Tag Archive | Memories

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Mom is 81 years old today. It is hard to imagine her at that age. She still sounds the same and if she still had her sight, I am sure she would be very active and making every occassion special. Sadly, I wasn’t able to go to Roanoke this weekend  or today to see her. Her birthday visit will be a week late. I would love to be there to give her a big hug and sing through the hymnal with her on the porch swing. Happy Birthday, Mom. I love you.

She always made birthdays special for us. Even as adults, she would show up on our birthday with a cake and gifts or my favorite – gift baskets! Yet, she always downplayed her own special day; telling us, “I don’t need anything.”

~*~

Birthdays. Every family celebrates them differently.

In my family, birthdays were a big event. Extended family members came over for dinner and of course, a beautifully decorated homemade cake of the birthday child’s choosing.

Mine was always white cake, seven minute frosting with coconut sprinkled on it like snow; graced with a candy “Happy Birthday” along with birthday candles. They were very popular when I was a child.

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Betty Crocker Vintage Birthday Cake Decorations found on Pinterest.

Of course I always wanted the pink one with little flowers for the candles.

It is usually Mothers who make birthdays special. She bakes the cake, makes sure the freezer is stocked with ice cream, cooks the meal, buys and wraps the gift. My Mom loved making birthdays special. She was the best at wrapping gifts. They were always too pretty to unwrap!

It was Dad Hinchee who took snapshots and taped the special occasion with his Super-eight movie camera. I have a dvd with several years of birthdays and other special moments. unfortunately, he often panned the room too fast and some scenes are just a blur. My baby sister’s first birthday was great! Dinner in our back yard with family and after dinner, cake and gifts were opened, we all went to the Mill Mountain Zoo in Roanoke, Va. I especially remember the gorgeous peacocks. Such a pretty blue! Needless to say, was a memorable event.

This is Mom.

 

I would love to give her a special birthday party. I have tried twice to at least take dinner and her gifts but she is hesitant to let anyone come over. She claims the house is dirty and she has nothing to wear. You see, she has always wanted everything to be “perfect.”

We gave her a party on her seventy-fifth birthday. Her sister and brother-in-law came from Richmond. Our Hinchee relatives came to make the day special too.

Mom's 75th Birthday

We had a beautiful cake made by Ashley Schnarr Easter, fresh fruit, finger sandwiches and I actually discovered blooms on the lilac tree! She received wonderful gifts and cards that played music!

She was amazed that everyone came and loved having my Aunt and Uncle spend the night with them. She let me know later that she doesn’t want to remember that she is “getting older.” We have gifts for her and I still hope we will be able to take dinner to Mom and Dad.

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There is one gift I can’t wait to give her. She can’t see it but that’s okay. I found on Etsy the fragrance she used to wear when I was a small child. Persian Wood isn’t available in perfume but I found the original Avon Persian Wood Perfumed Talc. I am sure it has lost its fragrance over time but hopefully, there is enough of the fragrance to bring back wonderful memories and just for a moment, she will feel “young” again.

 

Perhaps we will sit on the porch swing and sing Hymns of the Faith just as we used to.

Happy Birthday, Mom. We love you!

The Vinton School

Vinton School (William Byrd first High School) (2014_02_18 18_15_37 UTC)

Photo provided by Angie Bell Chewning

In the story I posted for Memorial Day, “Isabel” (my grandmother) attended The Vinton School while living with relatives. She loved that school and since she spoke of it so often when I was a child, I couldn’t wait until I was old enough to attend the same school. By then, the 4 classroom building sat at the bottom of the hill where the High School, William Byrd stood. Of course, it was just the little building when Granny was a student. I understand there was a common room in the middle of the building which was used as an auditorium, gym and cafeteria. The four classrooms opened into the larger, common room.

My grandparents lived close enough William Byrd that we could hear band practice. It was great! My cousin, Debbie taught me a couple of cheers and we would hop around to the beat of the drums.

My stepfather’s younger sister was a student at “the high school” and I loved looking at her yearbooks; dreaming of the day I would also be a “Terrier.” That day finally came the fall of 1970. Since the building on the hill was built in the early 1930’s, the steps were worn with age. Framed pictures of graduating classes lined the halls. (I was late for class once because I was looking for a familiar face on the wall.)

