Train Whistles & Granddaddy Alexander

Train Whistles & Granddaddy Alexander

(Like Wikipedia, I welcome people to add names & pics… I will add things as I find them).

 

steamengine_TVA

(Thanks, TVA for the pic.. this is a restored, 1904 engine that ran on Southern Railway!) 

William Oliver Alexander : May 15, 1875 – June 29, 1935. Southern Railroad Locomotive Engineer.

Friday evening September 28, 2018 location = Collegedale, Tennessee, Collegedale Greenway 

I was jogging beside the railroad track headed toward’s Collegdale’s Southern University, and I heard a train coming: Sometimes it’s a CSX train, and sometimes it’s a Norfolk Southern train. Traveling at about 35-40 MPH a Norfolk Southern diesel locomotive comes barreling into the clear. I smiled, kept jogging, and I waved. Of course, trains blow their whistles at the crossings, and the engineer had just passed the College Station Crossing. I had no idea if my waves would illicit a friendly blow, but THEY DID …. “Toot, Toot…. toot ,  toooooot”: I smiled from ear to ear and continued jogging. Granddaddy Alexander whom I never met (he died 31 years before I was born) immediately came to mind…. However….

Join me  the summer of 1988.

My dear friend of  mine, Loraine Morgan Hammontree (February 2, 1913- May 13, 1989) , and I had been cultivating our awesome, Varnell friendship, and she had said, “Uh, Haven, would you like to visit my sister (Ralph Morgan, I’m tracking you down for her name! LOL) in Dalton. She can tell us some stuff about Varnell from our childhood.”  Loraine’s sister was several years older than Loraine and she couldn’t drive, and neither could Loraine who had heart failure. I rearranged some of my busy, summer schedule (I was in town for the weekend from Lipscomb University Summer Semester where I was just about to finish my last year) , and we drove to Dalton. Loraine’s, sister was so hospitable and so sweet, and charming. I fell in love with her lovely demeanor immediately.

 

Loraine: Haven, I was just a kid and I don’t remember, but my sister remembers living in the Alexander’s house in Varnell. (Turning to her sister) Tell Haven about living there and Mr. Alexander.  Mr. Alexander was Haven’s great-grandfather.

Loraine’s sister: (With a huge smile). I didn’t know that! Let me tell you.  You know , Mr. Alexander had a fixed schedule, and we always kind of knew he was coming. He would begin tooting the whistle as he entered Varnell, and we would run down to the track. The train went right in front of the Alexander house, and he was going slow. Depending on what he had, he would toss it out to us kids. Sometimes, it was candy wrapped in sacks and sometimes it was bags of coal we needed for our coal-burning stove. It was like having Santa Claus!

Loraine: (Turning to me with a huge smile.) Yeah, just like Santa Claus, that’s just what I was thinking.

The visit was perfect, and I had spoken with someone who knew Granddaddy Alexander personally. I took Loraine home with a full heart and lots of joy.

Before I finish this Santa Claus tale of  Granddaddy Alexander, I ‘ve got to share one more thing (I could be dead tomorrow, and I want Carter & Ammon to know) LOL ….

Trains (Steam engines in the 1900s – 1930s) were steam engines and so different from the powerful diesels of today. The trains stopped at every “pig trail” in those days. Granddaddy Alexander’s route took him from Atlanta to Chattanooga. When stopping at the “pig trails”, boys from the local area would bring stuff (nuts, berries, live animals such as baby squirrels or baby opossums) to sell to him. He would buy whatever for a few pennies. On up the line, while stopping for water, coal, or passengers, he would let the animals go free. He sometimes would even take a baby squirrel or a baby opossum back to his house in Atlanta for Nanny, Madeline, and Florence to play with!  In a few weeks he would put them back in his pocket, take them to Inman Yard where his engine was then carry them back up towards Chattanooga where he would set them free.

Back to September 28, 2018-

As I turned around to face my jogging destination, I was overcome with emotion, and tears came unexpectedly into my eyes as I started sobbing  with happiness about Granddaddy Alexander as I trotted onward.

No one is ever perfect, but William Oliver Alexander was a good, caring human with a wonderful heart.  His girls (Mary Naomi Alexander Caylor, Gloria Madeline Alexander Kirk, and Florence L. Alexander Sheeley) adored him. Nanny always shared how he loved life, loved to joke, and loved nature.

With my memories and the wonderful avenue of the Internet and/or writing journals, I can keep Granddaddy Alexander and his story “alive”.

-Happy Saturday to all- Haven

5 Seconds of Summer (yes this title is from the Pop music group)

I wish I would have saved the date from this past spring, but one day as Sean, Carter, Ammon, and I traveled home from church the song “Want you Back” by the pop group 5 Seconds of Summer was playing on the car radio ( I REALLY like “Want you Back” ) . Ammon loves pop music, and she has practically a photographic memory of recording artists and what they sing.

I was driving and concentrating on the winding, country road that leads to our house, when Ammon asks Sean,

“So what does ‘5 Seconds of Summer’ mean, do you think?” It only took a few seconds for Sean to say, “Well, think about it like this…. What does the school year seem like when it comes to time during a year? “

Ammon: How long is a school year again?

