Posted in Musings and Mutterings

4 Weekends, 4 Kids

We somehow were able to visit all four of our children in one month. The stars aligned and it was so.

We started our stretch by going to Virginia, where #3 lives. We enjoyed some relaxing pool time and a nice dinner out for my birthday, and just hanging with #3 and his partner. Very chill; very nice. We left his house on Sunday.

#4 lives in Pittsburgh. We were able to spend some time with the grandkids and enjoy a visit. With my fall schedule, it was going to be the last visit until Christmas. Total bummer though, because Halloween this year looked like it would have been a blast with them. This was the first year the kids were really into trick or treating, and how cute are these two?

On Monday, I flew down to Tybee Island, Georgia, where #1 was getting married. I had a few days alone at the beach before festivities, which was nice. By the weekend, Hubby had flown down for the ceremony. It was a nice wedding. I ended up leaving on the following Tuesday.

The next weekend we were back in the airport on our way to Houston to visit #2, his wife and the bun in her oven. Looking forward to going back to see them in January/February when the newest grandbaby is born.

Not sure this will ever schedule out like this again, but it was nice that it did this time.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Learning to Read and Write

Photo by Jan Kahánek on Unsplash

I have fallen out of the habit of reading books. It doesn’t matter if they are digital or paper based, I just couldn’t seem to stay focused enough to read. I have a lifelong friend who was saying much the same. We discussed how the easy reading and instant consumption of small amounts of data on smart phones, or computers had usurped our ability to sit down with a book or magazine and read. Ugh.

In September, I went to Georgia and spent some time reading a book that I still haven’t finished. It’s a good book, and I’m enjoying it. But I need to wean myself off the electronic smorgasbord that is my cellphone with it’s instant, colorful and auditory input. I happened across an interesting article you can read here. I have to admit, I’m completely in agreement that I feel paper is better than digital and I also do tend to print out text I want to really study and understand rather than read it on a screen.

Similarly, writing has taken a hit. You only have to see the long stretches of no content, and read the clunky style to know I haven’t been writing in my blog or my journal. For the past 6-12 years the majority of my writing was in the form of emails to parents, or letters with information for events. And more often than not, those were heavily edited before being released. Sometimes the edits would be great, and clarified the content. Sometimes the edits were not great and removed my intent, and many times, my voice.

Oddly enough I remember many years ago, when I first started working with my boss, she used to be distressed when someone in the office edited her emails, removing her intent and even more frustrating, her voice. I had become so disenfranchised that I wasn’t doing my best work. Why should I? I could work for hours on something and most of the time, it would be reformatted, edited and greatly changed. Eventually, it started to feel like nothing I did was ever “good enough” or “right”, which I know was never her intent, but I let it get to me.

In July I retired and have been busy since. One of the things I wanted to do was to go hide somewhere where there were no expectations of me. Just a quiet place to sit and read and write and do all that processing and decompressing. I had chosen a cruise, but that didn’t quite work out, so I’m going to an all inclusive resort instead. I’m hoping I’ll be inspired to get back into the swing of things. I guess time will tell.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

On Finding a Roll of Old Film

We’ve had this old roll of film kicking around here for some time. More than once I was tempted to just pitch it out completely convinced that it was either a canister of film from Hubby’s grandparents, or just crap. I wasn’t even sure there were people around to develop it anymore. So, after quick web search I found . I sent them my roll of film and felt that the reasonable price was something I felt comfy with for a canister of film that may not have anything worthwhile on it.

Imagine my glee when I got the film back and saw this smiling face. This is #2 about 20 years ago when he volunteered to be the Easter Bunny for our community center. Ha!

I just had to share. :0)

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Captain Derek’s Dolphin Tour

I’ve tried many times to see marine life, but usually to no avail. I’ve been able to catch glimpses of dolphins off the coast of Ocean City, Maryland and I took a dolphin tour in Dingle, Ireland to see the infamous “Fungie”, who made a brief appearance, but didn’t do more than show off his dorsal fin. Fungie had been entertaining folks, and feeding the families of boat tours operators, for nearly 40 years. I was saddened to hear that he hadn’t been spotted for many months in 2020.

What can I say… COVID… seems to be the answer for everything. Maybe Fungie needed to socially distance because he hasn’t returned. :0(

Yet another time I visited something right before it changed forever…. but that’s another blog I guess.

Anyway, back to Captain Derek’s tour.

I was visiting Tybee Island, just a hop-skip-and-jump from Savannah, Georgia and had been looking through the guest book in the adorable condo I’d rented for the week. There were multiple entries referring to Captain Derek’s Dolphin Adventure and all gave glowing reviews. It seems the price had gone up this year to $25.00 pp, but it is not unreasonable given the guarantee that you’d see dolphins and the promise of the reduced capacity of people on their tours. I decided to book the tour on a whim and was happy that I did.

