Monday, September 4, 2017
My favorite thing about our home was the carefully prepared living room. The oil paintings above the sofas were given to my mother from her brother, Alvis Hon while serving in World War II in Europe.
The paintings told a story of winter spring and fall in Paris, France. The oil paintings were the heart of our home because they showed the history of men and women who fought in Europe so we can have freedom today. My mother bought two lamps with pink roses to bring out the ceramic roses she displayed on her mahogany table.
The antique clock of Shakes-spear revealed the time with a chime every hour. It was given by my dad's Cousin Rose we called Aunt Rose because she was so dear to us.
The Duncan Phyfe Mahagony table displayed her collection of crystal baskets. The furniture was inspired by one of the nineteenth century America's leading cabinetmakers. He interpreted European Neoclassicism for homemakers in the United States. Duncan Fife was born in Scotland and immigrated with his family to Albany, New York in 1784. He changed his name to the spelling of Phyfe. It is an American story because he opened his own business as a cabinetmaker in New York on 2 Broad Street. He obtained wealth through hard work and talent. His clients were the nation's wealthiest. As homemakers of the 50's purchased Duncan Phyfe tables they knew it was a well respected brand. My mother repeatedly told me the brand so I would remember. It was hard parting with the table because she loved it so much but I didn't have room at home.
The oil painting stayed in the family because it was given to us by Aunt Rose as a gift. She said keep it because it was painted by the Heath Candy Bar Air, Jean Heath.
She used her talents to paint portraits of people. We haven't decided if we will donate it to the Candy Bar Museum. Two Royal Doulton figurines are placed beside the painting with care.
John Doulton founded Doulten Lambeth pottery in 1815 pottery with John Watts in Lambeth, England. They produced canisters, pitchers and various stoneware objects.
My mother had a whimsical flair as she placed Christmas bulbs in a basket all year long. They reflected in the long mirror next to the light oak door. Remembering the 40's was read with nostalgia as she remembered USO dances with service men on leave.
Her brass collection of red voltive candles shown with glory on the piano.
Her handmade drapes reflected in the mirror.
I was with her when she picked out the fabric at Cutting Corners. She made hand made pillows to match the valance of pink, and burgundy roses. We both liked the design of French Country. The crystal lamp was purchased thirty years earlier at an estate sale. It had three tiers of crystal prisms.
The precious pillow in between the two hand made pillows was made from Aunt Graces pillow from the twenties.
I chose to add it to my French Country Living room, giving it a special home on a chair for conversation.
My parent's dining room was filled of memories when my mother cooked Thanksgiving Turkey. She had a church that lit up on the top of the colonial hutch from the 50's. Norman Rockwell prints showed life in America.
She loved her wooden tulips on the windowsill with graceful swans.
Next to the dining room was her pink kitchen with original tile. She was such a great housekeeper it still looked fresh from many scrubbings with a can of comet. Her stove was the original hot point pink. She loved to gaze outside the window as she worked in the kitchen.
A reef of pink roses hung on the door.
My parents added on the extra room in the eighties. My mother was an excellent seamstress and recovered the couches with her own two hands. It took her a month to sew each stitch.
My dad loved to sit in the soft cloth chair recliner and watch TV. There were many places to sit as we watched football after Turkey dinner.
The pink tiled bathroom had a display of valentines she saved in a picture frame. My mother made the pink drapes and shower curtain to match.
Old photographs of the McPherson clan hung on the wall. My Grandma Kemper's wedding announcement showed the union of Kemper and Palmer.
My dad once tried a case in 1957 at the Supreme Court of the United States when he worked as an attorney for the National Labor Relations Board. I wish I knew more about the case as he didn't talk about it much. But my mother was wise to hang it in the hall way as part of our family history.
Photos of my parents wedding day are also part of family history.
So many people move around that a family wall of photographs are often forgotten. I promised my mom I would hang them on our walls at home.
We had the typical estate sale where no one really knows the history of the items. Strangers came into the home to buy treasures. This is an iron toy of selling coca cola in a buggy. My grandmother drove a buggy of children to school to make extra money when her husband died of an ulcer operation.
This basket was given by Aunt Rose. She said it was very old. I was told the millennials don't like to polish silver and use old china. I hope the people who bought her things appreciate the stories behind them. I am writing this story as a way to remember my mother and dad's house. It was purchased in 1957 for under twenty thousand dollars. I was only a year old when I moved in from Birmingham, Alabama.
I am grieving for my mother today. She lived to be a ripe old age of 95. I am grieving for a time when I could go home and feel safe among my mother's carefully prepared living room of love.
Sunday, August 27, 2017
Hoover Dam Tour took you inside the amazing slab of concrete in an elevator going down 300 feet. The first stop was the generator room. The generators are seventy feet tall. It shows the amazing capacity to create electricity to many cities. It covers Nevada, Arizona, and California.
Hoover Dam impounds Lake Mead, the largest reservoir when it is full in the United States. It is located near Boulder City, Nevada and Las Vegas. The purpose of the dam was to prevent floods and produce or make hydroelectic power. In 1928 Congress approved the project and construction began in 1931. It took a team effort to accomplish the goal layer by layer of concrete.
A million people visit the Hoover Dam each year. It was named after President Herbert Hoover. The construction was a giant effort that used many thousands of workers. The lives of one hundred men were lost while constructing the dam to block Lake Mead.
Saturday, August 26, 2017
A local classic car and truck enthusiasts group called Morning Maniacs meet in Historic Downtown McKinney the last Saturday of the Month. Cars of the past park in neat rows as men and women do "car talk." Pontiac made the classic Catalina with a long stripe of shiny chrome cutting the car into the top one fourth of the sturdy car.
Bright shiny chrome engines are carefully maintained.
The old McKinney Courthouse watched down with long historic columns. It could tell stories of people driving their new shiny cars in the 50's and 60's.
Classic car shows are a way of connecting the past with the present.
Monday, August 21, 2017
On Monday, August 21,2017, millions of Americans watched the first total solar eclipse to unfold from coast to coast in the United States for nearly a century.
It was visible in a seventy mile wide and 2,500 mile long zone in the US. It drew one of the largest audiences in human history. I was at a teachers workshop so we all came outside to take photographs.
The moon passed between the sun and Earth and blocked all or part of the sun for up to about three hours.
A pinhole was pricked on a piece of white paper to cause the reflection of the sun on the as-fault
Reflections of people holding papers with a pinhole reflect on the hot Texas pavement.
I took these photographs from Dallas but if you were in Carbondale, Illinois the duration of the eclipse was the longest. The sun was completely covered for two minutes and 40 seconds.
It is an event people will remember for a lifetime. What were you doing during the solar eclipse?
Some say it is a message to mankind.
Sunday, May 14, 2017
How to create a perfect Lake Texoma Weekend Getaway. First pick the adorable lake house close to the water but surrounded by trees filled with birds chirping. The home has enough chairs to relax and talk by the open fire.
There's a hammock to rock side by side while you read a good book.
There's a marina close by for a quick dinner if you desire at High Point Marina.