“The White Woman of the Genesee” at Letchworth State Park

Yesterday we (Mom & brother) went to Letchworth State Park.  As my brother has never been there before, we saw High Falls again, a site I never get sick of seeing:

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and the Middle Falls, viewed from the Glen Iris Inn:

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We then walked the Mary Jemison trail:

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up to the railroad bridge:

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and up to the railroad tracks:

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those same tracks that my Dad is standing on in Nov of 2006:

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I took a photo of my Mum and brother near the same spot that my Dad was standing. Oh, how we miss him soooo much.

Hmmm, since when did they start using this configuration of holding the rails down? Something for me to investigate later.

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On the way back down the trail I found a log with fungi, moss and lichens:

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At the end of the trail, we saw this skull:

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After hiking the trail we saw the cabin Mary Jemison built for her second daughter, Nancy, with the Antique Seneca Council House in the background:

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Mary Jemison was called Deh-He-Wa-Mis, “The White Woman of the Genesee” or “The White Woman of the Valley.” Here’s some information about her from one of the information panels:

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There are old books about her on Google books, and contemporary books can be found on Amazon or at the library.

Here’s a replica of the Viewing Pavilion:

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Here’s the bronze statue of Mary Jemison. This statue was cleaned up recently which I heard about when I attended the Archives Week celebration at Genesee Country Village & Museum on October 11, 2006.

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Next to her statue is a black walnut tree planted by James Shongo, grandson of Mary Jemison ca. 1875.

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After this, we drove up to Inspiration Point (reminds me of “Happy Days”). This is an into the sun view of the Portage Bridge, High Falls and Middle Falls, all very hard to see due to the sun:

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We then stopped to view Big Bend, view looking southerly:

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view looking northerly:
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And just as we were leaving the turkey vultures appeared. We saw turkey vultures all day, and they’re hard to capture with my little camera, but here’s a little silouette:

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We then went to Gardeau overlook, which is where Mary Jemison lived:

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The name Gardeau comes from the Seneca word Gah-Da-Hoh, or “bank in front.”

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Soon this valley will be in full color as you can see from this photo taken at the Mt. Morris Dam overlook:

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and Letchworth State Park will be very crowded. Stay tuned. We plan on going back there more!  Post leaf-viewing and arts & crafts show crowds, that is.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

I was making a phone call at 12:30 AM this morning and saw on my cell phone it was May 31st, my Dad’s birthday. A date that has always been special, just like my Mom’s birthdate. And even though he’s not around anymore on earth, I’m still celebrating the life that he did have here!

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My Dad as a little boy.  Check out the size of that chopped down tree!

I’ve shown you a little boy at work that I absolutely adore, and my Dad’s little boy hands remind me of the little boy at work’s hands. The little boy at work had a fever of 103 this week and it was just about naptime so I brought up to my office, wrapped him up in his blanket and held him tight and while holding him I held his freezing little hands to warm them up. He was asleep in my arms when his mother arrived. This little boy just gets to my heart, just as little boy photos of my Dad get to my heart.  My Dad was born at home, which was usual for that time.

Memorial Day, 2008

Year the second, without my Dad. Word has it they finally have his military plaque installed on his monument. SALUTE! I’ll see it in a couple of weeks when we go back to visit. And hopefully they’ll have an American flag for him, too.

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My Dad in the Navy during The Korean Conflict.

In April I found war monuments within the cemetery where my Dad is. Here’s the one for The Korean Conflict.
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At LaFayette Rural Cemetery

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I really wanted to see & photograph my Dad’s flag, but I don’t know where my Mom has it, so instead I took a photo of the flag he used to hang outside every day.

I leave you with some words from Taps, as we celebrate this Memorial Day, remembering all of those who served to make this country free.

“Day is done, gone the sun,
From the hills, from the lake,
From the sky.
All is well, safely rest,
God is nigh. . .”

Knickers

My Dad used to call all pants “Knickers.” Pants he wore, pants I wore, pants anyone wore. An example would be “what do you have on your knickers?” or “those are nice knickers.” I always knew he was referring to pants.

My Dad was raised during the depression and knickers were in style for boys then. And he hated them.

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My Dad in knickers with his Mom. Photo is poor quality because it is taken from a home video.

I’ve been reading Victoria Thompson’s gaslight mysteries (can’t put them down, love the mysteries and the history) and come to find out in these books and with some research of my own, the term “knickers” comes from the Knickerbocker family name. There was a Knickerbocker family that settled in New York (then New Amsterdam) in the 1600’s and Washington Irving used the family name in his History of New York. Knickerbockers ended up referring to Dutch families that settled in New York who wore knee-length Dutch breeches.

I wish I could tell my Dad the history of those knickers he so hated! Hmmm, now that I think of it, knickers kind of remind me of capris which *I* refuse to wear. Not knocking them for everyone else, but to me, if I wore capris, I would feel like I’m missing the rest of my pants.  Maybe that’s the way my Dad felt, too.