I checked in for my tour at the allotted time and watched as the crowd grew. I started to get nervous as a bus tour arrived with an additional 9 other guests. We ended up going out on two separate boats to keep capacity low, which I appreciated.

We were spotting dolphins the moment we left the dock. Mostly just breaking the surface for air and playing with a shrimp boat. It was great to spot them and fun to enjoy the boat trip and sea spray. I figured that was as good as it was going to get and stopped trying to get a great photo of the elusive mammals. Instead I just relaxed and enjoyed the moment.

On the return trip, however, we were directed to the back of the boat, as were the passengers on the other boat. Both boats began speeding through the waters to create a lovely wake to entice the dolphins to play. This made life a little more interesting and the dolphins were up for some playtime.

I was ecstatic to see them playing in the waves and to watch the wake caress the sea grasses as the fading waves curled towards the shoreline. Was a very peaceful afternoon that I was very grateful for.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Photo Finish

I’m not sure exactly how many photos I have, but suffice it to say, I have a lot. Whether it be paper photos previous to digital, crappy digital photos from that technology’s infancy or full rez photos, I have quite a collection.

I always teased the kids and said, “If there’s a fire, run and grab some photo albums and then meet by the tree out front”. Thank goodness that never happened, because I totally think they would have done just that. Careful what you say to small people!

I’ve begun the oh-my-gosh photo project from hell.

I tried to keep all my digital files in order, because that seems like it would have been easy, right? But between multiple back-ups and drive failures previous to accessible cloud storage, I now have a jumbled mess.

I downloaded a program that supposedly used AI to recognize photos that were duplicates, and it did just that, but with older files, there wasn’t always a (1) or (2) behind the file name to indicate that it’s a duplicate, so that program sometimes deleted both of the files without leaving one on the drive. So I had to go through my trash and restore some photos after I’d realized I’d lost a few older photos of grandchildren. Grrr.

Toss in a persnickety RAM issue that is starting to corrupt files and that’s where I am.

I finally bit the bullet and got a cloud storage account and am in the process of backing up and syncing 578K+ of photos, many of which are probably duplicates. There are also files I still need to back up, so it’s taking quite awhile. I think we are on day 4 and just getting to about halfway. My new dilemma is that there are files that are deemed “too small” and some that are considered “too large” and then others that are “unsupported movie formats” and while it does tell me with files it’s not processing in the moment, I don’t see a way to get a report of which files are not being backed up after it’s done. C’mon, people!!

I’ve resigned myself to a very long process of sorting and sifting digital files. And when I’m tired of sorting digital files, I’ll go upstairs to my photo albums and begin the process of sorting and sifting those. At least the majority of my paper photos are in chronological order and in dated albums. I’m only sifting those because the albums I’d used were smaller fat books that are taking up quite a bit of space in my smaller office.

Sounds like the stage of life I am in. Sort and sift, pitch and purge, save and delete. Making room for new thigs or just reclaiming space, which is peaceful.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings


Long ago I found a website that had ancestral information about my family compiled by Cherry Souder Kinnunen. I printed this out, but now I’m trying to reduce the amount of “papers” I have lying about so I figured I’d post it here. Perhaps if anyone is ever looking for the same family tree, it will help them. I have a few documents and photos I’ll insert at a later date.

First Generation

1. John SOUTER was born before 1765 in Pa., Lived in Balt. Co., Md. in 1810. Research Salt Lake City, Utah by Cherry Kinnunen 4/2000:
1810 census, Baltimore, Maryland pg. 553 Pipe Creek and North Hundred #019366 FHL:
John Souter – Head of Household
1 male age 10 – 16
1 male age 16 – 26
1 male age 45+
1 female age 16 – 26
1 female age 45+

This is the earliest record we have of John Souter at this time. The theory is that this is the father and mother of John Souder who married Verlynda Cross in 1814 in Baltimore, Md. The parents appear to be over age 45. That is how I estimated the age of John Souter. He could be older than this age. John Souder was in Baltimore, Md. at least 4 years before he married Verlynda Cross.

There is a Conrad Souder and a Godfrey Souder in Baltimore, Md. listed in the 1810 census. Also listed 1810 in Maryland are: Anthony Souder in Frederick, Md., Henry Sowder in Wash., Co., Felia Souder b. 175? living in Wash., Co., Adam Souder in Frederick Co. I suspect that Godfrey and Conrad are related to John Souter.
We do not know the names of any siblings of John Souter.

