Blue Spider's Coffee House

Truth, Love, Beauty and all things Virtuous


Family History

Thoughts On Mother on Mother’s Day

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I couldn’t let this day go by without talking about my dear Mom. My earliest memories of my Mom is her teaching me to pray, although I remember a lot of those prayers were about how to deal with my new baby brother and how he had displaced me. At the age of four, I was a little lost as my role as the youngest had taken a dramatic turn and I was now in no man’s land as the middle child. It would take a lot of time and a lot of prayers before I found myself again at the age of five.

Bradbury kids christmas 1952

My Mom, as most moms are, was the softer side of my parents. When taking long trips, she would be the one to convince my Dad to pull over so we could use the bathroom rather than using the Wilson tennis ball can as my Dad had suggested. Or convince my Dad to splurge and let us eat a Big Mac once in while rather than our steady diet of brewer’s yeast, wheat bread, and carrots.

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My Dad had and still has the endurance of a Sherpa, a total machine, when it came to physical activities like jogging, biking, swimming and hiking and is the epitome of enduring steadiness. Never the fastest, he could however go forever. Rumor has it that he was the inspiration for the tortoise in Aesop’s The Tortoise and The Hare. And for many years, our family trips consisted of taking this 20 to 50 mile Spartan-like youth hikes in the back country of Idaho. It was my Mom who took the edge off of these hikes for us when we were little kids, carrying many of us until we could hold our own around the age of 5. It was my Mom who make these trips tolerable by always cooking up all of our freeze dried meals and making them seem like the best food in the world. And it was my Mom who finally said enough with these trips when during the first leg of fifty mile hike she hiked back down with my little brother and spent the rest of the trip in Sun Valley, Idaho at a hotel with a swimming pool while my Dad and I continued on with the fifty miler surviving off of trout (Idaho trout, the best trout in the world!) with a side of unevenly cooked chocolate pudding with hidden pockets of uncooked pudding mix goodness. Of course, by that time my Dad had taken up marathons and triathlons, so the shift in activities did not put him out too much.

Mom and I on a hike ca 1969

It is because of my Mom, the consummate extrovert complete with “planning hands”, that I have the ability to be extroverted at times and take interest in other people. I am a good mix of my Mom and Dad, half extrovert and half introvert. Although, I do prefer the introverted side, but that’s just the selfishness in me. But I digress, back to my Mom. My mother has a great sense of humor and as part of her positive personality she can always find humor in any bad situation. While she definitely has a serious side to her, especially when it came to her catering work and talking back to her, she has the ability to laugh at herself and not take herself always too seriously. As when I was younger, it is still true today that whenever she is around I feel like everything is going to be alright.

For some reason, all of my life I have been fascinated with my Mom’s childhood. Part of it had to do with the fact, that she did not grow up Mormon and for an isolated kid like me I found that so alien from the world I lived in growing up. The other thing is I associated her being raised in Southern California with all that was cool in the 1950’s. For the longest time, I thought the girl on the cover of the American Graffiti album was a picture of her when she was young, although I am pretty sure the reason that I thought that was her was because my big sister, who knew I was very gullible, told me so. But, my Mom did live in the heyday of Southern California with the Beach Boy’s, drag racing, beach parties, etc. She was even one of the first female lifeguards in California.

Bradbury's at beach in 1950

As I get older, I know I should be grateful and I am grateful for all she has done for me, but I really have no clue, especially as a man, when it comes to the extent that I should grateful for her. Nor do I understand the extent of her love for me and my siblings and her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. All I know is she keeps on being an inspiration to us all and a source of pride. And, we all knew she could not keep still during retirement and it would be only a matter of time when she’d be doing something and we are very proud of her and my Dad’s decision to go to the Brisbane, Australia mission soon.


A Few Tidbits About Marriage

First of all, it’s a lot better than dating.

Second, over time you are definitely going to irritate your spouse a lot during the marriage. I would say after the first year, they will probably find you irritating more than 50% percent of the time. But remember, it’s their problem most of the time and they need to deal with it, suck it up and take one for team because you are you and you can’t help it. Plus in the long run it makes everybody better when they have to suffer a little bit.

