Saturday, November 28, 2009

Aunt Maria and the Minnesota Cousins

Here are two pictures hot off the presses, just taken yesterday, of Aunt Maria and Carol and Aunt Maria and Diana...

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Turkey Day, From Rob Taylor

I'm actually doing much better. I have been up and moving around for almost 3 weeks so much better than I was expecting. I was living with Cynthia and family, but now I've returned home to Curts. I'm driving, and my physical therapy is moving right along.

I've also been going back to the gym for light workouts. My left side is still numb and tingly, but they say that will heal with time. I am quite uncoordinated at times, but I'm getting better every day. I have re-enrolled in school beginning in January, and the doctors expect I will do fine.

I've signed up with the office for Students with Disabilities for assistance in my studies. I also forget to do little things, for example, turning my car off when I park... This comes from short term memory loss. They told me that the first 6 months are the most crucial for healing so I'm trying to read and exercise my mind as much as possible.

I want to thank you all for the cards to show your love and support. All your encouragement has helped my recovery! I am grateful to have such a big and caring family!

I hope you ALL have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and know that you are in my heart this day!!!
gobble, gobble

Love, Rob

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cousin Update on Rob and Ron:

As we head towards Thanksgiving Day, how are our cousins doing?

Nancy Taylor is keeping us up to date on Rob Taylor’s progress in Florida:

Rob is doing okay in that he has graduated up to being able to drive again, has started back in some of his classes, and he has moved back into Curtis's condo in Ormond Beach (30 minutes drive from us--Donnie lives in Ormond also).

He still has a lack of peripheral vision on the left side, and numbness still up and down the left side and foot. But he's trying to move back into life—

For those cousins who want to send a shout out to Rob, his email is:
His current address is:
120 Limewood Place, #4, Ormond Beach, FL 32174

Joyce Henderson writes about Ron, her son:

Pray for him. He is going through a difficult time now--not only his foot but other problems as well. His foot is still numb in part of it and he is going to therapy 2-3 times a week. He says the foot is still sore and he is walking on it but has a limp and maybe always will have.

He was having dizzy spells but not as frequent now. They think now he had a concussion as well. I thank God everyday that he was not hurt as bad as he could have been. He appreciated all the cards and prayers everyone sent his way. I know he is strong and he is going to be okay- just hard to deal with so much at one time -Thank you everyone for thinking of Ron and I hope Rob is coming along too.

Ron’s address is: 222 Oliver Road, Lisle, NY 13797.

Cards and emails are still much appreciated by these two. As we begin Thanks-giving Week, we have so much to be grateful for, and at the top of that list -- that Rob and Ron are progressing, although slower than they would like.

Picture One: Rob Taylor
Picture Two: Ron and mom, Joyce at the Baker Reunion
Picture Three: Ron running the hayride at the Reunion

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Aunt CB and Uncle Jack's Sixtieth!!

This past August, Aunt CB and Uncle Jack celebrated their Sixtieth Wedding Anniversary. Most of the clan—Beth and Takeshi in Japan could not make it—gathered at Roaring Brook Resort at Lake George, NY for a week chock full of just about everything!

We had our own building of hotel rooms, with a large open room filled with couches and chairs as you walked in, our own pool to use right outside our front porch, horses to feed apples to and ride every day, and also, lest I forget—breakfast and dinner meals to order at the restaurant included.

With people ages one and a half, and into their eighties, we had the gamut of generations, AND plenty to keep us occupied—we hiked up mountains (as Tim bagged still more of the Adirondack Forty Six), played miniature golf, played tennis and shuffleboard, rode horses and attempted archery, watched for shooting stars at night, played real golf, went on a ‘history day’ with Jim regaling us with Baker family history at nearby Granville, NY and then, Saratoga Battlefield. Some of the crowd played the ponies at Saratoga Raceways, and some others did an intensive Adventure ropes course.

But, let my siblings and their children tell you what our week was like:

Jim’s daughter Kelly (age five), wrote: “I remember the cat, Sealy [Editor’s Note—‘Sealy’ is a stray cat that the kids found and built a house for]. We liked playing with her, and Maggie had the ferns to make the roof of a house for the cat, Bridgie had the sticks to make the walls, Maddy had the moss to make the floor, and I had the stones to make the patio. She wouldn’t go in there until Ali took out the fire things that people use (cigarettes).

Maddy, Jim’s daughter (age eight) is crazy about horses. So, with the horses grazing in the field just across from us, she was in heaven: “I remember going on the trail ride with Mommy and Daddy. My horse kept eating leaves. I rode Spencer. He was a beige horse. We trotted a lot and my horse was racing the cowboy’s horse and he wouldn’t stop.”

