Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Coming in December: On This Day

Beginning next month, I will be posting birthdays and wedding anniversaries for ancestors for whom those dates are known (or believed to be known). For individuals with birthdays, I will share information regarding their parents, date and place of birth and how that information was determined, a copy of the birth or baptismal certificate (if available), and the individual’s date and place of death. For anniversaries, I will give the names of the couple, date and place of marriage and how determined, a list of children, and, if available, a copy of the marriage certificate. I will also note the individual’s or couple’s relationship to me and whether my maternal or paternal ancestor(s).

© 2010 Denise Spurlock

Monday, November 29, 2010

Remembering Mama

Beaulah Belle (Yawman) (Sherrell) Spurlock

November 29, 1915 - June 5, 1999

Mama was the 8th and youngest child of William Lee and Myrtle Arminta (Snider) Yawman, born into a time when the United States, and the world itself, was going through immense change. She lived during World War I, the Great Depression of the '30s, World War II, the Korean Conflict, and the Vietnam War. She saw the automobile and the jetliner come into everyday use, the opening of space travel and landing on the moon, the move from radio to color television as entertainment in family homes, the invention of computers and microwave ovens...the latter being one of her favorites!

Through it all, Mama remained a down-to-earth woman whose most important relationships were with her children and grandchildren. She bore five children (Deanna, Arnie, Tony, me, and Jennifer) and adopted my half-sister Jane as her own. She had 15 grandchildren and a growing number of great-grandchildren. If a little one cried, Mama would say "give me that baby" and usually the tears would cease.

She loved to bake -- pumpkin pie, pineapple upside-down cake, lemon meringue pie -- my mouth is watering! She could walk further and faster than most of us, even in her later years. She enjoyed animals of all kinds, from farm animals (especially pigs) to family pets to wild animals on nature shows. She liked to play games; she believed in playing to win, but playing fair!

Mama was a remarkable woman. Today would be her 95th birthday if she were living. Happy birthday, Mama, I miss you.

© 2010 Denise Spurlock

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Yummy Good!

When I was growing up, my family always enjoyed a traditional Thanksgiving meal -- roast turkey with stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce (from a can, sliced!), fruit salad, dinner rolls (if anybody remembered to put them in oven!), and pumpkin pie. No green bean casserole for us, although I'm sure we must have had some forgettable vegetable side dish. Unshelled nuts (brazil nuts, hazelnuts, pecans, walnuts, almonds) were set out in bowls to be cracked and enjoyed. The same meal, with the possible addition of ham or prime rib, was served at Christmas.

Making the fruit salad was a cooperative effort. On the evening before the holiday, everyone sat around the dining room table, cutting bananas, apples, oranges, pineapple, and grapes to fill at least one large roasting pan. Although we all loved fruit salad, I don't think anyone has carried on this tradition.

When my sister Jennifer lived in Bakersfield, we started some new traditional meals. Neither she nor Mom particularly cared for turkey, so we would have tacos on Thanksgiving, followed by traditional pies for dessert. At Christmas, I would take lasagna for Christmas Eve dinner; it was easy to make ahead and bake when I got there. Now that our children are grown and Jennifer lives in Texas, I think both our families have returned to the more traditional holiday turkey and ham, but Thanksgiving Eve tacos and Christmas Eve lasagna continue as part of my family's traditions.

Whatever your holiday meal, I hope it is "yummy good" as Jackson, our youngest family member would say. (Jackson is the son of Greg and Rana Spurlock Cooper, grandson of Jennnifer.) Best wishes to all for a Happy Thanksgiving!

© 2010 Denise Spurlock

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Spurlock Road

Wondering where my profile picture came from? The location is the corner of Spurlock Road and Highway 519 in Claiborne Parish, Louisiana.
Just up the road is Hurricane Cemetery where several Spurlock ancestors are buried, including Ransom Spurlock (1807-1896), the patriarch of our family.
Spurlock Road likely borders or intersects the land once owned by Ransom Spurlock.
This photo was taken on a 2007 road trip with sister Jennifer and granddaughter Krishawna.

© 2010 Denise Spurlock

My Life in the Past Lane

As a way of sharing my genealogical journey with friends and family, I've created this blog. My plan is to post articles about what I've done and learned on my trip in the "past lane": places visited, people met, information discovered.

I come from a blended family where not everyone is related in the same way. I hope that, regardless of how you are connected to me, you will find the posts interesting! Let me know what you think by commenting.

As we enter the holiday season, I plan several posts on our family holiday traditions. Watch for them in the next few weeks!

© 2010 Denise Spurlock