Third, when you are irritating them more than the normal 50%, like upwards to 60% or 70% of the time, that is when you need go to get some crape paper and marking pens and make up some homemade coupons. Coupons for hugs, pancake breakfasts, a shave and a shampoo, or even to clean up the kitchen a few more times than you usually do, seem to take the edge off and usually will pacify everybody for a little while. They are a big hit in our house, and sometimes I even make up coupons offering mental or emotional discounts.

Sometimes, though I change things up and offer Dale dollars. So if my wife treats my well during the week, buys the right kind of groceries, or cleans up the house more often, then she earns Dale dollars. And, then she can cash those in at any time when I am being a real bugger around the house.

Homemade coupons go a long way towards getting your spouse to tolerate your presence in their personal space and are a must in any successful couple’s marriage toolkit.

Thank Goodness for Snow Days: Time Well Spent

Of all the running around and touring we did the first couple of days, yesterday was the most enjoyable day of Andrew’s visit, an additional day of vacation due to a previous snow day in Grass Valley.

We just hung out with each other taking turns beating the heck out of each other playing NBA 2K2013 and Madden NFL 2013. Neither of us lost our tempers or became impatient with the video games even when we were constantly going out of bounds, being sacked or intercepted, or kept missing shots and free throws. Andrew dominates the basketball games. He has a tendency to make obscure bench players, almost always point guards, superstars during these games. I can’t stand being schooled by the likes of Keyon Dooling or Sebastian Telfair. It’s so unrealistic. It’s blatantly obvious that Play Station was clueless when they wrote the algorithms for these players. But, I grin and bear it as my superstar players can’t hit anything, even simple lay ups while Andrew’s bench players are getting off the chart dunk intensity scores. But, it’s the trash talking and joking around that I enjoy and I can tell its Andrews favorite part of the games as well.

See Dad I Listened: One of Dad’s Favorites Quotes–Of Heaven and Earth

“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,
Than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”–Hamlet Act 1, Scene 5

The Mysteriously Dense Mass of My Mother’s Applesauce Cookies

As I look back on the dietary habits of my family growing up I realize my parents went out of their way to make sure we were fed healthy food. I personally witnessed my parents’ dedication to healthy eating as I watched them religiously ingest mountains of brewer’s yeast every morning. My parents never kept sugared cereals like Fruit Loops, Apple Jacks, or Captain Crunch in our house and my mother, God bless her; never put a Hostess product or an Oreo cookie in our lunches.

For lunch, I ate a lot of whole wheat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, mixed up sometimes with a not so subtle smelling tuna fish sandwich, and when our family was going through financial rough patches I occassionally got a cheese and mayonnaise sandwich that inevitably would leave a large grease spot on the brown paper bag housing the sandwich and sometimes would stain my backpack. I would have gladly given anything for some American cheese instead of the two thick slabs of sharp cheddar that lay lukewarm on my whole wheat bread.

Our other meals growing up included dishes like cottage cheese pancakes, real oatmeal with real raisins, peanut butter soup, spinach balls, carrot salad with raisins and pineapple, some spaghetti squash, an occasional liver with onions, and a lot of Swiss chard and spinach. Apart from an overabundance of zucchini, it seems like Swiss chard was the only plant my parents successfully grew year after year in their garden. My Mom was a little more generous when it came to desserts and we did eat a lot of homemade chocolate chip cookies and peanut butter cookies, but there was one cookie that seemed to be a peculiar favorite of my mom’s: the infamous Applesauce cookie.

First of all, there is a lot of disagreement in my family whether or not the Applesauce cookie was an actual cookie. For the most part it did not look like your average cookie, it was never round or even remotely circular in shape and when you went to grab one from the cookie jar more often than not you would come out with a glob of what possibly looked like 3 or 4 cookies stuck together. Plus unlike other cookies which are inviting, the Applesauce cookie was menacing and intimidating. Day after day, week after week, this brownish gray mass of mystery ingredients that refused to get moldy would stare out daring us to try a glob.

