Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Living Adjustments-Matilda and Me

I can't believe what just happened! Thirty seconds ago it started to RAIN! We haven't had rain in so long. It has been warm and dry in Southern California.

Today I told my younger son that our family has been in Southern California for almost 100 years. He actually was interested and asked me a few more questions. (He's 17.) My great-grandparents lived in Scotland. When Great-grandfather, Alex, heard about the beauty of California, he thought he might come over and invest in some orange groves. He ended up moving the whole family...his wife and four young daughters--my grandmother being one of them. Many years later she met and married my grandfather. They met in the mountains!

So back to Southern California. I'm in a daze...about "moving". We are not making our house payment due to a slow down in my husband's job. It's been a 3 year slow down. And it's not good to continue to dip into our savings account to make house payments. So we are thinking of selling and using what (shrinking) equity we have to buy a home in a less expensive area.

Below is my favorite place to walk--the Arboretum. My grandmother (from Scotland) and my grandfather (from New Jersey) met in these mountains and were married soon after.

We may move to Northern California or Oregon--or we might go to Arizona. My husband loves the Arizona landscape. What do I want? Somewhere that is not too cold and not too hot. I don't want a lot of snow. A tiny bit...okay. I don't want to live in Phoenix where it is 115. And we need a community college for the boys, and elementary schools for me so I can continue working in Special Ed.

What will Mozart do? Continue composing--and selling his music--but he will need another side business. And it's scary moving away from Los Angeles where the entertainment industry is--where our income comes from.

Part of me is very excited about this. It's quite crowded in Southern California, and I'd love to move to a place where I can enjoy nature more. (But we have to make a living) - so one must be careful and keep these matters in prayer.

Back to family history--I also told my son we had fought in the Revolutionary War and my g-g-g-g-g-g-grandfather had fed Washington's troops because he owned a large mill in New Jersey...and the soldiers were passing through. He rallied everyone in the area to help out. More about this...

My grandfather (on my father's side) was born in New Jersey. Our family had been in New Jersey since the 1600's...and helped found the colony of Elizabethtown. Grandpa left New Jersey in the early 1900's when he was 16 years old and came out to California. He traveled with his mother and his little brother.

Why did grandpa leave New Jersey? It seems my great-grandfather had taken up with another woman. So my independent New Jersey great-grandmother Matilda rounded up her sons--my grandfather and his little brother--and headed for California. She supported herself working as a seamstress. Many of her clients were affluent and great-grandma Matilda would stay in their homes for a week or two while she made upholstery and drapes.

Grandpa's little brother, Merrill, would accompany his mother to these large homes. He often found himself wandering outside in the beautiful gardens. When Merrill grew up he became a landscape architect. Grandpa (at 16) took up smoking cigarettes and got a job at Sears. (He told us he once saw Charlie Chaplin come in.) He later became an oil man working for General Petroleum in Taft.

I will be seeing Merrill's wife on Thanksgiving. She is in her 90's and is still very involved in her church, as well as keeping her home. We will spending the afternoon and evening at my parents home on the coast. I'm bringing mashed potatoes. (Yes, I got off easy.) But I'll probably be doing the dishes!

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day! Count your blessings! You'll be surprised how many there are!

For the Lord is good; His mercies are everlasting and his truth endures for all generations.
Psalm 100


Dawn said...

What a great story! I wish I knew more about my ancestry that far back. Matilda sounds amazing. Do you have pictures of all of them? It'll be fun to see Merrill's wife.

I get sick every time I think of all the pictures that were with my posts that are now gone because I went into panic mode and deleted my Flickr account - all of those posts I did about my ancestry. I get so mad at you-know-who when I think of it.

I got up early and mixed up the rolls, which I forgot to do last night. They're supposed to sit on the counter all night and then be rolled out and baked in the morning. I'll be baking this evening instead - oh, well, they'll be even fresher tomorrow.

That verse is a perfect ending. Have a wonderful day with your family!

Dawn said...

Me again - lots to comment about today. I can't believe you might be leaving S Cal after 100 years of family history! You and Matilda - only your story isn't as sad. She sounds amazing.

Susan Skitt said...

Wow, how cool to know so many details about your family history. Did you do the research yourself?

I'll be praying for you about your move. That is a big decision.

And I hear you about doing those dishes on Thanksgiving! My sister and I wondered when the pile was going to end - lol! Then it was time to sit down and indulge in some homemade pumpkin pie with whipped cream :)

Hope you had a lovely day. The Lord's mercies indeed are everlasting!