Sunday, March 31, 2013

Listening to the Awakening of Nature - Sound of the Geese March 31st

In the Christian Culture, today Easter is celebrated by the resurrection of a man called Jesus who died for the sins of many on a icon, the cross, made of wood.  For me this season is at a deeper level the awareness of new life that stirs in and upon the earth each year!

Having learned about the circle of life through my Lakota and Dakota teacher here on the prairie, I am so grateful to hear the call of the geese this morning as I meditate and write over a cup of coffee.


Elder's Meditation of the Day - March 31

"The old Lakota was wise. He knew that man's heart away from nature becomes hard; he knew the lack of respect for growing, living things soon led to a lack of respect for humans too. So he kept his youth close to its softening influence."
-- Luther Standing Bear, OGLALA SIOUX
When we live in nature it's like constantly being in school. We are in an environment that is always teaching. We are constantly being reminded hat there are laws, Natural Laws, which are running the universe. Once we know these laws and we drift from them, we start to live our lives in a different way. Soon we become discontent, selfish, and disrespectful. Then, we get in trouble. If our lives have become this way, it can be reversed by going back to nature to be among our teachers.
Great Spirit, teach men, again, the Natural Laws. 

The Goose Stamp above is from my China Stamp Collection and I am learning it is from the period after the Last Emperor was disposed and the struggle for one China and a form of government ensued. 
I think about my friends in China now, in the 21st Century, and how the environment and nature will be cared for.   Grateful to have met Dan Zhou from Fujian here in Minnesota who occasionally calls me from Shanghai, and Tony Zhu from Nanjing and rural Jiansu provence I met in Zhongguo in 2011, who have become friends in the next generation.  

Geese are teachers of "The lead Goose when it tires will fall back within the flock and another Goose will take its place as navigator. This indicates that we too need to pay attention to when we are tired and to allow others to take the lead for a time if we are one is in need of rest and rejuvenation. If any Geese are injured or become ill during their flight and descend to the earth, their mate or another Goose, if the bird is without a mate, will follow and remain with them until the fallen bird either recovers or dies. No Goose is ever left to die on its own and this too is a reminder for us that we are never alone, Spirit and the Universe are always with us. For those that have this bird as a totem, its a strong indication that you too need to be extremely loyal to those things and people in your life that you feel a strong bond or connection with and to be sure that those you allow close to you are also loyal to you."

Read more about Goose Medicine.

The 1910s

This revolutionary overprint was made in London on a 30c imperial stamp. The postmark may read "HANGCHOW".

Stamp "Chinese Imperial Post" (above from right to left: Chinese大淸國郵政;pinyinDàqīngguó yóuzhèng 1910, 2 cents with red overprint (from top to bottom:
simplified Chinese中华民国traditional Chinese中華民國pinyin:zhōnghuámínguó) "Republic of China" and stamp "Shanghai"
The revolution of 1911 resulted in overprints on the imperial stamps in 1912; at Foochow to indicate that the post office was effectively a neutral area available to both sides, and at Nanking and Shanghai reading "Republic of China" (from top to bottom: simplified Chinese中华民国traditional Chinese中華民國pinyin:zhōnghuámínguó). An additional set of overprints was produced by Waterlow and Sons in London, and postmasters throughout the country made their own unofficial overprints using the same characters.

Here is a special sheet commemorating the 90th anniversary of Chinese Postage Stamps that I purchased in 1958 directly from the Taiwanese Philatelic Agency.   The

Thursday, March 28, 2013

700 Mile Day - Miami River Valley Ohio - Springfield ALincoln in the Snow and Back to Minne Snow Dah!

Before I left Troy Ohio on Sunday Morning March 24, I took in the warmth of Cousin Jeannette Allen Weaver's guest bedroom message.  Wonderful to connect with relatives in Ohio who are loving of the family stories and connections!  Thanks Jeannette and Fred for you kind hospitality! 
The colorful warmth of the Weaver kitchen, celebrating the coming of spring! MMM fruit and bacon.
On Saturday, the day before my drive back Fred and Tory, their friendly dog, took me for a walk to a scenic valley in a hardwood forest, the Charleston Falls Preserve, where we went for a 2 mile hike in the morning after breakfast.  Ice still below the falls here. 

Before the 3 PM event at the Dayton Institute of Arts where I met my Weaver Family Tree, photographer cousin Tony Snow and his family, Fred and Jeanette took me back to West Carrollton, Evergreen Cemetery, where many of the Eichers are buried. 

Then to Ellerton where the Weavers, Pauls, Allens were laid to rest. 
As I have been posting photos of the Emma Esther Eicher and Henry Eicher 2 acre plot at the corner of  Alex-Bellbrook Road and Springboro Pike, here is a small commercial building now on the corner that replaced a Shell Gas Station I remember from a tour by Bill Eicher my cousin, back in 1984, the first time I was welcomed back to the Miami River Valley by a cousin that deepened my interest in connecting with my family tree here. 

Fred and Jeannette viewing the 1913 -2013 exhibit of the photos.  I learned in Andy Snows talk with photos in the auditorium, where Noah Elwood Weaver was acknowleged,  that the engineering done under the direction of Morgan, in flood prevention, at that time was the largest private investment project for infrastructure development in the world.  There was no government money invested in this at all.  The Miami Conservancy District was formed and the district funded the book the features Noah Elwood Weaver photos pages 72 and 128.

