European Vacations

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Callie's Family History and Travel Blog: Home Again

Callie's Family History and Travel Blog: Home Again: "The original poem was written ten years ago in honor of my dad's 65th birthday. I updated it a second time when he passed away three years a..."

Home Again

The original poem was written ten years ago in honor of my dad's 65th birthday. I updated it a second time when he passed away three years ago on Halloween. Love, ya, Dad!



 "Home Again"
 By: Claudette M. Moran
As I'm driving down this lonely stretch of
 blacktop on old Highway 10,
 I smell a whiff of tobacco smoke
 that takes me back again.
 To a time and place,
 Where four little kids
 ruled the world,
From the back seat of a '67 Chev.
 They never thought of the future.
 To them, life was here and now.
Because they could look outside the window,
 And know that they'd be home again.
 A time and place, to Minneapolis,
 To Miller's and Grandma and Grandpa Erdman's
 houses, to play with cousins and friends.
 And Grandma would have chips and Pepsi Light
 to eat and drink. And pack away tootsie pops
 and lemon drops, to eat later at home.
A time and place, a picnic on the farm.
And my oldest and dearest friend,
Would watch in amazement, as my daddy
 Would roll his own. And proclaim in a
Loud voice, "Wow Jill, you're growing
 like a weed!"
 A time and place, on tire swing,
 Hanging from an old oak tree.
 And I would pump as hard as I could,
To see how high I could fly.
 A time and place, in the car,
 You could smell a skunk from a far.
 And a younger brother would yell,
"Who farted?!?", and we'd all laugh and giggle!
 A time and place, where the radio air waves,
 Would play songs from the Carpenters, Eagles,
 and Frank Sinatra,
and a spooky story from the Radio Mystery
 Theater, narated by E.G. Marshall,
And another younger brother would yell,
 "Turn off the radio, Daddy! I'm really scared!"
A time and place, where'd we run through the
 pig pen, and make a mess in the house.
 And the little brothers would gang up on
 older sister, and shoot cap guns in her ears,
 While "Sesame Street" and "The Brady Bunch",
 Would play on the old black and white.
 A time and place, in the car, as we would
 Listen to my daddy sing,
Songs like "Oh Susanna" ,"Home on the
 Range", and "The Cowboy's Lament".
 And look out the window and wonder why, the deer
 Are not at play. And then see the lights of the
 drive in theater, and know that we're almost
home, which isn't far now.
 A time and place, which is here in my car.
 An old beat up Pontiac Grand Am, goin' down Old 371.
 A time and place, in the station wagon,
and a four year old younger sister yells,
 "Almost home! I see Sinski's house!"
 A time and place, which is here and now,
 And yes today, the deer are at play.
 And my daddy is singing another refrain,
 of "Home on the Range", while smoking a pipe.
 A time and place, here and now. I smell the
 whiff of tobacco smoke again. And I know in
 my heart, that my daddy is praying for me, to
make it safely, Home Again.
______________________________________________________________________

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

My Friend from the playground

I lost you as a friend, I really don't know why.




Could it be it was all a lie, or was it because we never tried.



I lost you as friend, Why did it have to end?



I thought it would last, but it's all in the past.



For so many years, through smiles and tears,



We shared everything we had, through good times and bad.



I lost you as a friend, I wish we could start over again.



But that will never be, because it's all just a dream.



Okay, this was a friend that I met on a school playground. We remained friends through the years, caught up with one another every once in a while. We caught up with each other on FB. I was invited to go to his class reunion. We just said hi to each other. He took quite a few pictures of me, and posted them. I had no problem with that. Unfortunately, he apparently grew very tired of my postings, and was quite offended about something that I said or did. Is this a guy thing or what? I did absolutely nothing offensive to this person! Well, today, he finally dropped me like an Fbomb on FB! No explanation whatsoever!

Teenage Driver Grounded during a football game

"Mom, Peter, Mitchell, Elliott, and I are going to the football game now, and Peter is picking up a friend in Renville.Bye!", said Cassie.




It was a nice evening for a Friday night football game, but it began and ended with trouble. Peter was driving Mitchell, Elliott, and Cassie along with a friend of his. He FINALLY had his driver's license, and he just wanted to celebrate his independence!



