Update about blog

Summertime in Black Mountain

My other blogs: Alchemy of Clay
Three Family Trees...the Swasey, Booth and Rogers families, now being published every other day or so...

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Wandering from creekside through Spanish Class to Chimney Rock

Flat Creek when it's behaving itself.  There is nothing flat about it, full of rocks, tumbling from the heights down to join the various forks of the Swannanoa River in Black Mountain NC.

It's rainy today, with spats of heavy showers, and much grey sky.  It's also not only terrifically humid (like 100%) but hot (at least upper 70s) though not as bad as some thermometers in the world these days.

I enjoyed a Spanish conversation class at the Lakeview Center today...some folks (not all seniors) drop by to share sentences they've formed with key words that they drew from a box of vocabulary words.  Then everyone else tries to guess what the sentences mean.  Some of us are a bit more advanced than others, and thankfully they correct the rest of us.

I had the stunning experience of my brain just plain freezing up.

I couldn't say anything except, "my brain has stopped working".  I'm grateful that I could still say that...as the gestures of holding my head might have been misinterpreted...in either language.  So that's what I get for trying to form conversation in Spanish.  I hope I can entice my brain to work a bit better.  That's the point, after all.  I'm not planning to use Spanish in traveling, or even with some of the Hispanic people in Black Mountain.

 I just want my brain to keep working. And learning new things is supposed to be better than doing things we already know how to do, over and over again.  Now I know that I got to a point today in forming new neural pathways, where there was either a road block, or my ability to follow any pathway in my brain took a break.

Not too far down the road from Black Mountain, is Chimney Rock, a great cliff on each side of another river valley (gorge perhaps) which leads to Lake Lure.  You can't tell that the chimney is over on the right, separate from the cliff face.  No wonder some of this was the setting for "Last of the Mohicans" movie.

Incidentally, I was given a heads up that the elevator has been repaired at the park so that you don't have to climb the stairs up to the look-out area.  (But for those of us with claustrophobia, be warned!)
Chimney Rock looking towards Lake Lure

 The repairs from the landslide on NC 9 are coming along, and it has one lane open, maybe not on weekends, but at least some of the time.

This is a pretty recent shot of the landslide...imagine that it had been totally covered by the trees which fell, and the road repair crew had to build a road of some kind to get to the top to removed trees and grade it.  No wonder it's taken 2 months.

Monday, July 30, 2018

Monday thoughts - class privilege

For the last few days I've been thinking about my white female privilege.
That's because I have worked for civil rights for minority races.  I've marched several times for women's rights (which spill over into all areas of life.)
But I recently decided I've still got a bit of prejudice.

I like people who are of my own class.  And then I turn around and complain that poor people are treated in different ways, not included as citizens with the same thoughts, opinions, abilities as those who have economic privilege.

So I'm part of the problem.  My friends mostly have gone to college.  I tend to enjoy conversations with intellectual underpinnings. I only seem to associate with those who have some leisure time because their needs are met somehow.   I am relatively a snob.

Yes, that's the whole thing about a prejudice.  My kind is better than their kind.

My kind is more tolerant than your kind - my favorite intolerance!

Just think of the political divide, which has never been wider/deeper than it is now.  (Actually I think it has been just as bad in the past, but our communication outlets are faster and more prevalent than ever before.)

I need to work on myself, not the challenge that is out there, of identifying where class (economic and educational) differences are rampant in my own life.  When I can see all people as equal, then I can stop being hypocritical in addressing the very barriers that I unconsciously support.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Facebook needs my help

First, we know there are so many other responses needed than those "like, love..." etc.
And then just a few minutes ago, FB said "There are no more new posts to show you now."
FB ran out of posts?
OK, they are in real trouble.

Here I sit doing my breathing treatment, 20 min. morning and evening on the nebulizer.  And I entertain myself with FB, or I used to.

Any of my "friends on FB" know I share, whenever I read something pretty or eye catching or just well put.  I've stopped doing cats (too painful with my recent loss.)  But I've picked up some new venues to follow.

So out of my 26 allowed contacts on their algorithm, how could they have run out?

I will go check my blog friends, they can be counted on at least.

Today's quote:
“A Witch ought never to be frightened in the darkest forest because she should be sure in her soul that the most terrifying thing in the forest was her.”  Hecatedemeter

Friday, July 27, 2018

Blog updates

Last night I revived the family tree blog.

