Lookout Nan's got the scissors

WHOOSH !! Brett go's running through the house and out the back door.
BANG !! Goes the screen door.
And following hot on his heels runs Mum. With a pair of scissors in her hand..

Brett learned a hard lesson about Mum and scissors very early on in life. From an early age Mum was always giving the kids a hair cut. You remember the kind of cut I mean. The good old "Bowl Cut", put a bowl on the poor kid's head and cut around it. Mum was a real PRO at those..

About the age of 5 I was giving Brett a little more lei way with his hair cuts. He had decided that he wanted to grow a "Rat's Tail", a small piece of hair at the back of the neck that you let grow. The rest of the head is rather closely cut like a crew cut. Well Mum took a dislike to it and decided that she was going to cut it off. Mum was always picking up the scissors when she thought Brett was not looking or if she thought Brett was not aware of what she was doing. Something always gave her away though. Either a squeaky floorboard underfoot or Brett's sister yelling " Look out Nan's got the scissors !"

After about a year with the "Rat's Tail" Brett finally gave Mum the great satisfaction of cutting it off. I still have it in an old photo album.

Quite often when either of my kids or myself, see one of the other of us with scissors, one of us yells " Lookout Nan's got the scissors". And now with the birth of my first Granddaughter that saying will bear even more meaning to me.

Love you Mum and miss you terribly.

She's got the hiccups

I remember when my daughter was born. Mum saw her first when she was 5 minutes old. As Mum approached the crib the hospital had Tj in, Mum said to me " OH How cute, she's got the hiccups ". I tell no lie, as my daughter and other family members will attest to, Tj got the hiccups each and every time she saw or spoke to Mum. In November 2006 we had an early family Christmas. It brought tears to my eyes when Tj got the hiccups. Even in Mum's sad state of health at the time, Mum gave me a knowing nudge and wink in Tj's direction. Mum knew and remember when Tj first got the hiccups. Tj has said to me that she always thinks of Mum when ever she gets the hiccups.

Love you and miss you Mum..

Memories from Betty's Sister > Sylvia

Dear Joe,
Would you please enter this into your Blog for Betty. Thanks, Aunt Sylvia
Some memories of Elisabeth, my sister, as I remember them from growing up with her.
We used to go to dad's sister's farm near Gillette, PA alot. Uncle Lonnie and Aunt Iva always had a garden, so there was always a nice dinner for all of us. One time, we were going up the hill and the right front WHEEL came off of our Williys Knight and rolled down the hill! We shared the thrill when they got their electricity, their first phone, helped at haying season. All of the farmers around shared some of the equipment, and went to each others farms to help hay. The women would all help cook. They told us we they were serving woodchuck, but I think they were teasing us....not really sure tho. We got in trouble for gathering eggs that had been placed under special hens by Aunt Grace (she lived near Lacyville, where our dad's parents are buried) so she could have the chickens hatch some duck eggs. We got chased into the outside cellar entrance at Aunt Ellen's farm by a mean bore hog. We would play with the outside water pump so much they scolded us for wasting water. We would snuggle into thick down covers at night, as there was no heat in the upstairs.
We went with our dad while he measured the depth of Eldridge Park Lake by cutting holes in the ice and dropping in a measured line and recording areas all around the lake. The newspaper ran an article on this. Dad taught a boys Sunday School class, and he would take us with him when he took the class to places of interest around the area. I remember going to a tannery, a glass milk bottleing plant, watching the circus unload from the train at dawn, seeing a preserved whale in one car and a mummy in another on a train that came to Elmira, watching them load the HUGE glass telescope made in Corning, NY onto a train to be delivered to California for the FIRST lens to study the sky. Dad stressed to us to remember this, as it was history being made. We went to the Elmira Reformatory on a few Sunday afternoons and watched the inmates perform wooden gun manuvers while marching. Annually we went to Woodlawn Cemetary and would stand on the running boards of dad's car with our arms full of flags and run from headstone to headstone to place them in metal containers on Memorial Day. We both took piano lessons, but Elisabeth really took to it. She would play and I would sing. We booked alot of church events and weddings. We were both very active in our church Youth Group. We didn't have any money for toys, but she could entertain herself just fine, as Elisabeth loved being outdoors.
I have been grateful for the computer which has enabled she and I to re-touch these last few years.
I know Kevin and Judy and Joe have done all there possibly was to do for her, and have stayed by her side to the end.
Thanks to all of you who have taken the time to write your own thoughts and memories to share with your local friends and newspapers, if they allow you to.
I will miss her.
Aunt Sylvia

  • EDIT ADDED BY JOE 20/2/2007 .... I'm sure ive found some pitures of the times Aunt Sylvia refers to. I will endevour to add some soon.