As soon as they reached Renville, Peter made a wrong turn on to a dirt road that led to a cemetary. By the time he realized that he couldn't back out, he pulled ahead instead, and CRASHED into a tombstone, and drove in between two trees! Cassie became rather petrified about the circumstances, and said, "Peter, I hope you know what you are doing!" Peter and Mitchell both said, "You are a jerk! So shut up!" She began to realize that they were totally lost!:(



Peter finally managed to drive out of the cemetary, and drove to the nearest farm to ask for directions.But, for the second time within an hour, he realized again that he could NOT back out of the driveway! So, he drove through the farmer's yard instead! The farmer's wife went flying outside their door, and shouted, "My yard! The grass! My flowers! You drove over our yard!" cried, the woman. She sounded like a yelping dog crying in pain! Peter slammed on the breaks, and jumped out of the car! But, as he did this, the man grabbed him by the shoulders, and slammed him against the car, and shouted, "Darn it, why in the heck did you do such a crazy stunt like that? They shouldn't let crazy kids like you drive!" As the farmer and his wife both proceeded to yell at Peter, Cassie prayed that they would all get out of this horrible mess!



They finally arrived at the game with Peter's friend in tow an hour and a half later! After the game was over, Cassie proceeded to look for the car and her brothers, but they had already left!(Too bad they didn't have cell phones back then!) Cassie stuck around to see if they would eventually show up. When some of her friends showed up to offer her a ride, she had to turn them down because of the bad situation!:( (They were really nice friends too!)



Peter and Mitchell proceeded to finally show up, but without Elliott, because he had gone to a friend's house, and wanted to be picked up later! Peter and Mitchell also decided that they wanted to hang out at the Charlotte's Web Pizza Place. When they finally arrived, the boys proceeded to leave Cassie behind to wait by herself in the car! Well, Cassie had had enough of the shananigans of her younger brothers, so she proceeded to Charlotte's in order to meet up with her friends. Then Peter showed up, and told her that he was ready to leave! UGH! Only one problem, the boys procrastinated even longer, which unfortunately made them all an hour late from their curfew! When they finally arrived home, Peter proceeded to tell his siblings to not mention anything about the car! As soon as they all walked in the door, their mother proceeded to ground all four of them! In the end, Cassie prayed that she would never take chances like her rambunctious siblings did on that fateful night of football!

Grounded for Driving

Grounded for Driving

Friend of the Playground

Friend of the Playground

Monday, August 30, 2010

Callie's Family History and Travel Blog: Train Travel Adventure

Callie's Family History and Travel Blog: Train Travel Adventure: "Do you remember a couple of years ago how the price of gas was astronomical? UGH! I needed a vacation really badly, and on top of that, I wa..."

Train Travel Adventure

Do you remember a couple of years ago how the price of gas was astronomical? UGH! I needed a vacation really badly, and on top of that, I was looking for employment! I had had enough! The train was going to go without me if I didn't pack up and go! My father had passed away six months earlier, and I needed some adventure just for fun!




My first layover stop was Chicago! It was an overnight layover, and I couldn't figure out where to stay! That's rather wierd for a 40 year old! So, I stowed my stuff in a locker, called for a cab, and went to a youth hostel for the night! Even though it was a bit on the buggy side, at least I had a bed to sleep in for the night.



I woke up the next morning, emailed loved ones on where I was at, and headed back to the train station! I stopped at a church for a little prayer time, and I was off! It was a long wait for the next train headed to Phoenix! I slept on the chair instead of a sleeper car, but that made it adventuresome too! You should see the scenery from the train! I forgot to mention that the food on the train, which was Amtrak by the way, was quite good! White table cloths, and different people to meet at every meal! How fun! I did get to stretch out to buy a newspaper once in a while, just to keep up with the news and comics of the day! I can NOT live without my comics! It took two and a half days to get to a suburb of Phoenix in order to catch a cab and sleep at a Hotel 6. On top of that, I could only get a smoking room! I don't smoke by the way. Sure was nice to finally get a hot shower. Unfortunately, I could not stay the whole time at the hotel, which meant that I had to find ANOTHER youth hostel to stay at. So, away I went on the inner city train to catch a bus to go to a not so nice neighborhood! Keep your eyes peeled for strangers looking for formula for their baby! They will just run away with your belongings! Thankfully, I was smart enough to know better! The youth hostel was okay, although the lady of the house did try to hit on me. I did get to meet men who were from France, Japan, and Scotland. I did hang out at the library, and went to Hard Rock Cafe as well. Lots of cactuses too. So that's where all the western movies were filmed!



