Was It Written In The Stars?

If my genealogy research is correct, my maternal grandmother and my husband Ian’s maternal grandmother were born in the same year – 1863. My maternal grandmother was born in Crown Point New York. Ian’s maternal grandmother was born in Coleraine Northern Ireland. Ian and I married in 1968 in Nairobi Kenya.

Reconnecting With Friends Of Long Ago

Twisting and turning with internet paths – that’s an image that comes to mind as I read an academic paper by Francoise Pommeret, a “scholar” I knew when we lived in Bhutan, a remote Himalayan Kingdom. I first met Francoise when I joined the group of British Volunteers who were learning Dzonka, the local language. Francoise was conducting the classes. Not only was she teaching the language but also the customs and practices of the Bhutanese people. For me it was also a way of meeting and getting to know new people.

Now to add a photo to this post – yesterday I figured out how to do that – it was complicated. This morning I can’t remember exactly how I did it.

Make A Joyful Noise ……..

Here I am up at 5 a.m. to do some writing. The 300 word biographies are due today. I finished Ian’s a couple of days ago. Mine is somewhat incomplete. The first half is o.k. but the 2nd half needs to be altered. Instead of writing about my work experience I want to write more my other interests.

Nice as life was in St. Lucia, there were lessons learned in how to keep one’s spirits up in a monotonous hot climate. When we were anticipating going to Fiji, I decided I wanted to learn to weave. In Nimble Fingers, a toy shop in Stillorgan in Dublin, I spotted a small children’s loom made by Spears. It was packaged in a small box – perfect to add to our packing for Fiji. Yes! Months later when we were finally settled in our house in Suva I unpacked that Spears box and I embarked on my weaving career. Weaving on that small loom soon lead to a wish for a bigger tableloom, which I could order from New Zealand. And months later I ordered a heavier floor loom from New Zealand. Finally I was set up to weave floor rugs. And I had sources in New Zealand for buying the necessary yarn and other supplies. I was becoming a real weaver.

The Fiji Arts Club, of which were members, had exhibitions several times a year. These were very popular events. I had joined this club partly because I attended a Tuesday morning outdoor painting group. An exhibition was coming up and for the first time they were going to include crafts. With fear and trepidation I submitted 5 rugs. Much to my surprise they sold like hot cakes! I was launched!! One person in particular was raving about my rugs. Jill was a popular artist and we became friends – a friendship which has lasted for many years. One of her paintings is hanging in our apartment here at Ida Culver.

to be continued

Trumbull – Dear Sons (1) – Quotes From Dan and Grandpa’s response – May 6, 1945

Such a joyful letter.

"Greatest Generation" Life Lessons

 We have arrived in May, 1945. Grandpa has heard from 3 of his 5 sons this week and he quotes them all and responds to their quotes in a 4-page letter.

Dan in uniform @ 1945

Trumbull, Conn., May 6th, 1945 (verging on V-Day)

Dear Sons:

For the past several days we have been in a tense mental state expecting every hour to hear over the radio or indicated through tooting of horns and factory whistles that the last final surrender has been announced by Gen. Eisenhower. The only comparable feeling is that which I have experienced several times of the expectant father anxiously pacing the floor in the wee sma’ hours of the morning waiting for the doctor or nurse to announce whether it is a boy or girl and how the mother came through the ordeal. We are optimistic and quite sure of the result but we want to hurry it up…

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Army Life – Pop, Old Boy – Lad Writes About Christmas, 1944 – May 6, 1945

A snippet of World War 2.

"Greatest Generation" Life Lessons

Lad is currently in Marseilles, near the southern coast of France, with his Battalion.

Alfred Pebody Guion

6 May 1945

Pop – Old Boy !-

How are you honestly feeling? I’ve had a cold which I got some time last week, but it is diminishing in severity each day, and today I feel better than yesterday. In about a few days (that’s pinning it down, isn’t it?) it should be nearly gone. Maybe all gone.

Received a letter from Dan last night which he wrote on 19 Apr. so possibly by now you’ve already heard from him. Just in case, I think I’ll send the letter on and if you don’t want it you may give it to Marian. This week has been very much like one in March. Snow, rain and cold wind. A little sun. The first couple of days we had snow but since then, rain.

