Sunday, August 25, 2013

This One's for the Family

Yesterday was my uncle's memorial service. As always the family gathered and shared stories. It's a little sad that some of the great stories you don't get to hear until the person is gone but - it's always great to hear family stories whenever you can.

One topic we got on was past family homes. Our grandparent's house is for sale again and one cousin stopped by the pick up the sales information. We all studied it trying to figure out all the angles of the pictures. We had 2 basic problems.
1. The wide angle camera lens was used to causing the front door to be twice as wide as normal and other distortions. The dining room wasn't all that big but the picture made the table of 6 chairs look like you could seat 12 people.
2. The previous homeowner did a great deal of remodeling so things didn't look like we remembered.

We also tried to remember the other house addresses we would hear about as children. Internet to the rescue! I grabbed the US Census records for 1898 thru 1849 and wrote down the family addresses. Today I took a little trip and grabbed a few pictures. Some of the houses are gone and Grandpa's grocery store is gone but here's a couple pictures I found. I left the pictures bigger files so the family members can download if they want to.

Here's the history I found:

1898 - when our Grandpa Bill was a child he lived on Dupont. I've sent all the addresses to some of the cousins and if you're a family member and want the exact address for the places without pictures, let me know. This house is very obviously a newer home so I didn't take a picture.

1900 - he had moved but the address on the US Census is not legible. Note to anyone who ever does a Census - please write carefully so people can read it in the future!!

1905 - yet another house address (and another newer house). Seems Grandpa moved around a lot as a child!

1910 - Yep - new address for Grandpa. Meanwhile, Grandma's family lived in the house on Fremont that would stay in the family for many years. My parents rented from the Aunts during the first few years of their marriage before buying the house I now live in. The house looks like a new window was added to the front but otherwise it looks mostly original.

1920 - Grandma's parents moved to a new house in Robbinsdale but the Aunts still had the Fremont house. Meanwhile, Grandma and grandpa were married and lived in their first house. I forgot to head over to this address so - no picture.

1930 and 1940 Census show Grandma and Grandpa at the house we knew and spent so much time at as kids.


Meanwhile - my Dad's family was living in south Minneapolis where Dad had friends who would sneak over the fence to steal apples from their tree. The apple tree isn't there anymore but the house look much like it would have in the 1920s - 40s. During the middle part of Dad's alzheimers I would ask him about where he lived. He could remember this house and give me details about everything (including the apple tree) but couldn't remember the house he and Mom lived in for over 50 years until he moved to memory care. I guess this house made quite an impression on a little kid growing up!
Jan's Shawl
I'd like to thank everyone who purchased Jan's Shawl so far. If you didn't read about this shawl the post about it is HERE.  I had a few questions about how much will be donated to the fire fighter support group. Right now $4.55 of the $5.00 will be donated. Paypal takes $.45 to process things and a small amount will end up going to Ravelry (unknown amount at the moment) but everything else will go to the support group. I'll be keeping nothing.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Back Together Again

Uncle Bud rejoined his sisters this past week after living a very full and happy 93 years.
As kids they grew up in the north Minneapolis area. Being the children of a grocer, they lived over the store and had to spend spare hours sweeping the floors and helping out. I'm told Mom got out of the work because she was "the baby" of the family.
As time passed they moved out of the store and into a house on Victory Memorial Drive. During this time WWII started. Uncle Bud and Grandpa fulfilled their service in the Navy. To his last day Uncle Bud could tell you very ship he was on and when he served on each of them. His memory for details was incredible.

All three grew up, had families of their own and instilled a sense of family in the next generation. We grew up close and cousins were more like brothers and sisters. We knew 2nd and 3rd cousins, meeting up every year at the family picnic or seeing many of them weekly at church.
Their generation was strong, faithful and loyal. Uncle Bud was a leader at the same church he was born in and held his friends close. My cousin told me recently some of the people from his work days came up to spend the morning with him. I don't know too many people who are still in touch with people from work over 25 years later!

Uncle Bud loved his grandchildren and loved going to their soccer games, swim meets, church programs and being involved in their lives.
And now, after living independently right up until the last day, Uncle Bud has gone Home. His generation has passed the torch to the next generation and I can only hope we live up to their fine example. My uncle and godfather will be missed.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Jan's Shawl

Last month I posted about my sister-in-law, Jan. I also said I wanted to create a shawl in her honor with profits going to the LA County fire department. The shawl is now ready and I hope you like it. Please consider purchasing this pattern so we can show some love to the people who risk (and some lose) their lives daily for our protection and safety.
Jan's Shawl is knit with 1 skein each of 2 colors of fingering weight yarn. The sample was made in Arucania Ranco (376 yd/ skein). The main color used virtually all of the skein while the second color had about 20% left. Jan was a strong person, physically and mentally so I didn't want the shawl to be fussy. She also had her soft side so I added a simple lace edging. The shawl, like Jan, has some unexpected details - the center is a slight wedge which creates a softer edge to the tip.

Below is the description from the pattern's front page:

by Jill Chatelain

My sister-in-law, Jan, choose a life that involved helping people. She became a fire fighter knowing the risks. Jan worked her way up the ranks and became the first female Fire Captain for LA County. One of the risks I never thought about was cancer. Fire fighters have a far greater chance of getting cancer from all the toxins they encounter on the job than the average person. Jan had another first when she became the first female Fire Captain to pass away on active duty when she lost her battle with job-related cancer this year.

In honor of Jan I've designed this shawl. It's not a fussy shawl but is strong with some unexpected details including a small wedge in the center to soften the tip.  Like Jan, it commands respect but has a softer side with the lace. I think she would have liked this shawl.
All profits will be donated to a Fire Fighter support group.
Chaplin Matt of the LA County Dept. will be helping choose which specific support groups will best benefit from these funds. I'd like to thank you all in advance for buying the pattern and supporting the fire fighters that became Jan's second family.
To purchase - click on this link  Jan's Shawl
The link will take you to Ravelry's Store where you can purchase the pattern for $5.00 via Paypal.
As stated above - all profits will be donated to a fire fighter support group that Chaplin Matt will help choose.