Sunday, July 29, 2012

Closed for the Season

On Friday, our granddaughter left for her aunt and uncle's house to spend a few days before she's driven home to her Mom and sister in NY. Just after waving our goodbyes, we closed the door to Camp Waygood and closed down for the season.

Having Rebecca here for a month was good for so many reasons. She celebrated her twelfth birthday earlier in the year, and because she was a little older, things were a little easier for us. She was a big help to us when our backs were in pain during the last two weeks, and willingly did some of the things that we were having trouble with like getting to the phone before the machine picked up. Becca is a good girl and a good worker if she's doing things  she enjoys.  She arrived too late to plant the garden,but she enjoyed checking the plants for things to pick. She was careful not step on the vines of the squashes, and gentle about lifting leaves and picking tomatoes. She was excited about the cucumbers, as she loves to eat those, and when our corn was ripe, she was thrilled to shuck it for supper. She was faithful to put water in the birdbath, and to give the plants a drink when they looked thirsty.

Becca likes to work in the kitchen...not so fond of the cleaning up (who is?) but she  certainly enjoys creating things to eat.  She was attentive when we made pickles together, and enjoyed eating them. She loves to bake,and we were treated to her offerings of Supreme Bars,which she made twice, all on her own.  She also made white bread, three loaves of braided yeast bread, which was delicious! I think she will meet her hoped-for occupation as an adult baker!

My granddaughter has a bit of my DNA, the artistic bit. She wanted to spend much time in the sunroom, where we crafted for hours. If she wasn't painting canvases or watercolor paper, she was snipping,cropping, taping,framing and begging for more photos to put in her scrapbook. She's learning to exercise her freedoms of  page 'decor' and placing photos in unusual positions on the papers,rather than equally spaced in rows. We shared laughter and stories and special time together.
We took her to a nearby orchard where there are goats to  feed and gems to mine. It was a favorite spot when she and her sister visited a few years ago, and she requested a return visit there.

Though the old people in this house were slowed down during her last days with us, and we were unable to take her camping for the weekend or fishing at the catfish pond, she understood, and had no complaint.We'll save that for another time, which I hope will come for us in the future. I fear those visits will be fewer as she grows older. She will probably want to get a summer job in a year or so, as her fifteen year old sister did this year. I hate knowing this might have been our last summer visit from Becca, but I hope that whatever memories  we made will stay with  each of us for the rest of our lives.

There are two younger grandchildren who may end up being future campers at Camp Waygood. If not, there may come a time when I'll open that long-awaited 'sleep-away camp for Moms"!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Mysterious Ways III

Yesterday I shared with you about our meeting Aine and Bruce.  Today I will share her recent news of another of God's mysterious ways of working to surprise us!

Recently I received a series of emails from Aine, documenting the events as they unfolded for them. Bruce's workplace had made changes and he began seeking a new place to work. Given his credentials, it shouldn't be difficult to find one. In short time, he was employed at his new position, and they were house-hunting. Then the news that they'd found one,an old house on a good number of acres, and thus began the dismantling of one home and the establishment of another one in a different state.

The most  recent chapter in this story reported that Aine had begun digging through old records to find out the history of  their old house. She discovered that the man who had built it was the earliest settler of their new location....a man by the name of Topping.  This gentleman had been born in Southampton,NY and in later years had traveled on foot, with his family and an ox-cart full of possessions, from Connecticut to upstate New York. They first built a lean-to, then a cabin, and later the larger,more comfortable house.  Knowing that her ancestral lines included the name of Topping, she began digging a little deeper. Imagine her surprise when she discovered that this Mr. Topping was an uncle to her own 3GreatGrandmother!

What are the chances that Aine would purchase a home with no prior knowledge of it or the area in which it is located,only to discover that the place was built by someone whose DNA is shared with her?! What some would call coincidence, others would credit God for. Aine and I are among those of the latter group. We are thrilled when God sends these wonderful, unexpected surprises!



Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Mysterious Ways II

A few  years ago,while exploring for more genealogy information on our family lines, I came across a woman who had listed my maternal grandfather in her data. I left her a message and asked her to contact me regarding him. Aine got back to me fairly soon, and we began an email correspondence, comparing notes and learning much from each other.  When she told me she was planning to take a trip to East Hampton to discover more on her 'people', I offered suggestions as to historical societies, libraries, Suffolk County records, cemetaries, etc.