New William Byrd High School on the hill

Photo provided by Angie Bell Chewning

I was delighted to discover that my math class and I think an art class were located in the school my Grandmother had attended. The little building at the bottom of the hill which was once known as, “The Vinton School.” That “hill” was very steep. Not only did we get a lot of exercise getting to Math class but once or twice when it was snowing, I discovered sliding, rolling or tumbling down that hill was not fun. And now, that is part of my history too. My favorite teacher at William Byrd Intermediate (Middle School) was Tina Cook. She was a believer who wanted to serve the Lord too. She was an organist at her church and to my delight, a counselor at the same Bible Camp my friends from Church and I attended.

My class was in this location for one year only. There were so many sixth-graders moving up to William Byrd Intermediate (on the hill) there wasn’t enough room for us. So we got to go to the new, modern Wm. Byrd High School in the eighth grade. It was exciting, but I missed the history in the old building.

Imagine all of the stories within the walls of these old buildings! My grandmother was there only a short time but I’m so glad she told me about it! Just remember, when you tell your children and grandchildren stories about the “good old days” they are probably listening even when you think they aren’t.

Blessings,

Kathy

Happy Mother’s Day!

Prov 31 30 Mekel Rice

Mekel Rice

Blessings to Mothers and Mothers at Heart.

It is with joy that we celebrate this special day set aside to honor our Mothers. If you have read my blog, you are already aquainted with my Mom. I have posted many pictures in the past. My brother scanned my favorite picture of Mom. I couldn’t resist using it in the Mothers Day post. She was very young and very pretty. She had been told that she should do a toothpaste commercial. Great smile, Mom!

Barbara and Children taken in house on Conway Street (2013_12_29 18_40_53 UTC)

Mom, Barbara Riley Hinchee Teenager

Mom Hinchee's 75th Birthday April 17, 2010 (2014_02_14 17_52_40 UTC)

Mom and I  Lakeside Amusement Park

Until she lost her sight a few years ago, Mom delighted in making things special for her children and her grandchildren.  How many 40 year olds get Easter Baskets from their Mother?  We did and let her know how much we appreciated it!

She always decorated beautifully and enjoyed every moment of making floral arrangements, bow making and wrapping gifts. As you may guess, I inherited her love of dishes, tea sets and old fashioned kitchens. And stories. Love her stories!

My favorite memories are of working together in the kitchen and sitting on the porch swing because we sang the entire time!

Now Mom cannot enjoy the things that once made her happy but she listens to BBN Christian radio and Christian books on tape. Although she received Christ as her Savior when I was six years old and she sat under Bible teaching, memorizing the Word for all those years, now she is even more appreciative of God’s Word. Meditating on His Word and understanding more how to apply God’s Word. Before, she was busy. Now she is learning how to: “Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations.”

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 In Memory of Emily L. Purdy

No one could have asked for a more wonderful Mother-in-law. She was truly a treasure.

Part of John’s testimony is that he came to know the Lord because his Mother constantly told him that she was praying for him. Even when he didn’t want to hear that. She was truly a mother who loved the Lord. She had a quiet strength. Often relayed in her poems which I hope to post soon. She had a sweet, sweet spirit.

She was truly a “kindred-spirit”.  The first time we met, she did something wonderful. She invited me into her bedroom and pulled out a box. A treasure box of pictures, poems written by her ancestors. There was even an adorable valentine her Mother, Emma had sent to her future husband, Clarence. So cute. From that time on, she shared so many wonderful family memories with me. I have shared some with you in the (very long) poem I wrote about the day she took us to her grandparents “Homeplace”.

She passed along many family antiques – little things others may have sold at a yard sale. To me they were treasures because they are connected to “family.” A few years before she went home to be with the Lord, she and Dad Purdy were visiting one Sunday afternoon. She gave me the best compliment I have ever had. She sat down in the kitchen and looked around. “I love coming here. I feel right at home.”  One day, we will meet again in our “Forever Home” where she is rejoicing. I know John and his sister, Cathy miss her and will be thinking of her this Mothers Day.

 

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Cathy, Mother, John

Emilie feeding baby Johnny

Emilie Purdy and “Johnny”

Scan 56

I love the expression on Emilie’s face as little Johnny toddled along. So cute!

 

 

Scan 17

Thank you, Lord, for our Mothers.

Snow!

A snowy day in Lynchburg, VA

After days of rain and much anticipation, the snow finally arrived. I was sure we wouldn’t get any snow today since the temperature didn’t drop below freezing. It was in the low forties most of the day and finally the temperature dropped into the thirties and beautiful white flakes graced our skies after four in the afternoon. It snowed a few hours and in our neighborhood, it still looks like a pretty white blanket covering bushes, trees, sidewalks and yes, the roads. According to the television, Lynchburg, Virginia received over four inches. I am sure children are cheering – schools are closed tomorrow and many businesses have delayed opening until mid-morning.