No…

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300 Words For Ian

Born in 1933 in Belfast Northern Ireland, Ian grew up in the shadow of the Second World War. His father, badly injured in World War One, died when Ian was 8 months old. Ian’s primary school was moved to Portrush on the north coast to escape the bombing in Belfast. His home in the shadow of Stormont would have been a special target during the air raids. His secondary school was relocated to Portrush also. and the school grounds of Cabin Hill and Campbell were converted to agricultural use. The buildings became a military hospital.

Ian left Campbell in 1951. He took a 7 year apprenticeship with an architectural firm in Belfast. Following which he went to Edinburgh College of Art to add a professional qualification in planning. He could put the initials F.R.I.B.A. and F.R.T.P.I. A year spent working for the Edinburgh Corporation and then 8 months working on the Caribbean Island of Montserrat, developing a master plan for Plymouth, the capital.

His next employment was with the U.K. Ministry of Overseas Development. He was hired to go to Kenya to fill the post of Assistant Town Planning Officer. Shortly after his arrival in August 1966, he met Janet Miller, newly arrived from California. A year and a half later Ian and Janet married in St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, Nairobi.

Ian’s next employment was in Dublin Republic of Ireland. He was engaged to head the Planning Division of An Foras Forbatha, the National Institute for Planning and Construction Research. After a year of renting a flat in Rathgar, Ian and Janet purchased a newly constructed bungalow in Dundrum. Their 3 sons were born in Churchtown in the Mt. Carmel Hospital.

In 1972 the expanded family went to the island of St. Lucia in the Caribbean. Ian agreed to work for 2 years as the Head of the st. Lucia Town Planning Department. This appointment was through the U. K. Ministry of Overseas Development.

In 1975 this family of 5 went to Suva Fiji. The employer now was the United Nations Development Program.

In 1978 the family went to Dhaka Bangladesh, to stay for 5 years. Very formative years for each member of the family.

In 1984 Ian went to Bhutan in the Himalayas for 4 months but these 4 months lead to an assignment for 2 years, 1985-1987.

A year in West Africa – Accra Ghana.

5 years back in Nairobi to complete his career.

He retired in 1995 and lived in Dublin until moving to Ballard Seattle in 2010.

________________________________

29 lines @ 17 words per line = 493 words. OOPS

Strictly 300 Words

She was born on December 7, 1936 in Boston Mass. She grew up in Belmont Mass and graduated from Belmont High School in 1954. Her 3 siblings had graduated in 1942, 1943, and 1944. She majored in French and Geography to earn a BA Cum Laude from Middlebury College in 1958 and went on to Northwestern University to earn an MA in Urban Geography. After working in Seattle, Boston, and San Francisco, she returned to academe at the University of California Berkeley, in the turbulent years 1964-66. She went to Africa to gather data for her PhD thesis and to teach at the Institute for Development Studies, University of East Africa, Nairobi.

She met Ian, her husband-to-be, at the United Kenya Club. in August 1966, shortly after they had each arrived, Janet from California and Ian from Belfast Northern Ireland They married in February 1968 in St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, a stone’s throw from the United Kenya Club.

They finished their assignments in Nairobi in August 1966. Janet became a full-time housewife and mother and thesis writer,, while they both adjusted to living in a new country. the Republic of Ireland.

Three sons were born in quick succession. Janet finished her PhD thesis and was advanced to candidacy at the University of California Berkeley just as she was in the middle of giving birth to their second son Andrew in 1970. Hence she became Dr. McKee as a medical doctor helped his patient.

______________________________

Oh Oh, I think I’ve exceeded my 300 words

All Aboard – Chicago Bound

This is a snippet of a memory – I wonder if it’s true. My sister Ruth once told me that when our brother Bob was 12 years old, our father put him on a train going to Chicago and asked the porter to look after him and be sure he returned. I’m not clear whether this was in Boston or New York. I wonder………. July 20 would have been Bob’s 96th birthday, sadly he died at age 67 in June 1992. He is buried in the grounds of the Episcopal Church in Rutland Vermont, where he and his wife Lillian were married in 1953. Lillian is buried there also along with her sister Dottie and her parents. Rest in Peace Bob, Lil, Dottie, John and Cecilia

Wandering Thoughts

My mind is all over the place today. I’m trying to write about my brother whose birthday is today July 20th, but I have wandered into Ancestry.com and I’ve ended up adding many more ancestors to my family tree and also 2 new generations. A lot of nieces and nephews and their children. Interesting and time consuming.