A Year Ago…

For InSPIREd Sunday and Spiritual Sundays I’m going back to a road trip our daughter and I took to get her back to North Carolina to welcome her husband home from his second tour of duty in Afghanistan with the Marine Corps. One of the places we took time to visit was Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri.

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The Legend of the Dogwood

There is a legend, that at the time of the Crucifixion the dogwood had been the size of the oak and other forest trees. So firm and strong was the tree that it was chosen as the timber of the cross. To be used thus for such a cruel purpose greatly distressed the tree, and Jesus, nailed upon it, sensed this, and in His gentle pity for all sorrow and suffering said to it: “Because of your regret and pity for My suffering, never again shall the dogwood tree grow large enough to be used as a cross. Henceforth it shall be slender and bent and twisted and its blossoms shall be in the form of a cross. ..two long and two short petals. And in the center of the outer edge of each petal there will be nail prints, brown with rust and stained with red, and in the center of the flower will be a crown of thorns, and all who see it will remember.”

I recognize that this is just a legend but I wanted to post this entry because I’ve always loved the Dogwood blooms. If I look at them and think about what my Savior did for me that’s a good thing. He created the tree, the beautiful bloom, and you and me to enjoy it!

We will be taking a short road trip to Canada on Saturday. I’ll share about our time next week. It takes us under two hours to get to the U.S./Canadian border from where we live in Washington State. Hope you have a wonderful first weekend in May!

X is for…

So here we are at good ole X in the alphabet. This is a letter for ABC Wednesday that takes a little creativity. Thank you to the ABC team for managing this meme and to Denise Nesbitt the founder.

Did you know that X stands for Christ and Cross and other stuff, too?

At Easter I make a Russian sweet cheese spread called Seernaya Paska that we spread on Russian Easter Bread that is called Paska by a lot of people and Kulich by my Russian relatives. In the Russian alphabet X is the first letter in Christ. We decorate the sweet cheese spread with an X and a B. X for Christ and B for arose/risen. Christ is Risen.

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If you are a regular on my blog you know I like to wander around very old cemeteries. There are always a great variety of crosses to photograph. Here are a couple.

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Windmills have a natural X visible from the formation of their rotor blades.

IMGP0229This windmill is located at the Mennonite Heritage Village in Steinbach, Manitoba, Canada.

P1030918This Windmill is located at Roozengaarde Tulip Garden in Mount Vernon Washington State.

That’s it for my offerings on the letter X. I’ll be curious to come around and see what you found for this challenging letter.

Summer has arrived in the Northern Hemisphere. I’m still watching all the World Cup Soccer I can fit in. Our bathroom renovation is progressing. Never a dull moment at this old house. Someone mentioned and I’m in agreement that we don’t seem to have ordinary weeks or days anymore. I’ll have to cling to the verse in the Bible that says…

“This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.” Psalm 118:24

Looking Back ~ Buster Brown

Seajack 6 pentax-001 The Bellefontaine Cemetery had a great system for finding all the notable famous and fascinating people buried on their grounds. There was a clear white line in the middle of the road that you could follow and then each of the 58 notables were marked with red markers. Black markers showed Civil War notable people.

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When I heard that George Warren Brown (1853-1921) the maker of Buster Brown shoes was buried here I wanted to see his grave site. When we were young my siblings and I would be taken to a shoe store in Montebello on Whittier Blvd. that carried Buster Brown shoes. Even though we always struggled to make ends meet my pop was determined we’d have good shoes to wear. We would get our new Buster Brown school shoes every year and a pair of shoes for church.

Bellefontaine 122George’s brother Alanson (1847-1913) is buried across the road.

Bellefontaine 124The Journey Through History book we bought at the front office at the cemetery gives the history of all the notables buried on the grounds. It was worth the $5 to purchase it. Here’s what is written about the Brown brothers…

“Traveling to St. Louis for a church convention, Alanson Brown found the city centrally located and populated with ambitious citizens. Seeing opportunity, Alanson decided to invest in a new wholesale shoe business in St. Louis.

His brother George Brown worked as his star salesman but found the shoes he had to sell did not meet the needs of his customers. When George could not convince Alanson to manufacture shoes in St. Louis, George set up his own company making shoes, including the still popular Buster Brown children’s line. Recognizing George’s success, Alanson’s company also began manufacturing shoes in St. Louis – then a city known for shoes, booze, and news and last in the American League.

Both brothers supported St. Louis institutions and focused on improving the lives of others. George’s widow set up the George Warren Brown School of Social Services at Washington University.

With parallel lives, the two brothers rest across the lane from each other at Bellefontaine – Alanson in a 1910 domed mausoleum by World’s Fair architect Isaac Taylor and George in a 1928 hexagonal tomb by the St. Louis firm of Mauran, Russell, Crowell.

I put out the call to my friends from Montebello on Facebook to help me remember the name of the shoe store on Whittier Blvd. in Montebello. They pulled through big time with more information than I ever knew about the couple who ran this store. Here’s how the conversation went…

To my Montebello friends…does anyone remember the name of the shoe store on Whittier Blvd. (on a corner) that sold Buster Brown shoes??? My brain will not bring it up.

Lana: Was it Kinney shoes?

Nancy: I can see it but I can’t remember the name!

