Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Heritage Ornaments.

We don't know the story on the two pieces. I believe it was from Sylvias side of the family.

If they were not set out for Christmas, they were in the cupboard displayed more proudly than usual.

Perhaps one should check the antique books to see what the matching Ornaments are called and where they originated.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Sissy adored Roy Rogers, but not Dale Evans

Poor Sissy, she just adored Roy Rogers, but not Dale.Evans. No matter what Sissy did in watching him, she could not avoid Dale Evans.
She would get all worked up in indignation, when they sang Happy Trails together . The pair could yodel up a coyote.
They had their own program on television. They were a definite to be seen on the Rose Bowl Parade. You can bet your cowboy boots, Sissy watched the parade to see him and her other favorite western cowboy stars like the star and singer Gene Autry.

What were your favorites you were aware of at that time of late fifties and sixties ?.

Gene Autry's Rudolph the Red nosed Reindeer.

Isn't u-tube wonderful!

The Town Hall Children's Christmas Event in Lewisville.

The Town Hall children's Christmas event in Lewisville. Their special event for the children included a sack of treats, a Christmas film and Santa Claus.
Usually Films like this one.

“Frohliche Weihnachten”

I said, "Merry Christmas" in German

Traditions and customs --> http://familytreemaker.genealogy.com/users/b/u/c/Dennis-D-Buchmiller/FILE/0008page.html

See it is used here:


Donald Duck

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Advent Calender - Family

Genea Bloggers Christmas Advent doesn't cover this topic about the holidays.

Grand children of Dewey and Sylvia.

I apologize to Keith, Mitchell, Lance and Nick for not having a picture of you with your Meyer grandparents. It was not in Sissy's possessions. If you like to donate some, I would appreciate it. It would be equally as nice to have Wives and children as well.
Photo below of Nick and his grandfather who looks a little scruffy. It must have been an early morning event, no matter he loved to touch and hold his grandchildren.

Sissy did not make it home for the Holidays once she moved away. So she lost out on family occasions and stories as well as photos. I think she blames it on the weather and the fact that one year the family was home during a blizzard. They closed the highway and she and her family spent the night on the floor at a friends apartment. Their child was young and it was difficult. Rather than take the risk, Sissy stopped going for Holidays in the winter especially since she often went alone. I think it is why she detests the fact that those Holidays involve snow!

Some times during the good finances, cards and letters were exchanged, other times not. She says they are in her thoughts. She does not call much nor does she have texting or a mobile phone, which would help. She lost out on so much. She has Regrets.

But she can't think of who or what she does not know. Maybe that would be a reason to drop her a line, donate photos and stories here or her email accounts, if you wish.

A Secret thought About Christmas

Genea Bloggers Christmas Advent

Now, I am going to share a secret about Christmas
I have watched a ton of Hallmark Christmas specials, so I am getting to be an expert on Love and family during the Holiday season.

It seems perfectly clear to me that Forgiveness and Love go Hand in Hand along with the Christmas spirit so much more than we normally think about Christmas.
There is all that hype about Love, but I think your feelings of Forgiveness that make the Christmas spirit work is more ignored. But then it is included in the word Love. Love is patient, kind, Love endures. It's implied, but is the forerunner to the love in the Christmas spirit. To make Christmas Merry it is indeed essential. If there was a bucket of qualities included in Love and Christmas; forgiveness would be up there like cream in milk at the rim.

- If your mother in law gives you a Hideous sweater, you mentally forgive her and smile and thank her. Your already secretly planning to exchange it or stuff it away in the closet and she'll never know you don't like it. It's your forgiveness spirit which allow yourself to sport last years sweater, when you could care less to wear it ever again. and you can get rid ot it because,now you probably have a new one to take it's place
-Sissy forgot to make Christmas dinner, You love her, you forgive her, and you continue on in showing your love for her sake and t he Christmas spirit; even though your hungry as heck.

- Or maybe Raechel brought the dang awful dessert again this year with coconut in it, you forgive her for her taste, you smile, you love her, and you take a small helping.

- Aunt Jo has make a new family heritage find and wants to share some of it's detail. You mentally forgive her boring details, as you turn off your hearing aide, smile and tell her how good she is.Then Tell her you'll read her blog more.

- Little Jenny won't smile and barely talks, cause she lost her front tooth and keeps spitting on you as she talks. Yes you forgive again after a bad thought or two, and allow it. Gosh your good.

-We have to sing our Christmas prayer before the meal, which I hate doing, but isn't that just grand of her to want to share that part of her with us.

- My sister in law can do no wrong and is so perfect, I smile and tell her how wonderful it is, chocking down my jealousy. ahhhh what was I saying, oh Christmas spirit, yes now I remember.

- You have Christmas Cards to send, goodies to make, take, dinners to make, house to clean, you forgive whom ever for the reason and you do what you can to make it all merry.

- My son forgives me every time I say Happy Holidays, instead of Merry Christmas. He wants to keep the Christ in Christmas. Instantly I love him for that.

-My daughter forgives me for what ever I have done. I forgive myself first, then, forgive her for that. since it is all daily Love and more than just Christmas spirit.

-Peg for her reasons has the dinner, hard work though it is, she forgives you and lets you forgive her and God for all the right reasons. Your you and you forgive yourself for allowing yourself to be yourself as you are. Thus more love springs forth to others.

All in the name of Forgiveness in the same hand as love bringing forth good Christmas Spirit.
Christmas is merely a annual practice of the qualities of Love in all sense of its meaning.

Easter is in my mind the opposite of Christmas. You know death opposite Birth. Though Easter is also like Spring a Rebirth of life just like Christmas when it is told that Jesus was born to complete the forgiveness cycle. Easter is all about Gods forgiveness and it is my mind stressed so much more at Easter. Then again whenyou see a christmas star when one celebratesyour reminded that God forgave us and he gave us Jesus birth at Christmas to eventually die for our Sins.
So Christmas is still about Forgiveness and birth.

This is not really all that new or unique ideas. It just about forgiveness that endures under another name and meaning the same the whole time.
So that's my little secret thought about Christmas.

Now will you forgive me for being so personal and scattered, and tell me something?

What do you do, all in the Christmas spirit?

Should I ask who do you forgive and for what, all for the sake of love for the sake of the Christmas spirit.

Sissy forgot to make Christmas Dinner

Genea Bloggers Christmas Advent - Christmas Memories
Day # 17

Sissy held for her first time the Meyer Christmas Celebration in her home, but forgot to make Dinner. Oh how mortifying, embarrassing, absent minded thing it must have been for a newly wed. What was she thinking? Poor Sissy.

Okay, Okay, the celebration was not in Lewisville, but about twenty or thirty miles south of Lewisville. It did include Sonny, Steve, Sylvia, and Dewey plus the extended family members.

