Saturday, April 22, 2017

Lucille Kate Taylor Kinsella and Gladys Marion Howland Wood –Happy 90th Birthday! By Kathryn Wood Barron and Pat Kinsella Herdeg

Lucille and Gladys, summer of 1942

Just over a month ago, Aunt CB (aka Mom) celebrated her 90th Birthday with a party for the three March Birthday girls---Mom and her daughters Pat and Beth.

Aunt CB

Gina, Connor, Beth and Aunt CB

 The Kids Table!

Surrounded by many of her family, the Sunday brunch was filled with laughter, guesses on who did which jobs when they were younger (Mom won with the most amount of jobs and stories for each of them), good food, stories told, and more laughter. It was a great event to celebrate a full ninety years.

Today, Mom’s favorite cousin, Gladys Howland Wood (or ‘Glads’ as Mom called her), also would have been turning ninety. We celebrated their special ‘cousining’ in our blog story five years ago called ‘A Day for Us’.

To celebrate her birthday today, Gladys daughter, Kathryn writes:

Gladys gardening

CB and Gladys --The ‘Twin’ Cousins

I was always impressed at how considerate Ethel and Lillian were, to have 4 daughters each, a special cousin for each.  There were some gaps in their ages - 1yr 2 months between Ruth and Leona, 11 months between Esther and Sylva, and 6 months between Doris and Phyllis. But the gap between CB and Gladys was so small they could have been twins.

 Gladys, 1942, Berrying with CB....
CB writes on the back of the photo--'Such a Pose!'

CB with her pail of berries. She writes on the back of the photo--
'MY pail is filled!'

CB was born on March 21, and one month and one day later, Gladys was born. When they were older, my Mom (Gladys) loved to ‘point out’ to CB that she (CB) was SO much OLDER than she was.  Imagine what she would be saying about 90!!

 From Gladys' Garden

The best part of my Mom’s childhood was spending time with CB.  I heard so many tales about  that. Even the walks between Center Lisle and the farm were worthy of tales. My Mom knew every outhouse on the way. I hear Barrows had the best one.  Something about having 3 holes I think. My Mom and bathrooms! 

Ma knew she was dying. Dang woman was so smart right to the end. In one of the last conversations we had, she related how CB had called the day before. I know that meant the world to her. The bond was so strong between them. 

Gladys and CB, 1943

In Aunt CB’s story from five years ago, she ends with this paragraph, and I think it still resonates for these twin cousins:

“Thus ended a perfect day, one she (Gladys) and I would always remember for we didn’t get many for just us. Somewhere in the future we’ll meet again and then there will be no more paralysis, no more blindness, no more deafness, no more heartaches, just the joy of being together and our jaws will see action again!”

Happy 90th Birthday to Lucille and Gladys, the Twin Cousins!

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Adjustments By Evelyn Taylor

Another story from Evelyn Taylor, wife of Bryant Taylor, son of Floyd (twin to Lloyd). Bryant and Aunt CB were first cousins:

      Lance, Mitchell, Bryant
Evelyn and Pam in front

Living in another country for any length of time requires certain adjustments. In 1968 our family immigrated to Australia, located in the Southern Hemisphere…Gone was the Big and Little Dippers, replaced by the Southern Cross.  The seasons were the exact opposite – spring became fall, summer-winter, fall-spring and winter-summer.

To add to our confusion, the hot water tap, not faucet, was on the right and cold on the left.  If you watched the water drain out of the sink, it swirled counterclockwise due to the pull of the South Pole.

The toilet was in a separate room from the bath (washroom) and not necessarily right next to it.  My first experience with this was when we visited friends in Queensland, I asked where the bathroom was.  When I got there, there was no toilet, just a tub and sink. Embarrassed, I had to go back and ask for the toilet which was not a word commonly used in polite society at that time.  I was directed to a tiny room off the kitchen, housing the toilet but no sink.

I am writing this showing my adjustments----my husband and children had their own to deal with.  One of my most challenging was when I shopped for groceries and cooked.
First of all, supermarkets were just starting to be built.  I had to learn to take my “string” bag with me to carry my purchases.  This is a nylon cord bag with an open weave which expands to hold purchases.

First, was the green grocer shop to purchase capsicums-green peppers, pumpkin –squash, and unfamiliar named apples.  Items were wrapped loosely in paper without string to tie it.  By the time I got home, carrots, green beans could be working their way out the openings in the string bag.

Meat was available at the butcher shop.  Hamburger was called mince, but beef was not plentiful so became an expensive item.  This was sheep country, so lamb and mutton were meat of choice----not one that we liked.  Seafood was quite plentiful, especially shrimp called prawns, with legs, feelers, and beady eyes.  Ugh!

Another store supplied the staples and “tin” goods, jelly which was Jello, not our jams/jelly.  There was no peanut butter.  Everyone grows up on Vegimite which tastes like softened, salty bouillon cubes.  Another ugh!

 My biggest challenge was getting my 25 years of baking recipes to work.  Nothing rose up.  I had flat cakes, cookies, biscuits.  Finally, I got help when I bemoaned the fact to the woman store manager of the small supermarket.  She said that another American woman had the same problem until she bought flour which the commercial bakeries used.

The manager offered to order it for me but warned that I had to buy it in a 25 lb. bag which was very “dear” ( expensive),  Their flour came in 4 lb. packages as our “down-sized” packages are now--- 47 years later.
We stayed three years and then came HOME.   Because of this experience, we were more flexible people, more aware of differences in our own language and customs in another country.

I pose this question to my two grandchildren who now live in Melbourne.  Is it different now?