In Memoriam

When we were working, my husband and I took yearly summer vacations.  It turned out to be a sort of spur-of-decision where we’d head but often took off east. From Maine to the Keys, we traveled, stopping to see historic sites and breathe in the ocean air.  Anything history from Acadia National Park to Fort Jefferson at Dry Tortugas National Park we explored inland and outlands, hardly a spot we did not explore up and down the coast.  Our favorites, though, are Salem and Danvers, Massachusetts, where the Salem Witch Trials took place and affected many of my own ancestors’ lives.  We have taken in many, if not most, of the Civil War historic sites and battlefields such as Gettysburg, Arlington National, Vicksburg, Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, Antietam, the list goes on. We drove right into Andersonville, at the end of the day but were ushered out after a short drive, yet not before we saw Minnesota’s memorial to our men.

Many of the Around Clearwater men as well as my ancestors enlisted, fought hard, suffered, and even died for our country. 

One man I have been researching is Ellet Parcher Perkins.  In the next of my Minnesota Main Street Women series, Ellet, a cousin of hers,  accompanies my protagonist from Vermont to Minnesota when her brother-in-law writes her to come work as a hotel housekeeper in the early days of Clearwater. While this information may or not be fiction, the following isn’t.  After enlistment, he rises from corporal to captain with great honors but suffers from his wounds the rest of his life.  So many of these men fought while their wives and families took over the work at home.  The same can be said for the other wars that followed.  So much sacrifice on the battlefields and home front for our country.

This year Memorial Day, we will honor all who have suffered so much in war, https://www.britannica.com/topic/Memorial-Day (how Memorial Day was founded ) and now we include our thoughts and memories of those who fought Covid here at home.  Those who fought to keep us healthy and those who died without their loved ones surrounding them with love.

It’s been a hard year, undoubtedly, but now as we head out to celebrate Memorial Day, let’s not forget all those who have fought for us and those who have sacrificed their lives.

Have a great weekend.

Cindy

Mother’s Day observation over history and now

Anna Jarvis, the founder of Mother’s Day, believed the country had a duty to all national mothers to celebrate them for their oftentimes sacrificial support for their love and care.  The first known Sunday, a day of rest for God and mothers, began May 10, 1908.  Parade’s online site has an article, “What is the history of Mother’s Day”?   In 1914, Woodrow Wilson agreed with her and others and passed the bill for “Mother,” to be honored on the 2nd Sunday in May.

How did we celebrate Mother’s Day up to the time I became a mother?  When we could, we gathered at my mom’s or aunt’s table, had a picnic sometimes, but we always focused on being together and eating.  We gave Grandma, the one who started all this family for my generation, flowers for her rock garden. Her daughters help plant her favorites. The celebration was nothing super fancy, often, potluck, but laughter and happiness accompanied aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, cousins, mothers and fathers, and of course, Grandpa with Grandma, around the table.

Whether we were at the old homestead or the kid’s homes, we came together to celebrate these women’s charitable contributions to their families.  Time was set for this day, that special Sunday, and usually right after we attended church we’d either drive for another “over the river and through the woods” event or race home and get the table set for a houseful of company.

My grandmother–Ina Johnson

 

Winnie, my mother

The honoring of mothers was not given a special day or set up as a holiday by the government during my novels’ timeframes.  Maude’s and Jennie’s mothers in my Minnesota Main Street Women’s series were already dead by the time the days of focused respect came about. So many of my extended family members are out of the area. Getting together with cousins and their children won’t take place since we don’t have our mothers telling us what to do or insisting on TRADITION. I guess that is why we gather at weddings and funerals if we can to celebrate our familiness.

It is now the next generation’s turn, not mine anymore.  Lives have become so busy, it is hard to get together period.  And last year? Last year was the year of Zoom, phone calls, and lovely cards.  We cannot fix that.  Yet, our longing to be together was with us for the remaining 364  days.  Let’s try to make up for lost time, remember mothers, grandmothers, aunts–all the women in your lives–by giving them a special moment carved out of busy, busy lives.  We women have a lot of loving to do yet.

Bringing Minnesota Main Street Women to the League of Women Voters–St. Cloud

I had a wonderful time last night presenting strong Main Street Women to the group of men and women at the Marriott.  I was well-received, thanked profusely, honored, and congratulated for my presentation.  Again, thank you, League of Women Voters. Thank you, Pat Fillmore, for bringing me to your  group of people who are still persisting in the fight for equality.

I want to thank my sister, Becky Frank, for helping me.  She hauled, decorated the table, took pictures, took money and much more–supporting me in this endeavor.

 

Becky’s display of my all my books.
I am being introduced to the crowd.

The crowd filled the speaker’s room and it was varied–men and women.  Here are a few highlights from the grand evening

Here I am presenting Women Awakening.

I sold lots of books as well.  So it was a good night all around. The weather even cooperated.  It sounds like we have more on the way this week and into the end of Feb.

Hope to see some of you again soon.

Cindy