"I believe that imagination is stronger than knowledge.
That myth is more potent than history.
That dreams are more powerful than facts.
That hope always triumphs over experience.
That laughter is the only cure for grief.
And I believe that love is stronger than death."
~ Robert Fulghum

Saturday, December 24, 2011

I Had Sugar Plums ... Now Look It Is Christmas Eve

Picture this - four kids - ages seven, six, four and two.  We lived in Omaha, Nebraska and in the winter there were snow/ice drifts everywhere.  At Christmas we felt it necessary to have a snowman in the front yard - I guess we thought Frosty needed a friend.  Quite honestly, I could have cared less ... he was made of snow, you had to touch it to make it round and I hated cold weather and snow.

Sorry, I had squirrel for a minute.  Mom had to bundle each of us up - wool pants, sweater, boots, wool coat, scarf, mittens and cap - times four.  Cindy, Marcia and Mike actually had fun in the snow.  Mike, at two was just fascinated with the snow.  The three of them would have snow ball fights, make snow angels and just have fun.  Seriously_  Lay down in the wet snow and flap your arms up and down ... no thank you!  I mean, we were buttoned up with so much on, our arms stuck out away from our body.  We could barely walk, much less fall into the snow to make angels.  Now, when we moved back there from England (I was in the eighth grade) I would walk out there for "guppy freezing" contests, but that is another day.

I know you wonder why bother to get all bundled up if I did not go out to play.  Well, it was not because I thought I looked pretty ... no, I had to say I helped.  So, once the snow was transformed into Frosty the Snowman's new best friend, I would venture outside.  The snow would crunch under my boots and the wind whipped across my face as I made the long journey to the snowman.  Finally there, I would look at the snowman's face like a clean palette for me to paint my picture, or in my case, find the exact center of the round face to place his nose.  Cold and barely able to bend my little hands around the carrot (mittens, remember) I placed it on his face.  I would look at my work ... then turn around and make my hasty retreat back to the house.  I would knock on the door (who could turn the door knob with those darn mittens), mom would let me in and she would take the coat and winter wear off of me.  "Look mommy, I helped build the snowman".

Time mom spent dressing four kids ... way too long.

Time I spent outside ... less than five minutes.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Oh My Goodness, Four More Days 'Til Christmas!

Some of the best memories of childhood, for anyone, are stirred by the smell of something baking ~ that warm, yummy sugar smell.  Mama did not bake with a recipe and I remember seeing mom watching mama prepare something and all the while she wrote down what she saw.  That got me thinking ... mama must have put "secret" ingredients in when nobody was looking and recipes we try just do not taste like when mama baked them.

Another smell that reminds me of Christmas is that of burning the cane before harvest - no it did not ruin the cane, rather it burned away a lot of the trash so that there was a cleaner harvest.  After the burning they would cut the cane and put it in the trucks that took it to the refinery.  You could see kids chasing after the trucks as they pulled off the plantation road onto the highway to the refinery ... going after the stalks of cane that fell off the trucks.

Back to my sweet memories ... they were still burning the crops during Christmas season ... ah, that smell.  Oh, okay, back on track.  Whenever we were visiting for Christmas we could be sure that some of the workers (probably because papa asked them) would come get us (girls), take us by the hand and walk with us by the cane crops.  We would stop, they would sickle off stalks of cane, clean the bottom edges and hand us each our own stalk.  They would take our hands again and we would walk with them while we sucked on the cane like lollipops - getting out all that sweet cane juice.

That got me thinking (yes, again and as we must have when we were little) ... we didn't chase no stinkin' trucks!     

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Only Five More Days 'Til Christmas!

Christmas mass was always eagerly awaited - well we got to show off our pretty new clothes - but, as with other outings, it had its challenges!

Catholic mass - if I remember correctly -  was still said in Latin and was never shorter than one hour.  It may still have been a "high" mass ... or maybe we were (mama always treated us to cafe 'ole in demitasse cups - lots of sweet milk with caffeine - yeah, it was us).  I wanted to set the stage for you.

