Thursday, May 27, 2010


Quote of the Week:  "The heart of a mother is a deep abyss at the bottom of which you will always find forgiveness." Honore de Balzac, author

To close my tribute to mothers, here's an article I wrote years ago that was published in Focus on the Family Clubhouse Jr. and also Stories for Children Magazine.
A Mother's Love

Mothers show their love in special ways.
A mountain gorilla hugs her baby.
She holds her newborn to her chest when she eats. She hugs it when she travels. Never far from her young children, she lets an older baby ride on her back.

A mountain gorilla likes to play with her baby, who may discover Mom's tummy makes a marvelous slide. At night, a mother gorilla builds a nest on the ground and hugs her baby close when they sleep.

A giant panda cradles her cub.
At birth a panda is so tiny it fits into a tablespoon. Even though it is small, the cub's loud, squeaky voice tells its mother when it is hungry. Cradled in its mother's arms, the cub drinks her warm milk.

A giant panda loves to stand on its head, roll into a ball and turn somersaults. Then a tuckered-out cub snoozes, cradled in its mother's arms.

A manatee, or sea cow, kisses her calf.
As they cruise underwater, they touch nose-to-nose in a kiss. A manatee will grab her calf with her flippers, the way your mother holds your hand. Squealing and chirping in manatee talk, they may chase each other through the water in a game of tag or follow-the-leader.

A sea otter fluffs her pup.
A mother sea otter floats in the water on her back, holds her newborn fur ball in her paws and licks and scrubs the pup until it is squeaky clean. She fluffs her baby dry by blowing warm air onto its fur. A sea otter's chest makes a great place for her pup to eat and play. At nap time, a mother sea otter folds her pup in her arms, and they sleep on the waves.

How does your mother show she loves you?
She hugs you when you're sleepy.
She cradles you when she reads to you or tells you a bedtime story.
She kisses you when you're sad or when you just need a kiss.
She washes your face and hair and then fluffs you dry with a towel.
Now show your mom you love her.

To all mothers everywhere. God bless.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Great Grandmothers

Do you know your great-grandmother? That really goes a way back, but sometimes it happens. The only thing I know about my great-grandmother on my father's side of the family is what I learned when my second cousin and I were working on our genealogy book.

Rebecca Caroline Nichols Stowe was born in Wayne Co. Tennessee, and moved to Texas with her husband, Jacob Stowe, and children.

This is a copy of a tintype photo of Rebecca Caroline when she was young. They'd only lived in Texas two years when her husband died in 1878. Rebecca sewed for other people and ran a boarding house.

She was a lovely lady.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Children's Book Week May 10-16

About CBW


"A great nation is a reading nation."

Since 1919, Children's Book Week has been celebrated nationally in schools, libraries, bookstores, clubs, private homes -- any place where there are children and books. Educators, librarians, booksellers, and families have celebrated children's books and the love of reading with storytelling, parties, author and illustrator appearances, and other book-related events.

It all began with the idea that children's books can change lives. In 1913, Franklin K. Matthiews, the librarian of the Boy Scouts of America, began touring the country to promote higher standards in children's books. He proposed creating a Children's Book Week, which would be supported by all interested groups: publishers, booksellers, and librarians.

Mathiews enlisted two important allies: Frederic G. Melcher, the visionary editor of Publishers Weekly, and Anne Carroll Moore, the Superintendent of Children's Works at the New York Public Library and a major figure in the library world. With the help of Melcher and Moore, in 1916 the American Booksellers Association and the American Library Association cooperated with the Boy Scouts in sponsoring a Good Book Week.

In 1944, the newly-established Children's Book Council

assumed responsibility for administering Children's Book Week. In 2008, Children’s Book Week moved from November to May. At that time, responsibility for Children’s Book Week, including planning official events and creating original materials, was transferred to Every Child a Reader, the philanthropic arm of the children’s publishing industry.

Also in 2008, the Children's Book Council created the Children's Choice Book Awards, the only national child-chosen book awards program, giving young readers a powerful voice in their own reading choices.

The need for Children’s Book Week today is as essential as it was in 1919, and the task remains the realization of Frederic Melcher’s fundamental declaration: “A great nation is a reading nation.”

Monday, May 10, 2010

Another Generation

Without our grandmothers we wouldn't have our mothers, so I'm remembering another generation at this special time of the year. I know little about my mother's family, since she came to Texas as a child. Through research and the kind people at the Children's Aid Society, I have learned a bit about her history, however. I wish I had pictures of my New York family, but I do not.

Mary Pauline Chapter, my mom's mother, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and died in Brooklyn, New York, when she was 36. She left behind a husband and 6 living children, one deceased. Life was tough years ago, with little medical care and few medicines to treat the ill. TB ran rampant through the tenement houses. They had no treatment in 1919, when Mary died. In my mind though, I see a lovely young woman who cared for her family. She would look something like my mother and have a gentle touch.

Of course I wouldn't be here without my father, and I knew his mother, Grandmother Clara, quite well. We visited them in Olney, Texas, on Sunday afternoons, and my memories of her are pleasant. She was a fun lady, who liked to tease. I have no pictures of her as a young girl. I was told their house caught fire, and in those days when you lived in the country, the house burned to the ground, along with most of her photographs, except a few that she rescued. Here's a photo of me with Grandmother Clara and Grandfather Soley. Taken so long ago.

So I remember my grandmother on the past Mother's Day too.

I also have a third grandmother, Fanny Young, the wonderful woman who gave my mother a home when she needed it. Here's a picture of her.

Lorena is the girl on the horse. The woman is Fanny Young, foster mother. The boy is Fanny's nephew.

I'm very blessed to have known such wonderful women.

Monday, May 3, 2010


Quote of the Week: God could not be everywhere and therefore He made mothers. Jewish Proverb

My theme for the month of May is mothers, grandmothers, aunts, and other women who have influenced our lives. Today I'm sharing a little about my mother. If you're so inclined please tell us about your mom or grandmother or aunt or sister or whoever you look up to as a mentor and friend.

Henry Audra and Lorena (Leona) Adele Chapter Young Stowe

Leona Chapter was born July 10, 1912, in Brooklyn, New York. Her family lived in a tenement apartment on Gates Avenue. In 1919, Leona's mother died of tuberculosis, and her father surrendered her to the Children's Aid Society in 1921, she was placed in an adoptive home in Brooklyn and returned in December when it did not work out. She lived at the Brooklyn Industrial School for Homeless and Destitute Children until January, 1922, when she rode the train to Bowie, Texas. Although she did not know it, and neither did I until many years later, from 1854 to 1929, between 200,000 and 250,000 children were sent "west" to new homes and new lives. These trains became known as the Orphan Trains.

All of the children that traveled west were not true orphans. Many were half-orphans, like Leona, who left behind two brothers and three sisters, as well as her father. Fanny and W. V. Young became Leona's foster parents. They changed her name to Lorena and gave her a very good home. A year after Leona's arrival, the Youngs sent for Mildred, her baby sister.

I have recently sold Lorena's story to Twilight Times Books. No publishing date yet, but will post when I have one. I took a lot of liberties with the story, since I know so little about her early life, the train ride, and life on the farm as opposed to the big city.

I have read almost every book written on the subject, bcause the story of these children is dear to my heart.

Who else would like to share your story?