Sissy told me to emphasize how important it is to clarify what, how, when, where your Holiday parties are to be celebrated. She says you must state or ask specifically what each other expects of that day and their attendance.

When you say come to my house for Christmas. You must say it's not a traditional supper dinner meal, or you must say it is. Is it just for appetizers, crackers cheese, wine, candies cookies. Or that followed by dinner - supper. and then dessert.

If you say, don't eat too much cause I have a lot of food. specify what that means.
If it is meal time, it should be a meal, if it is treats and such, make it earlier or later!.

However, if you invite them for a meal, don't concentrate on cookies and desserts and forget to make the meal.

Sissy always was absent minded. Had her head in the clouds. Concentrated too much on trivial detail. Like Cookies and candies. Was that it? What was she thinking. I don't really know, she never told me. But she did forget to make Dinner and her Guests arrived Hungry!

Luckily for her, her family knew her well, and were forgiving. Maybe it's not forgotten, but certainly forgiven. Well I hope she forgave herself. And I suppose I should let it be forgotten.

Annual Local Childrens Charity Event

 Genea Bloggers Christmas Advent Calender - I have simply posted about Christmas of those of Sunnyslope farm with no particular subject or day specified.

In the last post I briefly mentioned the local Childrens charity Event,  which was shown every year on CBS.  It was shown  at Christmas time with Jolly St. Nick handing out presents to the handicapped children. For reasons of her own Sissy watched the show.  If she did not know it was on,  her mother dutifully called to her to let her know she could see it.

Sissy had worked with children  while attending college with needs like theirs and so would eagerly look to see if any familiar child would be there.  She never  really saw anyone she knew, but watched each year anyway.
CBS  or channel 4 and 12  came from Mankato broadcasting with a tall local tower by Lewisville, which  brought in channel 12.  It was the only station that aired clearly. Unless dilly dalling around brought in some very fuzzy reception, it simply had to satisfy.

So therefore the children  and their parents were mostly of the county Faribault, Minnesota.

Leader of the Pack - Rock and Rollers Christmas at the Meyer house.

Genea Bloggers Christmas Advent- Day # 19 Christmas shopping

It does seem like so many shopping events before Christmas for the family gift were done as a family led by the interests of the Eldest son. Sonny who was kind of our "Leader of the Pack".

Oh yes, I do show my rock and roll age here, right. Do you remember that song Leader of the Pack by the Shangri -Las It may still play somewhere, but those of us who are baby boomers certainly would remember phrases from it.

I know it seems like it has nothing to do with Christmas, but our Sonny, the leader of our pack was the first to discover rock and roll. He introduced Sissy to WDGY. So somehow convinced, Sylvia and Dewey figured the children should have a record player or a Stereo. So the Meyer pack went to several stores before Christmas to find the right one for the right price. I guess it took eveyone's input to get the many needs met.

The Meyer children were always putting a radio in and open window to hear Bobby Vinton singing Roses are red my love. Or they brought the electric radio where ever they were even into the hen house, while cleaning it or while in the barn they were changing Dewie's New Ulm polka channel to rock and roll. Do you suppose the dairy cows cared?

After the family received the record player, Sonny showed his siblings that you could get cheap forty five rpm records from restaurants and places that played them in juke boxes. When they were tired of playing them, they sold them cheap. [In other record stores there were the cheap copies or imitators] the kids acquired many popular songs that way. Sissy had a couple of favorites. Twist and Shout, Peppermint Twist, Alley Oop. One of them was by Elvis Presley, Blue Suede Shoes and Return to Sender; The Purple People Eater; [The Lion Sleeps Tonight?], [The Answer is Blowin In the Wind?]. After that there was always some requested song record that Santa sometimes brought. Not only the forty fives but the 75 rpm, and even 33 rpm's were also played. Steve and Sissy listened to Little Norman tales for hours. Even Dewie ordered a record that the Bennett relatives created in New York.

The same shopping togetherness happened when Missy was twelve or thirteen when the family got a television. Sylvia had always had the same answer to getting a television without hesitation - NO. That year the answer was a debate inside Sylvia. She believed there were rays coming from it that would hurt the children. So Before Christmas they looked for a used one. But Sylvia would not say she was convinced they should have one. But it did come for Christmas.

There was never a lot of money for the family and the Stereo, record player, the table jig saw, a clothes dryer, were expensive enough purchases for the family. They just could not and did not lightly throw money around. Often the money came from Sylvia's Chicken and Egg money. Sometimes they needed things instead like new tractors or a new barn, or a different car, those were not family purchases. I suppose it eased the conscience to say some of the fun family purchases was for the family for Christmas. Since all gained from it, who minded?

I have included both the Record player and the Television in one post because
Sissy was a bit confused as to which it was the Stereo or the Television that led Dewie to give up the big tall radio in a cabinet [take a peek at it's likeness here ] or the Sears and Roebuck farm set version here and then again it might have been McMurdo silver that resided in the living room. She couldn't completely identify the exact replica. She thought it was pretty and she would lay at it's foot and play with the grill that covered the speaker near the floor in the middle and listen to radio programs or soaps. The Lone Ranger and Tonto. She mostly remembers that the old radio console was traded in for either the television or the record player.

She was sorry to see it go. She had been fond of some special channels of foreign language that she had heard on it. She also liked late at night getting in Beaker street. and Little Rock. Later on, when she bought her own radio and found the same channels could come in on her electric radio and her transistor radio.

Is it needless to say, those family gifts shaped somewhat their lives. Life changed, but the tunes of the years you heard them bring back many memories of your details surrounding them. Just as the television brought different changes of the family activities. Not necessarily bad, just different. Christmas music on the phonograph, and the nut cracker ballet playing on TV; the annual local children's Christmas charity airing; favorite shows Christmas airings and otherwise.

Shows such as As the World Turn , The Guiding Light shared by Sissy and her mother programs which were once listened to over the Ironing board, Jack Benny, Bob Hope could be enjoyed by Dewie, but even more, he could now see the Rose Bowl game and the parade. Gene Autry, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans singing, the Long Ranger and Tonto were seen, not just heard any more.Steve with Lassie or Big Ben became a family night ritual. If they tried hard they got American Bandstand or an equivalent, and Dewie's polka dance bands in Mankato. Not to mention special Christmas and Holiday shows and otherwise. Movies on weekends, Comedies of Carol Burnett, Red Skelton, Laugh In, Hee Haw, and the Globe Trotters broke Steve and Sissy up everytime they played. Varietie shows like Ed Sullivan were all really big big shows that they didn't and did share together as time went on.

As they say Gifts that keep rolling, giving, enriching lives, do indeed. Thanks Leaders of the pack for your influence.

