year : 2014 84 results

A Thrifty Christmas Tree

When JD's Grandma Davis passed away, we inherited several items from her home. One of these was a Christmas tree that she has always placed on top of an end table during the holidays. With the tree came its original box! The tree dates to the 1960s and is from the American Tree and Wreath Company from Lexington, Kentucky. Gram purchased it for $5.83 ... the price is written on the front of the box. I love that the tree has a 5-year warranty, too ... I think we're well past that! ...

I Believe, Virginia

From the moment I first read the New York Sun editorial written in 1897 by Francis Church in response to an 8 year-old's question about Santa Claus, I was in love. I was in love with the idea of Santa Claus and the idea of writing ... and sharing that writing. I don't even remember how old I was, but probably not yet a teenager. That was a really long time ago, and I am still in awe of Church's words. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity ...

The Christmas Heart

Over the weekend, a friend from college posted a Christmas memory on Facebook about being "dirt poor" ... his words ... as a child and how that impacted Christmas for him and his seven siblings. Christmas stockings were filled not with trinkets and "stuffers", but with fresh fruit and hard candy, both being treats for his family in those days. Comments that followed reminded me how being raised with limited funds and receiving gifts when there was barely money to buy them puts things in ...

I wish I could have met her

In honor of Wishful Wednesday ...  Have you ever been asked, "If you could sit down with anyone in history and have a conversation, who would it be?". I have ... several times. I always have a different answer, too. Sometimes it's Eleanor Roosevelt, sometimes it is Mary Queen of Scots or Robert the Bruce. Sometimes it is someone a little closer to me like my 2nd great grandma, Margaret Ellen Douglas.   I grew up hearing stories about Grandma Douglas from my Grandpa. He ...

St. Peters Cemetery, St. Clair County, IL

I have been fascinated with cemeteries for as long as I can remember. It feels a little morbid, but there is great history lurking among the grave markers! I've wandered through my fair share of cemeteries, too ... sometimes just to imagine the lives of those buried in them. As the family genealogy nut (one of them, anyway), I've often visited a specific cemetery to document family history. Such was the case when JD and I visited St. Peters Cemetery in St. Clair County, ...

Raisin Pie

If you were to ask me what my favorite pie is, I'd say raisin ... or strawberry-rhubarb ... or raisin. It's a toss-up between the two! Raisin was also my grandpa's favorite pie. I don't recall my grandma ever making it, but I certainly remember my mom baking one at least once a year so he'd have some. He loved it ... and would talk about his mom, Grandma Phoebe, making it when he was a kid. Grandpa was 14 when is mama died ... that was the early years of the Great Depression. I've ...

Happy Birthday, Daddy

Why is it that people remain a specific age in our minds no matter how old they really are when we lose them? My grandpa was 89 when he died in 2008, but he will always be in his mid-60s in my mind. That was the age when he raced me across the yard and let me win. That was the age he helped me learn to balance on my bicycle. That was the age he was when I was a kid, and, even though I clearly see him at 89, he will always be that mid-60s man in jeans, suspenders and cowboy ...

Boucher Cemetery in Murphysboro, IL

Many of my Grandpa's people are buried in Boucher Cemetery in Murphysboro, Illinois. Among them are Grandma Phoebe - Grandpa's mother - and her parents, Scott and Margaret Douglas. Several siblings and many other Raines family connections were laid to rest at Boucher Cemetery. While it isn't really "the family cemetery", I have always felt as though it should be.  When I was a teenager, Grandpa would tell me that it would someday be my job to take care of Grandpa ...