Well, you know how little girls, when showing off, will take the end of their skirt and sort of lift it and move from side to side (as if sass-shaying to "oh I'm pretty, oh so pretty ...").  Oh, not me ... or Cindy!  I like to think we knew better.  Nah, it was because we were in Louisiana - small town, small church - we were sitting real close to mama and we were in the very front row. More stage.

Well, Marcia must have felt particularly pretty and was turned facing the congregation (yikes!).  Mama quietly, no not quietly - mama was not quiet - told Marcia to turn around, stay still and pay attention to mass.  One, two, three seconds Marcia stood still.  High on sugar and wanting everyone to see how pretty she was, she took up showing off again.  In her defense, she did stay facing the alter.  

Mama was the boss when we were visiting her - she really wanted everyone to see how well behaved we were (okay, and cute).  Mama leaned down and lightly pinched Marcia on her ruffly panties and again told her to behave.  Well, a little embarrassed, Marcia looked up at Mama and very loudly said, "Mama, don't you pinch me on my hinnie in church."  You really could hear a pin drop and very quickly the priest picked his jaw up and continued the mass (a little faster so he could be done).

I would say the pinch was nothing (she was not allowed to go outside to play).  We went back to mama's after mass and changed clothes.  It was kind of quiet around the house.  Cindy and I went outside to play.  We raced up to the levee, then to the top of the levee, we  looked back at the house - and then we played ... on "the other side of the levee".  Nobody else would be getting in trouble on Christmas day.  Yay!  

Monday, December 19, 2011

Six More Days 'Til Christmas!

Christmas in England has special memories for me!  We went to London to see Peter Pan starring Mary Martin as Peter Pan.  (It was not until Dallas became a popular show with Larry Hagman as J.R. that we actually knew who she was.)  Mom knit in the dark of the theatre - to finish our Christmas presents.  

When mom and dad went out and about with our neighbors, the Watas, they left the four of us with Joel and Lindsey.  Joel and Mike were the same age and fast friends.  Lindsey was probably three and followed the boys around wanting like crazy to play with them.  

So, the little ones were off "playing" Peter Pan and Cindy, Marcia and I were doing our own thing - whatever that was.  We were not paying particularly close attention to the terrible three.  We knew they were behaving, as were we, because it was that time of year (you know - that "naughty or nice" thing).

The parents came home, so we girls immediately scampered around and upstairs to let the other three know (and so it looked like we were "watching" the other three).  We walked into the room, with the parents behind us, as Mike and Joel were telling Lindsey, "You can fly, Lindsey.  Just like Tinkerbelle.  If you believe - you can fly."  Mike and Joel had Lindsey by the ankles ... holding (well, "swinging" would actually be a better word)  her out of a second story window.

Friday, December 16, 2011

My 9 Days of Christmas

Well, ever since the last "update" on my computer I am unable to download any pictures - for my blog or onto my Facebook.  I will have to figure that out later. I need to do my "memory" for today - then I am going into work with Marcia and leave there to finish Christmas shopping.  We have done most at ".com", but there are just a few that we are stumped on.  Anyway ...

When we lived in England base housing was fenced along back separating the housing from a huge farmer's field.  There were also big signs telling us "No Trespassing".  Well, you know how that is, especially to little boys.  It is like an open invitation to jump over the fence, stand on the other side and jump back over to home base ... when there was not a "farmer" and his tractor in sight.

Well my little brother, Mike, loved those balsa wood glider planes.  One Christmas that was at the top of his wish list.  Santa left Mike a couple of them.  Of course we girls were curious why he should get "some" when he asked for "a" glider.  Maybe we had better behave around Christmas.  Nah, we were good ... enough.

We (us girls) never paid much attention to Mike when he was playing, except to witness Mike's fear of the farmer?  Dad and Mike put together one of his gliders and Mike went outside to play.  The wind carried the plane in its graceful decent  and it did its perfect landing ... in the farmer's field.  Well normally that would have been a quick jump, retrieve and back.  However, this day far in the distance was the farmer on his tractor and he was headed toward Mike.

Mike waited patiently until the farmer was in ear shot and Mike started his plea.  "Oh Mr. Farmer.  My plane landed in your field, just over there (and he pointed).  Can I come get it?"  Mike repeated it several times.  The farmer stopped, just short of where the plane rested.  Mike called out to the farmer again.  The farmer started up again, looking at Mike, then the plane.  He looked at Mike intently, just as the plane crunched under the tires of the tractor.

