Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day…

A long standing remembrance

memorial dayframed{vintage post cards from Graphic Fairy}


Where I come from,  Massachusetts ( not far from Cape Cod)

 thumbnailCA3V6OIH{photo images found on-line, bing}flagonmemorialday
Memorial Day is a BIG deal.  And every Memorial Day since moving here in the South my thoughts return to my small town (then small…not now) remembering the traditional preparations to get ready for our big day; Memorial Day Parade!

Everyone would be marching in it.  If you belonged to ANYthing…any group…it was likely you would be marching IN the parade!  I started in 2nd grade b/c I was a Brownie!

memorialday Watertown, ma  thumbnailCAX992PT

     Several weeks before Memorial Day,the Boy Scouts would place tiny American flags on all the graves of most cemeteries  (we had a LOT of grave yards –stemming back to the Revolutionary War).



Buckets and buckets of paper poppies were sold by the American Veteran’s League. thumbnailCALZAB5W

My Mother and I would make  several trips to the cemetery to plant flowers and place potted flowers on the graves of all our family, most of whom I had never met, nor had my Mother!   I would marvel at the sea of flags on SO many of the graves!

And so, the big day would come. Young and old we would all meet on the side streets near town and get ready for the 5 mile march through out our town.thumbnailCAO4CF5OthumbnailCA1KZ7AX

Veterans (and current service men/women  would either line up to march IN the parade or…get a good place on the side lines.thumbnailCAWQAVDBthumbnailCA7KYCZ8

I remember the Memorial Day that it became MUCH more than a day of parades, balloons, ice cream and cook outs.

I was marching in the band that year, and just in the 7th grade.  Vietnam war was just a vague thought to this 12 year old girl, all I could think about was how I WISHED I could be a majorette marching,  instead of  (heavy sigh) playing the clarinet in the band! I wanted to be in front of the band, in a cool majorette uniform and with all the other girls!  Not wearing a boy’s uniform AND my brother’s hand-me-down pants (oh the agony of it all!!!) and suit jacket and hat!  (I would later become a majorette marching in the HS band…WHEN I became a high schooler).  

I loved watching all of the high school majorettes (my brother was a Sr. and knew them all) I could even do some of their routines!  

  ….but this1968_MAJORETTES


particular Memorial day, there was one majorette that was marching with a broken heart.  Peggy.  She was an upper classman, she was sweet, she was pretty, she was kind. 

Her brother had just been killed in Vietnam.

  It suddenly brought it home…the war…the immense sacrifice of ones that we KNEW, that we had gone to school with their sisters and brothers.   My parents KNEW  their Mother and Father because they too, went to school together and got married to high school sweethearts and had children …together.

Now there was one missing, forever. It was written in stone.

Peggy began to weep.  Her weeping became uncontrollable sobbing.    The gut wrenching sobs, that just listening to these sobs, make your eyes water and your throat choke up.


She was instantly surrounded by all of her fellow majorettes as they circled around her.  Like mother animals circle around their young to protect them against the harsh world.

She didn’t  understand WHY?  She didn’t understand WHAT FOR?…Please…someone tell her it is only a dream!…

But it wasn’t. 

The breeze was gently blowing on that little cemetery hill…that is

until the guns fired

and fired and fired again.

  Smoke rose softly from such a loud noise.  And then, there it was.  Starting out crisp and sharp.  “Just” twenty six notes that can tear into a Mother’s heart and make a blonde haired, pony tail sister, sink to her knees in silent sobs. 

thumbnailCABNXXEDThe last note was finished.

People were fumbling to find a Kleenex to wipe their tears.  And

there it was again…slowly, barely audible at first, but it came stronger and louder with every note.  The echo.  The “fallen soldier’s” mournful reply.  We all knew that it was really another trumpet player that had climbed  another grassy knoll and hid behind a big maple tree to “answer the call”.  But for me, it was a vivid awareness.  The true meaning of “war”  and  a young man’s death. 

A tidal wave of grief that would make it personal…to all the towns’ people.  Different yes…monumentally different for the families who have lost a son, a brother, a sister, Mother, Father.  But to this day, I remember Tommy G.   When I see any service man or women, young or old…I remember Tommy G.  And I remember his sister, Peggy, the one who marched with a broken heart that Memorial Day.

  thumbnailCAUQ8F25Now when I see a uniformed service man bow their head, when I see a Veteran steel gaze, rise steady to the sky; I know that they are thinking of their own lost brothers/sisters/sons or daughters. 


And I think,

always of Tommy G. 


thumbnailCAZOXN2RAnd pray…again and again that my own soldier will stay safe as he fights for OUR freedom.  That he will come home to his sweet young wife.  That he will NEVER be

someone’s “Tommy G.’s” memory…

like Tommy will forever be mine…and the folks in a  small town in Massachusetts.




burialflagIn memory of my Father, D. A. Brown  who died a Veteran of  WWII…and of  Thomas Ghelli, Holliston, Ma who was killed in action, fighting for freedom.

Our freedom.

Our land,

our town

and our family.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Happy Memorial Day and …more about “Sis”

Little Miss Sissy…clearly was the hit of the family picnic!!  Who couldn’t resist this adorable face???!!DSC_0116 DSC_0067 And worthy of all of the pampered affection and paw-petting “lovin’” mixed with squeals of delight from two adoring little girls !  Sissy is the newest member of our (extended) family and is  4 months old her “Mother” tells us.  She certainly has just about the best care AND the best family, a little puppy could ask for!