From Dan: “Seeing and being able to talk with everyone was a rare treat. It was great to play golf with Chris and Maggie. I won the first round; Maggie beat me at miniature golf.”

Jim wrote: “I particularly enjoyed Happy Hours. Around 4PM (some started earlier), when trays of vegetables (for the health conscious among us), cheese and crackers (for the proper among us), and chips and dips (for me) were spread out, it was time for a beverage. Sitting around the pool, soaking up the warm sun and having conversations with everyone was wonderful. While it looked somewhat different, it had the same feeling as the Happy Hours at Otty Lake. Surrounded by tall white pines, looking out over the water, and talking about everything and nothing at the same time.”

Chris wrote about various highlights, one of which was History Day: “ found out a lot but enjoyed Saratoga Battlefield. As usual Jim had to find conflict with poor guide who was revved up to tell us how the colonials whipped some British butt.”

Chris’ son Patrick, age six, on his favorite memory: “Oh easy, catching frogs was great, we caught them with Rebecca near the playground on the way to the horses.”

Tom thought that just one favorite memory was an unfair question, but he singled out his golf outing with Dan, Nick and Alex. On the eighteenth hole, things did not go his way and he could not get out of the sand trap, time after time. He finished: “I’ve played a good amount of golf over the years and enjoyed watching others flail away in sand traps. On that day, at least as I remember it, I was glad to let my brother and nephews share that enjoyment.”

And Sue: “Most of all, I loved hanging out with ever-changing waves of family: drinking beer with Dad and my brothers on the front porch, savoring Happy Hour snacks with Mom and everyone by the pool while the little kids—and the big boys!—played and did ballet in the water, taking pictures with Dad of Maddy’s first horseback ride, playing Apples to Apples with 11 people in the Big Room, all of us taking over the miniature golf course one night, seeing everyone walking hand in hand up the road to the dining hall, lying out on the lounge chairs watching for the Perseid Meteors, and so much more.”

The anniversary couple?

Dad wrote: “What a wonderful week! All agreed the food was excellent. This included dessert and it was Paul who found out that it was possible to order TWO desserts!!” [Editorial Note: Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, Paul did not arrive until the end of the week, so there was not much time to take advantage of this grand nugget of information].

And, Mom: My main thought is it was a wonderful week and worth every penny! It provided memories to last a lifetime. One of the goals to raising a family, no matter what the size, is to allow each child room to grow indepen-dently, to become themselves, while also creating a respect and love for one another. I saw adult children, each with their own quirks and oddities who also loved one another and enjoyed being together. As I said, it was worth every penny!”

Maddy summarized for all of us: “I’m glad we went to Roaring Brook and I want to go there every year.”

Thanks to Tim Walker, Kristin’s husband, for taking the formal pictures of each family group!

Picture One: The Grandparents and the Grandkids:
Front Row: Maddy, Kelly, Patrick, Joe, Bridget, Maggie
Back Row: Alison, Nick, Brian, Uncle Jack, Aunt CB, Paul, Matt, Kristin, Alex
Pictures of the Clan!!
Front Row: Maddy, Kelly, Bridget, Maggie, Patrick
Second Row: Cameron, Kristin, Tim, Rose, Jim, Jill, Aunt CB, Uncle Jack, Chris, Jen with Joe, Pat, Alison, Nick
Third Row: Tim Walker, Angela, Paul, Gina, Matt,Christi, Tom, Sue, Alex, Liz, Dan, Gina, Brian, Glenn

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Aunt Lil, By Joyce Henderson:

I came up with a few thoughts about Grandma Lil and her upcoming 117th birthday.

There are so many memories of her, I hardly know where to begin. I look back and I realize that I myself am a wiser and stronger woman for having known her and that my older children Ron and Kate were very lucky to have known and lived in the same household with her--a unique experience indeed. My late husband, Wendell was a wonderful husband, father and grandfather and Grandma Lil played a very big part in his life and I know in my heart that she helped shape him into the great man he became.

Wendell always told Grandma she was a" good cooker"and that she was. When Wendell and I were dating she would have a lovely Sunday dinner for us. I usually came over right after church and she would have everything ready.Grandma always wanted to make sure you had enough to eat encouraging you to have seconds.Wendell was used to having her make goodies when I married him. He always had a sweet tooth and he delighted in all the different goodies she made. She was noted for her wine drop cookies, brown sugar tarts, lemon sponge pudding and her yummy apple pie to name a few.