Note: Many Years later WDGY turned country just as the taste of so many fans turned to country.
- Other old radio Console possibilities:
- What the words to those songs really meant

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A play area, Crafting, and a wood working area.

Genea Bloggers Christmas Advent Series -  [ No specific Day ]
Sylvia and the children cleaned up a room in a building on the farm and made it a wood working craft shop.   I can't claim it was a sterile environment, but then is it ever on a farm.  You just learn to wash and wash and wash.  You know how it is sometimes when you go to someones farmhouse and you smell it as soon as you walk in the door. People just get used to it, so they  don't notice. Perhaps the Meyer house did too, but the children never noticed it.  [ I could be a commercial inserted here, suffice to say Sylvia had her methods.]

When ever there had been trips to and from Fairmont along highway fifteen the trip back would involve a glance  near Truman at a home on the side that  contained lawn ornaments on a huge flat front lawn.  One day I think she convinced Dewey to stop there so she could talk to the owners. She was quite excited  about the project, when they got home.

Next thing you know  either the family or Sonny had a new  electric jig saw.   I suppose it was his christmas gift or a family gift, [That is how it went].  In other words,  it was very nice, not just a hand held jig saw that I have, but a table jig saw.  The wood layed flat on a platform and you guided it to the blade.  You did not have to hold a single saw like a regular wood saw.  Sonny was going to be making Sylvia some lawn ornaments.  They sent away for some patterns from books. Perhaps a local merchant ordered a few as well. Somewhere they saw a huge Santa cut out and painted.  The family or Sonny did that.  They mounted it on the front porch area.  The space was small, but he stood there anyway amidst Christmas strings of lights.

They made many wood cutouts in that little shop.  Sissy liked the  big patterns.  I think you can still find ads in the commercial sections of some magazines offering these patterns.  Sometimes the coloring books had some simple patterns.  Some unsuspecting child who received a color book at this time of their life probably had a baby chick or rabbit traced before he received his gift.  Sissy herself was motivated to paint elaborate birds, she herself asked for and received  a special paint by number of accurate bird coloring.  She still has it and never finished all the birds.  She wanted and received a huge paint box which was her pride and joy for many years.  I must say these experiences in the wood shop shaped Sissy into Art and Crafting hobbies.

This was about the time that many people had some animal cutouts and the pattern of the chicken was filled in with beans or seeds.  Those craft wall pictures were tried.They had seen many a pretty one, but Sissy thought their attempts were lame. She saw many things of the country fad in the eighties  and nineties that reminded her of their endeavors in her childhood.

Dewey warned them off from certain dangerous areas. Some of them were scary,  if you hated heights. sometimes the children took chances.  Sometimes wood  had hidden nail that would come out from nowhere and allow itself into your foot.  Sometimes other things than the shop called to the children to explore or investigate. Just as the box the  gift comes it holds intrigue sometimes more than the gift to the very young.
A bit off from the shop wood  craft area, there was a small area that Sissy  claimed as her own where she and a friend or neighbor kid played.

Many years later, Dewey claimed the room back for  the farm.

The wood cutting Experiences panned out well.
If memories  are clear, it's thought that in Steve's early marriage stage when he had young kids around, he also had one of those wood cutouts in his front entrance area. I'll find out soon enough.
[Grin]  It's not an old idea, I still see variations of the wood cut outs displayed in yards and ornately painted on trees.

Today I have seen on very thin wood letter cutouts with glass glitter, that makes me long for that jig saw  the Meyer  children had in their shop. I have received bird cut outs mounted on stakes for  the garden. You name it, it would have it's uses.

I hope you enjoyed a small segment of Sylvia Crafting Segments.  Not one finger was lost by the Meyer family.  Take care.

Ppsst,  If I find a free picture of the pattern or cutouts, I will come back and edit it in, okay? 

Sources: Mary Dailey and Blogs offering free images. [Just ask me ].

Genea Bloggers Christmas Advent - Grab bag - Decorations and Crafts

Christmas in the year of the play area at the wood working shop.

It was before the Christmas after the summer that Sylvia and the children cleaned up a room in a building on the farm. Sylvia found a pine cone tree idea in a Farmer magazine. It was a pine cone tree made from a shaped to tree shape small holed chicken wire which was anchored onto a sturdy base of wood and perhaps had a support pole running through. One simply inserted cones into the wire.

It was team work with enthusiasm. Okay, maybe Sissy dragged a little, but she and Steve picked up their share of pine cones around the Sunnyslope farm. Sylvia and Sonny or Dewey went to their old Cemetery by St James and found some large cones for the bases. In fact there were enough cones to make a better second tree, which was given to someone. [ unknown recipient]

The proud owner is Sissy of the one tree which carried a lot of mistakes. Imagine how old the tree is? She says it shatters some, but she could interchange pine cones for the damaged ones, if she wanted to. She says she enjoys adding dried flowers into the edges of the pine cones. it does cover some flaws

She says the small dried sedum gathered in the fall and sprayed after they dry make the perfect tiny flowers to insert between the cones, because they are this dark red color naturally. She could do more, but hasn't. She would welcome any suggestions for flowers and uses. She love snowflakes and so has a few by the tree too.

At various times the family had battery powered lights, and blinking lights on it. Sissy thinks large candles flickering safely away is kind of nice when she has it displayed on a wider surface. She picked up some pine cones last fall and keeps them in a jar near it.
she hides some pine air fresheners in the jars with the cones.

One thing the family did forget to do was to heat the cones to treat them and to make sure there were no hiding insects inside the cones.

The whole crafting experience details was not entirely remembered, but the family involvement memory is still there. And it was nice. Sometimes Sissy wonders if it was for that reason, or Sylvia simply wanted the crafts that resulted. She thinks, Grandma Josie would be proud.

She says she maybe she could ask Sonny, if you want to know more about the details of the crafting of the tree..

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas Happenings - Grandma Peters put in a Visit at Christmas time.

Grandma Peters introduced the family to YAHTZE.
Sissy rarely saw her Grandmother Josie Peters, because she lived in Los Angelos, California during Sissy's childhood.
Grandma Peters came for a visit from California about the time of Sissy's confirmation year - eighth grade, and she visited around, but came by again for Christmas. Most of the times she spent a large portion of her time with Sylvia's Brother Ray in the Twin Cities. When she came to visit she talked about them and the other cousins all the time, " She did this for Ray or Martha, the children did this and they didn't do that".

Grandma had praised the other families so much Sissy felt resentment growing towards them. Later she wondered if Grandma Peters would find anything to praise about her stay with them, that she would talk about when she visited the other families?? Sissy also picked up on her mothers hurt feelings as children do. She had loyalty for her mother. [ It was about this time that Lyle and Amanda agreed to visit Grandma Peters, when she would be back in California. ] This visit at Lyle's house had happened before Lyle's family left for the Rose bowl game and parade. And it was a very memorable event in Sissy's life.

