Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Young Love

May 2, 2014

Mom'38

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

When Dad passed away last December, I found this picture of my mother in his wallet.  From the worn condition of the photo, I couldn’t help but wonder how often Dad pulled it out to look at it.

I had never seen this picture before, and while the writing on the back was badly faded, I’m pretty sure it was a senior photo taken in 1938.  Dad first met Mom in 1937 when he was in the CCC at a camp near her hometown.

DadChristmas1938

I had seen the picture above of Dad before.  It was a photo taken in December, 1938, and given to my mother.  I now suspect it was a gift to her in exchange for the picture she gave him.

Mom died in 2011, but today would have been her 94th birthday.  Mom and Dad  were married on May 5, 1940.

Dad

December 10, 2013
John Emery Adams, Jr., in December, 1938.  He was 26 years old.

John Emery Adams, Jr., in December, 1938. He was 26 years old.

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

My Dad, John Emery Adams, Jr., passed away on December 5, 2013.  He was 101 years old.

It’s hard to know how to summarize a life, especially a life that encompassed so much.  Dad was born in Texas, grew up in Arkansas, lived in Indiana for many years before moving to Tennessee.  He remembered going to church with his family in a horse-drawn wagon, as well as the first house his family lived in which had electricity.

Dad met Mom when he was in the CCC in southern Indiana.  The picture above was one he had made for Mom as a Christmas present in 1938.  However, they had to wait until 1940 to get married, since Mom’s parents said she couldn’t get married until she was 20 years old.  They got married three days after her birthday.  There wedding was simple — they asked the congregation of Mom’s church to stay after Sunday service and attend the wedding.  They left right afterwards for their new home in northern Indiana, and shared a carton of milk as their first meal as husband and wife.

Mom and Dad on their 61st wedding anniversary, Hendersonville, Tennessee.  May 5, 2001.

Mom and Dad on their 61st wedding anniversary, Hendersonville, Tennessee. May 5, 2001.

One of the most remarkable things about Mom and Dad is that you rarely saw one without the other.  This picture was taken on their 61st wedding anniversary in 2001.  Mom is wearing her wedding dress.

Dad at my uncle's home in Crown Point, Indiana.

Dad at my uncle’s home in Crown Point, Indiana.

I remember that Dad had a love of gadgets and was always trying to figure out (usually successfully) how things worked.  This picture, taken about 1960, shows him with his new movie camera.  He got a computer at the age of 90 and exchanged daily emails with us until he lost his sight and had to give it up.

I always thought Dad could do anything.  He built most of the house in which I grew up, as well as the farm buildings we had.  If something broke, he usually managed to fix it.  He taught himself to repair small appliances so he would have something to do after he retired.  He repaired appliances until Mom made him quit when he was 80 years old.  We still meet people in Hendersonville, Tennessee, who talk about what a wonderful job he did as a repair man.

Dad and his riding lawn mower.  Hendersonville, Tennessee.

Dad and his riding lawn mower. Hendersonville, Tennessee.

Although Dad was still climbing up on the roof of his home to clean the gutters well into his 90s, he did decide that pushing a lawn mower over their large yard was a bit much, so he got a riding mower.

Front row:  Betsy, Dad, Bonnie (my brother's wife).  Back row:  Me, my sister Janet, and brother Ken.

Front row: Betsy, Dad, Bonnie (my brother’s wife). Back row: Me, my sister Janet, and brother Ken.

Mom died in 2011, so she wasn’t there to celebrate Dad’s 100th birthday in 2012.  We had a party for him at his church in Hendersonville, and many family and friends came to help him celebrate.  This picture of Dad was taken at that party.

We had a celebration of Dad’s life yesterday (Monday).  I’m going to miss him.

Happy Birthday, Dad

August 29, 2013

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(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

My Dad is celebrating his 101st birthday today.  The picture above  was taken last year when we celebrated his 100th birthday at his church in Hendersonville.  My younger brother Ken and my sister Janet are standing with me behind Dad.

Dad has had a remarkable life.  He remembers when a horse and wagon was the family’s transportation, as well as his first encounter with electricity.  But he didn’t live in the past.  At the tender age of 90 he learned to use a computer and would send us daily emails telling us when he and Mom had been doing the day before.  Even in his mid-nineties he would get up on the roof of his house when necessary.

He’s slowed down quite a bit over the last few years, especially after Mom died.  But he still enjoys getting out and going for a ride, and he still enjoys his ice cream.  Betsy and I are going to Tullahoma this evening to have a restaurant dinner with Dad and Janet, and I’m pretty sure I know what he’ll order for dessert.

Happy Birthday, Robert

March 15, 2013

BobPicture

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It’s hard to believe that this cute little boy is 44 years old today.  He looks like a little angel in this photo, but the photographer really had to work to get this photo.  Bobby didn’t want to have anything to do with picture-taking.  But the photographer made a loop of scotch tape and put it between Bobby’s hands.  When Bobby got distracted trying to get his hands apart, the photographer squeezed a squeaky toy causing Bob to look up.  The result was this, one of my favorite pictures of my little boy.

Speaking of hard to believe, it’s hard to believe I’m old enough to have a son that old.

Family Time

November 30, 2012

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

It’s always a special time for Betsy when her middle son from Texas visits east Tennessee with his wife and two daughters.  They have many people to see in a short time, but we were able to spend the afternoon of Friday following Thanksgiving with them at Fall Creek Falls State Park.  We had a delicious lunch and  visit in the park lodge and then went to the Fall Creek Falls overlook to see the waterfall and take some pictures.

