Poinsettias on the Graves

When Wife Lila came to Cape recently, she tried to convince me to replace the refrigerator when I remodel my kitchen. She’s a big fan of bottom freezers, and I prefer mine to be at eye level. (Her eyes aren’t that far off the ground, so that’s why she likes the bottom freezer.)

When we went to Lowes to look at ice boxes (using that phrase is a good sign that I’m old), we passed an aisle loaded down with Christmas flowers and cacti. The poinsettias were two for three bucks, so we picked up a couple of them and some cacti for friends and relatives.

Mother had always asked, “Who will decorate the graves after I’m gone?” That sent me back to Lowes to pick up some more flowers.

Sunset more colorful than flowers

After dropping off a pot at my Mother and Dad’s stone, I stopped by Lila’s mother, Lucille Perry. The flowers were colorful, but they couldn’t compare with the sunset in the distance. I wish the camera had captured all the colors my eyes saw.

Roy and Elsie in Advance

Mother’s dad and mother had health problems and lived with us from my early grade school days until after I had left for Ohio University. My life was much enriched by getting to know them.

Here’s a little more about Elsie Welch, as described by her friends.

My great-grandparents

Mother’s grandparents, W.M. Adkins and Mary Adkins died long before I was born, but I still have no trouble spotting their grave in the beautiful Pleasant Hill Cemetery in Tillman, near Advance.

A lot of my grandmother’s friends and relatives are scattered in that cemetery.

I wondered if they got stolen

After I had placed the flowers, I wondered if anyone would spot them and carry them off since they were so portable.

As soon as the thought crossed my mind, I said to myself, “I don’t care if someone does. I fulfilled my obligation to Mother, and if her flowers brighten another grave, that’s a good thing.”



Grandmother’s Report Card

Elsie Adkins Welch Report Card frontThis morning’s Facebook page for the Advance Hornet Alumni carried a bunch of photos of the 2013 Alumni Banquet. Mother is down in Austin floating around in Niece Kim’s pool, so she didn’t attend.

I was looking through some old Advance scans when I ran across my Grandmother Elsie Adkins (Welch)’s 4th grade report card. Looks like she showed steady improvement every month in everything but spelling. Maybe the words got longer as the year went on.

How do you like that 100% rating in deportment? She was a feisty thing, so I’m surprised she got those perfect scores. Who would have thought the teacher’s photo would be on the report card?

My great-grandfather’s signature changed

Elsie Adkins Welch Report Card backPupils were rated monthly and parents had to sign the card. My great-grandfather’s signature was consistent the first five months, but changed in months six through eight. If her grades had dropped, I might accuse my grandmother of forging his signature.

Elsie Adkins was born September 24, 1892. If kids started school when they were around 6, then this report card would be close to 111 years old. Could that be right? (1892 + 6 + 4 = 1902. 2013 – 1902 = 111. Yep, it all calculates out.)

Elsie Adkins Welch was an extraordinary woman for her time. It’s worth a read.