Sissy felt at times the same way her mother obviously did, that she could get by with more without grandmothers interfering. Things like about having neat underwear drawers and a clean room and reading a forbidden magazine that her grandmother would find in her hiding spot and tell her mother.

There was also the good with the bad.
While she stayed she did a lot of sewing,
The visit must have been when Sissy was thirteen or fourteen. And she noticed that Sissy could use some new clothes. So she sewed up a corduroy pleated skirt and a unique blouse that sissy thought made her skin look good. Then her grandmother gave her a huge chain necklace to wear with it. Which sissy did, proudly, even though at school it's effect was not exactly what she had hoped it would be. Neither were some of the clothes she herself was to make later. Her Grandma did kind of Jump start Sissy's sewing.

It was about that time or before Grandmother came that Sylvia had taught Sissy how to run the wringer washer, with the sudser and she had shown her how to Iron. sissy remembers that the sudser was not that great when one has a dark corduroy skirt, because it made so much lint. She complained so much, her mom had made her wash her own clothes. Which Sissy did and only had herself to blame for clothes problems.

Grandma Peters was the only Grandmother Sissy knew.

One thing that grandma Peters kept talking about was the family activities that others in her family played with her. The result was two games produced as gifts for the Meyer children. Ones they did gratefully enjoy for many years to come.

- Yahtzee. It was a gift from her or at least it was her idea, and they did play it with their grandmother as well as with each other for many years.

- A board game of Chinese checkers. And checkers It was a game Steve loved and played with Sissy. I think Steve taught Grandpa Herman to play one of these and did that for a time.

The children actually had board games before that and did get them as Christmas gifts, Life, Monopoly, Checkers, Candy Land and several others.

Candyland and Monopoly was favorites to be played with Mary Linda.
Life and monopoly was played by the boys especially with Bill Peters boys.

Her grandmother gave her a special gift that year. It was her first pearl necklace she had ever been given and maybe her only gift of a pearl necklace.

One of the Pearl necklaces on the left.

I hope you all have a very nice Christmas. I hope your able to find something special in being together with those around you.

Note: Sissy said to give her Grandmother credit with getting her bible family tree filled out due to her grandmother's presence and the clue that her great grandfathers [Annies father] name was unknown. It influenced her that day to think about family trees and ancestry. It was something she thinks her grandmother tried to find out with a visit with Amanda Meyer at that visit before Christmas time. Because Amanda had worked with August and Herman in the Meyer House as cook and housekeeper. She might have over heard something.

Note: Sissy did kind of wonder if it was Grandma Josies influence that brought about the wood shop and all the crafting. She says her mothers sister had turned to wood turning as pastime for them during retirement which she was able to view in 1980.

Monday, December 13, 2010

There Was To Be No Christmas Tree That Year

This is Sunnyslope farm about three miles north of Lewisville and One mile west of Highway 15, that I have told you so much about. I know it's hard to tell that it's on a slope of a hill, but nearly all of it is from the moment you turn west off the rural County gravel Road 117 into the driveway and proceed up to the House. Ten or even twenty years ago the huge maple tree on the left of the drivway went down in a storm, just as one more in that row, the one the childrens tire swing hung from up by the house did so many years ago, while the Meyer children were still young. As far as I know the pines that line the driveway on the right side remain. Hopefully most of the other woods and trees remain. [In the photo you see the two small trees in front by the county gravel road, purchased by Dewey from Sonny [ born 1947] while he was in his Junior or Senior year of FFA. And the trees had been sprauny at purchase, so you can figure that the photo was taken after 965 and had some good years of growth. The Hen house once stood where the cement is seen and that burned around 1975 or 1976.

Bear with me as I try to get a street view map view. So far I have County Road 117 and I have Trunck 35 in View. I want my figure to be at that corner where the Bridge is and maneuver him north a few yards. I have tried to maneuver the little man onto County Road 117 in front of the Lewisville Game Farm Management- Slew where the children Ice Skated at times, which is located West over the hill Behind Sunnyslope Farm on of course flat land; but the man does not stay there..

Below you see the three children Christmas day with Grandpa Herman. Pictures say what word do inadequately express. sometimes
Above you see the three children on Christmas day with Grandpa Herman with a present they want to show they received.. Pictures say what word do inadequately express. Sometimes Words spoken can get you in the end. [Grin].

Did I not tell you that Sylvie loved to put one over on her children. She loved to tease them. It didn't take them too long to learn that was the deal. And what does it lead to eventually. Yes. Doubt.

I start my Christmas tale today with Sylvia and Dewy ready to leave on their way to town. The had kids asked them, if they were going to bring home a tree. Perhaps encouraging, asking if would they soon, since it was getting so late, because they wanted to be doing the decorating soon. For what ever reason, Sylvia cautioned or forewarned the children that they were not to be thinking in a rich frame of mind. They were not going to get a tree. And they drove down the driveway you see in the top picture above and turned left or right and went into town.

Was she being honest or just said that with humor that the children had not perceived.
After their parents left, Sissy and Steve pondered that between them awhile. Something else was worrying them as well, but what is not recalled. They just did not know what to make of the poor state they were in or the alternative that their mother did not mean it. They peeked into the bean ben in the barn, and knew it was nearly empty and finally they made up their mind that she must have meant it. They would not get a tree.

When the family got a tree they would buy a five or six foot short needled tree in a Lot of cut trees, just like you do still today. Dewey's favorite place was the lot by the Dairy Queen in St James. The kids had gone along many times and picked out a short needled tree, which Sylvie liked best. They lived on the plains of Minnesota, not the big northwest where woods and forest and bears wandered through evergreens in the woods. I know you noticed the Woods the Meyers had, but it was broad leafed trees with no bears or Deer. The only pines on the farm were those along the driveway that the parents just drove down and out of.

It was known to them that single row of pines was planted while Dewy was young. Because Dewy had spoken about it with a sense of family pride of the task accomplished with all the trees planted at the same time of the same type and
height to look so uniformly nice to give an Alee' effect. [ And a kind of wind block.]

The front yards was meant to resemble a little formal estate with it's formal kind of fish pond in the middle of that lawn and the long alley drive. [Actually it was considered a medium distance run to catch the school bus]

Why or how the idea occurred to the two children that they could gift a surprise for a good Christmas with a tree is not exactly known. I do know the instigator probably was Sissy, because for her 'No' did not mean 'No' until it was known to be impossible by any means. Steve was the best friend / brother team worker a sister could ask for in a brother.

