely measure ingredients, so feel free to play with the quantities.

Wash chicken cavity and sprinkle with salt and Herbes de Provence. Then stuff the bird to capacity with fresh rosemary and parsley.

Place the chicken in a roaster pan. (I use one of those old blue-flecked ones.)

Dot the chicken with a small amount of butter.

Mix together:

  • 1 Cup of brown stock
  • about 2 teaspoons butter
  • about ¼ Cup red wine

Spoon a small amount over the chicken now and again every 30 – 45 minutes until chicken is done..

Cover the roaster pan and bake in a 350° oven.

When the chicken is cooked to your satisfaction, remove from the pan and let sit for at least 10 minutes before carving.

Mix any left over liquid with the drippings in the pan along with the juice from 1 lemon. (You could thicken this for a more traditional style gravy.) We just heated it and served it over potatoes and the meat.

What yummy flavors!

An Interesting Dilemma to Ponder…

I recently read an article from the Washington Post about millennials who nix their parents’ treasures. I can see aspects of this story from both sides.

Several years ago, my husband and I performed a major downsizing effort to move west. It was an interesting experience. We have a large gaggle of adult children. Of things we wanted to find new homes for, some of the kids took a few things. We were surprised at several large family pieces we had no takers for. We sold those pieces of furniture, as they were not going to fit in our new life. It was a bittersweet revelation to us. Sad the heritage of the pieces won’t be maintained. Proud our kids could make those decisions and not take the pieces they didn’t want or couldn’t use just because they thought it would please us.

For us, or at least me, the downsizing project proved to be unbelievably liberating. We kept things with the most meaning to us, and things that would fit in our new home. It’s been good for me to travel lighter and have fewer things. Others who have gone through a similar process also talk about the freedom, which comes from shedding stuff. Perhaps the younger generation has it right. Hold onto things lightly and embrace life.

Yet I wonder if they may someday recognize the loss of some of the things they’ve passed on. We do genealogy research, so we have many photos, scrapbooks and family historical information. I have framed my great-grandfather’s original citizenship paperwork. There is only one original. I hope it will have value to someone in the family, as it is part of our roots as Americans. But I don’t know.

I’m sensory. I enjoy visual pleasures from art and photography; the fragrances of food cooking, flowers blooming or even autumn in the morning air stir me to life; the sounds of wind blowing through the tree leaves adds another dimension to the meaning of autumn for me; holding a book and actually turning the pages is part of the story coming to life; enjoying an old piece of furniture or dishes I remember seeing my grandmother use takes me back in time to her kitchen. Can one savor all those emotions without some of the things from those times?

For clarification – I do believe embracing life and all it has to offer is of far higher value than clamoring after ‘things’.

I look forward to some fun discussion. I don’t think there are any ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answers, just different perspectives on this topic. Now for the questions:

1. As the parents, we aren’t ready to part with all those things yet, so how do we discern which things those kids might want later?

2. If you don’t want things, what method do you use to save memories for later enjoyment?

3. Are things of historical value important to you? Why? or why not?

4. How do you embrace life?

Have a great day — and enjoy life!

Think About It…

I won’t be here forever.

None of us will.

When you reflect on that fact, what do you think about?

I know I’ll be in a better place, so I’m not worried about me.

However, I spend a fair amount of time thinking about what that will mean for others. Probably since I was in my 40’s I’ve tried to make it my goal to ‘make memories’ with others. Besides ‘stuff’, which may or may not be of value to anyone else, I feel memories are the only thing I can leave behind which will make a potential difference in one’s life.

I think about those I’ve lost in my life. The ones I think fondly of were those with whom I shared good memories. Others, well, I was able to perform the necessary functions required at the time, but their loss was not much of a loss to me.

There will always be ‘givers’ and ‘takers’ in life, but the creation of memories only happens when each party is contributing, shares in the other’s joys and sometimes sorrows; each party wants happiness for the other. These memories may not always be about happy times. With one you truly love and are invested in, there may be times when one of you is struggling with something. In a deep relationship, even during those times you make memories with the other person by being loving, supportive and caring for them.

I want my life to be about making memories! Memories that will leave people thinking fondly of me, either when we part for a time or when eternity arrives for one of us.

I struggle with how to pass this understanding on to my children. I want my time spent, whether talking with or being together, to be about building understanding for each other and making memories. I enjoy thinking of the successes they have shared with me. I pray for the concerns they have. I love it when we are planning a future get-together or event and each of us is involved in the process.

Instead, I sometimes find conversations that feel like obligations, words with no real connection. It hurts and leaves me feeling empty. Are those the memories they will have of me? If so, I fear I have failed at what is most important to me.

Happy New Year!

Just a short greeting this evening–to all my family, friends and the new friends I’ve gained over the last couple of years. Thanks for sharing and making memories with me in 2014. It is my hope each of you will reflect on the events of 2014 and as you ponder the good memories, to also think about the lessons learned. Then while looking to 2015, think about how those lessons will be applied to the goals and directions you plan to take.

Blessings to each of you!

Motorcycles and Memories…

Recently we visited the Rocky Mountain Motorcycle Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado. What an eclectic collection of old motorcycles we found. Many of them were old Harley’s. There were old photographs and articles of motorcycle events.

I don’t have many positive memories of my father, so I was surprised at all the memories of him, this place evoked within me. I had the last ride on his Harley before he sold it when I was 3 or 4. I had forgotten about all the motorcycle hill climb events he took me to as a child. I seem to recall those events were either early in the spring or late in the fall. I remember being chilled at most of these events, and wondering why anyone would want to ride in such mud. I was a girl after all. But I also remember how excited my dad was at these events. When I think about that now, I realize he was sharing one of his passions with me. It was nice to have a memory about him, which invoked smiles and happy emotions.