Sunday, May 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Today, May 31, would have been my Dad's 111th birthday!{My, how old ARE you Judy??]
No, really, I have told you before that I was the 'unexpected' child. My Mom was 39, and my Dad was 46 when I was born.
Daddy, Isreal Raymon Coen, was the only boy in his family. He had 3 older sisters and 2 younger sisters. He was the only one with 2 names[first and middle] to survive childhood. an older sister, Lena Maude, and a younger sister, Electra Grace both died in toddlerhood. His 2 older sisters were Anna and Mae and his younger sister was Ruth. Daddy's parents built and ran a boarding hotel, across from a railroad station in the town where he grew up. Grandma served family style meals and made lunches for the workers who were building US 36 highway. She never wrote anything down [I'm not sure how far she went in school] but she could 'keep the books' in her head. When it was payday, she would stand at the door and when the men came by her she would recite to them how many meals they had taken at the hotel and how many lunches she had packed for them and they would 'pay-up' before they left the dining room. My Dad and his Dad installed the first electrical system in the town. It only ran for certain hours of the day and was turned off every night. Fifteen minutes [or so] before it was time to shut down, they would 'flash' the lights to let everyone know so they could light lamps, etc.
This early introduction to electricity affected the remainder of his life. He was a Navy 'ship electrician' on a troop ship during WWI. There is an interesting side tale here: Daddy could NOT swim. The captain found out and had him thrown overboard thinking he would 'learn' quickly. He just had to have him rescued. When they docked in New York City he sent Daddy to the YMCA for swimming lessons. Dadddy did everything he was instructed to do, but he still couldn't swim. His feet sank just like they were rocks! The instructor sent word to the captain that Daddy had really tried to learn, but it was just IMPOSSIBLE! Luckily the war was almost over so he didn't have much longer to serve.
At some point, Daddy went to work for the Kansas City Power and light Company. First as a lineman, and eventually as a 'trouble shooter', a job he held until his retirement. I remember seeing him 'at work' several times during my life and it was always a thrill. Usually I was with one of my older sisters, going shopping or something, and we would come to an intersection or something and see his car and look around and see him up on a pole working to fix some problem. One time I was staying overnight at a friends and a big storm came up. The electricity was interrupted all over her neighborhood. Pretty soon we heard voices coming from her alley and saw big flaslights shining. "Hey!, I said, that is my Dad's voice!' Sure enough, he was one of the workers out trying to repair the 'outage'!
Since Daddy's birthday was so close to the 'traditional' Memorial Day holiday, a tradition was begun to have a Family Reunion each year at that time. Daddy's favorite 'cake' was strawberry shortcake, so that was the dessert of the day. After we had our BIG Dinner at noon, while some were cleaning up the dishes,etc. others would begin putting together a huge 'dishpan' full of strawberries while still others began making the homemade ice cream. The first few years there were 2 or 3 hand cranked makers, in later years we had a couple of bigger electric makers, but there was usually at least one hand craked one, too. How else would all of the grandkids learn about 'taking turns' at helping to make the ice cream??
There were always 'ball games' going on out in the field, card games and other table games at tables in the yard, and two other events always happened: One of the grandsons would get grandpa to do his 'pole trick'. He could balance himself on the side of the pole with his arms in such a way so that his body was at a right angle to the pole. Many tried, but few were successful at figuring out how to do that. The other event was getting Grandma and Uncle Ron taking turns at the piano for a singfest!
Great memories!
Daddy died in August of 1977 at the age of 79 after being diagnosed with lung cancer earlier that year. We didn't keep up the tradition of the Family Reunion, but I wish we would have. We did have one in 1989 to celebrate his 100th birthday. Everyone that was able to come had a great time!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Emily at Two

Take the picture quick...before she decides to get down again.
"Mommy's drink..Nanny's drink..Emily's drink" She was really wound up and talking up a storm!

Big Girl drinking out of a glass with no lid! She usually does pretty well...if the glass isn't too full!

" I play game."

At least she thought she was playing it, and that is all that was necessary!

We have been trying to meet Kirk, Stacy, and Emily [and sometimes Bostin,too] once or twice a month for supper on a week night. One of the places we frequently go to is Bobbios Pizza in Tipton. It is close to 'halfway' between our two places which makes it convenient for either/all of us.[And they have a good pizza buffet, too!]