The Trophies, The Car Crash & McDonalds

"Hurry up mom, we'll be late!" I stuttered, total engrosed with getting my uniform tidy and my tie nice and straight. To this day I dont know why as I took it off along with the jacket for the 45 minite car drive to the Conservitorium of Music on Sydney Harbour.
"Here we go Joe, parking nice and close" .... "I hope you havnt forgotten your music" mother said with a smile knowing that they were in the trumpet case. We were greated at the front door by my bandmaster, a very cheary fellow who had all the time in the world for anybody who liked music regardless of their ability. "I hope you have "my" trumpet" Chris exclaimed, "That trumpet has won many championships in this building as well as being played in the Opera House" "You better take care of it!".
Mother and Chris had struck a deal on the side some months ago as I only had use of "loan & return" trumpets before... during 1st stage resitals for the Australian Championships Chris came over to me and said "Here Joe, use my trumpet.... that the school trumpet is not able to keep a nice pitch". Mother came to pick me up at 9.30pm like she had done every tuesday and thursday at our local band hall.... "Joe?" mother said in a questioning tone of voice, "thats not the school trumpet, is it?" .... knowing full well that it wasnt, "No it's not" I replied, "Chris let me play it tonight and it is the most beautifull trumpet I have ever held!"... "So you like it?" "But do you like enough to want it?" mother asked, I said that this was a concert trumpet with the sweetest of tone and unfortunately would be far to expensive! Chris jumped in with huge chuckles "Well Joe, I told your mother if you were good enough to make it to the Australian Championship Finals that I would sell it to you for a very fair price, you have made the top 10 in Australia and the trumpet is yours!!!"
Standing at the footsteps of the Conservitorium with mother and Chris I turned to them both and said "Chris, your trumpet will win another championship today" as we headed up the stairs. Reaching the top and going through the foyer we reached the main concert hall. The excitement was now overflowing, mother continualy repeating "Breath Joe, focus on your breathing... keep it deep inside with solid strong breaths, then when your standing in front of these 1000 fellow competitors, piers and judges... simply blow me a kiss take a deep breath and rip into it".
I was the forth last person to perform in the Under 16's Class and last to perform in the Open Age Class.
I played the same piece for both catagories "Etude de Condors"... I will never foget it. I was extremely anxious performing this piece in the Under 16's as it was rated the highest difficulty for the age bracket, I thought I played well but didnt think much else of it as there were 3 outstanding performers before me. 1 1/2 hours later came my turn in the Open Age bracket. By this time I was very at ease after watching everyone else, afterall I only put in for the "Opens" as Chris said he thought I would have a chance to better myself. So with all this running around in my mind I didnt feel any pressure at all... I did exactly as mother had told me, blew her a kiss - deep breath - then let it rip! When I had finished there was what seemed like 2 minites of silence then the whole conservitorium erupted, I could feel such a rush inside.... I knew I had hammered that piece to the wall.
5pm came and time for the results. Mother was sweating and rocking, clutching at my palms and tapping my legs then we heard the announcement from the judges.. "Under 16's 3rd place goes to Joe" ........ woowhooo... yyaaawwhhoooooo .... then later "The Australian Open Age 2nd place goes to Joe" ........ mother was jumping more than I was, almost embarresing it was.... "im going to take you and your trophies to McDonalds for a celebration!" mother shouted with joy.
We headed home and mother realy wanted to take me to Macca's for dinner so we did a little detour 5 miles from home heading to the local Macca's. We both were still jumping up and down, yelling to each other having a grand celebration when out of nowhere we were "T" boned by a small truck crashing into my passenger door and the rear door. Mother managed to drive the car off the intersection to the side of the road. We both got out very shaken and startled as like "what just happened then?" only to see the rear passenger door had been crushed in and had destroyed my trophies... "It doesnt matter" mother nervously said, " We are still going to Macca's its only 1 block away and we are going to celebrate your great achievement."
The police, towtrucks and ambulance arrived within minites. The police did the paperwork thing and booked the driver of the small truck, the paramedics looked us all over and gave the all clear, the towtruck drivers had a mini fight over who get to tow the truck away as the police and mother said our car was drivable as long as it was a 1 way trip home. Mother explained the situation to the police and they escorted us to Macca's where we shared bigmacks with the police officers before they followed us the remaining 3 miles home.
I went on to play a trumpet solo on that very same trumpet at The Sydney Opera House in 1980 for Queen Elizabeth II during her visit here. Mother in the crowd still jumping and cheering.

Hi I'm Judy. Elisabeth's youngest

Mum will be dearly missed by everyone who knew her. I will post some memories at a later date.


We Will Love You Always