Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Pappy's Cuckoo Clock

I was thinking about what I should share this week for part of my Tuesday Treasures feature here on the blog. I wasn't sure what to choose as I was walking through my kitchen thinking about it, and I ended up stopping right in front of my grandfather's cuckoo clock. I'd say that was a pretty good sign as to which family heirloom I should feature. 

Pappy's Cuckoo Clock

I called my grandfather, William Hammersmith, Pappy (or Paps for short). And for as far back as I can remember, Nana (my grandma) and Pappy always had this cuckoo clock hanging in their house. Pappy was in the Navy, so I am guessing that it was a treasure he picked up somewhere during that time. I'm sure he told me at some point where it came from. I need to check with my uncle about its origin, as he may know. Right here this minute though, I can't recall the story. What I do recall is how he'd wind the click each day and that at various times throughout the day, that little cuckoo would come out to let us know what time it was.

After Pappy died in 1994, my mom inherited the clock. And it hung in her house until she passed away in 2012, at which time it came home with me. I still have the weighted chains for it that get pulled to keep it wound (whatever they're called), though I never use them. Honestly, at this point in my life the cuckoo would drive me a little crazy. Funny how I loved to hear that cuckoo as a kid. :)  But I love the clock itself--the carved birds and leaves are so pretty. It's hanging in my kitchen and will likely stay there until I pass away. And it does my heart good just to look at it each day as I walk through the kitchen. It's a simple reminder that once upon a time, this clock was cuckooing in my grandparents' house...when we were all together as a family. And if I really try, I can still hear it.
Friday, June 17, 2016

Forget Me Not Friday - The Testorffs

For this week's Forget Me Not Friday feature, since this weekend is Father's Day, I thought I'd post a photo that includes my father, Ken Testorff, my Uncle, Russel Testorff, and my grandfather, Leonard Testorff.

Ken Testorff Russel Testorff Leonard Testorff

That's my father on the far left (wasn't he cute?!), then my uncle, and then my Grandpa Testorff. I always called him Grandpa T. My parents were divorced when I was very young, so I didn't get see my grandparents a lot after that because we moved across the country. But we always kept in touch and he and my grandma were always very near in my heart. He was a musician--he loved his fiddle, and he was even part of more than one band over the years. Grandpa T was somewhat of a celebrity, I'd say. :)

All three of the Testorff men were born and raised in Oswego, Labette County, Kansas. I love that the boys are wearing bib overalls in this photo. I'm not sure of the exact year of this photo, but my dad looks to be about 10-12 here, so that would put it between 1953-55, or thereabouts. It was likely taken in my grandparents yard. And just to show that my grandpa had a funny side too, here's another photo that was taken the same day.

Leonard Testorff

You can tell that he was just hamming it up for the camera. But that's why I love it. Grandpa always wrote wonderful letters and always had some wisdom to share with me. He was a wonderful grandfather. I'm fortunate that one year he sent me a cassette tape of him and his "Over the Hill Gang" band playing music. That was about 25 years ago. Just last year I had that cassette transferred to a CD so that I could listen to it again. I saved it on my computer too. So any time I want to feel a little bit closer to Grandpa T, I just have to turn on his music...and there he is.

Miss you, Grandpa.
Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Wednesday's Child - Della Maxine Kephart

For this week's Wednesday's Child feature I'm featuring a photo of Nana, my maternal grandmother, Della Maxine Kephart. Nana was born on September 29, 1927, in Wellston, Oklahoma to John Arthur and Della Mae (Swinford) Kephart.

Della Maxine Kephart
I never saw this photo before this past week when my Uncle posted it online so that I could see it. I had never seen a photo of Nana when she was little, so I had asked if he had any. I love this photo, even though it's a little blurry. She looks to be about two years old here. You can still see her wonderful big smile, and I can't help but wonder who she was smiling at in that moment. 

My Nana was a huge part of my life when I was growing up. Our birthdays were only one day apart so we almost always spent them together. We shared a love of poetry, and Elvis. She made the best "Pot Pie" (which was the family version of chicken and noodles) and the best fried chicken on the planet. She was there for so many milestone moments in my life and was a very special lady. She proclaimed our family motto to be NAIH (Never Apart In Heart), which I still use to this day. And she made the yellow rose our family flower. So even now, when I see yellow roses I can't help but think of her. 

Love and miss you, Nana. NAIH 

Yellow Rose