Friday, December 20, 2013

Family Resemblances

                                                 JoAnn                                   Bronwyn                      

My sister, JoAnn, recently dug out some photos from her first birthday and sent them to me alongside some pictures of my daughter, Bronwyn, at her first birthday.  We've all decided that they look surprisingly similar.  I thought it was fun to compare and so I thought I'd post them.  I think the pictures of JoAnn would have been taken about 1980.

And I thought I'd share a little boy comparison too.  An old friend of my husband's family sent me a picture of my husband from when he was little.  I thought he looked a little like my current toddler, Elijah.  Fun family resemblances! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Christmas Bank Parties circa 1950's

More 1950's Christmas memories of how it used to be....this time remembering a golden era of employment in Seattle. 
My father’s career was in banking, and in 1952 my family moved from Oregon to Washington and he went to work for Washington Mutual Savings Bank in Seattle. At that time there was a main bank office downtown, where he worked, and a few satellite branches scattered in the Seattle area. Each year Washington Mutual would host a lavish Christmas party for the employees and their families. The bank would rent the Hec Edmondson Pavilion at the University of Washington for the night, and the parties were generally held the week before Christmas on a week-night after work. My dad would come home and change from his everyday work suit and tie to his Sunday best suit, while Mom had on a newly purchased belted dress, nylons and high heels, her hair curled and styled and red lipstick. She also had a mid-calf length green wool coat that she wore to parties with a Christmas corsage in it's lapel. I would wear a fancy new Christmas dress that usually 'twirled' with thin white cuff socks and shiny black patent leather shoes. When my little brother Joe got big enough he wore boy's slacks with a short sleeve white shirt and a red clip-on bow tie.  
Since we lived near the University, it didn’t take long for dad to drive us there, and I was always exited to see the round white dome of the pavilion as we neared the party. The Hec Edmondson Pavilion was a large basketball arena on the university campus, named after the head coach of the Huskie basketball team. Some of the bank employees had spent the day transforming the arena into a holiday party atmosphere. There was sure to be a large decorated tree, and a microphone standing up at the front with group seating  of metal folding chairs facing front for the crowd. Everyone would sit together as families, and mom and dad usually found a place for us in the middle of the group.
After the party started, there would be holiday entertainment, and I specifically remember one year they brought in  Stan Boreson, a local Seattle personality, to sing and play his accordion. He had a popular Christmas album out, where he sang Christmas songs with a phony Scandinavian accent that my Dad just loved. There would also be a real ‘live’ Santa at the party. Under the decorated tree up front was a huge pile of wrapped presents for the children, with all our names on them. Santa would be handed a gift and then he would call out the name of one of the children and they would go forward to get their gift from Santa who handed it to each child, with a kind word or two.
December 18, 1958

I would take my brother up front, when he was little and afraid to go alone, and shy of Santa. We got some very nice gifts at the party. One year Joe got a large fire truck  with a moving ladder and hoses, and I got a nice doll.
 During the party they passed out red flannel stockings with a turned down white cuff and our names embroidered in cursive on it and little silver bells hanging at the edge. I used that stocking for many, many years, until it became too threadbare to hold anything. I still have it tucked away among my Christmas decorations. It is laughable now to see how small and thin it is, compared to today’s Christmas stocking ‘standard’. Children didn’t receive many things in their stockings in those days, so they didn’t need to be large, and we were delighted with what we got. At the end of the party each year we got a red mesh plastic stocking as well, filled with hard Christmas candy, fruit and nuts. One year we got candy necklaces (see photo below) and Santa always gave us a candy cane or two.