I don’t know what it is about snow that is so exciting. After all, it causes inconveniences, delays and hazardous driving. And yet, the mere mention of the fluffy white stuff takes me back to my childhood. Playing in the snow, freezing fingers and toes, riding the sleigh downhill with friends and family. Coming inside to a nice warm house, smelling of just baked cookies, hot cocoa and homemade soup simmering on the stove.

My thoughts returned to my grandparents home in the Midway section of Vinton, Va in 1964. I spent every weekend with my grandparents, since I still had not gotten used to the idea of living with Mom and my stepfather in Garden City. (Just a few miles away but to a child, it seemed like we had moved to the other side of the world.) Of course, my preteen aunt, two good friends and two cousins made trips to stay with my grandparents even more enjoyable – especially when it snowed. We had a great hill for sleigh riding!

It snowed that weekend. Wonderful, beautiful, fluffy snow. My Aunt, cousins, friends and neighbors had a wonderful time building snowmen and riding sleighs down the steep hill. When we came back inside, however, the aroma of that house will forever be ingrained in my memory. Granddaddy had cooked that day. Pinto beans, fried potatoes, cornbread, slaw and Granny had made my favorite cake. To this day, that fragrance takes me back to that day.

I wasn’t thrilled to leave on Sunday afternoon when Mom and Jerry came to pick me up but then Mom reminded me that my new cousins, Pam, Donna and Tammy were coming over to play. What a day!

It seems like we had a lot of snow in the sixties – or perhaps it was just a lot of wonderful memories!

Hope you have a beautiful, snowy, memory-making weekend!

Blessings,

Kathy

What Treasured Memory is Contained in This Brown Box?

The Bulls Eye Kodak No. 2 by Eastman Kodak Co.

This interesting camera belonged to my husband’s Grandparents or his Aunt Louise who lived in Clifton Forge, VA in this house.

Long family home in Clifton Forge, VA for over 75 years.

Long family home in Clifton Forge, VA for over 75 years.

Since this camera was manufactured from 1895-1913 so we think it belonged to John’s grandfather, Clarence Long. John’s Aunt Louise lived in this home most of her life. The images on the film still in the camera may have been taken by John’s grandparents or by his Aunt Louise. Would they have left film in the camera unprocessed when they upgraded to a newer style camera? Did they simply forget all about it and stow it away in a trunk in the attic? Perhaps Grandfather Long took pictures of his bride and young children. Perhaps he took pictures of his granddaughters and his only grandson before he died in the 1960’s and no one had the heart to disturb it or it was put away with his things not realizing the film was still in the camera. What a mystery! We have been told that the film cannot processed now because the chemicals and method of developing the early film is no longer available. So it shall remain a mystery. Curiosity is almost too overpowering – this familial link to the past.

My husband found the original instruction book online. If you are interested, click on this link.  http://www.piercevaubel.com/cam/catalogs/1906bullseyeinstlp850.htm

http://www.historiccamera.com/cgi-bin/librarium/pm.cgi?action=display&login=no2bullseye

Christmas 1985. Louise Long, Emilie Long Purdy, John Purdy and Kathy.

John’s Aunt Louise Long, Mother Purdy, Dad Purdy and me on our first Christmas as a family in 1985. John is on the other side of the camera capturing the moment with his fancy manual camera.

With digital cameras, video cameras and cell phone cameras, the days of waiting for film to be developed is past. We just snap a picture and within seconds, post it on facebook for all the world to see. It wasn’t always this way.

I remember as a child, we had an old brownie camera. You held the camera in front of you and looked down to see the image and then quickly pushed the gray button on the right. Our family had one like this.

Processing film was costly so we had to choose our shots wisely and the light had to be just right! If I remember correctly, there were only twelve pictures on a roll of film. Our family couldn’t afford to have film developed often so we took one or two pictures at each occasion. Birthdays, Christmas, perhaps Thanksgiving, weddings and other special occasions. Finally, when all of the film was used up, it was carefully placed in a black tube, placed into an envelope and sent away to be developed. When they arrived, everyone was excited because we couldn’t remember what we had taken pictures of and some didn’t turn out. It was a lesson in endurance. Patience. Delayed gratification.

