Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Round and round with family tales.

Well we had a bit of excitement here in the U.P. after the last posting. I wrote in that post about spring fever and the joy at seeing the snow melting. Well, on April 21st-ish I went to let Delta outside about 5 a.m. and there was about 5 inches of snow covering all that once was brown.... those few inches then proceeded to turn into 2 FEET of snow in the next 47 hours. I had just started to look at my garden seeds. I admit actually shed a little frozen blue tear.

These pictures are in order... each about 2 days apart... and yes the snow is in the middle. The biggest difference is Delta playing one day in that little pondy area near the dock and the snow covering it all the next day. Crazy. But the snow did melt... again... and we are back to where we were.... Again.

May Day is nearing! Yeehoo!
Time to get out the pole and ribbons...

heh heh...

Could you just see me and David dancing round and round out in the yard?
Nah me either.
The neighbors already talk... I think that might put them right over the edge!

In the last couple days the loons have also returned...

So have wood ducks, and other kinda ducks, and eagles (which never really left) etc etc. David got back to building on his dock. The fish must like the our little beach area because we have enjoyed watching a bird show right out in front of our house each morning. The eagles have been hitting the lake pulling out fish, and the other waterfowl who have paired up already are busy looking for places to make their nests. I don't remember it being this active last year. Of course, this time last year we were busy tearing down that old camp that was here... not enjoying the scenery.

If the eagles are not around, the loons try to rule the lake and we have seen the male loon run off pairs of ducks so maybe the loon nest is near here. I hope so. I heard them calling the other day... the first time I heard them this year. It is a wonderful sound in my opinion. As this is a smaller lake we will only have one pair of loons. Apparently they like their privacy.

Having the loons come back again makes me a bit nostalgic as does the apparent return of spring. Lots of thoughts of family and memories of childhood rattling around in my head... and not just because of the loons either. More on that later...

My neice had a project for school about her family tree which put me in the mind of family history. Before I went to college, I worked for awhile on a family tree on one side of the family and I really enjoyed it.

We traced a line back on my father's paternal line from Germany to San Francsico (pre-state) and pre-1906 earthquake) into the gold fields of Virginia City and then into Ukiah. We are still trying to fill in that information more fully. My father's maternal line is harder to follow as they are truly native Californians... Pomo to be a little more accurate... and of course the written records only go back so far and are a bit tangled.

It has been easy gathering information on my father's side of the family because it is all still local to Northern California.

However, on my mother's side...

Her family are California transplants... Okies to be technical... so running down to the local courthouse for records has not been as easy. Below is a picture of my mother Norma May Killion and her sister Gay. Well, Gay's name is really Lawanda Gay Killion but she shortened it.

Yes I said Lawanda.

Anyway.... They came to Northern California from Oklahoma. This is the truck they came in (note the plates) and in this picture it is parked on the bluffs near Westport.

There was a handful of people in that truck with them along with their belongings. Behind them came two more carloads FULL of people and household goods. My mom said they camped along side the road as they made their way from Oklahoma. This other picture is my Grandad Ed Killion, my Uncle Brother (Duane Killion), and my Grandma Vernice Killion. I think that photo might be in Oklahoma.

As far as my own personal history... well I was a 70's Northern California kid for sure. I have great memories of my turquoise wanna-be "Sting-Ray" bike with the flowered banana seat.

I would ride all over our bay area neighborhood with my friends Kelli, John-John, Johnny, and Timmy.... oh yeah and once in awhile twin boys named Tracey and Stacey Francis who could spin on their heads on the asphalt playground like tops AND turn their eyelids inside out.

Quite impressive.

It was a real "Sandlot" suburbs kinda childhood actually.

If you have not seen that movie... watch it. It is a GREAT family show. We also played pick up games, pickle, catch, and we played a lot in the street with a Nerf football. That movie was based a bit earlier than my childhood time but we also had PF FLyers and we knew how they made you run faster and jump higher. I had a pair (mine were actually navy blue).

I, of course, knew of their superhuman abilities... that was why I wanted them after all. I tested them out as soon as I got them home... running and jumping around the yard. It was almost like taking steroids. A-Rod, Bonds, and all those other goofy guys missed out... they should have just got themselves of pair of those sneakers. Problems solved and no asterisks necessary.

One of the many things I loved in "Sandlot" was how the story of the dog grew and grew as the dog did throughout the movie. I can remember all the neighborhood kids sharing tales like that about legendary houses and people in our own neighborhood. For instance, the man across the street from us was building an ark... honest... he was really building a big wooden boat in his backyard and it was very ark looking. It kinda of made you nervous thinking maybe he knew something we didn't.