Sean: 9 months… 36 weeks.

Ammon: How long for summer break?

Sean: Right at 10 weeks.

Ammon: The school years seems SO LONG

Sean: Does the summer seem to fly by?

Ammon: Yes!

Sean: I think that is the answer: the summer flies by, and this group randomly chose 5 seconds to show how quick it is.

We were practically to our driveway, and I said out loud, “Yep, I agree!”

How true, “5 seconds of summer!”

 

Haven’s Summer 2018 Time line:

May 25 = Dalton High has graduation

June 1 = Post Planning ends & my “summer” officially begins

June 6 = 1 Day Dollywood

June 20-22 = Gatlinburg, Dollywood

dolly_June20

July 8 – July 20 = Disney World, Daytona, Florida, & Savannah

Disney_2018

Ormond_2018

 

 

 

Savannah_2018

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 31 – Last Day of Haven’s Summer break

 

Our 2 week vacation really took a big chunk of summer vacation, but I want to add that I had 4 doctor’s appointments which took a lot of time as well. Out of the 4 appointments, I had an infamous colonoscopy which was a SUMMER DREAD & if you’ve had a colonoscopy , you know the process is 2 days and not just one because of the prep before the procedure. Other appointments were 1)dentist 2)prostate/urologist 3)dermatologist (another squamous scare that was just an inflamed scar) & 4) 6 month check up for when I changed internists last January and he wanted to check if my blood pressure was normal after 6 months of medication.

A blink lasts a little less than 1 second. So, from June 1, 2018 to July 31, 2018 I “blinked 5 times”, and my summer was over = “5 Seconds of Summer”

Now, for the blessings: I have good health, a good mind, and I have a job which I truly enjoy that begins again tomorrow. I am so blessed to be able to work and support my family. God is great, and “to every thing there is a season” . My blessed summer season is over. It’s time to move on to the next season of blessings…. Mmmmm perhaps, “30 seconds of a school year” for a new music group title?

 

Family Travel with Young Ones

 

It’s Summer Vacation!

 

 

parent_go

 

“Parenting Strategies on the Go” was a joy to write, and it can help any parent to teach their children as they travel.

 

Decide your venue then decide

 

  1. What to wear
  2. What foods will be eaten
  3. What types of educational souvenirs can be bought
  4. How can you involve your child to have input and self-efficacy in helping to plan your family trip

 

Happy 100th Birthday, Nanny!(They don’t count time in heaven by years… eternity ya know, but still )

nanny_1982

Happy 100thBirthday , Nanny! (They don’t count time in heaven by years… eternity ya know, but still ) May 15, 1918 – August 10, 1985.

Mary Naomi Alexander Caylor would be 100 years old today. She was born around 3 o’clock in the afternoon (a relative in Varnell, GA may have her birth certificate with the correct time).  Her parents had waited over 8 years for her. Nanny’s older brother had been stillborn in 1910.  She was born in Smyrna, Georgia in Big Ma’s house. Big Ma was a black woman who had turned her lovely Victorian, Turn of the century home into a home for borders.

From approximately 1924 until January 1936, Nanny lived at 1195 Niles Avenue Atlanta, GA.

Nanny_house

Today, My thoughts keep turning not to the grandmother I knew but to teenage Naomi who, without thoughts or cares, could go to downtown Atlanta AFTER DARK. Imagine if you will a 15 year old girl in 1933 going to downtown Atlanta with her best friend, Louise Hollingsworth and 10 year old sister, Madeline to see a movie at the Fox Theater or Lowe’s Grand!

fox

The three girls would walk from their house to Marietta Street (West Marietta Street now) to the Streetcar Stop. In 1933 there was an elementary school at the corner of Marietta Street and Knight Park. They would then take the streetcar to downtown. They would then return the same route after their movies were over. Doesn’t it just boggle the mind that they could do that? But yes, they did.

I hope and pray to write more about Nanny, Granddaddy, and Mamaw Wimpy this summer. I am doing this for Carter and Ammon. I want them and future generations  of Caylor-Browns to know more about how their ancestors lived in the 20thcentury. I know I am being a bit vain, but to my dear relatives who have disfellowshiped from me yet perhaps visit my blog you really should be sitting down with me to compare,  correlate, and confirm some of my memories. As you well know, I am not a fan of “false history”.

 

Releasing Your Kids Into Their Giftedness: Guest Blogger = Mark Schultz

child_gifted

 

 

Hi, Haven here, or rather I am not here; I am over on Word Refiner Mark is the Hyper-Speller at Word Refiner, and he is filling in for me this time. I suggested he join me and he grabbed the idea and here we are switching places on Earth! He has an excellent dual themed blog about children and spirituality. These are big topics for all of us here at Parenting with Pride. Mark is writing about releasing your children into their giftedness and ministry. Without further ado, the floor is yours Mark. Please bring it back with a full tank.

 

Thank you Haven, I am honored to join you and your followers today. I know you will take good care of my people on Word Refiner. Have fun!

