I am so happy to write that I have managed to find a great big puzzle piece in my quest to find my 2nd great uncle Dale Stewart. For new readers, let me briefly say that Dale was orphaned in 1914 when his mother was murdered by their father before he committed suicide himself at the Columbia Hotel’s out kitchen in Caldwell, Ohio. Dale and his older brother, my great grandfather, Glenn Archer Stewart ended up in a few home for boys before Dale became a merchant marine and Glenn went on to be a farmer, security guard and a steel worker among his many other incarnations. Both Dale and Glenn committed suicide later in life to which I’ve written about as well.
I cannot stress the importance of speaking to your living relatives NOW before it’s too late. In my genealogy course I taught, that was practically my first tip to my students and right now, I’m truly needing to practice what I preach. My dad suffered a stroke last week and while he is expected to fully recover, for a while he was missing time, could not remember his only great-granddaughter, nor her name. He thought for a bit that he was still working at the place he worked at when I was a kid… so he was missing about 30 years there for a few days. It’s coming back to him and even today I quizzed him on a few relatives I had planned on doing an interview with him in October when I’m there for my daughter’s wedding but now, it’s even more pressing for me to make sure I ask absolutely everything I’ve ever wanted to know before it’s too late.
Flowers and weddings have been on my mind quite a lot here lately. My daughter is in the midst of finalizing her wedding details for October and my own anniversary passed just last week. Fifteen years ago, I carried the most beautiful bouquet of white roses at my wedding. Today, even though the preservation process made them a creamy, near pink color, they hang on my wall in a special preservation “bubble” frame where I admire them every day when I walk by. They serve as a wonderful, constant reminder of my wedding day.
I’d been anxiously watching my rhododendron bush for a few weeks waiting for its bright pink buds to open and this week did not disappoint! My patience was rewarded with a towering hot pink display this week… when I say towering, I mean it. It’s reaching my second floor windows! In conjunction with Mothers Day last week, it made me start thinking about the ladies in my life who’ve always seemed to have particular flowers growing in their gardens.
I have unfortunately NOT inherited my ladies’ gardening gene… my father has it too and grows orchids which are notoriously hard to keep but he loves them and they flourish under his care. Even my husband can get plants to grow! He’s like the Jesus of plants, able to revive them from the dead. I have a pothos that I’ve nearly killed off twice, having just ONE brown leaf left and he’d somehow, someway, bring it back to life like Lazarus from the grave. We’ve had that pothos for about 9 years now! His name is Simon and he resides in my dining room next to Robert, another variegated pothos. Robert Plant. Get it? LOL The only thing I’ve successfully kept alive for any amount of time has been my mini bonsai tree that I’ve had for two years now. I don’t dare touch anything else. I’m like the Grim Reaper of the floral world.