Early arrivals:
Peter Sauter arrived Philadelphia 25 Sep 1732 on “Loyal Judith”.
Thomas Sauder 19 Sept. 1732 on “Johnson “.
Phillip Sauter 20 Sept. 1738 “Nancy Friendship”
Christian Suder 1 Sept 1736 Philadelphia “Harle” (From Rotterdam) age 23
Christain Suder b. abt. 1713 d. 1774, he bought a farm in New Britan Township,
Bucks Co., Pa. In 1755 Christian bought the farm on Church Rd near Indian Creek reformed Church. The Souders own the farm to this day.( This is the Christian Souder/Kraybill/Clemmer/ Oberholtzer/Funk/Kolb/Allebach/Bechtel/ Families)
Johannes Sauter Dec 1744 “Mascliffe Gallery”
Christian Souder 27 Oct 1738 “St. Andrew Ship”

The Sauder family found in this country originally were Swiss Germans, Palatines, who moved down along the Rhine River to the coast and embarked for America. These imigrants came to Pennsylvania at various times from 1729 to 1752 and settled in Montgomery, Lancaster and Berks Counties.

“According to Heintze-Cascorbi, the name Sauder means a “Haher”, that is one that closes things together; therefore a shoemaker or tailor. In the ancient German and early American records the name is found in its various forms of Sauter, Sauder, Souder, Souter, Suder, Suter, Suttor, and Sutor.”

John SOUTER had the following children: John Souder

Second Generation

2. John SOUDER was born about 1784 in Pa.. He appeared on the census in 1820. He died before 1850. He appeared on the census in 1850 in Not listed in household with Verlynda Souder. He was Methodist. I am guessing on the age of John Souder by adding 25 years to the birth date of Amos W. Souder. Amos W. Souder was 35 when he started having a family.

Source: Anne Arundel County Levy Court (Levy List 1811-1828) has John Souder giving testimony, ca. 1817 for Nicholas Worthington. ( Worthington is a major Anne Arundel County name).

Possible religion is Methodist per David Souder.

Theory and facts per Cherry Kinnunen:
The 1810 census for John Souter, City of Baltimore, Pipe Creek, FHL #019366 page 553, lists 1 male age 10-16, 1 male age 16-26, 1 male over 45 and 1 female 16-26, 1 female over 45. John & Verlynda Souder were married in Baltimore, Md. and according to the census it looks like John (age 16-26) lived in Baltimore in the home of his father, John Souder ( age 45+) and mother. The 1820 census in Baltimore lists Thomas Souder and Conrad Souder both of which may be related as brothers or Uncles of JOHN SOUTER.

John & Verlinda lived in Anne Arundel County, Md.

“Prince Georges Co. Md., Index of Church registers 1686 -1885 Vol II” Prince Georges Parish lists John Suter buried April 27, 1807, page 102 in original records. (Could this be the grandfather of John Souder?) A copy of this reference and the history of the formation of the counties and Church district is also in the file.

From the Maryland State Archives I received an index listing the marriage of John Souder to Belinda Cross on Feb. 28, 1814 in Baltimore County, Md. Record Request # SL00 13716-24895 Code M Type C.
MSA No. C376 Baltimore County Court ( Marriage Licenses) John Souder and Belinda Cross volume 1803- 1815 page 240 2-14-14-11. MSA No. C376 Baltimore County Court (Marriage Licenses)

During the early 1800’s most marriages were performed at the home of the bride.
John & Belinda (Verlynda) Souder’s marriage was probably recorded in the early Methodist Church & the their marriage license obtained in Baltimore, Md. The Mormon Church has lumped together all of the early church records with the First Methodist Episcopal Church (now Lovely Lane Methodist Church) which was not in existence until the 1870’s according to the Methodist Historical Society. Records do exist for Baltimore City Station Methodist Church, David Souder will check these records at the Maryland State Archives, and go to the Baltimore Historical Society to see what they have on John Souder and Verlynda & Thomas Cross (her father).

He was married to Verlynda CROSS on 28 Feb 1814 in Baltimore City Station Methodist Church, Baltimore County, Md.. Verlynda CROSS Church in Apr in Baltimore City Station Methodist Church. She was born about 1784 in Md.. She appeared on the census in 1850 in Listed Head of Household & Listed as a male. She appeared on the census in 1850 in Listed with 2 sons. She was in Methodist. Also known as Belinda Cross on the marriage index in Baltimore Co., Md.

Per Jeane Kidwell 6/28/00:
There is a record on for Belinda Cross and John Louder on Feb. 28, 1814, at the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Balt., Md. This is the date of their marriage. John SOUDER and Verlynda CROSS had the following children: Amos Warfield Souder, Thomas M. Souder, Jacob B. Souder, Charles P. Souder

Third Generation

3. Amos Warfield SOUDER was born on 17 Oct 1814 in Md.. He appeared on the census in 1850 in DC, West of 7th St. Turnpike ( #150). He appeared on the census in 1860. He appeared on the census in 1870. He Funeral in 1894 in home on Sargeant Rd. Prince Georges County, Md.. He was buried on 21 Feb 1894 in Rock Creek Cemetary, Md.. He died on 22 Feb 1894 in At home on Sargeant Rd. Prince Georges County, Md.. He resided in Sargeant Rd., Prince Georges County, Md. He resided 3405 Rhode Island Ave. He Funeral. He was a farmer in the 1870 census.. He was an overseer in the DC 1850 census.. He Church Rock Creek Episcopal Church. Amos lived in Howard District of Anne Arundel County Md. prior to 1850.