They set about accomplishing this task.
We know the children had prepared a tree for going into the house. Steve worked on the lights And Sissy fussed with some decorations. It was in place when the parents came home in the evening. Sissy did not remember what Sylvia and Dewey said when they came home. As parents are often -- Speechless, and then not! I suspect that Sylvia knew she could not be angry. After all she had said what she had said. Sissy was still not all that sure to take her word that they would have gotten a tree after all, just not that day!

I have often wondered what Sylvia thought every day of her remaining life at the farm, as she walked down and up lane and could not help but glance at the row of the evergreen trees where that one tree stood out from all the rest in that row as being there strangely different - shorter from all the others. What was she thinking as she gazed at that spot where the missing four or five feet of its top had been crudely chopped off.

I hope you can fulfill your holiday needs. Happy trails to your Christmas.

Sources: Images are from some of my saved blogs of Free Images.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sylvia was Sharing the families Christmas spirit

Sissy told me more about one of her mother Sylvia's bright ideas before Christmas.
They never knew where, when, why Sylvia got those Christmas project Ideas or any project ideas, but she did and she always involved her children in doing them at the times when Sissy was eight, nine or ten, eleven she came up with some.

[The family still did not have a television, so time was spent in the living room talking when they weren't working ] One year sitting around the living room talking to the family, Sylvia said she thought they should string something for the tree. She had a way of stirring enthusiasm or saying the right thing to get you there one way or another. She thought Popcorn or the Indian corn and regular corn could be strung. The corn had hardened, too bad they had not thought of it when it was soft earlier that fall. Dewey and Sonny got out the drill and a tiny little bit, they did that for awhile and not too successful for the corn often shattered and it was so small to hold while drilling, Maybe that's when they started on the popcorn. They tried some Candy. Steve did something he thought of too.

Sissy says she must have got busy with her spool knitting, each of the kids and her cousins had a spool of various sizes [nice ones received as a christmas gift one year ] that had five or eight nails at the top and a crotchet hook, it makes a circular hollow cord. She thought maybe she could make a garland that way. while they working on these ideas of things for the tree, in walked Mary Linda. She joined right in on making garlands.

Some one did a cut out string of paper children holding hands which was as long as the newspaper page. Ideas were there, supplies were not.

Sylvia must have known Mary was coming. I am not sure if it was that far away from Christmas or was it one year that Mary' family did not go to California. She thinks that the tree was already up. so it must have been close to Christmas, because she usually tried to keep a tree green and up yet for Steve's birthday and that meant waiting to put a tree in the house as close to christmas time as possible.
Sissy was just a kid and she not sure what was taking place with their family. When Sissy gets a one track idea, she kind of loses track of other things going on around her.

I think Sylvia said something to Sissy aside about it. Sissy thought it was something about Mary not getting to have Christmas at home, because they were always traveling and maybe this was Sylvia's way for them to share their experience of a cousins home life. Sissy laughs, and jokes that it was not all that usual though.

Her mom had said that Mary Linda had expressed that she liked doing that kind of different stuff there with them and that was why she thought it would be nice to do. it. Sissy though it was okay. Better than having to clean the hen house, which was one of Sylvia's most dreadful ideas that she usually came up with as a family project.

She thought she made it sound like poor Mary, kind of thing,that she had no brothers and sisters, or was she trying to give a sense of Christmas family at a home. Or was she just wishing to make it all a good time for them all together. A happy memory of all of them together. Sissy wasn't sure about that. From that moment on it was new thought for her, a new concept. She had always envied Mary Linda's life. She thought Mary was very lucky to have the life of the city mouse. She and Mary had called each other the city mouse and the country mouse after some story they read in school. [They attended different school districts] Or was she just wishing to make it all a good time for all of us. A happy memory of all of them together.

Maybe they made Ice cream too that day. She wasn't sure. At the end of her day at the farm Mary took something home.

Note: Sissy was not sure if Grandpa Herman was there.
Note: Too bad the family had not know of this idea procured from spool Knitting. The cord is called I -Cord. Unique twist to a spool here. I also have seen beads on the threads and worked into the cord.More unique ideas..

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Genea Bloggers Christmas Advent Postings - Traditions

Traditions of those of the German Heritage in the Meyer House
I don't know about you, but I am hearing the song 'Traditions 'from Fiddler on the Roof musical which has been one of my very favorite musicals. We all have done them whether we realize we have them or not. Herman came with his family when he was three, so they would keep his going for him since they lived with him in the house.
I suppose you could say the Meyer household had the traditions that others with German heritage had. Green trees, gifts and the importance of Christmas eve., the red Christmas boot of ceramics or plastic with candy was often received. [ Perhaps steming to the german custom of children leaving the boot in the window or outside the door. ]

Sometimes these Christmas gifts and tasks make sense once you know the origination's of the most common part of Christmas that you just take for granted.

Similarity and likeness exists, but there is always the differentness that arises. So it was in the
Meyer house.
The most memorable and unique traditional gift of all is the one I want to tell you about has nothing to do with a German Heritage. It was kind of a family joke as well as a traditional gift. Mother Sylvia always said she wanted Four roses and Dewey always tried to give it to her. And they were red to be sure.

I haven't heard the origination story of why the Four Roses was adopted; only that there was a remark or two about how it helped Sylvia sleep or dull the pain at times.

Sissy thought there had been some in a beautiful Decanter, unless substitutions had been made. She also said sometimes there was the long box with pictures of Roses on it.

My son says bourbon is distilled Wine and Whiskey is different. So I suppose it is a special blend then if it's a combination. Dewey would make his annual trip to the liquor stop before Christmas. Sorry, I know so little about drinks, but this link might help.

There was much laughter when she received her gift all around. Sometimes even the neighbors, the Johnson's [of German descent] Santa gave her the same gift when they attended their parties. Sylvie was pretty happy with all the merriment.

It wasn't noticed when it stopped or if it ever did when Dewy was still himself. Sissy herself did not spend Christmas with them for a good number of years after she moved away.

I am not sure if I have the right one by that label or title.But this is an interesting tidbit about the whiskey...
Four Roses as a bourbon and blended whiskey entity has had an erratic lifespan. Formerly the nation's top-selling bourbon in the 1930s, '40s and '50s, the brand virtually disappeared in the '60s when then-owner Seagram began selling the bourbon exclusively overseas. Then, under new owner Kirin, the Japanese brewer, Four Roses Bourbon was returned to the U.S. in 2002 with distribution limited to Kentucky, and at the same time, the blended whiskey was discontinued to focus solely on bourbon. Then, in 2007, the brand expanded bourbon distribution to New York, New Jersey, Tennessee and Illinois with further expansion planned.

So that's the one happy little personal tradition that I can tell you about.
How was the traditions in your families Christmas?




