Learning

You are currently browsing the archive for the Learning category.

Hello from Bonne Terre in St. Francois County, where the paternal side of my Family Tree really leafs out. In addition to wanting to know America and never having visited Kansas City, St. Louis, or Joplin, this part of my history brought us to Missouri. Luckily, I am married to a very amenable traveler, and he enjoyed driving the winding roads of Missouri just as much as I did.

James Roy Sohn
Novella Grace Kelley

My Great Grandfather James Roy Sohn was born in Caledonia in 1894. He married my Great Grandmother Novella Grace Kelley in 1915. She was born in 1899 in Lesterville, and, rather sadly, I don’t have a clearer photo of her. They had three children together: Pearl, James Marshall, and my Grandfather Herbie. Like a lot of couples, the strain after the death of a child, James Marshall, brought them to divorce.

James “Jim” Roy was a barber in St. Francois County for more than 50 years, and this was his shop in Bonne Terre until he retired. I LOVE this building and imagining him pulling up in one of his Buicks!

He and his second wife, Missouri Day Crane (at right) lived in the house above at the time of the 1930 census. My Grandpa Herbie is at the left, Pearl next to Missouri, and Betty, their child together, is the little cutie. Unfortunately, tragedy struck James Roy’s life again, and Missouri Day died of breast cancer in 1940. She was only 42.

Before going on the trip, despite scouring every record I could find, I didn’t know where the barbershop was. I believe James Roy was keen on me learning, because, as we were walking around the lake pictured above, which is right behind the 1930 house, Greg and I met a man walking his dog. Bonne Terre being a small town, he knew we weren’t from the area, so he asked. I told him and said I had family who used to live there, giving the name Sohn. He got a wide grin and exclaimed Jim Sohn cut his hair when he was a boy. The fireworks sure went off! It was a meeting beyond good luck. He spoke very kindly of my great-grandfather and told me where I could find the shop.

1946 House in Bonne Terre
Annie Desdamony Sohn: August 8, 1879 – September 2, 1892

Greg and I spent the better part of a day driving to every town I knew my family to live, taking pictures of all the houses I could find on record, and visiting every grave on record, too, this one in Caledonia. I bought the flowers and some hummingbirds to be a longer lasting tribute to my visit. Annie Desdamony Sohn was James Roy’s sister and died two years before he was born.

Iron County Courthouse in Pilot Knob
James Marshall Sohn – buried in the Sohn plot at Pilot Knob, along with Hattie and Nicholas and James Roy’s older brothers, Albert, Fred, and Benjamin.
Sohn family entry at Ellis Island, November 9, 1857 on the Amazon.
Nicholas was 17 years old.
Nicholas Sohn at the time of his marriage to Hattie, in 1871. I sure have good looking ancestors!
with Grandpa Herbie, Pearl, and Betty, probably 1925
March 31, 1840 – April 21, 1932

Johann Nicholas Sohn was born in Germany in 1840. His family emigrated in 1857 and settled in Indiana. He enlisted in the Union Army at New Albany on May 12, 1861 and was shot in the left leg and gouged with a bayonet in the right at Chickamauga. He never returned home and never spoke to his family again, moving to Missouri after recovering from his injuries at a hospital in Chattanooga.

Harriet “Hattie” Elizabeth McIntire
Marriage to Nicholas on October 16, 1871
August 28, 1853 – October 7, 1918

Harriet “Hattie” Elizabeth McIntire was born in Caledonia in 1853. She and Nicholas married in 1871. They lived happily for forty years, raising five sons, James Roy being the youngest, and their daughter, Annie. He farmed and performed general labor, while she kept house.

Sarah “Sally” Catherine Anderson
January 10, 1860 – March 28, 1912
Marriage to James Harlow on November 5, 1875

Sarah “Sally” Catherine Anderson was born in Izard County, Arkansas in 1860. She married James Harlow Kelley in 1875 (such young brides back then), and, after reading the decree, I presume the minister who performed the service was quite the character!