There is a marriage license at Annapolis Archives for Amos W. Souder and Elizabeth Murphy.
I must get a copy of the license.

The Souder family and descendants of Amos Warfield Souder were mainly in Howard County, Montgomery County, D.C., then Prince Georges County and then back to Montgomery County. Amos W. Souder lived in Anne Arundel, Wash., D.C. and Prince Georges County,Md.

Amos lived in Howard County, Md. until his insolvency in 1845.

Amos W. Souder purchased a cemetery lot (Section E, Lot 138) in Rock Creek Cemetery, Wash., D.C. in 1884. There is a map in my file to this grave location. It is very near the Bronze statue by the famous artist.
Grace Ellen Souder was buried here on May 11, 1966. .
Authorizations for internment were also signed by:
George H. W. Souder, 1801 Chillum Rd., Hyattsville, Md
Alpheus W. Souder (“Boots) , 3708 N. Rosser St., Alexandria, Va.
Saddie M. Williams, Silver Spring, Md.

Amos W. Souder was listed in the 1850 census of Washington County, D.C.,
Amos W. Souder is listed in the 1860 Census 2nd District, Prince Georges County, Md. page 423 #803478.
listed in 1870 Washington, D.C. 7th St. & Road East.

I have a map of Prince Georges County that lists the name of Amos W. Souder and
shows where his property was in 1878, “Bladensburg District. No .2, Prince Georges County, Md.”
Amos W. Souder lived on Sargeant Rd. in Prince Georges County , Md.
Amos W. Souder died in Prince Georges County, Md.

In 1999 I went to the Prince Georges County Historical Society & to the Frederick County,
Md. Historical Society they had no information about family members for Amos W.

Land records 1840-1884 #0014278 page 170:
Amos W. Sowder and wife to ?(N.W.?) Burchell mortgage HB 5 folio 255 FHL.

Amos W. Souder from Nathaniel Sargent & wife, deed HB5 254 FHL.

Land Records pg. 171
Amos W. Souder from (?N.N.) Burchell, Trustee Release GB 1 75.

1860 Census:. page # 88 (423) 2nd District, Prince Georges County, Md. 4th August, 1860
# 803478 pg. 423 :
Amos W. Souder age 46, Farmer Value Real Estate $300, Value Personal Estate $250, Place of birth, Md.
Wife, Elizabeth A. age 41 born Md.
Charles H. age 12 b. Md.
John W. age 11 b. Md.
Amos age 7 born D.C.
Lewis age 6 born Md.
Adeline age 3 born Md.
Thomas Crofs (possibly Cross) age 92 born Md. (Probably Verlinda’s father & Amos W. Souder’s grandfather)

The “Prince Georges County Maryland Marriages & Deaths” [FHL 975.251, B 38G, u.2 By Baltz] also
Obituary: Obits, Prince Georges County, Md. page 508 reads:
SOUDER, AMOS W. – D on Wed. 2/21,- – – aged 79 yrs 4 mos 3 days. Funeral will take place at
his late res, Sargeant Rd, PG’s Co, on Fri 2/23 at 2 PM. Friends and relatives invited to attend. STAR 2/22/1894.

Amos W. Souder purchased a cemetery lot # 1884 in Rock Creek Cemetery. This is a family plot.
I have a picture of the tombstone at Rock Creek Cemetery of the Amos W. Souder family plot.
Other family members buried here are:
his wife ELIZABETH ANN SOUDER, June 11, 1818 – Feb.. 18, 1885
Charles H. Souder Feb. 1, 1847 – Oct. 14, 1911 [son]
AMOS F. SOUDER Dec 11, 1851 – may 14, 1928 [son)
GRACE ELLEN SOUDER Oct. 28, 1887 – May 7, 1966 [wife of Alpheus Dorsey Souder – maiden name HORSEMAN]
ALPHEUS DORSEY SOUDER – Sept. 12, 1882 – Oct. 24, 1950 [grandson]
FANNIE M. SOUDER – Dec. 2, 1858 – March 23, 1900

Many of Amos Warfield Souder’s children and grandchildren went to the funeral of Littleton Souder in 1943 and signed the memorial book.

Check #254521 FHL for Amos W. Souder

Per David Souder:
“In the late 1890″s after Elizabeth died, the family had to sell the land. Everyone gathered to do this, those from Prince Georges County ,and Amos & Josephine Souder from D.C.”

Amos bought property on Sargeant Rd. in Prince Georges County, Md. There is a plat map in my files showing the location of this property.

Per David Souder:
“Sargeant Road plays a major part in the Souder family saga., my great grandfather and grandfather worked on farms on that road, they were owned by Adaline Souder Miller & Stephen Miller. Also, I belive, that Lewis Souder inherited Amos Warfield’s land, and eventually it was owned by his children, Charles, Maggie, and Raymond. According to my father, they sold it in the 1960’s”.

