Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Wordless Wednesday ~ White

On my front tire this morning.  Such a stark contrast!  Mating white moths?  

Friday, June 26, 2015


Dear Zoe,

This has been a week bookended by firsts.   At the beginning of the week I walk into your home and hear you saying "kitty" or at least your version of it.  The voice I am hearing is Charlie's; his soft, sweet, tender, high voice he used to call Petey and talk to babies.   Oh my heart catches and I have a deep ache all over again.

Now we come to Friday evening.  I walk into your home and you are in the rocker with Grampy.  You give me a big smile and as I get closer to the chair you lift your arms up towards me.   A few moments later Grampa comes into the kitchen where I am holding you and swaying to keep you quiet so mommy can eat.   You smile and stretch your arms out to him.  We are joyful and awestruck and sad all at the same time.   This is something your brother and sister could not do.  Simple and so ordinary but such a monumental moment for us.

And my heart catches and I feel such a deep ache and longing to hold all three of you in my arms.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Wordless Wednesday

Spotted this on our way to bed last night, clinging to the side light of our front door.  This window pane is a dollar bill wide.  

Friday, June 19, 2015


Birding has taken a bit of a back seat this year, as I seem simultaneously pulled in different directions while stuck in a quagmire of grief/depression that saps all motivation.  Two birds did nest in our yard for first broods.  The chipping sparrows used the furthest "dwarf" mugo pine along the end of our driveway.  Their nest would fit cupped in the palm of my hand and standing over the bush we cannot see it at all.  I haven't seen any activity this past week so I am guessing that they've fledged.  It is hard keeping track when I'm staying at my mom's a few nights a week and gone most days.  
This is a picture after last June's fledge.  I need to find pictures of these bushes when we first planted them and now.  It never ceases to amaze me how years go by and these didn't seem to grow and suddenly they are ridiculously huge and have choked out the carpet roses that I had planted in between.  We probably did the plantings fifteen or sixteen years ago.  

A pair of Robins nested in the yard this year.  A few years ago they built a nest in my dogwood.  This year they are just a few feet away from that nest location but in a branch of the one pine tree in our yard, directly over the driveway!  We probably would never have noticed the nest except the sitting parent flies off almost every time we drive in or out or walk under the nest to get the mail.  The nest is not visible from inside my house.  I have no solid report as to what is happening....if eggs have hatched, how many.  Yesterday I was able to get these pictures from the driveway.  

The nest looks a little rough after almost a week of rain. I did not do a super garden clean up last fall, so this pair used a lot of day lily remnants in the nest.  The chipping sparrows manage to pull strands from a tarp that gets left out at the end of the driveway. 

 My favorite picture is from the Robin nest a few years ago in the dogwood tree.  That pair used a large piece of birch bark in their nest construction.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

52 Ancestors Challenge ~ Week 21 A Mystery Solved

Visiting Fayette Corner Cemetery all those years ago, I found my 3rd great grandparents and some of their children, including their son Charles Foster Kent who served in the Civil War.   The inscription on his tomb stone indicates that he was a member of the 14th Massachusetts Battery, fought in the battles near Petersburg, sickened and died at L.I.N.Y. July 10, 1864, aged 20 years 11 months.
At the time, I found a book in a library "Massachusetts Soldiers, Sailors, and Marines in the Civil War" which lists him as a Private, a resident of Fayette, Maine, enlisting in Feb 1864 and mustering that same month.  It indicates that he died of disease July  10, 1864 at Long Island, Boston.  I did not have a problem with this discrepancy.  Long Island is a harbor island in Boston that has been home to many things, at one time a hospital during the Civil War. 

Now that more records have become available through Ancestry, I recently came across the following two records.   He did indeed die at Long Island, New York at Grants Hospital.
In the following record, it is listed as Grant's General Hospital Willet's Point, Long Island NY.

I am proud of this brother to my Great great grandmother for enlisting.  I can only imagine the grief his parents and siblings experienced. The blow to his father to lose a son who helped with the livelihood of the family.  I am grateful that communities still recognize and honor those who have lost their lives serving their country, long after their families have gone as well.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

52 Ancestors Challenge ~ Week 23 A Wedding

Frank Eugene Temple and Annie Schandelmeyer.  These would be my Great Grandparents on my father's side.  My uncle tells me this is their wedding photo, November 1892,  Hopkinton, Massachusetts.  Frank was born in 1872 and his occupation is listed as Bootmaker.  Annie was born in 1870 to German immigrants.  Her father died in 1880 and she is listed as a Domestic on the marriage record.  Frank was the oldest of 12 children.  He and Annie had 7 sons and 1 daughter.  My dad is named for him and grew up in the house next door.

I wish I could verify if this was a wedding photo or not.  I do know that it is unmistakably my Great Grandparents standing in the center of the photo.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

52 Ancestors Challenge ~ Week 19 ~ Finding Family When I Least Expected To

I am still so far behind, but trying to catch up.  The optional theme for this week.....There's a Way.

My interest in genealogy began around 8th grade, visiting cemeteries with my parents near Memorial Day and putting geraniums on graves.  My grandmother was living with us at the time and so we went to a cemetery in Foxboro, Massachusetts, to visit the grave of her mother.  There we found a headstone with her grandfather and his wives and children listed on it.  No one had ever mentioned her grandparents before, other than her grandfather had red hair like she did, and no one mentioned he had wives and children other than her mother!  After my grandmother died, we found a family bible, listing his other wives and children.   I decided I wanted to try to research my ancestry through the women, which is not terribly easy and I wasn't completely successful.   Internet searching was a start and led me to the library in Harvard, Massachusetts which led to an inquiry through the Historical Society in Harvard, Mass. where a genealogist for the society provided me with transcriptions of all kinds.  A will from 1779, an inventory of his Estate, the settlement of his Estate, a pedigree chart, and an excerpt from Mayflower Families through Five Generations, indicating that through two ancestors I descend from Pilgrim Edward Doty.  Fascinating!  And I am grateful for the response of the Historical Society.

In the family Bible, my 2nd great grandmother is listed as Sarah Jane Kent from Fayette, Maine.  I held onto that piece of information but had a hard time even finding Fayette on a map.   About 20 years since discovering that line in the bible, my brother invited my sister and I to go camping in Winthrop, Maine.  This was a campground he had been visiting for a number of years.  I jumped at the chance to take my young children camping with extended family.  I put the location into Mapquest and just about fell off my chair when I saw Fayette was a neighboring town!!   Not only that, but also a town named Kent's Hill.  We drove around and found a few cemeteries.  My 4th great grandparents, Bethiah Turner and Warren Kent, are buried in a small cemetery in Kent's Hill.  In Fayette Corners Cemetery, behind a church, we found my 3rd great grandparents, Martin (son of Warren and Bethiah) and Almira with several of their children, buried in a row.

My attempt to trace my line through the women hopped around a bit......
Grandmother Jesse Olive (Whittemore) Franz (1898-1984)
Greatgrandmother Mabel Scott (Whittemore) Whittemore (1879-1962)
2nd Greatgrandmother Sarah Jane (Kent) Whittemore (1838-1894)
3rd Great grandfather Martin Holman Kent (1807-1889)
4th Great grandmother Bethiah (Turner) Kent (1768-1829)
5th Great grandmother Bethiah (Foord) Turner (1723-1773)