27 September 2013 | By: Brenda Leyndyke

The Book of Me: Forever Autumn

I happen to live in an area where I get to enjoy all four seasons, but Fall, or Autumn, is by far my favorite time of the year.  I could live year round in a place where weather is fall like.

Brisk mornings followed by sunny afternoons are one of the reasons I enjoy Fall so much.  It is great sleeping weather.  Usually, I leave the window open at night and wake up snuggled under the covers.

The cooler weather brings about wonderful changes to the leaves.  The first thing I think about in Fall is the beautiful colors the leaves become.  The oranges, yellows, browns, and reds are breath taking.  I enjoy going on color tour drives to see the beauty that nature is during the fall season. While living in Harbor Springs, Michigan I enjoyed one of the most beautiful color tour drives I have ever seen.  The drive from Harbor Springs to Cross Village on M-119 takes you along a bluff with a view of the lake on the left and a tunnel of trees ahead of you.  This route is called "Tunnel of Trees".  The fall colors wrap around you as you drive.

I remember the colors of Fall as a child, too.  A favorite childhood memory is raking leaves just so I could jump in them.  The leaves would stick to my clothes and hair.  After jumping in the leaves, I would arrange the leaves in the shape of a house floor plan.  I would leave openings for doors and have a good time in my multicolored house.

Going to an apple orchard or pumpkin patch is another favorite thing about Fall.  Whether one picks their own apples or buys them by the bushel, Michigan apple season is a delight.  There is more than apples at our local apple orchards.  Fresh made cider, fresh cake like donuts, apple dumplings and more make a visit to an apple orchard a great fall outing.

Using those fresh picked apples to make apple pie or crisp, or even apple cake is one of my favorite fall activities.  Here is my recipe for apple crisp, a family favorite:

Apple Crisp
4 cups sliced apples
1T. lemon juice
1/3 cup flour
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/3 cup margarine, melted
Combine apples and lemon juice.  Combine remaining ingredients until crumbly.  Sprinkle on top of apples.  Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes.  

After a visit to the apple orchard it is time to come home and settle in for my favorite football game.  I enjoy watching college football in the Fall.  My alma mater, Western Michigan University, is seldom on national television, so I usually root for the team that my son works for.  Currently, Travis is working for the athletic department in ticket sales for the University of Florida.  Chomp! Chomp!  Go Gators!  I root for the University of Michigan, too.

Whether it is seeing the leaves turn colors, hearing them rustle or smelling fresh baked apple crisp, Fall has a lot to offer.  It could be forever autumn, I enjoy it that much.

16 September 2013 | By: Brenda Leyndyke

The Book of Me: I Am What I Am

I have gone through life believing I was overweight and it wasn't until I was truly overweight that I realized I was not fat as a child!  I have pictures of me as a teen where I am trying to hide my body or stand to de-emphasize my hips.  I graduated from high school weighing about 125 pounds on a 5 foot, six inch frame.

I am a pear shape and it has only been in recent years that I have come to accept my body as it is. Of course, I would love to lose weight.  I have lost and gained weight throughout the last 30 years. I know how to lose weight, I know the benefits of losing weight, but my mind just isn't there yet.  I don't blame my weight gain on anything, I just eat too much and don't exercise enough!

I am what I am!  I have flaws, but that is what makes me unique.  I look in the mirror and this is what I see:

  • short, white hair that many people ask if I dye it this color. No, I don't.
  • ears that are pierced once in each ear.
  • glasses, that I would be blind without (I can't even read the big E on the eye chart without them) covering my big brown eyes. 
  • smooth white skin that reddens when I get hot.
  • straight white teeth that the dentist says are in excellent shape, only a few cavities. 
  • a scar going across my neck.  If I didn't have that scar I wouldn't be here today.  I had thyroid cancer that spread to my lymph nodes thirty three years ago.  I am a survivor.
  • a body that gravity is taking its' toll on.
  • a back with a few sun spots and two newly created scars from having two benign lumps removed.  A small one on my right shoulder and a medium size one in the middle of my back.

