Sunday, February 15, 2009

Quilts & Trash Pickers

This week I learned that Webelo Scouts like picking up trash a whole lot more than they like reading about citizenship in their Webelos Book. They also like rice crispy treats quite a bit.

My Delightful friend , Charmaine, is finishing a quilt. Her husband's first wife died suddenly and never was able to finish a quilt. So Eloise, Charmaine, and I are finishing this quilt in her memory. It is a hand quilted quilt. There is always hope that my hand quilting could turn out respectably.

Peanut also came to visit and brought his parents along.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Absent Minded Skier

This week two friends and I went cross country skiing at a really great place about and hour and a half away. I had a great time! Oddly enough, I began loading my gear the day before so as not to forget anything. (I was letting Eloise and Charmain borrow ski equipment, so I was loading up two sets of ski equipment as well as two sets snow shoes –just in case the skiing was no good.) Instead, I forgot essential things. Naturally, I forgot my camera. I also left my hat and gloves 90 miles away in my car. On top of everything else, I had one ski from one pair of skis and another ski from another pair. Since the skis were the same brand, length, and binding type, I was O.K. Eloise had an extra hat and Charmaine had an extra pair of gloves. They bailed me out.

I keep thinking I will outgrow this absent–minded behavior. Maybe when I’m sixty I will turn over a new leaf. At that age, I will finally be responsible enough not to forget vital equipment when recreating. And, I will overcome my absent-minded tendency to misplace things. At age sixty, I am positive that I will hate chocolate, fat, meat, and sugar and develop a penchant for brussell sprouts. I know at age sixty I will develop a sterling character and no longer find gossip interesting. At age sixty, I will have the patience of a saint when Abbi Hanna brings a sack full of marbles to my Primary class.

Although I’ll be sixty, I won’t bore on about all my relatives and their ailments. I will never give unsolicited advice. I will enjoy wearing a dress and look forward to spending a sunny Saturday in June at a church Relief Society Conference. (Gag!) Because I’m sixty, I will find human foibles amusing instead of irritating. I won’t be offended at the relative who acts like a surly bear or the one who loves to portray me as an ignorant hick from the sticks. I won’t even get nervous when people in testimony meeting announce publically they have done something and need to see the Bishop. (This happened last week.) I’ll finally figure out how to keep everything in perspective. At age sixty, I convinced I’ll be perfect. Wow. Can’t wait to be sixty!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Emeline Owens Byrd

I found Emeline Owens Byrd's obituary on microfiche of the Independent Record. She is my great-great-grandmother. I have heard all kinds of family lore about her. I usually find a grain of truth in the family lore, but it is usually twisted to the degree that the bottom line isn't true. I heard her father was an Indian Agent in Oklahoma and she spoke several Indian dialects. Family members said she acted as interpreter for the wagon train on the way west. This doesn't add up with other things I've found about her. I do know:

  • She is buried on Cemetary Island. although it was a steep hill and not yet an island at the time.

  • She was born in Missouri 23 November 1825 (so the OK Indian Agent story makes no sense)
  • Family lore has it that on a plantation each of the girls of the owner was trained in a special skill she was to teach the slaves. Emeline is said to have been trained as a seamstress.

  • She had a lot to do with raising my grandfather after his mother died.

  • According to the old Byrd Bible, Emeline had nine children, not seven as stated in the article. One baby, William, died the same day he was born. Another, Alfred, died at 3 months old.

  • We have no picture of her, although we have pictures of her husband and children.

  • She is said to have been active politically. People listened when she spoke.
  • She died 17 May 1894
I guess not much was going on in those days because this obituary was on the front page of the paper. All the punctuation and capitalization is as it appears in the article.

"York, May 21 - Mrs. Emaline Byrd, wife of John Byrd, Sr., born at Liberty, Clay county, Missouri, November 1825, died at York, Meagher county, Montana, May 17, 1894, aged 68 years, five months and eighteen days. She came across the plains to Alder Gulch in Montana, in a cattle team, with her family of five children, and drove thirteen cows in 1865, her husband having come to Montana in 1863, when they came to York, where they have resided ever since.

Deceased was a member of the Southern Methodist church, an earnest worker for the advancement of education for children, highly respected wherever known. There were seven children: three are dead and four living. She is mourned by the whole community. She was buried at Canyon Ferry, May 19, 1894. All of the town that could go to the cemetary did so, where they were joined by another large circle of old friends of the deceased.

Mrs. Byrd was very generous to the poor and needy; her whole life was given to doing good and to make those around her happy. She was a devoted wife and a kind and indulgent mother. She leaves three sons and one daughter to mourn her loss."

John Byrd Sr, is on the front porch of this house, along with some boys who look like Byrds, and and a girl who looks like Clara Bompart (Emeline and John's granddaughter). I think the woman in the rocking chair must be Emeline, but I can't prove it.

Below - Emeline's husband, John Byrd

Molly Byrd Cochrane, Emeline's youngest.Robin Byrd (I think), one of Emeline's sons.