Mother’s Day Season

Family tombstones 05-08-2021

Mother long graduated from having a Birth Day to having a Birthday Season that grew from weeks to months. I guess it was only appropriate that I started celebrating extended family Mother’s Days more than a week ago.

When Mother died in 2015, I pulled together a collection of the posts I had done on Mary Welch Steinhoff over the years. She was a hoot and a half.

Plenty of flowers at home

Kingsway roses 05-06-2021

I never liked plastic flowers, but all of Mother’s plants were popping off in a fireworks of color, so there was no need to buy any dead dinosaurs.

A stop in Advance

Family tombstones 05-08-2021

Last week I went down to Advance to put flowers on my Mother’s parents’ gravestone. Looks like the ants at the base of the memorial are churning up the dirt.

Here’s a post I did about my Grandmother, Elsie Adkins Welch, and her life.

I just looked at the dates. My grandmother died in 1973 when she was 80 years old. Dad died only four years later, at age 60. I was always afraid that I had inherited the genes of Dad and his brothers, but maybe Gran has kept me rolling some extra years.

A stop at Tillman Cemetery

W.M and Mary O Adkins tombstone 05-10-2019

Just down the road from Advance is a curvy road that climbs out of the flats into some rolling hills and leads to what we always called Tillman Cemetery.

Pleasant Hill Cemetery, which it is more properly called, is the final home for Mother’s great grandparents and a host of other relatives and friends whose names I grew up hearing.

I’ve written about Tillman Cemetery and some of the Adkins relatives before.

Lucille Hoffman Perry

Family tombstones 05-08-2021

I couldn’t neglect Wife Lila’s side of the family. This is her mother, at rest in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Cape.

Mother was always asking, “Who will put flowers on the graves after I’m gone?” I was around to do it one more time.

 

Making the Rounds for Mother

When I pulled into 1618 Kingsway Drive late April 18 after a marathon month on the road that took me from Missouri to Ohio to Florida to Ohio, then back to Missouri, the first thing I noticed was a single red rose on the bush around the yard on the front yard.

The next morning, the bush was covered in blooms. Even though we had several days of torrential rain over the past few weeks, there were quite a few blooms ready for me to make the Mother’s Day rounds.

I don’t like plastic flowers

I’d rather leave some ratty real blossoms cut from the front yard instead of plastic plants made out of dead dinosaurs. The latter might last longer, but they are impersonal. The first stop was Wife Lila’s mother’s grave in St. Mary’s Cemetery off Perry Avenue.

Unusual tributes

My brothers and I usually mark Mother and Dad’s graves with things we pick up on the road, or things from the house. I’ve left tiles from the ruins of a building in Cairo, a railroad spike from Wittenberg and a coin smashed flat by a train car. David and Mark have buried tiny shoes from Mother’s shoe collection and Christmas ornaments.

Mother was an unusual lady, so we think she’d appreciate our quirky leavings.

“Who will decorate the graves?”

I spent many hours with Mother driving all over Cape and Stoddard counties visiting tiny cemeteries that contained the final resting places of her friends and family. This is my grandparents’ grave in Advance. You can click on the photos to make them larger.

I don’t know how many times I heard her ask, “Who will put flowers on the graves after I’m gone?”

I’ll do my best.

Dad Would Be Proud; I Am

Matt - LV Steinhoff 12-1975Son Matt was only two years old when Dad, L.V. Steinhoff, died in 1977, so he really only knows him from photos. (Click on the photos to make them larger.)

Malcolm

2015-06-13 MLS family at Mammoth CaveGrandson Malcolm, son of Matt and Sarah, is 11. He’s a voracious reader, a soccer player and a serious geek with a wicked sense of humor. He’s coming to spend a few days with me in Cape next week while Wife Lila is attending her Class of 1966’s 50th reunion.

I hope I can give him some Swampeast Missouri memories to take back with him.

Graham, Elliot and Finn

2015-06-15 Adam family collageSon Adam and Wife Carly produced three rambunctious, adventurous and terminally cute boys, Graham, Elliot and Finn.

One of Adam’s Facebook friends, Laurel Cherwin, created a collection of photos of the family, along with this copy:

I Honor Adam Steinhoff : a man who loves his boys! He passionately embraces Fatherhood as an exciting adventure and fills his boys lives with love, pure joy, exploration, thrill seeking activities, encourages creativity, expression and silliness! I Love you Adam & So proud of the father and man you have become.

I can’t say it any better than she did.

A quick thought on Father’s Day

Steinhoff family c 1953Brothers David and Mark and I were blessed to be raised by two great parents who nurtured us, guided us and made us who we are today.

I’m proud of the way my boys have turned out. That’s the best Father’s Day gift anyone can have.

(That’s my grandmother, Elsie Welch, on the couch in this photo from 1963. I’m the guy in the mirror taking the picture.)

High Chair, High Waters

Elsie Adkins Welch, Mark and LV Steinhoff eating winter watermelon at kitchen table March 1961Neighbors Bill and Rhonda and I went down to Dutchtown Monday afternoon. While we were there, I opened some mostly-empty sheds that hadn’t seen light (except for a hole in the roof) for years. Most everything of value had been taken out of them a long time ago, and whatever contents that remained had floated and rearranged themselves in the various floods since 1973. Stuff that could rust had rusted; stuff that could rot or fall apart had done just that; everything had a thick or thin patina of river mud sticking to it.

As I was playing a flashlight beam around, Rhonda said, “That’s a high chair under there.”

Indeed, it was. It was the very yellow high chair that Brother Mark was sitting in back in March of 1961. That’s my grandmother, Elsie Welch on the left. Dad, engrossed in one of my comic books, is on the right. Looks like we were having some combination of brownies, milk, barbecue sandwiches (made on the grill in the background, where our microwave lives today), and iced tea.

It’s still in pretty good shape

Mark Steinhoff's high chair - Dutchtown 08-17-2015I was surprised to see it was in better shape than I would have thought. The metal tray that Mark used to bang his cup on like he was in a B-Grade prison movie would still slide on and off. The legs have some rust on them, but I don’t know if that’s from the Mississippi River or my brother’s leaky diapers.

You might just see this at Annie Laurie’s Antique Shop one of these days, Lord willin’ and the rivers don’t rise.