Then there also the house by the back fence of the school. All of us kids just KNEW that there were dead bodies hanging in the shed! If you peeked just right through a knothole in the fence, through the grimy window, and if the light was just right, you could see the bodies all just hanging there! Any kid who dared to be skeptical was shown the proof. That proof consisted of being shown the thumbs of the victims that were hanging in the tree near the house. (Um.... they were Ponderosa pine cones on the end of the boughs but bloody thumbs were much more interesting.)

You can see how kids might mix up pine cones and bloody thumbs.

Anyway, I also remember the REAL herbal essence shampoo... the groovy kind not that freaky weird shampoo they have now. I hate those commercials.

Man I loved that stuff... sorry it is gone.

I also recall Joe Namath with his furs and panty hose...

and O.J. before he started killing folks and stealing things... when he was just 'the Juice' and seemed to be late to the airport a lot.

I also recall thinking this was the coolest car on earth...
before the Datsun (translation Nissan) Z cars started showing up on the scene.
Actually, I still preferred the bugs.

Later in life when I started driving at the ripe old age of 16, I eventually had a '72 green bug as well as a '69-ish purple/bondo one later on. I kept having to replace them because my boyfriend at the time... and his friends.. kept wrecking them. Anyhoo...

We did a lot together as a family and did not even fight too much. Here is me and Dad.

and I dunno who these devil children are but they keep showing up in family pictures:

oh dear! I just noticed something.... just look at the similarities!

Just kidding...

That was Bethy sporting her new snoopy lunchbox and Brooke in her strawberry dress. I think Bethy was starting school that day. A big day for both of them.

Dad, Beth, and Brooke again at the beach. Hmm... Look at Dad. Now I can see where us girls get our eyebrows and mustaches. Just kidding Brooke geez... don't be so sensitive.

Sniffle. Buffy.

Actually, I don't recall EVER hearing my parents even raise their voices at eachother and while I am sure my sisters and I were not the easiest children... especially them of course. All I remember are fun and even funnier times. We seemed to take a lot of pictures. I remember not liking it but I am so glad we did. We took a lot of threesome pictures. I kinda thought... um.. this is so dorky! But now I love to do it. Ignore the various hair-dos please.

We also come by it honestly... here is my mother and her sisters... except for that whole bathtub thing... it is the same photo style.

I get a kick out of this next one... you see my sisters and I used to love to drink Rondo soda... I don't know if you remember the commercials but it seemed like it had to do with getting super strength or something if you drank it. That is how we took it anyway. So here is my sister Brooke as a child wearing one of Dad's toolbelts building a fort out of construction materials Dad had lying around. She had just drank yet another can of Rondo and apparently was feeling productive. Really quite sad actually. Obviously it remained in her system for years because the other child in the photo is her daughter showing the same Rondo-type symptoms and facial expression.

You see... one of the family secrets is that Ella is a Rondo baby.
Try not to despair Ella. The effects eventually wear off over the years.

Speaking the of the next generation, we took lots of photos of them as well. I particularly love the teenage years pictures because you can see they think it is just such a drag. First came my daughter Amber....

and then Ave
and then Ella.

And here are my nephews Grant and Garret along with little Grandpa.

This picture of them is taken with my Dad who... by the way is around 6'1". All three of the nephews are taller than Grandpa now I think... especially Grant and Garret, last I heard one is nearing 6'7" and is not quite done growing yet.

Amber and Ave cruisin' the parking lot.

Ella and me.

The Pacific ocean and Ella.

The "kids" at easter.

The family eating the dilly beans they all helped can.

Well, that is quite a few pictures I admit. There is one more I will be adding and it explains the other reason I am feeling so nostalgic and family oriented lately. It is not just because of the family tree research, or Ella's school project. You see we have a new member who is going to be joining the family in August and we are all just so very excited!

Amber and Kevin are going to have a son in August!

At least the ultrasound says a son and the nurse wrote "tallywacker" on the screen so she seemed pretty sure. And without further ado:

Ladies and gentlemen for the first time in a public appearance anywhere:

My grandson

What a profile he has!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Break time over!

Phew.. that was a long break!
Sorry about that.

I just have not been feeling particularly inspired to write lately. I would get an idea for a post... and then get busy doing something else and decide that nah... I don't wanna write about that. anymore. Then I would do it all over again... until finally here we are.