My children are grown adults, and they are all doing well. The oldest two are pursuing careers in their chosen fields of finance. Our youngest has given us three gorgeous grand-daughters, our most valuable treasures on Earth!

We raised our children to love books and Jesus from the earliest age possible. We modeled serving Jesus in different ways by serving in church and out. They have all caught the spirit of service. The oldest did a Short Term Missions trip in Argentina, the middle (our son) went to Israel with Jews For Jesus, and the baby went to Kyrgyzstan with Youth With A Mission.

One of the important things, we learned early on was that each child has a natural bent or giftedness. It was important for us to be aware and guide our children, not break them. The formative years are from birth to about 5. Their giftedness will usually show up by that time. Fortunately, a kindergarten teacher pointed it out to us, otherwise we might have missed the signs.

Esther, our oldest, had an epiphany at an early age of 6, she committed to listen only to Contemporary Christian music. We bought lots of it for her. She made tapes of herself being a radio DJ and introducing the songs. She listened to the local CCM radio station and called in a lot to talk with the disc jockeys. She convinced one man to let her see the inside of the radio station. I took her down there around 8 pm one night when Chris, the particular dj, was on duty. I watched him like a hawk and discovered he was very likeable and loved Jesus as much as we did. I took her to the radio station many times, so Chris could mentor her and she was allowed to volunteer. I was glad when she got her license to drive. Her volunteering eventually became a job working the midnight shift. She started her own program on another station and even found a sponsor to pay the airtime.

We went to a large church, one of the largest in the area, around 10,000 members and multiple services each weekend. There was a well-equipped Audio-Video department and our son, David, only 13 years old, wanted to help. He was very into technology. There was a policy in place at that time forbidding children from operating the expensive equipment, many thousands of dollars had been invested. It was very understandable to everyone, except David.

David was persistent, he hung around the sound booth or the camera stations for weeks, talking to anyone who would talk with him. The weeks turned into months, and David was there every week for at least one service. We lived a little over a mile from the church so he was allowed to get there on his own.

After 6 months, it became obvious to Doug, the department head and the entire department that David was not going away. They decided to train and mentor him, giving him a chance. The department was chronically understaffed, every church suffers from that problem I think. David really applied himself and proved that he was more than capable. He was also unencumbered by job or wife. He was very available. He began to fill in wherever there was a need. Sometimes he did multiple services. Eventually, he was part of a sound team and a video team. He worked very hard and proved to be quite reliable. Doug started to notice other kids were hanging around and discovered a deep well of willing volunteers! After a couple of years over half the slots were filled by very talented and committed teenagers.

Our baby, Amy, loved children and wanted to be a mother when she grew up. While in High School church, she was allowed to help my wife with a class of kindergartners. Amy ran the games very well. After a year of success, there was a class of 2nd grade boys needing a teacher. Amy applied and was accepted. She was one of the very first high schoolers given their own Sunday School class to teach. At the end of the year, she asked to move up with the boys into the third grade. After some discussion, the idea was approved and is now standard procedure. Every teacher is expected to follow their class until they leave kid’s church for Junior High Church.

Our kids surprised us then and continue to surprise us now. They still serve in a variety of volunteer positions as adults.

Baby Clothes Comfort & Yard Sales!

Dress your baby for Comfort

Dress your baby for Comfort

http://www.parentingstrategiesonthego.com

 

Base your buying of baby clothes to your children’s comfort (Hayhoe & Churgwen, 2009).

Hayhoe, C. & Churgwen, H. (2009) , Planning for Baby- Clothing Fabric Choices, Care Labels Comfort, Fit, Size, and Safety. Virginia State University.

"Parenting Strategies on the Go" -Haven Caylor, Ed. D.

“Parenting Strategies on the Go” -Haven Caylor, Ed. D.

 

Baby Clothes Comfort Tips: 

(Except for special occasions consider these tips for buying and using baby clothes:

1) Buy at yard sales

Consider buying baby clothes at yardsales

Consider buying baby clothes at yardsales

“The neighbor behind my house is having a yard sale with a stacks of baby clothes. Even the used ones look brand new. You cannot even tell that her children used them. The lucky thing is that her children are a boy and a girl. You might find some things for Carter and Ammon.” (Parenting Strategies on the Go” p. 5)

I found dozens of outfits for Carter and Ammon at yard sales. The onesies were less than a dollar, and they were close to if not immaculate.

Unless you have an exceptional child at either end of the growth spectrum that doesn’t grow quickly or grows too quickly.

2)Buy a year ahead of time. If you are good at storing things (I’m not) buy ahead several years.

Several outfits for Ammon and Carter were bought on sale ( like $100/$120 dresses for $20) because they were purchased off-season. The best clothing from these sales are the Christmas dresses. We have found several Christmas dresses way up into the month of January.

3) Dress for comfort. Sleeper onesies are a must. If you just have to buy couture baby clothes, go for it. The babies don’t care, and they will grow out of them in weeks.

 

The majority of baby time is spent sleeping. Who has time for fancy clothes with a multiplicity of pieces. And, my goodness, the poop, pee, vomit, and drool that is going to cover them.