Posts Tagged ‘Memories’

We are the Result of Generations of Decisions….

I love this blog post by Billy Coffey.  He says he’s not a genealogist, but in this post, he’s captured the essence of why many of us do this, search for this person, and then that one, hunt for this fact, or that, and try to find out who these ancestors of our truly are, and if we can, what they were like.

Billy Coffey captures most of the reasons why I do genealogy, and he says it better than I ever could.

Like Billy, I’m not looking for the rich and famous.  (I would enjoy finding just one, but I don’t think I will.)

Most of my recent ancestors were farmers, and my distant ancestors, on two sides, were people who left their home country in search of a place where they had the freedom of worship.  It is these everyday people, these people who climbed on a ship in search of freedom, these homesteaders, and farmers and farm wives, who bravely faced everyday hardships that I search for!

I don’t think anyone could say it better than Billy said in his blog post at BillyCoffey.com:

“Because I am the result of many moments and many decisions that mattered to people with whom I share a common bond. And those who come after me, my children and their children and theirs, will be the results of my own moments and decisions.”

I appreciated Billy putting into words at how I feel about my ancestors.

It reminded me that we’re all a part of the tapestry of history, the tapestry that living our everyday ‘nobody’ lives weaves each and every day.

Thank you, Billy.

52 Weeks of Personal History & Genealogy – My Favorite Sweet Stuff

by Sherry Stocking Kline
April 1, 2011

Week #13 – Sweets Week 13: Sweets. What was your favorite childhood candy or dessert?   
Have your tastes changed since then? What satisfies your sweet tooth today? This challenge runs from Saturday, March 26, 2011 through Friday, April 1, 2011

Deciding what my favorite Sweet Stuff was when I was growing up wasn’t easy!   Several things vie for first, but the most special sweet that I enjoyed eating at Christmas when Mom made pounds and pounds of it,was divinity! 

White, airy, sweet, melt-in-your-mouth divinity!

Mom knew just when to stop cooking the corn-syrup-rich mixture, when to pour it over the whipped egg whites, and just how long to beat it.  Mess up, and it will become a sticky caramel-like substance that tastes good, but you need a spoon to eat it.

Get it right, and it’s the food of angels.

Mom usually got it right.

A favorite with many, it was a ‘best-seller’ at the Mayfield Federated Church Lord’s Acre sale, often bringing high dollar bids.  It was also a huge favorite of my nephew’s as well.  For many years while he served in the Navy, Mom sent him a large box of divinity at Christmas time.  Once he confessed to opening the box, hiding it from everyone, and eating the entire three pound box all by himself! 

Can’t blame him for that!

Carnival of Genealogy – Nancy Jane and Other Cars that we Loved…

by Sherry Stocking Kline
April 1, 2011

Gary, Dorothy & Fred Stocking - maybe dressed for church

My mom and two brothers, Gary, Dorothy & Fred Stocking - maybe dressed for church, with "Nancy Jane" before I was born.

Cars were an important part of our lives on the farm. They took me to school, helped herd dairy cows, took us to town for groceries, to the elevator for supplies and nickel pepsi’s, and  made ‘blood runs’ (high speed trips) to the parts store when the combine or tractors broke down.

Nancy Jane…

Our cars had personalities (some more ‘congenial’ than others) and Mom always, always,  named them “Nancy Jane.”

“Nancy Jane, you start now, we need to get to church,” she might say as we hurried off to church on a cold morning.

“Nancy Jane, don’t you dare get stuck,” she’d say as we slid sideways down slippery, muddy unpaved roads to and from our home.

It always seemed to me, growing up, that after Mom called the car Nancy Jane in a firm, encouraging, and sometimes scolding voice that the car made an extra effort to do exactly what Mom asked.

After she spoke to it,  ‘Nancy Jane’ nearly always came through for us.

Do I talk to my vehicles?

Surely you jest!  Of course I do!  How else are they going to know what’s expected of them!

“Come on, Baby,  we gotta go pick up the granddaughters from school….”

 

The Third Annual iGene Awards – The Best of my Best

Sherry Stocking Kline
February 15, 2010

iGeneAwardBest Picture – Deciding which photograph I liked best in 2009 was extremely difficult!

Was it the  photograph of new-found cousin Nancy and my husband looking over the Glasgow, KY cemetery?  Or was it the  photo of my brother Gary with his street rod?   In the end, I chose the photograph of my Great-grandma Margaret “Maggie” Corson McGinnis holding little baby me on her 100th birthday.

