Friday, May 31, 2013

Gardening news and a Brick Wall

Here it is Friday already, another week gone by. The mystery watermelon is getting  bigger every day. I am wondering how big it will get and there are more coming...this one is already about 7 or 8 lbs.It seems to grow a lb about every day. Not sure when it will be ripe.

Next our green pole beans are flowering and should be producing in the next month if it doesn't get too hot..

The peach tree is loaded also with green peaches..we thinned them out some earlier in the year.

The corn is tasseling too as well as there are loads of green tomatoes so hopefully we'll be busy canning again one of these days. Our potato plants are dying back so those will be harvested soon. Depending on how many we get, we may can  potatoes, I'm not sure. 

Still working on the family tree, I'm trying to get photos of  family members as possible. Looking through one of the family genealogy's it has some addresses of family members from the 1890s + so I looked them up on Google Maps. I'm not sure if they were the same houses that the family member lived in but they do look old. Its fun reading the geneology as the writer was a contemporary of the family and writes as they were still living. It was written in 1913. I guess back in the day, a group of men, including some of the family made their way to the California gold fields back in the 1850s. It was a tremendous adventure for them as it was still talked about in 1913 by the few that returned and were still living.
I marvel in 2013 how much has changed in just 100 years. In 1913, cars were a new invention and electricity was also. Most people got along in buggies and horseback.
I have a photo of my dad who was born in 1917, in his dad's newest car that he was so proud of, along with several other family members, in the 1920s. But even the 20s, in the country people still used horses and wagons to get around. Freeways weren't built yet and most streets were dirt.

Today, we have so much in the way of technology. It boggles in the mind when you think about how far we've come in such a short period of time. And it is just a short period of time, 100 years.

My grandfather spoke about how he had been raised by his grandparents and lived in a one room house. He never went to school and started working very young. I found a 1900 census where it has him listed at age 13 and for work, a laborer. I also found a city directory and it has  him living in Ottumwa, Iowa with his (I think) his grandfather and some cousins at the same time, 1900. I know he met my grandmother in Iowa. His mother remarried after her first husband (Grandpa's dad) died and had 4 more children but as far as I can see, Grandpa never lived with her or her new husband. Its a bit of a mystery as to how his dad died, I can find no death certificate or burial site anywhere. I've hit a brick wall so far. I looked up the address for the house in Ottumwa and its a sad little place. At least if that's the same house, you never know if the old house had been torn down and a new one built in 100+ years.
Anyway, think I'm going to have to move on to other family members and leave Grandpas alone for a time because of the brick wall.  I joined thinking I could find out more, I did find the directory and census but that just deepened the mystery. Alan hit a snag in his too, one of his great aunts is missing as far as he can tell, can't find her death date or burial either. This happens, sometimes you just have to take a step back and pick it up later.