That meant shifting the postings about the ancestors that I've added to this blog in the last month.  I've got a whole lot more over here, from last year going back 6 years or so.  I don't think I'll shift them all!  The family history blog can be the place I store information (and pictures and documents) that I want available without going to the Ancestry site (which is a leased site).

Today I'm getting into shifting my activities as well.

I'm volunteering in different venues for the rest of the summer.  Instead of spending time (and money) daily to make pottery, I'm going to work as a docent in the Swannanoa Valley History Museum.  I think I need to focus on my interest in history and genealogy for this wonderful little town of Black Mountain, and the area around it in western North Carolina.  The Western North Carolina area is so distinct that most people use Capital letters to designate it, or just say WNC.

It's mainly mountains, and wonderful valleys, and a few towns with Asheville as one that gets to city status.  It has enveloped several of the smaller towns around it, but Black Mountain stays distinct.

This morning I sip my coffee as I listen to Marina Raye's flute music, and birds out the open windows...and a bit of traffic away in the background.  Occasionally a train rumbles past and toots its noisy whistle at the crossing of Blue Ridge Road.  Yes, who knew that I'd retire and actually live on a road by that name...which elicits the nearby parkway which is a national park.

So that is where my thoughts are this morning.  I'll also go sign up to volunteer at the Old Depot in Black Mountain, where I already have my pottery for sale.  It just makes sense!

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Anniversaries that are packed with emotions

Yesterday was the one-month anniversary of the death of my cat.
What, you must wonder, you're upset still?

Actually I was doing fine, over the last several weeks I've been too busy to notice the lack of a being which I had an intimate sharing of my life with, much as a spouse in that we had no secrets from each other...but of course I was totally responsible for her care as her health declined.

We never realize as it happens, while we do more and more as it's needed, how much of our mental and emotional energy and just plain time is sucked into a sick being's need for care.  Each day is just a bit more, with sometimes a respite, so we can return renewed to love and give and think about what might help.

And the vet is very helpful too, but adds the burden of a financial strain.  Their view is to present options, and they do this lovingly, but I had to make choices between all these options. I had to give the medicine, using all their recommendations, and a few I thought up on my own.

And I had to live through the days when that sweet little creature just slept curled up in one or another favorite place.

So yesterday I read the journal entries of the experience of euthanizing my cat, Panther.  And I cried again.  It was surprising to me.  I mainly cried when thinking of all her sweet tricks that she had performed when a younger and healthy cat.  Oh the laughs she gave me.  Not like a dog doing tricks, but just cat tricks which were subtle and yet clearly her being was interacting with her environment.

I am firm in my resolve to not have another cat.  This is rational, with my continued health needs and the allergies triggered by just about every kind of litter, more than the fur which lands everywhere.  And I admit it is to protect myself from experiencing this loss again, as well as to keep from leaving a pet without care if I should die first.  I have found my limitations as a care-giver, at least at this point in my life.

This doesn't mean I can't share love.  I certainly hope not!

The other anniversary fast approaching is my birthday, the 23rd of next month.  So I will no longer be 75.  Shall I again change the name of this blog, which used to say "When I was 69"?

I don't actually know yet.  For now I'm looking at what each day demands, and perhaps to find what it can give as well.  And I'm so very grateful that I woke up again this morning!

Monday, July 23, 2018

Family Now

Here are all the photos I got from a supper meeting with family.  I drove over a hundred miles to see and hug my 5 family members who stopped on their way to a vacation!  Here my newly drivers-licensed granddaughter smiled with me and told me that she can now drive on highways. (She's got my dimple I notice)

 Two of my wonderful grands posing with their beautiful smiles.

 My "middle" son and myself in a selfie...there's my dimple next to a horrible shot of my teeth!

 Very tan and trim daughter-in-law and her daughter in posed photo.

 Now we got seriously into eating...my pie a la mode in the foreground!

 Everyone else had salads! (But I'd just had lunch 2 hours before meeting them at a restaurant in Knoxville TN. They were delayed by traffic on I-75 in Kentucky.)

 Notice how they keep their mouths closed but still smiled with their eyes?

 My beautiful granddaughters...posing with my car and reflection in the doorway!

 Getting ready for the pose...

The posed photo!  Hope you all have a wonderful time at the beach!

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Robert White

Robert White (1560-1617)  My 11 times great grandfather.

He was the 7th birth of 10 of which at least 3 siblings didn't live past a year of age.  Robert may have been part of the heritage which said youngest sons should go to the clergy.  His parents were well off, Lady Helen (Ellen) Kirton (Girton) of White of Hill Farrance, Somerset, England and Sir Richard White of Minot, Somerset, England.

