Last year for the Advent Calender of Christmas Memories, I wrote about the tree at Ida O’Connell’s home. This year, I thought I would write about my maternal Grandma’s Christmas tree.
Grandma Richmond would always decorate the house with two trees. One in the living room, by the picture window for everyone to see from outside. I loved sitting in the living room and looking at the lights, while the rest of the room is dark. This tree did not get much family love from it, it was just the “icing” of the decorations.
In the finished basement, we had another tree, a larger tree. This is the tree that was filled with presents for the grandkids. This is the tree that my brother hid the engagement ring for his first wife.
The basement is where the family celebrated the holiday with lots of good food, and I presume many good spirits for the adults (Grandpa had built a full bar down there). I miss this house and spending the holidays with my cousins and aunts and uncles. I wish I had pictures to share of the trees from Grandma’s house.
The keeper of family records and photographs. For my generation, that is me and if you are reading this post, it is most likely you as well.
On my maternal side, it was my Grandmother, Zedith Richmond. As a child I never knew of the items she treasured. She kept them safely hidden from prying eyes and grabbing hands.
After the death of her husband, William H. Richmond Jr., she pulled out her treasured box, (which was an old shoe box) to share them with me because my interest in genealogy had been more than ignited. As we went through these treasures we came across her most treasured item which she had saved from the 1950’s, it was the obituary of her brother-in-law, James Richmond and a newspaper article about his sudden death.
Other items found in her “treasure” box were her grammar school photo’s, numerous birth announcements with photo’s attached, and many funeral cards as well. I was blessed that she gave me a few of the school photo’s back then. Also in the box were other photo’s that were sent to her throughout the years.
A few months before she passed away, I had called and asked her to send me a copy of the obituary and newspaper article on James Richmond, because I had not been able to find copies. She was sweet enough to send me the originals, making me promise to take good care of them because she had saved them for 50 years and they had survived that long. I told her I would copy them and send the originals back to her, she decided that I should keep them. Bless her heart!
Over Christmas of last year, she went through this box with one of her daughters, after that the box has disappeared. I am thankful for the few items that I have from her treasured box and that she had removed the funeral cards from the box and inserted them in her photo albums, which have been passed on to me at her death as well.This post has been written for the 100th Edition of the Carnival of Genealogy. Congrats on the first 100 and looking forward to the next.
Though I grew up in the big city of Chicago, my maternal relatives are from West Virginia and that means eating good! My maternal Grandma was always in the kitchen cooking, and the food was spectacular! Grandma had a few recipes that I would never taste, no matter if she made them, or if her Mom did. When I think back about it, I get a god chuckle because the recipes for things that everyone in their family loved. Two of the recipes that I refused to taste as a child are Johnny Bowl Pudding and Milk Pie.
I tried Johnny Bowl Pudding about 5 years ago when I was in Ohio. I was pretty much forced to try it. I am a very picky eater and definitely was not happy. But, I tried it to make everyone happy. In the end, I loved it! Johnny Bowl Pudding is a bread pudding and I will never pass up a bread pudding again.
Finally lets talk about the Milk Pie! You can hardly get me to drink a glass of milk, let alone eat at as a pie. The only milk I like is drenched with chocolate sauce as well. Well, let me tell you how silly I have been! Milk Pie is super sweet, you only need one piece and your sweet tooth will be more than satisfied! I finally tasted this on New Years Eve of 2009. Grandma had passed away early that evening and as a family we decided to make a Milk Pie. I was not wanting to taste it, but I was urged by my family to at least try it, because I would not be disappointed. They were right and my kids loved it as well.
So, in honor of my Grandma, I am going to share her recipe for Milk Pie!
1 frozen pie crust
1 cup sugar
3 TBSP flour
pinch of salt
1.5 cans of evaporated milk
Cinnamon to taste
4 pats of butter
Heat oven to 350º. Place pie crust on a cookie sheet (just in case of spills, this pie is liquid and spills will happen). In pie crust, mix by hand all dry ingredients, making sure there are no lumps left. Once complete, pour in the evaporated milk. Place pats of butter on top of pie, then sprinkle with cinnamon (I prefer to cover the top of the pie with cinnamon). Place in oven and bake for 35 minutes. Pie is complete when you insert a knife in center and get a custard like substance.
Lisa Alzo, The Accidental Genealogist, has put together a great list of ideas to post every day for Women’s History Month. Post 14 is In the News. Lisa asks, “Newsmakers? Did you have a female ancestor who made the news? Why? Was she famous or notorious? Did she appear in the social column?”
My maternal great grandmother Nettie Ann (Warden) Richmond was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star (OES). I learned this through researching the newspapers on Ancestry.com. There were many articles that named Nettie as attending different events that they held. To this point, I have not found any article that places her as a prominent figure in the OES. But through contact with the chapter she was associated with, I have learned that she was the Most Worthy Matron. You can read more about Nettie and the OES in my previous post.
Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist has put together a great list of writing prompts for Women’s History Month. The prompt for today is to post a marriage record for your grandparents or great grandparents. Write a post about where and when they at. Have any family stories about the wedding, post them? Add a photo if you have that as well.
My grandparents got married in the childhood home of my grandma on 2 Sep 1948 in Beckley, Raleigh County, WV. Consent to the marriage was given by Hunter and Edith Richmond, (William’s parents), and Joe and Mary Lachney, (Zedith’s parents). Click here for information on Raleigh County in the 1940’s.
