Thursday, January 9, 2014

Grampa's Journal from 1881 - January 30th

I am going to try to transcribe more of my Great-grandfather's diary from 1881. I did a little last Jan. Let's see how far I get this time. His writing is hard to read at times! ()'s are where I'm unsure of his writing, [ ]'s used when I editorialize - explain. 

Sunday, January 30, 1881
(Some more snow) Moderate
6 ~ (a.m.?)
Studied S. S lesson all this morning-saving time for chores etc.
(Misy?) A week ago we established our Sun. morning Family Prayers as
(1) Con__rt (?) - Recitation of XXIII Ps.
(2) 3V. of "Happy Land" (old)
(3) Voluntary prayer by each
(4) Con__rt (?) - Lord's Prayer

Called at Robertson's and Chrisman's; - [yet] to see Myrta C., Delia R., and Charly Judd. Dora convalescent, Delia, all but her eyes, Charly, pretty (wizney?). Called at H. H. Cobb's - Dora and Hiram conv. (converted?). They were out to S. S., so were Celie and Myra Leonard. Lou and Louise and their mother conv.'g (sic) but slowly.

Had a good turn out considering the sickness prevalent & a good time talking to the two points the ministry of the Holy spirit & the necessity of Incarnate God to the human or even angelic comprehension of deity.

Called at Theo Cobb's, and Willie Howard and likely conv. __ the baby coming down. Ev'g Pr. Mtg (evening prayer meeting) - JHC, wife, JLR and Mr. L from B._________, [Bath, NY?] Lester, Emma Webb, Irene Clark, Allison and Bruce Robb. joined in prayer. I am in for lead net month.

Monday, January 31, 1881
Mild, brooding
Started the mill @ 1:30 and 6 a.m. --
Cela washing, - I tinkering the race bank, etc.
Making approach to III art. Symbols.
Mother describing a calf on exhibition at Amsterdam, NY about 1816. which had two perfect heads, the neck dividing at the shoulder and the two heads both sucking at once, each taking a tit...
She saw it herself...
Broke a path from the graveyard gap to the dam and down the racebank to the Olmsted Road finding no leaks.
Covered the range designed for 3 Art. but may (amplify?) my notes some and add a classification etc.
Al was out to meeting yesterday for the first time.
Josiah Howe seems to be going back to his first love - attended Bapt. Convt. mtg Sat and the Bapt.s JHC and Joel give him extra boosts. If his wife would only follow.
Finished letter ZRJ and ________ to H.A.B.

Thursday, August 8, 2013


A couple of Sundays ago we sang a new (compared to hymns) praise song called "10,000 Reasons." That got me thinking about the number and how that shows up in other songs as well.

I went home and dug out some of my music with older music in it. I had already thought of the old faithful, Amazing Grace, that talks in the last verse about "when we've been there 10,000 years..." But I knew there were more.

Ten Thousand Angels came to mind. I dug around in my music book case and found a hymn book with it in it. But in the process also came across Ten Thousand Years. At first I didn't recognize it, but as I went over it, I realized this was a song we sang in a Baptist Church at Round Mountain, Arkansas where my husband used to preach.

They all fell together nicely. I worked on how to piece these together.  I even transposed Amazing Grace to the key the others were written in. I didn't write it out on music paper either. When I performed this song, I played it - in the transposed key - without making a mistake - or missing a note in the right key, - or trying to play 'the' note in the original key. That is a HUGE accomplishment for me. (I won't go into the details of playing a song from memory one time and freezing up. But that has had a big impact on my confidence ever since.)

Our church has an electronic piano and although I am a purist when it comes to *real* pianos (which comes from my degree in music), it will transpose and that is soooooo handy. I don't have a good soprano voice and I max out about C and D above middle C.

Last Sunday we were going to have music night - no preaching, just special music from the congregation. I had another song practiced that I had arranged. But this medley came together so easily within a couple of days. So I decided to do it instead.

With lowering the keyboard three steps and transposing Amazing Grace "to boot" it all worked out well. I sang (and played) part of the arrangement and just played other parts. I was pleased with the outcome and apparently others were as well. There were several who commented on it afterwards. But I did notice that they were all middle age and older. Some of our younger counter parts had never heard the two "old" songs that I included. But, now they have. Maybe this will get others to think where else do we hear about 10,00!

I've changed, or maybe I should say, work has changed me

I recently talked about being tired all the time and now have a sleep study scheduled - just to follow up on my last posting. I won't bore you with the details. There's probably too many already, following this.

I have noticed a big change in our lifestyle compared to when our kids were growing up and to when my parents were our age. This ended up being a little long, but if you hang in there, maybe you can identify with me.

The phone rings - we always grabbed it, can't miss a call. But then, it was usually a friend or relative. Today it's a salesman, polltaker, or politician running for office. Parents are gone so they don't call, and the kids don't call us very often either. Let the answering machine, excuse me -- the voice mail get it. (even that has changed.) We'll check it later. If the caller ID on the TV is on and it is someone we know, than maybe we'll answer it. but maybe not. I have been known (shhh) to even then, not answer if I'm trying to take a nap. I'll talk to them later.