Not only did their shape and look put the label “cookie” in doubt, but it was the sheer density of the Applesauce cookie that casts doubt as well. Legend has it that my older brother successfully lifted one out unassisted when he was 10 year old, but no one else has been able to confirm that. I was 12 years old before I could lift the cookies out of cookie jar without help from other family members or good-hearted neighbors. Because of their density our parents would often warn us in a special sit down talk with worn out graphic posters to not throw Applesauce cookies at each other, especially to not throw them at each other’s head, and to never ever throw a cookie in anger. But that wasn’t the worst part about the cookie’s density; the worst part was after you ate the cookie. Our parents often would tell us that the heavy, “cement-like” feeling in our stomachs would go away after 36 hours, but it often felt like two or three weeks before it passed.

There are many things I owe a lot of thanks to my parents for and in hindsight I do appreciate their efforts to have us eat healthy and many of those habits did carry over (okay, maybe just some of them carried over, many is a bit of an exaggeration). But, it has been years now since I have had an Applesauce cookie nor I have ever asked for the recipe or ever wanted to know what went into those cookies. And I find it no accident, as an adult, that I have never seen an Applesauce cookie mass marketed in any local bakery or grocery chain.

Noticing Aging in Parents: King of Denial

Last weekend, my Dad picked me and my kids up from the airport. This was the first time I have seen him since he has retired. He looked good, however, I did notice that at age 76 Jim was showing some age. Not so much in his appearance, but his frame looked a little more stooped and his walk was more of an old man shuffle. However, for all I could know Mr. Triathlete was probably breaking in his new Nike running shoes. My Dad would most likely deny any aging and probably give me a good spanking for writing such nonsense–and given the shape he is in I have no doubt he could still pull this off.

I don’t know why but when I notice aging in my parents I immediately become alarmed and my observation of all their movements is heightened in hopes that I might be mistaken. I also become more sympathetic towards them because I see them becoming vulnerable to time. I know they are mortal, but I prefer to push that thought way down into the creases and folds of my puny mind. A parent’s existence just is, like ephemeral air, the steady rocks, and the mighty mountains. Like Hostess Twinkies and cockroaches parents should be indestructible. Maybe after thousands of years, they should cease to exist, but it’s hard to imagine it happening in my lifetime.

For some reason beyond just mere biology, it seems they were chosen to be my parents in this life and I their child and here we are, messing up our lives’ as if this treasured mess was meant to be. No matter how well we know the good and bad of each other’s personalities, we instinctively recognize we both need each other to be “us”. I know I am very fortunate to still have mine in my life and know not everyone gets the opportunity to have their parents live as long mine have. But, I can’t imagine how different life would be without them and how empty it would seem. It makes life seem somehow meaningless if this deep and ineffable bond between a parent and child just ceased to exist.

For this I am grateful to know that what should be a natural extension of this life in order to have it make sense is indeed true and that there can be more to our relationship than just what takes place during our wee slice of time together here on earth.

Christiana Frandsen: A Danish Woman’s Faith

“…at ved sma og enkle ting bliver der udretter store ting….”—Almas Bog 37:6[1]

 An ancestor I am very grateful for is my great great Grandma’s mother, on my father’s side. Christiana Frandsen (maiden name Larsen).

About a year or two ago, I was asked to teach about women and their importance in my life at Church. I wanted to do something different rather than blab on for 45 minutes about how great my wife and my mother are. I wanted to find out something more about the women further back in my family history. I chose two women. One from my mother’s side of the family, the Bradburys, and one from my father’s side.

On the Bradbury side, I choose my grandmother because she had just passed away and the funeral was a very positive and uplifting experience. On the Hansen side, I had to dig back a little further and I happened upon a pivotal story in my family’s history of Christiana Frandsen.

