Monday, September 24, 2012


     Twenty-two years ago today, September 24, 1990, I married John Widder.  The marriage lasted until John's death in 2010.  I never, ever regretted the marriage--not for even one day.
     John was a very romantic person.  We were married on a Monday.  So EVERY Monday, and the 24th of EVERY month, John would wish me a Happy Anniversary.  If the 24th fell on a Monday, he would say "Happy Anniversary!  Happy Anniversary!"  and if he was still alive today, on our actual anniversary, and realized that it was not only September 24th, but a Monday as well, he would say "Happy Anniversary!  Happy Anniversary!  Happy Anniversary!"  Actually, he and I would race each other to be the first to say it, right after midnight.
     Even when he was dying, it seemed that he took care not to die on either a Monday or the 24th of a month.  He died on a Tuesday, the 23rd--just missing both of those special days by a day in each direction.  I really believe that, although he was so ill, he knew the date and the day of the week.  Perhaps our little custom sounds silly or childish, but being silly together was one of the great joys that we shared in our lovely marriage.
     Is it appropriate to still celebrate even though he's gone?  Well, appropriate or not, I still say "Happy Anniversary, Binky" every Monday, and on the 24th of every month.  Who cares if it's appropriate?  Who cares if it's silly?  Silly is what we did best!  So, Happy Anniversary, Binky!

Monday, May 14, 2012


     I consider myself very fortunate to be a Mom--and now to be "Grandma Peggy", as well.  But yesterday I found myself giving a lot of thought to Mother's Day, not just with regard to my own status, but to the status of others, too.  They say that there are more phone calls made on Mother's Day than on any other day of the year.  This is a good thing.  It indicates that a huge number of people are calling their mothers, and perhaps their grandmothers, as well.
     When I was a child and a young adult, however, I was taught to do more than that.  I was told that I should also wish a Happy Mother's Day to all of my aunts--and especially those who had never been fortunate enough to have children.
     Nowadays, although my own mother is gone, along with my aunts, I make it a point to wish a Happy Mother's Day to unrelated people in cases where I know that, although they have adult children, those children will--for whatever reason--neglect to make that Mother's Day call.  Unfortunately, in today's topsy-turvy world, there seem to be many cases of children "forgetting" their mothers--even on Mother's Day.  Also, in a world where divorce and remarriage have become the norm, rather than the rare exception, should we not consider calling those stepmothers who, in some cases, have been as nurturing to their stepchildren as a biological mother.
     The bottom line--to all the women everywhere who are mothers, stepmothers, aunts, neighbors and/or friends--to those women who have children, and to those who wish they did, let me offer a belated Happy Mother's Day.  It would be my hope that some of you who read this post may give some thought to broadening the list of those to whom you offer this yearly greeting.
     By the way, when June rolls around, my opinion on Father's Day is the same with regard to all the gentlemen who are fathers, grandfathers, stepfathers, and to those who always wished they were!

Monday, April 30, 2012


     Economic times are tight right now, but maybe you still receive letters in the mail asking you to donate to good causes.  This being a Presidential election year, you are probably getting letters from your favorite political party asking for substantial donations.  Perhaps you are fortunate enough to be in a position to make those sizable donations--after all, they're tax-deductible.  But if you are on a fixed income, and do not feel that you can make such a donation at this time, please don't forget the bottom line.  There is still something you can do that is absolutely FREE.  Come November, you can VOTE.  Don't think that your one vote doesn't matter.  If enough people took that position, their candidate might not be elected.  Regardless of your economic status--get out and VOTE!  It's FREE, FREE, FREE!  And too few things are.

Thursday, April 26, 2012


     Granted, I'm no computer genius.  Perhaps that's the reason that I can't understand the "stats" section of my blog.  The stats are supposed to tell me how many people have viewed the blog, where those viewers live, etc.  While most of the readers are located in the United States, I notice that there have also been people in Russia, Latvia, Brazil and the United Kingdom who have read it.  While I know a few people in the United Kingdom, I know absolutely nobody in Russia, Latvia or Brazil!  So, how did they find my blog?  Go figure!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012


     Here he is, folks, in all his splendor.  This is the "fabled" Alexander whom I have told you of before on this blog.  Thought it might be more interesting for you to see him, rather than just to read about him.  This is one of his most recent pictures, taken this month.  He is approximately two-and-a-half months old here.


     When I wrote the post that appears just before this one, I should have begun it with the following apology:
     Thank you to all who read my blog.  I have been unfair to you.  I have not written any new posts from December 24th until today--more than two months!  Shame on me.  I will try hard to be more diligent in the future, since I feel very fortunate for the opportunity to communicate in this manner, and very thankful to The Morning Journal (and its fine Editor) for giving me the opportunity to do so.


     For those of you who have been following my blog, it will not come as news to you that I have had a long-standing interest in genealogy.  I know that there are some people who share this interest; some who have no interest at all in their ancestors; and everything in-between.  I have a feeling that many people don't see the present-day value of tracing one's roots.  In addition to providing one with an understanding of their own personal family history, genealogy can provide us with some unexpected present-day surprises.  Let me tell you what I mean by this.
     I have been tracing my roots since the 1970's.  Before I began, I didn't know the names of any ancestors beyond my grandparents and--given that I was a "change of life baby" born to an older couple--I never personally met any of my own grandparents.  Through years of genealogical research, I have managed to go back a couple more generations on some of my family lines, and even more than that on others.  But I have found a real sense of accomplishment in finding long-lost cousins that I never knew existed.
     One of the first "unknown" cousins that I was fortunate enough to find was my cousin Rose, who lives in Texas.  She was--and is--one of the most delightful "finds" that the hobby of genealogy has ever given me.  One interesting thing about finding Cousin Rose is that, due to one silly family feud or another that dating back years to a time before either she or I were born, Rose was left with basically no knowledge whatsoever about her roots.  By the time I found her post on a genealogical message board, I had been tracing my roots long enough to know exactly who she was.  In fact, at that point, I knew more about her history than she knew herself!  That was a situation that I just couldn't allow to stand.  So, I immediately contacted her, telling her how I was related, and that I lived in Ohio.  Rose was amazed.  She told me that she had come to believe that she had no remaining relatives in Ohio.  Rose was born and raised in Texas, and knew nothing about the Ohio generations of her family.  This meeting with my "new" cousin turned into something really wonderful.  Rose came up to Cleveland to visit, and to learn about the lives of her ancestors, and to see the places where they lives, and where they were buried.  My late husband and I also went to Texas to spent some very pleasurable time with her.  We jokingly began calling her the "Yellow Rose of Texas."
     I have found other cousins as well, and have spent quality time with several of them.  Such names as Dan, Don, Beverly, Mike and Dina, Alex and Sara,  Natalie, and several more have added to my knowledge of my ancestry, but have also enriched my life with their wonderful and unique personalities.
     This, readers, has been one of the most exciting parts of genealogy for me personally.  Think about it--you might find that such experiences would be exciting for you, too.  And even those people that I never met--such as my grandparents--have become real people to me, in a way that they never would have without the "joy of genealogy."  Consider it.  Who knows?  It may become as much of a delight for you as it continues to be for me.