Archive for the ‘grandparent, grandparents’ Category

INHERITED STORYTELLING

November 7, 2017

Schnapps (2)

This is my mom, Lt. and Nurse Helen Eberhart Daley, holding Schnapps on the steps of my grandparents’ home in Cissna Park, Illinois. Maybe because Grandma Eberhart was such a good storyteller, Mom was too. Even Grandpa Eberhart, never too talkative to the grandkids, told me stories of buying horses at auction and training and trading them.

When Mom was 3 years old and the Depression descended on America, she was sent to live with her aunts, away from her parents and siblings. She loved it! As the only child in residence from age 3-6, she received first-class spoiling. When she had to return home for the start of school, poor Helen saw her trunkful of lovely toys and dresses divided by her 10 siblings, who told her she wasn’t really one of them, but had been left on their step by the gypsies. Maybe that was good training to prepare her for serving in WW2, where she was called upon to speak German and care for German POW’s, causing some of her fellow nurses to whisper that she wasn’t one of them either. http://www.dandibooks.com

 

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MY GRANDMOTHER’S STORIES

October 31, 2017

Cissna

This is the home of my grandparents (Lt. Helen Eberhart Daley’s parents) in Cissna Park, IL. My sister and I loved to visit there twice a year to play with our cousins in fields, corn and coal bins, barns, basement. Mom was one of 11 children, so we were blessed with an abundance of cousins. Grandma Eberhart (maiden name Eichelberger) could tell a great story. Grandkids ate in the kitchen, a swinging door separating us from the long table in the dining room. I remember pressing my ear to the crack in the door, waiting for my two favorite words: “‘Member when…?” These words were followed by the most amazing, but true, stories. My favorite came when one of Grandma’s children would get her to tell about crossing the ocean to come to America. Her job was to carry the little plastic Nativity brought from home in Germany. Little Helen slept with the figure under her pillow. Nauseated from rough seas, she clutched that figurine as she leaned over the side of the boat and “fed the fishes.” The only item I retrieved from the ol’ Eberhart house was that plastic Nativity. It now sits in our dining room.

What family mementos do you have? Do they come with stories you should pass down to your grandkids?

 

Car Trips with Frank and Helen

October 10, 2017

Daley Trio

This may not look like a car trip of happy campers (Maureen was taking the picture), but my memories of our travels are all good–except for my persistent carsickness, which continues to this day. Car time was one of the best times to pump my parents for stories, many that became part of WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE. Joe and I have always used car trips for telling our kids family stories, and now they tell their kids and we get to trap our grandkids in the car and inundate them with stories. That’s the way it works.

Granddaughter Cassie, barely 7, listened intently to my husband’s story about a fishing trip when his mom caught the big fish. Cassie knew that “Pa’s” dad died when Pa was a kid. She studied a picture of her, sighed, then said, “I miss all the dead people I didn’t get to know.” Me too. But our stories are the next best thing we can offer.

READING . . .

September 26, 2017

Dad on step

This is my dad (Frank from WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE) reading on our back step in Hamilton, MO. I think I was in high school when I took this picture. Just this morning I read an article that explained how reading creates more white matter in the brain and expands learning areas of the brain, enhancing intelligence and empathy. Dad read every chance he got–everything from novels to medical journals, how-to books to Alfred Hitchcock magazines. I remember Mom laughing over funny novels, like Please Don’t Eat the Daisies, while Maureen and I read novels . . . and comic books. What books do you guys remember reading when you were kids? What did your parents read? What are you reading now?

WITH LOVE, HELEN EBERHART DALEY

September 19, 2017

Ohio Mom

This is my mom from 2009, Helen from WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE. She was as lovely then as in her WW2 days. We convinced her to come live with us in Ohio, and to leave Hamilton, MO, her home with Frank, my dad, for 60 years or so. It wasn’t an easy battle with this feisty gal! But once committed, she never complained, but looked for new ways to share the Spirit that lived inside her and touched everyone she met. Those last 5 years were my best with my mom. I pumped her for war stories, never mentioning the stacks of letters secure in the Army trunk and untouched since 1945, letters she and Dad wrote as newlyweds on different war fronts, letters I wasn’t allowed to open until she joined Dad in heaven.

FRANK R. DALEY, M.D. AND SUE ELLEN

September 12, 2017

Dad and Sue Ellen

If you’ve read about Captain Frank R. Daley in WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, you probably won’t be surprised to learn about his bravery in another fight, his fight against cancer (carcinoma). Up to the last year of his life, whenever I came home, my dad and I played 3 sets of tennis on a dirt and chat court he built and maintained in our pasture. We played in Missouri summers, with temps in the 90’s and humidity to match. Mom would chastise both of us when we limped home. Dad remained a unique character, as anyone who knew him will testify. We grew up with horses, dogs, cats, parakeets, canaries, and a variety of wounded birds we saved and set free. The cat in the picture is Sue Ellen, named before identified as a male. Sue spent every waking minute draped across Dad’s shoulders.

LETTERS

August 8, 2017

Just Sayin'

When is the last time you wrote a letter? When is the last time you received one? In our age of texts and emojis, letters have dwindled. When I wrote WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, I was able to study over 600 letters written by my parents serving in WW2. Who preserves texts, even for the life of the phone? I decided I’d write a novel totally in letters. The result is JUST SAYIN’, a middle-grade novel in letters. The postmark and setting are Hamilton, MO, where I grew up.

KIDS STILL SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS

July 21, 2017

babysitters

This post only makes sense if you saw my last posting about Art Linkletter and his classic, KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS. Here are a few kid quotes from the sequel I was honored to write: KIDS ARE STILL SAYING THE DARNDEST THINGS:

Q: What does God look like?

A: He’s really, really, really old–like 23. But He never looks a day older every time you see him.

Q: What makes God angry?

A: When his creations turn out too good . . like cockroaches and my brother.

Q: Why do you think we have mothers?

A: She’s the only one who knows where the Scotch Tape is???

Q: Who’s the boss at your house?

A: My dad’s the boss of our house . . . until Grandma comes over. Then he’s just one of us.

So many kid quotes in this book have shown up on the Internet. I’ve received forwarded emails from friends who thought I could use a good laugh. Only, all the quotes were from my book.

Finally, the three beauties in this picture are my granddaughters. Maybe I feel another book coming on: GRANDKIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS.

WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE

July 10, 2017

mail tiny

In WITH LOVE, WHEREVER YOU ARE, there are many letters my parents wrote as newlyweds separated and serving overseas in WW2. One of the toughest parts of writing the book was deciding which letters I could include. This is one of hundreds that didn’t make the cut. If you look closely, you may see that Helen is writing Frank about “Schnapps.” And if you’ve read the book, you know all about Schnapps.

ROCK AND ROLL!

July 4, 2017

Rock Away Granny Cover (2)

This is my new picture book, and I’ll bet it will bring back a few memories. “We get out records–they’re small and black. A guy named Elvis has a giant stack.”

How many of these dances (all in this little book) do you remember? West Coast Swing; The Twist; The Boogaloo; The Swim; The Monster Mash; The Bunny Hop (instructions included)?  “I slide and guide. Then I swirl and twirl./ My gran grooves out like a go-go girl!  And we rock, rock, rock at Granny’s house tonight.”