Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Bible 101

Two Sundays ago I started teaching an adult Sunday School class called Bible 101, which is a curriculum I developed a number of years ago when we lived in South Dakota.
Bible 101 Binder Cover

Tuesday I went to a morning ladies' Bible Study with my sister Grace. The group was ready to start a new study and Grace had suggested Bible 101. I did a "Show and Tell" for the group to introduce the material to them, which included doing one of the Pop Quizzes that we use in the class (they tend to be both fun and educational). Over the course of the study we will be building a notebook resource of introductions to every book in the Bible, with Pop Quizzes, Maps, Charts, devotionals, and other interesting material.

The group decided they would like to start the Bible 101 study.

So. . .I'm teaching the same class on both Sundays and Tuesdays, but with the classes not started at the same time. The church class will meet three times per month (one Sunday all classes meet together for a breakfast). I think I may have a bit of a challenge keeping my head straight as to where I am and what we have covered in each class! It would be easier if they were in sync, but I'm sure I can work it out.

I'll be getting out of the house and spending time with other people, which will be good for me. I'll feel like I'm at least doing a little something useful. I hope we will all benefit from the time spent with the Bible.

God has opened these doors for me; I hope I will do justice to the opportunities.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

More Ancestors

From time to time I explore around on, working on my family trees. It is amazing what you can find out about your family roots in this way. Since with each generation the number of direct ancestors doubles, it can quickly become very confusing.

On my mother's side of the family a good deal of interesting information can be found through stories and photos posted by other descendants of these people. Today I am going to share the story of Sheriff Robert Hamilton and his wife Rhoda, as written by G.M. Patton, a descendant of theirs.
Sheriff Robert Hamilton

Rhoda Ardella Neill Hamilton, Robert's wife and helper in his clandestine war work.
Joel Mackey Hamilton, son of Rhoda and Robert; he was named after family friend, Joel Elliot Mackey, who gave the family the gift of a calf upon the birth of this son.

Robert Hamilton lived in Transylvania County, North Carolina, engaging in dangerous work for the four years of the Civil War. A Unionist at heart, he had viewed the coming Civil War with dismay. Transylvania County was formed around the same time the war started, and Robert was elected its first sheriff. Throughout the war, Robert operated a kind of Underground Railroad to help escaped slaves, Confederate deserters, and Union soldiers who had escaped Confederate captivity make their way through the steep mountains of western North Carolina to the Union lines in East Tennessee. His home was a large mountain cabin. He also owned a smaller cabin, used as a way station, called “Pennsylvania House” because it was used by officers of the 101st Pennsylvania who had escaped from a Confederate prison and were groping their way through treacherous Confederate-held territory into East Tennessee (Knoxville area).
As the 101st Pennsylvania’s officers slowly made their way through the dark mountains, they were directed to Sheriff Robert Hamilton’s house where they were taken in, fed and sent on their way with guides through the mountains. Robert said that in daytime, he had to pretend to be a Confederate sympathizer, even going on patrols to search for enemies of the Confederate government. In one case, he and the home guard went to a house looking for a deserter. He found the man hiding under a bed and went outside and told the others that he found no one in the house. Robert has been quoted as saying, “I never met a Yankee I didn’t like.” His clandestine work put Robert and his family in extreme danger. In Western North Carolina, men were killed and their homes burned for the activities Robert Hamilton engaged in regularly. His wife, Ardella Neill Hamilton and children were with him in this subterfuge and miraculously, Robert survived four years of this double life.
  Although Robert Hamilton operated a clandestine pro-Union operation in Transylvania County, NC during the Civil War, he was also sheriff of the county, and as such, was considered pro-Confederate. After the war, many who had served the Confederacy in any capacity were forbidden to vote, hold office, etc. The action described below relieved Robert and several other citizens of "disabilities" imposed due to their assumed pro-Confederate sympathies.
Journal of the Constitutional Convention of the State of North-Carolina, at Its Session 1868:
North Carolina. Constitutional Convention (1868)
North Carolina. Constitutional Convention (1868) REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE ON RELIEF FROM
POLITICAL DISABILITY.        We, the undersigned Committee on Relief from Political Disability, having investigated the claims of those presented for our consideration:From Transylvania County:   Jeremiah Osborne, Wm. R. Galloway J. C. Duckworth, Perry Orr, J. W. Clayton, Samuel Reed, Isaac A. Harris, Robert Hamilton, R. P. Kilpatrick, G. C. Neil  most respectfully submit the following report:        WHEREAS, The persons  named are disqualified to hold office, by the fourteenth Article of the Constitution of the United States, known as the Howard amendment; and whereas, they have evidenced that they are in hearty accord with the Reconstruction measures of Congress: Therefore,        Resolved, That we petition the Congress of the United States to remove their disabilities in accordance with the provisions of the aforementioned Article of the Constitution.
R. W. KINGJournal of the Constitutional Convention of the State of North-Carolina, at Its Session 1868 North Carolina. Constitutional Convention (1868) 488, [1] p.RALEIGH: JOSEPH W. HOLDEN, CONVENTION PRINTER 1868. 

