Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Old And New Stowells

Manor De Cothelstone

According to the Stowell Genealogy, published first, I believe in 1921, the founder of the family was the Norman knight Adam.  He came over with William the Conqueror in 1066.  Giving him the manor called “De Coveston or De Cothelstone,” and the manor of “De Stawelle” in Moorlinch, County Somerset, rewarded his services.  The first Stowell to come to the United States was Samuel Stowell who settled in Hingham, Massachusetts in 1637.

When I found my great uncle, Jay S. Stowell’s 298-page account of his and my great aunt’s retirement trip through the United States and Canada in 1953, I wondered what else I could learn about the Stowell family.  It turns out I found out much about my grandfather, Claude H. Stowell.  He was Uncle Jay’s older brother.  They had an older sister, Grace.   My grandfather was a middle child.  I’ve always believed that middle children were good at getting along with people, as they had to learn to deal with older siblings and younger siblings.  Of course I know some people who were the oldest child or the youngest child and they are also good at getting along with people.  Maybe it is just the personality one is born with!

Grandpa Claude was born when Rutherford B. Hayes was U.S. president.  Uncle Jay was born when Chester A. Arthur was president.  Uncle Jay remembered the presidential campaign when Benjamin Harrison and Levi P. Morton ran unsuccessfully against Grover Cleveland and Adlai Stevenson.  He remembered the exciting torchlight processions with its many flaming and smoking kerosene torches in swiveled metal containers fixed on the end of wooden poles.  He recalled large pictures of the Republican candidates displayed in his folk's window, and the equally large portraits of the Democrat candidates hanging in the window of their next-door neighbor.  He remarked, “How anyone could be so unintelligent as to vote the Democrat ticket I could not quite understand.  My youthful judgment seemed to be confirmed when the country plunged into a depression which was hard to take and which left vivid memories.” Now I understand why my dad and Uncle Jay were such good friends.  They agreed on religion and politics!

Uncle Jay tells of how he and Grandpa Claude were teachers in one-room country schools.  They drove a horse and “cutter” eleven miles to school through the snow.  They used lap robes and heated soapstone to keep warm.

They recalled that their grandfather walked to town from the “Old Stowell Place” and stopped at their house to die. 

The little inland town where they grew up, I believe, was Orwell, New York. It was a busy place.  There were four blacksmith shops.  There were an equal number of cheese factories.  There were two planing mills, several saw mills, a cheese box factory, a ladder factory, and largest of all, a chair factory.

The town had furnished 184 Civil war veterans.  Their father was one of the veterans.  He bought a manual of arms, fashioned wooden guns in his carpenter shop, assembled a group of boys, and gave them military training. 

I will stop here for today and next week I will continue on with memories from the past as recorded by Jay S. Stowell.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Weaving A Victory

My Great Uncle, Jay S. Stowell, wrote this in 1953—“The church has played a larger part in the making of America than many of us realize and a religiously conditioned patriotism has made her strong and kept her united.  People are religious and, in the last analysis, no better basis for a common life can be found than a faith which is to some extent accepted by rascals as well as by those more worthy.  The clash of religious groups through the centuries has been serious enough, but now we have something still worse, the clash of religion and anti-religion.  The prospects for any genuine world unity will remain poor so long as any large groups rule God out of the picture.”

Wow!  Was he prophetic or what?  In this blog, click here, the question is asked why do so many liberals despise Christianity?  This mentality was obvious in the 1960’s when Bill Ayers decided that the United States was more evil than the Communists. (America is certainly more Christian than communist countries.) Ayers proceeded to bomb buildings here in the United States to protest our killing communist soldiers in Viet Nam who were trying to force communism on the Vietnamese people.  Now his mentality has permeated through the younger generations. See this You Tube where college students are asked if ISIS is worse than the United States. Click here.