Behind the main program area  were long decorated tables where the children sat and ate treats and Christmas cookies with milk. I loved seeing all the other kids and eating at our own special table.
1953  (I'm 2nd on the left)
The adults were served dessert with coffee or eggnog, and they stood and chatted in groups together. Dad was a people person and loved talking with all his friends in a social setting, while mom mostly watched over us.
There was also a photo area to one side of the Christmas tree with a couch and chair. Santa would be seated there to take photos with all the children. The bank photographer took pictures of each child with Santa for no charge, and the parents would be presented with an 8X10 afterwards. We got some lovely Christmas photographs that we would never have had otherwise. The bank photographer also took family pictures. The only ones I have remaining of those, are one year when our family was seated on a couch all together, and then one of  Joe and I standing by the tree with our gifts in our  hands, and finally mom and dad alone together on the couch.
I think Joe and I were always overwhelmed with the fun at these parties, and they were just riches for us kids and I looked forward to them each year. Since I am four years older than Joe, I remember those parties much better than he does, and I got the benefit of those years. It’s amazing now to think of how good the employers were to their employees in the post-war years. Those truly were golden years of employment in the cities. However, as times changed and Washington Mutual added new bank branches each year, they grew too big by the early 60’s to continue these parties and they were officially dis-continued. And of course they grew too big in the end to survive. All we have left are the memories....

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Advent Ponderings

When you want to know something today you just 'Google' it. So, when I wanted to know the definition of Advent that's exactly what I did. And this is what I found:

1) The arrival of a notable person, thing or event

2)The liturgical period preceding Christmas

3)The Anglicized version of the Latin word  adventus, meaning 'coming'.

I have had advent in some light form or other in my life since childhood, but have never truly studied the liturgical period or the history. I am in the process of doing that right now. I have been in conservative, fundamental, evangelical, protestant churches all my life, and somewhere back along the line my ancestors did away with liturgy and much of church history in our services. Now in my 60's, I find myself yearning for more....theology, and a closer deeper understanding of my faith and heritage.

My first baby steps toward advent this year are to put out an advent wreath that is not traditional, but has meaning for me and my family alone. At each evening meal: to light a candle there, read scriptures about the coming of Messiah, read the history of one traditional church carol and sing it together, more fully appreciating the words. It's only been three days, but it's been good, very good.

Another thing I have been mulling over is the distinction between making things cozy,  comfortable and beautiful, to simple, deliberate and Messiah as the center. I have always veered towards white Christmases, beautifully wrapped and presented gifts, fresh flowers and lovely decorations. I have been guilty of'; materialism and buying and collecting Christmas trinkets, making myself and hence my family crazy and exhausted with too much self-imposed busyness, of trying to 'create' Christmas for those I love, being prideful in receiving accolades for my efforts, and craving but not leaving room for time alone with the one I said was the reason for the season.

So, as He leads me I am putting out only things that matter to us and enjoying it as I do it, a little at a time. Trying to not hear the voices around me in the culture of: 'I have all the gifts bought (in November), I have all my gifts wrapped, I have my tree up and decorated by December 1st, I have my calendar full of social events right up through New Years, or I have all my Christmas baking done and in the freezer.  It's hard to look away when that seems organized, or fun or the best way of doing it. Where to look? Not at our culture, not even my church culture. But solely at Him and I can only do that by leaving room for Him to teach and guide me.

I realized after just a short research online, that there are a great many ways people celebrate advent today, seemingly no two alike. That is comforting really, as there is no one right way, just people seeking our God. That is what I seek to accomplish in His direction and power.

Advent Candles - 2013

 Here is my finished project!  I am pretty excited about it because it's the first time I've actually planned and carried out an advent candle display for our family to enjoy and mark the Sundays leading up to Christmas.  We burnt the first candle last Sunday.  The second one we will light this Sunday and so on, until we light all four for the last Sunday before Christmas and burn them all for Christmas Eve and Christmas. 
 This was a last minute idea that I saw on Pinterest on Saturday.  I took my girls and made a quick trip to Michael's to get these three items.  The terra cotta pots were only .89 cents.  The moss was not so cheap ($6.99).  I only used a little, so hopefully I can put the rest of it to a good use on something else.  The candles weren't very expensive, but they came in packs of three and since I needed four I had to buy two packages.  Again, I can use the leftover candles for another use. 
 After setting the candles into the pots, my girls (ages 6 and 5), used Elmer's glue to glue bits of moss in the space between the candle and the top edge of the pot. 
 After setting the pots down the center of our dining room table, I decided that maybe I would sew some kind of table runner to go underneath them.  I consulted my fabric stash to see if I would find inspiration there.  What I came up with was three different red and green flannel fabrics that were essentially scraps that would be perfect for cutting into strips and braiding.  I tried it out and liked the result.
 Here is Amelia, helping me with some of the braiding.  We cut and sewed and braided a lot of strips to finally end up with a rope that was 28 feet long!
I coiled it and stitched it together with needle and thread on the bottom side and here is the result.  I'm looking forward to enjoying it on our table for the rest of the season.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Give Thanks



