Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Huge Thank you!!

I have a lot to say today, but let me start with a huge thank you to Mouse's daughter!  Just before I left for points north on our vacation, I sent Mouse's daughter something in the mail.  I told her to consider it a gift, and then didn't think anything more about it, only that I hoped it arrived safely.  When the mail arrived yesterday, there was a packet of threads from her as a thank you.  I dare say, she spent WAY more for these threads than I did for what I sent her, but it was such a kind and thoughtful thing that she did, I wanted to say thank you on my blog.  Mouse, you've done a lovely job raising her, not only is she kind and thoughtful, she has brilliant taste!  Don't you just love this rainbow of colors she chose?

It's been a wild weather day here in Maryland.  I drove to Barnes and Noble bookstore to meet my buddy Astrid today (thanks for today, Astrid, it's been way too long and it was way too much fun!!), it was a little drizzly but nothing to write home about, but while we were there, the sky began to darken, and thunder began to crack and the skies opened up and it began to pour buckets!  Driving home was an experience, some drivers barely going 30, while others were going 60 or more.  The highways were like rivers!!  My brain was going off in tangents from weird jokes....

Knock, knock...Who's there?...Dwain...Dwain who?  Dwain the tub I'm dwowning...

to silly songs...

The Lord told Noah there's going to be a floody, floody...get those animals out of the muddy muddy...  Told you my brain has issues...have you ever listened to me?  Maybe now you'll  believe me!  LOL

On the way home I was thinking about my Dad.  While I was home visiting my Mom last month she gave me a few things that belonged to my Dad.  As they say...one man's junk is another man's treasure.  She was going to throw a number of things away, pictures and newspaper clippings and things like that.  I...taking after my Dad here...collected a few things I wanted which I considered treasures.

First is a picture frame and music box that my Dad sent my Grandmother while he was on a round-the-world tour aboard the U.S.S Moale during the Korean Conflict.  These came from Japan, and I can remember sitting on her bed listening to the music box when I was a little girl.  I thought it was the most beautiful thing I'd ever seen and the Japanese song that plays is so lovely...the box still plays, and the memories come flooding back.  The gentleman in the picture is my great-grandfather.  The money lying in front of these is my Dad's first pay from the Navy.  There are 4 two dollar bills.  Eight dollars was his first paycheck.  When I was a  kid, I was cleaning underneath the stairway and found an old wallet containing these bills.  We don't know how they wound up there, but there was a rule in our house...finder's keepers!  My Dad had to pay me ten dollars to get his eight dollars back!  LOL  So kids, the next time someone asks you to clean somewhere where there might be spiders and ickiness, don't gripe...there might be money in them thar spaces!  LOL  I would have given it back to him, I was just teasing him, but since he offered the money...gee whiz, my Mom didn't raise no fool!  LOL  Such fond memories were wrapped up in them that when my Mom asked me if there was anything I wanted of my Dad's after he passed away, I asked for them.  Can you believe my Dad still had those same bills after all these years?



In the last few days of his life, we talked a lot about his navy days.  Then he showed me this book, a record of his time in "boot camp".  Wasn't he a handsome devil?  In the book I found some more treasures...his 7th grade report card, a certificate of penmanship that he was extremely proud of...and a letter written on writing paper from the U.S.S. Moale.  Here is what the letter said...



Wow we made the Headlines  aboard the attack carrier Lake Champlain June 25th, 1953.  U.S.S. Moale rescued 3 crewmen from a Douglas Skyraider at 3 AM this morning.  The destroyer picked up the men after being ditched while leaving the carrier, for a dawn strike.  Lt. Keown pilot of the plane was slightly shaken up but uninjured.  The other 2 crewmen were not injured.  The plane remained afloat for barely 3 minutes giving the men just time to get out.  The destroyer removed the flyers from the inky black water within minutes of their ditching.  Congratulations came by C.T.G. 77.2 who said this morning “The prompt action and superb seamanship demonstrated by you on occasion of rescuing personal from night crash landing of an aircraft is in keeping with the highest traditions of the Navy.  This makes Moale’s rescued aviators 6 during the past year.  ‘Well Done’ “  Captain George T. Murdoff sent 37 gallons of ice cream to the Moale via the same high line that returned his downed airmen.

