Wednesday, March 31, 2010

I Bought A Window ...

It was in a door. I'm not sure if I bought the door for its' window or the window for its' door. I don't need either ... but that's the way I roll.

I am so into this window that I can hardly focus on the whole door. It's just so beautiful. I have already brought it to life again. And it speaks to me. You'll see.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

When German Brandriet Eyes Aren't Smiling ...

I am an organizer. When I don't have an organizing project I can get into here on The Prairie, I organize other people's stuff. So after a couple of weeks with Catherine at Mom's, making order and scaling back, everything having to do with both Mom's and Dad's Family Trees, is in one room and in several mountainous piles.

I have my own Family Tree books, but digging around in all of this fun stuff it took to put them together has ended up being quite amusing. The photos, the documents, and the stories surrounding them have taken on a new importance for me. Maybe because one day I'll be in charge of every bit of it. And then I will have to hand it down to Catherine. She and I have a tremendous obligation to Grammie. We have to keep the information alive, current and ongoing. It's just that way. Grammie has devoted a major amount of her down time to both writing and producing my Dad's family's Tree. And she has devotedly maintained her own in one way or another. To let it go would surely be sinful.

This is Bernard and Caroline Koopman Brandriet with 8 of their 9 children. Their first son, John, died from Dipttheria at the age of 5. The Wabasha, Minnesota epidemic was their reason for moving to homestead in Waverly, Dakota Territory. Not North, Not South, not yet.

Bernard is my Great Grandfather. He was born in Luxemburg, Germany in 1846. He was the only Brandriet who came to the US. After settling in Wabasha he sent for Caroline and she traveled with her Father, from Luxemburg, to be reunited with her future husband. Talk about Love ... and someone stole her jewelry on the ship. In her Golden Years she would occasionally wander in her garden at night, trying to find it. My heart is breaking right about now. But she had a great life. Her 8 children stayed in the Waverly area and she lived to be 75.

My Great Uncle Ben, back row left, farmed in Waverly too. He married Lizzie Jorgenson and they had 7 children.

My twin Great Aunts, Elizabeth and Mary, are in the back to the right of Ben. Aunt Elizabeth was always "Auntie Dick". No one thinks this is crazy fun except me. She married Michael Bierscheid and had 3 children. Great Aunt Mary married William Halling and had 3 children as well.

Great Aunt Maggie, to the right of the twins, married John Kranz and had 12 children. That pretty much sums up her life.

My Great Uncle Theo, back row right, raised horses and was a self appointed Veterinarian, trusted by everyone in the area. I love that. He married Bridget Kiley and they had 1 child. Something's up with that. When Theo was elderly and alone he lived with us a couple of years. On a Sunday morning, Wendy followed him to early church, 2 blocks up 3rd Street and right in to the front door of Immaculate Conception. She was 3 years old and wearing her footie jammies. He brought her home and skipped the Service.

Matt, on Caroline's left had a Dairy Farm. He married Mary Byer and had 4 children.

My Aunt Anna, in the front on the right was "Auntie" to everyone. She never married and was dedicated to the Herbert Clark family. She worked for them 38 years and lived to be 90.

That's my Grandfather between Bernard and Caroline, their youngest, Albert Joseph Brandriet. He married Ethel Corey and they had 6 children. Ethel's ancestors lived in Salem and two of them, my Great x 5, I think, Grandparents, were pressed to death for practicing witchcraft. I think she used boiled sheep manure and butter on a neighbor's burn. Or maybe that's another story from another ancestor on the other side. I like the sound of it though. Pressing is being covered up with rocks until you go bye bye. Nice. Albert and Ethel's youngest child was my Father, Carroll Eugene.

No ... we were not always the smiling Brandriet's in our photos. But you can tell we are thinking about it. I really love my Peeps.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ice Cream Sandwich Sky Watch ...

Tasty skies at Sky Watch Friday ... and love from The Prairie. xoxo.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Friday, March 12, 2010

Spring Sky Watch ...

It's the nest of an Orchard Oriole in my budding Willow. And it's also Sky Watch Friday.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Green ...

Quite often the Leaf is as mesmerizing as the Blossom. An Optical Illusionary Geranium Leaf front side, with the light behind it causing the appearance of the backside.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Sky Watch ...

This is my Back Yard.
This was Tuesday Morning.
It's no longer just a day of the Week.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Aunt Kate Rocks ...

I'd like to introduce my Great Great Aunt Kate Redmond Mulroy. She is my maternal Great Great Grandfather's sister, born in 1870, DeKalb, Illinois.

A very strict School Teacher, Aunt Kate was known for, and relied on, to keep the Native American boys in check at the Country School House that was hers for many many years. It seems she kept the Ancestors hopping as well. I truly love and understand this about my Aunt Kate.

Aunt Kate and Uncle Matt did not have children. They had been married 29 years when he drowned at the age of 57, along with his friend and brother in law, John LeDehoff. Their row boat capsized in the icy waters of Minnesota's Lake Traverse while returning from a duck hunting trip on a November evening. Bless Aunt Kate's heart ... it must have broken a bit more with each minute that passed, and Uncle Matt didn't come in their door. She lived on without him to the age of 90.

I really love my Aunt Kate today. I love her story. I love her eye glasses. I love her complexion and the waves in her hair. I love her pearls and her tear drop shaped earrings ... the subtle ruffles on her chiffon dress. I love the total package ... a very classy Aunt Kate, a formal portrait, and the totally unexpected mod, colorful, and ethnic frame. I think it's all pretty spectacular. I hope Aunt Kate does too.

Maybe some day a descendant of mine will discover a photo of me at a family member's home. It will be in an unexpected place and will be found at an unexpected time. Maybe she or he will speak up and say, "May I have this photo of Aunt Laurie" ? From wherever I am, I am going to want the answer to be "Yes" ... Yes, of course" ... exactly like it happened at Mom's. And perhaps that photo will go home with he or she, and it will land, right away, in a great frame. And I will be brought back to life, along with my story, rocking once again.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Sound Effects & Gate Check ...

Yesterday we were out in t shirts and jeans. We had shoes on too. I was taking photos while this White Light Plane flew over (click on it now). It was making a sound that I have grown to love. Don't get me wrong ... I love Bird sounds. I love mooing Cows too. But there is something about the humming of a small Plane or beautifully parachuted Ultra Light. The Northwest Airlines Mesaba Turbo Prop has a great sound too.

We live just a few miles from the Airport. Trust me, it's not a problem. Only 3 flights come in and out of Watertown per day via Minneapolis. The planes are made by Saab. I believe they have Italian MoMo racing steering wheels. We drive Subarus with Italian Momo steering wheels. We also have Boxer engines, horizontally opposed. These things sure come in handy here.

If you fly in to visit us here on The Prairie, we will hear then see your plane go over, and I will jump in one of our Subarus to go pick you up. It's a quick trip across Highway 212 and around the eastern side of Lake Kampeska. We will drive right up to the Airport door and there you will be, already with your luggage, after having arrived at Gate 1 and Only.

You will immediately notice how fresh the air is. And the blue sky will knock your socks off. I'll drive you to Kellers On The Prairie then, after having been gone less than 20 minutes. How cool is that ?

Oh ... and when you leave, the chances are pretty good that your flight will depart from that same gate.