Thursday, May 26, 2011

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! By Pat Kinsella Herdeg

Memorial Day is upon us, and many of us look forward to barbeques and cottages, tending to our yards, flowers and grass, and just generally enjoying the ‘official beginning of summer’.

But, let’s also remember what Memorial Day stands for:

“Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation's service. While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it's difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day. It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860's tapped into the general human need to honor our dead.”--- From--

And, a poem—

Freedom Is Not Free ---By Kelly Strong
I watched the flag pass by one day.
It fluttered in the breeze.
A young Marine saluted it,
and then he stood at ease.
I looked at him in uniform
So young, so tall, so proud,
He'd stand out in any crowd.
I thought how many men like him
Had fallen through the years.
How many died on foreign soil?
How many mothers' tears?
How many pilots' planes shot down?
How many died at sea?
How many foxholes were soldiers' graves?
No, freedom isn't free.

I heard the sound of TAPS one night,
When everything was still
I listened to the bugler play
And felt a sudden chill.
I wondered just how many times
That TAPS had meant "Amen,"
When a flag had draped a coffin
Of a brother or a friend.
I thought of all the children,
Of the mothers and the wives,
Of fathers, sons and husbands
With interrupted lives.
I thought about a graveyard
At the bottom of the sea
Of unmarked graves in Arlington.
No, freedom isn't free.

We’ve written of a few of our relatives who have died during wartime—Daniel Mott at Second Bull Run was a recent story. So, as you pass by your local cemetery on your way to a picnic, take a few minutes and stop in to remember and thank those who died to keep us free and safe.

Have a great Memorial Day Weekend, everyone!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Springtime and Sunshine!

Well, a bit of sunshine after a full week of rainy weather has me thinking of weather around the cousins’ country. Everyone is out mowing their lawns and weeding and putting in bushes and flowers—springtime in New England!

Here in Acton, Ma, we Herdegs have a sunny day with chance of showers. At almost noon, it is 63 degrees and I just finished washing both the car and the truck.

This afternoon, we hope the Boston Bruins can win another playoff game against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Later tonight, we’ll definitely be watching the Boston Red Sox and the Chicago Cubs continue their first series against each other in ninety-three years. To celebrate, tonight they will wear uniforms from the 1918 World Series they played together.

But, back to weather. Around the country,

--My sister Sue, living in Novato, CA will enjoy of a day of sunny weather and 70 degrees

--My cousin Judy, living in Sarasota, FL will also have a sunny day, but the temperatures will get up to 88 degrees

--My cousin, Kathryn Barron, living in Kent, OH has a partly cloudy day to look forward to, and temps in the 70’s

--Julie Lochner Riber, in Louviers, CO sounds like her day may not be the best, weather-wise—isolated thunder storms and cloudy with temps up to 63 degrees.

--Diana McCarty in Buffalo, Minnesota has a day of rain, with temperatures perhaps breaking the seventies

--Joyce Henderson, in Center Lisle, NY sounds like her day is like Diana’s—cloudy, rainy (STILL RAIN!!!) and in the 70’s

Overseas, Mitch in New Zealand will have a day of sun and clouds and 57 degrees

--Beth in Chiba, Japan has night, but she will have light rain with 75 degrees

--New found Livingston-Carson-Taylor cousin Muriel in Shotts, Scotland has perhaps the worst forecast—heavy rain and only 48 degrees

So, is my forecasting right?

Tell us what your weekend was like—weather-wise or otherwise!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

New Green By Beth Kinsella Sakanishi

My sister Beth writes yesterday from Japan: “Still a lot going on, more bad news all the time. We are all just hanging in there, taking each new piece as it comes. Not really able to relax yet. But things better than two months ago.”

A few weeks ago, Beth sent these written images of Japan in the springtime:

“I was out walking today and though this is prime cherry blossom season and many other dark pink, purple, red-orange and palest pink blossoms are out, though this is just the start of a whole parade of flowers that we all look out for and delight in: azaleas next, then the various irises, the long flowing waterfalls of white, pink and lavender wisteria, then the hydrangeas during the rainy season, and the delicate, lacy crepe myrtle in summer -- the color I want to see most is the greens of shinryoku (new green), the mini season that comes after the cherry blossoms and before the rainy season in June.

I think we all have this longing, no matter where in Japan we may be along what is called the ‘cherry blossom front’ -- that long sweep of the first blooms in the south and then the month-long slow trek they take as they open up all along the northern crescent of Honshu (the main island) and bloom at last, in Hokkaido, the northern-most island. The cherry blossoms are just starting in Tohoku and I can only begin to imagine, from the dull hint of it in me, the mixed emotions of people there as they see them.