"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever"

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Vintage Shopping Memories in Seattle's Grand Old Department Stores

You just never know what's going to pop up on this blog...and I have been busy lately writing up some holiday memories from my childhood for my girls to enjoy this Christmas. While it's not yet Thanksgiving, I still thought it appropriate to share one of the memories that used to begin around Thanksgiving and extend through Christmas. So here goes....commercialism at it's height!
     These days I hate to shop…. and only do it when I have to. But I remember when I used to love shopping during the holidays when I was growing up in the '50s and '60s. My mom would pack up my brother and me and head for downtown Seattle to shop several times between Thanksgiving and Christmas each year. Seattle’s retail atmosphere was festive, with the crowds, music piped into the streets and playing in the background, and Salvation Army bells ringing. Seattle had some enormous, beautiful department stores like the Bon Marche (started 1890), Frederick and Nelson (started 1891), Nordstroms (started 1901), Rhodes (started 1907) and JC Penney (started in Wyoming in 1902).
Each of these downtown stores took up a whole city block, the largest being Frederick and Nelson, standing ten stories high after completing a remodel to it's existing five story building in 1949.  Each store had display windows on their main floors facing the street sidewalks, with doors every so often intersecting the windows.
It was exiting to anticipate  a shopping trip, getting dressed up and riding downtown. Once my mom had negotiated Seattle traffic she always had a difficult time finding a place to park, although she had her favorite lots close enough to walk to when we were finished and carrying the shopping bags, but far enough away to be a bit cheaper.
The first thing we would do was walk by the lavish window displays of the stores we were going to. This was when window display was true art. During the Thanksgiving holiday a window might hold a scene from an old-fashioned kitchen with family members, the turkey and a dog, or during the Christmas season another window would have a family (mannequins) grouped in a living room around their Christmas tree. The ‘people’ had moving parts and I was just enchanted. The scenes were always so warm and charming, and it’s amazing now to think of the time and effort the stores put into these displays. There were many windows along the streets, and most had product displays, but at holiday time a few would be devoted just to entertaining the crowds. The outsides of these store buildings were usually decorated in light shows year after year, and were  wonderful to look at too.
At Fredericks Santa would always be in a bottom corner window greeting children in December. It became a Seattle custom to have your child’s photo taken with Santa in that window and I still have mine. Mom, Joe and I would walk slowly past the windows for a long time just enjoying the holiday city atmosphere, the piped music and the window scenes.
And the stores! They were incredible. Fredericks had door men in uniforms, hats and gloves outside each door to greet you and to open the double glass doors to warmth, beauty and delicious smells within. The Salvation Army bell ringer outside each door was dressed as Santa Claus, which gave an added holiday cheer as we entered and put a few coins in their hanging red pot. I developed a love of big department stores back then that stays with me to this day. It was thrilling to enter those stores, with their lavish bright and beautiful store decorations that changed each year to different colors and themes. I remember fresh evergreen swags and wreaths probably 3 feet high and across. Sparkling silver bells, plump red velvet bows, different sizes of royal blue Christmas ornaments hanging on ribbons and counter sized decorated Christmas trees. There were displays of all manner of wonderful goods. The smells of warm nuts, fresh candy, perfumes and fresh evergreens permeated everywhere. The street floor at Fredericks had soaring, giant marble pillars, or at least giant to a child, shiny black and white tile floors, and huge gorgeous gold and crystal chandeliers hanging from a ceiling soaring impossibly high over our heads.