Well, no wonder.  Santa knew there was a mean Mr. Farmer.   

Thursday, December 15, 2011

My 10 Days of Christmas

Daddy was stationed in Greece, at the American Embassy, when Cindy and I were born.  Mom and dad had a Greek housekeeper who cleaned, cooked, shopped and taught Cindy Greek.  Cindy was very international.  Christmas rolled around so mom and dad took Cindy to see Santa Claus.  There was a nice long wait, but Cindy saw all the other kids go up to the big, jolly man.  She saw them sit on his lap.  She saw that they had pictures taken.  She saw the other children laughing.  She saw them get off Santa's lap and walk away with their family with a big smile on their face and a candy cane in their hand.

Cindy, mom and dad waited and waited.  Finally it is Cindy's turn to sit on Santa's lap.  Mom picked Cindy up, placed her on Santa's lap and turned to step back.  Wait, screaming child - what did she call Santa?  "Ba-boo, ba-boo", she screamed.  All the other children staring, probably wondering why that little girl was screaming at the nice man.  Cindy's use of the Greek language was surprising.  No, come to think of it, she spoke Greek first.  Mom and dad had to coax English out of her.  Hmm.

Cindy called Santa  a "Boogie man". She would not sit on his lap.  She did not want her picture taken.  Come to think of it, the only picture I remember seeing to mark the event was one of Cindy crying, being handed to mom.  Oh well, maybe next year.

(A little disclaimer here - I have no clue how to spell "ba-boo" in Greek, nor could I make any sense of it when I tried to use an online translator.  Mom told us this story a long time ago and she told us what Cindy screamed and what it meant.) 

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

My 11 Days of Christmas

Those trips to Louisiana and Arizona were, for the most part, uneventful - except for our childhood car games. We were all tired by the time we were close to our destination - emotionally and physically.  As we got even closer mom would remind us, "Please behave.  No running around the house.  No sitting on the beds.  Do not play over the levee."  No this and no that.  "Oh, have fun."

In Louisiana, my papa was the engineer at a sugar plantation, so my grandparents lived in the "big white house" on the premises. We crossed over a cattle guard to get on the plantation road, the last leg (just minutes) of our trip.  I would slide to the edge of the seat and ever so lightly tap daddy on the shoulder and quietly say, "Daddy can we stop?  I think I'm going to throw up."  Daddy would tell me just to sit back we were almost there.  I would slide back - then just as quickly slide forward again.  Again, I would ask him to stop and he would tell me to sit back.  Cindy, Marcia and Mike were touching, so they could be away from me - they probably thought I was going to get in trouble.  Only mom would look at me and say, "Larry, you need to pull over", but daddy pressed on.  Just when mom started pleading my case again - I did not need daddy to pull over.  Daddy pulled over anyway, so he could yank his shirt off.

After that, on trips to Louisiana, I got to walk across the cattle guard.  Sorry daddy, but I really needed you to stop.  

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My 12 Days of Christmas

When our grandparents did not come to us to celebrate Christmas ... well we went to them.  Everyone saw us equally - if we went to Louisiana for Christmas, then we went to Arizona for Easter.  Thank goodness we never worried or asked how Santa would know where we would be if we went somewhere else - we just figured he did because we moved around anyway.  

Let me tell you, those trips were just wearing on us ... all of us!  I guess we played all the "car games" that other travelers did.  You know, "Are We There Yet?", "Don't Touch Me" and  "Can We Stop?  I Need To Pee!".  We never did very well playing "Let's See Who Can Stay Quiet the Longest" - mom's favorite. We read, colored, picked on one another, napped for very short bits of time and Marcia would play piano on the arm rest (if she got lucky enough to sit next to the window).

