Thursday, December 25, 2014

Merry Christmas to All! By Pat Kinsella Herdeg

Last night we all went to our 9PM Christmas Eve Service. It is the service filled with music and choirs and soloists. Different services are focused on young families or on longer sermons. But, this one is my favorite.
For as long as long timers can recall, the Bible selections and the carols are the same, in identical order. As a friend told us ‘If they changed songs or Bible verses at the 9PM service, I think the stained glass would crack or the church bell would melt.’ So, you know what you are getting when you go.

Christmas at Fielding Road, 1954

 I’ll give you bits of it here on the Cousins Blog, interspersed with pictures of Taylor Christmas’ from long ago also—some from sixty years ago. 

Taylor Christmas, 1958

The Christmas Eve Service begins with a rollicking rendition of ‘On This Day the Earth Shall Ring’ and the organist hits those bass notes in style as we sing out:

‘On this day earth shall ring
               with the song children sing
               to the Lord, Christ our King,
               born on earth to save us;
               him the Father gave us. ‘

Bodies sway in time as loudly we give back:

               ‘Id-e-o-o-o, id-e-o-o-o, id-e-o,
               gloria in excelsis Deo!’

Grandma Taylor--1960

After listening to Isaiah 9:2, 6-7, we join in song again with ‘Hark the Herald Angels Sing’. I sing the harmony as my daughter and mother-in-law sing beside me with the lyrical alto part.

Then, Luke 1:26-35 and a soloist for ‘O Holy Night’.

Matthew 1:18-25 and we stand and sing ‘What Child is This’ with our voices rising in volume when we get to ‘This, this is Christ the King’.

‘What child is this who, laid to rest
On Mary’s lap is sleeping?
Whom angels greet with anthems sweet,
While shepherds watch are keeping?
This, this is Christ the King,
Whom shepherds guard and angels sing,
Haste, Haste, to bring Him laud,
The Babe, the Son of Mary.’

Christmas 1951

Next the choir gives us a wonderful sing out of John Rutter’s ‘Shepherd’s Pipe Carol’.

Our meditation is ‘Unto Us a Saviour is Born’ and my mind jumps to Peanuts’ Linus reciting those words with the backdrop of a very scrawny, small Christmas tree.

Our church goes completely dark and only the sounds of many people moving with coats and paper programs and coughs fill the room. A woman behind whispers to her daughter ‘It is so dark in here.’ And, I know she does not often come to a Christmas Eve service. Her daughter confidently whispers back ‘Just wait.’

Christmas 1954

One by one, the glow of small flames get passed from person to person as our candles are lit and lifted high. We sing out ‘Silent Night’:

‘Silent Night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright,
Round yon virgin mother and child, holy infant, so tender and mild,
Sleep in heavenly peace; sleep in heavenly peace.’

The church goers end with a loud and almost rowdy ‘Joy to the World! The Lord is Come’. We know Christmas is near.

Singing Carols, 1960

As we gather up our smoking candles and coats and gloves, we turn to talk to friends we know, some we see only this once a year. A night of singing, music--organ and guitar and piano and violin—and lessons from the Bible on Christ’s birth.

As we step out into the misty, wet night, it truly does feel like:

‘And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven and nature sing,
And heaven, and heaven, and nature sing.’

Merry Christmas to All!

Christmas 1953

Friday, December 19, 2014

How We LOVE Comments and Happy Birthday Glenn Herdeg!

We’ve been having difficulties with this blog and leaving comments. Although as administrator I have turned OFF the ‘check to see if people are robots and spammers’, google has ‘helpfully’ turned it on as a security measure.

So, people like my parents who already have trouble leaving comments and seeing to do so, now have to try to see what the correct pattern of numbers and letters are before they leave a comment!

Thank you to ALL who keep trying and finally succeed in leaving comments.

SO, I thought I would go back seven years in time—to the first year of our cousins blog—and find some of our assortment of comments. Enjoy!

Sisters-- Lil and Ethel
Tom Kinsella said...
Hi Kathryn.