Not everyone has a great-grandmother who lives to be 100, so this is a special photograph, and I’m glad my parents captured the moment on film.

Best Screen Play – I’m not sure that any of my stories would make a great screen play -  unless it would be the part of the Christmas Gifts story that involves myself and my two oldest nephews playing Cowboys and Indians in the pasture on our stick horses!   Even my patient collie dog Lassie wasn’t safe if we had a lasso!

I’d have to cast John Wayne as my dad.   First, I always thought there was a resemblance, and second, my dad had that same kind of confidence that the Duke projected on film.

My mom, well, she might be a cross of Maureen O’Hara and the Beav’s mom, June Cleaver, though she never wore dresses, pearls, and heels everyday,  those were church clothes.

Because she worked in the field she was more likely to be in jeans, flannel shirts, and maybe even overalls.

And the casting for  my nephews and I, well, lets just say “The Little Rascals” would be the best cast for us…

Best Documentary – My blog post about the Burchfiel Cemetery, the church and the church history connected with it holds a special place in my heart.

Best Biography – This post about my brother, Gary “Sox” Stocking is probably my favorite biography.  It doesn’t tell when he was born, nor whom he was born to, but it does capture just a bit of the essence of who he was, what kind of man he was, and you get an idea of why other street rodder friends came from three states in their street rods to honor him one last time.

Best Comedy – The funniest thing that I blogged about in 2009 was when we crazy high school kids used to drag main singing the top hit at the time “Hey There Little Red Riding Hood” at the top of our lungs!

It was fun then, and it gives me a chuckle now to remember it…

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.

Christmas Advent Challenge – Christmas Pageants!

Sherry Stocking Kline
December 16th, 2009

Thanks to Thomas MacEntee of Geneabloggers for his daily blogging (and memory) challenges…

Christmas At School

What did you do to celebrate Christmas at school? Were you ever in a Christmas Pageant?

Oh, my gosh, the Christmas pageant. How could I forget?  (Maybe because I’ve tried hard to?)

I attended a fairly tiny little school in a small town in Kansas. Eighty kids in the whole school, grades one through eight. That’s right, no kindergarten, and no middle school.

We had roughly 12 to 14 in our class at any given time, four classrooms, and two classes in each school room.

My very first experience in the program was when the folding wall dividers of the school were folded up, and parents poured into the school to watch us on the stage.  A couple of years later, there was a stage in the gymnasium, and we held our programs there.

Everyone was in the Christmas program…

Everyone was in the Christmas program.  Everyone.  Even people who couldn’t sing, people who couldn’t act, painfully shy people, and people like me who couldn’t sing, act, and were painfully shy.

Do I have horrible memories of the Christmas pageant?  No, but it was a long time ago, now, or seems like it, and the memories are all jumbled together.

Memories of waiting on the steps up to the stage, every kid full of Christmas excitement and too much Christmas candy, teachers threatening everyone within an inch of their lives if they didn’t quiet down, didn’t behave, or didn’t remember their lines.

He ran to the bathroom to ‘toss his cookies…’

Of course, the older kids got the more responsible, leading roles, and so the older we got the more responsibility we held.  One year the excitement got to one boy, and he ran to the bathroom to ‘toss his cookies.’   I felt his pain.

My one (and only)  shining moment as a lead in a play came when they needed someone to play the part of the daughter who honors Santa Lucia, the Swedish saint. (Read about that tradition here.)  Celebrated on December 13, the oldest daughter dresses in a long white dress with a red sash, and a wreath of leaves and candles (or battery powered tiny flashlights in my case) white socks and no shoes.

Because I had long, nearly waist length blond braids, I was a shoe-in for this part. It was my job to serve bread cubes to the others in the part of the skit.  Whether I was good or was lousy I can’t say, but it was my last leading role…

Kreativ Blogging Award – Thank you!

These past few days a really nice award has been circling among the Genealogy Bloggers! I don’t know who started the “tag you’re it” award that allows each of us to pick our seven favorite  blogs to receive it, but I’m certainly grateful to be nominated three times!  Thank you!

Kreativ Blogger Award

Kreativ Blogger Award

I received this Kreativ Blogger award from  three of my favorite  bloggers  to read:

Thomas McAtee from Geneabloggers,

Louise Bernero of Our Twigs Blog,

and Jenna from Desperately Seeking Surnames

I just want to say Thank You all very much!