Friday, December 10, 2010

Genea Bloggers Advent - A Memorable Christmas Gifts

The Most Thoughtful and Memorable Christmas Gift that Sissy didn't get.

Does the title even make sense to you? Probably not. So I will explain.
Do you remember in a post or two back, I told you that Sissy went to the Town Hall in Lewisville a few times before Christmas. At every visit she saw Santa and told him what she wanted and later if she went she was in charge of her little brother, Steve who was to be sure to see and tell Santa what he wanted. I also told you that she had asked for roller skates that attached to her shoes and came with a Key. She had gotten those roller skates too. It's not remembered, if she got them from Santa or as a gift from someone else. But it was remembered that it was not a gift idea well received by her mother, so I suspect it was a gift from someone else she coerced to give it to her.

One thing the children did during school recess was ice skate at the Rink. Her brothers managed to get Ice skates and do this too. Sissy had no skates and she wanted to do what everyone else wanted to do. And everyone elses skates that she might have worn were either too big or too little.
[She had no grandparents to get on her side, like some children had. Her grandfather Herman didn't get involved too much, he was rather a silent resident.]

So Sissy started asking Santa for Skates. I'm not sure why she didn't get skates at some stores that had used ones, but she didn't have the opportunity to get some there. I think her mother had said no. So with out fail every year she put it on her short little list. She would check under the tree, and even between the limbs, because sometimes Santa hid extra special gifts there. No Ice Skates. She was losing faith in Santa. After all even used skates didn't cost that much money. Though her other gifts were just as good.

A few years later she tried to use some skates that were too large for her, with big socks and a roll of stuffing, but it didn't work that well. Partly cause she didn't know how to properly tie a skate. Some kind friends, Tom and Pat, let her borrow theirs for a little while at school.

Sissy wasn't an outdoor person all that much, and well skates were only used during one season of the year, so she didn't mind tremendously. But I think it became a 'thing' with Sissy. She'd mention it and hoped she would 'win' this coming Christmas. At times she wondered did Santa [ her parents] know her heart wasn't completely into using the skates like a real outdoor person?

She kept on asking for it, Even when the others and herself was wise to the Santa Claus myth, she still kept it on her list. You know a lot of parents keep on acting that there is truth to it, even though they know you know. And that is the way it was at the Meyer home.

Are you wondering if they were heartless. You know if Santa and her parents ignored her request, and if it meant that much to her, you wonder?
I would wonder too, but I know that there is more to this story, than what I have told you. After all Sissy got her roller skates, that, she wanted so much and probably other gifts too.

After Sissy got her roller skates, she hardly ever got to use them. At first there was no place to skate other than a small space in the basement. At the time after Sissy had received them, a cousin or neighbor, or brother wanted to skate with them, and maybe Sissy didn't want to share them for that reason. She put up a fuss and so her mother took them away. Her mother kept them for a long time it seemed.Then she got them back. She fell or did something wrong, and her mother took away the key.

This time the key was not coming back. Sissy would go to play and see those skates laying there and no key, it seemed to taunt her, new skates and no chance to skate. She tried several methods to manage without a key with a screw driver or a knife, and then her mother took the skates away. Never to be seen again. [Kind of like I forgot where I put the Beebe gun or paintball gun after I took it away from my son.

There is many a time, I have thought that Sylvie to be kind of mean. Poor Sissy. My foot. She was a handful, spunky stubborn as a mule child. Maybe it was poor Sylvia. Still though according to Sissy she only got the strap a few times. [ Most Peters relatives got the strap]

Perhaps, if they had talked it over sooner, Sissy wouldn't have felt as let down about her skates as she felt over the years. And even more the Ice skates. One day it did come up in conversation with her mother. Sissy had confessed that she never got the that one gift that she had asked for and that she was going to buy herself a pair of skates. Her mom told her she could not have any. She was Not allowed to have skates. Sissy carried on about it for a good while, she thought about sneaking, but her mom was pretty wise and though her mother could put one over on her, she found it nearly impossible to get things by her mother. Hadn't she tried to wear the forbidden hoop underskirt, or the knee highs. [ Another gift gone wrong, I told you sissy tried to be sneaky to get things she wanted that the other children had.Sissy would talk Mary Linda into giving her those forbidden items for birthdays or Christmas]

And then the conversation finally came about one dayas to why no skates. She did not want Sissy hurt again by falling on the ice. After all when Sissy had fallen that time, it had scared her and Sissy, how it had hurt for nearly a week afterwards. Now Sissy knew why the skates never came. Just as her mom did not encourage rides on the tractors or being around the barn and farm chores by the men. because she could get hurt. Hadn't her mom been fiercely mad when her father had reluctantly consented to let her pull the gears on the spreader and then she had pinched her big toe. [Sissy says she should never have told and whined it hurt. Cause it had hurt her father more by the scorn her mother gave her father cause he had let her do it, because she had asked him not to let her do such stuff like that on the farm.]

Well okay, so Sissy understood that it was a mothers love that kept the skates from her. So the story is done, right?.

No. There is one more minor detail, which adds length to the story, but you should know this last detail. Sylvia was handicapped from an accident on the farm in only a slight way, but life altering all the same. When she was about seventeen, she was in the barn milking cows, while her other sisters and brothers were having a good time. And I am not sure how experienced she was at milking, but for some reason the cow sat or layed down on her leg. After her marriage, from then on Sylvia had many operations on her knee cap. Eventually she had it stiffened. She was always a hard worker no matter the handicapp of her knee and maybe the woman knew a lot of pain for it or she may have had the pain anyway.

But see now it makes sense,. Maybe someone had told her a horrible ice skating tale. So Sylvia had been convinced the falls on the ice or cement could really be hurtful for her daughter.... so she protected her by taking away the roller skates. She gave them to her when her daughter was forty years old. Sissy was stunned, and speechless.

The end of story.
After Graduation from High School, Sissy worked hard nights at a factory that summer saving nearly every nickle of her money for college. In the fall she found a position at a school for handicapped part time with her friend Joanne. . Her first paycheck came and she knew she had to use it for school, but she also had just gotten a school loan. She was in the hardware store, and decided why not buy some skates. Why not go Ice skating. Later, she had on a good thick coat. and was bundled up good, [She almost wore a pillow] She went down to the lake shore and put on her skates and went out to learn to skate.

The details are a little fuzzy in the story. As a story teller I have wondered if I should embellish to make the story better? Would you? As a Genealogist? Note:the Melanie song that I loved sang: I've got a brand new roller skates,you'vegot a brandnew key. http://www.cafepress.com/createholiday.155111409
http://www.popculturemadness.com/Music/Lyrics/Brand-New-Key.html http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=53KZOPEBHIA&feature=fvw


~~ Christmas Scenes of Meyer Christmas Treats ~~

Genea Bloggers Christmas Advent series 2010. Read more about it here.