Unfortunately, I do not have a photo of them on their wedding. This photo is of the house they got married in. The photo is from 2004 when I was lucky enough to take my grandma “home” to West Virginia for the Hilton Family Reunion.
Lisa Alzo of The Accidental Genealogist has put together a great list of writing prompts for Women’s History Month.
Post 2 for Women’s History Month, post a photo of a female ancestor, when was it taken and why did you choose this photo?
In this photo are 2 of my great Aunts, my Grandma and my Great Grandma. (from left to right, Charlotte (Markland) Lachney, Mary Swartz, Mary Jane (Hilton) Lachney and Zedith (Lachney) Richmond.
The reason I choose this photo is because it shows my Grandma with what she felt was most important, her family! I miss her greatly and love having the opportunity to go through the pictures I have of her.
Growing up, I heard the saying that death always happens in threes. These past few months have been rough for my family. On 20 Nov 2009 we lost my Great Aunt, Viola (Lachney) Rowe. On 31 Dec 2009, we lost my Grandma (Viola’s sister), Zedith (Lachney) Richmond. Last, me lost my Great Aunt, Charlotte (Markland) Lachney (she was Viola and Zedith’s sister-in-law) on 16 Feb 2010.
Taking a look at those dates, Nov 20, Dec 31 and Feb 16, there is:
41 days between the deaths of sisters Viola and Zedith, roughly 6 weeks
47 days between the deaths of Zedith and Charlotte, roughly 7 weeks
How much can one family handle? Personally, I do not think I can handle anymore bad news. I thought 2009 would be the end of the bad news for our family and it seems it is continuing into the new year as well.
Though being reminded by my cousin Sue, on Facebook, that there were many things to celebrate in 2009. Such as, I was able to spend some time with her and Aunt Mae (Viola) before her passing. She is right, I will never be forget the time spent visiting this summer.
Though on the other hand, my time with Grandma was short. I arrived in AL 2 days before she passed and really only had conversation with her for one day. The next day she was in so much pain and agony that conversation was minimal.
I can only hope this is the end of the sad news for our family. I also pray that the My Aunt Mary and Aunt Susie remain healthy, these are the remaining sisters to Viola and Zedith, I look forward to spending as much time as possible with them.
Today has been a horrible, yet good day. Does that make sense? Not really. Today is my oldest child’s 21st birthday. Where has the time gone? It seems like only yesterday she was toddling through the house. I am so proud of the woman she has become. She is strong, has a great worth ethic and loves her family (no matter how crazy we are).
Besides her birthday, today we celebrated the life of my Grandmother. It has been just over a week since she passed away. Her body finally arrived home in Chicago on Wednesday, the wake was yesterday, and today was the funeral. We had a simple service at the funeral home, were the normal scriptures were read. We also had Grandma’s niece Sue read a few personal statements made by her daughters, and then another niece, Debbie read two poems that were written especially for Grandma, by her niece Nancy. Nancy is so talented, her poetry is always beautiful and easily brings a tear to your eye as you listen to her words describing any family member. The service closed as any Christian service would, with prayer.
Following the funeral, we all went to the cemetery were there was another short service. This service was concluded when Debbie sang In The Garden. Debbie has the most beautiful voice. I cannot believe the talent that surrounds my family.
After all of our sadness today, the family came together and shared lunch at a local banquet facility. After that we went to my Aunt’s house, had dessert and got to just spend time together. We topped the night off with some home movies from our West Virginia trip in 2004, when we went with Grandma to West Virginia for a family reunion. The family movie was archaic, on VHS. We got many laughs out of it. But, at least I have some movie with Grandma and it is not just silent. I love the fact that I will always be able to remember how when she told a story, if the story tickled her, she would rock back and forth and laugh so hard. It is a priceless video and I cannot wait to get it converted to DVD so I can upload parts of her stories here.
This past week has been a rough one for me and my kids. We drove to Alabama to visit with my Grandmother who had just recently been diagnosed with Lung Cancer. I had been told things were bad, but not really how bad they were.
When we arrived at the hospital to visit Grandma, I could not believe what I was seeing. My Grandmother was lying in the hospital bed, she looked like she had lost too much weight. As a child she was always a big woman, she did have 4 kids. It’s just what happens. After Grandpa had died, I knew she lost some wait and had trimmed down nicely. But, here she was and you could hardly see her legs under the hospital blankets.
At this point in our visit, she was still able to talk with us. The only things on her mind was who she wanted to have certain things out of her house. This conversation killed me. I told her we did not have to talk about this now, her reply was “I need to tell you why it is in my mind.” So we let her talk about anything she needed to say. Besides dividing her possessions, she told us that she “just wanted to go home.” Which the Doctors said we would be able to do the next day.
Her trip home was not a good one and at this time, I will not write about it. That story is for another day.
We had been told by her cancer Dr that it could be in just a few days that she would pass on and be with those who went before her. She had been telling us that her “Mommy had been chasing” her and was going to whoop her when she was caught. Not only was her Mommy chasing her, but she was also talking about seeing my Grandpa who had passed in 2000. The Dr.’s said that with her already doing this it would be a day or two before she goes.
Hospice said that she was doing well and they though she would have at least a week or so before her time would come. Little did we know that we would say good-bye so soon. She passed on 31 Dec 2009 at 5:38pm. We were not ready for this, but I am glad to have spent her final moments with her.