Friday, January 2, 2009

Good Things Come Out of Difficult Times

Wonderful things can come out of trying times. Last summer my Dad spent nearly 2 months in the hospital and nursing home recovering from a broken leg and complications from diabetes. In preparation for his return to his home, where he lives alone at age 87, I relocated 'storage' items and prepared a new room as his bedroom. In doing so, I came across many photo albums and framed pictures I had never seen. Among the albums I discovered was one that had belonged to my step-mother. It was a remarkable find, for my step-mother, Phyllis Jean Jones Margheim, was not interested in revealing anything about her personal life prior to marrying my Dad, nor was she interested AT ALL in discussing anything about her family's history. In fact, she adamantly refused, saying "The only thing that matters is who we are today".
In my 47 years with my "Mom" I had seen one or two photos of her after her high school graduation. But it wasn't until 5 or 6 years ago that I ever saw any pictures of her as a child. And in browsing through this recently-discovered photo album of hers, I found this precious little photo of her as a toddler, with her arms clasped around the neck of a turkey (?). I love the picture. I love looking at the coat and shoes she was wearing. I wish someone had written on the back where it was taken, how old Phyllis was and who the turkey belonged to! I'm grateful that I had the opportunity to "dig" around in Dad's storage room and find this album. I'm grateful to have this picture! I treasure it.

6 comments:

Janet Iles said...

That's a great photo. I am glad you found it.

Colleen Johnson, CMJ Office said...

That picture is a RIOT! Love it!!

LOOKING4ANCESTORS said...

Greetings Becky,
What a terrific find. Hopefully you will be able to find more clues about your step-mom's early years.
Kathryn
www.looking4ancestors.com

Gail Mooney said...

Becky - love this photo! Reminds me of a turkey we had named George! We got George when Walt, Kate and I lived in Rapid City shortly after Walter and I had married. Walt and Katie decided to raise chickens and a couple turkeys for a project - and to eat. I'm a city girl - born and raised! - and believe the ONLY way to buy poultry to eat is from the grocery store - cut and ready to go. Any way - these two take to raising these guys and then have to kill, clean, etc in the fall. Kate made it through one or two chickens - but then she was done! Walt finished them - but the ordeal was so icky I couldn't even eat them for a few months following! Yuck. So, the turkeys remained. One died of natural causes - the other lived. In the meantime, winter is coming and we've sold our house in the hills to move back to North Dakota. Moving day is coming! and still we have this turkey penned up below. Finally I convinced Walt to let her go - maybe she'd hook up with the wild turkeys in the area. No - he says - the coyotes will eat her. Logic? I'm thinking - we were planning to eat her. At least let her live free for a few days before her end!!

So, George goes free - but she stays and follows us EVERYWHERE, all the while talking, talking, talking in her turkey speak. When moving day arrives, she's still there, looking at us lovingly, wondering what's up?! So, off to ND she goes, tucked into a warm cubby in the back of the pickup. She stayed with us for about 3 years - and loved all of us - but especially me. I think I became her surrogate mom. I'd talk to her and she'd talk back - looking intently at me with one eye at a time! Katie and I cried when she had to be put down before one winter settled in and she'd gotten sick (do you take pet turkeys to the vet?). We didn't want her to suffer though.

She was great. Even mom loved her.

Glad you found this photo - I'll be anything she loved her turkey (but I bet they did end up eating her!)

Julie Cahill Tarr said...

What a neat find! Thanks for sharing!

Carolyn said...

I loved your story and picture. I, also, enjoyed reading Gail Mooney's story about her turkey.