4th of July

My father pulled the car along the field and parked on the side of the road. We were on our way home from visiting family friends and it was late, for me, not for him. But Dad wanted to show me something, something I had never seen before. We got out of the car and…
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The Table Cloth, Sunday Picnics, and Penny Ante

Who knows where Flossie came up with the idea? I think her siblings teased her about it at first, but then came to treasure the table cloth just as much as Flossie did. After World War II, family picnics became the summer Sunday tradition for the Keck family. These picnics continued until the family became…
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My First Family Photo

kradelfamily1

I was being passed around and around the room, from person to person. The room was a mosh pit of friendly hands reaching out to hold me. From the oldest to the youngest, I was there for some sort of celebration. Every now and then a flash of light would blind my eyes. A very…
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Father’s Day

Donald Kradel wasn’t particularly cut out to be a father, but he did his best. Which is all any of us could have asked him to do. In my eyes he went through various stages of fatherhood – he loved babies, but as we got older and started turning into girls, rather than the boys…
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Into The Woods

Grandma walked beside me as we walked the ruts that were sometimes a path and other times a road, up the hill behind her house. Out the back door, past the Chestnut Tree, up past the Pine Tree, past the garden, and on. Once we made it past the demarcation point, where the manicured lawn…
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The Day My Sister Is Born

I awoke to my grandmother shaking me. She was standing by my bed with her coat on. It was not yet light out, but there she was. Wake up! We have to get dressed. You’re coming with me. What was happening? Such an odd morning already and the sun wasn’t even up yet. Your mother…
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Applesauce Squares

I think Grandma made these every Saturday night to have for Sunday so that when anyone came to visit she would have them on hand. She must have made them in a jellyroll pan because when I have tried to make them in a regular 9 x 13 pan — they just don’t seem the…
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