Sunday, May 29, 2011

Memorial Day: My Mom Was an Army Nurse During WWII

It is Memorial Day weekend a time to remember the fallen soldiers of our country.  I remember when we would get the red poppy flowers and wear them.

My mother survived WWII but I thought I would write about her today.  She was an Army Nurse during the war, she was stationed in the Philippines, and that is all she told me when I was at age 11.  I can remember it well we were standing in her bedroom and we were packing to move to Florida.  She was packing her old army foot locker.  She promised to tell me when I was older, only that talk never came.  She had some photos but she would not share them with me.  I do not know what happened to the photos.  I was the oldest and left home first.  I have no idea what my Dad did with them when he moved out of the house we lived in. 

I do not know if she was one of the nurses that was captured while in the Philippines but I hope to find the answer to that question. 

I used her old Army foot locker for years as my coffee table and when ever I moved from one apartment to another. I no longer have the foot locker, but it did made it to Arizona.  I had her American flag that was present to the family and draped her coffin when she was buried. It was stolen from me when it was hanging outside for a holiday. 

I cannot find any records on her service yet, but I will keep looking.  So far all I have to document her service is her gravestone.  And the only reason I have this is from a Find a Grave volunteer. 

One small step for me and my ancestors.

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History: Disasters

Week 10: Disasters. Did you experience any natural disasters in your lifetime? Tell us about them. If not, then discuss these events that happened to parents, grandparents or others in your family.

After we moved to Florida and purchased our brand new home for a $12,500.  One of the first purchases my Dad made for the house was aluminium hurricane awnings.  When the weather was fine they shaded the windows like canvas awnings but when a storm came they were lowered over the window and hatched down to the house.  The windows under the front porch had aluminium panels that where screwed over the windows to protect them from flying objects. 

The first year we were there in 1959 there were a couple of storms but the one I really remember was Hurricane Donna the next year.  We missed school, always a fun thing for a kid.  We heated our food over Sterno cans.  Ate all the ice cream before it melted.  For a kid it was an adventure.  We had Jalousie windows on the house and we had to listen to the news on our battery operated radios to know which side of the house to open the windows.  They were opened on the lee side of the storm.  There was enough room in the awnings to open the windows. 

I just did a search about opening the windows and this is the new info I learned.  

When a hurricane passes through, is it true I should have the windows open on the side of my house that faces the wind?

No. Hurricane winds swirl from all directions and exert both pressure and suction. If wind gets into your home, it will seek a way out, blowing out a roof or ceiling, collapsing a gable end or a garage door. Your goal is to keep the wind out, period.

I have to say I don't miss hurricanes now that I am in Arizona. 

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Created by Amy Coffin

Thursday, May 26, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History: Movies

Movies. Did (or do you still) see many movies? Describe your favorites. Where did you see these films? Is the theater still there, or is there something else in its place?

I can remember seeing only a few movies when I was a kid.  The most remarkable time at the movies was at the Radio City Music Hall.  I have no clue what we saw but I remember seeing the Rockettes on stage and how well they danced in a line and kicked so high.  My Aunt Em took me and we had good seats in the lower section close to the front.  For a girl less then eleven it was amazing. 

One movie I remember was the Bridge Over the River Kwai.  That came out in 1957, so I was nine, why did my parent take me to see a war movie?  I do remember that bridge being blown up and some of the music was catchy. 

The next big movie I remember is Gone With The Wind, it was the first movie I remember seeing in Fort Lauderdale Florida.  It must have been a re-release of the movie because we moved down to Florida in 1959.  Of course that one I have seen several times and I even have it on viedo.  It is a classic.  I have also read the book more than once.

My husband & I still enjoy a good movie and I enjoy renting them with Netflixs.  No more running to the viedo store to rent them and try to get them back in time.  My husband hates some of the choices I made, I rent a lot of chick flicks because I seldom get to see them in the theather with my hubby.  We tend to see lots of Sci-fi and action movies together. 

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Created by Amy Coffin

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History: Pets

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Created by Amy Coffin

Week 17. Pets. Did you have any pets as a child? If so, what types and what were their names. Do you have pets now? Describe them as well.

The first pet I remembered hearing stories about was "Boy".
Mom, Mary & Boy the dog 1949.

The story my Dad told was my parents could leave me out on the front yard and Boy would pull me back into the yard if I wondered to far away.   Knowing my parents they weren't too far away.  I don't remember Boy so he must have died when I was still very young.

The next dog we had was Beaver the Beagle, I was about 10, he slept outside under the back stairs, there was a little shelter for him. I thought it was mean for him to sleep outside but my parents said he couldn't live in the house.  We gave him away when we went to Florida. 

