I gave my two siblings an assignment to write about.
They were prompt, and had their sibling assignment done the week it was assigned. Christy's blog post is here, and Bill's post is here.
I, apparently, was hit by a ship from the Galactic Empire which threw my ship off course, and I wandered through space for a few weeks. Often, we aren't aware what can come at us to throw us off course.
For me, it was the death of three people in my life.
In the middle of May, one of my oldest and dearest friends lost her mother to a hard fought battle with cancer. Janice was a person who was part of my life from practically the beginning of my life. We were neighbors and her daughter Kellee and I have been friends almost our whole life. It was hard to say goodbye to Janice, and to see the grief it caused my friend and her family.
Then Ted Turnbow died. Again, Ted was someone who I had known my entire life. He and his wife Dorothy were close friends of Mom and Dad, and they were always a part of my life growing up.....as were the whole extended Turnbow family. Ted was the last of the Turnbow siblings to die.
And the final death in the short span of time was my Uncle Harry, my dad's only surviving sibling. Harry lived in Boise, Idaho, and I would try and go see him whenever I was in the area. Seeing and visiting with Harry was like visiting with a part of my dad. I was very sad when I heard the news that Uncle Harry had passed away, also from cancer. I am so glad I was able to see him last November.
So these three deaths really got to me. They were pieces of my childhood and life growing up that are no longer on this earth.
But they do remain in our memories, and in our story telling.
That is one of the reasons we do these sibling assignments. To tell part of our story, and how we remember things growing up together, and our view of the experiences in our lives.
So, I realize this had been a round about way of getting to the assignment, but I felt I needed a little explanation as to my tardiness in completing the assignment I gave.
Here is the assignment:
Since the last of the Turnbow siblings just passed away, I think it would be nice to write a special memory or memories about time spent with this family as we grew up.
My memories of my time spent with the Turnbow family is someone like a collage of memories. Each are like a flash of time, not a long, drawn out story like my siblings remember.
Here are some of the flashes of memories I recall from over the years. I think I have flashes of memories because, unlike my older siblings, when I went to these gatherings, I usually spent time alone. All of the kids at these gatherings were older. Even Jerry and Corrine's youngest son, Ted, who was only two years older, was a large expanse of age when you are in grade school. Plus, he was a boy, I was a girl.
So a lot of my time was in observing. Here are some of the observations I remember:
Thanksgiving was at Jerry and Corrine's house. The men gathered in the living room and watched football. The women gathered in the kitchen. LaRue McCoy, Dorothy Turnbow's mother, seemed to always sit at the kitchen nook. There was a table in the dining room filled with food that people would bring to share. Coats would go on the bed in Jerry and Corinne's room. They had a black lab dog named Scuttles I think.
Fourth of July was always at Rose Lake, and Jerry and Corinne's cabin. My birthday was on July 3rd, so sometimes my birthday celebration would overlap with the Fourth of July celebration.
Again, I remember being alone a lot out at Rose Lake. Occasionally I would find a friend. Phylis Sawyer and I would hang out some if she was there. Time at the lake was spent swimming off the dock, sometimes going out on the big pontoon boat. (My clearest memory of that big boat was throwing up off the side after eating about half a watermelon!!)
In the evening, the Turnbow brothers and some of their friends would get together and sing. "Cockles and Mussles" was one I remember. I know there were others. Evenings at Rose Lake would include bon fires on the beach roasting hot dogs and marshmallows, and being doused in Off Bug Spray. Then there would be the fireworks, too, with those of us around the bonfire playing with sparklers.
We didn't go up the river to Cedar Island a whole lot, but one year I have a particular memory of going to Ted and Dorothy's river place that they shared with Jack and Shirley Carney. They both had trailers. I remember sitting outside on one of the picnic tables outside the trailers, observing what was going on, and listening to the songs on the radio. That particular afternoon, Chicago's "Saturday in the Park" started playing on the radio. Everytime I hear this song, it reminds me of being on Cedar Island, watching Roxanne Ellingson and Kellie Turnbow in their two piece bathing suits getting ready to float the river.
These Turnbow gatherings were part of what made me the person I am today. After reading my brother's post, Jerry's youngest son Ted, who now goes by Jeff, said these beautiful words:
"Us Turnbows always felt a sense of inclusion for anyone. My dad and uncles never forgot the poverty they were raised and always taught that human beings were the wealth of ones life, not material or money. My dad Jerry truly loved Kellogg, the valley, the people who lived in the area. I know he tried his best to be the example of the kind of characteristics that make a great human being. It's a time that will never be the same again, but those of us who experienced those days have a responsibility to younger generations to be the example of honesty, loyalty, empathy and acceptance.
Without losing who we are as individuals."
Bill, Christy and myself all were influenced by this family. How we see the world has been influenced by this family. Our love of Kellogg and the Silver Valley have been influenced by this family. And the realization that "human beings are the wealth of ones life, not material or money" is also a part of the influence from this Turnbow clan, who brought my mom and dad and their three kids into their lives to include as part of their family.