Sunday, March 27, 2011

Pelican Lake - Crucible and Family Playground Remembrances 1940's -1982

Here is the earliest Map that we found in the Palmer Family Cabins when the three Weaver brothers, Jim, Jack and Tom, purchased the land together in 1967. Today I am thinking about the passing of the soul of Nellie Jane Williams Weaver, of West Bend WI, my sister in law. I served as "best man" in my brother Jack's wedding on July 19 , 1969 when I first met Harold Williams her dad, I think it was in Monmouth IL, where Jack chose to go to college. I had left Friday Harbor Marine Biology Summer School early, to return for the wedding, as the three brothers had agreed to serve as best man in a rotating order. Jack having served as best man for Jim and Melanie, in Westport CT a couple of years earlier. Yesterday, Nellie's daughter Kris, had posted something on Facebook that clarified her mom's health status: "I have struggled all day to find the right words for it: my mom "passed away" yesterday. To put it in terms my mom would appreciate, I think: she has responded to another casting call and is off to her next Stage. Thanks for all of your comments, support and good stories about her."

Left to Right: Jack Weaver, Peg Weaver, Nellie Jane Williams Weaver, John Eicher Weaver II, Tom Weaver, Nate Weaver, Sue Weaver, Kris Weaver, Val Weaver, Jim Weaver. The body language and facial expressions are of great interest to me.
So thinking about the good times with Nellie and Jack is coming up for me. I think back to 1982, when we celebrated the life of Paul H Weaver, who passed over during the long cold winter, after being slowed down by his cancer. In Nellie's terms, he left the Stage of this world on , Jan 29, 1982. I have such good memories of the folks that showed up to comfort the family in our loss and grateful some photos were taken to recognize the people who came and the energy they gave for the living.

Also, seeing the photo of the family here in 1981, at the Family Cabin built in 1947, and serving as Pete and Peg's home from 1976 to 1982 for Pete, and then until 2002 when some of us moved Peg into Assisted Living in Brainerd. I am noticing prior to Paul H Weavers passing, and how the family mobile looked back then. Virginia Satir, the great family systems author, who talked about shifts in the family power and intimacy structure at the time of death comes to mind. For me, I learned with Peg, my Mom, after her husbands passing, that grieving the loss in a good way, was a real gift to us in learning how to be more nurturing and recognizing the gift of life, one day at a time. Just in time, he passed and allowed new energies to step in in 1982 for a lot of us. Perhaps others can see it in the countenances of our family and our body language as well.
(Left to Right: "Tom" Thomas G Weaver," Sue" Susan E J Weaver, Nate Weaver, Harold Williams, "Peg" Margaret G Weaver, "Jack" John Eicher Weaver I, "Pete" Paul Henry Weaver, Valerie B Weaver, Nellie Jane Williams Weaver, Kristen Derry Weaver, "Jim" James Cowles Weaver, Melanie Brick Weaver, Kenneth G Weaver, John Eicher Weaver II. Thinking about our family mobile and this quote from Virginia Satir comes to mind.
"Feelings of worth can flourish only in an atmosphere where individual differences are appreciated, mistakes are tolerated, communication is open, and rules are flexible - the kind of atmosphere that is found in a nurturing family."
Virginia Satir
And Shakespeare again, the Bard of Stratford Upon Avon.
"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, his acts being seven ages. "
William Shakespeare
"Cowards die many times before their deaths; the valiant never taste of death but once. "
William Shakespeare
"If you have tears, prepare to shed them now. "
William Shakespeare
Thanks for the connection to Kris, who has been with her mom, and can reflect to others, how her mom wants to be remembered. So here are some images I find fun and memorable when I felt safe and connected with my biological family and trust and healing were shared especially in 1982, when we celebrated our fathers life with those whom his actions had impacted in a good way. Kris, Jack, John, Samantha . I trust your family and loved ones can co create ways of connection that support your grieving in a good way. I have yet of find information about your plans to create ceremonies or images of remembrance for Nellie and am open and willing to be of service, if that is a fit for you. I will call and check in later today.

Here again are the folks on the back porch of Harold Willams home in 1982 at Pelican , when the extended family showed up to honor the life of Paul H Weaver. Here, again, looking at the Shakespearean view, and our body language and all, are Peg Weaver, "Jack" John Eicher Weaver I, "Bill" William Henry Eicher" with pipe, Nellie Jane Williams Weaver, John Eicher Weaver II, Kristin Derry Weaver, "Sue" Susan E Weaver, "Nate" Nathan Blair Weaver, Valerie Brick Weaver, "Jim" James Cowles Weaver - Photo by Tom Weaver

One of the ways, I choose to honor Paul H Weaver, was to build what I called the Paul H Weaver Memorial Garage at Pelican Lake at a time when Pelican Lake and connection with my mom and brothers families was very important to me. Here are Jane and JD Banks from Neenah Wisconsin, who were very important for Peg, as Jane and Peg were classmates at Oberlin College. I learn more about this relationship, Peg outlined that in her autobiography she published for her grandkids in 1994.

One of my favorite images of Pelican Lake, is the warm connection I have with Peg and Pete's Faribault sponsors, here pictured
Bernice and John Foster. This old black and white photo is how I remember them in their cabin on Pelican Lake. John had a real estate business after working at Shattuck School, and had invested in Pelican Lake Shore.

His son John Burt Foster would visit with his four kids, Johnny, David Mary and Layton and we would enjoy the beach. I recently connected with John Burt Foster II who is a professor of English on the east coast. George Mason University I think. Here is an image of the Pelican lake Diving dock where the Weaver boys learned to swim. In this photo from 1956, I think is one of the Owen girls on the board, Johnny and David Foster. Tom Weaver, John Burt Foster, and Jim and Jack Weaver coming up the ladder.
John Foster taught at Mankato State for many years in English and I always remembered the family seemed so exotic and world wise as John was in China in the 1930's teaching in Wuhan. At this age I began collecting Chinese Stamps and of course the American view of communism and McCarthyism was all the rage during the 1950's. Thank heavens for Zhou Enlai and Richard Nixon opening the door in the 70's so to relieve the fears a lot of zenophobes try to promulgate. Grateful for having a wonderful Chinese Tutor now, Tian Xia that is encouraging me to learn the langauge and enjoy the Middle Kingdom, Zhongguo in a good way.

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