While the interview did not go as well as I had hoped, I was back on the train to head for Los Angeles, and more adventures! To be continued.....

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Callie's Family History and Travel Blog: Callie's Family History and Travel Blog: "A hundre...

Callie's Family History and Travel Blog: Callie's Family History and Travel Blog: "A hundre...: "Callie's Family History and Travel Blog: 'A hundred year old photograph, stares out from a ...: 'Hello Everyone, well, the journey continues..."

Callie's Family History and Travel Blog: Homeless vs. Transitional Housing

Callie's Family History and Travel Blog: Homeless vs. Transitional Housing: "Homeless vs. Transitional Housing"

Callie's Family History and Travel Blog: The Old Man At The Diner

Callie's Family History and Travel Blog: The Old Man At The Diner: "As I sit in the diner and watch people go by, I look at the faces for people that I know. As I look around for one particular face, I se..."

The Old Man At The Diner

As I sit in the diner and watch people go by, I look at the faces for people that I know.




As I look around for one particular face, I see an old man shaking his head in disgrace.



He is standing stooped over and gray, A broom in one hand, A dustpan in the other.



Someone broke a glass! Dishes need to be washed! Old man, don't stand around! Your head's in the clouds again!



The old man looked up, his face in disgust. "God only knows, with what I put up!"



I didn't feel sorry for him, Pity he did not need. The person he is, Is one that I know, On the inside that is.



When I looked at the old man, I could see myself in him. He doesn't like his job, But he sticks with it all the way.



I wondered if he was handicapped, But I have no right to ask. Why do I feel this way? Because I am handicapped too.



I've held disgusting jobs, And went to disgusting schools. What I'm wondering now, is this what my life will be about?



Endless cleaning jobs, Going to school, With no success in sight!



I wonder if that old man, ever succeeded in anything? I know I've had some successes. But it seems to me, My failures have outweighed the success that I've had.



That old man has lived a longer life than I. But I know he's happy. Because when he looked at me, He smiled and gave me a wink of his eye.



Lately I've been wondering where's my life taking me? Where will I be six weeks, six months, six years from now? I've achieved 3/4 of my goal. I'm almost there. The future is so far in sight. I wonder what my life will be like?



I hope that in time, I will be happy too. But I know afar I cannot see. Because it's just a foolish dream.



Goodbye old man, For if I don't see you now, I hope in time we will meet again, and share the wisdom of life.



Claudette M. Moran     July, 1987



At the time that I wrote this poem, I was in a very bad situation!



I had received an acceptance letter for a college that I wanted to go to, but I was unable to get out of the situation. Thankfully, when I left the situation, it was on good terms. However, whoever was in charge still insisted that I should not go in the direction that I was going in.



I went anyway, on my terms! And that has made all the difference! And, if you are wondering, it turns out that I was able to overcome my handicap!:)

Homeless vs. Transitional Housing

Homeless vs. Transitional Housing

Friday, August 27, 2010

Callie's Family History and Travel Blog: Surnames

Callie's Family History and Travel Blog: Surnames: "Hello everyone, when you are doing your research, have you ever noticed how your original surname evolved to what it is today? I certainly h..."

Callie's Family History and Travel Blog: The Journey

Callie's Family History and Travel Blog: The Journey: "Hello fellow bloggers, have you ever taken a journey at the spur of the moment. like a road trip? Or, even better, an even longer journey on..."

Callie's Family History and Travel Blog: Haunted House

Callie's Family History and Travel Blog: Haunted House: "Hello Everyone, By now, everyone is starting to notice that summer is winding down. In the Land of 10K Lakes, the Minnesota State Fair start..."

Callie's Family History and Travel Blog: "A hundred year old photograph, stares out from a ...

Callie's Family History and Travel Blog: "A hundred year old photograph, stares out from a ...: "Hello Everyone, well, the journey continues. My title is actually from the song, 'Guardian Angels', sung by Wynonna and Naomi Judd! I was ju..."

"A hundred year old photograph, stares out from a frame..."

Hello Everyone, well, the journey continues. My title is actually from the song, "Guardian Angels", sung by Wynonna and Naomi Judd! I was just thinking the other day about the words to the song, because my day had not been the best. Anyhow, I am going to try to incorporate a few of the verses to my blog, because it is still a developing story.




