The Alamo ~ A Texas Treasure

trolley tour 140 trolley tour 021 trolley tour 010 trolley tour 009 trolley tour 008 trolley tour 007 trolley tour 006 trolley tour 005 trolley tour 004 trolley tour 003

Erected in grateful recognition of the supreme acct of heroism of the thirty two men from Gonzales who gave their lives in the Alamo in response to the appeal of Travis.trolley tour 001

P1060295

San Antonio and the Alamo played a critical role in the Texas Revolution. In December 1835, Texians and Tejano volunteers battled Mexican troops quartered in the city, forcing General Martin Perfecto de Cos to surrender. The victorious volunteers then occupied the Alamo and strengthened its defenses.

On February 23, 1836, the arrival of General Antonio Lopez Santa Anna nearly caught them by surprise. Undaunted, the Texians and Tejanos prepared to defend the Alamo. William B. Travis, the commander of the Alamo, sent out couriers carrying pleas for help.

On the eight day of the siege, a band of 32 volunteers from Gonzales arrived, bringing the number of defenders to nearly two hundred. Even though outnumbered ten-to-one, Travis’ men believed the Alamo was the key to the defense of Texas, and they were willing to defend the post to the last man. Among the Alamo’s garrison were James Bowie, renowned knife fighter, and David Crockett, famed frontiersman and former Tennessee congressman.

The final assault came before daybreak on the morning of March 6, 1836, the thirteenth day of the siege. Cannon and small arms fire from inside the Alamo beat back several Mexican attacks. Regrouping, Santa Ana’s soldiers scaled the walls and rushed into the compound. The desperate struggle continued until the defenders were overwhelmed. By sunrise, the battle had ended and the garrison slain.

While the facts surrounding the siege of the Alamo continue to be debated, there is no doubt what the battle has come to symbolize. People worldwide continue to remember the Alamo as a heroic struggle against overwhelming odds- a place where men made the ultimate sacrifice for freedom. For this reason the Alamo remains hallowed ground and the shrine of Texas Liberty.

ht: THEALAMO.ORG

I’m linking up for Tuesday’s Treasures hosted by Tom The Backroads Traveler.

I was pleased that the Alamo was walking distance from our hotel during our short stay in San Antonio. No photos were allowed inside the Alamo and proper respect was required. I also visited the cathedral where some of the remains of the Alamo heroes are entombed. I’ll share more photos of the San Fernando Cathedral soon.

trolley tour 127

trolley tour 125 trolley tour 110

I’ll also be linking up to signs, signs with Lesley on Wednesday.

I was melting yesterday in the unseasonable heat we had here in the Seattle area. Our poor Spring plants don’t know what to make of it! I am thankful that we didn’t have the sauna like humidity that we experienced in San Antonio, though.

Fences with Flowers…

On my neighborhood walk in the Spring these are the flowers and scenes I see with different fences.

P1060278

The start of my walk on this sunny morning is from the front of our home on the drive that leads out to the neighborhood. That’s our pear tree on the left at the beginning of the drive. Me and my shadow…

P1060279

This is the first lilac that I pass along my route with white plastic fence sections you can buy at the big box hardware stores.

P1060285

At the middle of my walk I see these beautiful rhododendrons against a wooden fence. I want to buy one of these varieties for my yard.

P1060286

Tulips blooming with a wooden fence in the background across the street from the pretty rhoddies.

P1060291

Home again, home again, chain link fence. This is the back of our property that happens to back up to the street. Our house is backwards where all the other houses in this neighborhood face the street we turn our back on it! We fool a lot of new delivery people. Our home was the first one in this neighborhood tract. Our old house used to be a nursery with no properties around it at all. The streets and the rest of the neighborhood were added when whoever owned this old house sold it for development.

I’m linking up with TexWisGirl for Good Fences. #108

InSPIREd Sunday ~

This is the memorial chapel of the Tolt Congregational Church in Carnation, Washington with history on how it came about. The chapel was built in memory of Nan Fullerton Stewart and dedicated in 1938.

FIRE DESTROYS CHURCH

In 1936, the frame church was destroyed by fire.  Plans to rebuild were made immediately.  Land was acquired at the present site on Tolt Avenue between West Morrison and Rutherford Streets.  Mrs. Elbridge H. Stuart had taken an active interest in the project, and following her untimely death in 1936, her husband offered to build a chapel there in her memory.  The story of rebuilding the church is recorded in the Pulpit Bible Record this way:

Tuesday, July 27, 1937, was wet and stormy at Carnation.  The minister and his wife debated about the wisdom of calling in such weather.  However, they decided to go, and since they had never met the Stuarts, who spend their summers at Carnation Farm, the called there.