The whole family loved her chili sauce and her higdom -both delicious favorites that were on our breakfast table.Wendell loved both items on his eggs and he had all of us eating our eggs that way.The sweet pickles were like no others- simply delicious. I wonder if all the pickle making she did over the years had anything to do with her pet name LilyPickle?

The one thing that Grandma Lil taught me and this one tops the list -stretching that almighty dollar.She always made me laugh when she referred to her pocketbook as Fort Knox.She gave me tips on grocery shopping like clipping coupons and always looking for the weekly specials. She taught me how to peel potatoes so you didn't cut off too much skin- making a meal out of not much and having meals planned ahead-she always peeled the potatoes in the afternoon before the evening meal. Meat and potatoes were almost always a must. Leftovers were always utilized and one of my favorites was warmed up potatoes sliced and fried and if you were short a potato or two add a slice of bread soaked in milk- sometimes we would add an onion for flavor.

I think Grandma was a little disappointed to find out that I already knew how to cook and bake, being the oldest girl out of nine children I learned to cook at an early age. Grandma Lil always canned everything and that was something I learned from her. I had helped my mother pack canning jars etc., but had never actually done canning from start to finish. I remember she and Wendell loved the canned pork and she loved sweet corn, canned or fresh. I know she encouraged me to try and make watermelon pickles and crab apple jelly which I did and they really turned out good.

As far as her celebrating her birthday with Merle I do not know- she may have before I came into the family. I do know she went up and stayed with Merle and Viola on occasion when Wendell and I were first married. I knew that Grandma's birthday and his were the same day for she once told me a story about when she was a little girl- she had asked her Aunt Nell if she was making something for a baby- apparently Aunt Nell did not want to tell her what she was making because she told Grandma in a firm voice NO- but Grandma being a smart girl remembered the incident and realized later when Merle was born that she indeed had been making something for a baby but she did not want Grandma the little girl to know. Grandma Lil was seven years old when Merle was born.

Grandma often made the comment that her sister Ethel had grandchildren born on her birthday that being David Lochner and Chris Kinsella and that Gladys her daughter had Chic on Ethel's birthday the 30th of July. She thought that was kind of comical.

Grandma Lil on her 79th birthday picked a cucumber from the garden. The year was 1971. It was a beautiful fall and Wendell had added on to the barn and was able to finish the project before the cold weather set in. Ronnie was a year and a half and the picture I have of him is one of him sitting in a bed of marigolds by the milk house. It was taken the first of November just before Grandma's birthday.I remember her picking that cucumber out of the garden and stating she had never ever picked a cucumber on her birthday before. Of course we usually have a killing frost by then -I just remember how astonished she was.

On her 80th birthday Aunt Sylva and her family came down and brought her a decorated cake which I have a picture of. As she got older she would often comment that she was so old and all her friends were gone and she wished sometimes that some of them could be around for her to visit with.

On some birthdays she would spend it at the Oddfellows Lodge Hall. Grandma was doing her civic duty by serving on the election board and if the day wasn't on her birthday it was near the date. She looked forward to Election Day because she got to see everyone who voted. She would get up really early and make her delicious scalloped potatoes in her green casserole dish -scalloped potatoes- Wendell could make them really yummy too. I remember Grandma was so very fond of her green casserole dish- it was just the perfect size for her scalloped potatoes.She would so enjoy the luncheon with the other election board ladies and Gladys who lived just around the corner would come down and join them. Gladys at some point later on also worked on the election board.

I also understand that Grandma was one of the first women from the Town of Lisle to exercise her right as a woman to vote.Women of course were not allowed to vote until the amendment was passed and added to our Constitution.

My last memory that I will share with you is about My kids and her. Ronnie would often climb up into her bed and lay beside her- He loved doing this. He was a very busy boy -he was always climbing and getting into things.Grandma would love it when he would climb into bed with her, sometimes it was difficult because it was usually covered with books as everyone knows- she loved to read. Often when Ronnie would get into her things or mess with her plants Grandma would say "you little pill"and I would quickly retrieve him before he did any damage -she would say"he just likes to get into things,but we love him just the same."

Kathleen, when she was little, would run errands for her and both of the kids would help her with her stockings because it was hard for her to put them on. She was always so appreciative and loving toward them. Once in a while she would get upset with them and she would say "See here now-now what makes you do that."

With that thought -Rest in Peace Dear Grandma Lil on your 117th birthday. We love you still on your 25th year gone from earth and we know that you are with all your loved ones watching over us.

