Saturday, July 24, 2010

Boating Safety

In the '70s and '80s, we had a small, 16 foot ski boat.  A major part of our recreation time was spent on the rivers and lakes near by.  Late in the summer one year, we took our four children and a friend out for a weekend of camping and skiing. We camped on a spit of land across the river where it splits into the San Joaquin and the Sacramento.  Overnight a big windstorm came up and blew hard.  In the morning, we discovered that the boat battery was floating in the boat's transom.  We were not overly distressed, there were many boats on the water all  around us and we expected someone to come to our assistance.  After lunch we began to worry that we would be overcome by darkness and would be stranded another night on the island  So--Ray and I decided that we'd row the boat around to Sandy Beach where our car was parked, run into town, buy a new battery, return to pick up the kids.  We had no oars, so we used skis.  Since Ray was so much stronger than I, we went in circles--frustrating!!  The wind was still strong, so we got out a tablecloth and held it up between us and the wind filled it, and away we went!!  Scudding across the slough, right into Sandy Beach!!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Evelyn Herndon Abbott--born 1904

My grandmother was born and raised in the country on a small farm in rural Georgia.  When she was around 12, she met a gorgeous young man (think a young Glenn Ford) named Ellis Abner Abbott.  He was eighteen and about to move some miles away to homestead his own patch of grass (and tobacco, corn and cotton).   "Would she go with him?" She did and had her first child, a boy, at thirteen.  In this time, and this place this was only a little unusual. 
My mother, Sara Maud Abbott, was born on July 7, 1921 on her father's farm outside of Hazelhurst, Georgia.  She was the middle child and only girl.  She was considered the local beauty.  In those days a trip of twenty miles was a long day's journey with an overnight stay before the return trip. 
My grandfather went to school all the way to the 8th grade at the typical little red schoolhouse, and my grandmother only made it to the 3rd grade before having to stop and help out at home.  The thinking was what did a farmer need to know other than to read the weather and crop prices?  What did a housewife/farmer's wife need to know other than to help her husband and take care of her children?   When my older brother graduated from high school in 1957, he was the first of my family to do so!!  My grandparents read, but only the newspaper.  I learned to read at an early age by sitting on my grandfather's lap reading the Sunday Funnies.  Lil' Abner, Archie Andrews, The Katzinjammer Kids, etc.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Anaila and Adrian in Fourth of July Parade in Clayton.

Friday, July 2, 2010


When Matthew was little, he was the cutest little boy, big, wide brown eyes,  light brown hair, constantly running.  A typical boy, into everything, why and how questions to drive a mom nuts!!  Some, I didn't know and had to go find out!  He was never satisfied with a put off answer, he'd just ask another why? or how?  He loved to put a dish towel around his neck like cape and pretend to be Batman.  At his grandmother's place in Oakley, he would put the picnic bench against the table forming a slide, slide down, arms out, singing the Batman Cry--"Na na na na na, Batman!