The perfume counters with glamorous ladies offering good-smelling liquids in gorgeous bottles, nestled in silk or velvet lined boxes always held an awestruck appeal for me. Mom would often let me try a little on the inside of my wrist, and I would smell it as we walked around. Holiday shoppers were pampered with beautiful products, good food and customer service, and the stores were full of all things Christmas.
Each store had several dining choices, where you could go to have lunch or tea and take a break from your shopping. At Fredericks there was a tea room on the 10th floor for ladies as well as a men’s grill and a separate buffet. In the basement they offered the Paul Bunyon Room which was a good choice for families with children.
At the Bon Marche, the 6th floor offered the Cascade Room fine dining, the Jet Room, a men’s grill, and the Sky Terrace along with the Crystal Tea Room on another floor. 
Rhodes had a cafeteria in their basement as well as a tea room on the mezzanine floor, which actually held an Aeolian Organ played for the ladies entertainment, while Nordstroms still has its famous Grill Restaurant today. It was quite the tradition in those days to meet your lady friends downtown for lunch at the Bon or Fredericks. Occasionally mom would take me to lunch in a tea room when I grew older, but it was more common that we all had lunch at a soda counter on a lower floor. That was really fun too, as we usually got a milkshake. Sometimes we would visit the candy and nut counters. The nuts were all salted and baked, and lying in the warmth of an artificial light, giving off delicious aromas. Once in a while mom would buy a few cashews for me (my favorite) and the lady would hand them to me over the counter in a slim white paper bag. I would put the bag in my coat pocket, and as we walked around I would slip my hand in and pop a warm cashew into my mouth and slowly savor it. That was the best treat ever!
Frederick and Nelson was the most expensive of the stores we visited. It was ten full stories, each a city block size, filled with everything imaginable, and with a full basement beneath. Every floor was accessed by escalators, fascinating to children, or elevators manned with uniformed operators. They would sit on a little stool by the controls while waiting for customers, and then stand to operate the elevator to your desired location. They were generally very friendly to children. I was always fascinated that there was a ‘mezzanine level’ between the first and second floors, and tried to imagine how they could fit that in.  Here is a sample of the products offered by Frederick and Nelson on their various floors in the 1950's:
Street Floor- Jewelry, cosmetics, women’s accessories, luggage, stationary, candy, party place, smoke shop and men’s store.
2nd Floor- Shoes, lingerie and underwear, women’s sportswear and coats, millinery and uniforms.
3rd Floor- Designer Boutique, millinery salon, evening shop (formal wear), bridal, fur salon and maternity.
4th Floor-Infant, toddler and children’s shops, high school shop, children’s hair styling, hobby shop, toys, portraits, books, and Mr. Foster Travel Service.
5th Floor-Beauty Salon, china, art wares, glassware, The Continental Crystal Room, fine paintings, bar accessories, lamps, bridal registry, silver and flatware.
6th Floor-Oriental rugs, bedding, bath shop, curtains, fabrics, sewing machines and needlework.
7th Floor-Televisions and sound equipment, furniture, Studio of Interior Design, Home Planning Bureau and The Old World Shop.
8th Floor-Housewares, Gourmet Galley, appliances, hardware, paint and wallpaper, the garden shop, the Little Gallery, the Exhibition Hall and the various restaurants.
9th Floor- Credit office and customer service. Free gift wrapping during the holidays.
Basement-Paul Bunyon Room and the budget floor.
This store had a grand total of 746,000 sq. ft. of retail space. The idea of course was one-stop shopping for anything and everything an urban dweller might need or want. No need to visit any other stores! 
Mom seldom shopped the upper floors of Fredericks. She would always head downstairs to the ‘Bargain Basement’ to find gifts and clothes. Most of the basement of this store was devoted to budget items, cheaper discounted goods, and items the store needed to clear out, from furniture to clothes to housewares. I remember one particular night, when my mother wanted to attend a sale in the Bargain Basement at Fredericks. She talked my dad into going and helping her, as they were looking to buy a set of four matching green sleeping bags, one for each of us for Christmas. We all went, and joined the huge crowd of people waiting for the sale to begin. They held everyone back until the designated time, and then turned us loose. I remember being surrounded by a pressing crowd of people around a table piled high with various colored sleeping bags. We couldn’t even get close to the table, so my dad shoved and pushed his way in and grabbed for a green sleeping bag. One by one, he tossed them right over the heads of the crowd to my mom waiting in the back to catch them. It worked, and we did go home with four of the desired green sleeping bags. One thing about it, those stores sold good quality items. Even the discounted goods were very high quality. We used those sleeping bags in our summer camping trips for years, and I used them for my kids as well.