We met them on the 19th which was the day before Emily's 2nd birthday. Here are some of the pics we took that night.
Emily started yelling "Nanny! Papaw!" When they parked beside us. And then it was "Pizza! Pizza!" but she didn't really eat a lot. She has been eating quite a bit at noon at the daycare and then not eating so much for supper. I don't think she misses out much by the looks of her. She is really 'busy' all of the time! She sings several songs, including the ABC song, and knows several 'finger plays', is doing pretty well on 'potty traing', too. Daddy and Mommy are really enjoying her! And so are we!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Graduation Time!!

Two of our grandsons graduated from high school this past weekend.

Robert ["Rob", Karls's boy] graduated from Lakeland high school in Lowry City on Friday night in the school gym. There were 43 graduates in the class. This is the school where Valerie [Rob's Mom] teaches. It is in a rural area in the Southwest area of Missouri. Rob attended here his junior and senior years and seems to have made quite a few friends in that time. He has been accepted at the University of Central Missouri [Warrensburg] and expects to attend there this fall. On Saturday morning we drove back down to their house and went to his graduation celebration with family from his Mom's and Dad's side, and several friends. Karl was able to be here and be involved! It was great to be there and enjoy this time with Rob.

Dakota[Kevin's youngest!] graduated from Smith-Cotton high school in Sedalia on Saturday night. The graduation was held in the Mathewson building on the State Fair grounds [Has been for several years!]. There were probably 300 +/- graduates. Dakota has been accepted at Missouri Southern University in Joplin Missouri. [This is the same university that his brother Dillon has gone to for the past 2 years. Dillon will NOT be going back this next semester. He plans to work this summer and fall and hopefully go to a "tech" school at the first of the year.] Sunday afternoon we had a weiner roast and celebration for Dakota at Bothwell State Park north of Sedalia. The day was a little cool, but it was great to be with 'family' from both Kevin and Cory's family and several friends of Dakota's, too.

Now we have seen the first 4 of our grandkids graduate from high school. Thankfully, it will be about 4 years before the next one---Jacob!!
Naw, its too early to even THINK about that, yet!!!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mama: Mary Kathryn [Bradley] Coen

She was born June 5 1905. The youngest child of 8 and her mother was 39 years old when she was born. She had one brother and six sisters. She had thick white-blonde hair and blue eyes, and was tall and lanky for a girl. She loved to run but was always getting into trouble for running with her head down, watching her feet instead of where she was going. She had a voracious appetite for reading and said in later years that she probably read things as a very young child that she was way to young to understand. At some point in her childhood, she began to play the violin and became a quite accomplished violinist. She, and a friend who played piano, held several recitals and were asked to play as entertainment for "teas" and other events before they had even graduated from high school. It was a rare treat, though, for me to ever hear her play.It was something she just 'gave up' due to the demands of raising her own family. She also played the piano [self-taught basically] and remained active in the music programs at the churches she attended--either singing in or directing various choirs.
There were 6 of us girls: Kathryn Dorreen, Evelyn Mae, Maryan Ray, Marjorie Adeline, Carolyn Ruth, and me-Judith Eileen. I heard her refer to us many times as "The three big kids, the two littl kids, and Judy." I really was a "surprise Baby", coming 12 years after the sister next to me. She spent a lot of time in bed before I was born threatening to miscarry. A lot of that time was spent praying that I would be the BOY she was hoping for! She actually cried when I was born, but quickly decided that "God know best". She was 39 when I was born. I ALWAYS knew that she loved me.
Another one of her talents was sewing. She made most all of my clothes growing up and even into high-school. The best thing she made for me was my wedding dress. It was beautiful!
But perhaps her best "talent" was praying! She spent a good deal of time praying everyday: for her family, for her friends, for her church, and for her country's leaders. She was blessed with the ability to truly listen when people went to her with their prayer requests. She also spent a lot of time reading her Bible and praying for God's wisdom. She always thought that there was something more she could learn about God and His desire for her life.
The last few years of her life she was basically confined to a wheel chair, because of severe arthritis in her feet and legs. But her mind remained active until just before the end. She loved board games, and Dominoes; a good joke, and a quick response.
She went to Heaven on April 15, 2002. I just wanted to remember her in a special way this Mother's Day.
God bless! A Happy Mother's Day to each Mother!