"Life's a trip !!"
LIFE is a trip, and the older you get, the more you respect the journey, of your own and others....the more you realize that despite our differences, the human path makes us more alike than different. Over time, one observes, welcomes, endures, participates in, resists, changes until the day we die, and then for Christians, wonderful change progresses in the after-life*.
The man in the picture is my grandfather in the 70's. He lived through lots of change! I was a little kid, but I think my older cousin Louis, and some of his buddy's rode motorcycles a couple hundred miles to visit family (us) and have some beach fun.
Grandpa, went out and "studied" one of the motorcycles, looked at it, and I don't know if it took coaxing from my father or not, but Grandpa climbed on the hip iron horse. (My cousin Louis saw the picture and recognized it as his motorcycle, 1974, 750, 4 cylinder.) That day my daddy thought it was so cool to see his dad on that motorcycle. He encouraged him to put on the helmet, and grabbed his camera.........
Let me tell you about this man, my grandfather. I assure you, that if you live long enough, you too will experience great changes, like him.... some welcomed, some not. May we all be as successful in reputation of good and honorable through it all.
**Warning: A lot of family history here; long personal post:
Born in 1901, his father was conceived during the civil war when his grandfather was a spy for the confederate army. The union soldiers saw him in a tree and told him, "Better get down from that tree Strait, or we're gonna shoot ya." My great -great-grandpa Christopher got down from the tree, ran for his horse and got shot in his ankle. He was sent home to recuperate (one of the lucky ones) and it was then that Grandpa's father was conceived. Baby William grew up, and that was my grandfather's father.
So this brings me to Grandpa, 1901.
When he was born, in Arkansas (that man on the motorcycle right there) they lived in a cabin, and his older sister was the water girl. One of her regular chores was to bring a bucket of water from the creek , to the cabin for her family which consisted of their mother and father, and two children: herself- my Aunt Omar, her brother, my Uncle Olin, plus baby Floyd, who became my grandfather. This must have been my great grandfather William's best time of his life, because he had his wife and three healthy children. Then came number four, a beautiful girl named Donnie who was not to live to adulthood.
By the time my grandfather (the man on this motorcycle) was in fourth grade, his mother fell ill and died. It was told by a first hand witness to my Aunt Pearl that on her deathbed, with her last breath she sang beautifully the hymn, "I Surrender All." I can only imagine the emotion, faith, and determination behind that last offering, and surrendering in the flesh, right before my great grandmother was released into the spirit world to be free of physical constraints and in paradise with Christ. I have wondered many times, how much the generations after her, were blessed because of her faith*.
Short years later my grandfather's father (William) is said to have been layed up with a broken back, and my grandpa (Floyd),
in 4th grade of school,
had to quit school to work in the coal mines to support his family.
By age 14,
my grandfather, and his grandfather, Christopher,
dug a grave for little sister Donnie.
My grandpa said that his grandfather told, his dead little sister, lovingly, "I'll be with you pretty soon," and then not long after that, my grandfather (in that picture) dug the grave for his grandfather, Christopher, civil war veteran.
After William rehabilitated,
now with his wife and youngest daughter dead,
he determined that they should move to Texas.
He had earned a living as a
and a store partner,
and in hard times, lending credit to the town folk along with perhaps an untrustworthy partner proved fatal to his finances. I don't know what my great grandfather William planned on doing in Texas, but he had heard that the land was rich, and he practiced carpentry here as far as I am aware, and kinfolk remembered him as interested in national politics and religion. It is said that he would wave his walking cane as he talked and debated, and once my daddy saw him get into a "cane fight," with another old man.
My grandfather was a youngster, a boy in the horse drawn wagon train that came to Texas. In that traveling group, life long friends were made who would later see generations between them marry and blend the families*... Actually this trip was made twice, with the later being a permanent move, with William, Omar, and Floyd living the rest of their days in Texas and the generations after them, and even Olin lived out his last days in Texas.
But back to Floyd, on the motorcycle.
As a young man in south Texas, though his early transportation by necessity had been horse, Grandpa found employment in Texas, working for area farmers, a few being of the Rader and Smith name, and he developed a reputation for being "good with machines." Mr. Rader had a daughter named Laura who had been helping her mother in the kitchen (to cook for the workers) since she could stand on an apple crate to peel potatoes, and do otherwise whatever her mother Pearl told her to do.
Just a young girl, Laura thought Floyd was tall and handsome. She used to look forward to getting a glimpse of him, or maybe a kind word in passing, as he worked for Laura's kinfolk for years.
