Archive for the ‘My Memories’ Category

Ten Year Anniversary in the NFPW

by Sherry Stocking Kline
February 12, 2010

They say time flies when you’re having fun, and I didn’t realize just how much fun I’d had or how much time had flown past until I received the following Congratulatory e-mail from National Federation of Press Women on Friday.

It was my Ten Year Anniversary!  What a nice reminder:

SUBJECT: NFPW MILESTONE CONGRATS!

Fri, February 12, 2010 1:57:27 PM

February 12, 2010

Dear Sherry,

CONGRATULATIONS!

As a member of the National Federation of Press Women, you have reached the 10-year Milestone in your membership.

Your name will be in the 2010 NFPW Chicago Conference Program recognizing your 10 years of membership

Our thanks from the entire membership for your support of this wonderful organization through your dedicated membership.

Information about the conference in Chicago is forthcoming, and I hope you will be attending the entire event. As anyone knows who has attended a conference, they quickly become addictive. Not only for the information gained, but the priceless friendship and memories as well.

Again, my congratulations to you. I hope you will join us for the informative workshops, the inspiration gained, and the never-ending fellowship and fun that fills every conference.

Cordially,

Barb Micek, NFPW Historian

And it’s by such little choices that lives are changed…

Just a little over ten years ago, shortly after I graduated from Kansas State University’s distance learning program with a bachelor’s degree in Arts & Sciences, (emphasis on home economics taken in the late 1960′s) and history (taken in the 1990′s), I took a writing class at Wichita State University.

Seeing a flyer on the bulletin board for a writing group, I went to the meeting.  Would we like a mentor?

Well, yes, of course!

And it’s by such little choices that lives are changed.  I was assigned Beth Bower, editor of a newspaper that I’m ashamed to say I can’t recall the name of right now.  I went to meet Beth, we hit it off, and she asked me to write an article about my genealogy hobby.

So I did.

One thing led to another…

Shortly after that, Beth called and told me that she was leaving that newspaper to go to the Wichita Eagle, Special Publications Division,  and before I could get sad about not doing any more writing for her, she said “Give me a little time, (to get settled into her new job) and I think I can get you some work.”

Beth encouraged me to join the local and state chapters of Press Women, now  Wichita Professional Communicators and Kansas Professional Communicators. It was excellent advice.

One thing led to another and genealogy continued to grow in popularity, and that’s how my column “The Family Tree” that ran in “Active Life” and now in “Healthy Living” came to be.  And now I’ve been writing about genealogy in the Wichita Eagle for ten years also.

Thanks to Beth’s encouragement, advice, (and excellent editing) I’ve won state awards and national honorable mentions.   Woo Hoo!

Thank you, Beth!

Time does fly when you are having fun!

The Big Green Tractor… Music Monday

Sherry Stocking Kline
January 8, 2009

I grew up around tractors. Lots of them. Big ones. Little ones.  ‘Tricycle’ front end ones like my dad used to cultivate the cattle feed and squatty little red and green tractors with big wide fenders perfect for children to ride along with their parents.

I don’t remember my first tractor ride…

I don’t remember my first tractor ride. I was much too young for that to ‘stick’ in my memory.

I do remember countless hours riding on the fender, hanging on, then getting off when mom or dad stopped (yes, they had his and hers tractors) and running in the furrow behind the plow, my bare feet pounding the sun-warmed damp earth.

I watched out for fishing worms (and picked them up if there was any chance we might go fishing soon).  Little baby bunny rabbits ran to get away from the tractors (and me).

Back then,  the long, muley-eared jackrabbits were a common sight in Sumner County, Kansas.   Now, jackrabbits are pretty rare.  I’ve not seen one in a good, long, time, but I have it on good authority that they are still around.

Nowadays children would be taken to a baby sitter…

Nowadays children would be taken to a baby sitter while mom and dad worked, but mom was a ‘work at home’ (or in the field) mom, and I went along. Mom and Dad’s day began at 5:00 a.m. when Mom and our collie dog Lassie brought the dairy cattle in to be milked.

After they milked, dad took the truck with silage in it out to the pasture and the feed bunks to feed the cattle while mom came in and got ready to feed the people in our home, which in the time period I’ve got in mind included Dad, myself, and my brother, Gary.

After breakfast, if it was spring, summer, or fall, Dad and most often Mom would head to the field on a tractor.   Not the fancy ones like they have now with air conditioning and GPS, just plain red, then later yellow, and much later the green John Deere’s made their way onto our farm.

