To Hale and Back

“Deep roots are not reached by the frost.”

J.R.R. Tolkien

As I gaze at the changing elms and maples around me I am reminded of their strength.   Even with broken limbs coupled with the loss, gain, and change of leaves each season, one thing remains strong-their roots.  As do mine.   I am a Hale.    

The memories of my visits to Grandpa and Grandma Hale’s doublewide are soul-secured.   Although the distance between us was less than 20 miles it still felt like a long trek.   Enjoying the journey over the rolling hills I knew we were close when the four females would all bend briefly right with driver Dad.   It’s just ahead on the right after the grocery store.

Amidst their home were many others they sold.  The smell of each “new” one still stings my thoughts and eyes (ah, the smell of the formaldehyde)!  Alas, I’ve discovered my first love of trailers!

The gas station sat next door.  Grandpa delivered propane and proudly wore his uniform (he had his name on it~I wanted one too). Grandma was the cashier.   How lucky were my sisters and I to “run” a register?  Even more fun was pecking the business calculator (note: even when my own two were young they loved playing with this. Although Grandma didn’t like having to replace the paper all the time).   One-time Grandpa didn’t seem so happy about us girls “helping” in the station.  We took our grape Nehi’s and scurried out (or did Grandpa escort us?). 

When the family would gather a crew of cousins would mob the chow table. If it were a Sunday night us kids would hit the floor in time to hear the beginning of “The Wonderful World of Disney”!   If lucky enough, I caught “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom” before it.

The spare room kept us kids when the parents needed to get away.  There were times we got “caught” going through Grandma’s scarves and shoes.   But I loved most the signet ring Grandpa wore.  Adoringly we called it his “bubblegum” ring (don’t ask me why we named it that).  They had the perfect snow hill. Grandma would throw our wet clothes in the dryer, just like Mom did, so we could warm up quickly and return to the drop.

Once we were painting our nails (a very rare thing for me)

“Don’t get nail polish on my leather divan,” Grandma ordered.  Well… it happened.

“Which one of you did it?”

Silence.
(twins never blow the whistle on one another).

“Girls! God knows who did it even if you don’t tell me!”

One of us responded, “But he ain’t gonna tell you!”

K.L. Hale

Ouch! Sorry Grandma! “We love you!” “Isn’t it time to make homemade donuts?”  “Can I vacuum for you?” Quick diversions and hugs of remorse segue nicely into another memory making moment.

It was 1984 when they moved to OUR TOWN.  No more winding roads.  They were just around the corner from me (this time a right and then a left bend).  All I had to do was walk left to my parents.  We lived on Chrysler Street (where I grew up).  It was called the “horseshoe”.  How blessed was I that I lived in my family circle? 

Many years of Christmas breakfasts, croquet contests, garage sales, cook-outs, and table conversations were had at that house.  Grandpa would have his scanner playing (along with the baseball game on his radio) and Grandma would curl her legs like a pretzel sitting cross-legged on the couch.  Grandma always remained flexible and fashionable, Grandpa steady, hearty, and with a first-class laugh.  The two of them resembled Bonnie and Clyde in one of my favorite pictures.

My family is a forest.  Within it are so many exquisite types of trees.  Our pipeline of root systems keeps us connected.   Although sappy and alone at times we will not be uprooted.   I am a Hale.

Afterword:

 It was June of 1964 when Larry Hale (my Dad) married Darlene Wilson (my Mom).    Darlene’s sister Connie married Steve Hale in 1967.  Grandpa Hale (Gerald) was Larry’s father.  Harold Hale (Gerald’s brother) was Steve’s Dad.   Two Hale first cousins married Wilson sisters.  You should see the look on faces when the “double” cousins try to explain it.

From “A River and Honey” to “To Hale and Back” my family is my everything.  The ones we have lost are forever in our hearts and daily thoughts. The Hale’s and the Wilson’s- I am a piece of everyone of them in some way.  May my faith stay unfaltering and my roots keep me forever grounded.

K.L. Hale
In honor of Mac Davis-I’ve always loved this song.