Next, the photographs were placed into an album of black pages with little black corners holding the picture in place. Most of our family pictures were developed in January. So our Christmas pictures from 1964 have January 1965 stamped on the ragged edges.

Next came the Instamatic cameras. Instead of loading a roll of film carefully stretching the film onto a roll on the other end of the camera, these babies had film cartridges. The process was still the same for developing the film until some drug stores and department stores began offering film processing. We still had to wait. We were thrilled when the one hour processing became available!

2013-01-15 Old unprocessed film cartridge 2013-01-15 Old unprocessed film cartridge

Do you remember using these?

And then there was the Polaroid! I thought it was wonderful. The film developed immediately without a processing fee!

Christmas for Rusty 1980

I took this picture of my little dog, Rusty with my Polaroid. Not a great picture but I had the image immediately – well, almost!  This camera came in handy in my classroom. On the first day of school, I snapped a picture of each student and labeled it on the wide lower margin of the picture and hung the pics on the bulletin board. It was a great way to learn the student’s names! I took their pictures again on the last day of school and let them take their pictures home. It was amazing to see how much the children had changed in a few short months! (We also did this in Sunday School but with my husband’s fancy camera. By the mid-eighties, we had our film developed at CVS and they put the images on a CD. (I had so much fun with those images in Print Shop Deluxe!)

And then along came the fabulous digital cameras. What a joy to capture birds in flight, a squirrel hogging the sunflower seeds and pictures of flowers that I planted each year. Of course, we have hundreds of cat pictures and wonderful shots of my child care kiddos. “Have camera – will capture that moment of smiles!”

So all of that to say, that my imagination is running wild with this old camera. What memories or mysteries does this little brown box hold?

Capturing memories did not begin with a camera, pen, paintbrush or with a pencil. It began with our Heavenly Father.

In Joshua 4 after the Lord divided the Jordon river that the children of Israel; beginning with the the priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant for them to cross over on dry land. Afterward, the Lord spoke to Joshua to take out of the Jordon twelve stones from the spot where the priest had stood firm on dry ground. (One for each tribe of Israel.) They were to carry them and leave them in the lodging place where they were to lodge that night.

“And Joshua said unto them, Pass over before the ark of the LORD your God into the midst of Jordan, and take ye up every man of you a stone upon his shoulder, according unto the number of tribes of the children of Israel;

That this may be a sign among you, that when your children ask their fathers in time to come, saying What mean ye by these stones?

Then ye shall answer them, that the waters of the Jordon were cut off before the ark of the covenant of the LORD; when it passed over the Jordan, the waters of the Jordan were cut off.

And these stones shall be for a memorial unto the children of Israel forever.

Joshua 4:5-7

“Great is the LORD and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable.

One generation shall praise Thy works to another and shall declare Thy mighty acts.

I will speak of the glorious honor of thy majesty, and of thy wondrous works.

And men shall speak of the might of thy (awe-inspiring) acts; and I will declare thy greatness.

They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness.

The LORD is gracious, and full of compassion, slow to anger and of great mercy.”

Psalms 145:3-8

So you see, whenever we look at old photographs, mementos, and recite stories from the past, lets remember all that He has done for us and for the generations before us and what He will do for the generations to come.  Lets praise Him at all times and share what He has done for you with others.

Blessings,

Kathy

A Packrat’s Attempt at Organizing Christmas Decorations

Christmas Ornaments 2012 003 Christmas Ornaments 2012 005 Christmas Ornaments 2012 009 Christmas Ornaments 2012 010 Christmas Ornaments 2012 012 Christmas Ornaments 2012 013 Christmas Ornaments 2012 014 Christmas Ornaments 2012 016 Christmas Ornaments 2012 018 Christmas Ornaments 2012 019 Christmas Ornaments 2012 020 Christmas Ornaments 2012 024 Christmas Ornaments 2012 025 Christmas Ornaments 2012 026 Christmas Ornaments 2012 028 Christmas Ornaments 2012 031 Christmas Ornaments 2012 Courier & Ives gift from Elonna McKibben Christmas Ornaments 2012 From The Patteson Kids many years ago! Christmas Ornaments 2012 Inherited from John's parents. It hung on their tree for many years. Christmas Ornaments 2012 Ornament we bought in honor of our first house.

These are only a few of our Christmas ornaments. I have been collecting them since 1979 and can’t bear to throw away any ornament or decoration given to me. I don’t even want to think about the years of greeting cards tied up in bows and stored in a box. Of course, I can look through them and see messages from loved ones who are now with the Lord. There’s just something special about seeing the handwriting of someone who is now with The Lord!