I always felt sorry for city kids…

Those were good days, and good memories.  I know some city kids would feel sorry for me, no swimming pool around the corner, and no park to go swinging in.

But I always felt sorry for city kids (like my own kids later on) who didn’t get to ride on tractors and combines each summer, who had to play in a postage-stamp-sized back yard instead of a quarter section with pasture and creeks full of pollywogs and crawdad, and who never got to watch baby chicks scurry around after the mama hen, and baby calves grow from awkward to adult.

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – What I Do for Fun!

Sherry Stocking Kline
January 23, 2010

Even though I’m late finishing this up, I’d like to add my ‘two bits’ and thank Randy Seaver once again for a fun Saturday Night Genealogy Fun Challenge!

It’s Saturday Night – time for more Genealogy Fun!!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

* Tell us about your “other” hobbies or interests outside of genealogy and family history research, writing, speaking, etc.

* Write a blog post of your own, respond with a comment to this post, or add a comment on the Facebook version of this post.

Most of the time, I don’t have anything more exciting to do on a Saturday night (unless family is coming!) than look forward to doing the SNGF challenge that Randy Seaver posts for us at Genea-Musings.

But this past Saturday Night was special, it was my mom’s 98th birthday, and we gathered together as a family at her home to let her know how special we we think she is.

Hmmm, so what do I enjoy doing besides family history?  A lot of what I enjoy doing is related to family history, so I’ll just make a random list of stuff I think is fun.  And some of it falls within the family history spectrum, no doubt!

1. My Family – Spending time with my family, especially the tiny little apples of my eye, my granddaughters. This includes going to the parks, swinging on the swings, playing Uno, dominoes, Wa-hoo, and now Wii.

2.  Reading. I love to read, and my children still complain that I can ignore them easily if I’m reading.  But I get involved in a book, can visualize the setting, and I’m off to a new adventure, living vicariously.   I’ve also been a fairly fast reader since I was a kid and the librarian used to let me check out 14 books at a time (since we lived in the country, and because I was a voracious reader).  Librarians just love kids like that…

Jan Karon’s “Mitford Series” books are my all-time favorites.  I like to read Max Lucado’s inspirational books, Nora Roberts romance/mystery novels, Louis L’Amour western novels, and various and sundry other “who-dun-it’s”. (I like them best if I can’t figure out ‘who-dun-it’ before I get to the end, too.)

3.  Music. I love music.  A variety of music, though rap not much at all, especially if it needs to be ‘bleeped’ on tv, and blues and classical not quite as much.

Gaither’s Gospel music is an all-time favorite, and brings peace to my heart and soul. Fifties and sixties rock brings back wonderful memories of sock hops and teen-age crushes. John Denver is one of my favorite artists and my husband took me to his concerts twice. “Take Me Home Country Roads” speaks to my country heart.

4. Fishing. I like to fish, though I seldom do.  We practice the ‘catch and release’ so generally the fish is free to go back to his pursuits within minutes of being caught.  And sometimes the little ones choose to be caught again…

5. Gardening. I like to dig in the dirt, plant, and watch flowers and vegetables grow.

I have a cherry tree, blackberry bushes, and am considering planting strawberries. I’d never have to pick them, because I never have to pick the cherries, the birds usually beat us to those, and my granddaughters pick the blackberries, coming in with purple lips!

6. Crafts & Sewing.   I used to be a very ‘crafty’ lady.  I was constantly doing cross-stitch, sewing something, or making something.  I’ve kind of gotten away from that, spending that time working on the computer or writing.  But I made one man’s suit and several shirts for my husband (polyester suit back in the day, but nice looking) quilt pillows, beaded Indian looking earrings, and before my children came along, a lot of my work clothes!

7.  Photography. I love to take photos.  Mostly of family, and a lot of the granddaughters, but I just like taking photos.  Because I take so many, and do try to make each one good, out of hundreds I’ve had several real gems that captured the love between father and daughter, the magic of a child’s smile, and the memories contained within those photographs are priceless.