My Dad talked about that ice cream...he loved ice cream...and back then you didn't have luxuries aboard ship like that unless you had just left from a port city.  I'm sure they did other note-worthy stuff during the war, but they weren't rewarded with ice cream every day!  LOL

The last thing I retrieved from "home"  were some photographs and documents of my family history.  It saddens me to think no one else wanted these treasures, but that made it all the easier for me to take them!  I received my Grandmother's Bible, with births, deaths and weddings recorded in it.  I have newspaper clippings of many family moments that happened through the years...confirmations, when Dad went into the navy and when he returned home, when my Grandfather celebrated 35 years of working for the Alcoa company, births, deaths and other interesting memorabilia.  I received my Grandmother's diaries and poems she had saved (I never knew she did that, I do the same thing!)  To me these are treasures...and some day, years down the road, someone may want to read about their history, I know I'll be reading them!


 I found these two photographs interesting.  The first one is of my grandparents and is their wedding photo.  The second picture is of my Grandmother and her brother.  I look at these two photos and all I can see is my sister.  I find it fascinating how much we can look like our ancestors, and that is why photos mean so much to me.

Ok, I'm done reminiscing.  I don't know if it's the weather, or the fact that there are a million and one shows on commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11.  It breaks my heart to listen to the stories, and yet I can't seem to pull myself away from listening to them.  All the while I'm thinking, what would my legacy be if something were to happen to me tomorrow?  Will my stuff be packed up in a box and taken to the dump like my Dad's stuff almost was?  Will anyone care about the things that were important to me...like my stitching?  I wonder if my son (and future grandchildren...I hope...) will hear a song, or see a music box and have fond memories of me?  If nothing else, this has made me realize the importance of spending time with loved ones and making those memories.  That way we will never really fade away...as long as someone remembers us.  Off to make some memories with my family.  I hope I wasn't too maudlin for you, but thanks for reading and listening to my thoughts, if you made it this far!  *Hugs* 

7 comments:

RuthB said...

Thanks for sharing your dad's stories. I do love the negotiations for the wallet, and that after all the years you got both the find AND the reward. :)

Tricia said...

I *love* your grandparents wedding picture. Her dress is just lovely! And I laughed out loud at your knock knock joke and then told it to my son and sent it to my daughter. It made my day!!

Mouse said...

awww she takes after her mother ;) hahahah and just love the stories and photos of your dad .. I can see you in him too :) love the music box and the wallet story and the jokes well ... almost as good as mine hahahaha love mouse XXX

Anonymous said...

I am SO in agreement with you about leaving a legacy and spending time with loved ones. Up until August 29, 2005 I was a genealogist, deep into it after 25+ years. I gathered well over 2000 new names for my extended family tree, and discovered so many interesting things! THEN, Hurricane Katrina took my sister's house and belongings except what she had in her car when she 'bugged out' two days earlier! I drove from Virginia to Mississippi with my van full of water, necessary supplies, and gasoline (cause remember, they were shut down, and also people were attacking gas stations!) I brought my sister back here where she has lived with me off and on while trying to get back on her feet--and she is still struggling! It is so devastating to lose most everything! AS a result of Katrina, I have focused on the LIVING! My group of local stitchers have all discussed what to do about leaving our needlework if we pass. We are going to name each other in our wills! I enjoyed the pictures! They are great! Hugs! Maggee (Darned Blogger won't let me post so am doing anonymously!)stitchingdevotee.blogspot.com

Veronica said...

I gotta say, your post really got me thinking, DJ. I love reading about your dad and his keepsakes. That music box especially is beautiful. Luckily you managed to keep them from being thrown out. I agree with you about photos and memories. Those are irreplaceable.

Gillie said...

All I can see is my friend in her dad! You are very like him, DJ! xxx

Astrid's dragon said...

Glad you got home okay - I'm not sure when I'll be heading to the Stitching Post via Ellicott City with all that flooding!

It was great to hear about your family treasures, but even better to see pictures of them! I'm pretty sure most of our family goodies are still in GB somewhere with relatives... might have to pay them a visit!

Making memories with family and friends - priceless!