Floyd was a quiet man, who enjoyed drawing, and playing his harmonica, and going on horseback rides and dominoes or card (games) with the men. Finally, when Laura was an older teenager, her wish came true, and they started talking more and spending time together. When she was age 18, Floyd gave her a ring and they got married. It was not a big affair, but joyous to those two........
Laura and Floyd, were married for about 60 years before they went to be with the Lord, with in one month of one another. Grannie (79) died on Mother's Day, and Grandpa (87) passed away the day before Father's day. Their union begat Billy and Pearlie. My sister and I came from Bill (and Jean), my cousin Louis came from Pearl (and *Marvin). Pearl and Marvin adopted two little girls, who also had biological roots on that wagon train from Arkansas. They were my beloved cousins Sheri and Vicki.
He came to Texas on a covered wagon.
He lived to see man walk on the moon on T.V., and he was sure it was a trick, or propaganda (like to assure Russia that the USA were the big dogs). I suppose maybe he believed man landing on the moon was for real 20 years after the fact.
He was faithful to my grandmother, and was known for being honest, calm, dependable, trustworthy, kind, affectionately responsive to all kids in his household, and generous to those in need. Billie and Pearlie were raised with a tassle of cousins and family frequently at their house. He did not begin purposeful walking with the Lord until his 40's. The kids were about raised before he started serving the Lord, but his loyalty was steadfast, when placed.
By the time I came along, some of my treasured pictures in my mind's eye, were of my grandfather sitting in his old chair, by lamp light, magnifying glass in his hand to help him see, reading his Bible. He did not need a man to tell him what the Bible said, or to interpret for him. He chose to do it himself, and if you wanted to talk Bible, my grandfather could always contribute. He went to church with Grannie two or three times a week, because he thought it was the right thing to do, not because he relied on the preacher to teach him.
My grandfather is one of the best men I have ever known, and loved, with all of my heart, and just to have my memories in my heart, is worth more than gold !
I think of my grandfather's journey, and his generation, and those that came after. What I am grateful for most, is their faith, their endurance, determination to keep on keeping on, to do their best for one another and God through all the curves, hills, mountains, and valleys. The Lord has blessed their seed.
1 Corinthians 15:52
In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
2 Corinthians 5:8
We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.
Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord, that delighteth greatly in his commandments.
His seed shall be mighty upon the earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed.
(King James Version scripture)
Thank you for reading. I would be glad to hear from you in the comments.
To my cousin Louis, I look forward to you sharing more information with me. I would be very happy to edit and add, to make this more special and as accurate as I can. Thank you♡
Just a few more old photos:
Laura and her siblings, left to right: Inez, Charlie, Laura, Tudor
The suave young man, Floyd.
farm equipment that I suspect my Grandfather worked with
left to right: Floyd, Laura, (Aunt Omar, or Aunt Viola's sister in law Selma??) Aunt Viola (wife of) Olin, Great Grandfather William
above: early in Grannie and Grandpa's marriage judging by how trim she is..........
above: great Grannie Rader, my Grandpa (Floyd), my Grannie (Laura)
above: Grannie with her children, Billy and Pearlie
above: some of the family that frequented the house: Uncle Henry and Grandpa (Floyd) and Great Grandpa (William); children on the left are believed to be cousins not yet identified (Betty, Tootsie, or Henrietta?, and David? Aunt Inez behind her husband Henry and Pearlie behind her father Floyd? with my daddy ( Billy) with his father's arm embracing him
in back: Omar (William's oldest, the little water girl), Laura (who stood on a crate to help her mother cook), Omar's son Lawson, his son or a cousin?? in front: Billy (my father), Pearlie (cousin Lou's mother), Omar's daughter Jewel ♡
Grandpa and me (above)♡ below: their 50th anniversary newspaper photo
above: me with Grandpa
Above, Aunt Pearl and me, university graduation
Me with Grannie and Grandpa, celebrating university graduation
Best best part.......... this is not the end. We just "pass through" here on earth; our destination is eternity!! The best is yet to come, for all who are saved in Christ.
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers, and pilgrims on earth.
And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
And now why tarryist thou? Arise, and be baptized, and wash away thy sins, calling on the name of the Lord.
1st John 1:7
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
May we walk in the Sonshine! Thanks for visiting♡
Grandma Mary Martha
I am limited on my pictures, but now that I have learned how to blog, I would totally be thrilled to get together with my relatives and blog more about family history and load more pictures..... more......more.....more.