Besides her courageous story, to me this story demonstrated just how important the  translation of the New Testament from Latin into people’s native language was to my family’s history. Christiana’s story fulfills what Erasmus hoped for when in 1516 in the preface of his Greek translation of the New Testament he wrote:

“…I would have those words translated into all languages…I long for the plowboy to sing them to himself as he follows the plow, the weaver to hum them to the tune of his shuttle, the traveler to beguile with them the dullness of his journey….Other studies we may regret having undertaken, but happy is  the man upon whom death comes when he is engaged in these. These sacred words give the very image of Christ speaking, healing, dying, rising again and make him so present, that were he before your very eyes you would not more truly see him.”[2]

The New Testament was first translated into Danish in 1524.[3]

In my opinion it is no coincidence the Europe’s rise from the Dark Ages to the Enlightenment coincided with the lay person’s ability to search the Bible and to freely come to their own understanding of the truth. The significance of this was beautifully captured nearly 600 years ago by Nicholas of Cusa:

“To know and to think, to see the truth, with the eye of the mind, is always a joy….As love is the life of the heart, so is the endeavor after knowledge and truth the life of the mind. Amid the movements of time, the daily labor, perplexities, and contradictions of life, we should lift our gaze fearlessly to the clear vault of heaven and seek to ever obtain a firmer grasp of…the origin all goodness and beauty, the capacities of our own hearts and minds, the intellectual fruits of mankind throughout the centuries, and the wonderful works of Nature around us; but always remembering that in humility alone lies true greatness, and that knowledge and wisdom are profitable only in so far as our lives are government by them.[4]

Early Life 

Christiana Larsen Frandsen was born May 14th, 1838 in Tversted, Hjorring, Denmark, the fifth of ten children, the third of four daughters born to Lars Christian Mikkelsen and Ane Christiandatter. Lars Christian was a very well educated man for the time and the area. After his initial schooling, his father, Michael Larsen, wanted him to study for the Baptist ministry. Lars studied toward this goal for four years, but just before he was to graduate he decided that he did not have the right to become a minister, much to the dismay of his father, because he felt that there was much evidence that the Gospel taught in the New Testament had yet to be fully restored and he decided not to go through being a minister for the Baptist Church.

Despite this belief, Lars continued study of the Bible and shared his conclusions with his children about the full Gospel not being restored. Meanwhile, Christiana Larsen had married in 1862 to Hans Christian Frandsen, a fisherman from Skagen, Jutland, Denmark.  Hans Christian was born and raised a devout Lutheran. This would become a source of contention for the couple as Christiana was more free-thinking about religion.

After several years of marriage, Lars came to visit Christiana and she told her father, “I haven’t denounced my religion and I faithfully go every Sunday with Hans to the Lutheran Church. But we do have disputes about religion. Hans is so sure that the Lutherans are right and sometimes our house is like a house divided against itself as it says in the Bible.” [5]

Lars put his arms around his daughter and told her that she was right to honor her husband and attend church with him. But told her that if she would live a good life that she would live to hear about the true Church of Jesus Christ.[6]

Image Old Skagen pointing toward the North Sea probably not much different than Skagen’s look and outlay at during Chritiana and Hans Christian’s life there.

Christiana Meets the Mormon Church

Several years later, Christiana had a seamstress come over to her house and help make clothes for herself and her children. This seamstress happened to be a convert to the Mormon Church.

At this time, the Mormon Church (or Jesu Krisit Kirke) had been in Denmark for over 25 years. The Church in Denmark had been opened by the young apostle Erastus Snow and Peter O. Hansen who landed in Copenhagen in June 1850.[7] And, the Book of Mormon was published in 1851 in Danish and year later the Doctrine in Covenants, the first non-English publications of these scriptures. The Church also began publishing a periodical, Skandinavens Stjerne (Star of Scandinavia).[8] Denmark became one of the most flourishing missions for the Mormon Church in the nineteenth century.[9]


Danish Temple in Copenhagen built in 2004

Despite the guarantee of religious freedom in the Danish Constitution, signed by King Frederick VII in 1849. Danish society as a whole was not favorable to the Mormon Church, especially since Lutheranism was more than a religion, but part of their cultural identity. In fact, it would not be until 1970 when the Danish government would officially recognize the Mormon Church as a Christian Church and also allow the Mormon Church to perform marriages. Ironically, this coincided with the Danish government’s decision to legalize pornography and make it widely available.[10]

Many early members suffered persecution, destruction of property or exclusion from their family, friends, and neighbors for joining the Mormon Church.  Many also encountered opposition from Lutheran ministers, schoolteachers, and gangs of Danish rowdies.[11]  A typical experience would be of one Peder Isaacson who was ready to immigrate to America in 1854 and he traveled to his mother’s home to bid her farewell but was met with disappointment when his stepfather refused to let him in the house because he was “one of those Mormons.” Peder never saw his mother or sister again.[12]