Judging from the smiles, it’s safe to say that everyone enjoyed themselves.

 

Happy Birthday, Dad

August 29, 2012

John Emery Adams, Jr. Christmas, 1938.

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

Today is a very special day — my Dad is celebrating his 100th birthday.  The picture above, which he had taken for my mother when they were dating, is the earliest picture I could find.

It’s hard to imagine the changes he’s seen over the past century.  Dad was born in Texas, but his family moved to Arkansas when he was still a boy.  He remembers going to church in a horse-drawn wagon.  He was still a young teenager when he first encountered electricity.  His mother fussed at him because he kept turning a light off and on trying to figure out where the light came from.

Mom, Dad and me in 1942.

Dad met Mom in 1937 when he was in the CCC, but they had to wait until Mom was 20 in 1940 before they could get married.  They had their first child in 1942 (it’s been a long time since I had that much hair!).

Dad at Marty and Floyd’s house, Crown Point, Indiana. Approximately 1960.

Dad was always interested in gadgets.  This snapshot, taken about 1960, shows him with his 8mm movie camera at my aunt and uncle’s house.

Dad and Betsy at Amy and Matt’s wedding. June 16, 2001.

This picture shows Dad dancing with Betsy at my cousin’s wedding in 2001.  They were obviously a big hit on the dance floor.

Mom and Dad at Barren River State Park, Kentucky. August 29, 2004.

I took this picture of Mom and Dad in 2004 as we celebrated Dad’s 92nd birthday.  Mom died in June, 2011, shortly after their 71st wedding anniversary.

Dad and his new tractor in 2006.

Dad’s love of gadgets and learning things remained strong through the years.  He taught himself to use a computer when he was 90.  By the time he was 94 he decided he was too old to mow the lawn with his walking mower, so he got this riding tractor so he could continue mowing his own lawn.

Dad and Janet, Tullahoma, Tennessee. July 4, 2012.

This picture of Dad with my sister Janet is the most recent picture I have.  Dad now lives with Janet in Tullahoma, Tennessee.

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Dad conversing with a guest at his birthday celebration, Hendersonville, Tennessee. August 25, 2012.

We celebrated Dad’s birthday a few days early with a reception at his church in Hendersonville, Tennessee.  Quite a few friends from the church — as well as family members — came to see Dad and wish him a happy birthday.  In the picture above Dad is talking with a church member he hadn’t seen in over a year.  The woman on the right is his niece, who came down from Indiana with her family to see Dad.

Hunting Waterfalls with Dad

February 13, 2012

Dad in our car visiting waterfalls, Tullahoma, Tennessee. February 9, 2012.

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

This past Thursday Betsy and I went down to Tullahoma to see Dad.  After helping him with some things around the house, we went out to lunch and then went for a ride.  Dad is legally blind, but he enjoys drives out into the countryside, so we took him along to visit a couple of waterfalls in the area.  He stayed in the car while Betsy and I were getting pictures of the waterfalls.  But since he was with us, I convinced him that I needed to get his picture as well.

Dad was more feeble when we saw him this time than he has been at other times, but since he’s going to be 100 in August that is to be expected.  He enjoyed being with us, just as we enjoyed being with him.

About the hat — one of Dad’s grandsons (my nephew) graduated from the Naval Academy in 2001 and gave Dad the hat, which he wears just about every time we go out.

The Women In My Life

October 13, 2011

Betsy and Kelly at Dale Hollow State Park, Kentucky. August 25, 2007.

(Note:  All pictures may be enlarged by clicking on them once or twice.)

I was going through some old pictures recently and came upon this picture of Betsy and my daughter Kelly.  It was taken back in August, 2007, at Dale Hollow State Park in Kentucky.  Kelly and her husband, Chuck, were getting ready to move to Buffalo, so we met them at the Dale Hollow Lodge for a dinner and some time together.

All I wanted was a picture of these two women together.  I thought it was a simple request and could be easily done.  Obviously, I was wrong.

I just can’t take these two any where!

99 Years Young

September 1, 2011

Dad, my sister-in-law Bonnie and brother Ken. August 31, 2011.

My Dad turned 99 on Monday.  He’s still in relatively good health, although he has gone down since my Mother died in June.  He suffered a small stroke about three weeks ago, but is much better than when we last saw him a couple of weeks ago.

My brother and sister-in-law came down from Indiana this week, so we all got together last night to celebrate Dad’s birthday.  Cracker Barrel is one of Dad’s favorite places so we got together to celebrate.  All three of his children (do I qualify as a child when I’m pushing 70?) and our spouses were there.

Betsy, my sister Janet, brother-in-law Charlie, George, Dad, sister-in-law Bonnie and brother Ken. August 31, 2011.

The Cracker Barrel staff came to the table and sang Happy Birthday to Dad and presented him with some apple cobbler and ice cream.  I think that was Dad’s favorite part of the meal.

In Honor and Memory

June 6, 2011

Kay Adams. May 2, 1920 - June 6, 2011.

My mother died this morning at my sister’s home.  She  had been in declining health, but apparently had a massive heart attack and died quickly.  Betsy and I had seen her (and Dad) on Thursday and I talked with her on the phone Saturday.  She sounded very chipper and in good spirits.  She had just had some ice cream before I called, which was her favorite snack.

The feature of Mom that most people commented on was her smile.  When my parents moved to Tennessee, the children in their new neighborhood called her the “Smile Lady”.

Now she’s smiling in heaven — it must be a brighter place today.