One hundred and one years ago my grandfather, Donald C. Minor, gazed upon this Black-Capped Chickadee. The four-leaf clovers may have sent him scampering to the window, frustrated by the snow or hard frost that separated him from his own patch of good luck. January 1, 1911 in southwestern Pennsylvania would have been gray, damp and cold.
It’s been a year of challenges and quite frankly I am glad to see 2011 end. I like the prospect of saying good bye to unsolved family dilemmas and saying hello to awesome new opportunities or the potential thereof! Once upon a time, I would have wished friends and neighbors a New Year of warm, solid, predictability and good luck in all their endeavors – and eagerly sent my grandfather’s chickadee to bear that message.
But this year, I yearn for opportunities of innocent jollification and so send these gleeful elves to wish you a New Year full of laughter and affection! Happy New Year!
With my trusty Flip Pal scanner, I captured this image of a family heirloom. The photograph is snugly framed, with a sturdily nailed backing that I didn’t want to disturb. So I did the best I could and scanned from on top of the glass. The image will be useful in identifying other photographs that my mother is letting me take home, since we know the identities of these folks.
Seated are my great-great grandparents, Mary Jane Gwynn and Francis Marion Minor. The little boy standing to their left is my great-grandfather, Robert Minor. Standing behind the trio are the older children – Sarah Priscilla, John Pierson and Olfred Minor. I know that Robert was born in 1869, and he looks to be about 5 or 6 here; T W Rogers of Carmichaels, Pennsylvania took this photograph sometime in the mid-1870s then.
My brother speaks at the Clinton Global Initiative regarding his project, Action Network: Haiti.
I think Ira and Serena Sayles would be proud of the link to this descendant!
Someday, when the lion lies with the lamb and neighbors everywhere love their neighbor, we humans will no longer need soldiers. But on this day I call to mind all those ancestors and relatives who died serving a greater cause; all those who witnessed the horror of war, returned home and lived their lives with grace and courage; and all those who set out today, on my behalf, to defend and protect our nation’s freedoms.
- Abia Minor Pennsylvania Revolutionary War
- William Rowlett Virginia Revolutionary War
- John Bradford Virginia Revolutionary War
- William Wills Green Virginia Revolutionary War
- John Pearson Minor Pennsylvania War of 1812
- Greene Dodson Virginia Civil War
- Ira Sayles New York Civil War
- Anderson Strickland North Carolina Civil War
- George Strickland Virginia World War I
- Sidney Strickland Virginia World War II
- Clifford Strickland Virginia World War II
- Michael Strickland Alabama Vietnam War
- John Minor Pennsylvania Vietnam War
- Michael Hanlon * Pennsylvania Currently Serving
This Friday we stop to remember the courage and sacrifice of these Americans, and the support and perseverance of their families. Thank you.
*My daughter’s childhood friend since Kindergarten, expected to be deployed in Afghanistan early 2012.
Originally posted here on Memorial Day 2011.
I live behind the mountains, just one of the ridges that form the Appalachain Mountain Chain. On the other side of my mountain — Bunker Hill — lies the greater Wyoming Valley, subject of a piece on tonight’s NPR All Things Considered. Wilkes-Barre and its sister community, Kingston, have been evacuated.
Susquehanna River from Rt. 309, northbound
Residents have carried pillows and blankets, toothbrush and medications, along with a few cherished photographs to higher ground. Businesses have sent employees home and locked their doors. Nursing homes have relocated dozens of residents to open hospital beds. Schools hold evacuees instead of students.
I am high, and dry, and will remain so even if the Susquehanna breaks through the sand bags and levees, and I can house anyone who finds themselves without shelter or food. So I filled my truck with fuel, and my pantry with dry and canned goods. I added milk and eggs to my refrigerator shelves, and several pounds of chicken and beef to my freezer drawers. Extra water was purchased and back up batteries stashed with freshly packed flashlights.
Four Fifteen at the Levee, by Ross
Folks are glued to their radios and televisions and websites; we are waiting for the announcement that our river has crested and is receding. We all wait, safely gathered on some higher ground.
For this I am grateful.