On occasion, we provided entertainment to other travelers.  Since there were four of us kids we had a station wagon - maybe mom and dad thought we would be more comfortable in it.  No, maybe they figured there would more room and we would not play "Don't Touch Me".  We would each be doing our own thing and for whatever reason we would all pile in the back end ... and start picking on one another.  Then one of us would whine and one would cry and mom would tell us to "behave or else".  Well, we all got along instantly on that challenge.  We would then all mash ourselves to the very back by the window and laugh and say (in that singsong taunt that kids do), "You can't get us. Mommy can't get us."  Was it something we said - she would fly from the front seat to the back seat - and in a giant leap from the back seat to the back of the wagon.  Hey wait, there was nowhere for us to go.  "Or else" won that game.

Yes, people in the front seat of other cars laughed in amazement - children in back seats stared with horror in their eyes.  The memories of those family trips!  Oh, you ask if we learned from those trips?  Nah, we played the same games over and over again.             

Monday, December 12, 2011

My 13 Days of Christmas

Growing up the four of us, kids really liked it when our grandparents came to visit us for Christmas. That meant we did not have to pack and take that long drive to either Louisiana or Arizona and we got to hang out with our friends over the break. Wait, we have to what? Clean? I know I know ... cleaning is not bad. It should have been a breeze - we had to clean with mom every Saturday, but when guests were coming in, we started from top to bottom like it had never been cleaned before. 

Picture this - a game on Friday night ... ah, sleep in Saturday morning ... what is that noise? Vrmm, vrmm, vrmm (that is a vacuum noise), mom would be pushing that vacuum right up to the bedroom door. That was the signal we had better get up ... and let the cleaning begin. My mom had the most unique places to check to see if we dusted.  Yes, there was always a test. We would leave the bedroom to start on the kitchen or den and we would hear, "You didn't dust here." Wait ... (vrmm, vrmm) W-H-A-T (shaking our head, while pointing to our ears and then the vacuum) and we would continue our "mock" cleaning routine.  I mean my mom is not "no wire hangars", but she just completely burned us (kids) out as far as cleaning (there are people who clean for a living). In some old letters I have that she wrote when she first got married, she describes the hotel room and ends her description with, "And they keep it clean, too".  Okay.

We would "start" cleaning for Christmas company about three weekends out - well we just kept doing it over and over, maybe we never got it right.  We could not plan to escape to do anything until the cleaning was done (or until we begged, whichever came first).  Oh, and we better not do anything to make her mad - she would get us by dumping our drawers in the center of our bed ... obviously that needed to be taken care of before going to bed (around the corner she would be going, "Gotcha").  She would "dust through" the house a couple times during the week.  Sometimes she would call when we would get home from school, "Debbie, would you run around the house with a dust cloth"?  Oh, why did I answer the phone?  Well I am kind of a literal type person (yes, really I am), so I would put on my running shoes, grab the dust cloth, step outside and run around the house.  Done, check that off my list.    

I wonder if mom asked her parents or dad's parents to dust through the house with her whenever they visited.  I would have said, "Me, oh no thanks, I'm good"!  I guess each household has their little rules.  My dad's mom whenever we arrived would holler, "Don't sit on the bed", just as our hinnies were going to get comfortable. Oh, I love Christmas memories.  Cleaning, not so much! 

Friday, December 9, 2011

My 16 Days of Christmas

One of dad's assignments was Brize Norton Royal Air Force Base, so we lived in England for about 18 months.  It was a time when there seemed to be an abundance of British bands taking the world by storm (The Beatles, Freddy and the Dreamers, The Dave Clark 5 - to name a few).  Men were growing their hair long and women were wearing their skirts short.  Daddy worked part-time at the NCO club and on weekends, there were dance contests.  We twisted and then we mashed potatoed.  Mom learned to knit (even in the dark of theaters) and once a week we got to shop on a little truck - Mr. Giles.  The milkman delivered milk every morning (outside temperature, unpasteurized, with cream on top - awful) and we had to take a teaspoon of cod liver oil every night before bed (with a candy chaser).

It was in England we learned how to appreciate chocolate - well maybe not appreciate, but we sure liked it.  We always headed straight for the Cadbury's Buttons - they were the best!  At Christmas (we happened to be there for 2) Cadbury's put out a special sampler tray and Santa would put one in each of our stockings.  We would run out to the living room (once we heard the Christmas music and smelled the coffee) and glance around, taking it all in. We would see those chocolates in our stockings and would run right past the tree with all those things we wanted because we had been "nice" all year and grab our stockings and break out the chocolate!  Man, that chocolate was good!