They lived in Lesterville, where he also farmed, did some mining (the area had a wealth of ores), and she kept house. They raised six girls (Grandma Novella the youngest) and five boys. She is buried at Taum Sauk Cemetery, the most remote of all the places we visited. We drove along one very deserted road, passing a single truck along the way, before turning onto an a dirt road that ended at the cemetery. I thought, to myself, and aloud to Greg and Juniper, “If we’re ever going to enter into a horror film scenario, this is the place!”

The site is quite sloped, and I suspect there was a slide, because there is a bit of rubble and the majority of the headstones are destroyed. I could not find her grave and placed her hummingbird in the safety of the trees.

The view near Taum Sauk
James Harlow Kelley

James Harlow Kelley was born in Cobb County, Georgia on August 14, 1854, the same day as my nephew Tyler! His parents, Louisa and John Marion arrived in Missouri between his birth and 1870, and lived in the Arcadia Valley and Lesterville for the rest of their lives. They are all buried at the Collins Cemetery, a blink and you’ll miss it roadside affair between Annapolis and Minimum.

August 14, 1854 – June 3, 1933
I do believe the engraver got carried away!

The little specks are dragonflies. We’ve never seen so many as on this trip. Hundreds and hundreds!

Farmington 1940, the house where Missouri Day died.

After Missouri Day died, James Roy married a final time to Blanche Mund on January 10, 1942. They remained together until his death. I suspect the photo is shortly after the wedding, at their home in Farmington. The picture above it is the same house today. It’s undergone quite the transformation.

Blanche & James Roy in the 1960s

James Roy died mowing the lawn at this house, on June 19, 1970, nine days short of his 76th birthday.

Hillview Memorial Gardens in Farmington

Cheers from Cheyenne, the capitol of the least populated state! I’m sipping a gin fizz at yummy Bella Fuoco, cool and refreshing on a particularly hot day of fun.

the Governor’s Mansion

While I was craning my neck to snap this photo, a fellow tourist suggested they install a recliner for such pictures. Wouldn’t that be nice?!

Did you know there are more than twice as many cows than people in Wyoming? Amazing! Even more so when I think about how few cows I actually saw while on the roads of the Cowboy State.

If you’re a person who is strictly anti-cow grazing and eating (I certainly used to wonder), please read this article to the very end. It’s good food for thought, pun intended.

These giant cowboy boots, decorated in all manner of fabulousness, are scattered around downtown Cheyenne. So cool!

If you’re curious about Juniper’s harness looking a bit harsh, it’s actually not. It is a Halti, which, after trying all sorts of harnesses to keep her from pulling (she hurt our arms countless times and made me fall twice, OUCH!), this is absolutely the best solution. It is padded, doesn’t keep her mouth from opening like a muzzle, and she enjoys our walks just as much as when she was pulling like a maniac. Now we do, too!

More coolness is the Cowgirls of the West Museum, dedicated to the extraordinary women who helped build the West, and therefore the World!

While taking the photo of the gorgeous Ford above, a man darted down the street, shouting about Juniper, “Is that an Australian stumpy-tailed dog?” Though we’d never heard that exact moniker, we said yes. Excitedly, he said he had one inside and wondered if they should meet. And here they are! How curious to see them together, their bodies and faces so much alike!

A dandy breakfast at the R & B Breakfast Club! I came for the Elvis memorabilia and was wowed by the great food and truly amazing service.

Awe

peony
Apache plume
ninebark

I heard a story on the radio about AWE. How experiencing it on the daily creates happiness and resiliency. I thought on it, a steady stream of images flashing in my mind, of big things and small things that inspire me, and decided whomever was speaking had the right idea.

Whenever I am awash in the sensation of awe, difficulties fade into the background. I am more grounded in the present moment. This, the only one I truly have. I’m able to feel abundance rather than scarcity. And what a feeling that is!

So, right now, I am dedicating this post to it.

This boy, my cousin Scott’s oldest, whom I adore.

