Gratefully Swamped

I didn’t always feel this way, but recently I am feeling incredibly lucky. Swamped, but lucky.

I’m not sure if the piles are deeper than I originally thought, or whether I am finding more piles. Whether my eyes or memory need tuning, I am not sure; however, I’ve discovered that I am inundated with facts. It’s bothersome annoying a new challenge I intend to fully embrace in 2016. The tubs full of photos, notebooks bursting with stories, and pages upon pages of letters haunt me. The movies dad took in the 50s–18, three minute reels of navy footage–are calling my name.

letters, notebooks, photos, news clippings


They are everywhere.

I have factoids coming out my ears.

And it just got worse.



Look at this mini blog. It was tucked inside that blue notebook up there.

It’s an address book actually, tho’ I prefer great grandpa’s “tiny blog.” It was written by Elmer, O Malevolent One’s husband. He provides addresses, names, places, birth dates, home remedies. Now I can match houses with addresses and events. Or, can I?

And, I might have just become a tad behind schedule.

Last evening, I happened upon these letters. Thankfully, there are few.


More letters (as I thank the genealogy gods above)!

And, that’s not 1989, that’s 1889. Yep, these are nearly 127 years old.

If you’ve been following my intro (and soon to be posted) series about my great grandma Orah, my Malevolent Matriarch, you will recall that my writings are based on her oft-snarky letters. (I’ve been writing, I swear. I actually swear far less than I used to, but sometimes it’s required, and at times the only thing that fully and completely captures the intended meaning.)

Because of these finds, I’ve acquired a significant hitch in my blog-along. Josiah and Helen are Orah’s parents, and they are writing to his parents, Charles and Mary Smith. They describe Orah as big sister to both Forrest and Charley (I didn’t know she had a second brother). We learn about the garden, the kids’ school, work, and Helen losing another baby.

Not only that, the white notebook up there is dad’s memoir. In it he describes his childhood eloquently, aptly, and humorously, referring to her malevolency as “the gray haired one.” Some of this must be included. It provides the texture I was looking for: two opposing views.

So. I am plowing through. I am reading. I am preparing. I have notes. I have photos. I am determined. Swamped and grateful, but determined.

It simply may take a bit longer before you read Cherry Season.

Before you do, check out the multiple uses dad discovered for his bing cherry tree:

Courtesy of Rod Geier, grandson of the gray-haired one

…and climbing that tree to the house roof over the back porch and inching along the roof about twenty feet, with my heels braced in the eaves trough, to my second-floor bedroom window for entrance and escape was useful for avoiding the gray-haired one.

It was survival. Oh, my.

Stay tuned. I’m getting closer.




6 thoughts on “Gratefully Swamped

  • I love how you are tackling all of this, even when it is a lot to do. Shows the tenacity of the human spirit to want to share stories of the past. I admire your dedication. P.S. Can’t tell you how much I love the cherry tree story. Just last week, my dad was telling me about climbing cherry trees himself when he was a boy and gathering buckets full of cherries. 🙂 Love your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! I want to do this right, you know? Make it interesting, and fun, yet I want to capture Orah’s essence in a kind way. I’ve picked a true challenge. 😉 Reading dad’s words about escape, I was laughing trying to picture that ten year old boy trying to get away from his gramma. Maybe I need to plant a cherry tree.

      Liked by 1 person

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