Robert married in 1685 to Lady Brygette Allgar (1562-1605).  The youngest of her 8 children was Anna (Rosanna) White Porter, my ancestress (See blog HERE).  Though Robert and Lady Brygette White both died in England, they had a son and 3 daughters immigrate to Windsor Connecticut in the American Colonies.

from http://ancestor.homestead.com/files/Robert_White.htm
"Robert White was born in Essex, England, on Tuesday, June 24, 1561, and died in Essex in 1617.  His name was also spelled Robert Whighte. He was buried in Shalford, Essex, on June 17, 1617.    Bridget Allgar was baptized in Shalford, Essex, England, on Wednesday, March 11, 1562, and died in Shalford after June 24, 1605. They were married in Shalford on Thursday, June 24, 1585. She took the name Bridget White. She is the daughter of William and Margaret (Parye) Allgar.   William Allgar of Shalford, Essex, England died in County Essex, England, in 1575. He was buried in Shalford on August 2, 1575.. His wife was Margaret Parye of England."

" Robert White was a yeoman; that is, he was not a member of the nobility but did own a small amount of land (small compared to a typical nobleman's estate). He was wealthy and appears to have lived in Shalford from his marriage until a few months before his death. Shalford is about two miles south of Wethersfield."

"In his will, Robert White bequeathes 40 shillings to Mr. Richard Rogers, preacher of God's word at Withersfield in Essex. Therefore, it is likely that he was friendly to the non-conformists and attended some of their services. A like bequest to Bartholomew Scrivener, minister of the Church of God in Messing, implies that he was also interested in the established church (or was covering all of the bases). His bequest of 40s to the poor people of Messing and nothing to the poor of Shalford where he is supposed to have lived most of his life, opens the possibility that he was born in Messing."


·        Jacobus, Donald Lines, History and Genealogy of the Families of Old Fairfield (reprinted with corrections), Baltimore, Genealogical Publishing Co., 1991 (1930); vol. 1, p. 487.

·        English Origins of New England Families, Series 2, vol. 3: The Children of Robert White of Messing, Co. Essex, England, Who Settled in Hartford and Windsor (Family Tree Maker CD181).
He is listed on a Find A Grave site as a
 "Common Ancestor for US Presidents:
Millard Fillmore
US Grant
Stephen Grover Cleveland
Gerald Ford"

His grave site is unknown however.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Families in moments

Most of my family pictures are of brief moments when I got the people to stand together for that photo.  Some of them have never been published, and if these are friends of yours (or you yourself) I apologize for sharing them without your permission, because I've been out of touch for 20 or 40 years.


In Tallahassee FL summers, people wear as few clothes as they feel like. Here the father of my youngest son is in some really short shorts, talking with his friend, the painter, who wears his work clothes.

 My friends' baby, Lila, grabbed a bit of flesh of her mom, who tried to keep on smiling. (Taken by a swimming pool)

I moved away from Tallahassee but was there to see the impending birth of April...there's Steph about to have a home birth and I think that's her husband behind her, her midwife has the blue t-shirt on, and that's my youngest son in the arms of a friend.

Friend, Grant playing with my youngest son.  The baby did get out of that stretchy cover-all sometimes!

 My parents visited Disney World (in Orlando FL area) from Houston.  They were kind of used to hot muggy weather, and running (walking) from one air conditioned place to another.

My nephew and mother at Disney World. Yes a background sometimes does make a difference in a photograph.

Over at Sepia Saturday, I see a group of - maybe family members - posed for a studio photograph, which shows the background and the studio.

Quote for today:
We live on the brink of disaster because we do not know how to let life alone. We do not respect the living and fruitful contradictions and paradoxes of which true life is full.
Thomas Merton

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Advice from my older self to my younger self

I've heard that listening to advice of your own, given to a younger yourself, is a bit of wisdom that would be useful.  Of course that's assuming that your older self even exists...but of course we all think we'll live another year or two.

So now I have about another month of being 75.  If I told myself 10 years ago anything, what would it be?

"Get out and do, whatever you're passionate about, just do it."

My advice comes from how the body just breaks down like stones on the bottom of the stream bed...the parts are wearing away gradually, and not noticeably until time gives you a jolt that that part is no longer doing what it has been all along.

In the last couple of weeks...
This is the list of things in my life, but it's not said in a complaining voice.

