Sepia Saturday – Sisters, But Not

Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs. Historical photographs of any age or kind become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images.

Today’s prompt image is a photograph of Lala Williams and Elgie Crook from the Samuel Bell Maxey Collection at the Texas State Archives. Upon first glance, we might assume that the two young girls are sisters. We would be wrong – but not entirely. Elgie’s mother and Lala’s father were siblings. Elgie’s mother died when she was a little girl and she was sent to be brought up by her uncle. The cousins grew up as sisters.

And so I have chosen a picture of two (older) girls who are not exactly sisters, yet they are.



















The young woman kneeling is my grandmother, Eveline Coates. She is pictured with Edna Hoskins. On the back of the photograph, my grandmother wrote “Pals”.

And so we know that she and Edna were close.

Eveline and Edna grew up in the small communities of Walnut and Mystic, Appanoose County, Iowa. In the 1920 U. S. Census, their family homes are separated by one house. Eveline and Edna both married in 1923 – Eveline in February and Edna in August. With the marriage of Eveline Coates to Thomas Hoskins, Eveline and Edna became sisters…in law.

I have a picture of Edna that may have been taken on the same day.

Edna Hoskins

I think Edna looks happier in the company of Eveline. Or maybe she just didn’t want to stand in the cornfield.

And here is a picture of Eveline wearing the same dress – but this doesn’t look like it was taken on the same day. Her hair is different. She is in a different location. And she has a pretty lace hat.

Eveline Coates


















It is hard to tell, but Eveline may be wearing a ring on her left hand – possibly her wedding ring, which would date this picture (or both?) as 1923 or later.

A few years ago, I found a heritage craft in a magazine that I took inspiration from and made this little tribute to Eveline and Edna.

To see what others have created with today’s sisterly prompt, visit Sepia Saturday.



Sepia Saturday – My Childhood Library

Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs. Historical photographs of any age or kind become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images.

All those books!

I could begin with a picture of the stacks of books I have purchased but still haven’t read. Libraries, book stores, used book stores, estate sales, book jackets, jacket-less books, – they all call to me! Read this! Read me! And some that I have already read join in and call, “Read me again! You know how much you love me!”

Seems like I spend a lot of time reading blogs these days and very little time with my books. The stacks grow taller.

I do love books and places where there are books. But I don’t recall having many books when I was a child. Only a few, I think.

One of my favorites was – and still is – “The Little Engine That Could”. I love the illustrations. And, like all kids, I loved the repetition. And the story of the little engine that succeeded because of kindness, hard work, and determination.

I no longer have the book I read as a child, but I have the one I read to my children.


I also enjoyed this book of nursery rhymes. But this book stands out for another reason. When I was little, I sometimes had trouble going to sleep. There were snakes under my bed and monsters lurking in the dark. I would feel afraid and unable to close my eyes and fall asleep. I found a mental image that helped me overcome these feelings and nudge me to a restful state. It was the image of monkeys running around in a tree and acting silly. I think I got the idea from this book.


And then there is the story of “Snoopy – The Nosey Little Puppy” who was rescued from the pound. I was going to scan all of it to add here, but I had some little sisters who did a lot of scribbling in it. Let’s just call this one well-loved.

Another book I remember owning is one I no longer have nor can I remember the title or the name of the main character – although I did for many years. It was red, with the cloth library-type cover and simple black line drawing on the cover. The story was about a little girl who went to the circus alone for the first time. She bought cotton candy as soon as she arrived and then couldn’t find her ticket. The story was about her going from place to place and person to person, trying to find her ticket – which was, of course, stuck to her cotton candy. Not sure why I liked or remembered this book, except that, as I said, I didn’t have very many. If this story sounds familiar to anyone, I’d like to know!

Since American Thanksgiving is next Thursday, I’ll close with one last book from my childhood – although I really don’t remember it. Guess it wasn’t a favorite.

It claims to be an illustrated version of a poem by Ralph Waldo Emerson. The Ralph Waldo Emerson Society, however, has this to say about the poem:
This three-stanza, 21-line poem has long been attributed to Emerson, but is definitely not by him. No author has been discoverd. It is widely reprinted in hymnals, and has been published separately as We Thank Thee (Racine, Wisc.: Whitman, 1955) and Father, We Thank You (New York: SeaStar Books, 2001).

It is always good to count one’s blessings!

If you would have preferred something that included a sepia photograph or two, I invite you to view a post I wrote about my great uncle who lived by his motto: If you can read, you can do anything. It fits the theme pretty well.

Please turn the page to the Sepia Saturday blog where you can read what other bloggers have created for today’s prompt.



Lost Items, Lapses of Memory, and Not Seeing What is Right in Front of Me

I found it.

I couldn’t find this picture when I was writing Little Rockers. My pictures are a mess.

Holding Cousin Cherie

And I found this picture of Grandma Abbie after I published Amana Rocking Chairs.

Abbie in her Amana rocker

It was taken when my grandmother had moved to an assisted living apartment. She usually smiled for pictures. I don’t think she was ready.

I’ve been corrected.

When I wrote about My Big Tall Italian Wedding Cake, I made at least one mistake. Dad(Jim) tells me that, although he was already in Odessa, TX at the time of my wedding, Mom and my sisters were still in Clovis, NM, which makes Mom even more of a super mom – driving my wedding cake and my three little sisters the six hours to Waco during the time she was preparing to sell our house and make a move. Dad drove in separately.

And on the subject of faulty memory…. I write many of my personal memories here. I believe them to be true. Maybe they’re not. You might want to read You Can’t Trust Memory! from the Heart and Craft of Life Writing blog.

I’ll just keep writing like I remember it. I hope people will comment or otherwise tell me their version of the story!!!

Here’s the picture to prove it.

The day Dad(Jerry) and I were in Bethel Cemetery, we couldn’t find the headstone for Ann Rutledge’s mother. Dad returned a few months later with cousins Alice and Adele and they found it right off the bat. Here’s a picture they took.

Grave of Ann Rutledge, Bethel Cemetery, Van Buren Co., Iowa

I know I looked on that row. How could I have missed the tall headstone with a GAR marker?

The sun was really bright that day.