Becca at “On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea” hosts this challenge each Thursday.
Becca at “On Dragonfly Wings with Buttercup Tea” hosts this challenge each Thursday.
In honor of all mothers everywhere, HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY! I especially honor my own mother today. She was the best, inside and out! She joined Dad in 1995 and I still miss her terribly. I am so happy to be blessed with the knowledge of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the knowledge that we are sealed together as a family for time and all eternity. I know I will be with her again.
Hallelujah—Hebrew for “Praise ye the Lord.” But what does it really mean? As we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ this Easter, discover how this ancient exclamation of joy, hope, and love is a fitting summary of Christ’s incomparable mission—and His promise of new life for us all.
Easter is a time to remember all that Jesus Christ has done for us. It’s also a time to consider His simple invitation that has the power to transform us forever:
“Come, follow me.”
This is a letter I wrote to my Dad back in the 70s when I was living in Utah and couldn’t get home to Kentucky. I felt bad that I didn’t have any money at the time to buy him a gift so I wrote him a letter (I was not a big letter writer back then). My mother told me later that it made him cry — but a happy cry. Wish I could celebrate with him today. His birth date was always so easy to remember — it was 10/10/10!
I actually wrote a blog post about Pinky. You can read that one HERE.
So, Dad, even though you’re not here with me in body, you’re here in spirit and I miss you.
“Our Savior lived again. The most glorious, comforting, and reassuring of all events of human history had taken place—the victory over death. The pain and agony of Gethsemane and Calvary had been wiped away. The salvation of mankind had been secured. The Fall of Adam had been reclaimed. The empty tomb that first Easter morning was the answer to Job’s question, ‘If a man die, shall he live again?’ To all within the sound of my voice, I declare, If a man die, he shall live again. We know, for we have the light of revealed truth.”
President Thomas S. Monson, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
It was just brought to my attention a little while ago that today is National Pet Memorial Day. I just couldn’t let today go by without paying tribute to the many four-legged companions I have had the privilege of spending time with throughout my life. Each contributed so much to my life. As difficult as it always is to say goodbye and let go, I would not trade that time with each of them for anything. When I think of my animals, I am always reminded of the poem, The Rainbow Bridge. I’m a firm believer that all animals go to heaven (not just dogs!). In order of their demise:
Happy was the first dog I had. I was about three years old. I remember my Dad coming home with a puppy and saying he was for me. Interestingly enough, if memory serves (old conversations when I was older) I believe it was his birthday! But for whatever reason, I named him Happy and for ten years he was my constant companion and playmate.
Gigi was a funny-looking little scrap of a dog. I kept asking my parents if I could get a dog. It had been about two or three years since I lost Happy. My parents kept saying no, we didn’t need a dog. But, being the obstinate child that I am (yes, I said am, not was), I took my $5 I had saved up, took a bus across town to look at some puppies that were in the paper. The rest, as they say is history. My parents got over their mad and let me keep her. Of course, she ended up becoming more of my Dad’s dog than mine! But only because I was a teenager and we all know how that goes!
Well, after I had been out on my own for a while, I decided I wanted another dog. I was going to go looking for a Mastiff. Then I saw an ad for Great Dane puppies. I went, I saw, I bought. Another good choice! He was not only my best friend, but was an excellent protector! I trained him well (obedience – he didn’t need to be trained for protection, that comes naturally to dogs). It was always interesting to see people’s reactions to him whether we were walking down the street or he was hanging out the side window of my VW Beetle!
Years later, I just had to fill that void again. I was living in Dallas at the time. I saw an ad for Poodles and Poodle mixes so I went to look. I did not know what a Party Poodle was but it was love at first sight. I named her Pooki. After about six months, I started feeling guilty about her being by herself during the day while I was at work, so I went back to the lady and bought Pooki a companion. A little Yorki-Poo I named Punkin. More loves of my life!
This is a baby picture of George. I had never owned a cat in my entire life. Suddenly I had three. George was brother to Midge (still living) and Zuzu.
I had to include little Bug. He wasn’t with us a long time. He was one of those cats that showed up out of nowhere and just decided he was going to keep us. We fed and cared for him but he did not like staying in the house so, much to our chagrin, we let him come and go.
Moxie came as brother to Charlie and Freckles who were recently spotlighted on an earlier post. Both he and Charlie had urinary tract issues as young kittens. We were able to save Charlie (he is the most expensive animal I have) but Moxie did not make it.
We lost Bobby two summers ago to cancer. Bobby a/k/a Psycho. There is something so very special about Boston Terriers. But then I say that about every animal. His passing is still fresh.
My little (really big) kitty. She was part of the trio that were the very first cats I ever owned. She was so loving. She passed away last summer and the pain of her passing, too, is still fresh.