{of note: you can click on photo to enlarge image}DSC_0070 

  “look at me(!) I practicing to be a guard dog!!!”DSC_0140DSC_0139  DSC_0147  But …at the end of the day…there’s nothin’ better than watching the sunset on the lake.  Just me and my “Dad”!

{psssst…are you gettin’ this camera guy?}DSC_0149DSC_0145

I’m soooo…..(yawn)….sweepy!   Happy Memorial day y’all!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Pardon Me…while my Picasa has a melt down!

Yes, that’s right, “Picasa” problems.  It crashed! 

…and that means ALL of my photos, scans, added favorites…

went…POOF!  Crashed!  With a click of a mouse…and two days

of trying this…and…downloading that; the problematic Picasa

remained…pulverized into thin (internet) air!

While what seemed like an eternity; I found, yet another

self help website that held some promise for my problem

Picasa!  I came across these little notes that I (won!) from

a “give a way” blog site. “Angels of hope” a collection from

Compendium, Inc.

“To gain that which is worth having, it may be

necessary to lose everything else.”

                                                  {Bernadette Devlin}

Now THAT was a little  message with a

whole lot of  TRUTH!     I can SEE that

now!    Thank you THANK YOU!  My Picasa

has once again returned to the flock of my Photos! 


So… Onward! 

Toot-a-Loo!  We were off for

    Togaloo  State Park to have a picnic

on (yes this is for real)…Gumlog Creek!

thumbnailCA55F7IE   So we put on our Sunday finery…for picnics, of course!  {no white gloves needed, unless your’ serving}   (images found on line)thumbnailCA0BDV4UPack up the wagon!  Load up the coolers, chairs and charcoal.  {we forgot the matches….who has matches these days???  No one in our group smokes!!}  Ah well…small detail.Vintage-Tours-294x300With ourvehicles all washed and shiny.   We gathered young and oldVintage-Car-02 {photo from}

and headed off to picnic beside “Gumlog Creek”.  And now that

my Picasa has been restored, I can edit my picnic photos and download to PICNIK so that I can share some of the day’s events!





DSC_0056 This was  our picnic area.  {sigh}  Soooo refreshing!  The sunshine, fresh air, the pine-cone-y-woodsy smells! {another, bigger sigh}   DSC_0133 Will was ready for a game of golf {huh?  no golf balls?…..Awwwh Man!}DSC_0106"I’m sure that was a fish!  Did you see it? It was a great BIG fish!!”  {wink-wink!}DSC_0064And here is the newest addition to the family.  Four month old “Sissy”!  {love the outfit girl!} That’s Mom in the background.   More about Sissy in next post!

DSC_0070  DSC_0185

So many things to do!  Wow…there was even “Timber lane crochet(sp?)   challenge course!”  This girl hits it …home (?)  …is that what one says when one wins in crochet?          

{how do you spell crow-kay?? any ways, spell check didn’t help}DSC_0174DSC_0091-1

All in all… it was a beautiful, sun shine-y


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Children’s Sunday

Every May, growing up in a small town just south of Boston, our

church would “celebrate” Children’s Sunday.  It would fall

some where in between “Mother’s Day” in May and “Father’s

Day” in June.  I remember the moment  that I realized that “Children’s Sunday” was something our church

did…but NOT nationally celebrated like Mother and Father’s

Day??!!!  I was a small child sitting on the arm of my Father’s

chair as he sat reading the Sunday paper.   I asked him “Why?”

was there not a “Children’s Day” like HE got a Father’s day and

Mom got a Mother’s day?! (insert the appropriate little girl

pout)  My Father…(who was “quick on his feet” dishing

out short and reasonably true or not so true answers)…

replied… “Honey…that’s because…..ah…EVERY day is

Children’s day!”  (insert big fatherly smile and his nodding

head). Knowing that the ball was definitely NOW in my court,

I thoughtfully looked at my Dad, then at the floor, then back

at my Dad….  Trying desperately to think of someTHING equally witty

I simply said… “Oh!”  and leaned back into side of his

chair pretending to suddenly be more interested in the Sunday paper!newsletter-signup-bg


So….in honor of “Children’s Sunday”  and Children’s Day…

I thought I’d share some more adorable vintage

Children photos!



I just love this sweet vintage photo/painting from Graphic Fairy.  Isn’t she a doll!

Here are just a few of many baby/children photos I have been working on to restore.1901

Here’s sweet baby William.  I had

him on before.  (look at the round Charlie Brown face!)

These photos are approx. 100 years old.Nellie Patten (infant) and Jean Canady  1901

This one of cute little baby Nellie. Cousins of my Mother’s family

in Connecticut.   (sigh…so beautiful)

Next, one of my new fav’s is how “well” little Miss

Wells (great Aunt Beatrice)  pops to life once

cropped and colored!  My Mother had the same kind of

curls…so did I for that matter!  That must be her Grandfather

in this picture.  (My Great-Great Grandfather)

Top-5Little Miss Wells 1875

Top Top-2    Here is my Great Uncle Howard.  I smile every time I look at this photo!  He’s probably all of three years old here!  The other two small babies are cousins. (more about them later)  I love, love LOVE how you can see

this dog’s sweet disposition come out once he was in color.

(Thanks to Picnik touch up elements)Howard's dog

Bet he got a treat after this photo session!  Maybe we should have

“Dog’s Day”?  Oh…right EVERY day is a Dog’s day.  And behind every good dog, is a cute little someone celebrating every day…

as Children’s Day!  (Thanks Dad for the happy memories)