Archive for the 'Family' category

Our Month in the U.S. of A.

March 2, 2009 9:34 pm


No, pas possible! Today is March 2nd and I am only now adding a post about our trip to America. For shame!

We arrived in Gig Harbor, Washington on Christmas Eve and we flew back to France from San Francisco on Inauguration Day – Gobama! And now, about a mere forty days later, I’m finally sitting down to write a post about the trip. (Keeping up with one’s blog isn’t as easy as I thought!) Before any more time passes, I want to thank all our friends and family who took such good care of us.

We were very fortunate indeed to spend Christmas with Mom and Dadums at their home in Gig Harbor. My son Jake flew up from San Francisco to join us and my sister, Susan, and husband Tom and nephews Danny and Billy (who live nearby) were there as well. We were also there to celebrate Billy’s 18th birthday on December 28th. He invited about 40 of his closest friends over, dug a pit in the backyard, and BBQed a whole lamb Argentinian-style on a home-made vertical metal structure. And it worked – deliciously!

On December 30th, we reluctantly said good-bye and flew to San Francisco. We rented a really ugly big American car, and drove to Carmel Valley to stay with dear friend, Lynne. The next day, Kevin and I experienced our best New Year’s Eve ever. What a party! We caught up with old friends Doris and Hu, Donna and Scot, Mary and Gregg, Mark and Elaine, Marv and Wanda, and made new friends as well – Robin and John. It was a perfect gathering of people, with yet another great meal, and hours and hours of crippling dancing. And an after-party the next day. Perfect …

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Quick Trip to Scotland

November 5, 2008 7:59 pm

Cows watching KevinKevin’s expert computer eye spotted a cheap RyanAir flight to Edinburgh recently, so we decided to take advantage of the opportunity to visit our dear friends, Mike and Christina. We last saw Mike, Kevin’s godfather, and his Danish-born wife, Christina, in June at Henley, where they had urged us to come spend some time with them at their home in Scotland. We could only spare a long weekend but – hey – why not?

It was Kevin’s second and my first visit to Scotland, a[nother] country I have always wanted to see. We arrived in Edinburgh Friday night and took the two hour train ride to Stonehaven, just below Aberdeen on the east coast. Unfortunately, it was too dark to really see anything, but Mike picked us up at the station and drove us back to their beautiful cozy cottage and converted barn, and he and Christina fed us a hearty meal. When we woke Saturday morning, the view from our bedroom window was just what I imagined Scotland would look like. We were nestled in low rolling lime-green hills filled with heather and grazing cows and in the near distance we could see the North Sea. It was all sort of wild and wind-swept looking. Beautiful.

After a brisk walk through the surrounding countryside, we drove to Stonehaven where we visited our first pub and dined on fish and chips. From there, we visited a local castle, and then another pub. And thus the theme was set: we seemed to spend most of our time eating great food, drinking pints, checking out gorgeous scenery, and having a wonderful time just hanging our with our hosts. On Sunday, Christina, an expert horsewoman, even gave us riding lessons on her horse, Fred. Their menagerie also includes the hard-of-hearing but still frisky old pup, Sascha, and their black kitty, Nelson.

Monday, we took a very scenic day-time train back to Edinburgh where we had several hours to kill before catching our flight back to Marseilles. Edinburgh seems spectacular, but it will take another visit to really explore it well. Meanwhile, check out a few of our photos.

Thank you Mike and Christina for a wonderful visit. Much love,


A Walk Around the Grounds of Hampton Court Palace

March 9, 2008 6:20 pm

Hampton Court Palace GroundsKevin and I just returned from a week in Merry Olde and Very Olde England. Kevin’s parents, Geoff and Jenni, are fortunate to live just a stone’s throw from Bushy Park, the second largest of the Royal Parks of London, and Hampton Court Palace, appropriated by Henry VIII from Cardinal Wolsey in around 1525.

I was very lucky to have several sunny, if not warm, days to stroll with Geoff and Jenni through Bushy Park, as well as the palace grounds. We arrived at the absolute peak of the daffodil bloom. We also walked across Molesey Bridge and watched a couple beautiful boats go through Molesey Lock. The scenery is so completely different from Provence, but so gorgeous in its own way. So veddy English! Check out the photos in Gallery.