The ‘new green’ season, though, is a different thing from the brief, shimmering beauty of the cherry. The green is not one but a dozen, two dozen, shades of green as all the spring leaves, on bushes, on trees, on plants, turn a shade that glows and glows with a vividness I have never seen anywhere else. Perhaps it happens elsewhere, perhaps it is a common thing in Asian countries, but I thought I knew every nuance there was to green, having lived in Ireland for a year, but the new green here is transcendent.

It takes some doing to outshine the colorful, silky, showy blooms of spring flowers here, but the green does so. It is partly that it all happens at once, and that it is a palette from lime to darkest green to balance the pastels, but it is also a turning of the emotional season here. Schools, ‘new faces’ (the newly hired young people who, having graduated in March, are just starting to get their feet under them, in May), other classes adults have decided to embark on -- all these are beginning and a new phase of life is underway. It is the beginning, though, so still new, still scary, still difficult to see the twists and turns it will take.

But the new green is, far more than the celebrated cherry (and I have always liked the quieter plum more anyway), a sign of hope, the promise of growth. I need that. We all do.”

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

1904 – “Something of a Hard Year” By Pat Kinsella Herdeg

We’ve written other blog posts about the Carsons and the Taylors, who lived in Oakfield, NY.
Emma Jane Carson married Bryant W. Taylor and together, they raised Clara, Leon, Floyd and Lloyd (my grandfather), Florence and Mildred.

I am transcribing parts of Emma’s journals, and thought giving you slices of them from time to time might be interesting. Her mother-in-law’s journals--Cordelia Waller Taylor—are wonderfully detailed, but quite religious. Emma’s are more personal, more to the heart.

In July of 1904, Emma writes of her sister Anna visiting. “She and the children stayed until the morning of the 5th of July when Floyd carried them to Batavia. The very day that she left word came that Aunt Clara Henry (blog story about Clara at-- was dead.

Clara Taylor Henry

How we felt! She had been so sick, but we felt that she was going to get well. Death came early on that morning. Then followed the usual getting ready for the funeral which was held from this, the “Homestead” on the 8th of July at 2 o’clock P.M.

The body was brought on from Madison their home by Mr. Henry and Arnon, reaching here Friday a.m. where Father, Bryant, and Carlton met them. They all came to lay the dear body in the old home for a few hours where we and the old friends might take a last look. By Five o’clock all was over.”

By August, Emma confides that Mr. Henry (a professor at the University of Madison, WI and who was ‘wandering’ for a few weeks following his wife Clara’s death) “thinks our Clara too frail looking to try to undertake trying to graduate the coming year. It is a great disappointment to her and to me to think of giving it up when we have both worked so hard to bring it about.”

Clara’s ‘frail-ness’ (she was seventeen in 1904) was an early sign of the mental illness that would finally bring her to spend the last of her years in the Willard Hospital (see blog story about Clara--

Topping Carrots, Lloyd, Leon, Floyd

Emma goes on to write: “Wheat is cut but not in. Part of hay is still out. A great deal of rain makes it so hard for farmers to get on this year.”

The next entry is in October. Emma writes: “The boys and Florence started for school September 12. Florence only went one day and a half when she was taken sick so I called the doctor who said she had Typhoid Fever. She was under his care for three weeks—so small a girl and so terrible a disease.

How and where she got it is the question we cannot answer. And how many more of us will have it before we get through.” What Emma did not know, as we have told the story before, is that the school’s well water was daily brought from the Taylor wells which were behind their home and too close to their own cow barn. The manure effluent drained into their well.
Haying, Floyd, Lloyd, Leon

Also in the October entry: “Fall work is some behind with us. Potatoes and most of the apples to pick yet.”

By Thanksgiving, “Well, potatoes and apples finally were gotten in but last were frosted some.”

On January 1st of 1905, Emma writes, but not of her usual ‘What Will This Year Bring’. Instead: “ Little did I know when last I wrote what would be to tell when I wrote again. I will write a few of the particulars for the benefit of those who may wish to read in the future.

On November 28th, 1904, Leon was at West Bethany (ed.—with his Carson grandparents) expected home by noon. Lloyd and Floyd (who were twelve years old) went to school in the forenoon. At noon, when Leon came, Bryant thought best to keep both boys at home and draw hay to the horse barn. This being done, apples were next taken hold of to get them to the cellar and out of the way of frost.

Lloyd went to take the forks to the west barn. When the others went back for another load of apples, they discovered Lloyd lying in the barn unconscious.

Bryant picked him up and carried him in. We laid him on the couch and there he lay for four long hours, not knowing a thing that was going on. Of our feelings I need not write. Leon went for Dr. Turk who was here in less than an hour.

I left Lloyd to their care. During the evening I was called to help undress him, get him onto a bed on the couch. For a week he needed constant care, Bryant and I not undressing for this length of time. The doctor was a daily visitor for two weeks. Lloyd suffered terribly from headache and nervousness. His mind wandered for a few days, then Lloyd keeping on a steady slow gain.