Speaking of phones, my mom and I would take turns calling each other weekends, as it was long distance. After I married I never lived in the same town as my parents. So it was always long distance. When we didn't call, we wrote letters. Boy has that changed! Now Mom is gone and email has come and almost gone! I hardly even check my email any more because the grown kids hardly ever write. Most of my emails are from businesses. :-( It's easier and "more enhanced" to communicate on Facebook.

I'm tired a lot more than my mother was at my age (till she got ill). But we've already talked about that topic. Won't beat a dead horse, as they say.

We don't socialize or have company hardly at all any more. We never did a lot, but we used to have company over more than we do now. I think some of the reason for that is I went to work full time in 2001. That has impacted a lot of things I used to do, (also, including hobbies). Now I'm looking forward to my own retirement, which I am closer to now, than I am the beginning of this library career. I never got bored being home all the time. When I am again, it will be a lot easier to keep house - or at least I won't have an excuse. (I will say we are more crowded in this house, which doesn't make it easy to keep clean. Too much 'stuff'.)

Our kids don't visit us as often as we did their grandparents. There could be for all kinds of reasons, though - animals, in-laws, personalities and on and on. 'Nuff said there.

We went to church every time the doors were open in the past. Now, my hubby and I do good to get there Sunday mornings and sometimes Sunday nights. That is a HUGE change for us. But there's a lot of factors there, too, that are different. Again - working full time (altho' so did my parents...); different kind of church, and maybe some of just-got-out-of-the-habit! (shame on me!)

I'm an outgoing person for the most part. But as I've gotten older I seem to have changed some. I'm sometimes more content to stay home where it is quiet, no hassle, no stress. I enjoy being with people, particularly friends. Maybe, again, working full time impacts that as well. I'm around people 8 hours a day and don't necessarily feel the compulsion to fill that need after hours. Once I get home, who wants to go out again?

So, just give me a comfortable recliner, a pillow and blanket, and the remote. I'm tired so if I fall asleep, don't wake me up. I'm resting my eyes, but I'm still listening. And, I'll know if you change the channel!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Sleep - oh elusive sleep

I know, I know, I know!!! as you get older you're suppose to sleep a lot or not get any! But this is ridiculous! A couple, no three years ago I had a sleep study and the doctors discovered I had restless leg syndrome. I was put on a prescription which helped quite a bit but not entirely. The Rx was changed and I could really tell a difference.

Yet it seemed like I was still tired all the time and yawn excessively all day. Well now, a 2d sleep study has been scheduled, as well as my Rx changed again to the 3d medicine. I do think it's working even better than the 2d one. But my hubby did mention this morning that maybe I do have sleep apnea. "They" had said no before. But I have continual sinus drainage year round although some months seem worse than others. It could be the drainage fills my head so much that it temporarily blocks my breathing.

I'm waiting on the establishment of an appointment So we'll wait and see what we learn from that. I get tired of being tired and want to sleep on my days off. One Sunday I came home from church at noon - went to bed - got up only for bathroom breaks and supper then went back to bed. I didn't get up until 6:00 the next morning. And, I SLEPT, too.

Hopefully we're on the right track of figuring this out. Working full time really takes a big bite out of time to do anything at home!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

The American 4th

I may have posted this poem before on here, but I am going to post it here again (if I did). It is a poem I wrote in honor and memory of a great grandfather who fought in the Civil War. But the spirit and intent of the poem could be said for those who fought in our American Revolution as well. I hope you enjoy this. Today is also the 150th anniversary of the close of the Battle of Gettysburg.

The Civil War Soldier

He clogs through the mud keeping in line
Carrying his gun, stepping in time.
Singing a rhyme, or humming a tune,
From daylight to dark and midnight to noon.

He has cuts on his feet and tears in his clothes.
His shoes are worn out and showing his toes.
His stomach is empty, canteen nearly dry.
His thoughts wander home, but dares not to cry.

"When will this be over, this nightmare, 'tween men?
I must do my duty, but wish it would end.
State against state and neighbors at war.
I hardly can stand this, can take it no more."

Yet the young soldier keeps marching on,
Some battles are lost and some battles won.
The snow keeps on falling and freezing his feet.
Or, the sun's baring down in scorching heat.

He's lost some of his buddies from sickness or strife.
He witnessed today, more than in the rest of his life
The horror of dying and violence at hand
Brought on by his brother and wielded by man.

His wounds are still hurting, he wished he were dead,
When news of surrender is brought to his bed.
He's weakened and broken but not lost his life.
Just one more walk is left and he'll be with his wife.

Now there is hope and reason to live.
The fighting is over, God's praise he did give.
He's witnessed how hatred nurtured the strife
This "brother's quarrel" has changed him for life.

The battles have ended and treaties are signed,
As peace settles down with the hope for mankind.
A house that's divided surely can't stand.
They must work together to help understand.