I Could Scream, Or Why I Haven’t Blogged

So I got new Anti-Virus software, woo-hoo, it is supposed to protect my computer even more than my last package. Except it won’t let me freakin’ blog and I haven’t figured out how to make it let me yet, grrrr. How am I blogging now? Don’t ask. So much for the new and improved version, huh? Phew, thanks for letting me get *that* off my chest. I will figure it out. And I won’t spend 20 hours on some phone with their technical staff, because I know how irritating *that* is.

Just a few of the many photos I’ve been taking – Daffodil perfection, before the rains came and ruined them all.

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Ahhh, I love daffodils!

And sweet kitty faces.

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She was smooshing her nose into the knees of my pants after I had been working in the garden. She’s such a little sweetie, my Dad’s little kitty. Can you believe she still misses him and looks for him?

Oh yeah, I just realized it’s my second blogiversary.  Woo-Hoo.

One Year Ago Today. . .

I thought I was in “hell.” This was the day my Dad was taken from us. Today Mom wanted to visit the cemetery, so we took off from work (yay!) and spent part of this beautiful, 64 degree F day in the cemetery he’s buried in.

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They still don’t have his bronze plaque on the monument yet. Hopefully next time!

We also visited the cemetery where my Mom’s Mother is buried (among many of our other relatives) and found that someone had carved this little heart seat out of a stump.

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We also visited my Grandmother’s cousin, who is almost 90. Wow! Can you imagine living until you’re 90?

Wedding Anniversary

Today is my parents’ Wedding Anniversary. I feel so bad for my Mom, I’m hoping the day isn’t going to be too rough for her, being the first anniversary without my Dad.

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My Dad and Mom on their wedding day (scanned from a slide).

My Mom’s tax person suggested she redo her W-4 for this year. She’s submitting it as a single person. Single.?? Not my Mom. She’ll always be married to my Dad in my mind and in her heart.

My Dad’s Scissors

My Mom had a pair of my Dad’s scissors on the kitchen table yesterday, and it brought back memories. One of his jobs at the NY Telephone Company was as an electrician and he was one of the lucky guys to work up the poles and down in the manholes (yuck). In the manholes he had to splice wires, and hence the need for these scissors. He also used them quite a bit around the house.

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My Dad’s electrician’s scissors, one of many pair he had.

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Wiss 175E5 made in the U.S.A.

They are Wiss 175E5 5″ electrician scissors with serrations along the entire bottom blade. There are two notches for stripping different gauges of wire (19 gauge and 23 gauge). He used to wear them in a holder that would attach somehow to his belt.

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View showing the serrations and two notches.

Even though these are older than I can remember, they are still very sharp. Now that’s a good pair of scissors!

“Lightning Crashes, An Old Mother Dies. . .”

Is this freakin’ year ever going to come to an end? It’s bad enough my Dad passed, now my Aunt, who we found out had cancer last year, has passed as of 8:30 last night. I am so, so very sorry for my Uncle and my cousins and all of her grandchildren / great grandchildren, my Mom, my Aunts and Uncles, and everyone who is affected by this.

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Aunt Jeanette is standing in the middle, her husband (Mom’s brother) is to her left.
By the way, my Dad is holding my Mom on his lap on the ground to Aunt J’s right.
And all of the children except my older brother and other cousin
are Aunt Jeanette’s, so she has a lot of grieving children (5, one wasn’t born yet) today.
And I was just a twinkling in my Dad’s eye.
I just realized, only four of the adults in this photo are alive today.

After my Mom told me the first thing that came to my head was “Lightning Crashes, An Old Mother Dies. . .” “I can feel it. . .” and I’m playing it right now real loud because I. Just. Need. To.

Thanksgiving 2007 & Snow!

Yesterday morning and the entire night before it had been raining hard. During mid-morning the temperature dropped 10 degrees F, and we had snow on Thanksgiving!

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Whenever there is snow on Thanksgiving, it makes me break into the song

‘Over the river and through the woods to Mummy’s house we go. . .’ (substituting Mummy in for Grandmother).

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These snow photos are for you, Mary, and anyone else who wants to see a bit of snow.

I only had a couple of panicky moments of missing my Dad. One was when I was setting the table by myself and as I was setting the place where he usually sat for my Mom I started freaking out inside. I almost called out to my Mom, but at that moment my Aunt walked in and started talking, which irritated me at first, but then she did take my mind off of my Dad. The whole process of getting ready for the day was really tough on my Mom, but she is really one smart cookie in that she invited the relatives and had the whole day planned to keep our minds off of things, even though we did bring up my Dad every now and then.

After a delicious meal, we had a musical concert because everyone plays the piano plus other instruments and sings, too. I was the only one not to play and I got in trouble for not playing. Well, I don’t have a piano at home, but they didn’t accept that as an excuse, so next year I have to perform, somehow. I better get boned up on my ragtime again!

The day was perfect, and even Mom’s Thanksgiving cactus was blossoming right on time:

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And a wonderful end to a great day:

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