Those are some of the things I like to do.  Someone else might add a few more things to my list, but these are what comes to mind ‘off the top of my head…’

Wordless Wednesday – Dad & Dimples

Sherry Stocking Kline
January 20, 2010

This is going to be an almost wordless Wednesday.  My mom was going through old photos this week, and found this gem of my dad, Harold F. Stocking, Sr. (mostly known by his childhood nickname of “Jiggs” all his life)  and his favorite registered Ayrshire cow, “Dimples”.  This was, I believe, before I came along, as I don’t remember her at all.

My folks were wheat and dairy farmers in south central Kansas (a.k.a. tornado alley) and they raised and milked registered Ayrshire cattle.

Harold F. "Jiggs" Stocking, Sr. & Dimples

Harold F. "Jiggs" Stocking, Sr. & Dimples

Mom said that Dimples was his favorite, and that he was very proud of her, but she developed some health issues and was sold.

If my dad were still alive, today, January 20th,  would be his 99th birthday.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

More Stocking family memories & genealogy here…

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – A Day at Camp Wentz

by Sherry Stocking Kline
January 17, 2010

Here’s my Saturday Night Genealogy Fun – one day (almost two) late!

Hey there, it’s Saturday Night, time for more Genealogy Fun from Randy Seaver at Geneamusings!!

Your mission, should you decide to accept it (cue the Mission Impossible music!), is:

1) Remember when you were 12 years old? On a summer day out of school? What memory do you have of fun activities?

2) Tell us about that memory (just one – you can do more later if you want to) in a blog post, in a comment to this post, or in a comment on Facebook.

I was twelve years old. And it was my second trip to Camp Wentz.   My mom and dad thought it would be good for me to go, and they were right.

At Camp Wentz, the day began with giggly, groggy girls dragging out of their bunk beds, and hurrying to the bathroom cabin. In my case, I struggled each morning to tame my past-the-waist-length sun-streaked-blonde hair into scruffy braids, then walked the 100 yards or to to eat breakfast in the dining hall and watch for the cute blond kid I had a crush on. (oh, be still my twelve-year-old heart)

I learned how to Braid plastic keychains…

Then there were crafts in the dining hall where I learned how to braid plastic key chains and lanyards as gifts for my parents.  I was much better at braiding those than my hair.  (I brought home a keychain for mom, and a watch ‘chain’ for my dad’s pocket watch, which he promptly put on his watch, and then unfortunately it broke within the first week I was home)

Then there were devotional studies, and my absolute morning favorite, the one hour swim time before lunch.

Then lunch (more keeping my eyes peeled for the cute blond kid) and afterwards back to the cabins to rest and write letters to our parents back home.

My mom still has and still laughs about one of my first letters back home with the quote:

“Hi Mom and Dad,     I miss you,  but not very much…”

Then it was time for late afternoon swim. I loved going swimming, and turning into a prune didn’t worry me, and that was before we knew that sunburns had long-term consequences, so I spent all the time I could on outdoor activities and swimming.

So much so that when I went home I shocked my mother who said that I “was brown as an Indian”  and she spent the whole next week trying to scrub the tan off of my neck, convinced part of it had to be dirt. (I swear a couple of times it felt like she was using a pot scrubber on me…)

Located on the side of a hill, Camp Wentz with it’s limestone cabins, many trees, and lakeside location was very picturesque.

Every night as we sat on the side of a hill for our devotionals the lights of the city across the lake twinkled in the distance.  Sitting on the side of the hill, listening to lessons about God’s love for us, watching the sun set (and yes, fighting the mosquitoes and watching for the blond kid) we sang Bible school songs and hymns.

“We are Climbing Jacob’s ladder….”

And every night, after devotionals were over, as we climbed back up the hill we sang “We are climbing Jacob’s ladder…. Every rung goes higher, higher…  our flashlights bobbing in the dark like little fireflies as we wove our way back to our cabins where bedtime prayers and ghost stories blended together in the time before sleep came.






Music Monday – “Baby It’s Cold Outside!”

Sherry Stocking Kline
January 4, 2010

I had so much fun doing Christmas music video’s that when I found this duet Baby, It’s Cold Outside (Dean Martin with Martina McBride)on former Kansas girl, Martina McBride’s “White Christmas” album I just couldn’t resist posting it here.

Besides, here in Kansas, with barely double digit temps, and single digit wind chills, it’s pretty appropriate today, ‘cuz Baby it’s sure cold outside here!

When we were having cold weather (like this week) my dad, Harold ‘Jiggs’ Stocking, Sr., would always come in from feeding the cattle or working outside (we had a wheat and dairy farm then) and laughingly tell my mom”Baby it’s Cold Outside!” After listening to the song a few times, I know why he was laughing when he said it!