  • Hands that held my two beautiful, newborn babies have now turned to arthritic hands, with nodules on a few fingers and bone spurs on my thumbs.  I wear braces when the pain gets bad.  My fingers no longer wear the beautiful rings that I have.  I can get them on, but not off, so I stopped wearing them.  I have a beautiful, round, solitaire diamond that belonged to my husband's grandmother, a simple wedding band, an anniversary band with a row of diamonds, and a lovely sapphire cocktail ring that my husband gave me to commemorate our son's birth.  
  • an innie belly button scarred by surgery I had as a toddler to correct an umbilical hernia.
  • a knee scarred when I was 12, when I fell off my bike while riding on loose gravel.  I thought I would be picking gravel out of my knee forever.  The gravel is gone, but a quarter size scar is left.
  • short legs attached to a long torso and high arched feet that have treated me pretty well over the years.

This is me!  As they say in La Cage aux Folles- I am what I am, my own special creation!

10 September 2013 | By: Brenda Leyndyke

The Book of Me: My Birth

Deckerville Hospital, Circa 1957, Deckerville Michigan

My journey began on a bright and early Sunday morning in a small hospital in the thumb area of Michigan.  (Michigan is shaped liked a hand, so imagine where the thumb is.)  Brenda Rae Glover, a healthy girl weighing seven pounds-eight ounces, was born at 6:40 a.m. on the 15th of September 1957 in Deckerville Hospital, Deckerville, Michigan.  Dr. E. W. Blanchard and a nurse or two welcomed Brenda into this world.  1957 was a time when only hospital personnel were allowed in the delivery room.  The dark haired, dark eyed baby's parents, Bruce and Audrey Glover, welcomed their second daughter into the world on a fall Michigan morning.  Her Sister, Linda Kaye, was staying with her Aunt Mabel and Uncle Hank Glover during this time.  Linda, almost four, was told about her new sister and she exclaimed, "I want a Tammy", or something to that effect.

  Audrey, Bruce, Baby Brenda, and Linda, taken early 1958.

Tammy was a reference to "Tammy and the Bachelor" movie which was popular at the time. A hit song, Tammy, and a Tammy doll were in vogue too.  September of 1957 saw the Ford Motor Company introducing the Edsel; NBC introduced an animated version of the Peacock logo; West Side Story hit the Broadway stage and American Bandstand was enjoying its' first month of shows.

   Deckerville Community Hospital, Fall 2012.


08 September 2013 | By: Brenda Leyndyke

The Book of Me: Who Are You?

The Book of Me, Written by You is a new blog prompt series created by Julie Goucher at Anglers Rest blog.  Geneabloggers is adding support and encouragement to this 15 month blogging activity.  I write freely about the stories that bring my ancestors to life and look forward to exploring my life through writing.  I hope you will join me as I journey to my past.

This week's prompt is Who Are You?  Ask yourself 20 times "Who are you?"  Each time you should give yourself a different answer, and if you can easily go beyond 20 entries then that is fine too. This prompt is about how YOU see YOU.

I am

a mother
a wife
an empathetic person
a reader
a gardener
a cancer survivor
a college graduate
a gardener
a perfectionist
a neat freak
a confidant
a blogger
a family historian
a cookbook collector
a good listener
a good cook
a news junkie
an organizer
a lover of food

the best person I can be!

This blog post was originally published at Journey to the Past blog.

Welcome to Journey to My Past

Hello, I would like to welcome you to Journey to My Past, the third in a series of blogs that I write about my genealogical journeys.  Two other blogs that I author are:

Journey to the Past-a family history blog where I share my genealogical research journey of my Glover and Fredrick Family and their ancestors.
Journey to His Past-a family history blog where I share my genealogical research journey of my husband's Leyndyke and Corcoran family and their ancestors.

Journey to My Past will be all about ME!  I will be participating in "The Book of Me, Written by You" blog prompt series.  Julie Goucher at Anglers Rest blog has created this series.  It is a 15 month blogging activity focusing on writing about ourselves.  I hope you will join me as I Journey to My Past.