I appreciate your recognition and encouragement, and this means a lot to me!

Here are the rules for this award:

1. List seven things about yourself that others do not know
2. Copy the award to your site
3. Link to the person from whom you received the award
4. Nominate 7 other bloggers.
5. Link to those sites on your blog.
6. Leave a message on the blogs you nominate.

There’s only one thing I can think of that most people don’t know about me. It’s silly ( it really is, but it’s the truth).

For the other six things, well, I’m pretty sure those aren’t a secret to those who know me best….

1.   The one thing I think no one knows, not even my family, so you’re the first to hear this… I’m honestly still scared of the dark…  Maybe it’s the murder mysteries I read, but I’m just pretty sure the boogeyman is out there somewhere, and who knows, maybe Big Foot really does exist, and maybe the government really was hiding Space Aliens in Area 51.    So, ask me to run outside after dark, haul out the trash, or go out to feed the dog, well, I can and I will, but it’s really outside my comfort zone. And I live in a pretty quiet neighborhood.

2.   I’d rather read than clean house or wash dishes. (this would come as no surprise to anyone in my family!) I love murder mysteries, historical fiction, some romantic historical fiction, all the “Mitford Series” books by Jan Karon, and anything by Max Lucado.

3.   O.K., so this is no secret to anyone, either. I love the puzzle-solving, gotta-find-the-next-family-fact, break-down-that-brick-wall, collect ‘dead relatives,’  build the family tree, and record our family history stories that makes up my family history fun.

4.  I love garage sales! (Going to them, not having them) Which means I bring home more stuff than I get rid of. Which means I’m a pack rat.  (it’s genetic, my mom is a pack rat, too, but a much more organized one than I am…)

5.  I love to take photos. And I’d love to learn how to Photoshop them.

6.   I’m a sucker for a cat with a sweet face and a hungry sounding meow.  That’s probably why we’ve had two extra cats on our porch for the last year. Sinbad, the black and white ‘tuxedo’ cat that has everyone from the mail lady to the UPS guy stopping to pet him, and Boo, a beautiful long-haired Siamese type that has a ‘rusty’ meow.

7.    I cry E-v-e-r-y time I watch “A League of Their Own”, even if we just watched it. It gets down to the last scene,  the reunion scene, and I’m grabbing for the Kleenex box…

There are so many great Blogs, and so many new ones! Thanks to all who inspire me, and here are my Seven Blog Awards!

1.    Greta’s Genealogy Blog

2.    George Geder’s African American Genealogy Blog

3.   Michael Hait -  Hait Family Research

4.    Mavis Jones – Georgia Black Crackers

5.    Amore E Sapore de Famiglia – Valentino’s Wife

6.    Footnote Maven

7.    We Tree Blogspot – Amy Coffin

It was such fun to be awarded, and to be given the opportunity to leave an award for others!  But it was difficult to just pick seven, there are so many wonderful blogs to choose from!

The Clutter Family Murders Changed The Way We Lived

by Sherry Stocking Kline
Nov 15, 2009

In 1959 The Clutter Murders Shattered Our Peaceful Life

There are times in your life when some event occurs and it changes your life in profound ways.

Fifty years ago, on November 15, 1959, when four members of the Clutter family were murdered in Holcomb, Kansas, it sent shock waves through our small community and especially in our farm home. And it changed the way our family lived and viewed the world.

We didn’t know them. In fact, we lived hours away from Holcomb. But that murder changed the way our family lived.

The Family Was Murdered for About $40.00…

What we heard on television and read in the newspaper, was that the farm family of four had been murdered for about $40.00.

I remember my parents, my dad and mom sitting at the kitchen table, faces somber, frightened looking even, and my father, saying “If people will murder a family for so little, they will do anything.”

(Later, we read that the murderers had heard in jail that the family kept a large amount of money at their home; but all we knew then was that an entire family had been brutally murdered for such a small sum.)

Murder was something that happened in far-away cities…

Murders like that were something you rarely heard of, they were something that happened in far-away large cities, not something that happened to Kansas farm families.

Up until then, our doors were never, and I mean NEVER locked, not in the daytime when we were gone, not at night when we were asleep.

Up until then, there was no need.

They were always locked at night after the Clutter murders.