I still miss each of my little friends and I look forward to the day we are all together again.
It just goes to show that sometimes you can be too close to something to actually see it.
I believe this article about my parents came out in the Toledo Blade sometime late in 1958. Reporters for the the Blade were always passing through Van Wert, Ohio and, for some inexplicable reason, often found our family newsworthy.
I still have the bracelet and earrings that match the necklace Mom is wearing. Oh, what I wouldn’t give! Even as a child, I loved playing with her jewelry. But that’s another story!
When I reread this article, I just noticed for the first time that there is a misprint. Guess it got past the reporter, editor, typesetter, etc.! See what happens when one of your jobs has been as a proof reader? I’d better not say too much, though. I’m sure I would run across my own misprints if I were to review my entries.
Jeremiah Burns is of Scottish origin. His grandfather, Patrick Burns (son of John Burness), migrated from Scotland and settled in Maryland. His father, James Patrick Burns, later migrated to Virginia and settled in that part of Luenberg County (formed from Brunswick in 1746), which became Bedford County in 1753. The name and family history of Burness are found on old tombstones in the churchyard of Glenbervie, Scotland. It is noted by “several historians” that Jeremiah was of the same line of descent as the illustrious poet, Robert Burns.
In June 1776 Jeremiah enlisted in the Virginia line of the American Revolution at Bedford County, Virginia for a period of three years as a private in Captain George Lambert’s Company commanded by Colonel George Matthews under Major General Nathanael Greene, it being the 14th Virginia Regiment, afterwards consolidated into the 7th; he continued to serve in said Corps, or in the service of the United States, against the common enemy until the expiration of his enlistment, during which time he served in the battle of Germantown, Pennsylvania, October 5, 1777; and the battle of Monmouth, New Jersey, June 28, 1778, where Washington harassed the British at Monmouth Courthouse. Without taking a discharge or bounty land he enlisted for another three years and continued with the army under Major General Greene. In 1781 he was marched to Yorktown, Virginia and served in the Seige of Yorktown which began October 6, 1781, which battle was the turning point in the war when British General Cornwallis surrendered on October 19, 1781 to Washington. In August 1782, after serving six years, he was honorably discharged at Williamsburg, Virginia by Colonel Ross.
Jeremiah was a farmer and a noted Methodist preacher of his day. It is unknown just when his first wife died, but while preaching at a Methodist Church in Franklin County (created from Bedford and Henry in 1785), he spied in his congregation Elizabeth Rowland, born Franklin County, Virginia, June 11, 1770, who was a beautiful girl and a devout worshipper as well as being gifted with a melodious voice. An historian stated of her that in song she was wonderfully gifted; a brunette of the most perfect type; hair as black as a raven, heavy eyebrows, a curved lip, and a faultless figure. The preacher fell in love with her. She accepted his hand and heart and they became one flesh. After a short courtship he and Elizabeth were married on March 20, 1794 in Franklin County, Virginia by John Watt, a Methodist Minister. Jeremiah and Elizabeth were the founders of the Burns House in the Big Sandy Valley (Eastern and Southeastern Kentucky).
Jeremiah and Elizabeth had nine children, who honored their parents by rising to distinction in law, theology, and official stations. They are: Roland Tiernan Burns, Jeremiah Burns, Jr., Nancy Reed Burns, Jane H. Burns, Amanda Burns (my direct), John Lewis Burns, Charles C. Burns, James P. Burns and Julia Anne Burns. I have additional information for anyone interested.
Elizabeth was descended from a family made famous in French Huguenot history. Until Jeremiah’s alliance with Elizabeth, a French beauty of the perfect brunette caste, were all blondes, but the blood of the Huguenots has changed the type of the family to a full brunette. (From the book, The Big Sandy Valley by William Ely.) As a side note, here’s a little history of the Huguenots. The Huguenots (click here for additional information) were French Protestants, most of whom eventually came to follow the teachings of John Calvin, and who, due to religious persecution, were forced to flee France to other countries in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Some remained, practicing their Faith in secret. . . .
Since the Huguenots of France were in large part artisans, craftsmen, and professional people, they were usually well-received in the countries to which they fled for refuge when religious discrimination or overt persecution caused them to leave France. Most of them went initially to Germany, the Netherlands, and England, although some found their way eventually to places as remote as South Africa.
Considerable numbers of Huguenots migrated to British North America, especially to the Carolinas, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New York. Their character and talents in the arts, sciences, and industry were such that they are generally felt to have been a substantial loss to the French society from which they had been forced to withdraw, and a corresponding gain to the communities and nations into which they settled.