The ice is breaking on our lake and on Lake Superior. For the last few weeks if you are outside especially at night you can hear the ice shifting and moaning. Every once in awhile Delta runs down to attack the lake beast but she just returns all confused and understandably concerned.

The other day David and I were driving past Superior on our way to Houghton and we stopped at the beach because I wanted to take pictures of the frozen waves I had been trying to describe to people back home. I was too late. What you see out there now are not the I was talking about... but close. Take a look, those are not waves. That water is still. You can kind of get an idea of what I was talking about from these pictures.

The waves are mostly gone because the big lake has been melting and splitting. With the splits the pressure has been relieved a bit and the frozen waves slid back into the lake.

These pictures are pretty crazy. These breaks are about the size of a twin /full size bed. I personally missed the segment on the news but I guess a bunch of folks... thinking they were pretty clever I am sure after rigging up makeshift bridges etc from the melted shore to the thicker ice... made their way out onto the ice in Lake Erie to do some last minute ice fishing.

Note I said folks... however I put money there was more testosterone than estrogen out there. Anyway... the ice... well... duh... broke and separated them from the land and began to float off into the lake. When it broke away I guess a bunch of folks took off one way... and then another. I picture an icy teeter totter... of course the more seasoned folks just sat there and continued to fish while they dialed their cell phones for help. However, it turned from humorous and stupid to a tragic event because apparently one man died of a heart attack when he was riding his snowmobile to find a path off the ice and went into the water. It took hours to rescue them all. It took that long because there were (get ready for this ) approximately 134 people that needed to be rescued! Helicopters, boats etc. Jerry said it happens almost every year. The state is thinking about sending bills to people who do stuff like that for the cost of their rescues as this operation probably cost more than a few thousand dollars.

The story of floating off on the ice kind of reminds me of those old black and white Nanook of the North movies we had to watch in school on rainy days during P.E. class. Whenever it rained the PE teacher would send an Audio Video kid to get the projector, and the movie cans. The rest of us kids would wait in the gym holding our collective breath hoping there would be something new to watch. However, it seemed to always be one of two movies. I think the school must have only owned two.

Nanook of the North


Billy Jack.

Also, it never seem to fail... when you wanted to see one, the AV guy always brought the other. So instead of seeing some justice seeking Billy Jack dude who kinda looked like Burt Reynolds, and apparently now that I look at the pictures had some Native American thing going on... there was old Nanook standing in full regalia leaning over the seal hole waiting to stab a poor seal in the nose.

Just standing there.

Standing there for hours.

And then there was a disjointed part where I think it talked about how the elderly Inuit decide to float away on the ice when it is time to die because they did not want to burden the tribe... and of course scenes of the women chewing leather to make mukluks. As if that was not enough, all of this cinematic magic was interrupted periodically by the film sticking and melting and the AV kid having to get it all back together and running again... which is probably why the movie was disjointed in the first place.

I have to tell you though Billy Jack really was not much better. I am not sure now which one I would rather see if forced to see either. Hey... ya know what? It might have been real interesting if the AV kid got it into his head to splice these two movies together. Now THAT would have been interesting! Oh wait.. maybe not.. that really happened apparently. There was that whole On Deadly Ground "movie" by Steven Seagal. Maybe it would not be so entertaining after all. I never saw it... but apparently I did not miss anything.


Anyway, we also have had a passel full of visitors this past week. David's sisters and their families came for a visit. One traveled from Texas:

the other from California:

Quite a trek for both of them and their families. It was not only an Easter visit to their Dad's house but it also is Jerry's 75th birthday, and Jerry and Karen's anniversary! So we did it in style. Lots of traveling about seeing local sites and Jerry drug out the 4 wheelers since no more snow for snowmobiles (yayyy). The boys absolutely LOVED the ATVs.

Easter was spent at the local church... yes I went... and then the church held a ham and potluck dish dinner to follow for all the attendees. Jerry supplied the hams for the church meal and all the rest of us brought a dish or two. I brought my Mom's apple cake recipe. Then after that party, we went home for a couple hours. Watched the Master's Golf tournament, and then went back to Jerry's for more MORE cake and ice cream.

I have to tell you though, I think that all potlucks should beware if the Hershey family is in town... good food WILL be enjoyed and sampled freely! Those folks, in particular the men, can do some damage to a potluck table.

Random photos:

Here is David, Delta, and Jerry on one of their last snowmobile ride of the season. They had just come up from the lake.

and then this one.... this is what Cosmo does when Delta is out on the snowmobile:


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