Joanie and the eight year-old! The three of them came down for a few days, and all manner of fun was had. At hockey camp, the zoo, the delicious I-Cool ice cream, hanging out on the back porch, sipping mojitos with mint from our own patch, dashing around on scooters and perusing the garden.

prickly pear – so many flowers this year!
milkweed
yucca
a heavy rain shower
traditional hyssop
feverfew – a childhood rendering of flowers come to life
wall flowers – the excitement of the multi-color and dazzle of veining
callirhoe
rose
ratibida
mallow and teeny-tiny spider
foxglove
new life on the lodgepole
How’s your Aspen?
I, as a terribly literal child, didn’t catch the drift of this popular t-shirt slogan of my childhood.

Thursday morning’s garden. It rained and thundered and flashed with the brightest lightning over night, my favorite kind of storm.

Oh, and the baby birds this year, robin and finch and chickadee. The chickadees made a nest in our wee bird house again this year. Different from last because I witnessed the little ones poke their heads out, contemplating their first flight. Mostly fearful, not yet ready, save one, brazen and slightly unsteady then out and actually flying. Awe inspiring, indeed.

We watched Sound of Metal recently, the only, I think, Oscar nominee we managed this year. It’s funny how I used to be so into it, seeing the movies, watching the red carpet, the ceremony, so interested and invested in it all. The clothes, the speeches, the wonder! A season of my life now complete, I suppose.

The film, however, got to me, deeply. How for a long while, a body moves along, believing it is one person, doing life in one certain way, contentedly so. Suddenly a change comes, wholly unexpected and painfully blunt. In the main character’s case, a loss of hearing. How does a drummer go on when he can no longer hear the notes? How does a body get out of the head space of necessity? Of Disability?

The most intriguing moment of the story happens when he’s told his grief is not about hearing loss. The problem is not deafness. The problem is making peace with deafness. The problem is the mind.

How true this is. How true that our minds are often our greatest road blocks. Stories we are told. Stories we create. Dysfunctional patterns and beliefs run riot, ruling us like bullies, toddlers in need of rest. How bankrupt and desperate. Sometimes ugly, too.

How potent the moment when we witness this ugliness from a distance, truly recognize it. Embrace it with love. Then let it go. What sweet freedom. What peace.

May we all arrive there.

Tags:

Hi there, and happy Tuesday. It’s a jolly morning in my little office. Linda Ronstadt – Mas Canciones – is on the hi-fi, uplifting and beautiful, if ever there was. Si! Si!

How cute is my sun catcher of a pooch, all sleepy eyed on another day?

fern bush
pasque flower
silver buffalo berry

The garden awakens, bud to leaf to flower, and it never ceases to amaze, so much that disappears every fall comes alive again!

Unicorn left alone. Greg, Juniper, and I, on our morning walk, spied it from a distance. Me thinking, from an entirely different angle, mind you, that it was a human (it was a rather large unicorn), engaged in yoga stretches. When it became obvious a body couldn’t maintain such stillness, and we got a little closer, the truth was revealed.

Given the choice, I am a waffle over pancake person, every single time. There’s no replicating that crispness, perfect pockets screaming for butter and syrup. I’d make pancakes, however, out of sheer necessity. Waffles take time, one by one by one. UNTIL! Until I, searching online for a second waffle maker, stumbled upon this one that makes TWO at a time. Fancy! It looks a bit like what Darth Vader and the Empire would use to get a jump on feeding all those darn Storm Troopers. Black and red, and all. The waffles themselves are mighty fine, too.

This morning, on our a.m. stroll, we saw one of our favorite dog runners take a selfie, utterly seamless in efficiency. Sit down on rock, adorable pooch jumps up, snap photo, with, bonus, Pike’s Peak in background! Insert seriously cool guy sound effect.

Hey Buddy, let’s do what that guy did! We can selfie, right?? Well, my friends, this is what happened before Juniper jumped down and refused to return. I thought I’d share it in the let’s keep-it-real vibe. Keep on keeping on. And much laughter to you, too.

« Older entries