The song also reminds me to share a saying that my Mom’s mom, Carrie Breneman Jones always told her:

“When the days begin to lengthen, the cold begins to strengthen”.

I’ve been paying attention ever since she shared that with me, and it’s often very true!  We were working outside in medium weight jackets here right before Christmas.

In just a couple of days, we’re going into minus wind chill temps here.  Brrrrr!

With a couple of inches of snow and minus wind chills, I won’t be doing any ‘cemetery stomping’ this week, for sure!

Fifty-four days till the first of March!  (but who’s counting!) Can’t wait!

Link to “Gloria in Excelsis Deo” sung in Cherokee

While wandering around the Internet, looking for more fun and enjoyable Christmas music, I found this post at the “I Speak of Dreams” blog, link here: http://lizditz.typepad.com/i_speak_of_dreams/2003/12/merry_christmas.html.

The following is the excerpt from the blog, where another Internet ‘wanderer’  had found “Gloria in Excelsis Deo” sung in the Cherokee language!  Pretty neat!

Follow the link below (or above)  to the blog and to the Cherokee version of this wonderful Christmas song.

Merry Christmas from the Cherokee Nation

I was wandering around and found a blog with a link to The Cherokee Nation’s online Christmas card, with “Gloria in Excelsis Deo” sung in Cherokee.

I couldn’t resist posting it here.  I promise to stop posting Christmas music soon.  Honest…

Silent Night – in German, Gaelic, and English

Merry Christmas to All!

Stille Nacht (The original Silent Night – in German)

Click here to see both English and German lyrics side by side. German was the language of most of my husband’s ancestor’s.  Unfortunately,  the language and perhaps many of the food and customs have been lost.

Oiche Chiuin (Silent Night) by Enya

This was cool.  I know, if I go back far enough, my ancestors spoke Gaelic.  I just hope that soon I can find their exact origins.  Must get back to working on this branch!

Silent Night in English sung by Bing Crosby

It doesn’t get much better than listening to Bing Crosby sing “Silent Night”, unless you’re singing “Silent Night” while doing the annual Christmas Light car tour and you find out that your seven-year-old granddaughter learned the sign language for the song in school.  Now, that’s really cool.



Have a Very Merry Christmas! Blessings, Sherry

Christmas Caroling – Advent Calendar Challenge – December 21st

Sherry Stocking Kline
December 21, 2009

Thanks to Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers for today’s Advent Calendar Challenge:

Christmas Music

What songs did your family listen to during Christmas? Did you ever go caroling? Did you have a favorite song?

My family always loved music and I grew up listening to carols on the radio first, then 45 rpm records, then a stereo, then a tiny (by then standards) battery operated transistor radio.

Today, there’s music on the stereo, computer, smart phone, and  iPod!   It’s so easy to listen wherever you are.

Mayfield Federated Church

Mayfield Federated Church

Growing up near the tiny town of Mayfield, Kansas, our church youth group at the Mayfield Federated Church (a Methodist and Presbyterian combined church) always went caroling.

Our group would set out on foot (remember, it’s a tiny town) in the cool, crisp air, and it was always a fun and joyous evening of laughter, singing, and wishing the townspeople, mostly seniors, but often others who had been ill and shut-in, a very Merry Christmas.

Our pastor and his wife usually led the singing and ‘herded’ us from house to house.  There were many of ‘Grandma age’ in our town, and  many of them had grandchildren in the group, so they knew each and every one of us,  were often called Grandma by many who were not their grandchildren, and they were always delighted to see us!

A side benefit we often enjoyed was that several of them were extremely good cookie bakers, and we might be given cookies to enjoy while walking around the town.

After the caroling was done for the evening we’d gather back at the church for cookies and cocoa, and then sometime walk down to the school’s gymnasium for indoor games.

I know the seniors enjoyed the carols, but the fun and fellowship for all of us was priceless.

The Christmas Song – Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire – Music Monday

Sherry Stocking Kline
December 21st, 2009

I love Christmas songs!  There are so many wonderful ones, and there are so many great memories to go with each one!

This lovely version by Nat King Cole has been enhanced by great Christmas photographs!

I’ve never roasted chestnuts by a fire, but it sounds relaxing and fun. I Hope that you and yours have a wonderful Christmas!

Merry Christmas

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