Ellicott Mills March 14, 1844.. (This copy is hard to read)
Amos W. Souder of Howard District, Anne Arundel County, Md. by petition in writing to the …… Chief Judge of the Orphans Court of Howard District?

The cause of death for Amos W. Souder was listed as exhaustion in the Rock Creek Cemetery records.

1880 Census, Bladensburg District, Prince George’s County, Md. # 1254513 FHL pg. 8, ED 121:
Amos W. Souder 65 Farmer b. Md.
Anna E. 61 wife keeping house b. Md.
Charles H 33 son b. Md.
John W. 31 son b. Md.
Amos F. 26 son b. DC
Lewis F. 25 son b. Md.
Adaline V. 23 daughter b. Md.

Elizabeth Ann MURPHY was born on 11 Jun 1818. She Church on 25 Nov 1875 in Riggs School House, Bladensburg Circuit, Hyattsville, Md.. She died on 18 Feb 1885 in Rock Creek Cemetary, DC. She was buried in Rock Creek Cemetery, Wash., D.C.. Obit Notice: Prince Georges County page 508:
SOUDER, ELIZABETH ANN – D at her res in PG”s Co on 2/18 at 8:30 AM – – – W/O AMOS W. SOUDER, in the 67th yr of her age. Relatives & friends are invited to attend her funeral on Fri 2/20 2 PM at her late res. STAR 2/18/1885

I have a picture of the tombstone in Rock Creek Cemetery of the family plot.

Per David Souder:
In the late 1890’s, after Elizabeth Souder died, the family had to sell the land. Everyone gathered to do this, those from Prince Georges County, and Amos & Josephine Souder from D.C.

Listed on the 1880 census, Bladensburg, Md. as Anna E. Amos Warfield SOUDER and Elizabeth Ann MURPHY had the following children: Charles Henry Souder, John Wesley Souder, Amos F. Souder, Lewis Francis Souder, Adaline Virginia Souder

Fourth Generation

8. John Wesley SOUDER was born on 23 Jan 1849 in Md.. He Church on 25 Nov 1875 in Riggs School House, Bladensburg Circuit, Hyattsville, Md.. He resided in 1900 in Sargeant Rd, Pr Geo Co., Md. He resided between 1911 and 1933 in 1226 Randolf St., Brookland, D.C.. He signed a will on 11 Oct 1911 in Copy in file. He was buried in 1928 in Glenwood Cemetery, Wash, D.C.. He died on 30 Jul 1933. He had an estate probated on 2 Aug 1933 in Sup. Court, Wash., D.C.. He resided in 4 Miles W. of Hyattsville, Md.. John Wesley Souder’s first wife was Fannie May Ceas, his second wife was Ada Smith.

Listed in “D.C. Marriage Records Index, Wash., D.C. June 1877- Oct. 19, 1885” 16 019 page 431.
I have a copy of John Wesley Souder’s Will in my records.
The Bladensburg Circuit.

Per Jeane Kidwell 3/2000:
John Wesley Souder was a caretaker or superintendent of Rock Creek Cemetery for a number of years, and he did everything, including digging graves by hand. John Wesley Souder couldn’t read or write,
and Esther (his daughter) kept all the cemetery records for him (when she was a child). I assume that Hattie (his daughter) did the same thing before Esther was capable of writing. Later, Hattie’s grandson, Alvin Melton, became superintendent of Rock Creek Cemetery.
David Souder said that John Wesley worked at Glenmont Cemetery.

8/7/2000 Jeane Kidwell:
“Esther always talked about her father working at Rock Creek Cemetery. We have to remember that she had many, many strokes, and in later years, was often confused. Marvin remembers her talking about her father working at Rock Creek Cemetery. Marvin’s sister, Frances, says the same as David, that John Wesley worked at Glenmore (Or Glenwood, I can never remember which it is.) Maybe he worked at both cemeteries – they are close together!

1900 Census, Bladensburg District, #1240626 FHL lists
John W. Souder Aug. 1848 age 51 b. Md. Md. Md. Day Laborer (on family farms)
Alfred son b. 12/1886 (my grandfather) Md.Md. Md. Day laborer
Hatttie dau. b. 1/1884 Md. Md. Md.
John son b. 5/1890 Md. Md. Md
Esther dau. Ja. 1899 Md. Md. Md.

Ada SMITH was born in 1868. She was buried in 1952 in Glenwood Cemetery, Wash., D.C.. She died on 14 Dec 1952. She resided in Randolf Rd., Wash., D.C.. Copy of the Last Will & Testament of John Wesley Souder dated Oct. 11, 1911 names his children and beloved, second wife Ada. I have a copy of the will on file. According to Mary Souder, when John Wesley Souder died, his wife, Ada wanted to sell the house and split the money with the children. The children said no until later after Alpheus Dorsey Souder died they decided to sell the property to the Catholic Un University. and split the money. According to the will, the money would be divided among the heirs of any deceased children so Alpheus “Boots” Souder received $900 and Everett W. Souder received $900. Everett W. Souder gave $300 to Grace Ellen Souder ( the widow of Alpheus Dorsey Souder ).