"A hundred year old photograph, stares out from a frame. And if you look real close you'll see, our eyes are just the same." A few months ago, I received several boxes filled with photo albums, pictures, scrap books, etc. The ironic thing is, they were packed away for a very long time, and the owner did not want to share them with the rest of the family. Some are not even identified, and I, along with my mother, had to sort them out, and split them up. Not a fun job when feelings are hurt, especially when loved ones have passed away, and people are still grieving the loss. I also found lots of letters that were both poignant and laugh out loud funny!:)



"I never met them face to face, but I still know them well, from the stories my dear grandma would tell." Some of the photos that I received have a story to tell, and I am able to share that with others. But that would be because someone like my great-aunt, Laura Moran Shimek, was able to tell me the story. And a book was written for that purpose. But the photos that I recently received have a story to tell as well. It's when the photos are not identified that makes it difficult to do.



"Elijah was a farmer. He knew how to make things grow. Fannie vowed she'd follow him, whever he would go. As things turned out they never left their small Kentucky farm." When I was a junior in high school, I took a social studies class that required us to each do an individual project for the class. As it turned out, reporting my family history research was the appropriate project for this particular class. By this time, my maternal grandparents had passed away. But one great-uncle was kind enough to help me with part of the project. Aunt Laura had already shared her part a couple of years earlier. Most of my ancestors were farmers, and pictures of that occupation were included. I typed my project out on my dad's 1950's era typewriter, which clacked away, and drove my family crazy!:) Who knew that ten years later, I would find out that an ancestor of mine did spend time in Kentucky while fighting for the North in the Civil War! By the way, I received an "A" for my completed project!:)



"Sometime when I'm tired, I feel Elijah take my arm. He says, "Keep a-going, hard work never did a body harm." When I'm feeling troubled, and I don't know what to do. Fannie whispers, "Just do your best. We're awful proud of you!" It's when you hit the unexpected road blocks, or people stating discouraging remarks that makes the research difficult! However, I have met so many people along the way that have been so helpful and kind with sharing their information, sources, and ideas over the last thirty years! That's why I have been so persistent with it! It makes life enjoyable beyond leaps and bounds! What a fun journey it has been!



"They're my guardian angels, and I know they can see. Every step I take, they are watching over me. I might not know where I'm goin', but I'm sure where I come from. They're my guardian angels, and I'm their special one." One road block that I hit 14 years ago was regarding a letter written to my maternal great-grandmother. It was written in German, with a post mark from Merrill, Wisconsin, and the year was 1920. There was no return address on the envelope, and it was signed by "Mari Emanuel". Now, for some people, without knowing the historical value of it, would unfortunately, throw it away!:( BIG MISTAKE! One of those OMG! moments. At the time, I kept running the surname of "Emanuel" through my mind, and wondered if it could be a surname that I could use to further my research. I ran to the computer, and with a few clicks with the mouse, and an online directory, I had found my answer! After getting even a partial translation of the letter, I was on my way to finding another branch on the family tree! And yes, there is a paper trail to climb! Yay!:)



"A hundred year old photograph, stares out from a frame. And if you look real close, you'll see, our eyes are just the same." I have two photographs of my maternal grandfather's family that were taken on the same day. One was with friends and relatives, and one was with  just the family. I believe that they were taken in Hutchinson, Minnesota, and the year would be 1909. They must be celebrating their certification as citizens of the USA! Keep an eye on the photographs of your ancestors, especially if it's from a direct line from your family. I can see similar quirks between my great-grandmother, and my mother! While I am vertically challenged and obstinate, I think that I take after two other grandmothers personality wise! One can always hope!:) Happy trails everyone!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Haunted House

Hello Everyone, By now, everyone is starting to notice that summer is winding down. In the Land of 10K Lakes, the Minnesota State Fair starts on Thursday, and runs through Labor Day.  And what is a fair or carnival without the spooky haunted house? I have been through my fair share
of spooky haunted houses. They never scared me, because as far as I was concerned, they were actors and actresses dressed up in funky cool constumes! Just like Witchypoo from HR Puff n' Stuff!:)
I always thought that the house that I grew up in was rather haunted in a funky sort of way. It is now sitting on its original foundation at Crow Wing State Park near Brainerd, Minnesota. It was built by a fur trader, who's name was Clement Beaulieau. Ironically, according to my extended family history, this gentleman may actually be a distant relative of mine! But, I am getting ahead of myself.