I've deal with loss of a loved one (I know, a cat may not be that much to anyone else, but the intimacy of living together for years does make a huge difference!)  I'm still dealing with the death of two loved humans a few months ago.

I've had major testing to find out whether my insides are working, and the tests show nothing, but the symptoms still cause chronic pain.  I have 2 other chronic conditions which require treatments twice a day.

And I've stubbed a toe resulting in a minor sprain of my ankle.  And I've found bugs biting my body while sleeping under covers, which may or may not be bed bugs, but I've treated my whole house, my bed, my clothes and linens as if it is (which took a day of my life, but really needed that deep cleaning.)

And the rent is being raised because I can't deduct as many medical expenses for the last year as I did the year before.  Basically, I never can save anything.

"Listen to this, 65 year-old Barbara.  Take heed.  You thought you were living frugally back 10 years ago, (2007) when you retired to Black Mountain NC from Florida.  You gave away and threw away so much.  Ha ha.  Just think that in 10 years you will need almost none of those things you held onto."

Now if my 85 year-old self has anything to say, I'm listening!

With the way my life has been going, I think she will say, "Pay attention to your health while you have any (so to speak).  Eat right, exercise as you can, and be friends with people who are walking similar paths to yours.  Work on what's most important to you right at that moment. And be as creative as your heart desires! Don't edit so much...let go! And especially get off the computers and out into nature!"

I had lunch with some of those friends after church last week, and posed this question about advising my younger self from either now or in the future.

A couple of those friends are already older than I am, so I was interested in their thoughts.  Several of them mentioned that its important to take care of yourself first, and then to offer care for others.  "Make someone else happy by anything you can do."

I liked that.  I forgot how much I do have to give others.  Just listening, paying attention to them, and letting them know of things I happen to know.

Earlier in the day a woman shared that she'd just lost her mother and was very upset.  I mentioned that I knew of a Grief Group here in Black Mountain, which meets monthly, and that I'd gotten a lot out of the time that I attended it, sitting around a fire pit and sharing with a small group.  She looked it up on line, and now has another resource that she might use.

What does your older wiser self have to tell you?

Sunday, July 15, 2018

One document clarifies it all

My great times five uncle was Raleigh (Rolly) Robert Clack (1772-1842). His sister Catharine (Aunt Katy) Beulah Clack Rogers  (1778-1850) married Rev. Elijah Rogers, (1774-1841) who were my great times four grandparents, and they all lived in Sevier County, TN in its early settlement stages.

This week was the first time I looked at Great Uncle Rolly's family at all.  Maybe because it was so extensive!  He had 16 children, with two different wives at different times.  His first wife Mary Genieve Randles Clack (1770-1816) gave birth to 9 children.  He remarried within the year of her death to Martha Kerr Clack (1787-1858) who then gave birth to 7 more children of his.

Someone* wrote a book about his family, and most of those children spread out moving west to Missouri and Texas. The book is  Clack and Kindred Souls.  It has some good genealogical research including this one page which clarifies the marriages of Clack and Kerr family members in Sevier County in the early 19th century.  Without reading this page where the 4 Kerr/Clack marriages are laid out in simplicity, I would have just given up on understanding who was married to whom.

It is written with a bit of humor, which includes the various relationships of in-laws by having sisters and brothers of Great Uncle Rolly's wife marrying his older children.

I do wish I could find a document like this for many of the other families which married brothers/sisters etc.!! (That's a brother married a sister of the spouse of one person, not a brother married his sister!)

* Thanks to the authors of this book, Edna Clack Sacks and Joyce Kerr!

Saturday, July 14, 2018

An ancestor born July 13, 1600, yesterday (!)

Happy birthday to Anna Rosanna White Porter 
 BIRTH 13 JULY 1600 • Shalford, Essex, England 
DEATH 11 MAY 1647 • Windsor, Hartford, Conn

She was the mother of Sarah Porter Judson and great grandmother of Anna Curtiss, wife of  Zachariah Booth, Emigrant to American Colonies.

Daughter of Robert & Bridget (Allgar) White. Sister of three other New England emigrants: John White, Elizabeth (White) Goodwin. & Mary (White) Loomis.

She and John Porter had eleven known children. The Parish records of Shalford & Messing, Essex, England list Anne Whighte baptised July 13, 1600 in Shalford, daughter of Robert Weight. SOURCE: American Genealogical-Biographical Index (AGBI) vol 138, Pg. 460.

And she's one of the few of my ancestors that has a birth date (actually her baptism date) for a great times 10 grandmother!