Could this be happening because of anti – religious forces?  Since our country was founded on Judeo/Christian values is this the way that the anti-religious people will remove God from our country?  They are saying that evil is good and good evil.

Isaiah 5: 20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!

Because of this way of thinking our military is being decimated.  Click here.  Soon the U.S. will be defenseless and so will those countries that have depended on our military to keep peace in their countries.  ( Check out Germany, Japan, Italy, South Korea.)If we had left our military in Iraq there would be a lot more peace there right now.
Without our U.S. Army we will have no defense when ISIS arrives on our shores.  We must petition God to help the American people to wake up and elect statesmen who will seek wisdom from God for our defense.  Hezekiah, in II Chronicles 32:1-23 protected the water supply, built walls, weapons, shields, appointed military officers, etc.  They did what they could but the most important thing was praying to God.  And God saved them.  

 So no matter what the anti-religious people do, God will prevail.  This quote from “Beowulf” sums it up:

"But the Lord was weaving a victory on His war-loom for the Weather-Geats. Through the strength of one they all prevailed; they would crush their enemy and come through in triumph and gladness. The truth is clear: Almighty God rules over mankind and always has." 

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Walking After Wind

Grandma and Grandpa Stowell with Uncle Ernest, my dad, and Uncle Hollis.  They saved letters and pictures to pass down.

In our Precepts study this fall we are studying Micah.  In Micah 2:11 it says,  "If a man walking after wind and falsehood had told lies and said, 'I will speak out to you concerning wine and liquor,' He would be spokesman to this people.” 

I thought this was a curious statement.  I looked in my study Bible to see what the commentary said.  This is the meaning—Anyone who promised great affluence would gain a hearing.  In other words if prophet or pastor insisted that everything was going well and that in everything people would be rich and successful, that person would have a large audience.  People like to be told they are doing everything right and do not have to consult God.

In our country we have been told lies and many believe these untruths.  We have been told that ISIS is not a threat to our homeland.  We have been told that the United States should not try to help other countries because we would only be occupiers and do harm to them. 

The latest falsehood that we are being told is that Christopher Columbus committed genocide when he discovered the New World.  Click here.  Some people are trying to change Columbus Day to a day to honor the Western Indians.  Columbus is being downgraded, I feel, because he saw his accomplishments primarily in the light of spreading the Christian religion. So actually all of these changes being made are being made to take God out of our country.

Here is one example of the progressive secularists trying to demean those who have stood for Judea/Christian values. The new curriculum to teach AP History to high school students has completely removed any reference to any good thing the United States did in light of our Judeo/Christian values.  Click Here for the story.

Edmund Burke once said, “Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it.” 

But if history is being rewritten how are we supposed to know the truth?

Here is what I think.  Reading the letters from past years would be a way.  I’ve been reading letters that my grandmother Stowell, and my mom, saved over the years.  Some go as far back as 1916. In a letter written in 1916 to my grandpa Stowell in Spokane, WA. his sister, Grace, wrote about planting her garden in Orwell, New York where she lived. 

The letters most interesting to me were the ones written to my dad by his dad when he was in college. Grandpa mentored his boys by giving suggestions about their future.  He didn’t insist that they do it his way though.  He encouraged them to do what they thought best. He signed them “With lots of love from your dad.”

 The letters my dad wrote to my mom during WW II are especially sweet.  He describes the picnics and the songs they sang in those days to keep their morale up. In a letter my dad wrote to my mom the day Japan surrendered, he asked her how she was feeling about all of this. 

Another way to learn about history is to read autobiographies.  To hear about the past through the eyes of the author is like having a close up view of events.

I read “Unbroken,” by Laura Hillenbrand, as told to her by Louie Zamperini.  This was definitely a microscopic view of what happened in our United States military and in Japanese prison camps.  It proves good intentions of the United States by applying Judeo/Christian values to war.  It also shows the lack of Judeo/Christian values in Japan by some of the Japanese. 

