Six years ago today my uncle, Ed Brutke, went Home to Heaven. He was born on Feb 21, 1923. He was the only member of my mom's family to keep living in the old homestead in the Eola hills of Amity, Oregon. He was a farmer and a logger. We visited him nearly every summer when I was a child/teen. We loved staying in the house my grandparents had built in the 1930's. We thought it was huge! Plus we were allowed to roam the hills and play in the creek on his property. We also picked cherries and earned a bit of spending money. I have many fond memories of those days, and of Uncle Ed. He kept the large pantry stocked with chips and cookies, and the freezer was full of popsicles just for us!
Here is a picture Uncle Ed had professionally taken from an airplane in the 1980's, showing the farm house to the right, and the barn which his parents had built. They immigrated from Rovno, Russia in 1910, nearly 100 years ago. They were of German/Polish descent, not Russian. My mother was born in this house. If you click on the photo to enlarge it, and look on the right hand side of the porch, you can see a bedroom window, which was where she was born in 1933.
Here is a picture of Uncle Ed, taken in his 20's. Isn't he handsome? I inherited his Bible, which he used all his life, and his pocket watch. I have a neat story about that watch. When we returned from Uncle Ed's funeral in February 2003, I un-packed my suitcase, and took the watch out. It hadn't been wound in years. (I remember Uncle Ed winding it each night before he went to bed. He kept it in the kitchen cupboard. He refused to wear a wrist watch.) I wondered if it would work, so I checked the time to set it. The watch said 9:09. When I checked my kitchen clock, the time said 9:09. It gave me quite a shock. The watch had NOT been wound in over a year and a half. I wound it and it worked perfectly. I guess you'd call that quite a coincidence. It gave me the shivers.
Here is a neat site online, where I posted a memorial for my Uncle Ed: