Welcome to Henthorns Rest

Named for one of the first pieces of property bought by Henthorns in America.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Behind The Words

     On Saturday, October 8th at 8:30 in the morning Betty Imogene Henthorn Fluharty, my aunt, followed where her faith had always led her. She was strong in her conviction that one day she would once again be with her husband, Dare C. Fluharty. What most of the people who read her obituary will get is the basic facts of her life. Today, obituaries are written, trying in a few words, to convey to strangers what this person was like in life. No words will ever tell you what Aunt Betty was like. When I think of her my heart swells and I cry. I feel sorry for some of my younger cousins who missed a vibrant, loving, caring woman. The woman who baked and played piano. Who sang with joy. Stringing beans and canning and raising children. Thats why I want to tell you of the Aunt Betty I knew. 
     Born on December 27th, 1929, she was the second of thirteen children and the oldest girl. She was born in a small house on Elk Fork in Tyler County, West Virginia. After high school she met a dashing young man from the next county over and fell in love and married. Over the next forty some years they raised four children, two grandchildren and countless nephews and neices.
     In about 1964 or 65 I was staying with her at their farm and it was the first time I had ever seen Captain Kangaroo. we sat on the couch together early in the morning and laughed and laughed. In the late '60s they moved to Georgia, hoping the climate would help with the arthritis that she suffered with her whole life. After a few years, with no relief, they headed home to West Virginia. When they got back they rented a small apartment over top of the feed store in town for a while. The grade school I attended was just a few blocks from their apartment and I would fake being sick so that they would allow me to go there since I lived out of town. I loved it. Also it was I was first introduced to Gilligans Island.
     In the '70s, when they had built their new house, it was just over the way from grandma and grandpaps and there was a well beaten path between the two.There was always kids there, on the breeze way or fishing the pond. And of course my all time favorite, eating blackberry cobbler.
     In 1989,Aunt betty lost her husband whom she loved very much. Over the next twenty two years she never stopped believing that she would see him again.
     The last few times I saw Aunt Betty. just a short time back, she had lost most of her hearing and eyesight but she was as sharp as ever. We sat and talked of old things. Things I knew first hand and others that she loved to tell from her memories. I also learned a valuable lesson. I learned that no matter how small a thing may be it can be so much more to another. She told me that she remembered a note I had written her when I was in first grade telling her how nice she was and that I loved her. So small a thing, yet she still remembered it. I am so grateful she told me. I am greatful for the time I got to spend with her. I miss her already.
     And so this is the story behind the words, though not nearly all. She was so much more, that only knowing her could ever make you see. Now she will take a different place in my memory, but as an addition, not a replacement, and in time the hurt will pass and I will be greatful for this too.
 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Dinner Dishes

     Almost every Sunday afternoon found my family at my grandma and grandpap Henthorns(1). By mid to late afternoon there would be 5 or 6 more families show up. Easily there would be twenty people or more by the time supper came round. In winter we would all pack in to the comfortable two story house they lived in and in summer we filled the yard. We kids would be playing one game or another while the adult men would busy them selves with horseshoes, croquet or even target shooting with a .22.
     The women however worked. Readying the house for supper and then the long ardous task of preparing a country feast for twenty or twenty five people was no small task. Just as taxing was the serving of the food to everyone. Platters needed refilled, more to drink, more bread please, we need more butter, and on and on.
     Once the meal was over though, with the large kitchen/dining room again to themselves, the women quickly settled into an easy and synchronized dance. Working well with each other, the cleanup became their social time. A time to share what was going on in each family, joke, and gossip a little too I suppose.Whether indoors or out, the sound of their voices and laughter intermingling with the clinking of dishes would reach through the walls. It was comfortable in a way that made me feel good without my understanding why.
     Today I understand why I felt so good. It was because I could feel their love. Those women loved one another and it overflowed the house. They still do. Sister-in-laws they are, but like sisters they love.
     Sometimes when I am idling away my time I go through my minds library, pick a memory, and relive it. With all it sounds and smells and the vision of their dance in those close quarters, this is a memory I chose often.

(1)  Daniel Stilwell Henthorn ( 22-Sep-1902, 5-Nov-1984)
       Irene Ludia (Fox) Henthorn (18-May-1911, 15-Jul-1994)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Alisa

     Most of the stories I write are sources of pleasure for me, but not this one. On August 24, 2011 we lost the second of us first cousins. Alisa Ann Henthorn was born on 22-Feb-1956 at McConnell Air Force Base in Sedgwick, Kansas. She was the second of 4 children. She was married to David Paul Bassett (30-Jul-1956, 8-Sep-2011) and they had three children, Cherika Lynn (10-Oct-1981), Christa Marie (15-Jan-1986), and Jesse Lee (3-Jun-1988), and two grandchildren.
     Lisa was a beautiful woman who loved her family, they were always her first concern. When her huband was in his last days, she proved how strong a person she really was. And though things were extremely serious, there was always a ready smile for family and friends. It was always a pleasure running into her at a store, or seeing her at family gatherings, another beautiful Henthorn woman.
     There are many things that I could share with you about Alisa, but this is how I have always remembered her, small though it is.
     When I was about 5 or 6 and Alisa was 8 or 9 my family was visiting the little house they lived in on Pleasants Ridge. The day was a typical summer day, hot and sunny. I and my three cousins, Mike, Alisa, and Gerald were over the hill playing in a long narrow hayfield that lay on the side of the hill. I will never forget how I felt as the four of us ran laughing and giggling through the field , away from the house, not a care in the world.
     It may seem just a tidbit to you, this memory, but I have relived it a thousand times in my mind, I can clearly see each of us, Alisa most of all. All elbows and knees with her long hair flowing behind her as we ran and ran. I will never forget.