Mrs. Stuart was at “Nan’s Play House” and welcomed her callers there in a gracious manner.  Mrs. Pendleton told Mrs. Stuart of the fire on December 30, 1936, which had partially destroyed the old Carnation Church building, and of the effort the local people were making to rebuild.  At the conclusion of the call Mrs. Stuart gave the minister and his wife a delicious fruit cake she had made herself.

On Saturday, August 14, Mrs. Stuart called at the parsonage and gave Mrs. Pendleton seventeen dollars toward the new church.  She visited a while and told of her plans to secure the help of Seattle friends and plan for a big garden party at the Farm next year to raise funds to help the church.

The following evening Mrs. Stuart and two friends attended the Sunday evening church service, then being held in the Adventist Church building.  She placed Six Dollars and Fifty Cents on the offering plate, remained after the service and met everybody.  She said she had had a “lovely time.”  That evening she returned home and interested her guests in the work of the little church.

Friday night, August 20, Mrs. Stuart went to bed and quietly passed to the life beyond.  Tuesday afternoon at the Stuart farm home a beautiful service was held in her memory.

Saturday morning, September 4, Mr. E. H. Stuart called at the parsonage, expressing his desire to make a memorial gift to the church in which Mrs. Stuart had become interested.

Monday morning, September 6, Mr. Stuart said he was considering the erection of a memorial chapel in memory of his late wife.  On Wednesday he authorized the minister to present to the church the conditions under which he desired to proceed.  At a called meeting of the Tolt Congregational Church the members voted unanimously to accept Mr. Stuart’s offer.

Ground was broken at a special service on January 30, 1938, and on August 28, 1938 the Nan Fullerton Stuart Memorial Chapel was dedicated.

The church voted to use the Seventeen Dollars given to the church by Mrs. Nan Fullerton Stuart to purchase this pulpit Bible to be used on the lectern.

HT: Tolt UCC History

Dear and I walked along Tolt Avenue (Highway 203) in Carnation last week. The city of Carnation used to be called Tolt.

“Carnation (previously Tolt), a rural community along the Snoqualmie River in eastern King County, was founded early in the settlement of the county. The town was named after the world-famous Carnation Dairy, a dairy operation that located in Tolt in 1910.”

I have some great signs to share in the future from our walk along Tolt Avenue.

Hope your weekend is going well. Mine is filled to the brim with a variety of emotional events. Joyful things and hard things and mundane things all mixed in. I’ve got a hunk of meat in the slow cooker. I’m delivering some lunch to some loved ones working hard today. Looking forward to a Baby shower later tonight. The shower is for a little Warrior baby who is fighting hard in the NICU. He started out at 1#7oz. and is now over 5#’s but still needs lots of prayer and care. Another close family member is in Intensive Care after a massive heart attack.

Praying “thy kingdom come, thy will be done” and singing “Abide With Me”.

…Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21.

 Linking up to InSPIREd Sunday with Beth and Sally.

Anniversary of Coming to the U.S.A.

The following story was transcribed by my sister-in-law Kelly as she listened to my parents tell some of their story on immigrating to the U.S.A. in September of 1947. My parents were visiting my brother Steve and SIL Kelly on Labor Day September 5, 2011.

“Spent the afternoon with  Mom and Pop and wanted to share some of what they had to say.  This is the unedited copy filled in as Pop was talking…so excuse the grammatical errors, if I wait to edit you may never see it.”

(This photo is taken after my parents and sister Kathy settled in Los Angeles. This was sometime in late 1947 or early 1948. My mom is pregnant with my sister Vera in this photo and Vera was born in February of 1948.)

“Pop said he’s never shared all these details because…no one asked.  What started the retelling is that tomorrow marks the anniversary of their first arriving in NewYork…Sept. 6, 1947.  They arrived in Los Angeles on the 12th.

When Mom and Pop left Iran they got a flight on a Red Cross cargo plane..the propeller variety, that had dropped off supplies and was heading back to New York.   It was very loud he said…no seats, just benches along the sides.  Due to refueling and frequent stops it took 4 days to fly from Tehran to New York.  At  most of the stops they got out and ate…and in four places spent the night. He said they had 27 people on the plane and it was full.”