I have to tell you about the Christmas tree!  Base housing did not allow fresh trees in the family units, so our tree was spectacular and shiny.  We pulled each "branch" out of its sleeve, shook it so it filled out and inserted it in the little hole in the "trunk".  We plugged in the light that had a colored shield over the bulb that turned non-stop, directed it on the tree and it turned every magnificent color of the rainbow.  We had an aluminum tree.  Oh, those chocolates were so good!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

My 17 Days of Christmas

I find it funny that many of the Christmas stories, poems and songs refer to "naughty or nice."  Do you think children have this running in the back of their mind during the year?  When, yesterday?  This week?  Whose rules of naughty or nice?

When we lived in Bossier City, Louisiana, our house was probably 900 sq. ft. with three bedrooms and one bathroom.  We were probably six, five and three (oh and Mike was maybe one).  We girls lived to torment our little brother, because we could.  We would pick and pick and we knew about when mom would say, "You just wait 'til daddy gets home".  We heard that a lot.  Well, one day the three of us were splish, splashing in the tub when daddy came in.  He probably asked if we had been good and when we said "yes, sir", he probably said he was told otherwise.  Then, no, oh my goodness, he spanked Cindy and she ran sobbing to the bedroom, wet and covering her little bum with her hands.  What, me too?  He spanked me and I, too, was sobbing.  I had to stay as Marcia was on the toilet, blocking me in and besides, I had to protect her.  (What?)  Daddy asked her to stand up and tried lifting her up.  Wait, was she permanently attached to the toilet now?  Her little hands gripped so tight on the toilet seat that when daddy tried to lift her, he lifted the seat as well.  Once, twice, three times - no way did she let go.  Thinking about it, I feel certain that daddy walked away laughing about that!  

Okay, Christmas that year we saw Santa in the mall, gave him our "Dear Santa" letters and he asked us if we were naughty or nice.  Now do you think we thought back and said, "Well, Santa, actually ..."  No!  We were probably very nice and very good - all week because we knew we would be going to see Santa.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

My 18 Days of Christmas

One year all Marcia wanted for Christmas was a Black Beauty rocking horse.  You can imagine how excited she was when Black Beauty was under the tree Christmas morning.  Marcia would ride her horse every day. hair whipping around her face from the graceful speed of her trusting horse.  The two were best friends.

I mentioned my dad was Air Force and generally his tour of duty was four years at each base.  The best I remember, moving was always a tedious process as there was a limited tonnage per family that could be moved between destinations.   When it was time to start packing mom, the neat-nick that she was, always seemed to start with the toys.  She would ask each of us, "Do you play with this?"  Literally?  On occasion?  Right now?  If we did not have a death grip on something or if it was too big to pack, mom gave our beloved toys to some of the neighbors.  I know each of us had the same thought, "Why can't they buy their own toys?"

Can you imagine the horror Marcia felt when one day, before moving away, she saw her Black Beauty with no head?

Monday, December 5, 2011

My 20 Days of Chrstmas

We moved to Texas in December and our house was still being built so we stayed with the Weikerts, friends of my parents.  Did I mention there were six Hidalgos?  Oh, there were four Weikerts.  Oh yeah, and 2 dogs.  Plus, their house was 3 bedroom, 2 bath.  Now would probably be a god time to tell you daddy and Clyde were Air Force and this was prior to automatic deposit of payroll.  Their checks were mailed to them - somewhere.  So, there we were 10 hungry people.  My mom and Faye, being the frugal AF wives that they were, cleaned out pockets, the floor board of cars. the couch and chairs and any piggy banks that made noise when shaken and shopped foods that stretched a budget - hamburger meat and pinto beans.  Did I mention there were 10 people and 2 dogs in a 3/2 house?  Eating pinto beans?  

It was our first Christmas in Texas.  We were already scrimping to put food on the table and mom and dad wanted us to "do our letter to Santa".  Well, it was a lean Christmas, but there was something learned that we have kept with us.  My brother only wanted a b-b gun.  When he found it under the tree from "Santa" he was thrilled.  Then daddy took the gun from him and told him he had to read the instructions on how to use (there would be a test) before he could have the gun back.  He and Clyde went out back and played with it while my brother diligently read (he did not like reading or tests).  Our lesson:  Always read instructions before playing (using) with something new.  Yeah, yeah - right.


