Notes from the past…

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Tombstone Tuesday

These are the above-ground vaults of my second great-grandparents Miles Francis and Trilla Maryland Davis Stanley at Grandview Cemetery just outside of Grandview in Johnson County, Texas.MilFStanleys

Miles Stanley and wife Trilla Maryland (my Mom’s namesake) arrived in Hill County, Texas from Tuscaloosa County, Alabama in January 1875. There Miles became a successful farmer and was elected County Commissioner in about 1895.

In 1898, The Stanleys and the Fairs, Trilla Maryland’s sister and brother-in-law, adopted 2 very small and very alone little boys who had been abandoned on the steps of the Hill County Courthouse.

By 1909, Miles had retired from public life and the family moved to Mineral Wells in nearby Palo Pinto County. Adopted son John Thomas Stanley graduated from high school in Mineral Wells and soon married and moved away to Fort Worth. Miles and Trilla Maryland remained in Mineral Wells until their deaths in 1932 and 1935 respectively, married over 60 years.

MilFStanley1 vault MilFStanleys1 Grandview Cem TriMDavis stone

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Advent Calendar 1 Dec 2009- A Hanukkah bush?

You guessed it, folks. I am Jewish. But most of my Mom’s and Dad’s family are Christian, so my brothers and I celebrated Hanukkah and spent time with the rest of the family and shared in certain rituals of Christmas.

As kids, we would celebrate Hanukkah at our house with the prayers, the menorah and the 8 nights of gifts.

But on Christmas Eve, the entire extended family would gather at my grandparents’ house for food, family and more gifts.

So, although I am Jewish, I would still like to share with my geneablogger friends a few memories of those wonderful times 40 years ago.

Advent Day 1, The Christmas Tree:

Every Thanksgiving all the family met at my grandparents’ house, pigged out on wonderful food, watched football and… decorated the Christmas Tree.

The tree that I remember most fondly was only about 3 feet tall and flocked in white. It sat atop a huge, beautiful old table that had lion paws for table feet. My grandmother had one of those lights that alternately flooded the tree with red, green and blue light. There was a soft and fluffy white cloth that went around the base of the tree to simulate snow.

After lunch, my grandmother would bring out a huge box of ornaments. Home-made felt ornaments. There were a few traditional glass balls for effect, but those felt ornaments were wonderful! Cookies, boxes with bows, Santa, reindeer, toys… almost any Christmas item you could imagine was reproduced in colorful felt and rick-rack by my grandmother and aunts. Us grandkids would pick out our favorite ornaments and hang them on that little tree. A few aluminum icicles strategically placed and there before us stood the most beautiful Christmas Tree ever!

As Christmas grew nearer and nearer, gifts would start to accumulate under and around the tree. Excited as we all were, what was the most special to me was that wonderful little tree, all decked out in beautiful felt ornaments and red, blue and green light!