“A wise old owl lived in an oak;
The more he saw the less he spoke;
The less he spoke the more he heard...
Why can't we all be like that bird?”
― Edward Hersey Richards

my POETRY | ANNI'S BOOK CRITIQUES | my ART | my BIRD photography | MLB | NFL | hurricanes

Down Memory Lane-2...

"We interrupt this Botanical Garden Series to bring you this special blogcast!!!"
I only have time to do short stories of the Monday Memory Meme [posted Sunday] doing them for 5 weeks at a time.  I will resume [and conclude] with the Botanical Garden Sculptures in the week ahead.  So, here goes with Monday Memories weeks 6-10....

week SIX - first family

My immediate family consists of six ... four. My husband Bud, who is a retired government worker and ex-Navy. Myself, as you know, I retired from working at a psychiatric corporation consisting of several doctors that were... psychologists/psychiatrists and medical doctors who prescribed medications for the patients.     - I retired from this field of work when Bud decided to retire early after paying off his retirement fund beforehand.   The two of us created:  A daughter, Irene, who is working on her Masters' Degree in Social Work, working as a manager of a 'safe house' for abused women and children in Missouri. Irene blessed us with two grandsons. The oldest has Down Syndrome and working full time, while the youngest is in his first year college, working on a law degree. And...our son, Erik, who is working on his PhD in Political Science and working as a college professor in Houston.

Then, the 'six' that I crossed out changing it to four...there are two furry family members, Tahoe and Winston. Tahoe is a medium haired black tabby, Winston is a white Persian. Both adopted from animal shelters. 

Tho all of us were born in the USA, we have ancestors from Europe. Ireland, Germany/France, England - I have many legal copies of births/marriages/deaths from doing a 25 year [and ongoing] work of genealogy and published a 300+ page book called "Inherited Lineage" [shown above]. The one family member who migrated from England to America, and on Bud's side of the gene pool, lived to be 108!!! His maternal grandmother. The oldest on my side of the family lived to be 98; my paternal grandfather. His family tale consists of traveling from South Dakota as a baby in the 1800s, in a covered wagon...to Nebraska [Just like Little House on the Prairie].

...some tintypes of relatives I own and cherish...even if I don't know who they are:

week SEVEN -  most influential person Other than my parents; I was close to both mom 'N' dad, I believe I could honestly say I would have to narrow it down to TWO. One: A teacher I had in high school stands out in my memory very vividly. She was Mrs. Sanderson. An English Literature teacher. She was so actively avid for us to learn, I grabbed my opportunity with gusto. Play acting, reading Shakespeare, festivals, junior/senior assemblies, field trips. It was a year all rolled into a big celebration of literature. I quickly acquired a love for William Shakespeare's work... and being able to quickly read and understand the Old English style of speech and prose has stuck with me over the years. To this day, I can quote from many readings of my past, and I am often reminded of Mrs. Sanderson and I thank her for bringing the light to me and my love for English Literature. TWO: My first grandson, Clint. Why is he influential to me? Well, first of all he was a Down's baby. Not only Down Syndrome, but he was also born with a hole in his heart....at five months had open heart surgery after he stopped breathing and Irene resuscitated him back to life...a helicopter for life escorted him to a children's medical facility in Colorado Springs. To make a long story short, the specialist told Irene and Clint's family that Clint would not live beyond 5 years of age. He is now 25!! His strongest influence on me? His unconditional love for all! Oftentimes I have silently wished we all had that extra chromosome within us...the world would be such a happier place. Loving mankind [and animals] as he does....we could use him as a role model. Seriously. In the waiting room, during the open heart surgery, I took a magazine I found on the table and wrote this as Clint was being operated on...by the way, after many weeks of rehabilitation and office visits, the pediatric heart specialist told us Clint had died on the operating table once and was miraculously saved once again. He has a special bond with His Maker!!! Anyway, I wrote this in 1987 and had it printed and copyrighted in 1989 with a baby photo of Clint infused within the poem's canvas. It's been published on my poetry blog prior to this posting. I just copied and added the entire post here to save a bit of time for myself, tho some is redundant...

©1989 --- 2014
[this was written in the hospital waiting room, on a magazine cover, during our grandson's open heart surgery - at 5 months of age. And the image above is my own graphic. The face in the clouds is actually Clint! Superimposed from a pencil sketch of mine of him.]

