The Ypsilanti House with animal sheds to the right. Garage was built by the next owners.
In the fall of 1995, Floyd and I (before children) purchased a home on 5 acres in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The house needed cosmetic work: vinyl siding and repairs to the upper porch. Early one morning, a construction worker found two abandoned kittens on the road and brought them to me. I immediately took them in and gave them food and water. They were the cutest, all gray, long hair, balls of fur. I named them Sage (male) and Cinnamon (female).
My family had owned dogs, I had owned cats as a young adult, but Floyd came from a No Animals At All family.
Not having had a kitten for a long time, I mistakenly made them a bed on the back porch and in the morning they were gone. Read more
Grandma Berry and Jerry (right) with friends late 1940’s or early 50’s.
My father’s mother, Grandma Berry, as we called her, was born in 1909. Grandma was divorced when my dad was about five and later married Gerald Berry. He was a kind, easy going man that worked at one of the Ford plants in Detroit. I remember his metal lunch pail. It was black on the outside and shiny metal gray on the inside. Many men had that same lunch pail. Jerry, as we called him, died in 1960. Grandma was a widow for 34 years before she died in 1994. Grandma never considered remarrying. In the early 90’s, she told me an elderly religious gentleman, that had recently become a widower, asked her to marry him. She become so anxious at the thought that the only thing she could think to say and not hurt his feelings was, “Oh, no. I couldn’t marry. I’m married to Jesus!” The gentleman understood and did not pursue the matter any further. Read more
In every parent’s life you come to the point of deciding when to take your children to funerals. Sometimes this decision is made for you if the deceased person is a close relative and the child needs to go in order to have closure. Sometimes the choice to take the child to the funeral is optional; the deceased is not related and there are no close ties with your children. However, eventually, a close relative will die and the children need to be prepared to deal with death.
For our family, the scriptures dictate the parameters of the “hereafter” and the “state of the dead”. But I was apprehensive about dealing with my children’s emotions of standing in front of the casket. I had been protecting them from what I perceived as a “dead body” trauma. So, I did not take them to funerals of non-relatives and even some relatives. My Mom kept telling me I was wrong to shelter them because they were five and six years of age and death was a part of life. Read more