Grandma Remembers, Part Deux

February 13, 2008 5:29 pm

IMAGE1(5)My maternal grandparents were known as Mama Davis and Papa Davis. They had sixteen children, but lost four in infancy. Many of my family have quite interesting names. Papa Davis was born James Madison Davis. Mama Davis was named Bertha. Their daughters were Olive Bertha, Flossie Etta (also known as Momo), Sadie, Alice, and Bernice. Their sons were Jessie, Grover, Edward, Comer, Hollis, Clay, and Clifford.

Papa Davis was very talented. He owned lots of land which was forested and also good for farming. He “thinned” trees which were sent to paper mills. By thinning the trees, the other trees grew better. Papa had a wonderful workshop that many of the local men enjoyed using. He was also the local horseshoer.

Mama and Papa Davis had 48 grandchildren. Lord knows how many great and great-great grandchildren they had. Papa lived to be 92; Mama made it to 89.

Here are some more good family names. I have cousins named Ouida Faye Bagley, and Lucy Belle, Minnie Belle, and Lucy Kate. Then there’s Marian Earl Chaney and Virgie Chaney. Berta Davis, Lovey Mae Hicks. Zula Mae Pea. Ester Butts and her sister, Lucy Butts. (John said to add Lucy Bowels, but I won’t.) Oh, and my Aunt Momo was married to Uncle O.C. The initials didn’t stand for anything. Their daughter, Boyde, had a son named Freddy Funches. My sister, Frances, is married to Luther Smith, also known as Smitty Smith.

Ruthie’s named after John’s mother, Ruth Marie. If we’d named her after my mother, you’d all be calling her Olive Bertha. Now wouldn’t that be fine?

Grandma Remembers

February 12, 2008 5:14 pm
IMAGE1(10)My maiden name is Olive Juanita Haskew, but you can call me Nita. I am what you would call a Southern Belle. On February 12, 1926 I left the comfortable environment of my mother’s womb and saw the world for the first time. I truly believe those simpler days had more to offer than the world we live in today. But that is another story. I am here today to let you know the story of my life.

I was born at home, not in a hospital. That was a usual event in rural Alabama. My father, Albert Comer Haskew, was a farmer. My mother, nee Olive Bertha Davis, was a devoted housewife and school teacher. I have three brothers – Percy, James, and Ned; and three sisters – Maggie, Alma Ruth, and Frances. I was born in Nettlesborough, a town with one store, but attended grammar school in Thomasville. I have to mention that my sister Maggie lives in Lower Peach Tree – a bit of a strange name as there is no Upper or Middle Peach Tree.

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Dadums Remembers, Part Deux

February 11, 2008 5:24 pm

Dadums80002When I was quite young [1932] I witnessed the “Bonus Army,” or “Bonus Marchers,” camped out on the Anacostia River Flats in southeast Washington. This area was near the end of Pennsylvania Avenue across from the Anacostia Bridge. This was during the days of the Depression and the marchers were World War I veterans who had been promised a bonus. The Government wouldn’t keep its word and pay the bonus to the veterans.

They camped in makeshift huts at Fairlawn, a park-like green area along the Anacostia River. The vets were orderly, but President Hoover wanted them removed from the area. He sent the United States Army to remove them forcibly. Among the famous generals leading the “attack” on the marchers were MacArthur, Eisenhower and Patton. The marchers refused to move. The army used tear gas and bayonets to drive them out. I witnessed this action first hand. It was horrible to watch. Several men were killed – United States veterans. I cried at the sight of it.

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Family Memories

February 10, 2008 12:11 pm

My mother, Nita, and my father, John, are only two days apart in age. Today is my father’s 82nd birthday. My mother was born not only on her own mother’s birthday, but Abraham Lincoln’s as well.

I think I started calling my father “Dadums” when I was twelve. I’ve asked him and mom to post some of their memories and they have graciously agreed. Today and tomorrow, I’ll be putting up Dadums’s posts, to be followed on February 12 by one from Mom. I’m working on her still to get another post up the next day.

Happy Birthday, Mom and Dadums!


A winter walk in Bushy Park

February 9, 2008 11:35 am
What are these trees?

I’ve just returned home from spending a week in London. I stayed with my parents who live near Hampton Court Palace and a wonderful royal park, Bushy Park; home to many deer, wildlife and people enjoying a day out. I went for a great walk with my parents, a beautiful, crisp morning and want to share some of the pictures I took with you.

If anyone can identify the trees in this picture, please let me know. Every time I walk past them, I remark how different they are and I have no idea what they are.