All posts by jah

Visiting Great-Grandpa’s Grave!

This past week we visited Portland, Oregon.  On the day after my 49th birthday, Shando and I were heading for a day trip to the Astoria area, which in and of itself is a fascinating place.  I knew that my great-grandfather, Floyd Leonard Hayden, used to live in that area from his death certificate, and I have a picture of him and great-grandma in nearby Seaside from 1914 (they are the couple on the left below).  

Coincidentally Seaside is the town where my daughter’s maternal grandfather retired.  My daughter’s mother and all of her aunts and uncles on that side were born in Multnomah County, Oregon.

Shando helped me find the grave online the morning we were heading to Astoria.  Floyd was interred about 25 miles outside of Astoria in a little town called Westport that I realized I had driven through before, without even knowing my relative was buried yards from where I was driving.  Someone on had taken a picture of the tombstone last year, so we knew it had to be current.  Great-grandpa was born in 1892 (exactly 100 years before my daughter) and died in 1917 (exactly 100 before this visit), so he was only 25 when he died.  His wife was pregnant with their second child.  My grandfather, Andrew Jackson Hayden, was only a toddler at the time.  This picture of my Floyd was probably taken around 1915.  

Floyd’s tombstone, probably taken at his funeral in 1917.   I bet no one has been to visit his grave for over 90 years!

As shown below, the top part of the tombstone had come off and was leaning against the base.  Shando and I had to lift it together, since it was so heavy, but it was unstable back on the base, as the ground underneath it now leans forward, so we put it back to the leaning position.

As if that wasn’t fascinating enough, later that day, we went to a place called Camp 18, which has a memorial for loggers who died over the decades.  It was very sad to see so many men (I believe it has only been men) who have fallen for the purpose of logging, some as recently as last year, but great-grandpa was not memorialized among them since the memorial had been founded decades after he died.  Still, I signed the guest book on his behalf and put the details of what I heard about his death from logging, and that he was buried nearby.

Back to the Garden

Spring is almost back and the rainy and relatively cold winter seems to have subsided.  With items gifted to me from my friends in Oakland who are getting ready to put their house on the market and other items I plucked from my Mom’s house that is about to go on the market as well, together with clippings from some of her plants, Shando has been helping me to make some dramatic beautification to the backyard.  I’m really putting my potting table to use.  The pictures are the before and after of one area of the backyard, but the video shows more of the green thumb I’m trying to develop.


Ganglion Cysts

From standing on the NYC subway and holding the strap-hang with my left hand for two decades while reading the newspapers (this was mostly before it was practical to read the news on a mobile device), I developed a ganglion cyst (actually two) which was starting to affect my mobility, not to mention being unsightly.  At least the subway is my theory on how these developed.  So even though I haven’t lived in NYC for ten years now, I had a surgery earlier this month to have them removed because they were getting bigger.  “Bible bumps” do not effectively go away if they are hit with a big book or even drained at the doctor’s office.  I wanted something that was sure to work, so the surgery required I be put under general anesthesia so they could be removed from a plastic surgeon by the root, which was all the way down to the tendon or bone.  I had to wear a splint for two weeks, but fortunately it was not on my dominant hand, or I would have probably never had this done.  My daughter visited me right after the surgery and brought me these beautiful flowers.