Monday, January 31, 2011

Farm Boy

Hello, my friends!
It’s been a week since I last posted—wow!  I had a wonderful visit with my family in Utah—parents, my college daughter, a brother & a sister and their families…had such a lovely time!
You know how much I love a beautiful sunrise……here’s what I woke up to see my first morning in my parents’ backyard…
…this is VERY different than the green & hilly  view I usually share with you from California…gorgeous!
Today I’ve been thinking about a very special man in my life…my grandfather, Rudger Smith, who started out as a sweet little farm boy back on this day—January 31st, in 1910…
In his mother’s words…”Heaven touched earth when we heard your first cry on that cold January day of 1910…”

The beautiful Victorian-style birth announcement postcard proudly sent out to friends and family by first-time parents Asahel and Pauline Smith…one of my very favorite things…

“Mother & son doing fine—son sends love to Aunt Pearl”, it says…wonderful!
 Asahel, Pauline, Rudger and Andrew Smith, about 1912
Here’s the new little family after son #2, Andrew,  came along in 1911…that’s my grandfather, Rudger on the left…it’s a good thing we don’t put our little guys in dresses anymore, isn’t it?!
Two little farm boy brothers…what a sweet moment caught on film so long ago…..
Rudger & Andrew, 1915
A new page made today for my heritage scrapbook…
Two wonderfully vintage images helped me out with my project…both from Crafty Secrets
This adorable farm boy stamp from the new “Down on the Farm” stamp set…I decided to leave it uncolored—just grunged it up a bit with “Vintage Photo” Distress Ink—trying to give it the feeling of an old sepia photo…
…and this sweet farm boy and poem image, from their new “Farm Life” Creative Scraps. 
I love to enlarge photos and cut out the people I’m focusing on for a layout…makes them feel very alive to me…
Some simple eyelet trim with vintage mother-of-pearl buttons, threaded through with jute cording…
…and a little farm-like “bouquet” at the bottom of the page…I wanted it to look like the hay these boys would have been VERY familiar with in working along with their father every day on the farm…a few vintage white blossoms thrown in and tied with a jute bow.   Very simple.
Rudger at the Udall house, 1920
Rudger a little older here…still a farm boy, through and through…
This is just a portion of the poem from the Crafty Secrets image above—by one of my favorite poets—John Greenleaf Whittier…here it is, a little bit easier to read…

The Barefoot Boy

Blessings on thee, little man,
Barefoot boy, with cheek of tan!
With thy turned-up pantaloons,
And thy merry whistled tunes;
With thy red lip, redder still
Kissed by strawberries on the hill;
With the sunshine on thy face,
Through thy torn brim’s jaunty grace;
From my heart I give thee joy,—
I was once a barefoot boy!
                                      --by John Greenleaf Whittier

Rudger Grant Smith--young man
And that barefoot boy turned into a very handsome young man…and later a husband, father…and the most wonderful grandfather anyone has ever had.
Always a twinkle in his eye when he saw me…always a big, warm bear hug with “Oh, my Jewels!” as my greeting…he never left me without a doubt that he loved me very much.
Precious time spent together…sharing a simple Sunday night meal of bread and milk that he loved since he was a humble farm boy…lovingly telling me the stories of our family that have become so important to me…
Rudger G. Smith
It hardly seems possible that he’s been gone now for  28 years…still very alive to me…and I was always so proud that my birthday was just the day before his…
Happy Birthday, Grandpa…I love you.