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The Writing Challenge

Today I stumbled upon the Family History Writing Challenge, and so my blog this month will be working this challenge. I took the challenge to write 500 words each day, all about my paternal grandmother, Thelma Leah Adamson Paterson, and her ancestry line. Since it was my blogging goal to start with, this writing  challenge couldn’t have come at a better time. As an added bonus, the participants of the writing challenge automatically get a support group comprised of other genealogists who are doing the same.

So I began to write my story. I got 375 words written and realized I was going about this completely wrong…

I’m starting over. This time, I will use the plan like I was advised to do. I do have an outline and a plot. I’m just not sure if I’m supposed to share all of that on my blog. Guess I’ll have to go back and read the rules.

Gosh, this reminds me of my college days!

Trixie and Grandma

I have a tiny little puppy, just ten weeks old. Her name is Trixie, and she is a papillon (toy spaniel). We also have a miniature dachsund named Annabelle, who is about a year old. Now Annabelle wasn’t sure she wanted a playmate in the house, and the jealousy we have seen is amazing. I should mention that Annabelle is my daughter’s dog, and up until we got Trixie, she wouldn’t have much of anything to do with me or my husband. But NOW, poor Annabelle jumps up into the lap of anyone who is holding Trixie.

Trixie, on the other hand, might be tiny, but she intends to be in charge. She and Annabelle go round and round, silently wrestling, and we only have to call Annabelle off on rare occasions. Trixie holds her own.

Outside, we have a great pyranese and a very large golden retriever mix, along with several cats. Yes, by the way, we do live on a farm. We took Trixie on a road trip the other day, and when we got back, she was literally in the faces of each of the outside pets. She actually jumped up and put both paws on the faces of the big animals. And, although the cats gave her a run for her money, all of the outside pets let her jump on them without complaint.

I tell you this because she reminds me of my grandmother (Thelma Paterson). We called Grandma “little Grandma” because she was about 4’8 when she died, and my mom was 5’7 or so. And my other grandmother was a large woman. Anyhow, little Grandma was very independent and feisty. She had to be, since she was widowed at a young age and had to raise two boys, one of whom was disabled. Grandma faced the giants in her world. Sometimes she won her battles, and sometimes she lost, but she never backed down. She had God on her side, after all, and a positive attitude!

An Old Suitcase

The other day my husband found a suitcase in our basement storage that I had not seen for several years, had, in fact, been searching for without success. Waiting inside were memories of my childhood that I had long forgotten.

My grandmother, Thelma Adamson Paterson, was a very devout Christian. In all the writings I have from her and in all my personal recollections, I understood that she was first and foremost a Christian. She believed deeply in God and the Bible, the miracle of Jesus Christ the son of God and his birth and death, the resurrection and ascension. Her Bibles were worn and tattered, highlighted and revered.

Grandma led a very difficult life. She was born without a hip joint and could not walk until she was four. And then she had troubles her entire life. Grandma struggled in many ways throughout her life, but through it all, she praised God and tried to help others.

Several years after my father left home and my uncle had passed on, Grandma became a member of a Christian organization called the Child Evangelism Fellowship, fondly called the CEF. She lived and breathed sharing the gospel with children for the remainder of her life. At some point, she became the Utah State director of the CEF.

CEF was certainly a large part of our lives when I was a child. My mother, Marilyn Smith Paterson, also got involved, and we found ourselves going to after-school meetings called “Good News Clubs” several times a week. At Good News Clubs, children would have refreshments, listen to stories, and win small prizes through participation. I can still recall all of us kids sitting around listening to the stories. We would have memory verses and get prizes for bringing friends. Then we would head home, after an hour or so. There were usually a dozen or so children in a club meeting. Those were days I recall with certain fondness, although I do remember wishing we didn’t have to go quite so often!

So when my husband found the suitcase, I opened it with the knowledge that it held some of Grandma’s books, but oh, it held so much more! Inside I found several intact magazines from the CEF, each of which included flannelgraph stories. Also in the suitcase were several flannels for the stories, And the story of  “Andy’s Shoes”, and the Wordless Book. Now those hold some memories for sure! As soon as I saw those pictures, I could recall listening to those stories.

I can no longer remember how the shoe story goes, but I recognized the flannelgraph pieces immediately. The Wordless Book is a picture book that demonstrates how a person’s life changes when Jesus cleanses it from sin, and the golden streets of heaven at the end. The teacher woud turn those color pages and explain the meaning of each color. How well I remember those lessons!

So the old suitcase might be junk, the magazines no longer of use to anyone, but for me, without doubt, the memories it resurrected are immeasurable.

Journey thru Time

Hey, folks, it’s a great day in the Ozarks! This is my very first blog ever, and I am excited about it! I hope to share with you some of the great stories I have about my ancestors, but certainly some of my day to day journey through the pages of time. Maybe I can also meet some relatives I have not been around before.

My life is pretty simple. I am retired from my job and stay home with the puppies and my college-bound daughter. I have two daughters and two stepsons. I also have an awesome husband, and four grandchildren whom I love immensely! So I may spill over some thoughts about kids and grandkids along the way. In fact, today my daughter turned 21. What mixed feelings that brings me! I am happy for her to have reached this milestone but sad for myself. She’s not my little girl anymore; she’s all grown up.

I am the middle of nine children. My mother was the middle of seven, and my father was one of only two. But his mother was one of nine, and his father was one of sixteen! So most of my information will follow the life of my paternal grandmother, Thelma Leah Adamson Paterson. She died in 1985, and I inherited boxes and boxes of her stuff, to include photos and scrapbooks. I have been trying to compile the stories of her life to share with my siblings and their kids, but it is an overwhelming job! I get so caught up in the stories that I lose track of time.

For now, folks, thanks for listening. I’ll catch up with you again soon!

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