I am posting a few little Meyer stories about Christmas that I can find time to do.

On the Left; the Meyer Candy dish - Depression Glass
Dish on the right above is mine not the original. Neither is the candy.

If you just think to yourself of a scene related to a Christmas scene at the Meyer house, you'd probably recall a scene of after christmas day. There was the dining room table and maybe an addition of a large folding table with quilting projects going on and that candy dish that held their Christmas candy. I realize Sylvia probably waited until after Christmas before she started bringing back the quilting projects that she had tucked away for a few days.

It was in the years that the children were married and gone, when it was the treat for the grandparents for the Grandchildren came for a short visit. The the candy dish stayed where it was on the table or in the corner cupboard display. If you dropped by in the winter around Christmas time, I am sure it was out on the table next to the quilt blocks lying in piles. [Dewy helped her with the cutting of the blocks. Back in those day, you cut the squares one by one.] [Sylvia donated quilts in later years with huge squares as blocks. That means less to cut out. Grin.] You would see Christmas candy in there, maybe a secret stash of peanut brittle or something Dewey liked. He often had his mints out, which he believed helped his stomach problems.

Never to fail was the big helping of Christmas Nuts and Peanuts in the shell. Sometimes these ended up in the Candy Dish on Christmas Day. Some nut crackers, etc. Dewy would be listening or watching some game on Christmas day, reading the paper and cracking the peanut husks / shells.

These were all memories tied into the Christmas Treats in someway.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Tales of Sylvia's Christmas Ideas

According to the Geneabloggers Advent Calender topic for today is a Grab Bag.

So I'll seize the opportunity to tell of one the Lewisville Christmas tales or one of Sylvia's Bright Christmas Ideas. Sissy says sometimes you had to wonder how she came up with some of her ideas. Or why. But in this case Sissy knew how this idea happened to spring forth into Sylvia's head.
When ever there was something going on in the village of Lewisville, Dwight or Dewey was right there to attend. Whether it was Dairy Days, Feather days, Free Pancakes, Easter Egg hunt, or Friday night grocery Prize Give Away, or seeing Santa at the town Hall.

Except for Friday Night Weekly drawings at the Grocery store, those events usually did not include Sylvia.

Sissy says she doesn't remember going to see Santa all that much at that town Hall. But there were a few times, when she was forced to go along with her two brothers. She suspects it was because her mother had things to do privately at home for Christmas.

She doesn't even remember what they did there in great detail.
She thinks it was a couple of films, cartoons and maybe a short movie sitting on a folding chair. Afterwards, she waited in line with her family until she reached Santa and then told him what she wanted. The thing she remembers most is telling him she wanted roller skates with a key, which she received.

After she told Santa her hearts wish, she was handed a brown lunch bag, which was folded very prettily. It might have had a ribbon, she is not sure. I think it was because she was anxious to see what was in it. It was a very large popcorn ball wrapped in a red see through foil, an apple and and some sweets.

She remembers showing her mom what was in the bag and then heard her mom say [ maybe cause no one gave her a bite] that they should try and make some at home. Sissy and her mom had seen a glamorized version of the popcorn balls for Christmas in the christmas Issue of the sunset magazine at Amanda's. So Sylvie simply began it one day. No, well I guess not so simply, but it was done. And thus it began that little tradition that Sylvia started for her family. Nearly every year while she had children at home, she made popcorn balls at Christmas time. She made the plain kind, she jazzed them up with food coloring of green or red, and she made the molasses kind, which I gather Sissy liked the best.

They were all very good and since they were rarely made at any other time, it was a special treat. At the time, someone had to participate in the making of them. At the time Sissy would grumble or groan about it because it called her away from her story book, but looking back, Sissy says she appreciates those bright ideas at Christmas time, Those pre - Christmas memories that her mother had produced for them. She said I should ask Steve about it, since he was drawn into it, since he was the last one still at home.

Sissy says she made them once or twice herself, at Christmas time, but abandoned it for some other ideas.

Sources Pictures:

Mary Daily

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Christmas Baking, pastries, cookies, etc.

Geneabloggers are doing Christmas Advent Postings, I am joining in for a few days of events that I can find the time to do. Christmas Cookies

A Christmas cookie was necessary you know, because we fed our children into the idea of Santa coming and in the evening the children knew that you left a cookie or two for Santa. Heaven forbid, if that was missing. Poor Santa having to sample all those cookies. He must have been an expert on the kind of cookies there are out there. To Refuse to eat a cookie left for you would be ungracious for sure. I wonder in this day and age and heaven forbid how many young mothers have their child leave low fat, low calorie cookies. Ohh my gosh. It shows you care, but would it say your insinuating Santa is fat...........

Others might have left an apple or carrot for a Reindeer.

I know I have my favorites how about you? I usually just have to taste three or four definite ones. It may be different for my children. I guess we sample at the relatives home, who do have a collection every year. [Home baked or added to those from the church sales] One of the local churches have had an annual cookie walk each year. I am going to do that one of these years. One of the best ways to see what's current in cookies is the charity bake sales or community, school, or church socials.
It is fun to sample something new.

We didn't attend all that many functions. So our samplings were limited to what we discovered at relatives homes and of course what I or mother were to make. Those relatives were pretty much current with what was going on. The husband still has his relatives[ parents],. And still samples at the events, what ever he feels he will miss, I can do.

His father must have always had angel [food]candy. Because he always gets an enormous amount. and when he does things like that, he gives his sons families a huge amount.I'm not that fond of it, but if that is all there is, I can not resist a munch on chocolate.

What is it with men with the peanuts, nuts in everything? He never turns down almond bar full of almonds. Now I would rather eat it with out the nuts, so I often peanut butter ritz crackers dipped in almond bark.

However, I work in a kitchen and I can see what is sent to the retired folks upstairs in the Dining area; Chamber meetings, Wing parties.They vary and some are quite different from my list. Adapted to residents needs of course.

Cookie List
I think many young mothers or those who have been married for a little while, start out big with lots of varieties of cookies, especially those that involve lots of time and steps. Like Sugar cookies, all kinds of cookies. Maybe it's that we want to see if we can manage. Make, Bake and freeze until you have a good assortment to pass around Christmas day.

This is my cookie list I tried and think of as traditional for an average Christmas in the midwest.
In addition, I always had mothers sugar cookies in the ice cream pail. She always was so generous with them.

The first was probably Fudge..... the marshmallow cream variety or the other with powdered cocoa.
The second was spritz cookies with various shapes and toppings.
The frosted cutout cookie, thin as you can get or were yours fat?
The gingerbread cutout cookie. [Ginger snap or molasses]
The Russian tea cake.
The almond bark Pretzels.