Another way to teach the truth about our history is for senior citizens to write the stories of their lives.  This would record for the next generations what really happened.  My children have encouraged me to write this blog.  It is their way to save time, I think, as they can speed-read through when they have time.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

If You Stay In A Fancy Hotel In Bora Bora Expect A Gecko Scream--Or Part 6 Of Our Travels

Internet picture

Chris did sail from Mazatlan to Papeete, Tahiti with two other fellows.  (He will write his own blog about that.) After he arrived in Papeete he decided it would be a good idea to fly to Spokane, get me, and bring me back to cruise around the South Pacific.  When I went to the Spokane airport to pick up Chris, he arrived sporting the beard he had grown during the crossing, and wearing his big hat. I didn’t recognize him.  I wondered why this strange guy kept smiling at me as he exited the plane.

He arrived just in time to fix a couple of things. I had managed to break the washing machine in Jes’s rental house in Spokane and Jes’s roommate had bashed a hole in the wall in the stairway when he was moving a desk.  So we spent the next few days buying a used washing machine, spackling the hole, and painting. (Jes and another roommate got their rental deposit back when they moved out because everything was in perfect order.)

Our crew, Rex, was boat sitting but Chris wanted to rush back to Tahiti in time for the Bastille Day celebrations. Since Tahiti was a possession of France we assumed there would be at least a parade. Chris had been in France one summer to see the celebration in Paris. 

Photo by Bobbi

We checked into a hotel right across the street from where Flyaway was moored.  The morning of July 14 nothing happened.  Above is the view from the hotel window.  I assume they don’t celebrate July 14 in Tahiti.

Our first lunch cost about $50.00.  We ordered two sandwiches and two sodas. That was the last lunch out.  Everything is outrageously expensive.

Chris with $25.00 sandwich

We decided to sail to Bora Bora.  I was seasick the whole way.  I had never been that sea sick in my life.  I assumed it could have been that flying so much had ruined my ears, or that the jet lag got to me.  Open water did not agree with my stomach so we stayed around Bora Bora and ate once at Bloody Mary’s. Chris and Rex would take the dingy to town for supplies.

Photo by Bobbi

 Dinner at Bloody Marys
We chose our entree from the display

Bloody Mary's ladies room sink 

We also attended church there.  All the women wore hats and the men wore flip-flops and leisure suits.  Each village sat together and each sang a few songs for the worship time.  The cruisers had a separate section on one side of the sanctuary.  The pastor preached in 3 languages.  After about an hour we decided to slip out and get something to eat.  When we walked past the church 3 hours later, we again heard singing -- they were still going strong.

Post card

 I think this is in Papeete

 Church in Bora Bora

I think this is the church we attended

When it was time to sail back to Papeette Chris arranged for me to stay in the Bora Bora Hotel and then fly back while he and Rex sailed the boat back.

 Post Card

Chris in hotel room doorway

Chris spent the first night with me in the hotel but the second night I spent alone as the plane only flew occasionally.  That night I heard a terrible scream!  It had to be a gecko, I figured.  I had never heard one scream.  I must have scared him, but he scared me worse!  I figured he wouldn’t come anywhere near me so finally I was able to get some sleep.

I took this from the airplane window

I encouraged Chris to keep going to Australia or wherever he wanted to go.  Rex agreed to crew for him. But instead we decided to ship Flyaway back to the states and buy another house.  (Ugh! Horrors! I hate houses!) Chris had no desire to be a long term sailor.  So at that time our choice was to buy a house.  We sold it 4 years later and bought a condo.  It is easier for me but tougher for Chris.  He is on the condo board.

I’m so grateful to God that He enabled us to have the finances to go on this wonderful adventure.  I'm thankful for a safe journey every step of the way. But now I’m ready to be an armchair sailor.  I will now watch all those travelogues my mom sent me before we went on our adventure.  It was her way of trying to convince us to stay home.  So now we will!