Up until Christiana had met the seamstress, she and Hans like many others Danes had heard unfavorable things about the Mormon Church. Christiana knew Hans was very prejudiced towards Mormons. Despite this her intellectual honesty got the best of her and she and the visiting seamstress had many discussion about religion. He daughter Irene wrote the following about this experience:

“Mother was a great reader of the Bible (Bibelen)…she and her seamstress had much to talk about. The lady told Mother many things to which Mother would reply, ‘That isn’t in the Bible’. The seamstress would reply that it was and would get the Bible and show her where it was in the Bible. Mother was dumbfounded. It dawned on her that the seamstress knew more of the Bible than she did.”

Some of the things the seamstress may have discussed with Christiana that would have been different than what she had been taught by the Lutheran Church would have been the Mormon doctrine that family relationships and marriage continued beyond this life. We can only imagine for someone who had recently lost a son and her father that these words would have brought peace and hope to her heart to know that lost family members were not lost eternally.[13]

Other doctrines distinctly different than Lutheran doctrine that the seamstress may have exposed Christiana to would have the Mormon beliefs of a pre-existence, the organization of Christ’s church during his mortal life, modern revelation, and priesthood authority.

   Image  Skagen Lutheran Church

 Lutheran doctrine as Christiana would have been taught stated there was no pre-existence and that Christ did not organize his Church during his mortal ministry but that was done after his death. Like many Protestant religions, Lutherans taught that all the revelation ever needed for this world is contained in the Bible and that no more revelation is needed for mankind as all pertinent and relevant revelation is contained in the Bible. Similarly, Lutherans also believed that divine authority is given to man through the Bible.  Any person acting in accordance with God’s will as revealed in the Bible is acting with Divine authority.[14]

After several discussions and remembering what her father had taught her about restoration of the true Church, Chirstiana decided to follow her heart and join the Mormon church. Her daughter Irene describes her mother’s conversion:

 “Mother didn’t mention any of her discussions with Father, but the rest of the family would often talk about these things when he was away. One day, the seamstress invited Mother to a cottage meeting to hear the missionaries’ message. Mother went, but cautioned us children not breathe a word to Father. Mother was very impressed by the message and became anxious to join the Church. It was not much longer after that meeting that a hole was cut in the river and she was baptized on January 3, 1877 (A 135 years ago). About a month later, Anna the oldest daughter was baptized on February 24, 1877 at the age of 11 years old.”

One evening Hans Christian was coming home from work when two friends told him that his wife and daughter had joined the Mormon Church. Hans Christian was distraught. He had never heard a good word said about the Mormons and had heard many tales how they would take innocent girls and women to Utah to become plural wives.

Christiana was sitting in the front room reading the Bible when Hans Christian came through the front door. She looked up from her book and knew in a split second somebody had told him. Hans Christian walked over to the center table where Christiana was seated and raised his hand as if he were going to strike her, but as he raised his hand he broke the lamp shade and cut his hand. Christiana ran out of the door and over to her sister-in-law’s house.

Despite his initial outrage, it would not be long before Hans Christian would join the Church. Soon afterwards Anna Amelia, who had been baptized with her mother, had a dream where her older brother Lauritz Christian [15] visited her and had told her that “you and Mother are on the right track.  Pray for Father and he will come around.” This visit bolstered both Anna’s and Christiana’s testimonies and gave them much needed hope.

Several incidents occurred within the next few months that helped soften Hans Christian’s heart. The first occurred when Irene Elizabeth, one of the younger daughters, broke her arm. Hans and Christiana tried to comfort her but nothing seemed to work. Finally, Christiana suggested that they get the missionaries. After some argument, Han’s surrendered ‘Well, have it your own way’.

Anna ran and grabbed the missionaries and they ran immediately to the Frandsen household. After the missionaries had administered to Irene Elizabeth she got down from her father’s lap and opened the door with her bad arm and told everyone outside the house “Now I will be alright!” Not too much longer the youngest Laura Christine contracted Whooping Cough. Again, Christiana called on the missionaries and they ministered until Laura Christine and she never had another spell. Unbelievably, several months later Christiana herself contracted, at that time the sometimes fatal Scarlet Fever[16] and called on the missionaries to give her a blessing and she too recovered.[17]

Irene notes that “this was the starting point for my dear Father. He began to ask them questions and began to see the Lutheran Church was the same as other Protestant Churches of the day.” However, his epiphany finally came when he and his brother Mikkle and another fisherman went out to sea and were caught in a big storm.


The three men attempted to make it back to shore, but were rebuffed time and time again by the large, icy waves of the North Sea. Meanwhile, both families were beside themselves knowing the possible sad outcomes of such incidents. Christiana called together both families and each person took turns praying all through the night. By morning the North Sea had calmed down and the men were able to return safely to shore. Hans Christian and Mikkle were greeted with much rejoicing and thankfulness by their families. When asked how they were able to survive such a terrible storm, Hans Christian explained that an angel of the Lord had been beside them all through the night. That God had saved their lives. After many witnesses in a very short period of time, Hans Christian was baptized May 14, 1877.

[1] “…that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass….”—Alma 37:6, Book of Mormon

[2] Durant, Will, The Reformation: A History of European Civilization from Wyclif to Calvin: 1300-1564, Simon and Shuster, New York: 1957, p.285

[3] Ibid., p. 628

[4] Ibid, p.257

[5] Refers to Matthew or Mattaeusevanganliet 12:25: “…og en by eller et hus i splid med sig selv kan ikke.”

[6]  Lars Christian Mikkelsen passed away in 1874 at the age of 75.

[7] Highlight of the Church in Scandanavia, Ensign, July 1974, The Church of Latter Day Saints website (see how to cite).

[8] Experience Denmark to Manti, One Man’s Experience, Jensen, Richard L., Ensign, January 1980, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

[9] Friends in Denmark, Friend,October 1975, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints website.

[10] In Denmark, a Quiet, Vibrant Faith, Liahona, March 2006, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

[11] From Denmark to Manti: One Man’s Experience, Ensign, January 1980, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

[12] From Denmark to Zion, Gaunt, LaRene Porter, Ensign, August 1999, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

[13] Lutheran doctrine taught and teaches that no family relationships exist in the afterlife and that marriage is only good for this life and terminates when either one of the spouses pass away

[14]  Ibid.

[15] Lauritz Christian Frandsen was the oldest child of Hans Christian and Christiana Frandsen. He passed away at the age of 12 on December 3rd 1875.

[16] Apart from a fever and a sore throat, Scarlet Fever is characterized by the strawberry color of tongue and sunburn like rash.

[17] A vaccine for Scarlet Fever was developed in 1924 and later on treated with penicillin.

Grandma Bradbury

You have to acknowledge the people who brought your parents into this world, especially if you are thankful for your parents so I have to put both sets of grandparents as my number one choice for deceased people I am grateful for.

The grandparent who I would say we were closest to and had the most contact with was Grandma Bradbury. Now, I never knew Grandpa Bradbury and Grandma Bradbury as a couple. I think they were divorced very early in my life and I do not ever remember seeing together as a couple.

 My first memories of Grandma Bradbury are when I was about 4 or 5 years old and we visited her in Southern California. I remember visiting Disneyland for the first time during that visit. I believe at that time she was about 60 years old and was working as a Marshal for Los Angeles County.  Grandma Bradbury retired sometime later and I believed moved up to Bainbridge Island and lived in a little apartment in Winslow. At that time our family and the LeRoy’s (my Mom’s younger sister Karen) lived on Bainbridge Island and Steve (my Mom’s younger brother) lived a couple of hours away near the Washington/Oregon border in the town of Longview.

 As it was back then, we did not stay long on Bainbridge Island, one year to be sure, and we moved to Bloomington, Indiana. It didn’t seem that much longer after that did Grandma Bradbury move out and live with us. I can’t remember how long that lasted but it didn’t seem like it was very long. And, I am not sure why it was so short. I believe after that she moved back to Bainbridge Island.