According to Mary Souder:
The house was left to Ada after John Wesley Souder died. Ada did not want to live alone so she sold the house to the Catholic University. as they had wanted to buy the house for many years and she went to live with her sisters. The property was on Randolf Rd.

He was married to Fannie May CEAS on 12 Oct 1881 in Wash., D.C.. Fannie May CEAS was born on 2 Dec 1858 in Va.. She appeared on the census in 1870 in 7th Ward, Wash., D.C.. She resided before 1900 in Sargeant Rd., Prince Georges County, Md. She died on 23 Mar 1900 in Rock Creek Cemetary, Md.. She was buried on 24 Mar 1900 in Rock Creek Cemetary. She Church in Brookland Baptist Church, Pr. Geo Co, Md. Per Jeane Kidwell:
Fannie Ceas died of tuberculosis when Esther was 8 months old. John Wesley had to burn all their belongings to avoid spreading the disease. John Wesley and Hattie, who was 14 years older than Esther, raised Esther. John Wesley married Ada Smith when Esther was a teenager.

OBIT NOTICE: page 509 Names in Stones,
D on Fri 3/23 at 4:30 PM at her res on Sargeant Rd., Pr Geo’s Co – – – the beloved wife of
John Souder, (verse) Funeral from the Brookland Baptist Church Mon 3/26 at 3 PM,
STAR 3/24/1900

Listed in “D.C. Marriage Records Index, June 28, 1877 to Oct. 19, 1885” page 431,
16 019. Listed as Fannie M. Ceas
Need to check source: #1994620 FHL Death Records

Cause of death is listed as Entero Colitis in Rock Creek Cemetery records. John Wesley SOUDER and Fannie May CEAS had the following children: Charles Souder, Alpheus Dorsey Souder, Hattie May Souder, Esther Irene Souder, Lester Souder and John Thomas Souder

Fifth Generation

29. John Thomas SOUDER was a in 1911 in Washington Railway & Electric Co.. He was in 1955 in St. Martin’s Catholic Church, N. Capitol St.. He resided in 1955 in 2321 Lincon Rd., N.E., Md.. He Funeral in 1955 in S.H. Hines Funeral Home, 2901 14th St.N.W.. He died on 31 Aug 1955. He was buried on 31 Aug 1955 in Fort Lincoln Cemetery. He was a in Drove Streetcar, Wash., D.C.. He was a in Capital Transit Co., Motorman, Md.. John Thomas is survived by twenty-seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

J.T. Souder, Col.

John Thomas SOUDER and Charlotte BANFIELD had the following children:

122 i. John Edwin SOUDER resided in Takoma Park, Md..

123 ii. Thomas L. SOUDER resided in Hyattsville, Md.. He resided in Gainesville, Fla..

124 iii. Richard B. SOUDER resided in Fort Benning, Ga..

125 iv. Katherine SOUDER resided in 1955 in 908 Kennedy St., Md..

126 v. Charlotte SOUDER resided in 1955 in Brentwood, Md..

127 vi. Gladys SOUDER resided in 1955 in Riverdale, Md..

Sixth Generation

John Edwin Souder married Marguerite Hutt and had the following children:

  • Mary Ellen Souder
  • John Edwin Souder, Jr. (5-5-1935)
  • Jaqueline Elizabeth (Betsy) Souder

Seventh Generation

John Edwin Souder, Jr. married Eileen Lee Kragh and had the following children:

  • Laura L. Souder
  • John E. Souder, III
  • Sharon M. Souder
  • Marcia C. Souder

Eight Generation

John E. Souder, III married Gerilynn DeGenaro: one daughter, Cathleen Souder

John divorced Gerilynn and married Christina Cronin: one daughter, Caitlin Souder

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Exit Stage…..

I’m down to about 25 work days left before I’m officially retired, and I’m not quite sure what to do.

Most people tell me to wipe my hands clean and walk away, while my coworkers say they want me available to answer questions. I’ve been in my position for 26 years.

But my employer, who asked me to stay an extra year to train my replacements, never hired anyone. So, I’ve been chugging along and leaving as much of a trail of breadcrumbs for people as I can, while still trying to support the chorus as much as possible during a pandemic.

Many hours of my time was spent organizing files and creating a working file structure and now it feels like that’s been a waste of time. Now I’m being told to dump as much as I can into dropbox and they’ll create a new system in Office 365. I don’t begrudge the change in systems, but I do grieve the lost time.