I think the sky ends in your heart
so you've captured mine.
With twilight's purples, pinks, and gold...
The knowledge now that which I cast
what tokens I hold.

As the sun, you're glowing, alive and fresh.
Stars, you sparkle and shine.
Like the moon, you're stately, powerful, bright.
Clouds, you're tender and fine.
Your dark storms' furies: Natural passion is God's will.

The mystical horizon, the inner light...our existences entwine.
I think the sky ends in your heart Clint,
And so, you've captured mine.

week EIGHT -  my mom She's not on this earth any longer, but still with me in my heart!! Her name was Edith Irene...I named my daughter after her. With a heart of gold, my mom treated everyone equally and loved with all her might!! Of Irish descent, her hair was strawberry blond before the silver strands took root in her later years. Bud was her favorite 'son'.... the two got along like mother and son from day one. She welcomed him with open arms. My mom bore five children from 1935 to 1949 when I was born...loved and cherished her husband [my dad] for over 50 years before her death. Her family was always number one to her. She was devout and had her bible at her bedside and 'religiously' read from it nightly. I miss her. And today, when I look in the mirror, I see my mother.

week NINE -  my dad My father, too, is not here with us physically any longer. He left us behind four years after my mom passed away. With my dad, he always kinda favored his two daughters. There is something special about the relationships of fathers and their daughters. I must admit, now that I'm older, he did spoil me as my brothers and sister claimed to be true so long ago. Something special I remember when I was just a child of six...each Saturday during the summer, in the early evening, the two of us would walk hand in hand from the parked car, to a nearby dairy that had a small soda fountain. It was a small town in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies, and everyone knew each other. Our Saturday night out was for a double scoop of ice cream in a cone. We'd sit together, I'd giggle, he'd watch the people and converse with some...we had a special bonding. Sometimes I'd have black walnut ice cream, other times when the dairy made it and had it available, dad would order me a watermelon sherbet cone. To this day, I have never had sherbet tasting so good. One year, I wanted a bicycle, he got me a brand new one...blue with white walled tires. I wanted a wedding doll for Christmas one year...my father made the best Santa ever...under the tree, with my name on it, was a wedding doll!! He taught me how to drive a manual transmission. We'd go on fishing trips and spend the weekend camping in a tent, until one summer he bought a trailer, from then on it was camping out in that. Cooking [yes, he was an excellent cook!] and gardening was a passion that he passed on to me through the years.

Oh, and with both my parents, they were backyard bird watchers...guess that rubbed off on me also.

week TEN - my Christmas stories  The first thing I will add...Bud bought me for a gift on our first year married, 1968...an old world Santa Claus much like the one in my header.  THAT was the beginning of my Claus Collection!!  For over four decades, I've been buying, and receiving Santa Stuff!!!  Some of  my Nicholas Numbers will be posted as an ending to this post.   I could tell you many. But with the onset of my doing five weeks in one post with short tales, I must add that when we lived on Colorado, Christmas day was always a big day when I was single and at home, and after Bud and I married and had children of our own. The day began early...getting up to cook for family that would arrive later in the morning. It was always ham and a Christmas goose to roast. With all the fixin's. We always had enough food on the table to feed an army. With my siblings married [except for my sister] we had two tables set up. There were 17-20 celebrating Christmas day together. And the day didn't end until around 10 pm when all would begin to leave and return to their homes. After Bud and I married, we'd get up around 4 a.m. and have our 'own' Christmas with our two children. We'd eat a hardy breakfast. While the kids were playing with their new gifts, Bud and I would prepare food to take to my parents' house. We'd all clean up and get dressed for the day ahead. Sometimes it was a treacherous, dangerous, drive to my folks...with icy, snow-packed roads to drive. Other times, not so much. The young kids in our family would get gifts under the tree at mom and dad's from everyone. And the adults would buy and present gifts to only ONE person. We'd draw names on Thanksgiving. It was a ritual that worked for us. Every adult in the family would have their names put on paper and placed in a hat. If we were there, physically, we draw out a name. The name on the paper would be the person for whom we bought a gift. If they weren't at the house on Thanksgiving, then...my father would draw a name for them and mail the name to the family member. My parents put a spending limit on the one gift too. We could not spend more than $100. Like I said, it was a long day. But always filled with good food, laughter, and wonderful memories. Today's times have changed our way of celebrating. My parents are gone. My sister and her husband - my youngest [older] brother and his son live in Colorado. My oldest brother and his family live in Nevada, my middle [older] brother is no longer with us. His children all live in Colorado except for his youngest daughter who lives in California. Nieces and nephews that once graced our Christmas day now all have families of their own. Our children have lives that extend beyond Bud and me...they have their own traditions and family. For the two of us, it's a quiet time for reflecting and remembering the good days of yore.  And we enjoy having this kind of holiday...it's not a sad thing, it's more of what we want for now.