Jeremiah died October 13, 1824, age 72 years, and was buried on East Fork, Lawrence County, Kentucky. His Will dated May 11, 1824, was the second Will recorded in Lawrence County, Kentucky. It reads as follows:
In the name of God, Amen. I, Jeremiah Burns, of Lawrence County and State of Kentucky, being of sound mind and judgment, but knowing that it is appointed for all men to die, do make and ordain this my last will and testament in manner and form following. I recommend my soul to Almighty God, the dispenser of all things, and my body to be buried in a decent and Christian manner at the discretion of my surviving friends hereafter mentioned. And as to my worldly goods that it has pleased Almighty God to Bless me with, after my funeral expenses are paid, I dispose of in the following manner, to wit: I give and bequeath to my wife Elizabeth Burns the place that I now live on for which I hold a title bond on David L. Ward for one hundred acres of land, being part of William Grayson’s 70,000 acre survey. Also two horse beasts, one mare named Canary and one two year old filly named Phoenix, also the cow beasts, which consist of three cows, a three year old steer, a three year old bull, and a two year old heifer; also two young calves, and ten head of sheep. Also fifteen head of hogs and twelve geese, and poultry of every description. The household furniture consisting of three beds with their covering, cooking utensils, with the table and furniture, the loom with its tackle, one shovel plough and one set of drawing gears, two axes, three hoes, with all the farming utensils. The Bible hymn book, the letter writer and Scot’s lessons, also two spinning wheels, one little wheel and one big wheel, and two large sugar kettles, two augers and drawing knife, and if there should be any part of my pension that should be in arrear that is to be for her use. And the balance of my books I give and bequeath to my son Rowland Burns which consists of the first Vol. of Blair’s sermons, the fourth Vol. Wesley’s sermons, Milton’s works, Paradise Lost. I also give and bequeath to my son John L. Burns one horse beast called Nudly, and a rifle gun, but he is not at liberty to dispose of them until he comes of age. And the within named property granted to my wife Elizabeth Burns, is to be hers her lifetime to dispose of as she thinks best if she remains a widow. But if she should marry she is only to have her third and balance of the estate is to be equally divided amongst my children, to wit: Rowland Burns, Jeremiah Burns, Nancy Githens, late Nancy Burns, Jane Rice, late Jane Burns, Amanda Burns, John L. Burns, Charles C. Burns, James P. Burns and Juliann Burns; and if she remains a widow at her decease whatever remains of the estate to be equally divided among the above named Rowland Burns, Jeremiah Burns, Nancy Githens, late Nancy Burns, Jane Rice, late Jane Burns, Amanda Burns, John L. Burns, Charles C. Burns, James P. Burns and Juliann Burns.
Lastly I constitute my son Rowland Burns and son-in-law John Githens executor of this my last will and testament, ratifying it to be such.
In witness whereof I have set my hand and seal, this 11th day of Mat. (sic) 1824. Signed, sealed and acknowledged in presence of:
Jeremiah Burns, Sen. :seal:
Elijah Rice Jun.
Elizabeth died at Louisa, Lawrence County, Kentucky, on April 27, 1859, age 89, and was buried in Widow’s Graveyard.
Along the smooth and slender wires, the sleepless heralds run,
Fast as the clear and living rays go streaming from the sun;
No pearls of flashes, heard or seen, their wondrous flight betray,
And yet their words are quickly caught in cities far away.
It’s amazing how you can get an idea for a blog entry, thinking it’s going to be an easy one. Then you begin writing. Oh, my. This was supposed to be just a short little romantic entry about how my maternal grandparents met. As I started writing I started realizing how little information I really had on the subject. It could have been written in one line. One line does not a blog make!
I suppose I could fill in the blanks with some made up fun stuff or take the time to research and read about places and things related but then I would be writing fiction. My plan is to write about some of the few things I know about my family history. And that’s not supposed to be fiction.
My mother once told me that her parents met when they were both telegraphers for the railroad. That has really piqued my interest and I wanted to learn more. I had never thought of my grandmother as a working woman. I wish I still had some relatives around that could tell me the whole story.
The story I have is that it all began in a little town called Kilgore in Boyd County, Kentucky. My grandmother, Julia McNeal, was born in 1879 in Kilgore, Kentucky. My grandfather, John Chase Hatcher, was born in 1874 in Louisa, Kentucky and later moved to Kilgore.
Sometime in the 1890’s (ah, Victorian times), John went to work as the agent for the railroad station in Kilgore, Kentucky in his early 20’s. Coal was very big in Kentucky and it brought the rails through Eastern Kentucky to haul it across the country. He worked there as station agent and telegraph operator for about 20 years. The Kilgore railroad station was located about half way between Kilgore and Rush, Kentucky, both small towns being located in Boyd County (the next largest town would have been Ashland).