Nancy: Lana would remember since she”s MUCH younger than us!!

Randy: It wasn’t Kinneys,that was up on 20th st and Beverly Blvd. Sorry

Judy: Was it Sandlers? It just popped into my head so it may be totally wrong.

Lynda: That sounds right Judy.

Ellen: Yes..Judy thank you!

Anne: It was Sandlers! Judy is right!

Tania: thanks for shaking up my brain Ellen. Maybe when it resets I can remember some of this stuff.

Gloriya: Sandlers sounds correct.

Steve: Sandler’s Shoes was on Whittier & I believe 5th Street, right across the street from the Deluxe Cafe. They had one of those old X-Ray machines where you put you feet into a slot and and Mr Sandler could see if my toes were touching the end of the new shoes in the mid 1950’s. Needless to say, the poor old man died of cancer in the early 60’s, which we now know was radiation poisoning from that machine X-ray device.

Ellen: Steve, thanks for the info. That is so sad about Mr. Sandler. Did his wife work along side him. My dad remembers a man and woman team in the store. They always commented to my dad that he only bought shoes for his kids never for himself…

Linda: I also remember my mom taking me to Sandler’s store to get Buster Brown shoes. She had my feet x-rayed there and trusted that the shoes fit better than anywhere else. She instilled on me that need. I have never had bunions or crooked toes thanks to her.

Steve: Ellen, yes there was a blond lady that worked there, that was probably his wife. Linda, I always wondered why my toes would glow in the dark when I was younger – LOL

Facebook bugs me in a lot of ways but when I can interact with old friends and get good memories like these it redeems itself for me.

Do you use Facebook and have you found some good ole friends there? Did you wear Buster Brown shoes when you were growing up?

Good Fences #10

Bellefontaine 090My fence this week is from Bellefontaine Cemetery in St. Louis, Missouri. My daughter and I spent a few hours here on our road trip from Seattle to North Carolina. If you like cemeteries this really is a worthwhile one to visit with many wonderful monuments and so much interesting history.

I’m joining TexWisGirl at Run *A* Round Ranch for Good Fences.

Thank you for being a fabulous hostess!

Grace Greater Than Our Sin ~ Hymn

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Grace Greater Than Our Sin

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.

Refrain

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.

Refrain

Dark is the stain that we cannot hide.
What can avail to wash it away?
Look! There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.

Refrain

Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

Refrain

Words: Julia H. Johnston, 1911.

Looking Back ~ Bellefontaine Cemetery

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There are so many interesting people buried at this beautiful cemetery. I’ll be sharing more notables in posts when I get back from all my traveling but for now I’ll just show some of the monuments without the history…

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Bellefontaine 104We are marveling that we missed so much “weather” on our travels and we are still thanking God for being safe and sound in Jacksonville, North Carolina.

We’ve had a nice Mother’s Day. We found out about an interesting law here in this part of the state. We don’t know if it’s the law all over the state but when we arrived for brunch at Duck’s Bar and Grille at 11:00 A.M. today we were considering having Mimosa’s with our Eggs Benedict. We were informed that the law stated no alcohol could be served before noon on Sundays. So there you have it. Today is the most humid day here since we arrived so we are enjoying just staying in with the air conditioning on. Katie started a meal in the crock pot this morning before we left for brunch and it is smelling real good right now. Tomorrow Katie scheduled massages for us and we are really looking forward to that.

We still do not have T.V. here at the apartment and I’ve been interested in some weather stories I’ve seen here and there. I hope you are safe where you are and that you are enjoying a lovely Mother’s Day at home or elsewhere.

He Eye is on the Sparrow ~ Hymn

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His Eye is on the Sparrow

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Refrain

I sing because I’m happy,
I sing because I’m free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.

“Let not your heart be troubled,” His tender word I hear,
And resting on His goodness, I lose my doubts and fears;
Though by the path He leadeth, but one step I may see;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Refrain

Whenever I am tempted, whenever clouds arise,
When songs give place to sighing, when hope within me dies,
I draw the closer to Him, from care He sets me free;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

Refrain

Words: Civilla D. Martin, 1905.

Early in the spring of 1905, my hus­band and I were so­journ­ing in El­mi­ra, New York. We con­tract­ed a deep friend­ship for a cou­ple by the name of Mr. and Mrs. Doo­lit­tle—true saints of God. Mrs. Doo­lit­tle had been bed­rid­den for nigh twen­ty years. Her hus­band was an in­cur­a­ble crip­ple who had to pro­pel him­self to and from his bus­i­ness in a wheel chair. De­spite their af­flict­ions, they lived hap­py Christ­ian lives, bring­ing in­spir­a­tion and com­fort to all who knew them. One day while we were vi­sit­ing with the Doo­lit­tles, my hus­band com­ment­ed on their bright hope­ful­ness and asked them for the se­cret of it. Mrs. Doo­lit­tle’s re­ply was sim­ple: “His eye is on the spar­row, and I know He watch­es me.” The beau­ty of this sim­ple ex­press­ion of bound­less faith gripped the hearts and fired the imag­in­a­tion of Dr. Mar­tin and me. The hymn “His Eye Is on the Spar­row” was the out­come of that ex­per­i­ence.

Civilla Martin

HT: Cyberhymnal