Friday, December 31, 2010

A Day in Big Valley

Shortly after LV and I were engaged Mom and Daddy sent our two kerosene cook stoves to a repair shop in Big Valley. There they would get all new parts and be repainted so they would be as good as new for the wedding.

Several months later we got a letter stating they were ready to be picked up. Daddy and Mom immediately began making plans to go pick them up. After hiring someone with a fifteen passenger van to to ensure the whole family could go along, they removed the last two seats to make room for the stoves. I thought it was rather strange that they wanted all of us to go along as usually if something like this came up Daddy would go pick it up by himself. After we got on the road it wasn't long before I sensed that we would be doing more than only pick up stoves. After we turned onto a road that I knew didn't lead to Big Valley my suspicions were confirmed.

It wasn't long before we discovered Daddy had planned a treat for us and made arrangements to get on the first tour of the day to Penn's Cave. As we all got into a boat we were ready to explore the cave. I thought it was quite interesting but still breathed a sigh of relieve when we got back safely. I much preferred being above ground.

We continued on to Big Valley where we spent the majority of the day visiting Daddy's aunts and uncles. Daddy wanted me to meet all of them before I got married. I had never realized just how many aunts and uncles he had until that day. I found most of them to be very boring people, they were friendly enough and always welcomed us into their homes. I felt a little awkward as we had to sit and visit a little before going on to the next aunt or uncle. In the one house the lady immediately wanted to give us all a glass of sweet tea. Going to the refrigerator she got several bottles of vegetable oil out and poured it into glasses. My stomach churned and I felt like gagging. I soon realized that she keeps empty vegetable oil bottles and uses them for other things, but it had made that I was no longer thirsty for anything. Watching for a chance I exchanged my full glass of tea with one of my brothers empty one. We were both happy to make the exchange.

After we left that house we went to a nearby store were Mom and Daddy announced I could pick out my wedding china. After looking at the many different patterns I selected what I thought was the prettiest. With it's pale flowers and silver trim.

Daddy pointed out the ones with bright pink or red flowers and asked if I wouldn't rather have those. They were pretty but I preferred the soft delicate pattern I had chosen rather than the more bold pinks and reds. After paying for it we went to pick up the stoves. It had been a long full day. Somehow with the stoves being repaired and the china purchased it made the wedding seem a little closer and there was still so much to do before then.


  1. Your wedding china is beautiful!
    How nice you dad wanted to make sure you met his aunts and uncles before your marriage. I would be like you with the tea out of oil bottles. Guess she was being thrifty but I'd still think it be very difficult to get all the cooking oil removed from the inside of plastic containers.

  2. may 2011 bring you wonderful memories

  3. Your wedding china reminds me very much of my Nana's which I now have.

  4. Your china is lovely and it would certainly have been my choice too. I look forward to reading more of your memories but meanwhile a very happy new year to you all.

  5. Lovely China, it reminds me of my own. How nice that your daddy arranged for such a special trip before you wedding.

  6. I love your wedding China! Do u keep it displayed in a hutch? I wish I had a kitchen hutch!:P

  7. beautiful china! it reminds me of the peices i have that belonged to my aunt before she died 45 yrs ago! have a happy new year.

  8. SO pretty! My pattern was Noritake Limerick (google image it) - it looks a lot like that and to this day I still think the pattern is just as pretty as when I first saw it. We've never used it though ~ I feel a blog post coming on...

  9. What a very pretty china pattern, calm and very liveable with.

  10. Gorgeous china!

    Thank you for your kind comment on our blog! Blessings to you this New Year!

  11. Dear Joyful Chaos~ What a lovely blog you have! I enjoyed your story and the picture of your china. I have a similar china with blue flowers and silver trim.

    We downsized from a large home to a tiny home a few years ago. I could only bring one set of dishes, so I decided we would eat off of the china every day. I don't regret it...though I admit my set has diminished a bit since the move :).

    Thank you for your kind visit to the Santos Times. I'm very glad to "meet" you.

  12. You have a way of taking me with you on your trips! I love your china pattern ... very pretty and I have a feeling you do NOT save vegetable oil containers for re-use with your iced tea or any other beverage!

  13. I love your wedding china, and also your blog in general. You have been a blessing to me in 2010. I truly enjoy your blog, and I smile each time I see that you've posted a new story in my google reader. Thank you for taking the time to share your unique life story with us! May God richly bless you and your precious family now and in the years to come!

  14. May God bless you and your sweet family in the coming New Year!

  15. Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. The real gift though was in reading your post. It warmed my heart! I love your wedding china, it is delicate and so pretty. I hope that 2011 brings you goodness and grace.

  16. Thanks so much for taking the time to stop by the Cabin and for your kind words left. You have a very interesting blog, since we "Englishmen" (that's what the Amish who live around me call us),are fasinated by the Amish way of life. Your stories are very, very sweet and dear! I live in Western NY and am surrounded by many Amish communities. We do business with the Amish a lot. I buy my flour and eggs from an Amish store and over the years we have oftened hired Amish men to work for us. Some hardworking young Amish men made furniture for us and helped my husband finish building our present Cabin, but cannot say we have been able to develop a real friendship. You really put heart and feeling to what we see on the outside.
    Anyway, I enjoyed my visit and will be back to read more about your sweet journey!
    Happy to meet you Joyful-May you have a meaningful and blessed New Year!
    Blessings from the Cabin,
    Claudia O.

  17. Happy New Year, my friend ... another beautiful share of your life. The china is just gorgeous. Thank you for the glimpse into your family ... it is so enjoyed ... & EVERY SINGLE PERSON, which is many, that I have referred to you, just loves you & yours writes.

    In deep gratitude of the joy & delight you bring ...

    TTFN ~Marydon

  18. What a fun and loving family you grew up in! I love this story, and it makes me wonder what it would have been like to have a father who planned nice surprises for his family... so sweet.

    LOVE your china. I still love going to a department store and looking at all the patterns. Your choice is so beautiful... you have good tastes.


  19. I see lots of people love your China. So do I, and it reminds me of mine as well. I even had to go check mine out (I rarely take it out of the cabinet - my parents bought it for us). Mine has blue flowers & silver trim. Was getting it out of the cabinet to use at a Mother/Daughter Banquet a few years ago & one slid off & shattered. Needles to say I bawled. I know it was just a plate, but it broke my heart.
    I love your blog. Very informative and entertaining.

  20. What lovely china! My set is very similar. I agree - the subtle silver and gray is much more elegant and timeless than bright flowers and such! I was also lucky enough to inherit my grandmother's china, which was edged in gold. Despite its age, it is still perfectly in style, thanks to its subtle design!

  21. And now... another year... I've finished 2010... what a pleasure...
    I began keeping a diary/journal when I was about 9. At around 12, I became quite faithful to record the events of every day. Later entries may have been more about the emotion of the day.
    Reading the chronicle of your childhood and teenage years makes me think I should take those little books off their shelf and re-read my own...
    But not now! I've got to get on to 2011! :)


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