Please Bear With Me

My blog has been left to break a little here and a little there over the past couple of years. I’m receiving help to restore everything to working order.

If you subscribed to my blog, you probably received an email notification yesterday after a very long drought. It is long! – linking to tons of posts that I wrote this year. At least email notifications are working now!

My dashboard is partially working again and I can see that I have had visitors, although I’m not yet getting the full picture.

And all of those awful spam comments have disappeared! I don’t have 50 to delete from moderation every day.

But … no one can post a legitimate comment either. Boo!!!!

Bear with me while we get the comment problem fixed. Hopefully very soon.

Fingers crossed! Come back and leave that comment when it is working. I don’t want to miss the discussion!

Sepia Saturday – A Wee Foursome

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. If you want to play along, sign up to the link, try to visit as many of the other participants as possible, and have fun.

Five Girls On A Boat : Third Party Print (1920s)


Four little ones
One on a child-sized chair. Three on the ground.

Three are looking at the photographer’s helper,
who must be doing something to hold their attention.
But one has his attention on someone off to the side.

Who are these children?

Another copy provides names.
Billye            Winston       Larry      Dorinda

Billye and Dorinda are sisters.
Winston and Larry are brothers.
The two sets of children are cousins.
They are all cousins of my father, Jerry Smith.

Here they are again.
The boys are in different places.
Dorinda is off to the side
and so is the attention of all the children.
I wonder if this photo was taken first, then Dorinda was moved in closer.
And someone made an extra effort to turn those eyes to the front.

What is written underneath Dorinda? I asked her:

One of my nicknames was Dindy. sometimes called Dindy Dimples, because I had double dimples. They don’t show in pictures though.

Billye is also a nickname.
Her given name is Wilda.

The year was 1939. The photo was taken in Iowa.
Those bare feet say “summertime.”

Another photo taken the same day.Wilda must have been very fond of that chair.

Again, the better copy has no names, but they are provided on this one.

Myron – Mike Smith, my dad’s brother, son of Abbie
Father – M. D. Webber, my great-grandfather, father of my grandmother Abbie.
Billy – Wilda
Abbie – my grandmother
????? I cannot read what is written. The woman is my great-grandmother, Dorinda Strange Webber, Abbie’s mother. Abbie wrote Father to identify her father, but that doesn’t look like Mother or Dorinda.
Gerald, my father (Jerry), son of Abbie
Laird – Laird Addis, father of Winston and Larry

My dad and his brother Mike are dressed like the farm boys they were.

I don’t know the reason for the gathering that day in Iowa City,
but it looks as though it was a happy time.

This is my contribution to Sepia Saturday. Please visit other participants here.

7th Blogiversary This Week

I published my first post here on April 21, 2012. It is not a date that sticks in my mind. In fact, I only know to mark the occasion because I saw that Jana Last noted her Blogiversary. We launched our blogs within a couple of weeks of one another, Jana being first. When Jana says she is having a Blogiversary, I know I am too.

As happens with many of us, this blog has had times of drought as well as plenty. At one time, I was posting about three times a week. A few family and friends kindly followed along, as well as a small circle of fellow family history bloggers. I enjoyed my new community.

Then came the drought, precipitated by a diagnosis of a nasty lymphoma that necessitated chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. Posts were few and far between, even for some time after my treatment was complete because I had lingering “chemo brain” and just couldn’t get my writing or research together. My little circle of followers had nothing to read and a few left blogging themselves.

When I was ready and enthusiastic about getting back to it, I didn’t know how to jump back in. Thank goodness for Sepia Saturday. The weekly photo prompts gave me a way back. And that is where I am now – usually posting once a week in response to the prompt. It has been my blogging life preserver.

Alas, cancer isn’t through with me. A new diagnosis of an unrelated cancer meant major surgery the first of February and I have just had my second of twelve chemo treatments – every other week for six months. So far, I’m having one not-so-good week followed by a week that’s pretty good. I’m hopeful that I won’t fall completely off the blogging wagon this time.

I look back at those early posts now, many about my young self in relation to my family, and I am surprised at the stories. I have lost some of those memories now. I would not be able to write them today. I hope you will take my advice to preserve even the silly little stories of your life. Write them somewhere – even if only for yourself.

By far, my most read post is for directions to make “port pillows” – little pillows to attach to your seatbelt. They offer a bit of comfort to cancer patients who have a portacath for administration of drugs. Someone “pinned” the post a few years ago and I get hundreds of hits every week from around the world.

My most recent “accomplishment” here is a series I just completed about an uncle who died due to complications of measles when he was five years old. There are eight in the series, beginning with this one:
Sepia Saturday – An Uncle I Never Knew: A Tow-Headed Boy

Here are a few of my other favorites from the past year:

Sepia Saturday – Stunt Man on a Bike

Sepia Saturday – From Sicily to New Orleans

Sepia Saturday – Farming and Fences in Kansas

Sepia Saturday – Grandpa at Lake Okoboji

Sepia Saturday – Protest at Gwynn Oak Amusement Park

Sepia Saturday – Environmental Impact?

Thanks for reading along! I look forward to #8!