Family Matters

23 01 2007

Hilda Beller

In a family matter, my grandmother passed away on Sunday. She was 86, nearly 87 years old, the last of that generation on my dad’s side of the family. Sadly, I’m not doubled over in grief. I really didn’t know this grandmother very well. After marrying young and giving birth to 2 boys, one of which is my dad, she divorced during the 40’s at a time when divorce was not nearly as commonplace and single-parenthood was not nearly as “fashionable” as it is today. Later, she remarried and began a new family, bringing 4 more children into the world with her youngest being only a few years older than me. 

We all know how much work it is to be a wife, a mother, and still make ends meet. Her life was no less challenging and stressful, and she had little time left over for her grandkids. So, as a child I didn’t come to know her like I did my maternal grandmother who doted endlessly on us, indulging our every sweet tooth craving. 

So I don’t mourn her passing as much as I mourn the absence of a relationship. In some ways it seems sadder. As the adage goes, better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.

So what have I learned from this?   

Well, for one, family matters. Sometimes it seems like we can’t live with them, but then it’s much harder living without them. So I think, like everything else in life, you have to look for common ground however small and when you find it, seize upon it, and make the most of it. At least you’ll have one more goodwill deposit that you can withdraw at a later date when it might sustain you through a rough patch. Sound like too much trouble? I say, consider the alternative.  

Here’s Hilda P. Beller’s obituary if it’s of interest to you.

Hilda P. Beller, 86, of Allentown,PA died Sunday, January 21. Born in Seipstown, she was a daughter of the late Clarence Gehringer and Flossie L. (Fritz) Gorr and stepdaughter of the late Claude Gorr. She worked for more than 65 consecutive years in various fields, including housekeeping in private residences and local motels, a demonstrator for Dutch Maid, Avon, and Queensway products, and most recently a Coca Cola production worker at its Upper Macungie facility, from which she retired. She was a member of Ziegels United Church of Christ, Weisenberg Township, and life member of the Macungie V.F.W. auxiliary. Bowling was her favorite past time.

Survivors: Sons, Leonard S. Drabick of Summerfield, Fla., Stanley C. Drabick of Orefield, and Timothy S. Beller of Whitehall; daughters, Judith A. Drabick of Eustis, Fla., and Wanda L. Beller of Allentown; 11 grandchildren, 11 great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by a son, David D. Beller Jr. 

Services: 11 a.m. Thursday, Schmoyer Funeral Home, 8926 Brookdale Road, Breinigsville. A calling hour will begin at 10 a.m. 

Published in the Morning Call on 1/22/2007.

Original No Guts post.





Rooke Chapel Ringers

17 01 2007

I road-tripped with some friends last week to the Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church in Bethlehem, PA to see one of our church’s students play in the Rooke Chapel Ringers, the handbell choir from my alma mater, Bucknell University. Here are some photos from The Morning Call newspaper from their concert on the previous evening in Whitehall, PA.

These kids are fantastic! I saw them last year when they played in Morristown, NJ and was amazed! William Payn, the university’s director of choral studies, has developed a spectacular musical program around handbells and choral music. The Ringers are a feature of Bucknell’s famous Christmas Candelight Service which was nominated for an Emmy in 2003.

Bravo to all you ringers!! You make us alumni so very proud.

Original No Guts post.





Africa Jackets

16 01 2007

Africa Jacket 2Africa Jacket 1

I just finished these “Africa Jacket” projects for my 7 year old nieces. I need to maintain my status as the “coolest Aunt Denise in the whole wide world.” It started out as a birthday present, evolved to a Christmas present, and ended up a “happy winter” present when I realized there was no way I’d be done by December 25.

But, alas, they are done! I was inspired by a display I saw in my local library last October. Someone had disassembled a sweatshirt and stitched patches on it in a crazy quilt style and then reassembled it into a jacket. I couldn’t see much of the jacket itself. It was folded in a display case. But the accompanying description didn’t make it sound like an impossible project. So I started the journey of the Africa Jackets.

I had purchased a few fabrics at the airport in Zambia, being attracted by their rich and vibrant colors and bold patterns.  Even though I don’t think the fabrics were made in Africa, they sure reminded me of it! Then I was Christmas shopping in a local store and found the fabrics with the “Big 5” animals and knew that I just had to put this together.

And voila! Pictured are 2 same, but different jackets for my nieces, Devon and Taylor. The elephants, lions, cheetahs, leopards, rhinos, zebras, giraffes scamper all over the front and back and the fuzzy leopard print material makes wearing them a multi-dimensional experience. I love them so much, I think I’ll make a jacket for myself.  Let me know what you think!

Original No Guts post.