Monday, September 4, 2017

Labor Day 2017

Where did this summer go? What did you and family and friends do? Where did you go? What did you see? The days were long, the sun shone all day, rains came and went, gardens grew, and visitor’s came and went, and on and on the days passed by. So again, where did the summer go?
As for mine and as you can tell, I did not post a blog since July 19th. I feel rueful, but I have to tell myself that my absence will be hopefully overlooked for the following reason: I received a publishing offer for my Family Museum book. From that moment on, I have been occupied just about every day getting all that which a book is made of together for the editor. The book consists off a wide selection of my blog posts, which at that point I have a been writing for several years, compiling a measurable amount of stories, pictures, advice and directions on how to create a Family Museum in your home and other places. Currently, it is still a work-in-progress, but getting close to a publishing date. I will be thrilled to announce on my blog when it will be available for sale through the publisher’s website and Amazon, in libraries and bookstores. So stay tuned!
So today is Labor Day, the last day of the summer season and the beginning of a new school year, though some have already been in school. Therefore, take this time to celebrate this moment in time with a picnic, day at the pool or amusement park, and probably last minute shopping. And when the summer’s dust has settled, the air turns cooler and the days get shorter, plans are already being made for the upcoming holidays. This would also be a good time to gather up those precious memories you and your family made this summer and start your Family Museum. Take some time to peruse past blog posts that offer advice and direction on how to create the space for your museum. Take your time, be thoughtful and know how important it is to save and protect your family’s heritage. And the joy all will feel when it is lovingly displayed.  
Have a great day and remember the work you do for yourself and your family is really a Labor of Love.
Happy Labor Day to you all!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Remembering Barbie . . .

This story was first posted on this day in 2015. I never want to stop sharing my thoughts about my beloved friend Barbie, so please allow me to repeat these words. Thank you.

Today would have been my cherished, loved and treasured friend, Barbie’s 58th birthday had she not passed away five years ago and much too soon.

I met Barbie in 1982 at a fund-raising event at the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, FL.  For the next 30 years we had a friendship that was sisterly. I could fill up more than 30 pages telling of the many events that we shared together, but I rather do so with pictures. And you may ask, what does this recalling have to do with a Family Museum? A great deal. You see, if I did not display the many gifts she has given me over the years in our museum, Barbie may not come to mind as often as she does. And that is why having a Family Museum is important – the precious items displayed there keep memories alive! So here is my tribute to Barbie, telling a little about her through her pictures and some of her gifts of love.

Vintage 1970s Goebel frosted glass donkey. Made a nice paperweight. 

Vintage 1970s hand-blown lavender perfume bottle. Tiny and fragile, its beauty is everlasting, like Barbie's. 

Kokopelli, a traveling flute-playing Casanova sacred to southwestern Native Americans. I often wondered why she gave me this. So I researched this Hopi and found out that he is a symbol of fertility, replenishment, music, dance & mischief. The only relation I can see is the mischief part, because we did get into a lot of mischiefAnd this Wooden 4” Pinocchio statue amuses me. Barbie was an avid Walt Disney Fan. With her family, they went there every year!
One on of her many visits, Barbie brought me this stunning vintage Red Viking Epic Glass Crimped Bowl. She knew I loved red bowls, so she gave me this one. No matter where I place it, the sun lights its ruby-red beauty, just like the beauty that was always in Barbie's heart.
The last Christmas my family and I spent with her, we went to Busch Gardens where in December the park is turned into a magical Christmas Town. The park has many forms of entertainment, and one that Barbie adored; the horse stables. Barbie loved horses and rode as often as she could. She also dearly loved the many pets she had, especially her dog, Benji. Here are a few more pictures of my family wither that Christmas.
 Tiffeni, me & Barbie at Busch Gardens. On the red bench is my hubby Keith with Barbie. These two would talk about sports, science & business.
Keith loved Barbie very much.
Once a tiny bush, Barbie gave it to us and we planted it while our house was under construction in 1996. By 2011, the bush outgrew her.
Barbie tried her hand at many forms of art: she play the guitar, learned how to play the harp, and took painting lessons. This is the only copy of a watercolor she did. Barbie loved the sea shore. She went dolphin-watching, saved turtles and volunteered at the Atlanta Aquarium. What a gal! 

Though I will always cherish these gifts and proudly display them in our Family Museum, I’d much rather have her by my side. I miss her terribly, but at least I have her gifts of love.



Sunday, July 16, 2017

Another Birthday . . .

This past 14th of July was my birthday. As for my age, I agree with Mark Twain: “Age is a matter of mind; if you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” With that said, I would like to share my birthday with you.