On our December shopping trips, mom would shop at the various department stores depending on what she was looking for. I remember her buying dishes and kitchen things at the Bon Marche as well as clothes. Shoes were purchased at Nordstroms and family underwear at JC Penney which tended to be more on the moderately priced scale.
Another place of interest to me in the department stores were the bathrooms. They were absolutely over-the-top lavish. In the Bon Marche I particularly remember the ladies restroom on the 2nd floor. It has rightly been called "the mecca of all ladies bathrooms in Seattle" by the Seattle Times. It was enormous, with a large waiting/lounge room as large as any room in my house, before you even went into the bathroom area, all decorated in a striking rose pink. A quote from the Seattle Times described this room accurately: "the rose-hued walls enveloped visitors, drawing them into the high-ceiling powder-lounge area and the mirrored walls, dressing-room lights and bathroom stalls the size of walk in closets, lent themselves to a feeling of opulence." There was a very large round seat in the center of the powder room, and by large I mean that 40-50 women could sit on it all at one time if they were sitting right next to each other. It was upholstered in pink silk and satin pleats and it had a tall round upholstered tower in the center of it that women could lean back against. At the top of the tower was a  fresh flower bouquet made up of hundreds of flowers and greens that seemed to lean out on all sides right over the women resting on the seat. I remember staring at that sight for a long time while my mother used the bathroom area. There were seats and mirrors lining the walls of the powder room, with hair brushes and perfumes for use by the store’s patrons, although I never saw anyone using them. A few years ago my brother and I went on the ‘Seattle Underground Tour’. While walking along wooden planks laid over the dirt under the downtown area of Seattle, I spotted something familiar lying lopsided in a corner in the dirt. I gasped in dismay as I recognized that same pink satin seating bench from the bathroom at the Bon Marche. I mentioned it to my tour leader who seemed remarkably unconcerned. He said that the Bon remodeled the bathrooms in 2002 to a more modern styling. No one knew what to do with the 1940’s bench, but no one wanted to be caught throwing it away. So…it was discarded, joining the other junk laying around under Seattle. What an inglorious end to such magnificence!
Frederick and Nelson was the store that originally created the ‘Frango Mints’, which are a delicious chocolate candy with a creamy, chocolaty mint flavor. They were made in the Fredericks kitchen, housed on the 10th floor of the store.
Kitchen workers in 1920
Dad usually got us one box of Frango Mints to enjoy at Christmastime, as they were an expensive treat. As times changed, in 1992 Frederick and Nelson finally went bankrupt and closed their doors forever, but the Bon Marche bought the rights to the Frango Mints franchise and continued the tradition. Then in 2005 Macys bought out the Bon Marche and they too ceased to exist. Frango Mints were one thing Macys kept from the old department store. They bought the rights to these wonderful candies and continue to sell them today. You can buy them in the original flavor, or in several others that Macys has developed.
The era of the big, grand dame department stores has gradually vanished into memory, leaving first the shopping malls of the '60s, then today strip malls, big box stores and web shopping in their place. Only Nordstroms, of the original stores, alone remains in downtown Seattle. Some days I mourn over the lost beauty, and grandeur   of the stately department stores of the past that will never again be available to dazzle young girls and serve tea to the ladies.                                      Jennie


