Category Archives: family

Family History: Caryl Wilder Volunteers in Selma, Alabama

taowee 200 px highIn the fall of 2004 my grandmother Caryl (Taowee) Wilder told me the story of her involvement with the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965. Listen to a story of a fascinating time in this nation’s history and a wonderful portrait of my grandmother’s engagement with the issues of the day (18 minutes total).

On returning to her church community in Illinois she said:

It was strange how upset people got. People would come up to me and say, “Are you the person who went to Selma?”
and I said, “Yes” and they would get very upset as if I had done anything unusual. I was one amongst thousands, that’s all. It was odd to be earmarked that way.


UPDATE: this was published originally in October 2007 and is being republished February 2015 with a newly edited interview.

Get Good Prices on Holiday Travel

Buy Now Travel on FarecastWith jet fuel prices as high as they are, shopping for airplane tickets to visit the Melancon family this winter has been frustrating.  Since we started looking in October the prices have been out of reach and I was wondering if I could ever afford the trip.  Finally, this weekend the prices dropped and we made a purchase today.   I was tracking prices with Farecast and as you can see from the fare history chart, now is a perfect time to buy!

We’re looking forward to seeing family and friends in December! 

Wanted: a Digital Piano for the Apartment

digital piano

I learned in December that I still love playing the piano.   I hadn’t played in years but the many feet of snow outside inspired me to sit in the warm basement and remember how to play.  Since then I’ve been thinking more about it and recently a few piano playing friends pointed me in this direction for buying a digital piano:

  • Pianos need all 88 keys.
  • Pianos need to make beautiful music and must handle 32 notes polyphony.
  • Pianos need weighted keys.

I’ve started to narrow my search for the brands and models that I want to try.  If you have any extra digital pianos around the house you no longer play or if you have recommendations (and I know family members and friends who play are reading this) please let me know.

In the News: Four Times the Trains in Barrington, IL and More Reasons to Dine at Chipotle

  • This story about train congestion in Chicago caught my ear since the town my paternal grandparents lived in may become overrun over by four times as many trains as it gets today.   A company called Canadian National wants to bypass the gridlock in downtown Chicago by using lesser used tracks outside of the city.  I’m sure I would be hearing about this from my grandparents if they were still living.  Since they are not you need to know about this.
    Plan To Unsnarl Chicago Rail Hits Snags In Suburbs
    [National Public Radio]
  • You know I love eating at Chipotle but I didn’t know that the restaurant purchased food from local growers when possible.  That makes the burrito bowls that much more delicious.
    Local Growers Help Companies Cut Costs [Marketplace]

A Grandmother’s Love … and Carpet

Before After

In April I flew to Chicago where I met with other family members at my family’s home on Lake Street. It had been more than one year since she died and we were in the final weeks before the new owners were officially new owners. That weekend we emptied drawers & shipped furniture but what was most important was the family time. Our meals and shared cooking made the nearly empty house become a home again.

Continue reading A Grandmother’s Love … and Carpet