-Suzanne Guinn
22 February 2013

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Getting old...

sucks! I've really noticed a big difference in my energy out put now compared to "then". Sometimes it seems like I take one step forward and two steps backward. I have been tired with no end in sight. And not the kind of tired of 20 years ago. That kind of tired I could rebounded from quicker than I do now. I came home from church Sunday feeling I could hardly put one step in front of the other. I went to bed for a nap, got up every few hours for a potty break and one time to eat a plate of supper, then went back to bed. I did not get up till 6 am the next morning.  Later that next day I came home at noon, still not feeling well (with some aches and pains). I went to bed and slept again till 6:30 pm!

But today...I actually was able to get out on my bike for a ride. Hubby aired up the front tire and I took it for a spin down the street. It has been several weeks since I've been on my bike largely because of work that needed to be done on the bike and having money to fix it. That done, today it all came together. I was actually able to ride the bike longer than I expected. But I have kept up my walking to some extent. So I think that helped. Hopefully now, I get two steps forward now.

Now if I could just get morethan that done. Maybe, just maybe, I will feel less tired and more energetic, suppose?

Friday, June 28, 2013

Mulling it over.

I have some random thoughts tonight...

It has been said that marriage goes through stages. In looking back over the last 40 plus years I will have to agree. Although I will have to say at this point in life I really never expected it to be as it is today. I have 4 wonderful children. I had great expectations. But the Lord and the children had their own ideas! I just assumed my children and my relationship with them would be the same as it was with my parents, and why not? We are in the same family! But alas, there cometh another who entered the picture and his DNA had equal share in having his say! So today, my children are more like the "other side's" family and I find myself sort of (mind you) on the outside! That doesn't mean this is right and that is wrong. It's just different! But they did makes some choices I didn't expect. One child has my personality, another has some of my characteristics, for good or ill. Yet some are so different than me! What an illumination and enlightenment! Redundant, I know!

So I have a choice: cry over my "losses" or accept what I do have and the love I know they have for me? They just chose not to necessarily do "it" the way I would have. And I'm always right,  you know!

I just finished watching the third season of Downton Abbey with a friend. The Dowager, Lady Grantham has some wonderful lines. One of them is "Families are not what they appear to be on the outside."

Well said, my Lady, well said!

This is enough "thoughts" for now. I'll leave the rest for later. Enjoy.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013


Well, I had a birthday this week. You hate to see them come around and see those numbers ticking higher and higher. But the alternative is even worse. So I guess I need to accept I'm moving into the Old Age category - or at least the Senior Citizen stage.

My husband when he turned 55 started getting mail from AARP. But he wouldn't have anything to do with it. I thought it would be good to have a membership as there are benefits, even if I don't like some of their political views. He turned 65 last fall, so without question he signed up and signed me up, too. He didn't even ask. How does he know that I may have changed my mind and didn't want to be a member??! But, I hadn't actually, so I just smiled to myself and put away the card in my wallet.

When I got home from work the other day, I realized that I had left my driver's license laying on my desk. I keep it in a leather case with the debit cards I use most frequently. Consequently I had driven to and from work that day without my drivers license in my purse. My response to myself was: "You know you're getting old when..."  but it's a good thing this hadn't been the case a couple of weeks earlier.

I was driving home from work and noticed how bright red the driver's lights were in front of me. I hadn't seen any that bright. I glanced to my left and immediately back and realized the driver in front of me was stopping!!! -Hence the 'bright' red lights. I hit the brake but not soon enough to keep from making contact with the other car and giving them a push forward. Fortunately no one was hurt, not even the cars, only my pride!  That was my first thought of creating a list "You know you're getting old when..." One friend mentioned on Facebook (where I had posted the event) - it wasn't cause I was old, just tired!!

I think I'll go with that. I'm not OLD; maybe old-ER and tired!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

My great-grandfather fought in the Civil War. The long marches and extreme temperatures took their toll on his health. He apparently kept a journal, I would assume, all or most of his life. I am in possession of three of them. 1881, 1883,1884. I am going to start posting his entries from 1881, here. I hope you enjoy these. I am getting quite an education. What I can't figure out or read, I put in a  ________ or three dots..., editorial comments are in [ ]'s.

                                                     Henry Wells Spear Journal 1881

Sat. January 1st 1881

Spring Mills, NY

Still but cold. wind west

Put out thermon'r [thermometer?] and it run down to -20° coming up to +15° by 2 pm.

            Could do but very little in the Mill, yet about three times as much as yesterday.

            Had no new years; dick's folks did not come down and every thing was dull all day. I did not realize it until it was too late to remedy it.

            Everybody so out of the village tonight - off to some family or other doings.

            Succeeded in collating my fragments for 1st S.S. ... and then made a revised copy to cool.

            We enter the new year with unbroken links of home --

                        The prospect for '81 are not favorable from a business stand point, but God knows all about it. --

            May this be a better and happier year.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Attention STAR WARS Fans

August 4th and 5th, the Rogers Public Library will be doing a marathon showing of the first three original Star Wars movies, as they were released: Episodes IV, V, VI. Saturday will be IV andV at 12:00 and 2:45. Sunday afternoon at 2:00 will be VI. Free entertainment, free popcorn and drinks, great movies and cool air conditioning. Come beat the heat with us! A great date or family event and doesn't even cost you a dime!!! How's that for enteretainment!