I wanted to leave my job to spend the first year with my grandson and now he’s 13 months and walking. And while I’ve gone as often as I could, my promise to help my employer ended up being a false path. I thought I could leave things in great shape for it to continue. Instead, it’s all going to be a jumble of change (that’s ok) but I’ve given up that time with my grandson.

I also think I’m a bit angry about the deal with the employer. I stayed on the pretense that I would be training someone (actually 2 people because they are splitting my job in two) and that never occurred. I feel a bit used – like a placeholder in an odd year. I’m grateful for the income.

I’m supposed to help them with their upcoming tour; to train the next employees in how to structure a tour. My reward for this would be to go on the tour for free. My guidance isn’t something they are willing to pay me for in cash money and by employer guidelines, I can’t work for them in any capacity for 6 months anyway. Still, I have a nagging feeling that like the first scenario of working to train someone this past year, it may be more of a “get what you can” situation and less of a sharing the brain trust of someone who has led 6 international tours with over 150 people each time.

I want to retain my dignity and not be a doormat while exiting gracefully and without sour grapes. Is this at all possible? If I step away and wish them well, will I be looked at as someone who didn’t uphold my end of the bargain without the hindsight of understanding that they didn’t uphold theirs?

I want to do the best for everyone, though I’m finding I’ve been doing my best for others before I do the best for me. When I do for me, I feel selfish and uncomfortable. How do I find the in-between that feels right?

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Giving Me the Boot

Freshly home from Pittsburgh and visiting #4 and her children. My 5th grandchild’s birthday is next weekend, but since her daddy’s family is coming to celebrate, Hubby and I went up a weekend early to give our gifts and have a few cupcakes. She’s 3 already. I may cry. I love spending time with her and watching her grow and change. She’s a smart girl and sensitive in a good way. She is also independent, which can be a blessing. Quite honestly, I love her fashion style. It reminds me that we should just wear what feels good to us and not what someone says is an acceptable outfit.

Love it.

But on to the boot. I’ve been on-again, off-again in an aircast over the years and this is an on-again situation. Doc said to wear it for three weeks and STAY OFF OF IT (which is a new thing). Then come see him to ascertain whether or not I’d need any other kind of intervention. So, that’s what I’m doing. It’s not like I was going to do much anyway. It’s February and it’s a pandemic.

There are a few other things I’m “giving the boot” as well. Hubby and I started a lifestyle change this year. Cut the sugar out. Of course, he’s dropped weight almost instantaneously, but he says he feels better in other ways as well. We’ve both haven’t kept up with our exercise routines now that we are in the colder months and I’m in a boot, but we’ll get back to walking. We always do.

Time is rapidly passing and before you know it, I’ll be retired in June. So, I guess I’m effectively giving the chorus the boot. It’s been a good run and I’m extremely grateful for all the opportunities and people I’ve interacted with. I’m sure I’ll write more the closer I get to the end in June.

And finally, it seems #1 has decided to give me “the boot”. Last fall, she and I were texting and communicating very well. Within that time, she found out she was expecting (which was amazing since she’d had tubal ligation after the last child) but the universe works in it’s own way and she found she was pregnant by a fellow she’d been dating. She was having a milestone birthday (40!) which was landing on Thanksgiving and I hadn’t seen her in two years, so I told Hubby that I wanted to go visit.

Remember, this was 2020 and the COVID pandemic was still ongoing. Hubby was very hesitant about going anywhere, much less a road trip to Georgia. But since #1 had said she’d love to see us and that she missed us and really wanted us to visit (AND she was turning 40 – which for ME was huge), we made plans to go see her while implementing as many safety precautions as possible for all parties. I rented a beach house with a covered and screened-in porch in case it rained (which it did). And we planned ways that would allow us to visit, but reduce risk as much as possible. Let’s face it, we aren’t spring chickens and she’s told me she’s pregnant at 40, which is already high risk.

So, we packed up and drove down to Georgia and set-up in our cute little house at the beach with the most awesome porches and were looking forward to seeing grandchildren #2 and #4.

Since daughter #1 was working, we took the grandkids (who are both older, 13 and 19) on a trolly tour around Savannah. Learned a bunch and really enjoyed the day with the kids. In fact, we spent most of the week hanging out with the kids and playing games. Totally loved it.

The big day arrived – Thanksgiving and her 40th birthday all in one. She arrived about 4 hours later than she’d originally planned and left after 2 hours, saying she’d be back around 8 pm to spend some time and pick up the kids. I was frustrated by this because our original plans made months ago was to just spend the day together grazing on food and hanging out. She’d mentioned that it had been requested that we go to her new beau’s aunt’s house (who are local) early on, but we said we were there to spend time with her and she’d been thankful to be “off the hook with a good excuse”. Granted, she wasn’t pregnant then and it’s OK, things change. I can deal with that. What did surprise me was that when she said “Bye” that day, that would be the last I’ve heard from her to date.

She’d asked us to come down, saying she realized time was moving along and that we hadn’t seen each other in awhile and she missed us. We heard her, took vacation time off, rented a place, entertained the kids and came to spend time with her. And she dismissed us and still has.