The outside of the DAI  Dayton Art Institute 

Like many Americans, I have had a life long interest in the life and wisdom of Abraham Lincoln.  I visited his childhood home with my youngest son, Jesse in Indiana in the summer of 1999.  That is the year we took our bike on the Lake Michigan Ferry and visited Findlay Ohio, home of the Glessner-Chase maternal branch of my family and the  Miamisburg- West Carrollton Ohio area, home of the Weaver-Eicher-Paul- Brandt roots of my paternal branch. 

I left Troy Ohio about 9:30 AM Eastern Time, drove Hwy 40 across the Englewood Dam, here described on Wiki "Englewood dam is the largest of the dams maintained by the district. It regulates the flow of theStillwater River into the Great Miami River. It consists of 3,500,000 cubic yards (2,700,000 m3) of earth, is 110 feet (34 m) high and stretches 4,716 feet (1,437 m). U.S. Route 40 crosses the top of the dam. The dam can contain 209,000 acre feet (258,000,000 m3) of flood water over 6,350 acres (26 km2). It was constructed in 1919 and consists of as much earth as the Great Pyramid of Giza."

The road were clear until I reached I 72 in Illinois around "White Heath".  Then the snow fell quickly.  This photo was taken on I 55 north of Springfield as I noticed a lot of cars in the ditch.  I later learned Springfield had a record 17" snowfall as I read the reports Monday after my return to Minnesota

I found the car park with this map of the Lincoln Museum Campus likely about 2 PM Central Time. 

This was the view with a few inches of wet snow on the ground.   I spent a couple of hours in the museum and found a nice T shirt to send to my Chinese Guide in Nanjing, Tony as I have been looking for something quality and appropriate.  Very moving exhibits and the film about Lincoln's eyes, joy and grief was quite moving.

I did take this photo in the snow at Springfield as somehow I like to visit the capital cities in our states. 
I left Springfield a suppose around 4:30 and swung by this building and then headed north on I 55.  Checked out my body to see if I was getting tired as I could have stopped to rest..>And then I went past  Iowa City, headed north through Cedar Rapids west to I 35 and then back north to the Twin Cities. All along my green pony, 1999 Dodge Caravan, did really well.  Pulled in here at 3 AM Monday morning and now I am relaxed and pretty well caught up on sleep.  Mmmmm Spring is arriving here. Birds are singing and forecast for above 50 today.  !!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Orchards and Apples - Emma Esther Eicher's Journal from 1921 and beyond

The past few weeks, prior to the centennial of the Greater Miami River Flood Centennial, I have been transcribing the journal of my great aunt, Emma Esther Eicher that she wrote from 1921 onwards. 
Meeting with Brian Wheat, a school teacher here in the Twin Cities while enjoying a cider at the Birchwood Cafe the subject of hard cider on farms came up.  He is a native of New York near Buffalo and described the heirloom apples that result in varietal ciders.   I noticed on entry from Esthers journal listing the apple trees on the farm about 1926,10-15 years after these photos were taken.  Just wonder about the varieties back then.  Here is the list Esther wrote: 
"Cedar – Apple tree an etc as they stand a row from cedar trees to road -   Delicious
Yellow transparent & dead
Rome Beauty & dead
York Imperial
Red Astrakan

Clapp favorite
Flemish beauty


Helping to set the stage for the journal writing in 1921 and there after, are the photos of the Weaver-Eicher families as captured through the lens of Noah Elwood Weaver, my grandfather. (1885 -1973) This connection kept the 100% German heritage of that side of my family tree. 

Here in the Eicher Farm Orchard,  are my grandfather Noah Elwood Weaver, Paul H Weaver as an infant in likely 1911 as he was born Dec 24, 1910, being held by his aunt Emma Esther Eicher, always called Esther as she had an Aunt Emma Eicher.  At the Eicher Farm in Miami Twp Montgomery County Ohio surrounded by the apple trees of the orchard, Esther refers to in the late 1920's. 
Mother Edna Eicher Weaver, and son Paul Henry and father Noah Elwood at the Eicher farm Apple Orchard.   I often remark how much taller the Eicher woman were, and here is Edna said to be around 6 feet with her new husband "Elwood" as Noah's dad was a Noah. 

Edna Eicher Weaver, Noah Elwood Weaver, Emma Esther Eicher, Helena "Lane" Paul Eicher, Paul Henry Weaver, and Henry Eicher Spring 1911.
Henry Eicher, looking at his grandson, Paul Henry with the stereopticon held by his father, Noah Elwood Weaver.  May 1914 on the lawn of the Eicher home Bellbrook Road Miami Twp east of Alexandersville-West Carrollton.  

Henry Eicher, Emma Esther Eicher, PH Weaver and NE Weaver. Stereopticon - billed by some as the end of the 19th Century's version of the VCR. For more background on the history of the stereopticon see

Henry Eicher with his grandson, Paul Henry Weaver, wooden keg on wheels.  Would cider have been made in such a cask?  At the home on Bellbrook road. 

Bellbrook Road looking east at the corner of the house, around 1914, Paul Henry with Grandpa Henry Eicher, he called "dad-dad".  

Henry Eicher with Paul H Weaver ca 1917 Bellbrook Road home with chicken eggs.
PH and His mom, Edna Eicher Weaver on the Eicher Farm South of Bellbrook Road, Sect 15 Miami Twp Montgomery County Ohio. 

Looking east by Henry Eicher home on 2 acres on Bellbrook Road by Springboro Pike. PH Weaver walking in the distance ca 1919.