 As she got older, she decided to move back to her birthplace or at least where she grew up a small town of about 2,000 people in Northwest Missouri, about 30 miles northeast of St. Joseph’s and about 80 miles north of Kansas City. Albany is an old community that is significantly older and poorer than the rest of Missouri. The town is also more religious than most of America as 80% of the population adheres to one religion or another. Most of them (52%) being affiliated with the Southern Baptist (I believe that Grandma was a Methodist her whole life). Albany also appears to be safer compared to the rest of Missouri, having only having two registered sex offenders in its midst, 1 for every 856 people in town.

However, like most rural communities housing in Albany is inexpensive. In 2009, the median housing price was $73,669 and the median rent was $331. In comparison in St. Joseph’s the median housing price was $119,000 and the median rent was $639. Where I live, Carson City a place experiencing a large number of foreclosures and higher unemployment, the 2009 median housing price was $311,000 and the median rent was $895. Grandma Bradbury moved there to live closer to her sisters and she did buy a house. She lived there for a while. I do remember visiting her in Albany as I drove from Provo, Utah to Washington D.C. in the fall of 1993 to start my internship.   

 A few years passed with this arrangement, but it was apparent that it was becoming harder and harder for her to live on her own especially since her eyesight was going and her sisters being equally old could not be counted on to take care of her needs. So, Mom, Karen, and Steve went out there and helped her sale her house and most of her possessions and helped her moved her back to Washington near where Steve was living in Mukilteo. However, even that arrangement changed as she ended up in living in rest home in Shoreline, Washington and then she moved into rest home at Silverdale, Washington and that is where she lived for the remainder of her living days. In 2004, her 90th birthday was celebrated and all of her children, living siblings, grandchildren, and many of her other relatives came out for the event. Brian Bradbury, Steve’s oldest son, put together and very nice slide show covering much of her life.  I learned a lot about her life before becoming my Grandma.

During the kid’s Spring Break in 2007, we got to visit her in Silverdale and at 93 years old she still had it. When we arrived at the rest home the staff pointed us down the hall to her room at the end of the hallway, it wasn’t very long before we could her talking to staff. We spent some time chatting with her in her room. She took some time to show us her scrap-book with many articles about Mom. Grandma Bradbury was very proud of those articles.

 After talking for a while, she gave us a tour of the rest home, including the exercise room where she related to us a very funny story about when she first arrived. Grandma said she went into the exercise room to work out and as she sat down to work her arms out she noticed another lady working out too. Trying to be social, Grandma began to strike up a conversation with this lady. After about 5 minutes of talking to this lady, Grandma noticed that this lady had contributed nothing to this conversation and she thought that was very rude. After a few minutes of silence, Grandma realized she had been talking to her reflection the whole time. Grandma Bradbury treated us to meal at the rest home, including at her insistent request the peach cobbler for dessert.  I was glad my kids got a chance to catch a glimpse of their Great Grandma’s funny personality and storytelling abilities.

 Grandma Bradbury passed away in December 2009. Tammy, Carly, and I got to attend her funeral services on Bainbridge Island. This was not a sad occasion for me. As I looked around at her children, her grandchildren, and her great-grand children everyone was happy to see each other and everyone seemed to have their own happy families. The whole experience was a happy one I think for everyone  and in essence the collective cheer I think was a reflection of her legacy. By worldly standards, Grandma Bradbury hardly left a dent in the world, but compared to many of those who achieve worldly success or celebrity at a cost or sacrifice to their family lives,  they can hardly hold a candle to the Grandma’s Bradbury’s enduring spiritual legacy of good, happy, and productive children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren all steming from her simple Christian lifestyle that we all got to experience and inherit.

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Eyes Wide Open

Looking Up and Living in God's Truth and Love

The Return of the Modern Philosopher

Deep Thoughts from the Shallow End of the Pool

Susan Irene Fox

Jesus follower, peacemaker, unfinished human


Daily Thoughts and Meditations as we journey together with our Lord.


be inspired to greatness

Mind's Seat

Set your mind on the things above

A Mirror Obscura,

Poetry, musings and sightings from where the country changes


Simple Living

3 Moon Homestead

Gardening, Schooling, and Back to Basics Skills with a Gypsy Heart and Muddy Fingers

Marian the Seminarian

Christian reflections on the cusp of conventionality