Friday Figments

d4b34519-b629-4eda-989d-ab81a6b9e1f6 2The next time I complain about some fault with our old house remind me to look at this photo. The people pictured above are relatives from long ago.

I believe the fellow in the coat seated right is my maternal grandfather’s older brother Dennis, the others are members of his family. Dennis’ wife Jennie is standing in the back far left.  The others are their children, beginning with Minnie, the tall girl named for our mutual grandmother (my grandfather’s grandmother in my case) who arrived from the Netherlands as a baby in her mother’s arms. A distant cousin posted the photo a while back and I found it while seaching for my roots.

Dennis and Jennie were first generation Dutch-Americans, their parents having migrated to the States in the mid-nineteenth century. They settled in Kent county in Michigan in the western part of the state.  Their ancestors were god-fearing Dutch Reformed Protestants and Mennonites (the Amish today), and they farmed.

I don’t know whether any of the descendents of these people remained Evangelical, my Grandpa certainly didn’t. Grandpa never attended Church, he believed in FDR who helped him pull himself out of poverty via Public Works projects in the 1930s.


I asked my youngest granddaughter Joy if she had a beau and she posted the photo below.  Okay, I know this little Jersey is a bovine and Joy’s favorite.  I believe the fields behind Joy are part of the agriculture area of Virginia Tech otherwise known as “Moo U’ among the NOVA city types here in VA who don’t know where milk comes from.  Joy is graduating in May with a degree in Agricultural Science and she knows how to milk a cow.  12109018_10153587978964088_8410092480802671919_n copy

The United States formed the Land Grant Universities  in the mid-nineteenth century (Morrill Acts of 1862) to expand opportunities to the growing population and meet the needs of Agriculture, Science and Engineering. I believe Virginia Tech is one.

Upon finishing her degree, Joy is taking a year off to work on a dairy farm, but plans to return to school for an advanced degree in Veterinary Science or some other area of animal research. She tells me Virginia Tech is one of the top research institutions in the world.


On other topics…This morning, David took my ‘recalled’ Toyota into have its air bags fixed.  We’re heading out in a week to my daughter’s farm to attend a baby shower and need a safe vehicle.

The shower will be held near the center of Virginia so all the folks who know and love Rita can drive from NOVA, the Eastern Shore, Charlottesville, Richmond and elsewhere in the Commonwealth to attend.


18 thoughts on “Friday Figments

  1. I love the look in the cow’s eyes as he’s being hugged by your beautiful granddaughter. Too funny. I’m glad you’re getting those air bags fixed. The photos on TV of the accidents with air bags are frightening.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We are unsafe enough without the airbags, but we don’t need them to add to the danger of driving on the Interstate highway. Those killer duel-length trucks delivering things to northern cities make driving scarier than ever.

      Joy’s dairy science sorority nominated her for the Miss Dairymaid pageant. She says this will be a rare opportunity to see her dressed up! ✌


  2. Your beautiful granddaughter has her head on straight! Good for her. Bill graduated from Washington State, which is the land-grant college (now University) in our home State. While he was getting his Master’s II worked there at the Water Research Center and we dealt with all the land grant colleges in the country. At that time I could pretty much name them all.

    It’s great to have that photo of family …. yeah, their house could have used a little attention, but they look healthy and happy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Diana, I didn’t know that the Amish are descended from the Mennonites. We had a large group of Mennonites in my home town in Germany (not far from the Dutch border). I may have told you before. These Mennonites flourished there and built a good-sized church, of which, sadly, only the front portal survives in modern times.

    Many of the Krefeld Mennonites emigrated to the States but every so often a group of them comes back to the town dressed in their full finery with hats and bonnets. Perhaps you could ask your Mennonite acquaintances if they know where their ancestors came from. I’d love to know why they still visit Krefeld and what they do there.

    Your granddaughter would fit right in here. Does she know anything about sheep? We have few cattle farms or dairy herds, mainly sheep farming.


    • I know granddaughter has worked with goats, because her parents have a small herd. As for sheep, I imagine she has crossed paths with them as she has worked on several farms, one of them a bison farm.

      The Amish in Pennsylvania mostly came from Germany. Around here the ancestors of Amish immigrated From Germany so long ago, I doubt many of them can name an exact location. David’s paternal grandmother was descended from German ancestors. However, they held slaves and fought for the Confederacy during our Civil War, so I doubt they were Mennonites.


  4. I am glad Joy is doing so well academically. Best wishes to her.
    Thank goodness our Toyota Camry has not been recalled for the air bags. It was recalled a few years ago regarding the gas pedal.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m continuing to enjoy your family history accounts and picture

    Redheads are special people! (Yes, I’m prejudiced, being one myself.) Your granddaughter attractive and sounds like she’s on an interesting career track, learning at all levels. For a few years in my young life we had a couple Guernsey cows that were very sweet and lovable. My uncle had a Holstein dairy farm. I didn’t recall Jerseys being that dark red in color and thought it must be some other breed ’til I re-read what you wrote.

    I thought the Mennonites were a group that broke away from the Amish long ago. In Ohio, Pennsylvania with which I’m familiar the Mennonites believe in living a simple life but are much less strict in their religious practices than the Amish — embracing some of modern technology like cars, electricity, phones, clothing attire, social activity, etc. but that the Amish don’t. Seems to me I recall hearing some Amish have accepted electricity in recent years, possibly a few other modern things.

    Glad you’re getting set up for a safe drive to shower. That whole air bag thing has been really bad news.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Regarding the red cow…dot think the photo colors maybe true. Joy’s hair is not so red either.

      Regarding the Amish and Mennonites…I worked with a gal who came from the Amish community in PA. She was a former Mennonite. I believe they are one people but several religious groups perhaps? The Pennsylvania Dutch are the most famous, however we have different groups here, there and everywhere around the Metro area….called Dankers in the Great Valley of VA. We see them at Farmers Markets and elsewhere. My daughter just bought a German Shepherd from an Amish family in PA.

      Regarding Mennonites…originally followers of Menno who was Dutch (from the Netherlands). He and his followers were persecuted by the other Protestants so they. Fled to Germany, Switzerland, etc. My Mennonite ancestors stayed in the Netherlands and their descendants came to the States. As they say…it’s complicated.

      Most of my Moms family was Dutch Reformed which is very Calvinist. However, my Nana attended the Methodist Church in Wisconsin Rapids after she left Grand Rapids MI. Mom grew up in WI Rapids and attended the Methodist Church, (records show). Although Mom converted to Roman Catholic when she married Dad, when we lived with Nana for a while, we all went to the Methodist Church. As a child, I loved all the singing.

      Raised Catholic, my daughter converted to Episcopalian and now she has returned to the Methodist Church with her girls.


  6. Your granddaughter and the cow look like they are made for each other. I have a sweet picture of my daughter and a cow and I may post about that. Thanks for the inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

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