54 thoughts on “To Hale and Back

  1. kriddy70

    I am sitting here in tears, with Mac singing in the background—I have no words that can even begin to explain how this touches me. OH THE MEMORIES!! I can see them, smell them, taste them, hear them…😭❤❤ its 1970’s-80’s all over. What an incredible tribute to Grandpa & Grandma, as well as Grandpa Harold & Reba and our whole clan. God gave us all his blessings when he started the love with them. Simply…incredible. Life into words. We need copies please. I love you.
    Kriddy👭❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a beautiful response. Part of why I began blogging was for family. I didn’t want to lose memories ~and many had returned. I guess reality is what you always make it. And in these memories, perhaps we share the same realities. We’ll see things different. But I hope what I remember will jar something that others remember. For what is our childhood if we didn’t build on these fantastical family memories? And these are what bind us. I wanted to spend as much time as I did on River and Honey~but my abilities are lessened this week with a bug. But I’ll build on these. I wonder which one of us said that to Grandma? I love how our family can laugh through the ups and downs. And when I feel very alone (normal these days) and long to build these with my own grandkids I remember the wings and the roots are still there. So I will write for Asher and Whitley. I appreciate your encouragement always. I love you more than steak and the outdoors. 💚❤️💕💜❣️

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  2. Love this! You managed to even bring up some of my own memories as well! Wow. Wonderful world of Disney and Wild Kingdom? Boy that takes me back!
    You guys were hilarious! “He’s not going to tell you”, I bet she had to laugh in spite of herself!
    Wonderfully written and what a pleasure to read.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful response and kind words. I giggle every time I think of “us” saying that to her. Oh my 🤦🏼‍♀️ I’d never want to go back and change a thing about being a 70’s kid! I’m so glad you could relate! I wrote a longer one, River and Honey, about my Mom’s side and the amazing River memories. Those memories were why I wanted to blog them. Thank you again Laura! Be blessed! 💚💚💚

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      1. I will definately read it. In truth, you inspire me. That’s exactly why I started my blog. It was a place to store my thoughts, memories, who I am, what I think…a time capsule that I could place myself in for my children, grandchildren and generations to come, so when they trace their family, they would find more than just a name and date. They will fine me and know me, long after I am gone. I adore your approach, your style and fabulous titles that beg a reader to dive in…the way you’ve put it together. I’m rethinking my whole blog now and inspired to a much more cohesive approach. I’m entirely too scattered. Lol

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      2. Laura, I’m blown away and humbled by your comments. Without going into too much detail I had lost my confidence in a lot. I’m writing this blog on a $250 laptop (lol) or a smartphone. I jumped in only teaching myself as I go. And to think I’m helping you and others is putting some wind in my sails. I’m a teacher at heart. But a learner first. Together we can support one another on this journey. No doubt your writing will leave a mark for your precious family. And give yourself grace too. I was frustrated because it took me 3 hours to post due to technical glitches. And then I laughed because it’s just another lesson in patience! I’m glad we’re her to “root” (no pun intended) each other on! God bless you! 💚❤️💕🤗

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    1. Julie, I had tears writing this abs just remembering what once “was”. I’m so glad you feel my virtual hugs. Your rambling friend Karla (I’m going to find a home base and hopefully keep rambling around when I can. I need to ramble your way!) 💚💚💚

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      1. We’re here and we might just have a nice Fall this year…one that actually feels like Fall!
        We’re actually thinking about selling our home–with our son and his family living in Atlanta and not looking to come back our way, the house is more than what we need…and we want to be closer to the kids—but not Atlanta but close–perhaps on the other side of the city from where we are now.
        The gal came today to take picutes—so much of this house is filled with all that was both my grandmothers, mom, dad, great aunts and aunt…so many memories….it was a bittersweet moment —and so your post really pricked my heart.
        We will see what God has in store…
        time to really trust!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. How exciting! I can remember your past posts and memories. I totally understand your desire to move closer to the kids. With my two serving in the Air Force to move closer could be a “hit and miss” since they’ll be stationed in other places. I’m so thrilled for them so I guess I’ll have to stay “rambling” and soak in memories as I go! I’m glad Fall will be pretty. I’ll be praying for you! God has it all in his hands! Love and hugs 🤗💚

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  3. atimetoshare.me

    Thanks for sharing this stunning piece of writing with us. This is the story everyday people, peppered and seasoned with love. We have many similarities in our lives. I have great memories of my grandparents as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for your sweet comments and response. You’re so encouraging! I love “peppered and seasoned with love”💕 I’m so glad it resonates with you. You would enjoy my “River and Honey” post. 💚 hugs and love 💕

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    1. Kate, thank you so much. ❤️ memories such as these swirl in my head and soul all the time it seems. This has been such a year of reflection for everyone. And through writing I can make them “alive” again. And it means the most when it can touch others. 💚❤️🤗

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      1. I love how you make them alive again – words can do that, I think that is the purpose of eulogies at funerals – to raise the dead one last time so we can say goodbye to who they were and what they meant to us.