Picture One: Aunt Lil in the kitchen, 1970
Picture Two: Aunt Lil and Ron
Picture Three: Ron in the marigolds early November, 1971, when the cucumber was found…!
Picture Four: Aunt Lil in 1972 on her 80th Birthday
Picture Five: : Aunt Lil and Ron

Sunday, November 1, 2009

November Birthdays: Part One

November First—Happy Samhain to you all— the Celtic New Year, as we say goodbye to the ‘lighter half’ of the year and herald in the beginning of the ‘darker half’ of the year. And, with Halloween and All Saints Day also at this time of autumn, with warm winds, swirling leaves, pumpkins, bonfires and woods full of witches, skeletons and SpongeBob Squarepants (yes, one came to my door last night), perhaps the veil is thinner between the worlds during these few days, as our Salem history buffs would love to have us believe….

But, for the TaylorBakerCousins Blog, we have Birthdays to Celebrate!!

For November Birthday Kids on the Taylor Side,
we have Joan Tiffany Doran (married to Thomas Doran, son of Florence Taylor Doran who was sister to Lloyd and Floyd). Joan, a retired social worker, and Tom, a retired dentist, live in New Hampshire now, and we ALMOST ran into them this summer while at my daughter Alison’s musical, “42nd Street”. One of these days….!

On Floyd Taylor’s side, we have Lance Taylor (son of Bryant Taylor, son of Floyd Taylor). See the blog story from last December about Lance’s wedding to Amanda for more pictures and information.

In Aunt Esther’s family, David Richard Lochner is our November Birthday Boy—Happy Birthday, Dave!

In Uncle Harold’s family, we have Barbara Marie Buck Taylor (Aunt Barb), Judy Lynn Taylor Alberts and her husband, Jimmy Alberts.

Picture One: Amanda and Lance Taylor
Picture Two: Joan and Tom Doran
Picture Three: David
Picture Four: Baby Kathy and Aunt Barb, Fourth of July, 1953
Picture Five: Judy and Jimmy

November Birthdays: Part Two

On the Baker side, we have first cousins Lily Rosena Baker Howland ( Aunt Lil), and Merle Barrows (son of Nell and Dell ) celebrating this month. Both were born on November 4th, with Lil seven years older. Look for a longer story about Aunt Lil on her upcoming birthday.

Merle, who died in 1987, married Viola Jackson. They both were at Aunt CB and Uncle Jack’s wedding; after the grand event, when it came time to get to Geneva for wedding pictures, no ride had been arranged. Merle drove to the rescue, after getting Uncle Jack to promise there would be no honking or racing along the way. And, Dad aka Uncle Jack looked at this picture taken of Merle in 1976 and said to me: “That's how I remember him. That's probably HIS DODGE he's sitting in, the best car in the world.’ Anything he owned was the very best. One time when Harold and I were staying with Merle and Viola during deer hunting, his television got fuzzy. He said, "It's not MY television, those smart alecks in the studio are shaking the camera on purpose."

Picture One: Merle Barrows, 1976
Picture Two: Merle Barrows, about age 20
Picture Three: Aunt Lil, taken in 1917
Picture Four: Aunt Lil, with Leona and Sylva

November Birthdays: Part Three

In Aunt CB’s family,
Our Birthday Kids for November are:
Timothy James Kinsella and his grandson, Cameron Thomas Walker ( Kristin’s son), Christopher Paul Kinsella and his son Joseph Aiden Kinsella, and Nicholas Sean Herdeg (son of Pat Kinsella).

Picture One: Chris, Dan and Jim Kinsella
Picture Two: Tim Kinsella and cousin Dan Maffei
Picture Three: Nick
Picture Four: Joe
Picture Five: Cameron with his cool clothes pin necktie

November Birthdays: Part Four

In Uncle Arnon’s family--Robert Arnon Taylor, Faith Melton (Donnie's step-daughter, grand-daughter of Nancy Taylor Wright), Jonathan William McCarty ( Diana’s son), and Diana’s daughter, Kristen Maria McCarty, all celebrate their birthdays this month.
Picture One: Jim and Bob Taylor, 1984
Picture Two: Faith and baby Graham
Picture Three: Kristen
Picture Four: John and Aunt Maria, age 92

November Birthdays: Part Five

In Aunt Ruth’s family, we have Kevin Michael Maney ( Michael’s son ), Coleen Margaret Maney ( Richard’s daughter), and Jill Stauffer Maney ( Jon’s wife), celebrating;

In Aunt Doris’ family, Carter Michael Hawkes ( Mickey) is the Birthday Boy for November.

Picture One: Colleen and Debbie Maney
Picture Two: Jon and Jill Maney
Picture Three: Mickey and Steve, September 1964