(This is probably what the inside of the Red Cross cargo plane looked like. I hope the Navy is ok with me borrowing it…)

“This is the basic itinerary.  (Pop had made a detailed journal of the trip, but lost it in the last few moves.)  From Tehran to Cairo…spent the night.  From Cairo to Rome..spent the night, got to drive by St. Peters.  From Rome to England, where they were not allowed off the plane so they had to head to Ireland to a US military base.  They spent the night there.  From Ireland they went to Iceland, then to Greenland…where they again spent the night.  From Greenland they went to New York.

Upon arrival in New York they were taken directly to the train station.  Unfortunately, the ‘coupons’ that one of pop’s brother’s, my Uncle John, secured for them weren’t signed, so they couldn’t be used. They were suppose to be vouchers for travel purchased in Iran from an agent.  So since the coupons didn’t work they were stuck in the train station with no money, no food, with a one year old. Mom and Pop were 23 and 24 at this time.

Some nice people helped them and Pop had a card with the name of a Russian church on it.  They took them on the subway to the church and arrived in the evening just as the minister was locking up.  There was no time to find a home for them to spend the night so they took them to a hotel.  Mom said, ‘They put us on the 9th floor, I was so scared..”  And the other couple they were with were on the 14th floor.  The next morning was a Sunday so the streets were empty and Mom said she looked out the window and down and there was trash blowing along the street.  Very frightening to look that far down.

The minister showed up with milk and bread, they hadn’t eaten the day before, and they remember that delivery making them feel like orphans.  They had no money, no food, and Pop only spoke a little English.  (Which he had learned working on an American Military Base in Tehran…I’ll get to that.)

The pastor took them to church and that night they stayed with a family.  On Monday they put them on a train to Chicago.

Two vivid memories of their time in NewYork…  It was the first time Mom had seen toast, and she couldn’t figure out how they got it perfect on both sides.  She also got stuck in a revolving door and couldn’t get out.  She said, they weren’t educated enough to be in New York.

In Chicago another group from a church met them, fed them, gave them a place to stay, and then put them on a train to Los Angeles.  It should be noted that Kathy was very good during all of this, only cried a little.  At some point in this US leg of the journey they were able to contact people in LA to wire them money for the train tickets.  Pop figured it took them about 2 years to pay back all of the costs of their trip to the States.”

(This is a photo of my sister Kathy in a park in Los Angeles, California. Love how the older folk sitting on the benches in the background all have hats on.)

My parents were the first of their families to arrive in the U.S.A.

“In the course of telling this story Pop mentioned other jobs he’d had so I made him list them in order…here is roughly the job history.

His first job was driving horses plowing the fields in Russia.  There were four horses hooked to the plow.  He worked plowning.  (Think clowning)  He also worked threshing the wheat.

Then he worked as a shepherd.  A group of families had cows, sheep, and goats and it sounds like the kids from each family took turns watching the animals.

When they moved to Tehran he worked as a babysitter/houseboy doing whatever the woman of the house wanted him to do.

Later, in Iran he had a job feeding cows.  Then after they were milked he would walk around town to the customers they had and sell milk from a bucket by the cup.

After that he went to work on some of the Shah’s land doing farming.  When it wasn’t farming season he would deliver sand and bricks to road crews.

Then he had jobs on Military bases…he worked on the American base in the kitchens washing out the pans. They would feed him while he was there, and give him food to hide on his body to take out to his family.  (Not technically allowed to take the food, but the cook was nice.)  It’s also where he learned to speak some English.

He also worked on the Russian military base as a mechanic.  He said he ‘fix em’ Chevy’s and Studebaker’s, when they had been in accidents, we fix em up.

His last job in Tehran was in a brick factory.  It was far away so he needed to have transportation.  He said, he and Mom lived in an apartment with 4 other families above a sauna house owned by a Turkish man.  He sold Pop a bike that he had stolen…  When I asked, ‘he stole the bike?”  He said,’Yes, but he sold it to me real cheap, and nobody would recognize it because they changed the color.”  He rode the bike to work every day.”

Ellen’s thoughts…

When I think of what my parents went through to get to the United States I’m so grateful. Grateful to God for giving them the courage and faith to face the unknown. Just the language barrier had to be scary. They had a little toddler and my mom was pregnant with my sister Vera during this journey. Sitting on a bench in a loud cargo plane with 24 other people with a little one in diapers, amazing. They had no idea what kind of life they were going to have in the United States. They had only lived in villages where maybe there were a few 2 story stuctures and here they were in New York City with tall buildings. When they arrived in Los Angeles my dad worked odd jobs in carpentry and construction. They helped the rest of their extended family immigrate to the U.S. over a number of years. Each of these family units lived with my parents until they could get into a place of their own. My mother’s father was killed in Iran after my parents came to the U.S. My mother’s mom immigrated to the U.S.A. with my Uncle and Aunt as a widow. So much hardship endured and they persevered over the years and have always expressed their thankfulness to God for bringing them to the U.S.A. They had 9 children total. Their first daughter died in Iran when she was a toddler. Here are the 8 of us in age order…this is an old photo taken in 2003 at the 40th birthday party of Leonard and Lana, our youngest siblings (twins).