(The Clayton, Osborne, Hamilton, Neil, and Orr families are all in our family tree.)

(Joel Mackey Hamilton, one of Robert and Rhoda Ardella's sons, was the father of Rhoda Rachel Hamilton, who married William Porter Mackey, the son of Joel Elliott Mackey. Thus, Rose Mackey McLaughlin's grandfathers were Joel Elliot Mackey and Joel Mackey Hamilton. Her great-grandfather was Sheriff Robert Hamilton. Although the families were friends, records show that Joel Elliot Mackey served in the Confederate cavalry. Unfortunately, none of these great stories about Mother's great-grandfather Hamilton came down to us. I had to find out about it online.)

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Little Girls' Tea Party

I have been absent from blogging for several days because my computer was sick. Thanks to my daughter for spending a lot of time clearing malware from it!

Last Saturday my sister Grace was visited by some of her "girls"--a daughter, two granddaughters, and two great-granddaughters. I was happy to be able to visit with these dear family members also.

While the adults visited in the house, the little girls had a tea party in the wonderful playhouse that lives in Grace's backyard.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Aaaah, Sleep!

I have had sleep problems for a long time now. It had reached the point where I dreaded going to bed, knowing that I would be facing a night of broken sleep, getting up several times, being unable to go back to sleep, sometimes just getting up and wandering around the house, going on the computer, watching TV, or reading, but NOT sleeping.

Then I was becoming more and more of a zombie during the day. Very few people function well on three to five hours of sleep on a consistent basis.

I realized I was also operating in a low level of depression that was not getting better.

I finally talked to my doctor about this. She prescribed a small dose of antidepressant.

Since I started on this medication I have been sleeping seven to nine hours each night!

It is such a relief!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Lasered Again

Yesterday Anne Marie and I went to Rapid City for my appointment at the Black Hills Eye Institute for a laser procedure.

I have had this procedure once before. Its purpose is to create drainage holes to reduce the pressure in my eyes and stop the progression of glaucoma. It is not painful, it takes just a few minutes (I counted over 100 laser flasher per eye), and, for me, the results were immediate.

The only problem is that the body wants to heal. The last time I had this done the results lasted about 18 months. Because of my allergic response to all but one of the drops that reduce pressure, and that one variety of drops doesn't get my pressure quite low enough, it was time to try the laser again. Dr. Nixon has warned me that repeat laser procedures don't always work as well as the first time, but at least it is "so far, so good." A pressure check about thirty minutes after the procedure showed the pressure in my left eye had dropped from 13 to 10 and in my right eye from 14 to 12. Because of my eye structure and the fact that I already have glaucoma, and developed glaucoma while having pressures in the normal range, getting my pressures in a range that seems extra low is important.

The aftermath of the procedure is red and sensitive eyes for a day or so. It is rather like how eyes feel after a day with too much sun and wind. It is a small nuisance to experience in order to save my remaining vision.