Us Seniors

Elder et Soeur Arn & Jody

Monday, January 26


We woke this morning to the phone ringing. Our daughter Laura called to let us know that Arnold's mother, Marguerite Anderson Miller, passed away yesterday.

It has been very hard to have been so far away during the last while when she has been disabled. We so much wanted to be with her to share whatever time she had. The only consolation we have is that our last memory of her was so sweet. She was well and happy. We left her in good spirits and in good hands. We cannot say thank you enough for all that Mike, Connie and their famlies have done for her in these difficult last months. It is such a tribute to her to have such wonderful caring children.
It is a blessing to realize that she is enjoying a long-awaited reunion with her beloved Harold and other loved ones who have long passed before.
We will love and miss you so very much, Mom.

Saturday, January 24


It has been so cold here in Belgium that Arnold bought a new hat that really keeps his head and ears toasty warm. JoAnn thinks he looks silly wearing it.But Arnold thinks he looks silly not wearing it.
Whenever we come inside Arnold takes his hat off and "voila" suddenly he is sporting one of those cool spiky hairdos. JoAnn thinks he looks very handsome with the new do!

Wednesday, January 14


We have seen such a variety of documents here in Belgium that we decided to document the documents we have seen. Everything we have been working with are marriage records from 1881 to 1900 from the District of Charleroi. The following are some of the interesting things we have come across.These are some of the town crests that we thought were fun. These lions have human faces.These humans have no clothes! As Belgium is a mixture of French-speaking and Dutch-speaking communities, we find documents in both languages.Is this where McDonalds got their start? We think this is Dutch for "City Hall" -- it looks sort of like a burger stand.This one is all the way from Italy. Kind of a long way to go to find a bride.As they did not have staples or paperclips, we found a variety of ways to keep documents together. We found a lot of documents stitched together in a variety of places.The two corner approach. They used very heavy thread -- more like small cord.
Documents folded and then stitched diagonally down the side.Stitched down the side with large knots.Stitched down the side with no knots.Wrapped around a folded set of documents.Straight pins were very popular. This is one of the fancier ones.The pins come in all sizes, from very tiny to almost the size of nails.

They used regular round brads to connect documents; but they also used square ones.

This one is held together with a thin piece of wire.

There is a surprising amount of color in these 100 plus year old documents. This is a seal with ribbon tails.Following are the many colors of covers that we found surrounding the documents. Many of these colors were found in documents from the same communities. They seemed to enjoy variety. Sometimes each year had its own color; sometimes they just randomly appeared during any one year.Most of the documents were in pretty good shape but some had damage caused from a variety of causes. These were chewed on by mice or rats.Some were just mishandled and poorly stored. Also some types of paper did not hold up as well as others as seen by the paper "crumbs" surrounding this document.Often the documents were very dirty from being stored for so long. Part of our job was to "dust" them.

This rag shows the dirt from just one swipe of the cloth. All clean at last.

These show some of the variety of "chemise" that were used to protect each set of marriage records.

Friday, January 2


We spent New Year's Eve day in France taking care of some business. We are only about 1/2 an hour away from France. We did some grocery shopping there as food is cheaper in France. We believe it is because of the high taxes in Belgium. There are also many things we can get in France but not in Belgium.This is one of those items - you can get about a dozen frozen escargot in these cute little aluminum tins for about 1 Euro. You just cook them in the oven for about ten minutes and voila - instant snails.They come packed with garlic butter and parsley (maybe some other herbs too). You just pick out the meat and sop up the garlic butter with a baguette.It is a little work but Arnold doesn't mind. These were for our New Year's Eve dinner. Arnold enjoyed them very much. JoAnn actually likes the taste but still has a hard time getting over the thought of what she is eating.

We stayed home where it was nice and warm and safe. Around midnight we heard loud bangs and booms outside our apartment. They were shooting off fireworks all over town but because of the tall buildings, all we could see was the reflection in the windows of the apartment across the street.

We are not sure what the typical Belgian does on New Year's Eve but we did get several text messages on our phone wishing us Bonne Annee, so we figure they were celebrating somewhere.