Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tika & Long Lake

Now I DO NOT usually swim with a yellow noodle, nor do I swim with a white T-shirt, but I wanted to re-create the Tika-riding-on-my-back photo and we were in deeper water. Does she look happy???

A friend suggested that we needed life jackets for our two dogs when we go boating. Don't think so; dogs...all mammals...can swim wonderfully. (Ever seen a rabbit or a porcupine swimming? Just this morning our local newspaper had a bit about a porky getting into their backyard pool during the night.) Now I do have a baby life jacket for when we took our infant grandchildren out; what was different about it was a high around-the-head collar. I love the water but I well recognize the power of water.

Doing my genealogy, many of my ancestors met their fate by drowning; one distant cousin in World War II. Did you realize that it was after WWI that America realized that many of her young men could not swim (being from the landlocked midwest and all) so it was decided that all high schools would have a pool and would teach swimming. (Are you thinking of the Christmas movie, It's A Wonderful Life?) And now those older schools are being remodeled to do away with their pools and new ones have none. Most communities have public pools and do offer swim classes. It is my opinion that all children should learn to swim, period. Life is long and you just never know and most of us have a love of water.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Tika & Banks Lake

Summertime to us means lakes and water, anywhere and anytime. Banks Lake is one of our favorites. It is a man-made lake south of Coulee Dam in a basalt-cliff coulee; the lake was created to give water to all of central Washington for irrigation. Anyway. The lake was being drawn down for some reason and we went over to prowl the beach..... we've found arrowheads in the past. No arrowheads that day but plenty of muddy-sticky-clay exposed beach. We went swimming anyway! I drug her in on her leash with me and in a shallow part, as I rested on hands and knees, she climbed up up on my back.... like a baby duck does!

Our family has been going at least annually to this lake for 40 years. Amazing; well before my time, said Tika.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Tika & Liberty Lake

Tika went with us today boating on Liberty Lake, a small lake about 10 miles east of Spokane. Here she's helping me look to see where the public bathing beach would have been in the 1920s........... Handy Man's great-grandmother, Ada Smith Leverich (1866-1944) came from Illinois to Washington to visit her married daughter, Mary Ethel (Leverich) Oswald in the 1920s sometime. And it was "the thing" then to ride the nickel trolley from Spokane out to Liberty Lake. I have a photo of Ada in her head-to-toe-with-big-black-hat bathing costume standing up to her ankles in the water on a beach somewhere on this lake. There I was in my far-less-covered-up swim suit remembering his ancestor as we putt-putted around the lake. It was a great day; Tika agreed (especially as she got part of my tuna sandwich).

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tika & Dog Tags

Tika, like most good doggies, wears her "dog tags" on her collar........ her owner ID, her rabies tab and her county license tag. But I was telling her about a different kind of "dog tag," ones that soldiers wear. Last week when I visited family in Kansas City, MO, and visited the fabulous World War I Memorial Museum, I took this photo of some WWI-era dog tags. Each soldier was issued two metal tags; one to be left with his body (on a marker perhaps) if he was killed and the other to be sent back to headquarters for family notification. I did an article on Military Dog Tags not too long ago for Family Chronicle magazine. It was quite sobering to stand and view these little silvery metal discs and know their reason for being.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tika & Crayola?

Tika is happily home with Handy Man and I am in Kansas City, Missouri, visiting Handy Man's sister Sharon. While the weather has been beastly (today 106o) we have had a wonderful time. Today we go to downtown KC to the Crown Center and one thing we'll visit is the Crayola "place." Did you know that the Crayola company was founded in 1885? The name Crayola was coined by Alice, wife of company founder and comes from craie, French for chalk, and ola for oleaginous or oily. Thus: oily chalk. By 1905 the company offered 18 different sized boxes of 5 different Crayola colors in sizes. Initially, crayon boxes were targeted to artists and sold for $1.50 a box (expensive in those days). Think what they cost today, say at Wal-Mart, in the back to school sales. Question:  Do you think your ancestor used crayons? Or better yet, when did your ancestors in their childhood begin to use crayons??