December 3, 2012

Memory Lane Monday - My Uncle Dick...

Today is my birthday, but I'm going to save my birthday post for later this week. Instead, I'd like you to meet another dear family member.
My Uncle Dick, like my Uncle Johnny (who I've introduced you to before here), was also born in England. As a child, I always thought Uncle Johnny looked like Paul Anka, and Uncle Dick reminded me of Andy Williams. Look at those dreamy eyes! I think this picture was taken when he was in the service in England. (I'm guessing he must have been around eighteen.)
In July, 1962, he married my Aunty Margaret and in March of 1971, they brought their two children - a boy and a girl - to the United States. In those years, if you wanted to immigrate to America, you needed to have the promise of work and a place to live.

My uncle made an agreement with a local painting contractor to work for him, and my parents cleared out what had been the playroom in our home to make a place for them to live until they could get on their feet.

Their living quarters were at the back of our house, so they did have a small measure of privacy, but all four of them lived in that room. I can't remember their son's age, but I believe that he was around seven, and their daughter was around 5.

Looking back, I admire their commitment to start a new life in a strange country - sharing a house with my parents and their five children - in modest quarters at that. I know that they always appreciated that early start, but it had to have been difficult for two grown couples and their (seven) kids to live in the same house!

My uncle worked hard and my aunt (who also found work) saved and scrimped until they had put aside enough money to make a downpayment on a home about ten miles from my parents house. They still live in that same house, where they raised their children into loving adults and celebrated each subsequent year of their marriage.

When I think about how determined they were to make a life for themselves and their family, I'm filled with admiration and respect for them. Not everyone would have survived the stress and strain, but they certainly did - and they grew a beautiful family in the process.
This year, Uncle Dick and Aunty Margaret celebrated their Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary together. Friends and family gathered to celebrate their marriage - a true partnership. Handsome and I weren't able to attend, but we celebrate them, too. It's quite an accomplishment in this day and age to celebrate fifty years of hard work, compromise, family, commitment and love.
I especially like this photograph (all of the above pictures were shared with me by my aunt). It's their entire family...l-r: Grandson, Aunty Margaret, Son-in-Law, Son, Granddaughter, Uncle Dick and Daughter. My aunt is now retired, but my uncle goes out to work every day, still painting, in his seventies!
When Handsome and I were in Wisconsin in May of this year for my niece's college graduation, we attended her ceremony and picnic with my uncle and aunt. I took this picture of them as we sat across the table from each other. I really like it!

We had a wonderful time catching up and hearing about each others kids (not really kids anymore!) and grandchildren. We saw them again in October, and I know it won't be long until we see them again. Great times spent with family members. Does it get any better than that?
Thank you for sharing another Memory Lane Monday with me. There's only one more left (December 31st). If you have a story you'd like to share on your blog, just come back here and link below.
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8 friends clicked here to leave a note for me:

Sue said...

Happy birthday Donna. A you say 50 years married is a great achievement, its is surprising how many people still make it. I hope your Uncle & Aunt go on to celebrate many more years together

Chris said...

Happy Birthday Donna!
What a lovely post about your Uncle and his family.

Mandy said...

Happy Birthday, Donna. Such a delightful post to read about your aunt and uncle. What an amazing couple they are.

barb said...

Great story, thanks for sharing.

Createology said...

Such a lovely couple and family. The strength and commitment of their journey is amazing. Congratulations on 50 years! Thank you for sharing this wonderful tribute Donna.
I have my post up.

Createology said...

Happy Birthday Donna. I hope you got my little package. Celebrate and enjoy your special day...week...month...year my dear.

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What a sweet memory lane! I'm stopping by to wish you a VERY Happy Birthday! I hope it is extra special...just like YOU! Sweet birthday hugs, Diane

Kathy said...

Happy Birthday! I hope you got to do something fun.

I wish I was closer and able to take your hand applique class. I know how, but you always learn something new whenever you take a class. Congratulations on jumping into teaching it!

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