Thursday, April 18, 2013

Those Places Thursday: You can never go home again

I never fully understood the meaning of 'You can never go home again' although I had heard it my entire life. I got the full gist of this a few months ago.

It has almost been 5 years since he passed away. Sometimes without thinking I tell myself, I'm going to drive over and see Daddy today. I had one of those days last fall. I had heard an old '70s song that brought back a flood of memories. My husband was working in the garage so I decided to put the top down on the Jeep and put Annabelle the Westie in her car seat and hit the road. Before I left I loaded songs on my iPhone that reminded me of 'back in the day'. We took a 30 minute Jeep ride to where my Daddy lived his entire life.

As I was coming upon the area, it seemed strange to me that this once busy neighborhood street was desolate. I didn't pass a car or a person. If you have seen Fried Green Tomatoes, it was like when Idgie went home and there was nothing there but abandoned buildings and overgrown yards.

I drove by my Grandma's old house where she lived up until she passed away 6 years ago. The house that Daddy grew up in was torn down and Grandma built a new one maybe 20 years ago. Even though there was a newer house there, the yard was the same. I pictured it the way it was 40 years ago. I remember my uncle's had their hot rods out front, I can remember my Grandpa butchering a hog in the free standing garage. I could even smell the dusty old house and hear the doors creak.

Just around the block was my Daddy's newer shop he built about 20 years ago and my Brother now owns. I drove slowly by and got a sad feeling. I remember Daddy being less mobile while he was at this new shop, it didn't feel like home. I then drove around another block back towards Grandma's to where Daddy first started his business in 1976. It is a small metal building where he worked so hard day, night and weekends. I parked in the drive way and just looked around remembering so many things. I kind of got a feeling that Daddy was still there. I felt tears well up so I figured it was time to move along.

Daddy is buried not too far from his old neighborhood but I just couldn't quite manage to go by. Not today. I was missing him too much and I wanted to get a sense of him, not where he is buried.

After driving by my childhood home, Daddy's childhood home and his old stomping ground, I was still left empty. I enjoyed the flood of childhood memories and could almost hear Daddy talking to me when I was little, it just wasn't enough.

Yesterday I fully understood the meaning of 'Those Places Thursday'.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Grandma Sadie & Grandpa Doug

I have this picture displayed in my office/ craft room. If you knew them, you will see that this picture captures them both so well. Love them and miss them.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Mobile Monday: Billion Graves

One of my favorite FREE genealogy apps for the iPhone is Billion Graves. (Also available for the android)
Here is the home screen. You can see how user friendly it is with only a few options.

If you click on 'take pictures' the app will bring up a camera.
If you select 'records' it will display any records that you have stored. I have none so I didn't bother with a screen shot.

If you choose 'Cemeteries', you will see all the cemeteries near you and you have the option to add one that isn't already loaded. In my area, I have about 6 pages of cemeteries. On those days that I am feeling adventurous, I will pull up a cemetery to visit, take pictures of headstones and upload them.

The Dashboard will tell you how many headstones you have uploaded, how many cemeteries you have visited using the app, and how many headstones you have transcribed.

This is a mobile app as well as a desktop application. I use my iPad or Macbook to transcribe headstones from
You can download it here on iTunes or here at the Android Market.

With each headstone we upload, we may be helping someone find a long lost relative.
Go give it a try!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Surname Saturday: Cherokee Names

Last Saturday I was at the Cherokee Heritage Center in Tahlequah, Ok. While searching for my family surnames of Deerskin, Waterjug and Buckskin, I found some other interesting surnames.
Rainstopper, Crying Wolf, Pigeon Lifter, Bull Frog, Crying Bird, Hogshooter, Club Foot and Deer Track.

Some full names I discovered that are noteworthy...
Glass Tumbler, Spring Frogg, Floating Dog, Rattle Snake Blackbird, Young Squirrel, Standing Man, Winter Grapes, Deer Killer, Dreadful Water, Corn Silk, Crying Buffalo, Rain Crow, Cold Weather, and my favorite, Sucky Graves

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Treasure Chest Thursday: Uncle Jack's Jewelry Box

We've all discussed it or just thought about it. "What would I grab first if the house was on fire"

After my family and dogs, I would have to make a mad dash for my "Uncle Jack Jewelry Box".

Story has it that when my Uncle Jack was in Vietnam he bought me a jewelry box to be given to me when I was old enough to care for it. I was under a year old when he came back from the Army.

I knew nothing of this jewelry box until my grandparents were in town for my high school graduation. Before we left for the ceremony, my grandma brought out the jewelry box and told me the story of how it came to be mine. Mom, me and grandma were all crying because my Uncle Jack was in the hospital with a possible heart attack and couldn't be with us. Grandma let me wind it up and allowed me to watch the ballerinas float on the glass and reflect in the mirrors but only for a second. She couldn't bare hearing the song it played because it reminded her Jack. I called his room and told him that I loved my gift. He told me that he loved me and he was sorry he couldn't be there. I told him that I loved him and I would be thinking about him at graduation. And I did.

We lost Uncle Jack 4 years later. I use the jewelry box for special jewelry, not for every day stuff. I can't help but wind it up and play it every year on Uncle Jack's birthday.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wordless Wednesday: Slavens Winter of 1948

For my first Wordless Wednesday, I wanted to post one of my favorite pictures.
My daddy, Sam Slavens and his sister Wanda.
Winter of '48