The short story regarding this gentleman was that as he worked and traveled for the Hudson Bay Company, he decided to settle in the village of Crow Wing, Minnesota. He did build one home, but it burned down. The second one  that he built, is the one that I lived in. He even added on to the house in order to provide for his growing family and employees, and to meet with  people who wanted to help develop the town of Crow Wing, because the rail road was coming! He also wanted help with peacemaking efforts between the Caucasian people and the Ojibwe Native Americans These  people included Indian Chief Hole-In-the Day 2,  Minnesota Catholic Bishop Thomas Langdon Grace, along with Father Francis Pierz.  However, trouble was brewing, and Mr. Beaulieau knew that. Chief Hole-In-The-Day 2 was shot while in Crow Wing. The rail road changed its mind about Crow Wing, and headed to Brainerd instead, And Father Pierz died in his homeland. So, Mr. Beaulieau offered his beautiful home to two of his nephews, and they split the house in two between them, and hauled it away by ox cart to two farms near the town of Little Falls, Minnesota. The original part of that house stayed with the Bellefuille Family until 1965, when my dad bought it from my great-great aunt, Antoinette Dugas Bellefuille. It remained on my parents farm until 1988, when it was hauled away by a rather large truck, and it was put back on its original foundation. That is, after they excavated the foundation, along with the rafters of the roof and the walls in order to find artifacts like arrowheads,dishes, liquor bottles, utensiles, and newspapers.

 My brothers loved to explore the farm. But I think it was because the spirits of Mr. Beaulieau, Chief Hole-In-The-Day 2, Bishop Grace, and Father Pierz were exploring right along  with them! My brothers thought that it was really cool to find arrowheads and trinkets along the banks of the Mississippi River! But, every time I would sit in my room while reading a book, I could have sworn that I saw a vision of  an Indian chief with a headress and mocasins on. Or, even another vision of a man with a furskin hat on his head, and a gun in his hand! Wow! Spooky moments! So, is your house haunted, or filled with mystery and intrigue like the one that I grew up in is? Let me know! I would LOVE to hear from my readers! Happy trails!:)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Journey

Hello fellow bloggers, have you ever taken a journey at the spur of the moment. like a road trip? Or, even better, an even longer journey on a train, just to be spontaneous? I certainly have in more ways than one. A couple of years ago, I actually took a trip via Amtrak from St. Cloud, to Chicago, on to Phoenix, to Vashon Island, and then back to St. Cloud. It was a two week journey, and I am so glad that I did it!:)

That's how long the journey was for the family of my maternal grandfather when they sailed from Bremen, Germany, to Elllis Island. From Ellis Island, they took the train to meet up with relatives in Montevideo, Minnesota.They decided not to stay too long, because in 1902, they relocated to Hutchinson, Minnesota, and stayed there for quite a while, before relocating one final time to Minneapolis, Minnesota.

One of the many challeneges of taking a journey, and to do family research, is to obtain documents. You need to know what your destination is, how you will get there, and how the journey will be documented!

The challenge for me was that my maternal grandfather was the youngest of seven children, and by the time I was able to ask him any questions, it was hard for him to remember anything. When his family embarked on the ship heading to Ellis Island by way of Bremen, Germany, he was a toddler, and actually celebrated his second birthday while on the journey!So, of course, he would not be able to remember the journey at all!
But, thanks to documentation that my grandmother hid in a dining room hutch, my journey to find the answers of the unsolved mysteries was about to begin. More later. Happy trails!:)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Surnames

Hello everyone, when you are doing your research, have you ever noticed how your original surname evolved to what it is today? I certainly have. My own surname went from Morin, Morin dit Valcourt, Morin dit Boucher, back to Morin, and then changed to Moran. As you can see, my ancestors came from France, to Canada, and on to Minnesota, with various stops along the way. From the point of view of the Irish, my surname was spelled O'Moraign, and then it was changed to Moran. I hear that from quite a few people from the east coast. My mother's surname was Erdman. So far, the original spelling of that was Erdmann. I do not know the reason why the extra "N" was dropped off. Since I still have to find church records in Poland, I will probably see other various spellings of that surname as well. Other surnames that I am researching include Flansburg/Flensburg, Corbett, Dupre, DeRosier, Dugas, Robicek, Sanford, and Hill. Others include Boisjolie, Doucet/Doucette, Martin, and Heroux. Let me know what you are researching. Happy Trails!:)