Then I branched to the
Date drop cookie that Amanda Meyer used to make.

A rolled dough Vanilla cream cheese flavored cookie.
Almond Bark Pretzels
Cookies with a kiss or a star in the center.
Chocolate dipped pretzel
Peanut butter Ritz dipped in almond bark or in chocolate.
Cookies with a kiss or a star in the center.
A Secret cookie for 2010.
Jello jigglers.

I have purchased the norwegian crisp Rosettes, but the kids never touched them. I guess to heck with heritage.The family may have some of the treats, but never heard them having had a meal of lefsa.

What they always had at some time or other before Christmas at the Meyers house was peanut
brittle, divinity, Sylvies cookies. In her younger years, she would do cut outs and Spritz cookies. People would give it as gifts, so she often had fudge. Some of her friends who were working mothers did cookie exchanges.

I am sure I have forgotten some. But the world of christmas cookies is an adventure.

One particular treat gift given that Sissy loved were the chocolate covered Marshmallow treat. It was homemade, but she never had them again, nor did she see the recipe. And that cookie treat became a lasting memory. [ For more on Christmas Advent with Genea bloggers Christmas Advent Posting ]

All you need is a few cookies to leave for Santa, the kids are going to want to have some too,

Sometimes all they want is the familiar cookie they are used to having. I also mean they will think Santa will want what the one they love. Whether it's a chocolate chip, peanut butter, rice krispie bar, whatever. you can fancy them up easily enough, if you feel the need for it.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

~ ~ ~ ~The Holidays Were Spent With The Meyers ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In honor of the Genea bloggers theme idea of Christmas Advent. I have a little Tale. Christmas Parties and Celebrations.
There was a separate time spent sharing the Christmas Holiday with Sylvia's family and the time spent with Herman and Dewey's family. I'll deal with Sylvies family holidays another time, because it didn't happen every year like it did with Lyle and his family.

Herman and Dewies family consisted of his brother Lyle, Amanda, his wife and their girl Mary Linda.
So many of the other extended Meyer relatives were in Iowa or had their own close family that they spent Holiday with together.

Lyle and his family owned a small family gas service station with a bar, snack bar, and a garage for auto repair at the south east end of Lewisville. It was directly in line on the highway to the five and ten Mile corner where Herman had his station and Lyle probably worked as a youngster. [Although Lyle worked at a game farm as a young man. That is another story for another time]

Also attending a few years at various times was an elderly thin lady with a bun of braided white hair on the back of her head, was introduced to be Mary's Grandma Walker, who probably was there because she hadn't bee able to attend the other Christmas party with the Davises. The Davises celebration of the holdiay included Uncle Bill Peters family. [Sylvia's brother ]

Sometimes we just have to mix up the relatives at the Christmas parties if some members of the family are super busy during the Christmas vacation time. Lyle was a big football fan [click to see him in a football pose play], so usually every year at Christmas time was reserved for a trip to California, so they could attend the Rose Bowl game and Parade. So because of that, Christmas was usually celebrated early in their home.

They deserved and earned that time away from all their work. Amanda worked hard in all her rolle, wife, mother, bartender and at the service station. She took part with local women in church and society events. Lyle did mechanics in his garage, worked the bar and farmed at the farm land they had east out of town a few miles.

The Celebration
There would be playtime for the kids, adults visiting, the evening meal followed by opening of the gifts. More visiting and then go home. The Moms did the dishes and as the girls got older they were in there to help and to listen and contribute to the mothers chatter.

Prior to eating the children were to occupy themselves together, with board games, talking, bonding with chatter, maybe looking at Amanda's Sunset magazines or some other children's magazines that highlighted the sentiment of Christmas. Since Mary Linda had taken piano lessons, sometimes she played a few songs, this skill or the piano would always fascinate Sissy.

Amanda always used the proper social etiquette. She and Sylvia used the holidays to help the children along with their social graces. She once was a helpmate housekeeper for Herman some years after his Annie had died. She also had been there when August Seil and his wife Anna lived there in the old house. She very well knew what all three of the men loved. [She was very accomplished in household management and cooking skills]. I wonder what Herman and the others did like?

She had a platter of the most delicious sweets and cookies, which were passed around.
There would be homemade cookies which included Rosettes, which was Norwegian inspired, and her filled date cookie with browned butter frosting, fudge, Peanut Brittle, and Divinity.
Amanda had Norwegian blood, and so therefore she had Norwegian samples included.

Amanda would set a nice table with centerpieces different every year and the nut cups in proper place. Always were those pretty little nut cups by each plate, that Sissy couldn't hardly wait to dive into them.
It was often nuts with Mints. Maybe a sweet piece like tiny little pillow hard Christmas candy.
I have wondered over the years where that tradition started. Sylvia's parties were usually a little more relaxed and country and she never did nut cups.

Later, if time progressed pretty well enough not to get into conflict with bed time; their might be a little time to view a television show Ed Sullivan with their dad or uncle Lyle. Or the kids went to play games or just talk in another room.

The definite gifts,
Sonny was sure to get a box of assorted candy bars along with something else. Sometimes Steve did too. He had this love of All Day Suckers or Slow Pokes. and I am told he would get one or two in his box. Often these would be accompanied by a board game or something else. One gift Sissy could count on nearly every year to receive was a book of different flavored life savers. She was proud of that gift too.

There also might also be clothes or just the unusual and unexpected gift because you just never knew where Amanda might have shopped.
Once Sissy received a reversible dress. And yes, she told me she reversed it a lot to several different combinations.
I wish I had a picture of that dress. Steve once received a coon skin hat about the time Daniel Boone was a popular image on television.

I am afraid I don't know what they gave Mary Linda or her parents back that was memorable. Herman usually went home with a flannel shirt and clothes. Lots of times Sylvia was to receive something that Lyle and Amanda had picked up for them on their travels. One particular time it was this huge plaster like ceramic pitcher with a gigantic rooster and a matching platter from their trip to Mexico.

Later on while Lyle and his family were in California, there would arrive to the Meyer house house a post card from Mary Linda. . Steve had a birthday the first week in January, sometimes he received his gift at Christmas time, sometimes it came late after they arrived back from their trip. Often times while they were still away, he would get his birthday card in the mail.

Things happen and life changes, the children grew up and life as it was is no more. New traditions are made with your own children and others. Holidays are spent in other ways.But sometimes One still keeps the old in small ways. I wish there had been pictures that I could share with you today, but there were so few. I can only share some of the known memories.

Sylvia, was not that fond of the crispy norwegian sweets, and evidently neither she nor Dewey made any claim to Norwegian heritage becaause those particular kinds of sweets were obviously never in their home. Shouldn't that obvious fact have been a clue to me when I went to research the Peters family as Norwegian??