He follows his own advice

He follows his own advice

Every year on February 14, Don surprises me with a hand crafted Valentine.  This tradition started in 1973 during our dating years at BYU, and has continued during the last 39 years with very few misses.  He writes creative poetry, uses practical objects as symbols for our relationship (think an exercise balance disk to talk about how we balance each other), or leaves a myriad of love notes taped in unexpected places throughout the house.

This year was no different and brought this thoughtful display

Valentine's Day - 2012
Valentine's Day - 2012

which included his genuine observations for a happy marriage.

Advice to the men in the family
Advice to the men in the family

He writes from experience, and we will be happy forever!

Take heed, men.

She told me so

She told me so

Dear Mother,

I’ve been thinking a lot about you this week and missing you considerably.  I’m sure you’re gloating just a little bit over my feelings of abandonment, because I’m certain that at least once or twice you warned/threatened/tried to guilt me with a statement to this effect: “You’re going to regret not getting involved in my family genealogy with me. Because when I’m gone, you’re going to be left to do it on your own. And you’ll be sorry!” Your threats didn’t move me far enough or fast enough, and you’re right – I do regret it – fearfully so.

Mother's genealogy repository
Mother's genealogy repository

Remember all those files that I brought home from Dad several months ago? All those files that harbored your years of genealogy research? All those files that I wasn’t quite sure how to handle? All those files filled with names I only had a passing acquaintance with?  Well, I’ve cleaned and organized them several times since bringing them here, and this week I finally started the project of assembling my surname binders for “Compton”. Who knew you had such a treasure trove of family history memorabilia? I am impressed!

I’ve read the letters of research requests you made and marveled at your determination to find information back in the day before the internet. I even found a couple of letters Gram wrote in the 1950s. Oh, how you would have loved ancestry.com! How you would have been thrilled to find so much county record information online.

Marriage Record for Francis Compton & Mary DeVall
Marriage Record for Francis Compton & Mary DeVall

And I know you would have been as giddy as I was when I found the actual marriage record for Francis and Mary DeVall Compton, scanned and available on the internet, right from the comfort of my own home.  (If you’re looking, their names are 4th from the top)

I’ve studied the pictures and seen a lot of history in them. I’m fascinated with the clothes and hairstyles of both the men and women, and I look for family resemblance in an effort to connect to these ancestors that I never knew.

I’ve decided that I take after the Compton side of the family – a little bit like Great-Grandma Iva and a little like her sister Pearl.

Iva Compton Pratt - about 1909
Iva Compton Pratt - about 1909
Pearl Compton
Pearl Compton

But I hope not too much, because their mother, my great-great grandmother Mary DeVall Compton, didn’t age too well. Maybe she was just having a bad hair day!

Mary Emma DeVall Compton
Mary Emma DeVall Compton

I wish you were around to answer my questions. Did you know Pearl Compton (Grandma Iva’s sister) worked at a silk factory in Belding, Michigan and lived in a dormitory there? I discovered a memory book of her friends tucked down in a file, and did a little internet research about The Belrockton.   I wonder why she never married. And why did her brother LD not have a real name?

And even though you may not know the answers to those questions or a million others that pass through my mind, at least we could have a good laugh together when reading this letter Aunt Nonie sent with the obituary for Willard Parker Ross (haven’t yet figured out who he is):

“Of course you know Ross and Daisy Compton was my Mother’s brother. Maudie was their daughter. Willard & Daisy Ross, Daisy’s mother was Grandma Compton’s sister my aunt Matt. Also Willard was Aunt Matt’s second marriage. Of course we called him Bill. I hope this is clear.”

Are you kidding me?

So, Mom, know that you’ve been vindicated! How I wish I had spent more family history time with you – much, much more. How I wish I had responded to your pleas for help. How I wish I had you as a partner in this fascinating and addicting pursuit. But I’ll carry on, because I love it, and I know you did too.

And even though I probably don’t deserve it, could you drop me a few hints from time to time?

This girl would love a little help.

Because someday I really am going to blog again. . .

Because someday I really am going to blog again. . .