The three of us; Charlie, Tiffeni and me, took a ride to Irvington, a tidewater town in Virginia. It took us a little over an hour to get there, driving on many country roads and crossing three rivers: The York, The Piankatank and The Rappahannock, as we navigated the way to our destination: lunch at the Tides Inn.
Last time we were there was in 2007 when Charlie was 7 years old. He actually recalled the place and had a great time visiting. What he remembered most was the 127 foot yacht that was built in 1926, The Miss Ann. When we were there, we went on the Miss Ann and Charlie was able to steer the ship’s wheel, with help from Capt’n Ken, of course. In the early days, the guests at the Inn registered to take a three hour luncheon or dinner cruise. On Saturdays they might sign up for a “whiskey run” to another town called Urbana. Tide’s Inn was in a dry county, Urbana was not. Which leads me to what I remembered most of our first visit; the unique wall of little wood doors with keyholes and plaques with numbers.   
In the early days, due to local liquor laws the restaurant and hotel were not able to sell alcohol to guests. However, because private clubs were not bound by the same constraints, the Chesapeake Club was formed, a name still used by the hotel. Yachtsmen and local patrons were invited to join and paid a nominal yearly due. Transient guests could join during their stay for $1 extra per day. Inside these tiny liquor lockers was enough room for a couple bottles of booze. Today, most of the doors don’t open. The one I was able to open had a box of straws in it. FUN! After a lovely lunch we walked around the property. The day was hot, so we left and continued on our journey, stopping at the Steamboat Museum. Again, Charlie couldn’t resist turning the ships’ wheel.
Then we went to the Kilmarnock Antique Galley. Like most of these emporiums, it was chockfull of objects to peruse. I appreciate the effort taken by those who manage these places and how the vendors who supply the merchandise organize and display their wares. However, I can’t help but feel sad at the memories lost by the family or individual who gave up their heirlooms and the memories therein. Nevertheless, I feel proud of my Family Museum and of having the foresight to hold onto and protect and display my family heritage. Hopefully, others will do the same.
Back on the road and crossing this very long and high Norris bridge; 350 ft. high, then onto home.

We had a quite family dinner and then I was presented with an ice cream cake and presents. Perhaps some of these presents will go into the Family Museum and years later, I can appreciate that day and time again.
Age, it really doesn’t matter!   

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th of July, 2017!

From our family to yours, we wish you a sparkling 4th of July and to encourage you to save your family’s history, however it is preserved: in pictures, on film, in writing, in collections of memorabilia, antiques, scrapbooks, trophies, clothing, toys, and everything that is important to your family.  Protect it all so that it may be handed down to the next generation so the present can learn from the past. 
Parents Musuem
Children's Musuem

Maternal Grandparents Museum
Paternal Grandparents Mseum
Just like our proud country, The United States of America is a virtual museum of all of its people, places and things that have made this country great, and just like those mammoth museums that preserves and displays our history, so should you and your family by creating your own Family Museum.

So from my family to you and yours, we wish everyone all the best!

                         HAPPY 4TH OF JULY, 2017!!



Saturday, June 17, 2017

Happy Father’s Day, Papa!

When I showed my husband Keith this picture of him with his dad, he smiled and said he actually can recall that thrilling moment. Then I asked him what he valued most about his dad. As he pondered awhile, I came up with the answer for him. After a quarter of a century coming to know and understand their relationship, I believed it was what he inherited from his father, who was an excellent carpenter; the indubitable talent for woodworking, ingrained through their German heritage. For hundreds of years his family created magnificent structures from wood, be it large like the 500 year-old church that still stands, the century-old family houses still lived in today, or small like the toys both his father made and those made by Keith today. My husband’s DNA is a deep-rooted and remarkable and what Keith is most grateful for is having a father who gave him this talent.

I asked Tiffeni what she adored about her papa the most. These are her words: I am the proud daughter of a wonderful and talented and very smart man; my Papa. From as early as I can remember I always wanted to follow him around to see what interesting things he was doing. He helped me with homework, told stories, and taught me history, geology, and math. He gave advice and was and is always my friend. He taught me important things that I needed to know, and unimportant and fun things too! He fed my imagination and creative spirit.

Here are two pictures I absolutely adore of Tiffeni with her papa. On a RV trip to Minnesota for a family reunion, we stopped at a campground that had a lookout tower. The three of us climbed the numerous steps to the top and were rewarded with a panoramic view of the forest below. I quickly took this picture and it truly reveals the father-daughter bond they have as she leaned against him, his strength and sturdiness provided the security she needed being up so high in the sky.