I had never really thought about women of the 19th century working regular jobs outside the home. They always seemed to be portrayed as stay-at-home wives and mothers. I was surprised to learn how many young women worked as telegraph operators. Why, they even operated during the Civil War. But, why not? Women have always stepped in when the men were called to fight. The work had to continue. And I kept running across references to that age-old adage that women were cheaper to hire than men because they were only going to work a short time anyway before leaving for marriage and family.
I’m surmising when I make the statement that my grandmother probably learned Morse Code and how to be a telegraph operator from her father, Andrew Creighton McNeal, since he, too, had worked as a telegraph operator. Click here for more information on Andrew Creighton McNeal. In her late teens, she went to work as a telegraph operator at the Kilgore station. I don’t know if she worked for my grandfather or with him at that time. I would hazard a guess that she worked for him as the telegraph operator while he ran the depot but, as I said, that’s a guess. But what I don’t have to guess at is that because of that telegraph, my grandparents met and fell in love. They were married in 1899 when she was 20 years old and he was 25. Of course, she added to the statistics that the young women only work a year or two before getting married!
When I decided to write about my grandparents meeting, my hope was that they had actually worked as telegraph operators at different locations and that they “met” and their love blossomed over the wire. Ah, the forerunner to internet dating! I thought that sounded much more romantic! But because they both lived in Kilgore and didn’t have automobiles, I have to go with the most logical conclusion that they met while working together.
This plate from Harper’s Weekly puts women at the center of telegraph operation. Men and women working as operators often “talked” during down time and romance ensued. Sort of like Internet dating for the 19th century. “The Telegraph,” Harper’s New Monthly Magazine (August 1873), 332.
As a side note, I found so much information about telegraphy in the 1800’s and women’s part in it. Most people today are unfamiliar with the telegraph, not knowing how it worked or why it was so important to a country as vast as the United States. Prior to the middle of the 1800’s the fastest way to send a message or letter was by a rider on horseback (Pony Express) or by ship. Samuel F.B. Morse’s telegraph system brought an electronic highway of dots and dashes traveling along copper wires strung on poles. The telegraph was definitely the precursor to our internet of today.
As Carolyn Marvin observed in When Old Technologies Were New, there are some surprising parallels between the experiences of nineteenth century women telegraphers and the twentieth-century story of women in the field of computer programming. Some of these similarities are technically based; the telegrapher’s work, like that of a modern computer programmer, consisted of translating English-language instructions into machine-readable codes. Morse Code is, in fact, a direct ancestor of the ASCII codes used by software programmers. The computer itself is the direct descendant of the telegraph. In a historical sense, the computer is no more than an instantaneous telegraph with a prodigious memory, and all the communications inventions in between have simply been elaborations on the telegraph’s original work.
We’re together three years now. Our relationship has undergone adjustments. I watched him develop and mature and grow to be even more handsome and loving.
I remember the first time Nicky sauntered into my life. It was early evening. He walked in slowly, tentatively. At first I didn’t think he noticed me. He is breathtaking. I keep watching him. He sneaks glances my way but never moves toward me. I watched him for a while and then I watched him wander away.
I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I didn’t want to think about him. It was way too soon. George had only been gone a few months and my heart was still tender. I didn’t feel ready. I didn’t know if I could go through that again. But I wanted to see this enticing guy again. I started hanging out looking for him. Sometimes he would show up and sometimes he wouldn’t. Each time I saw him, he seemed a little friendlier. After a couple of weeks, I decided he was shy and I would have to take the initiative. I discovered that he was just as apprehensive. After three more weeks, we moved in together.
I enjoy reading before going to sleep. Nicky lies down with me and cuddles while I read. That I like. But he can be pushy at the most inopportune times. He has one routine that makes me crazy but I live with it. He’s worth it.
“Nicky, stop it. It’s three in the morning,” I moan as he slowly climbs on top of me. “I have to get up in two hours. You can sleep all day.”
He pushes my hand. When that doesn’t work, he nuzzles my neck. He moves up to kiss my eyelids, the tip of my nose, then my cheek. He won’t take no for an answer.
He is so absorbed in his own wants a drop of spittle cascades and lands on my chest. He’s oblivious and keeps rocking slow and steady.
Finally, when I don’t respond, he loses patience. Smack! “Ow,” I mumble in a groggy voice. “That’s enough, stop it!” I manage to turn on my side, forcing him off me.
He sits next to me with a heartrending, bewildered look of rejection. Each time it’s the same thing. He pouts, I pity. “Oh, all right, come over here,” I mutter as I reach out for him.
He lies on top of me once again. This time he just purrs and catnaps like the beautiful cat he is.