Kathy, Vera, Fred, Ellen, Tim, Steve, Lana, Leonard

My mom and pop in 2009.

IMGP9771

My mom and pop at my niece’s wedding in April of 2013.

We had a 90th birthday party and early 70th wedding anniversary party for my parents at the end of April in 2013. This is our clan minus a few at the party we had for them. We were so happy to have had this celebration as my mom took ill later that summer and never recovered. My mom went to be with her Savior on September 13, 2013 on my parents’ 70th wedding anniversary. My father is now 92.

This is a post from a few years ago but I decided since it is the anniversary of my parents arriving in the U.S.A. today I would re-post it with a few updates and added photos.

Hope you are having a restful Labor Day Weekend. We have been taking it easy at this old house. This is a long post so I’ll sign off here.

Before & After- Deck Side

This is what the deck side of our house looked like when we moved here in 1998.

First change out was the stairwell window. The porch you see to the right in this photo has been enclosed and is now our family room with french doors onto the deck.

Dear built a temporary platform to be able to hoist the window up and get it set into the opening.

Next he built the deck in anticipation of Josh and Laura’s rehearsal dinner in August of 2001.

The deck got an extension sometime after 2001 so we could reach the garage from the house on decking. The house got a facelift with new horizontal siding.

P1010564

Our deck covers changed over the years, too. These two are serving us very well currently. This photo shows the extended deck and the difference between the horizontal siding and vertical siding to the left of the deck.

tri tip patio 033

overgrown yard 035

Here’s a shot that shows the house with the completed horizontal siding.

One more addition this summer is this privacy fence we put in.

Here’s a view from our house without the privacy fence.

And this is the view with the privacy fence.

We really are enjoying this new privacy fence. It gives this whole area a more finished feel and we aren’t totally open to the surrounding neighbors anymore.

Some reflections…

Our two sons born almost exactly 2 years apart were married 14 years apart, one in 2001 and the other in 2015. So our 3 kids were married in 2001, 2011, and 2015.

July 2015 was a tough month for me. It was as if someone had let the air out of my tires. I’m happy to say that I’m getting back to my old self now in August!

I also have to admit that summer is probably one of my least favorite seasons. Even though I was born and raised in Southern California enjoying the beaches and spreading coco butter on my body to sunburn tan, sitting in the sun does not give me pleasure anymore. I enjoy the sunshine while sitting in the shade or under an umbrella. These days my favorite time at the beach is in the winter.

How’s your summer going?

History and Heritage…

P1050860

I posted this on the Mennonite Girls Can Cook Blog on Sunday for our Bread for the Journey and I’m re-posting here for my own records on The Happy Wonderer. That’s wonder not wander. I’m adding a few more photos from Russia and Persia in this post. Today I’m linking up with ABC Wednesday with thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt, Roger and the ABC Team! I’m also linking up to Testimonial Tuesday #5 at Jerrelea’s Journey.

