- charlotte fletcher@roma land woodcrafts
- I LOVE to design and to paint whimsical items that will put a smile on your face. Each day I share my simple life with you as I try to encourage, to inspire and sometimes JUST to make you smile as I recount my life growing up on a dairy farm! I've never had many material items in my life, BUT I have been blessed beyond words with love and encouragement from WONDERFUL Parents who instilled in me WHAT was important. I have had EVERYTHING that I needed and WAY too much of what I wanted. I am slowly learning to be a better person each day through my interactions with my friends on Facebook. Some day I hope to be as good as people seem to THINK I am! I am BLESSED! Welcome to my little corner of the world...Please stop by and visit often!
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Strangers and Friends...Friday, March 12, 2015
I find myself searching to discover what kind of person some of my relatives were now that I no longer have anyone else to ask~~isn’t that strange?
I was so young when my Granny, Uncle Bud and Aunt Jennie died, that I find that I don’t really KNOW them. I’ve listened to the stories through the years to the tales told of them and have formed an opinion of them~~right or wrong…
We do that about people…WE have an OPINION~~right or wrong.
I look back at the BAD MOMENTS I have had in my life and can ONLY PRAY that people will give me another chance to know the REAL ME…but then, maybe they do??!
We have had a lot of characters that have passed through the life of my family. Our home was always opened whenever a bed was needed for whatever event…or if a DISH was needed to be baked for an event…My family practiced HOSPITALITY and I HAVE to BELIEVE that this did not happen just by chance.
I don’t really KNOW much about My Uncle Bud and the personality that he had, BUT I look at my Daddy and I don’t think ONLY Aunt Jennie’s influence could have made him the MAN he was. Yes, His Father was in his life, and from what little I know of him, he was a good man, but I ALSO have to believe that Uncle Bud was an honorable man.
Uncle Bud held many jobs that earned him respect…he had lots of friends that were the pillows of the community…He attended Church, and I PRAY that the good he learned rubbed off on him…I KNOW that he SPOKE his mind and was a bit gruff from the few stories that Mother shared with me, BUT this tale, I THINK speaks VOLUMES of what personality he was.
Mother LOVED people and she ALWAYS saw the BEST in them, sometimes, I THINK, through rose-colored glasses, but really, is THAT a bad thing? She didn’t work full time outside of our home because my parents decided that raising us was far more important than having MATERIAL THINGS. I was taken home from the hospital to a brother who was 2 years older than I and a brother 10.5 years older and 3 people past 80, whose health was declining. It was a full house with ONLY one bathroom (GASP!). Mother would recount that we SELDOM sat down to a meal that SOMETHING wasn’t spilled, and it wasn’t always the children…There was PLENTY of love to go around. Mother would work in the tobacco market, where her typing skills and calculator skills were AMAZINGLY fast and accurate. For a short time, she was the Director for the Senior Citizens at our local YMCA, long before the YMCA was the force it is today.
Mother raised me not to believe in coincidence, a topic we have discussed at length, because I would ALWAYS try to push her buttons by saying, “I’d rather be LUCKY than GOOD any ole day.”…this of course, was usually said when my favorite football player would be standing at JUST THE RIGHT PLACE to catch a ball that had been tipped~~HOW can one PLAN that??!! ROFL…
On March 26, 1971, Mother was hosting the “OVER 50 CLUB” (OH CRAP…I could join THAT club NOW…sigh) at our home. On ALL the days of the years that had past, we got a knock on our back door and it was Franz Weiss…Now, that IS an ODD name for a visitor to a small farm in Middle Tennessee! HOW confused I was to see Mother and Daddy hugging this short, strange talking man, but OH, what a TREAT was in store.
Mother asked Franz to tell his story. He told of His wife, Elizabeth and son, Anton, begin prisoners of war during the reign of Hitler. His wife and son were sent to a concentration camp together and Franz to another one…neither knew if the other was alive, but they made it through the war and found each other. There was a location program that was in place to bring concentration camp survivors to America, BUT they had to have a sponsor. When The Weiss family got to their destination, the family decided they did not WANT to sponsor them, so all seemed hopeless and they thought surely they would have to return to a land that was in shambles. I do NOT know the details, BUT things came into place, and a tear streamed from Franz’s eye as he said, “NOBODY wanted us…BUT Mr. Widick did. He welcomed us into his home.”
At that moment I felt such pride in my Uncle Bud…He was willing to help TOTAL strangers, who spoke broken English, make a better life for themselves in a country that held great opportunities for those willing to follow the laws and to work hard.
Uncle Bud paid the $151.86 for the family’s travels and the family was to repay the debt. Daddy laughed as he recalled Uncle Bud and Franz TRYING to communicate one day while working on a tractor…it was HILARIOUS to see my Daddy and Franz acting as old friends and recalling hard times that existed, but OH the JOY of that reunion!
Franz brought a watercolor drawing that his wife, Elizabeth, had painted. He told of her struggles to exist in the world after the abuse she took while in the concentration camp…I don’t think we really realize the HORRORS so many endured…
Franz signed a painting that his son, Anton had painted on a window shade as a young boy and had given it to Uncle Bud…That picture was in the upstairs room of my brothers and it used to SCARE me when I would go into that room…THOSE BIG EYES haunted me….
OF ALL the days and years that Franz could have visited, he choose the day where he was able to share his story with several ladies of our community…BUT then, not too long after this chance encounter, Mother again, had taken the OVER 50 CLUB to the Parthenon in Nashville and WHO was having a one man show? YEP, Anton, the son…Mother marveled as she saw paintings with price tags in the thousands of dollars…
We’ve tried in the past to contact the son, BUT I am certain he spent his time moving FORWARD because the hell of REMEMBERING MUST be too much…I can’t imagine..
I just know that I feel SUCH PRIDE, once again, at the hospitality that my family showed…It has instilled in me a desire to practice GRACE and MERCY…we never know what little things can be life-changing~~right or wrong!
GO through this day KNOWING that YOU are LOVED beyond MEASURE and that a path has been planned JUST FOR YOU…Blessings to YOU…~charlotte