I'm enjoying all the commentary. Pat, Beth, and I had much fun at two or three Baker reunions jumping in the hay at Wendell's during the early 1970s. I remember thinking, "this is kind of dangerous," when exploring the loft and slipping down 8 or 10 feet between the bales and having to scale the hay to climb back out.

I too remember Aunt Lil fondly. Once Beth and I (we must have been 10 and 11) brought some catnip to show Aunt Lil who was visiting at our cottage in Canada. We just thought she'd like to see it. She certainly did. She grabbed the stalk and ate a few leaves.
Pat said...
And Tom's eyes went wide and his voice stammered as he struggled to decide if Aunt Lil was not quite all there or just going back to her farming roots: "Aunt Lil. That's catnip. And you're eating it!"
January 3, 2008 at 2:29 PM

Tom Kinsellla said...
It's true. That was my reaction. She must have been well into her 80s at that point. Now that I'm older, I find myself sampling small amounts of catnip, too. It's minty. So I think Aunt Lil was returning to her roots.
January 5, 2008 at 1:31 PM
Center Lisle Fishing
Anonymous said...
Grandma never left her farming roots. One time, when I was peeling potatoes for her, she made me peel the peelings. I left too much potato on them. She was really thrifty. When I was a teenager, she and I went grocery shopping about every week. She drove over the narrow, twisty roads between Center Lisle and Marathon at speeds close to 60 MPH. She was really something.

By the way, this site is almost like a reunion to me.
lots of love,
Pat said...
Well, who knows if anyone will discover that comments are still being left on this post, but Kathryn, I LOVE the image of having to peel the peelings of the potatoes! It sounds like the beginnings of a Leno joke.

As I listened to the Aunt Lil recording, it was clear that she was peeling potatoes for Ma as she reminisced. I wonder how close THOSE peelings were!

January 11, 2008 at 8:32 AM 
Sue Kinsella said...
Hey, Pat, I discovered that comments are still being left on this post. Like little gems. Such fun!
January 12, 2008 at 6:32 AM 
Anonymous said...
Well, I am here and having read all the comments I will add my 2 cents! If you really wanted to have a blast you should have been with me when I took Aunt Lil to my friend Cliff Miller’s  antique business! She would say [ sotto voice] What does he have on that pot? I would whisper. $10. She would scream, $10? I bought one of those for 10 cents!! [ never mind that was 50 years before]!! So the visit went and Cliff and I have laughed over it ever since!! He understood! CB
January 13, 2008 at 8:17 PM
As we get ready for Christmas, I also want to shout out to my honey—Glenn Arthur Herdeg—who is 55 years old today. Happy Birthday!

Glenn and his two brothers--Mark, Glenn, Paul

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Daniel Rockwell Taylor’s Death, from Emma Carson Taylor’s Journal—November 1911

Thanksgiving is almost here and we will spend time with our family around tables big and small. We will eat, laugh, share stories, pass the watermelon pickles, find that last piece of elderberry pie and hold hands with new generations of family members; all the while we hold tight to those now gone who seem to hover above our tables as loving, perhaps wistful, visions. One of those long-gone family members—my great great grandfather Daniel Rockwell Taylor—died one November more than one hundred years ago.

We have come to know more of Daniel through our three blog stories about him. Take the time to read them over; Daniel comes alive as a man and not just the name and dates written on a gravestone:
    ---    Daniel Rockwell Taylor—Two years in theLife, Part One –tells of Daniel falling sick, his sister Elizabeth nursing him back to health, and then her death in childbirth soon after. 

 ---   Daniel Taylor, Student at Yale, Part Two—and 

  ---    Part Three, Metaphors and Descriptions from the 1850 Journal of Daniel Taylor,

tell of Daniel’s time at Yale before he came back to take over Woodlawn and become a farmer.

(Please click on colored words in each of the three titles for the link to take you to that story)

All of these stories are of Daniel as a young man; he was born in Vermont in 1828 and by the age of two, had moved to western New York with his family.
In 1852, Daniel married Martha Cordelia Waller. 