I have given away only one collectable ornament that my little cousin (more like a niece since her Mom is only four years older than me and we have always been close. That goes for all of my younger cousins.)

In 1984, little Emily gave me a beautiful clear, teardrop ornament with a candle embossed on it. Actually, she picked out this ornament for our Aunt Shirley – “Sissy.”  Sissy didn’t get to enjoy her gift, however. She lost her battle with breast cancer and spent that Christmas in Heaven.

Emily told her Mom that she wanted Aunt Kathy to have the gift she had so lovingly chosen for Sissy. I still have tears whenever I think about it. Each year as I placed that beautiful ornament on the tree, I was reminded of the love behind it. Now that Emily has children of her own, I thought it only fitting to return it to her so that her boys would know what a sweet, thoughtful Mother they have. Also to remember “Sissy.” Funny, isn’t it how one little item can bring back so many memories!

Somehow, I have the feeling that every time Mary walked into a stable or heard the sound of bleating sheep she was reminded of the wonderful night she held the Son of God in her arms – indeed, God himself who took the form of man to redeem us. Immanuel – “God with us.” The Bible says that “Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart.” Luke 2:19 

Organize!

Organize!

For nearly twenty years, I stored all of our Christmas decorations in the original boxes in my college footlocker which I kept in our den closet with the artificial tree. However, I ran out of space and the boxes began to smell musty and had to be thrown away along with the footlocker. I had to find someway to organize all of my “Christmas stuff!” The answer to my dilemma came to me at Staples. We were buying plastic file drawers for our home office and also for my sewing room. Inspiration hit like a bolt of lightning. The files were perfect! I still have a few boxes for more delicate ornaments but I can just roll the file out to the tree and return it to the closet when I’m done and I know where everything is. Everything else will go into a plastic tub which will sit on top of the file. I love organization. Don’t you?

If you have a story about special ornaments or organizational tips, I would love to read about it!

Praying my readers will have a new year of joy and blessing!

Love,

Kathy

Piecing a Memory

When I saw this picture of a little girl sewing on a toy sewing machine, it made me think of my grandmother, Isabel!

When I saw this picture of a little girl sewing on a toy sewing machine, it made me think of my grandmother, Isabel!

Why does this remind me of my grandmother?  She gave me a toy sewing machine for Christmas one year and a miniature sewing basket “just like hers!” I had so much fun piecing together pieces of cloth to make something special for my dolls. You might say that when we are reminded of pieces of childhood, we are piecing memories. Precious memories of our loved ones to share with our children, grandchildren and in our case, nieces and nephews.

A toy sewing machine and sewing box just like my Grandmother Isabel's!

A toy sewing machine and sewing box just like my Grandmother Isabel’s!

Decades have passed since that Christmas Eve but when I saw that little girl with her toy sewing machine, a flood of memories of my grandparents filled my heart. Granny was so excited about that gift because she knew it was the “perfect gift!” I had always admired her sewing basket and  she had found a tiny one just like hers.

Isn’t it funny how seeing something familiar can bring back memories?

The smell of coffee perking or bacon frying in the morning transporting us home and giving a sense of security and warmth. Remember crawling out from under a nice warm quilt to dress for breakfast, knowing your Mom or Grandmother would be at the stove humming a tune?

Perhaps our Heavenly Father planned it that way so that we will remember all that He has done for us!

How many precious gifts from His loving hand have we cast aside, grown away from or hidden away? Search your heart, rummage through the scrapbook of your life and see the good and perfect gifts that only He can give.

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”

James 1:17 (NKJV)

The best gift of all – His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ who gave His life for us.

“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son,

that whosoever believeth in Him

should not perish but have everlasting lasting life.

For God sent not His son into the world to condemn the world,

but that the world through Him might be saved.”

John 3:16-17

“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

Romans 6: 23

Who could ask for a better gift than eternal life? We can’t work for it, we can’t be good enough. That is why Jesus came as a tiny baby – completely man and completely God – that He would become the sacrificial lamb for you and for me on the cross of Calvary. He conquered death and arose from the dead three days later. So that we may have everlasting life. This is Love!

A sewing machine and tiny sewing basket was Granny’s way of showing her love. I accepted it without hesitation and with glee! God gave His only begotten Son because He loves you and me. I just had to share this wonderful news with you, dear reader. Won’t you receive His gift today?

 

Good Housekeeping Cover copied from Pinterest vintagecottagehome.blogspot.fr