Gardening is their shared passion and to watch those two traverse the yard, talking about what plants would look good, what trees needed to be trimmed, bushes that needed to be moved, what vegetables and fruit to plant, and so on, continually amuse me. Last year this gourd was planted and grew and grew. When it came off the vine it weighed in at 32 lbs. and 18 inches round. WOW! These two also love architecture. Being the first child born and for 17 years was the only child, so our Miss Tiffeni was both son & daughter to us. Then Charlie came along!

Papa Keith was away on active duty when I found out I was pregnant. Tiffeni knew before he did and we worked real fast in remodeling the den into a nursery. When he came home, both of us were giddy with the news, but waited for the appropriate moment to tell him. So he asked, “What’s new? What did you do while I was gone?”  Our conspiring looks made him nervous. “What are you two up to?” “Well, you know the den and how we were not using it that much?”  “Yeah,” he replied. “Well, we turned it into a nursey.” “A nursey. Why would you want a nursery?” Then all of a sudden his eyes got big, a smile as wide as a rainbow lit up his face as he asked, “A baby? We are going to have a baby?” We both nodded and he fell on one knee, kissed me and hugged Tif and the rest is history. And here he is, Charlie! The son he always wanted and a brother Tiffeni thought she would never have.            

I asked Charlie like I did Tif a few words about his papa: He wrote: “Papa was the first one to hold me after I was born. I was told I opened one eye, but the bright light made me close it, but that was the instant I knew I saw my best friend, my papa. From that moment on we spend time with each other every day. With his military knowledge and my love for history and ships, we went to lots of maritime museums and watched ocean liners when they came into port. I enjoy helping him around the house, and is the greatest teacher. Forever best friends, we two!”    

Proudly wearing his Chief’s uniform, Charlie at one year of age sits on his papa’s knee and smiles. Their shared interest in ships has taken them on many adventures. Here they are on the deck of the SS John W. Brown battleship on which that took an excursion on.

Father’s Day is indeed a special day, and we are fortunate to be together to celebrate this man who is not only the best father any child could ask for, but the best husband, too. So on this day, we will shower him with gifts, cook a fabulous meal, and Keith will take to his heart this wonderful moment filled with love.  

Monday, June 12, 2017

30 Years of Collections . . . and still growing!

Today is my son, Charlie’s, 30th birthday. In celebrating him and his accomplishments, here is the story about his side of The Children’s Museum.

Charlie's shelves are loaded with all sorts of things. Baby sneakers, music boxes (he fell asleep to many a tinkling tune), endearing bronzes of his hand and foot (remember bronze baby shoes? They're gaining newfound nostalgia fueled by social media). Sesame Street dish & cup, statues & his baby blanket and stuffed animals.  Bunny reigns!
His fascination with trains was overwhelming. I think every boy and girl plays with trains. Depending on the level of interest, a collection of trains can be, like it did for Charlie, take over his bedroom, down the hall, and under the tables.

He loved Thomas the Tank Trains and Brio. There were never enough Brio tracks, especially the curved ones. Eventually, there were too many trains, so he donated some of them to “Toys for Tots.

After the trains came the blimps, then submarines, followed by WWII destroyers and aircraft carriers. From there his interest turned to cruise ships, with an insatiable interest in the Titanic. There are models and drawings of ships, and literally tons of books on sea-going vessels and novels.

Charlie became so scholarly on the Titanic that he tried out for a part in the traveling production of TITANIC, The Play. He didn’t get the part but because of his knowledge, the producer asked him to become the dramaturge, which is like a playwright. Charlie loved being on stage and appeared in many local productions. His favorite play was Oliver, because he played multiple roles.  

Cub Scout memorabilia, especially Derby cars, are displayed with pride, as is his many bowling trophies. Charlie loves adding things and soon he is going to need a museum of his own.

Charlie was home schooled from the fourth grade through high school. Everyone in the family was his teacher; Papa did science and math, his sister Tiffeni taught English and history, and Mom taught art appreciation and filled in when needed. We all had a blast and Charlie kept a large
scrapbook of his work. Because of its size, it is stored behind the curtain on a shelf, along with more drawings, projects and precious memories of his school days.

And today he will receive birthday presents of all kinds and it is certain that eventually some of them will go into his museum. His collections give him a sense of pride and shows not only him, but family members and friends, the learning journey he has traveled, the paths he has taken as he mastered the subjects that interested him . . . a virtual resume.  

This is the reason our Family Museum exists: to keep, display, protect the many things that have and continue to part of our life, our heritage.                                                                      Happy Birthday, Charlie!