...my Christmas Stories in Santa Land. Even my keyboard is festive!!
Yes, Virginia...there IS a Santa Claus.  And I, Hootin' Anni, still believe.  There is good in Jolly O' Saint Nick!!  He brings joy to boys and girls each and every year.  Some where...everywhere!!

crocheted Santa and sleigh [stiffened with sugar starch]

"Believe" carved by Bud - Carved wooden canoe with Santa and Dog
Santa Afghan crocheted by me...pattern design by me - Large Santa/Sleigh
Photo of Santa  - Polar Express Hallmark Santa
Animated Santa - Soft Sculpture Santa [1 and 2]


  1. Oh Anni, this is an incredible post you have blessed us with. And you have certainly been blessed with so many amazing people in your life. I have been touched with emotion as I have read each word. Thank you for sharing your beautiful family.

    1. Thank you for your kind words Denise

  2. This was really wonderful to read. Thank you for sharing these personal stories with us. I wish you a great Sunday.

    Mersad Donko Photography

  3. Hello Anni, what a wonderful post.You are blessed! I enjoyed learning more about your family. My nephew Kevin was also born with Down Syndrome and hole in his heart. I love the Christmas photos. Thanks for sharing, have a happy Sunday!

    1. I guess that is quite common with Down's babies...the hole in the heart. Thank YOU Eileen.

  4. What cool stories. Is this memory project your own, or a meme you joined? What a great idea! Wonderful.

  5. Wow, Anni, this post is filled with all kinds of information and love of family. I enjoyed learning more about you and yours. Very well done. :-)

  6. I'm left speechless after reading this heartwarming and wonderfully written post. Thank you for sharing and your serious understanding of family mechanics is evident.

  7. Dear Anni, I can only agree with everything the others have written!! What an incredible post and so heartwarming indeed! And what a wonderful family! Thank you for sharing! Hope you have a beautiful day and new week!!

  8. Your family and you are very talented. Interesting to read about all of you.

  9. What a great catch-up!! I'm glad you are joining the Monday Memory meme. I've been enjoying writing mine and reading everyone else. I loved reading about your dear parents, and your grandson, Clint, and your teacher. A wonderful post, Anni, Thank you for sharing!

    1. I just don't have much time these days for doing a daily post. So, I try to catch up when I can find a bit of extra writing time. Thanks Terri

  10. wonderful stories and delightful Christmas decorations. I loved it all

  11. Hi Annie, Those old photos are special, and I like the memories, too. I have MANY Santas, but I don't get most of them out of storage anymore. I'm thinking of passing them on to the children and grandchildren. Glad to hear you still believe in Santa!

    1. I believe Santa is good for youngsters to find some inspiring beliefs of all things happy and good Thanks Barb

  12. A wonderful post about family, that you hold dear.

  13. Oh, my dear!!! I enjoyed every single word!!! What lovely stories of such lovely times!! You have lived and continue to live such a wonderful life! Even sorrows are transformed to joys when you have such love in your heart!

    1. I'm happy to know you enjoyed reading this bit of Hootin' Anni, Linda.

  14. So glad you take the time to join in. I have a grandson who is autistic and he too is special in ur hearts. I also have a godson who had a hole in his heart and he is married with 2 sons of his own. The wonders of the world. Look forward to your next installment.

  15. My Mom crocheted stars for our Christmas tree. Christmases do change over the years. Love the memories you shared about the special times with your Dad.

  16. I haven't been posting every Monday as I have post where I covered the topic already. I should probably gather all my memories an make one page for all of them.

  17. You have wonderful Christmas memories!! And I LOVE that you even decorated your keyboard - that's the Spirit! :)
    I have penguins instead of Santa, but it's always fun I think to have a collection, and I always enjoy seeing what others collect.

    1. Awwwwwwww, cute. I like penguins too this time of year.

  18. Such a touching story of Clint. Amazing love and strength from God brought him through it all. You and Bud are so talented and creative! Poetry, crocheting, carving, photography, etc. Do you ever sleep? Have a blessed and merry Christmas! :-)