#3, ever the one to speak up, recently talked to her. #1 expressed how jealous she was of her sister (#4 – why did I have SO MANY KIDS) and that she felt isolated.

  1. Her sister asks me to come up and spend time and I do.
  2. She asked me to come down and spend time and I did.

It seems that some of this stems from the fact that we put in safety protocols during her visit and she feels we don’t do the same with her sister.

I’m not sure it registered that both #1 and her beau work outside of the home and her daughter and son were both outside of the home for personal and education reasons. This was part of why we put in place the safety measures we felt comfortable with; to save possibly save our lives and to keep everyone healthy. Yet when we go to #4’s house, we stay in her home and from #1’s perspective, have relaxed rules. I’m not sure it occurs to #1 that her sister, #4, works from home and goes nowhere. Or that we purposefully quarantine ourselves when we know we will visit. Or that #4’s husband owns his own shop and thus has put in place safety protocols that he has sole control over to keep him safe at work. And maybe #1 doesn’t understand that we haven’t interacted with #4’s extended family (which is something to be said for a big Italian family) simply because none of us feel comfortable interacting with many people.

Maybe she would have if she’d asked. Or talked to us about anything. But instead, she’s just not communicated with us. And since she’s all wrapped up in being hurt, done wrong and being the victim, she’s not seeing the hurt she’s inflicting to herself and on people who keep trying to be a part of her life, but whom she regularly rejects via the choices she makes and has total control over making.

I’ve gotten to the point in my life where I’m not going to chase people who show no interest in being part of my world. Not with my children, my relationship or my job. So, maybe that’s why I’m wearing the boot…. the universe is telling me it’s time to stop being stuck. Let it go and give some issues “the boot”.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Downsizing to a Smaller House

You may recall I wrote a blog called “Downsizing to a Larger House” some years ago. If not, maybe you’ll want to check it out first, before reading this post.

In 2015 or so, I started thinking about moving again. Within the same year as we purchased the big house to host family and friends and grandchildren, everyone moved away. My kids, my best friend and our “couple” friends. Poof! All gone. And there we were with this awesome house (which I still dearly love and sometimes wish I still owned) but there wasn’t anyone to share it with.

The big house was a 7-10 year plan, with the thought of growing its equity and then selling it and hopefully having a bigger down payment for the next home in a place where we’d finally be around family.

We were at a fine cusp of time where we weren’t staring at retirement, but we would be wise to position ourselves to move with that goal in mind. I wanted to be closer to our youngest child, who was talking about starting a family.

Since my entire life has been about children and I’d been unable to be around the other 4 grandchildren, I was really excited about moving closer and being part of the new grandchildren’s lives. It is, after all, the further step in my preferred career. I’d always said I wanted to be a wife, a mother and a grandma. I’d been the wife and the mom…. but being the quintessential grandma had eluded me.

We sold the big house and made a little. Settled our debts so we could be free an clear and found a place that rented to people with animals, although for more than most of the surrounding units. The thought being that if we were debt free and unencumbered by anything here, it would be fairly easy to move and possibly take jobs that paid less, but had room to grow into. Since the cost of living was a bit less in PA and PA is favorable to retirement funds… it made perfect sense. At least to me.

This is where we hit a snag. Hubby has a job he likes and wasn’t really looking for a job elsewhere. Oddly he was willing to look at purchasing a home in PA, but not really looking for a job, which would mean he would be homeless in MD. I couldn’t understand how he expected that to work.

We took our down payment for our ‘forever’ home and put it into a townhouse in the same community we rented in which decreased our payments quite a bit. Then we renovated – which was kinda frustrating because the requirements from Hubby for a house in PA was NO RENO needed. Sigh…in any case the townhouses in the area are appreciating some, and we’d talked about this maybe eventually being a rental unit, but if I’m being honest, I think it would be better to sell it and put the money down on our forever home… though I see the window for that being monetarily wise narrowing. Unless Hubby finds an awesome job in PA. Which he could.

So time moves on and now we are mid-fifties and while I travel as often as I can to see the two newer grandchildren, I’m feeling the pull more than ever to head north. So much so that I am leaving my job in June and will find one there if need be. I have a place to stay with my daughter, but ultimately would like a place of my own.

I’m in the process of culling belongings down even farther. Funny, when I started out in my first place it was a townhouse and I had very little in the way of possessions. And now, I feel like I’m back to where I started – is that going backward, or is that just full circle? No matter which, it’s humbling and contemplative.

Posted in Musings and Mutterings

Oh My Gourds

This October, I seem to have quite a few pumpkin photos.

Earlier in the month we went apple picking with the grandkids…

Then we went to our local farm to check out the corn maze…

And finally, we hired a guest artist to carve our pumpkin this year….

He wanted to create his art in a private place.

And… this was his masterpiece. We call it “Peekaboo”