It Was Ugly!

Week 20: #52 Ancestors – Textile By Eilene Lyon I did a bad thing. I’m still ashamed. My grandmother, Clare (Davis) Smith, said she had an heirloom to pass on to me, if I would promise to keep and preserve it. I broke that promise. Partly because of a misunderstanding about the nature of this... Continue Reading →

From the Vault: Baby Book

By Eilene Lyon The “From the Vault” series features an artifact or family photo from my collection to illustrate a tale from my distant past. Did your parents keep a baby book for you? Are baby books still a “thing”? The inside cover of mine indicates it was a gift from my Aunt B in... Continue Reading →

1-2-3 Recipe

Week 17: #52 Ancestors – Document By Eilene Lyon My mother handed down some written recipes, but they originated from her mother or mother-in-law. Though Mom had a home ec degree, she learned to cook in the era of convenience foods—very little made from scratch. The easier the better, as far as she was concerned.... Continue Reading →

Contours of a Life

Week 16: #52 Ancestors – Negatives By Eilene Lyon Negative space is an art term referring to the space around an object, or “air space.” Especially when working in watercolor, the artist focuses on filling in the darker places between lighter-colored features. It is a different way of seeing the world. Sometimes we have to... Continue Reading →

The Drought Diaries: Abandonment

By Eilene Lyon “We know surprisingly little about vanished civilizations whose majesty and whose ultimate demise were closely linked to liberties they took with water.” – Marc Reisner, Cadillac Desert: The American West and Its Disappearing Water It’s no secret that the southwestern United States is a dry place—and getting drier. We’ve entered our third... Continue Reading →

Beakers, Burets, and Bunsen Burners—Oh My!

Week 14: #52 Ancestors – Check It Out By Eilene Lyon My grandmother, Reatha (Gusso) Halse, never finished high school, but she spent two decades working in the Chemistry department at Oregon State University. As the supply room clerk, she spent her days checking out laboratory equipment to undergrads. Reatha became a widow at age... Continue Reading →

Durango Train Museum

By Eilene Lyon While train history is a big part of this museum’s raison d’etre, the exhibits range far and wide. Nine years after the original roundhouse (where the steam locomotives idle at night) burned down in 1989, a portion of the replacement structure was set aside to house the museum. At least two locomotives... Continue Reading →

From the Vault: Fishing

By Eilene Lyon The “From the Vault” series features an artifact or family photo from my collection to illustrate a tale from my distant past. Bluegill The photo I posted recently of Ward Cutting with his trout catch made me think of other fishing tales. My father isn’t much the outdoorsy kind of guy. My... Continue Reading →

Mabel and Her Mom

Week 9: #52 Ancestors – Females By Eilene Lyon I’ve written briefly about my great-grandmother, Mabel Pearl (Cutting) Halse, in relation to her husband and children. It’s a case of having a lot of photographs, but not really knowing her. Unlike her mother-in-law, Lucy Halse, Mabel didn’t get her name in the papers or history... Continue Reading →

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