Daniel and Cordelia

They would become the parents of Clara (our poet), Carlton, 
Orrin, and Bryant (or B.W., father of Floyd and Lloyd, Aunt CB’s father). 
Through their married years, we can see pieces of Daniel by reading the journals of his wife, Cordelia. These journals tell of church, family, outings and picnics, work in the fields and in the home.

In Daniel and Cordelia’s later years, they shared their beloved Woodlawn with their son Bryant and his wife Emma Carson Taylor and their growing family. Emma, like her mother-in-law before her, kept journals of her daily thoughts and doings.

By 1911, Daniel’s wife Cordelia had been dead three years. As readers of this blog know, this extended family living in this house had been through many joys and heartbreaks over the years. 

The newspaper obituary for Daniel said he died of ‘the infirmities of age’, and that he was ‘highly esteemed by a very wide circle of acquaintances’. Emma’s writings tell the deeper story.

And so, this small snippet --Emma Carson Taylor’s 1911 Journal:

November 26th, 1911—Time runs on with its changes. Nothing has been written this month I see and so much has happened that was not looked for at the last writing.
I will never write again of any of us staying home with Father as I have so many times in the past. For Father has gone home. Poor old Father! It must have been hard for him these years since Mother left him and for a few months more than three years he was here with us. We will all of us who lived these years together remember them. Little need be said of them more than is already written in these journals of mine. More than that he grew spiritually—was more patient, gentle and thoughtful of others. Now he has gone, gone forever.

November 10th, 1911 at 5a.m. His funeral was at 11 o’clock Sabbath morning here at the “Homestead”. The a.m. was rainy, by noon turning to snow and when we reached home again after going to the cemetery, it was almost a blizzard, so fierce was the wind and storm.

On the very first of November Father showed signs of a change for the worse altho’ he had been steadily failing for some time. Threshers this first week kept us from noticing it as much as we should, had attention been fully on him. Then, too Florence (Emma’s now youngest daughter) had a rheumatic catch in her back. When Dr. was called the 2nd, he had patients here, came twice but could see no disease, only old age infirmities in Father. He kept around each day and on Sunday the 5th, had his bath and hair cut.
Not until Monday a.m. when Bryant went to dress him did he give up and was not able to be dressed. When the doctor came this day he said he was “practically dying”, for so it proved. From this time until Friday a.m. he lay unconscious, as if in sleep, when the end came--without pain or struggle. So we say “It is well” with Father now. Earth passed, Heaven gained.

Telegrams were sent to Carlton and Orrin. Orrin coming Tuesday eve, Nov. 7th, sharing the care with Bryant to the last, and then remaining until Monday eve the 13th. Carlton came Saturday evening and stayed until that same time, as did Leon (Emma’s oldest son) who came to Batavia in Saturday afternoon and was gotten by Papa and Uncle Orrin who had gone there on that day for flowers. He also stayed until this same time. Mary (wife of Orrin) came on Friday eve to Batavia. And came here Saturday morning to help what she could.

Bryant, Carlton and Orrin went to Batavia early Monday to see to business while they could all be together. Then later in the day, Bryant made one big load of them all to Oakfield M.O.(train station)  and Leon starting for Rochester. Carlton for Buffalo.
My brothers George and Ed came to act as bearers with Father’s three boys and Leon. They stayed all night Sunday and went back Monday a.m.

Work went on as usual after this, in the house and out. We missed Father but know it is better as it is for him and us. Mr. Henry (husband of ‘dear Clara’—he lived in Wisconsin) could not come owing to poor health, but “made good” to Bryant and I in his own way.

And so, at age 83, our Daniel Rockwell Taylor died. Writing from Yale at age 22, Daniel ended one of his letters to his wife-to-be Cordelia with:

“Forgive me for quizzing you. Time hastes! I know soon will we have this world and all its Beauty. Our Hopes, Joys, Loves Delights will be forever.”

I for one do hope that Daniel and Cordelia DID have ‘this world and all its Beauty’.

Happy Thanksgiving to All of our Cousins near and far.

Jack and CB's 65th Wedding Anniversary -- the Clan!