Up until then, because the air conditioning we had wasn’t really that great, my folks would put beds and old Army cots out into the back yard on the hottest summer nights, and we slept under the stars.

And before the Clutter murder the only thing we worried about while sleeping outside was getting bitten by mosquitoes, and the only thing I worried about was whether the coyotes we could hear yodeling at each other in the distance would come closer.

We never felt completely safe again…

After the Clutter murders, a new fear, a new possibility had entered our lives and our minds, and that changed our lives.

The peace and safety that had been ours was gone. We never felt completely safe on the farm and we never slept in the yard under the stars again.

You can read more about the Clutter Family at the Wichita Eagle website here.

The Best Fishing Trip – Ever…

by Sherry Stocking Kline
October 19, 2009

It may sound crazy, but the best fishing trip I ever went on was nowhere near the water and we didn’t catch any fish.

It All Started With a Garage Sale…

It all started with a garage sale. (I do love garage sales.)

Driving by a garage sale late one Saturday afternoon I begged my son to stop so I could feed my garage sale fix.  (no, I have no pride and  he was driving so I begged, maybe even offered a bribe.)

I knew we were too late in the day to get first choice on the good stuff, but we were prime time for getting bargains on the I-don’t-want-to-box-it-up-and-keep-it  leftovers.

Sitting there amidst a lot of stuff we didn’t want was what looked like a really nice fishing reel.  I picked it up, checked it out, and laid it back down.

Which immediately prompted an offer from the owner of the garage.

So I snapped up the fishing reel. When we got back home, my son and I immediately went to my mom’s home to show off our ‘treasures.’

“Looks like a nice reel,” she said, “but it needs new line.” And she, being the veteran of years of pond, river, lake, and ocean fishing, knew what she was talking about.

Take it To Your Uncle Daryl…

“Take it to your Uncle Daryl,” she said, “he can put new line on it and get it ready to go for you.”

Daryl Jones, Sr., fishing at Aransas Pass, Texas

Daryl Jones, Sr., fishing at Aransas Pass, Texas 1908 - 1999

So I did.  My Uncle Daryl Jones, Sr. was pretty much a ‘pro’ at fishing.  Whether it was pond, river, creek, lake, or ocean, he’d fished them all, and he usually brought home the fish that the rest of us call “the one that got away.”

He looked the reel over, allowed that it was an “o.k.” reel, and that I had gotten a pretty “o.k.” deal, kept it, and promised to put new line on it and get it back to me soon.

A couple of weeks later he called me up and asked me if I  had a little time.   He had an hour to kill while my Aunt Elsie, got her hair done.

“Sure,” I said, and when he knocked on my door an hour later my fishing reel was now attached to a pole.

And Not Just Any Pole…

Not just any pole, but the one that his first wife, my Aunt May, who had passed away, had used to catch a shark in the Ocean near Aransas Pass, Texas, where they and my mom and her husband used to spend their winters fishing and being winter Texans.

Awesome!   I was thrilled, and moved to tears, and I tried to talk him into keeping it. But he wouldn’t have it.

“At my age, it won’t be too long before someone will have to put my things in an auction,” he said, “I’d like for you to have it.” (Fortunately, it was some time yet before he passed on.)

Nothing would have it but that he  give me an on-the-spot fishing lesson. So out the door we went to his little Toyota pickup, put down the tail gate, sat down, and he began to show me the right way to cast and reel in, cast and reel in.

That day is a Golden Moment in my memories…

It was fall, and the air was fresh and clean and  just crisp and cool enough to need a light jacket.  The trees were turning gold and red and even the dust motes in the breeze were golden with reflected sunlight.

We sat there, uncle and niece, on a pick-up tail gate in my driveway, dangling our feet, talking about fishing and memories, and casting out up and down the street as if we were actually on a lake, and bonding.

Casting out and reeling in, and hurrying like mad when a car turned down my dead-end street and threatened to run over our ‘catch.’

And enjoying being family on a beautiful fall day.

My Neighbors Thought We Were a Brick Shy of a Full Load…

There’s not a lot of traffic on my street, but I’m sure the neighbors and the occasional ‘foreigner’  (car that didn’t live there) that drove by that day had to be certain we were ‘a brick shy of a full load’, but I didn’t care.

I learned a lot that day, not all of it about how to fish, and the most important thing I learned was to tuck golden memories like this one into my heart to keep forever.


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