All this trouble was caused by the kick of a horse on the head we suppose. Marks lead us to think so. Lloyd himself could not tell us what happened.

I dressed him first on December 20th in the evening, then each day following, he was dressed part of the time. On the eve of December 23rd, he came out to the table for his first supper. Then, on Christmas morning, he came out to breakfast and since then has been to the table for all meals.

So we may say that he is well—a narrower escape never came so near to us, and I expect the reason he did live was that the worst part of the kick came on the double cap rim (Pat asks-- Of his hat?). As it was, the bone was dented in about as far as it could be without being cracked. We feel very thankful that his life was saved!

All this, with dear Aunt Clara’s death and Florence’s sickness in September made 1904 something of a hard year.”

Our Emma, my great grandmother, did not know that the year of 1907 was to be much harder. But, that is a different story.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Welcome to the World, Adin Lester Hart-Wood!

Adin on Easter

Adin and Mom

Adin and Big Sister Emma

Adin and Dad

Joshua Hart-Wood, son of Chic Wood, and Brandy Kapp announce the birth of their son—Adin Lester Hart-Wood.

He was born Wednesday April 20th, 2011 @ 1:09 pm at Ashtabula County Medical Center (Ashtabula, Ohio) weighing in at 7lbs. 4 oz. and 19.5 in. long.

Brandy writes:

“He has a head full of hair just like his dad ! He weighed 2 oz. more than our daughter when she was born and our daughter Emma had no hair.

I've been so busy and caught up at home with the motherhood of two precious children now--They've been keeping on my feet ...and Josh and I are enjoying every minute of it! I'm running on 4 hours of sleep each day but it's all worth it in the end.

We've named him Adin Lester after Great Uncle Adin and Lester after (Chic/Dad). I know Chic would be so proud and would have a smile from ear to ear about the name we've chosen for the little man. I was looking at baby pictures of Chic, and Adin looks a lot like him other than the ears!

Emma is a proud sister of her little brother and a big help!”

Aunt Gladys Howland Wood would be Adin’s great-grandmother.


Sunday, May 1, 2011

May Birthdays, 2011:

Uncle Harold and his tomatoes

Jeff and Carol Hauf

Spring HAS arrived, and with it, plenty of flowers and tornadoes and wind and rain. But, the sun also shines through, and I have hopes that my lilac bushes will bloom this month. A few quotes to hopefully brighten your day--

"Don't knock the weather: nine-tenths of the people couldn't start a conversation if it didn't change once in a while."
- Kin Hubbard

"If it's drama that you sigh for, plant a garden and you'll get it. You will know the thrill of battle fighting foes that will beset it. If you long for entertainment and for pageantry most glowing, plant a garden and this summer spend your time with green things growing."
- Edward A. Guest, Plant a Garden

As always, we have Birthdays on the TaylorBakerCousins to Celebrate:

In Uncle Harold’s family, it is The Big Guy himself-- Harold Baker Taylor, along with Carol Elizabeth Hunt (Jeff Hauf’s--son of Kathy Taylor--wife) who blow out candles this month.
Kristy and Eowyn

In Aunt Ruth’s family, Sean Francis Maney ( Dan Maney’s son) is the Birthday Boy.

In Aunt Doris’ family, Kristy Hawkes Colley ( Charlie’s daughter) celebrates a birthday this month.

In Uncle Arnon’s family, Jean Wilcox Taylor (Jim’s wife), and Cynthia Wright DeLuca (daughter of Nancy Taylor Wright) have May Birthdays.




In Aunt CB’s family, Leah Kate Walker (daughter of Kristin, grand daughter of Tim Kinsella) turns one year old! Also, Matthew Thomas Kinsella ( Tim’s son), and Bridget Laurel Kinsella ( Chris’ daughter) are the Birthday Kids.

Lawson Henderson

Ron, Joyce, Kathleen and David Henderson

In Aunt Phyllis’ family, Joyce Ann Tillotson Henderson ( Wendell’s wife), Kathleen Amy Henderson ( Wendell’s daughter), Ronald Wendell Henderson ( Wendell’s son), Lawson Ray Henderson (son of David and Patsi, grandson of Wendell and Joyce) all celebrate birthdays this month.

Joey Maffei

In Aunt Sylva’s family, Michael Emhof (son of Freddy D, son of Sylva) is the Birthday Kid.

In Aunt Leona’s family, Joseph Maffei ( Leona’s son), Sara Louise Maffei and Andrew Carmen Maffei (twins of Neil Maffei Jr.) blow out candles.

Ted and brother, Chuck

In Aunt Esther’s family, F. Theodore Lochner, and Wesley Allen Riber ( Julie Lochner’s husband) are the May Birthday Kids.

Wes Riber

Happy Birthday to you all!