And I must mention the fact that I lived in Windsor Connecticut in the 1960s, where the Porter family had lived and Anna and her husband died.  I admit I didn't walk the same paths that she did, but I probably drove the same roads that were part of her life.  Just 320 years later!  I must mention that my husband had grown up in the Hartford, Connecticut area in the 1950s and attended a "prep school" named Loomis.  I'm sure it was founded by the same family.

It's fun to look back at any of the New England ancestors, especially those who were in leadership positions, because there are so many records about them, and if they came from a family in England (which most of them did!) who had church records about birth/baptism, marriage and death, then there are lots of records to check.  However, when all the records say a man was married at 4 years of age, and another record at least lets him get to be 27 before marrying, which one am I to believe?  So at this juncture, I've been looking at John Porter's father, and finding some of the dates of his death are based upon a written text (thank heavens I could find and read it) where it says, "John Porter a boy."  So I doubt that this is our ancestor.  I can only do this research for about a half hour at a time, because it really gives me a headache. 

And in honor of Anna (Rosanna) White Porter, the records that I have give her birth, her marriage, and a whole list of children's names.

Burke's American Families with British Ancestry (pg. 2869) says her husband,
John Porter of Windsor Conn, born 1590; emigrated to America from Felsted, Essex, England ca. 1637, to the Massachusetts Bay Colony, later moving to Windsor in 1639; married Anna (who d. 1647) dau. of Robert White, and d, 1648, leaving issue, 1. Samuel, 2. Nathaniel, 3. Eleazar Porter, 4, William Porter (physician.)
Her father, Robert White, left a will, which gives a lot of information about the family in England.  I won't go into his life here, because I might want to feature him in a separate blog sometime.

Anna Rosanna married John Porter of Windsor Connecticut,  and she was the 6th of 8 children of Robert and his wife Brydgette Algar. Source: Descendants of Joseph Loomis in America, and his antecedents in the Old World, pg 104 in Loomis Genealogy.

Anna and John Porter had their first 9 children born in England.  They are listed in records of their baptisms from 1621 to 1637.  One son, Samuel, died at 2 months of age.  This is interesting because the Burke's publication quoted above has him continuing to live, and being the head of a family.  Yes, having lost the first Samuel in 1632, the Porters named another son Samuel who was born in 1635. Source: English Origins of New England Families, Second Series Vol. III, pg. 736.

In the same source, page 732, Anna White Porter and her sister, Mary White Loomis, are described living in homes next to each other in Windsor, CT.

And on page 731, same source, Anna White of Messing (England) is married to John Porter of Felsted on 18 Oct 1620.  That same page talks of Anna's death (as John Porter's wife, in 1647) and her husband's will, when he died in 1648.

Much of the same information is repeated in "Families of Ancient Windsor," under John Porter, Sr.

Though there was a date of death in Windsor CT for Mrs. Porter (her given name wasn't mentioned), her burial is unknown.  Her third child was Sara Porter, who married Joseph Judson, and they were my 9 times great grandparents.  But their story will be for another day.

Friday, July 13, 2018

Some sepia toned images of children playing

From a childhood perspective...

Here the oldest girl is hanging from a trapeze while the other two girls are back to back on a shared ride, above the snow.

Sure, the boys are taking care of the baby in carriage, but also are off on an adventure...just look at those hats and staves, and an oldest one with something resembling a big gun slung over his shoulder.  But someone said to them, "line up and let me capture your image in this camera," and all of them did, though the dog wasn't particularly still and got a bit blurred.  But Junior in the carriage wasn't ready to fall out, just wanted the dog to come lick his sticky fingers!

So that's the inspiration I got from our prompt this week over at Sepia Saturday.

And so I look at some photos of my grandchildren playing...perhaps not quite as adventurous. These girls are daughters of my middle son.

A visit a few years ago - that's the youngest child playing baby in a manger (really, that's a little girl, not a doll) and her big sisters seem to enjoy posing as visitors from the East (it was Christmas time.)

Same baby girl was happy to go on her swing when a bit of snow hit the ground.  Just look at that hat!

This young man (my youngest son) in Indian Peaks Wilderness, likes to make photos more interesting by posing.

My oldest son and his daughter (quite a few years ago) overlooking some Theme Park or another.

I admit I "sepia-toned" these photos of children having a good time, even those who are young at heart!  I hope you have a good time too today!

Today's Quote:
Gratitude is exultation awaiting between the cracks of normalcy.  Frederic Potter