Son Adam turned 36 on July 7. He posted this on Facebook: “Sadly, this will be the first year I won’t get a card from Mary Welch Steinhoff for my birthday with some family photos in it.”
See, Mother had drawers full of hundreds of photographs of family from way back, plus hundreds more we sent her over the years. I’m not sure when she started the custom of mailing pictures BACK to us on our birthdays, but she was way ahead of Facebook in returning memories. The birthday envelope would contain a card, a stack of photos, and a check that roughly correlated to your age (I think she may have capped it at 50 bucks when we got older, but I’d have to go back to look).
I hope this tides you over
There was no telling if you’d get a picture of you as a baby, a toddler or an adult. I think she just reached into a drawer or a box and grabbed whatever fate dealt.
Happy Birthday, Kid
So, Adam, I’m not your Grandmother, but I DO have access to her stash. I hope these bring back good memories. Click on the photos to make them larger.
Folks, if you’re looking for a nice family tradition to start, give this a try. P.S. please write dates and names on the back of the prints. Locations, too, will help down the road.
Depending on who you ask, the news that Niece Amy is getting married in Tulsa this weekend is greeted by “Already?” or “It’s about time.”
Mother has met Ian, the prospective groom, and given the union her blessing.
She wanted to make it out to the wedding, but decided that it was better to build up her strength in Cape than to go through the hassle of flying or an eight-hour road trip. We sent a picture of Mother in her wedding dress to be held up when the group family photos are taken.
Miss Amy through the years
Here’s a gallery of photos of Miss Amy of the Steinhoff Tulsa Branch. Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the gallery.
Niece Amy is getting married in Tulsa this weekend, so there has been a mass exodus from Florida headed to Oklahoma. It wasn’t exactly on the path, but Sons Adam and Matt, their spouses and their brood, stopped by to see Mother, who is very much on the mend.
She and I both finally got to meet the newest arrival, Finn Levi Steinhoff. You can click on the photos if you want to be exposed to excessive cuteness.
Mother, Matt, Malcolm and I got together to update the last four-generation photo we took several years ago.
It was decided that three months was too long for me to go without a haircut and beard trim. (Like my barber says, “There are two kinds of men with hair on their faces: those who have beards and those who don’t shave.” I’m pretty sure I had slipped into that second category.)
I polled my Facebook friends and got several suggestions for a local barber. My requirements: “I want an old-fashioned barber. I don’t want a stylist, I don’t want the place to smell like hair spray, and I want a REAL barber chair, not some light-weight aluminum job.” Basically, I was looking for Ed Unger, but he retired in 1983.
I eliminated the ones from Bill Hopkins that suggested PETCO and a barber who is pretty good “when he is sober.” For the record, I was very happy with Scott at the Varsity Barber Shop.
Cards keep coming in
When I mentioned that Mother loves getting mail, scores of you sent some really cool cards. This one, by Jane Paquin, 74, of Seal Beach, Cal., was one of the most unique.
Tower Rock Whirlpool
The whirlpool south of Tower Rock kept trying to get organized, but it would dissipate before it got going good. Still, it was fun for the group to guess whether a floating log would get pulled into the swirling water or if it would escape and go straight downstream.
I’ve driven the road between Cape and Wittenberg so many times that I take the hills and curves a little on the fast side. About two-thirds of the way there, Daughter-in-Law Sarah looked at Malcolm and warned, “I think we’re about to have a Dramamine moment back here.” I slowed down.
Gerard to the rescue
When we made it to the Altenburg Lutheran Heritage Center and Museum, Gerard Fiehler came to the rescue with a can of soda to calm things down. Before long, Malcolm was listening to Gerard tell him (and let him see for himself) the difference between how a harpsichord and a piano make sounds.
He liked the whirlpool, liked the museum, liked picking up railroad spikes along the train tracks, but he REALLY liked driving his great-grandmother’s riding mower around the back yard.
“Look at all the alligators”
When we went down to the riverfront, Graham looked at all the logs floating down the river and said, “Look at all the alligators!” You can tell he’s a Florida boy.
They got to splash rocks, see a towboat taking on fuel, touch the river and look at the mural on the flood wall. It’s a good thing they didn’t see this woman doing The Foolish Frolic in the floodwaters. They’d have probably tried it and ended up in New Orleans.
River walk photo gallery
Click on any photo to make it larger, then use your arrow keys to move through the gallery. In order of tallness: Adam, Carly, Graham, Elliot and (being carried), Finn.