Thursday, August 11, 2011


My parents celebrated their 60th Anniversary on July 3. That got me wondering how common a milestone like that was. Since then I have been researching, trying to come up with some viable statistics (yes, it has been four weeks … okay, now it has been five weeks … I get side tracked every now and then … so). The best I could find was from the 2001 Census Bureau (SIPP) stating the then currently married women reaching their 50th anniversary, of 51,065 surveyed, 3,160 or 6.2% were still married (not counting widows).  Seriously_
Nadine Shaffer - 1951

My parents met on their first date, yes a blind date, on April 1, 1951. Larry was late. Nadine did not want to go out … should he showed up. My grandmother apparently thought that would not be appropriate behavior and told Nadine she would go out. Three months later on July 3, they married at 9:00 a.m. They had an evening reception (I had to ask my mom what they did all day, hmm).
Larry Hidalgo - 1951
Some history, my dad was USAF and in Tempe at ASU on TDY (learning computers). My mom was a nursing student at ASU. When his TDY was up, he was going home (Donaldsonville, LA) before reporting to his next duty at the American Embassy in Athens, Greece. Therefore, whirlwind romance and wedding in three months. My mom had never been away from home. She married and daddy whisked her away. She first met daddy’s family in Louisiana – Cajuns – and ate things she never dreamed: rice (that was not in rice pudding), gumbo, oysters, grits and many other foods. Strange foods plus the in-laws – she had no stomach for that, but they liked that Yankee girl.

Nadine and Larry Hidalgo - 1951
After meeting her new family, Nadine took her first airplane ride … Louisiana to New York to Greece. She only thought daddy’s family ate strange food. They had a Greek housekeeper and she cooked her specialty, Greek food. All those “firsts” and now married for 60 years. Wow!

Their secret, I can only guess, part of it is because they are best friends. They were away from their families so much, they were all they had. They were young, they had kids, they grew up with their kids, they were young when the kids were out of school and they had fun! I have never asked them. I just enjoy seeing it!

Some other firsts in July 1951:
  • #1 Rosemary Clooney - Come On-a My House
  • July 14, 1951 1st color telecast of a sporting event (CBS-horse race)
  • Citation becomes 1st horse to win $1,000,000 in races
  • Pres. Truman asked Congress to formally end state of war with Germany
  • Ty Cobb testifies before the Emanuel Celler committee, denying that the reserve clause makes peons of baseball players
  • Walt Disney's "Alice In Wonderland" released

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Adreann's Royal Day

So, when I posted my Royal Weddings back in April Adreann wondered why she was not included.  I told Adreann, "Hey, you are not even married!"

June 11 my niece, Adreann, married her best friend, Darren.  She became a "Peters".  I knew she would marry him the very first time I met him ... they were soul mates to the very definition of the word! (soul mate:  ~ noun  ~ a person with whom one has a strong affinity). 

Here she is:

Another Royal Wedding come and gone!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Family Foto Friday on Saturday

Lately on TV they have been showing clips of people thanking those serving overseas, particularly Afghanistan, for keeping us safe.  I thought I would take a minute and thank my grandfather, Hypolite A. Hidalgo.  He served in France at Chateau Thierry (c. 1917-1918) during WWI.
Hypolite A. Hidalgo - 1917

Hypolite as a civilian in the 1930s
Thank you Papa!

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Forgot Family Foto Friday

I got so caught up in The Royal Wedding ... which then brought back memories of visiting all those historical sites.  We, my family, lived in England in the early 1960's ... my sisters and I would go touring England every weekend with the AYA (American Youth Association) from the base.  I loved the trips to London ... Buckingham Palace, the Crown Jewels, Changing of the Guard, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Piccadilly Square.  It was those trips I attribute to my love of literature and history ... my majors in college.   Ahh, memories.

Back to The Royal Wedding ... my photos this week (a day late) are weddings in my family.  No, none of me!