As an adult I had two dogs, both of them a cockapoo type of dog and both a ginger color.  Now I only have cats, they don't bark, don't need to be walked, don't need to be in a kennel or with a friend when you go on trips.  

Rosie sitting on the arm of my black recliner.
My current cat is Rosie.   She is all black except for a few white whiskers.  She is a bit of a scary cat and doesn't like people, just me and Richard.  Sometimes we look for her and can't find her it is because she is on the back of one of our black recliners, she blends right in.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History Week 13 Sweets

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Created by Amy Coffin

I have been busy and have not kept up with the weekly theme,  but today I have time to write one. 
What was your favorite childhood candy or dessert? Have your tastes changed since then? What satisfies your sweet tooth today?

I love sweets!  It is all my Mom's fault.  I take no credit for my sweet tooth. A meal is not complete without desert especially after lunch and dinner. 
My Mom packed a candy bar in each lunch bag on school days.  It was usually a Snickers or a Milky Way.  I sure did enjoy them. 
For dinner desert we usually had ice cream.  We didn't eat it right after dinner we usually ate it a little later.  We liked any favor.  If we only had vanilla ice cream some times we would mix Sanka instant coffee into to it or added a spoonful of peanut butter on the side.  Of course Hersey's chocolate syrup was always a good add on.

Sometimes for snacks my Mom would give us a sugar sandwich, you got it white bread, butter and sugar.  I never gave my kids one of these and we sure liked them but I won't eat all those empty calories now.  If we couldn't sleep she made us hot milk with vanilla and sugar.  Sometimes she even made us a little egg nog, on the spot, milk, egg, vanilla and sugar, but this was cold milk.

My Dad worked in a Farm Store when we first moved to Florida.  They were a little drive up store that sold milk, eggs, bread, ice cream, cottage cheese.  He use to bring ice cream home from the farm store, it was a good quality of ice cream.  I won't tell you how many times when I had kids at home and need milk or bread on the way home from work, that I wished there was a drive through Farm Store to go to. 

Now a days I like dark chocolate, milk chocolate is bland. Since I was a young adult I would rather eat the Nestle's Semi-Sweet chips out of the bag then eat the cookies.  I have a bag of these in my draw at work, but don't tell anyone.
I still want a small piece after lunch, the bite size or a couple of kisses instead of a full bar.  I still love ice cream after dinner but don't eat it.  Well at least not every day.  I settle for a dark chocolate kiss instead.  My husband & I love to stop at Dairy Queen on the weekends. 
And it is all my Mom's fault that I have a sweet tooth.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Notice my New Background

While checking out some of my favorite blogs, I notice a nice background on Yvonne's blog.  I email her and asked how did you do that?  She graciously told me how she added her own picture as a background. 
Last night I had a picture of my grandparents as a background but I couldn't see my grandfather, though my grandmother was stunning.  I tried to make the center where the post are transparent but it was too hard to read the posts. 
UK 1911 Census
This morning I looked through my pictures again and found a copy of the UK 1911 Census with my great grandfather as the head of house.  I thought this might work, I did the computer magic and now it is my background.  I really like how it looks. 

Yvonne also grave me permission to use her cute graphic she make of this quote,
Yvonne's Graphic.
"If you cannot get rid of the family skeleton, you may as well make it dance." -- George Bernard Shaw
It just tickles my funny bone.  Sometimes I think we are afraid of what others will think of our skeletons, but the reality is no one cares about them, they care about us and who we are.  That is what makes family history so interesting to see what we have become in spite of who our ancestors were.

Yvonne thanks for sharing!

Happy Researching and Sharing of the Stories.

A Volunteer Went the Extra Mile

When I entered my request for my Mom’s grave stone, I did not request my Dad’s I am not sure why but I did not request it. Christine the volunteer did take a picture of my Dad’s gravestone. I did not realize it until a couple of days after the original post on my Mom’s stone. I did send her a thank you note when I noticed the gravestone. Here is the link to the picture.

A Rosary Case like my Dad's
 My first reaction when I saw the rosaries on my Dad’s gravestone was, “How appropriate.” I am not sure if my brothers chose this or my Dad. I was not involved with the funeral arrangements. One of the memories I have of my Dad was he always had his rosaries in his pockets. He carried them in a little black case and every time he placed them in his pocket he would cross himself with the rosaries (in the case) in his right hand and them kiss the case and place them in his right pocket of his pants. There were many an evening during Lent that we would sit or kneel and say the rosaries. I can remember him saying the rosaries for Mom when she was so sick with cancer or before one of her surgeries. He was a man of faith and prayed frequently.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Only One Left

Yes there is only one more grave request to be completed.  This is for my Great Grandfather.  He immigrated from Germany to New York City.  He was a tailor by trade but he also owned a beer saloon in Astoria, Long Island City. 