Friday, November 15, 2013

Autumn Preserving

 I have been reading a fun book entitled 'The Magic Apple Tree' by Susan Hill. It chronicles a year of seasons in rural England in the 1980's. I have been enjoying this book all year, as I have read her descriptions of each season while delighting in our own. I just finished her last section, which was Autumn. She describes Fall cooking, canning and preserving, and I was struck how pleasant, warm and old-fashioned her ways were even as recently as the 1980's. Susan Hill preserved a lot! and used it all and gave some away. She knew the secrets of using what was free and at hand. I thought I would quote a bit out of the book to show you what I mean.
"In the kitchen, autumn is my favourite season, because it is preserving time-jams and jellies, chutneys and pickles, fruit butters and cheeses, and the whole, glorious session rounded off with the making of the mincemeat....We make savoury jellies, and the base of them all is plain, apple jelly. First chop your apples, (they were all freely given in her village) peel, core, pips and all. This takes ages, but like the chopping of ingredients for chutney it is a soothing task. Put this into a preserving pan with one pint of water to every 2 lbs of apples, and simmer till soft. Stir and press with a wooden spoon often. Preserve-making takes up whole days, with bouts of hard work, and minutes of stirring gently, scattered over long periods of waiting, during which I read a book that doesn't mind being broken into every so often, or write a few letters, or go out to pick some ripe elderberries from the tree on the other side of our garden, for tomorrow. And friends drop in for cups of tea and wasps are slaughtered and the telephone is answered, and I go outside, just to stand in the sunshine and look about. It is all very pleasant.
When the apple pulp is ready, it goes into that wonderful contraption, the jelly bag. I hang this on a stout hook from the beam over the fireplace and put a giant saucepan underneath it. This will drip away for a good twenty-four hours. During preserving week, it becomes a friendly, familiar sight, full of various fruit pulps. (When the apple juice is ready) it is measured and put into the preserving pan, with 1 lb of sugar for every pint, and then two tablespoonsful of lemon juice plus whatever herbs I am using are added. You can make fresh basil, marjoram, thyme, mint, sage or tarragon jelly, adding half a dozen or so sprigs, freshly picked from the garden."

 When it was time to pick 'bramble berries', or as we know them blackberries, to make jelly this is her description: "This was a difficult year for brambles, I discovered. There were enough, but not so many that I didn't have to work for them. I climbed and clambered and delved, got scratched and stung-that is all part of the job, of course. But when I wriggled on my stomach under a wooden fence and my top became thoroughly entangled in some old barbed wire, it was not so jolly after all. Then several cows came and stared down at me reflectively, and the dog ran in anxious circles, while I went into contortions trying to free myself. I got very hot and cross and then knocked over the basket of berries, before finally extricating myself by pulling hard- and rending my top. Still,....brambles should be free-but not easy. At the end of the day, I am stung, scratched, sore and stained, and the kitchen smells marvelous. There are rows of glowing jars on the dresser shelves, like so many jewels, deep red, orange, burgundy, pale pink, pale green, and purple-black. I gaze in deep satisfaction, and I feel as if we shall indeed be preserved against the ravages of this coming winter, and go off to have a long, hot, soothing bath."

 Another thing that struck me as I read this section in the book, were the amazing varieties of things she preserved. They canned everything...much, much more than we do, or at least than we do now. She canned crabapples, elderberries, quinces, gooseberries and the like. She could get them free for the picking, and did just that. She lists: preserved quinces as well as quince jam, various types of chutneys including apple, green tomato and elderberry, mincemeat, crystalized plums, spiced pickled plums, plum orange and walnut jam, canned damson plums, damson plum cheese, crabapple jelly, bramble jelly, bramble and apple puree, and elderberry apple jelly. I also noted that all of these are really accompaniments not necessarily main items like our canned fruits and vegetables. I think we as American women used to can and preserve some of these things too, but as they are a lot of work it fell out of favor as we have such an abundance of items to buy that we no longer have the NEED. I loved reading about how much she enjoyed her work and looked forward to it every year. This quote sums up how she felt about it: "Then, I wash up the preserving pan, bowls, knives and wooden spoons, and put them all away until next autumn, and make a pot of tea, and sit feeling entirely contented, and rather smug. Over the next months, the jars of jelly and jam and chutney will be opened and eaten, and given away to friends for Christmas, and taken as contributions to the harvest festival and the autumn produce sale and the school Christmas bazaar, and I shall feel glad that at least some of the fruits of the garden and the hedgerows have been put to the best of use."
This is a great way to round off late Autumn, heading into our greatest showcase of harvest food....Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013


The wind moves the brittle leaves,
scuttling across the wooden porch.
The wind rattles dry spent corn stalks,
bending in a wave across the field.
The wind makes sparks fly and crackle
as they curl upwards in the bonfire.
The wind makes the logs hiss
as they burn steadily in the stone fireplace.
The wind defines and sharpens autumn,
to bring not only smells but sounds of a season.
The wind now carries an emptiness of sound
which mournful echo carries to the first snow.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Meaningful Lyrics

