My dad had said if he ever got married, he wanted it to be in the Little Brown Church. Well, at age 35, he finally got married! Since he and my mom both loved music and singing and the song about this church had always been a favorite of both, they were married at The Little Brown Church in the Vale in Nashua, Iowa in the summer of 1948. After the wedding they visited my dad’s family in Iowa, and then took about a month long honeymoon traveling from Iowa north to Washington state. They wanted to see Sedro-Woolley, where Mom was born, and visit her relatives in the area. From there they headed south to California. I still have many of the picture postcards Mom bought on the trip. I also have her viewfinder slides and some pictures. I especially remember the redwoods, where they drove the car through! And sad to say, that enormous tree has since fallen. After leaving California they head back through Colorado, visiting relatives along the way, till they arrived in Broken Bow Nebraska.
Besides getting a wife, my dad also became a step-father, although we never used that term. They were just were just my brothers. They had a dad in Colorado, (and eventually two sisters—but I didn’t know this for some time). They always called my dad by his name, Lloyd. While my folks were traveling for their wedding and honeymoon, the boys stayed with their dad Tom and his wife Vida in Scottsbluff, Nebraska.
Although both my parents came from farming backgrounds, at the time of their marriage Dad was part owner—along with the Pirnie brothers— of the Arrow Freight Lines in Broken Bow, Nebraska. The new family—Lloyd, Lucy, Danny and Terry—moved into his house in Broken Bow, just north of the new North Park School.
How did I come up with such a name? It required bouncing ideas around with my family. We wanted something that would reflect me, my life and my memories of that life. I was born on the praires of Nebraska but at the time I start this blog, I live in Florida. And have been other states I’ve lived in. I wanted a name that would span this time.
When we were playing with the blog name I was trying to find a name that would reflect the prairies. And when tumbleweed came up I said “Yes!”. The part for Florida was easy as I love gathering seashells from the beach. I also wanted the name to connect somewhat to my sister site learning2leftovers. So it came to be “tumbleweeds2seashells”!
When I decided on the name, one family member said “I didn’t know Nebraska had tumbleweeds. I thought they were from the desolate parts of the west”. I said that Nebraska was the gateway to the west. I was immediately corrected–that it’s St Louis with the Gateway Arch. And I suppose that is true technically. Yet, to me, my Nebraska will always be that gateway to the west. On the eastern side there are the crop lands. After all, Nebraska is the Cornhusker State. But the western side has miles and miles of pasture land prairies. And in the middle of the state there is the special “gateway”, a unique blend. There is crop land in the broad valleys along the rivers and the smaller fields on semi-flat land in the hills. But there is also pasture land. Hilly areas covered with the prairie grasses. Here one can see cattle and sometimes horses grazing. And here you can start to see tumbleweeds!
Tumbleweeds. I smile as the word brings pictures to my mind. I can see them blowing in the wind, piled up along the fence rows, tumbling across the fields –now and then snagging onto something in their path. On cold winter mornings they would be ‘picture perfect’ covered with a thick coating of frost. I love tumbleweeds and miss seeing them. It brings a feeling of home. Cause I was born in Nebraska and no matter where I’ve gone or llived, Nebraska is still home! And tumbleweeds are a part of that home I remember.
Before I let my memories carry me away too far, I want to get to the other half of the name. Seashells. I now live in Florida were I can reach the seashore in 30 some minutes. On the times when I previously visited, I loved gathering seashells. I liked beach decor. And now I like living here.
Compared to Nebraska, Florida is a different world! Yet, I can look out at the waves, always moving, flowing, as far as the eye can see. And connect again, somehow, to the flowing waves of grass on the prairie.