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  4. You are so fortunate to have this family love course through your heart and mind so proudly, fiercely, eternally, K.L. You are a great one at illustrating the roots to the world and nudging us to recall the foundations and stories that made us what we are, too.

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    1. Mark, thank you so much for this thoughtful response. I’m so glad my retellings can evoke memories for others. It’s like opening up my life journal in my mind and finally feeling free to share it~in hopes that even just one is impacted. And miraculously, it’s the fellow writers such as you, that I’ve connected with to keep growing my writing courage. Thank you for that. Be blessed and you both enjoy your weekend in your beautiful area!

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      1. Indeed, K.L. Up early on a Saturday again with a cherished rescue mutt who simply can’t wait to get that breakfast and enjoy the first trip to the backyard. She cares not that it’s the weekend, so I’m off to the world of my blog friends and our “journals of the mind,” as you so graciously coin them. May today’s fall day be good to you as well.

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      2. I understand! My little cherished rescue stays under the covers a bit longer! Happy Saturday Mark. I’m going to go retrieve my Subaru that’s been repaired from my fender bender. It will be good to have her home and carry on with this accident in the rear view mirror. And I’m happy to have found a chiropractor to keep me going for at least 10 weeks. I’m on the mend! Have a fun and safe weekend. Happy blogging!

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    1. Aww thank you so much M.B.💚 I have about 15,000 photos on my phone (I buy memory each month….hmmm., wish I could buy memory for myself that easy!). When I search “trees” there’s over 300 saved. Some of these are right here in the resort. The most beautiful golden are from Mancos, Colorado. Thank you for your kind words and support! 💚

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  5. Wow, a powerful opening paragraph, Karla! I do often think about my roots, especially as I get older. I don’t know whether Grandparents realize the effect they had on their grandchildren. I also have vivid memories of my grandparents. I also realize how lucky I am to have had them in my life and now in my memories. And, yes, Sunday nights and Disney. Huge LOL on the nail polish interaction. Quite the afterword (I had to read it twice to figure it out)

    A beautiful post, Karla! Really nice to read. I love how you wrapped the story full circle. Gorgeous Fall photo. Our Thanksgiving this weekend. Have a great weekend and I am thankful I have the opportunity to read beautiful posts, like this one. (Yes, Mac Davis – brimming with tears)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Erica, your feedback and thoughtful response means so much to me. I’m so happy when my retellings can resonate with others. Its exciting when we all share pieces of our history. You might enjoy River and Honey~another post with my other Grandparents involved. When I was 23 I wrote a story called “The Safe Haven” about a little church in which my Grandpa Wilson was the pastor. I had a small word processor and was taking literature classes at college. I never had it saved on anything. Not even a floppy. Just prints made. I can remember it now some and wish to write it again. Grandparents indeed leave their mark! I’m
      happy to hear you had a beautiful Thanksgiving this weekend. And again, thank you for your support. 💚🤗 🎶

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You have a beautiful site and it’s lovely to meet you here and hear your beautiful story of your family with such love that is so heartfelt. Beautiful pictures too. Thanks for dropping into my site so I could find and follow you too! ❤️ Cindy

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    1. Thank you for the kind comments and follow Cindy. For some reason your response had gone to spam; my apologies for late reply. I enjoy your site as well! I’m so glad to have you as support on the WP community! Be blessed! 💚

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww thank you my friend. You might enjoy my essay, A River and Honey, about another layer of family legacy. I’m so glad to know you Dawn. I appreciate your support and kindness💚🙏🏻

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  7. Wonderful tribute! Our ancestral roots help to keep us grounded. It is a blessing to pass family memories along. The marital union of my Dad’s parents yielded a treasured 32 grandchildren, with my youngest brother (now age 52) being the final one.

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    1. Oh my goodness! Thank you for your comments and I’d love to hear all about your family. 32 grandchildren! WOW! Your youngest brother is not much older than me. If you have time I think you’d like my post, “A River and Honey”. It’s an essay about my Mom’s family. God bless you and your whole family.

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  8. This is the way we grow as humans. We share our stories with one another and take the time to understand what they mean to us. We listen to the stories others tell and breathe them in. We remember who we are and where we are from as we move forward each day.

    I’m sorry I don’t have a story to share right now myself! It’s just after midnight and I’m on my way to bed here.

    Thank you so much for sharing. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

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