This is part of a letter from my great uncle Fred telling me a little about my Great Grandpa Joseph.  I hope to see his grave stone soon if he has one.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Find A Grave Update

Oh this is too exciting, another email!

Great News!

Find A Grave contributor, Christine has fulfilled your photo request for Annette Hartmann. To see the new photo(s), visit Annette Hartmann's online memorial by clicking on the link below:

This is my second Mom's grave stone.  I knew she had been an Army Nurse during WWII but now I know her rank.  I also thought she signed up in Massachusetts where she is from but maybe she signed up in New York.  It is a lead since I have never found any records of her in Massachusetts. 

I had her veteran's flag that was on her coffin and I had it hanging outside of my townhouse back in the 90's.  I went out one evening and came home and some one had stolen it.  I was not a happy camper, I still get mad about it when I think of it.  I guess if I had been smart maybe I should have place the flag in one of those triangle boxes.  Oh well too late now.  I was just proud to hang her flag.

My attempts to be a contributor have not been too successful.  I found one open request and took the picture and submitted it.  But every other time I have searched to find an open request they were claimed the day before I went in to check.  I am set up to be notified by email when a request is placed but I have not received such an email,  and yes my email is correct. 

I was showing the pictures of the grave stones to my husband, who isn't really into genealogy and he said, "This is so cool that people are willing to take these pictures.  What a great idea." 

One small step for me and my ancestors.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Find A Grave Update

Well my email inbox had another little email on Thursday that read Find A Grave Photo Request: Success!
The first few lines read,

Find A Grave contributor, JP has fulfilled your photo request for Minnie Chaplin. To see the new photo(s), visit Minnie Chaplin's online memorial by clicking on the link below:This gave me such a feeling of joy!  This is my maternal Grandmother, and we share the same middle name of Elizabeth.

When I clicked on the link I was surprised to see three names on the grave stone.  William T is my grandfather and Herbert H is my great uncle.  William and Herbert were brothers. 

I am guessing but I think the other Chaplin brothers pitched in to buy the plot for my grandfather, he was a motor man and died at 41.  There were four brothers here in the States at one time, they all came from England.  One of the uncles, Vic was better off as I inherited some money he left to my mother.  He died back in England but had been in the States and he had even taken my Aunt Em out on dates.  She is my Dad's sister.  I am not sure how Herbert ended up here or what happened to his wife.

Monday, May 9, 2011

New Feature

There is a new feature for following blogs.  Follow by Email.   You type in your email address and click on submit.

This is the message you receive, type in the security word and you are all set up.  I wouldn't do this for every blog I follow but for maybe a favorite or if you don't follow a lot of blogs this might be a good thing for you.   

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

William & Beatrice Chaplin
William & Beatrice Chaplin

These are my Uncle Bill & Aunt Bea my Mother Edith's older sister and brother.  Bea was born in 1909 & Bill in 1911. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Find A Grave Update

On Tuesday I took a PTO day so I could take a sewing machine class but I used the morning to work on some genealogy.  I decided it was a good day to call back East to different Cemeteries and find the plot locations for my mother, my Dad, my Second-Mom and my grandparents. 

I had just finished placing all my requests and was checking them and one was already claimed. 

I sure was excited.  Well today I was even more excited when I checked my email and had a message that a picture was posted. 
I am not sure what the correct protocol is on re-posting these pictures to my blog, so I am going to play it save and place a link back to the Find a Grave site.  

Cristina the volunteer sent a note that Edith's name is not engraved on the stone.  I was really disappointed to hear that little fact.  I did see the grave when I was about 11 before we moved to Florida, my Dad took me.  I have no recollection of it.  I like to think that he was going to add her name later and then we moved to Florida and it never happened.  I am guessing that it is a family plot. 

The nice thing is Cristina went the extra mile and took pictures of the other names engraved on the stone, down at the bottom.  Why would you engrave names at the bottom?  Thee is plenty or room up higher.  They would be my Dad's parents. 

Now because stories always make things more interesting.  Here is a little story.  The way the story goes is my grandparents didn't like my mother, she was a divorced women and in the 40's well you know.  According to her marriage registration to my Dad, her first marriage was annulled.  My parents waited until after my grandparents died to marry.  Of course my question is why did they wait almost three years after my grandparents died to marry.  Inquiring minds want to know but Dad was never a talker about this stuff, so I won't know.  Oh Dad you had such a way of putting spin on things.

One small step for me and my ancestors!

PS I just went and looked at the plot information again and it Grave 81 to 85.  That would include my grandparents, Dad & Edith & I bet Dad's sister Emma, since she was still single.