About Me

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My passion is helping others defend themselves and their families. I am an NRA Certified pistol instructor, a NRA Chief Range Safety Officer, leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - North Cincinnati, and the state leader of TWAW Shooting Chapters - Ohio. I also have a heart for the Lakota people and lead mission teams to the Pine Ridge Reservation each year, am founder and director of Backpacks For Pine Ridge,, and do various volunteer work in my own community. My greatest joy is being a grandma and hanging out with my husband of 30+ years.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Thanks to the Swinow Network here are some pictures of the damage in Petersburg, Indiana (my hometown) from last night's storms.  As far as I know, no one was hurt but this isn't easy to see - especially after the town was hit so hard by a tornado in 1990.   In Fairfield, OH we were more fortunate.

Saturday, April 09, 2011

A Resilient Life

In this little country church cemetery, my grandfather is buried.  William Linzey Dyson was born July 21, 1884 in Gibson County, Indiana.  He was a farmer, a man of good reputation, and most importantly to me, my dad's father. 

What is so striking about his life is his remarkable ability to survive.  To say he had a hard life would be an  understatement.  He worked hard all his life and lived to be 89 years old.  He suffered incredible loss and hardship throughout those 89 years and yet, he maintained a positive attitude.

He married Ethel Truitt in October of 1913.  Ethel also knew pain and hardship.  She lost her father early in life.  After the death of her father, her mother brought her and two of  her brothers back to Petersburg, Indiana and placed them in the orphanage there.
The story goes that they were adopted by three different families with the baby, Ottis, recalling being whipped with a horse whip.  Later they reunited as adults. 

After Ethel and my grandfather married, they had 2 children (Paul and Beatrice) and then lost 3 children in 4 years, one being a set of twins.

Daughter of William and Ethel Dyson
Oct. 24, 1920 - Nov. 4, 1920

Orris Glenn Dyson

Lucile Dyson

Ethel died two years later of Influenza shortly after the great Influenza epidemic on the late 1900's.
The 1920 census places them living with my great grandfather, Thomas Granville Dyson.  Thomas Granville was the manager of a farm and my grandfather was a laborer on the farm. Thomas was already a widower by that time and I suspect in poor health so that keeping the family together was a benefit to all.

My grandfather's second wife was my grandmother, Flossie McCord.
Life with Flossie was also full of difficulty and hardship.  Flossie suffered from severe arthritis which made her an invalid for many years.  My father and his siblings often took off school to care for her.

This marriage was also full of loss. 
My grandparents lost two children and then my grandmother died of a stroke in her 50's. 

"Bertie Lou Dyson
Dec. 31, 1929 - May 14, 1933"

There was also a Darrell Eugene Dyson but I've not been able to find dates or a grave for him.  I believe he may have been born after my father.

And so in the span of 13 years, my grandfather lost 5 children and two wives.  Incredible.
Unfortunately, that was not the end of the loss.  He went on to lose two grandchildren, my sister Dana and my cousin.
My sister Dana was born on November 22 with spina bifida.  In those days, the care that is available now was non-existent and she died a few hours after her birth.  My cousin also lived only a few hours.  His father, who loved kids so much, was proudly out handing out cigars at work while the family tried to get a hold of him to tell him the baby had died.

My grandfather was very old when I was born.  I remember him as a quiet and sweet man who everyone seemed to admire. 

My grandpa Dyson (Papaw Bill) holding me as a baby

I don't have memories of him playing with me because he was too old by the time I was born to be able to do that.  I remember people talking of him as having a positive attitude.  He was often quoted as saying, "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all".  When I look at the difficulty he faced in life its amazing to me that he would remain hopeful and positive.  That is to be respected.   I will always remember him fondly and am proud to have this strong and resilient man as my grandfather.

I have to wonder ... what made him so resilient?

I know little to nothing of the family before him.  There was my great grandfather, Thomas Granville Dyson.  All I know of him is that he was born in 1851, was married to China Owens who preceded him in death and that he was a farm manager.  His father was Thomas G. Dyson and was born in 1817.  I've not been able to find out anything about his life.  He is buried in Walnut Hills Cemetery in Petersburg, Indiana ... not too far away from where my dad is buried.

Those who knew my dad know that he was also a man of great reputation, that he fought cancer in his later day without any hint of giving up.  In fact, he had talked about joining a gym just a few months before he passed away.

These people just don't seem to ever give up or quit.  They keep moving forward and they do so with courage and positive attitude.  I only hope I can live up to the legacy they've left for me.


Saturday, April 02, 2011

1st Birthday Party!!!

Eli and Owen had their 1st birthday party today!  Here are some pics ...

Does he look like a grandpa or what?

They weren't quite sure what to make of all the fuss at first ...

But they soon figured it out

Grandpa Brian is teaching a new use for a party hat ...

and Eli learned quick

Sometimes you just gotta get on top of it

Their first cupcake

Eli grabs the whole things and in the mouth it goes

Owen take a little more time ...

Its a happy birthday!

until ... its not (I think the ice cream was all gone)