It was an easy early friendship. As time went on, we shared about our personal lives, and our husbands. As 'fate' would have it, both our men have similar interests as well as Scots bloodlines.  We continued to write, until it got closer  to the time of their trip to my hometown. At that time we felt comfortable enough for a face to face meeting, so with the approval of our husbands, we planned to share a rental place in East Hampton,if we could find one. Having a good childhood and Facebook friend who owned a cottage that haden't rented that summer, we were in luck!  It was a huge risk, but we took it, and haven't been sorry.

Aine and I hunted for our families' hidden treasures among the records available from Riverhead to the grave yards of Amagansett. We were non-stop chatter boxes! We are very different in looks and stature, but bound by bloodlines that joined 7 generations earlier! We are family! As for our men, they hit it off from the first handshake, comparing books they'd both read, enjoying quiet conversation about the weather, the boats that sailed past the cottage, and anything else that appeals to men to talk about. 

During the days, we did a bit of sight-seeing while we wandered around the east end of Long Island. We enjoyed our evenings cooking suppers and sharing them and learning more about each others' lives. We wiled away the hours of the week together, finding that taking the 'risk' was well worth it.

These days, Aine and I are still corresponding. The men are still wishing for each other's company and conversation. In due time,we hope to arrange another visit, in a 'half-way between' spot. Meanwhile, we will just wait and remember the 'chance' finding of each other.
*watch for another post about Aine & Bruce, and their Mysterious Ways occurance... to come soon in this blog.*

Monday, July 23, 2012


For nearly six years,we've lived in a subdivision of newly-built homes. We've met all those who bought their houses at about the same time. Some have been quieter folks who stay to themselves, some are in everyone's business, some are neighborly, and some have become our best friends.

We've seen babies born to some families. We've watched young ones become teenagers, and a few who've left for college.  We've seen the angel of death visit one or two homes. We've seen jobs found among some,and some who have lost their jobs. There have been some familes who have moved out of our neighborhood to other new residences, and we've seen a few who have lost homes to foreclosure in the failing economy. As in all neighborhoods, many changes come and go.

The latest change is one I never wanted to see. Our best friends who live next door have sold their home and are moving back to 'cold country'. Our lives have been woven together since before we met, when my brother told me that they had bought their place, and we were still living in NY,while waiting to move. I wrote them a letter and mailed it to my brother to deliver for me. Netty answered it and mailed a response. Letters went across the miles until we met face to face in October of that year.
We  knew,on the spot, that the Lord had brought us all together. There also were so many similarities in our lives... we both have daughters named Amy. Netty and I both are partial to cobalt blue, with red being a close second. We even have  the same pattern of Pfalzgraf ironstone...and to beat that, we both have the same pattern of  china!

While those things are incidental and perhaps coincidental, our friendship has been forged by other things. Each of us feels that we would be 'there' should the other need us.  It's been proven over the last few  years.We've shared it all...tears,laughter,family things, life, in much the same way that a family is 'there' when needed. Even our least some of them, have formed friendships where they visit from eastern Long Island to New York city....and when their son is here to visit his parents,he has gone to Georgia to visit my daughter and her family there.

On Wednesday, our times together...dinners at each other's tables, or at a restaurant, impromptu day trips or porch visits...will end. No,the comradary will not stop...our love and caring will not cease. But things will change. We'll stay in touch through letters, through emails, on the phone and on Facebook.....and we'll visit. They will still have their Amy here in the area, and we both have kids in NY.  We'll visit Iowa when it's not the dead of winter...their visits here will probably be at that time, in order to escape the snow and the cold.

I wish they could stay close by forever,as they thought they would when we first met. But life has brought a different turn, and they must follow. We will stay here, reporting to them on the neighborhood goings-on, and on the young couple who have bought their house and will make it their home.  We will attempt to be good friends to the new neighbors, but they will never fill the empty places we'll feel with the leaving of Dan and Netty.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Vanity Plates

Down south they call license plates "Ve-Hicle Tags".  We have all sorts of options in SC as how the 'tag' looks....we chose the simple one...white,blue letters/numbers, and our country's flag in the center. I could have gotten one with a palm tree on it, but I kind of hate palm trees.(sorry if any of our Palmetto State folks see that bit of truth.) I do,however, love our flag and all that it stands for.