While cleaning and filing yet another batch of unsorted pictures (will I ever complete that project?), I came across this gem.

Germany - 1980
Germany - 1980

We were living in Saudi Arabia and visited Stephen and Carolyn when they lived in Germany.  Elizabeth and Nate were happy to pose for the tourist parents.

I have so much good history to share.  Stay tuned – it will show up here someday!

Beginning a Legacy

Beginning a Legacy

I’m going to Salt Lake this week to help my dad move into a new home.
He’s making the move to retirement living, and I think he’s got a great thing going!

The entrance is elegant.

Discussing the options
Discussing the options

*   *   *   *   *

The grounds are beautifully kept.

The "back yard"
The "back yard"

*   *   *   *   *

He has a private balcony

He's got a third floor balcony
His apartment is on the third floor

*   *   *   *   *

and a room with a view.

the mountains
The spire of the Jordan River Temple

*   *   *   *   *

And if that’s not enough, he gets three meals a day in this lovely dining room!

Salad bar
Salad bar

Do you think they’ll let me move in?

May-be it’s a blizzard

May-be it’s a blizzard

Southwest de-icing operation - 12 May 2011
Southwest de-icing operation - 12 May 2011

A quick flight from Denver to Omaha by the numbers:

3.5 – hours ahead of departure time that we left home

45 – minutes late boarding the plane

3 – passengers we had to wait for from connecting flight

4.5 – hours we sat on the tarmac waiting for take off

4-6 – inches of snow that fell in hours we sat on the tarmac

3 – planes ahead of us in the de-icing line

1 – number of times we had to be towed back to the gate so the engines could be “air started”

65 – minutes of actual flight time

5 – hours late arriving in  Omaha

7– minutes left before the rental car desk closed upon our arrival in Omaha

1 – phone call made to the hotel to get directions in the middle of the night

3:45 – hours after midnight when we crawled into bed

11 – total hours spent making a 500 mile trip

At least we weren’t on the flight to Phoenix!

photo (credit: CBS)
It’s a girl!

It’s a girl!

Birth Announcement
Birth Announcement

The phone rang early on that Sunday morning in the Pratt home in Flint, Michigan with a long-distance call from Saginaw – about 40 miles away.  When Gram answered, Dad simply said, “Happy Mother’s Day”.  Her immediate response was, “What is it?”  “It” was a long, skinny baby girl with dark hair who was soon named Lynnette.

2 or three months old
two or three months old

At 9 pounds, 9 ounces and 21 1/2 inches long, I was big and healthy.  However, during my first months of life, I was plagued with digestion problems and couldn’t tolerate regular formula.  Following  the doctor’s orders, my parents fed me a smorgasbord of concoctions in an attempt to find something that my system could “stomach”.  In the mid 1950’s, commercially produced formula wasn’t widely available – even for babies without stomach problems.  So whatever they tried didn’t come in a can, but was mixed by my mother in her own kitchen and then poured into sterilized glass  bottles that she stored in the refrigerator. That must have been a chore for her.  I have vague memories of Mom mixing formula for my younger siblings using evaporated milk, water and some corn syrup.  Horrors!

On the bassinette - changing table
On the bathinet - changing table

Projectile vomiting was my routine after every feeding, and my parents soon learned to never burp me while I was facing them.  After weeks or maybe months of trial and error during which time my dad regularly carried my stool sample to the hospital for evaluation (talk about a father’s love!), I think they finally found some soy formula that I could handle. After following that regimen for several months, the doctor was still somewhat concerned when I weighed only 17 pounds at 1 year.  However, after a few more months of growth along with solid food I began to put on a little weight and before long was measuring in the “normal” range.  Oh, to be plagued with an inability to gain weight now!

Mom holding me
Mom and me in our classic 50's attire

I was the third child in the family.  David, born 20 September 1951, was not yet three and Yvonne, born 9 September, 1952, was not yet two.  In September of that year when I was about four months old, Dad returned to Michigan State at Lansing to finish his Master’s Degree.  So Mother was left alone (remember this house?) with three little children and no car during the week – Dad came home only on the weekends.

My mother was a strong woman.  Thanks for the great example!