We are in the middle of a new series on Sundays called “Movement”. As we launched into this series our pastor encouraged us with this statement: “The book of Acts tells the story of a group of first-century, rag-tag followers of the Risen Christ who became the movement that would change the world; it’s God’s movement because He is a God on the move, and He invites us to get on the move with Him.” As a follower of Jesus “I am an integral part of the most powerful, life-changing movement in the history of the world.”
It’s an encouraging exercise to look back over your life and the life of your ancestors to see how God has led and moved you to where you are today.
 My father’s family
My mother with her brother and younger sister.
 For me part of my story is God moving both sets of my grandparents to flee Russia on foot with their children to Iran in the early 1930’s. Both sets of grandparents settled near Tehran where my parents later met and got married. God moved my father with the desire to come to the United States. One of the things that influenced this desire was how my father was treated while working in an U.S. Army base kitchen in Iran. The soldiers were kind to my father and let him take food home to his family because they knew my father’s family was struggling.
My parents with my oldest sister shortly after arriving to Los Angeles, my mother is pregnant with my sister Vera in this photo.
 My parents filed the proper paper work and were granted permission to immigrate to the U.S.A. With my oldest sister they traveled to the U.S.A. settling in Los Angeles shortly after World War II ended. In 1963 my father went to hear Billy Graham at the Los Angeles Coliseum and my father was born again. My father’s decision to follow Jesus turned my family’s world upside down in the right way. That same year I accepted Christ and my new life in the greatest movement of all time began. We won’t know the whole story on how our own lives impact God’s movement till we see Him face to face but we can see part of the story now and be encouraged to carry on and follow Him where he leads us. He doesn’t call us and then leave us alone. He has given us his Spirit, He intercedes for us, He gives us strength. He multiplies the little that we have when we are willing to step out in faith with Him. What an amazing movement to be a part of! You, too, can be a part of this movement. Ask God to reveal Himself to you, to show you the way.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:16-17
Jesus said to them, I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6
Here are a few more photos from Russia and Persia that I promised… Sorry about the quality of some of these but after all they have traveled a long distance!
This one was taken in Russia before my father’s family fled to Iran. This is my paternal babushka’s relatives, the Sisoev’s, in Prelestnaya Village in Russia.
This is my mother next to her brother Paul on the right. My mother is standing next to her future sister-in-law, Nina. Nina is to the left of my mom and Nina’s brother Nikolai is next to her on the left.
My mother with her brother Paul.
These are two families, who were close friends in Iran and considered family to each other. There were also marriages that connected these two families together further. This was taken in Persia after my parents had immigrated to the U.S.A. I believe all but two of them made it to the U.S. My maternal grandfather seated on the lower right was killed in Iran and my maternal grandmother seated next to him immigrated to the U.S. as a widow with my Uncle Paul and Aunt Nina (pictured together upper right). Aunt Nina was part of the Katkov family and the others in this photo are her siblings and mother and father. The little boy between my grandmother and grandfather is my cousin Alex. One of the sisters from this family married a U.S. Soldier stationed in Iran and she is not in this photo. I’m not sure if who I lovingly called babushka Manya (seated next to my babushka Vera) came to the U.S. as a widow, also, or if her husband Nikolai was able to immigrate with his family.
Well this post is long enough for now. When I scan more photos that I came across from Russia and Persia I’ll share.
Hope you have a happy day…

Banbury ~ Oxfordshire

Continuing on my retracing posts from our time in England, on Sunday July 6th we made a short drive through Shipston-on-Stour to Banbury.
The town of Banbury in Oxfordshire dates back much further than the nursery rhyme dedicated to it.

When our three children were babes we would recite this nursery rhyme to them while bouncing them on our knees. It brings back such good memories that when I found out this statue was erected in Banbury we decided it was worth the trip to see it.

Sunday-Banbury 019Ride a Cock Horse to Banbury Cross to See a Fine Lady Upon a White Horse

Sunday-Banbury 021With Rings on Her Fingers

Sunday-Banbury 020And Bells on Her Toes

Sunday-Banbury 013She Shall Have Music Wherever She Goes

2014-07-06 Sunday-Banbury-001

Sunday-Banbury 024Nowadays the only cross gracing Banbury lies at the intersection of four major roads – those to Oxford, Warwick, Shipston-on-Stour and the High Street, which leads to the shopping area and the old heart of the town. It was erected in 1859 to commemorate the marriage of Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter Victoria Adelaide Mary Louisa to Friedrich Wilhelm of Prussia on 25th January 1858. It stands 52feet 6inches high to the top of its gilt cross and is of a neo-Gothic design. Originally six niches for statues were planned, but this was later reduced to three.

Sunday-Banbury 012

Sunday-Banbury 023-001

Sunday-Banbury 023-002

Sunday-Banbury 022-001

Sunday-Banbury 023-003It was fun to learn all about the history surrounding this nursery rhyme and the town of Banbury.

We walked around town, had some lunch and picked up some sweet treats to take back to the cottage.

Sunday-Banbury 026

Sunday-Banbury 035

Sunday-Banbury 034The sweet treats weren’t from this Olde Sweet Shoppe but from a bakery in town…

Sunday-Banbury 055

 B is for Banbury, Banbury Cross, Bells and Baked goods!

This was a timely post featuring the letter B so I’m linking up with ABC Wednesday which was begun by Mrs. Nesbitt and continues on with the help of the ABC team.

Speaking of B, the bathroom renovators arrived this morning to begin the finish work on our bathroom remodel. In 10 to 12 days it should all be done and we will be done with the construction zone mode and back to our quiet home mode until the next project.