If we want to choose our own special vanity plate,we have that option too. I have thought about it, but haven't come up with something yet that will be catchy, cute, or give a message that I'd like to present in 8 characters! I've given it lots of thought, and after reading my friend Barbara's blog, I'll be putting more thinking into it.

Should it be a Bible reference because that's a message I'd love to see spread, and try to live by? Should I be tagged "PunnyOne" because I'm well known for coming out with puns often? Probably not, because someone might read it as PUNY...and there's not a cell in my rotund,short body that is puny!  What about some form of our old hometown nickname, Bonacker? I could kill two birds with that one, given my aging self and my aches and pains. I could put "BonAcher" on the tag.

Maybe it'll be "N-corager", (ecourager) or 'Trnsplnt'. (Did you get Transplant out of that?) I won't do anything that would offend anyone, which I've seen from time to time when trying to decipher coded tags on the highways.  Of course, it's entirely possible that I've decoded something incorrectly, and that the car owner didn't mean that at all. But I want it all to be perfectly clear, and with no chance of misinterpretation. So...I can see that I'll need to continue to put thought into this. I'm open to suggestions, if you care to  offer any.  Stay tuned...and after I update you on the name I chose, be watching for the van my kids call 'the Wonder Bread mobile' (because looks like a loaf of white bread) .

The Lord Works in Mysterious Ways-1

It's been said that the Lord works in mysterious ways. I've had confirmation of that a few times in the last few days. This blog entry will  let you know of one instance.

We've had our 12 year old granddaughter with us since the beginning of July, and she's kept us quite busy. We've not minded that one bit, but suffice it to say that the normal routines have been cast to the winds. After all, why would one give up  a crafting partner for a dumb old computer keyboard?
That said, you will now understand why I hadn't checked one of my email accounts since sometime in mid-June.

That particular email address is almost exclusively used for my genealogy pursuits.  I went there to see what junk mail needed to be cleaned out of the 'box' and to see if there was anything worth reading. Imagine my surprise when I saw a mail waiting (from an unknown woman)  dated June 23, with a subject title of "Waygood Family Album."  I opened it to read it,with some doubt as to whether it was legit.
Reading through it, I learned that this woman who lives in Idaho had been on vacation in Oregon, had visited  an antique shop there, and in her attempt to add to her collection of  old photos, she'd purchased an album of family photos. 

After scanning the pages into her computer so that she could keep them, and without removing them from the album, she began a search for a family member who might want the album. She attempted to contact two or three other folks with our family name, with no response. She also checked the genealogy boards where she found an inquiry I'd left there in 2000 about a family name. Since my inquiry named someone she'd found obits for in the scrapbook, she took a chance that my email on the message board would still be good. It was. (That is precisely why I NEVER change my email names or addresses.)

So began an email and telephone communication from coast to coast. Carol is a lovely woman, about my age, and so thoughtful as to gift with this family scrapbook. She won't let us reimburse her for the money she's spent to purchase the book or to ship it to us. What a random act of kindness on her part!
She will be gifted with  many antique photos as I find them in my haunting of junk, thrift and antique stores!

The album should arrive here on Thursday. We are delighted and excited as the photos she scanned and emailed to us  are definitely my husband's family. There are some of his Dad when he married for the fourth time. (!!!) and some of  his great-grandfather, etc. There are others who we can't identify, but with the help of  a 78 yr old cousin in the southwest, we may get to that. We are also faced with other mysteries concerning this book of pictures. How did it end up in Oregon when the majority of the family lived in Wyoming? Who put the album together in the first place? What made Carol start to leave the antique store without the album, and suddenly retrace her steps and change her mind,going back to buy it?  Why did she feel compelled to track us down and get the album to the family? What are the chances that she'd find us...the only ones in the family who really care about genealogy?  We might never know. What I do know is this....we are most grateful!

The Lord does, indeed, work in mysterious ways!