"The sun comes up, it's a new day dawning,
it's time to sing your song again.
Whatever may pass, and whatever lies before me....
Let me be singing when the evening comes."
Matt Redman

Friday, October 25, 2013

Quotes from Anne of Green Gables

I recently re-read Anne of Green Gables to my children and enjoyed it in a whole new way.  It's so fun to pick up an old favorite and find it has whole new meaning for you as you've matured in understanding since the last reading.  I was surprised to find that this was one of those types of books.  L.M. Montgomery had more depth of understanding than I realized.

So here's a few of my favorite quotes:

"It's always wrong to do anything you can't tell the minister's wife.  It's as good as an extra conscience to have a minister's wife for your friend."

"Oh, Marilla, my heart was just set on going to that concert.  I never was to a concert in my life, and when the other girls talk about them in school I feel so out of it.  You didn't know just how I felt about it, but you see Matthew did.  Matthew understands me, and it's so nice to be understood, Marilla."

"You know there are some people, like Matthew and Mrs. Allan that you can love right off without any trouble.  And there are others, like Mrs. Lynde, that you have to try very hard to love.  You know you ought to love them because they know so much and are such active workers in the church, but you have to keep reminding yourself of it all the time or else you forget."

"'Mrs. Allan said we ought always to try to influence other people for good.  She talked so nice about everything.  I never knew before that religion was such a cheerful thing.  I always thought it was kind of melancholy, but Mrs. Allan's isn't, and I'd like to be a Christian if I could be one like her.  I wouldn't want to be one like Mr. Superintendent Bell.'
'It's very naughty of you to speak so about Mr. Bell,' said Marilla severely.  'Mr. Bell is a real good man.'
'Oh, of course he's good,' agreed Anne, 'but he doesn't seem to get any comfort out of it.  If I could be good I'd dance and sing all day because I was glad of it.  I suppose Mrs. Allan is too old to dance and sing and of course it wouldn't be dignified in a minister's wife.  But I can just feel she's glad she's a Christian and that she'd be one even if she could get to heaven without it.'"

"It is ever so much easier to be good if your clothes are fashionable."

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Dad Turns 92!

October 17th marked a special day, the day that my father-in-law turned 92.
To celebrate that event, he wanted to take his family to the coast for a special trip.
We rented a house in the Bayshore Community of Waldport, and six of us drove over last week. We had a fun time eating, shopping, fishing and spending time together as a family.
One evening we grilled steaks and had a red velvet birthday cake. A real birthday party, with the ocean view outside the windows!
Dad and Mom with their sons, and they also have a daughter that wasn't able to join us. A special family that I have always been so thankful to be a part of. 
On our way to the coast and back we visited extended family members. Here is Dad greeting his brother-in-law, Dad at 92 and Art at 95. It's rather difficult to get together these days, so this was a special visit.
 Art and his wife Miriam, although this photo was rather dark. Their daughter Patti was there also, and it's always a treat to see her. We also visited my mother-in-law's sister Elna, her daughter Melody and Melody's daughter Sarah along with Sarah's two daughters, which makes a total of 4 generations. One more stop enabled us to visit cousin Edith in McMinnville which again was a true delight. She is also 95.
 I think the highlight of the trip for the guys was a commercial fishing trip from Depoe Bay.
 It was a real treat that Dad was able to go and enjoy the fishing with his boys. They each caught their limit of rock fish, although I think they were a bit disappointed there was no ling cod to be had for them that day. It brought back the memory of the day Julie caught a nice ling cod at this same dock though.
A good catch, wouldn't you say Samuel??
We had the fish filleted at the dock, for $1 a fish, and we all stood and watched fascinated as they did it so deftly and swiftly. 
 I think this would be a good job for our grandson Samuel, as he already does a great job filleting at age 14. Maybe someday it would help him through college?
 The boys each limited out, and the captain added a few as well, so we each brought home some nice fillets for the freezer.
A great way to celebrate a birthday!