Nadine and Larry Hidalgo - July 3, 1951

Larry, Cindy and Jim Holmgreen, Nadine - April 7, 1973

J and Sue Holmgreen - October 17, 2007

I wish I had pictures of my grandparents' weddings, but in all the photos I have there are not any wedding pics.  So, these are my Royal Wedding pictures!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Family Foto Friday

Every Friday I am going to share my family with you ... photos from the past from my dad's family and my mom's family.  My dad is of Canary Island/ French descent and my mom is of English/Scotch/Irish descent - I am a blend of that - maybe that accounts for my squirrel/shiny things disorder, hmm.

Standing L to R:  Caliste, Arnold
Sitting L to R:  Lucy, Hypolite*, Cecile

Taken 1900 at Harding Studio in Franklin, Louisiana, this is my grandfather, Hypolite (Papa Hipp) Hidalgo with his older siblings.  When I was given this picture and told Papa was the one sitting in the middle I was sure someone was mistaken because that was a little girl.  After looking at other pictures from that same time period I see all little boys wore little dresses at that age.  Papa was two years old in this photo and was the fifth of ten children. 

Papa was from a "sugar" family and some of my earliest memories are visiting my grandparents at their house at the McCall Sugar Refinery where Papa was the Engineer.  McCall's would do the first process of the cane and then ship it to the refineries who processed for sugar companies like Domino's, Imperial and C and H.  McCall's was closed in the 1990's when the sugar industry in Louisiana consolidated sugar processing.

Cane Farm - Mission, TX - 1908
Standing L to R:  Hypolite (Papa), Lionel,
Cecile, Lucy, Arnold and 2 workers
Sitting L to R: Louise and Arthur (Pa Red)
L to R in front of Louise and Arthur:  Florence,
Albert (twin), Paul and Allen (twin) 
Columbia Plantation, Louisiana - 1944
L to R:  Hypolite (Papa), Arthur (Pa Red)
(refurbished photo)
Larry (Daddy) 1946

In 1908 "sugar" took the Hidalgo family to Mission, Texas ... "sugar" took them back to south Louisiana about a year later.  Look closely at the workers in the picture - the man on the right with his arms crossed - I wonder if that could be a relative of Lyle Lovett.

Hope everybody has as very Hoppy Easter!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"Used To"

I know I have not posted anything in a while, but I honestly feel I did not have anything interesting to share that was post worthy.  Something happened on April 1 and it was not an April Fool's joke.  There were two Facebook posts that really hit home to my now limited independence.  The first post - goes back to 1972 and Kilgore College - I was dancing ... something that I loved to do! 

The second was just a feed - friends exchanging posts - work friends from over 10 years ago that do not work together now, but stay in contact.  They met for drinks to catch up.  No big deal, but I would normally have been able to jump in my car to join them (well, if they asked).

I cried.  Not because I felt sorry for myself, I cried for all the things I used to do.  I cried for all those I used to help when I had "good ideas" or shopped on-line for spring planting, bird feeders or new desks.  I cried because Marcia has to help me do the most basic of tasks everyday.  I cried because my mom has to help me get in and out of the car just so we can go shopping ... because I want to ... and I should be helping mom and dad.  I cried and wondered why this happened to me.  I cried ... and then I was done. 

UPS delivers more packages and I smile!

Friday, January 7, 2011

My Tropical Vacation In Occupied South Texas (Alice, Texas)

I have been on a tropical vacation with my sister, Cindy, since last Sunday.  Many of you may wonder why I needed a tropical vacation ... oh, for a change of scenery or to give my other sister, Marcia, a break! 

I have been reading, napping, looking at different ways to make my blog more interesting so there would be more readers/followers, napping,  looking at my on-line stores, napping, playing games on my computer, napping, watching TV and napping.  Cindy has been busy with her at-home-business, Sew-Sew Cindy (I just made that up}, working hard to fund Adreann's wedding in June.  You can see we have been pretty busy!

We Treat Ourselves Well!

What else have we been doing?  Silly question!  We have been sitting around ... eating bon-bons!  Darren, please do not be jealous.

What Else, You Say?

Every evening we enjoy our Iced Tea & Raspberry Lemonade! 

It sounds like a tough life, but somebody has to do it!  I just wanted to let everyone know what I am up to!