To everyone, may you enjoy a happy and blessed Thanksgiving! Remember all, that there is much for which to be thankful. 🙂
This Valentine’s Day, Practice Love and Understanding (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)
It is St. Valentine’s Day, a day for love and romance, especially as reflected in our culture and history. Valentine’s Day is a day that is important for couples, though it is also important for everyone. On Valentine’s Day, everyone can show a little more love, respect, appreciation, and understanding toward each other.
I’ve already heard the national news today of a plot to kill people in a mall in Canada that was thwarted. Later today, I heard about a cartoonist in Denmark who was killed – an artist who apparently depicted Mohammed in a negative manner. There are also likely so many more countless tragedies, hate crimes, and killings that have occurred around the world.
Today – as every day – however, should be a day for spreading love, kindness, compassion, and understanding. Do not be the person who is ugly toward or who hurts others. Take the opportunity to do an act of kindness for another.
For those who are unable or unwilling to practice loving kindness and understanding, my heart and prayers go out to you. I understand that, sometimes, life experiences may make it more difficult to love, but it should not be an excuse to avoid doing so.
On this day of all days, we must open our hearts and practice loving kindness and forgiveness. Of course, that does not mean that we should fall victim to being hurt for doing so, however setting a good, positive example may be all a person needs for his or her spirit to be uplifted, even for one day.
How will you practice love, kindness, and understanding toward others today?
Challenges in Mental Health Care: The Sickness v. Wellness Perspective (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)
Mental health care is a challenging, but rewarding field. There are many positive sides of mental health care, and also areas that need improvement. One of the biggest rewards of mental health care is observing and experiencing progress, recovery, and a return to wellness of clients. Healing, recovery, and a return to wellness of clients in mental health settings requires patience, understanding, respect, and sensitivity. Agency and organizational stability is also needed for clients in order that they receive optimal care. While each agency and/or organization has its own culture, a culture in which workers live in fear of becoming a statistic in extremely high turnover is unhealthy in itself.
As an individual working toward licensure in the mental health profession, I am one whose perspective is from a position of wellness. First and foremost, one must view a person as a person. To perceive and treat a person with respect, kindness, nonjudgment, and impartiality are requirements in supporting and empowering the wellness, healing, and recovery of clients. In the counseling profession, one based on a view of wellness in people, there exists a positive and supportive hope for the overall optimal health of the individual.
This view is different from many other mental health professions in which the general view of the client is one of sickness. Certainly, approaching an individual with a perspective of what can be improved is helpful, and for insurance purposes involving payment for services rendered, a diagnosis of the client is required, however it is my perspective that viewing the client from a wellness standpoint is much more healthy for all involved rather than judging a person as being sick.
Those who view and describe an individual as a “sick person” have already negatively judged him or her. They have not viewed the person as a person, but as an “ill person.” Such a perspective held by such individuals causes them to treat the client differently, as one who needs more and more treatment, more and more medication, more and more confinement. In these situations, the positive view of wellness is gone, and is replaced by a judgment that the “sick person” is unable to become well.
While clients have challenges to achieving and maintaining wellness, it becomes even more of a challenge when many in the mental health field view clients as sick, and only they as the professionals who hold those views have the power and expertise to make them well – or they have already judged that they will never become well. A professional who approaches a client from a perspective of wellness (a perspective that is in the minority), therefore, faces even more challenges, not only for themselves but also for their clients when others view them as sick and unable to become well. A person is still a person, regardless of their diagnosis or disorder. A person is still a person, and has the capability of becoming well. A hopeful perspective toward client wellness must exist in the mental health profession – rather than client sickness – in order that clients are supported and empowered to experience that wellness.
A further challenge in agencies and/or organizations in which a “sickness” perspective prevails is that experienced clinicians fall into the trap of believing that their views and judgments about clients are the best – that they are the experts. Certainly, the experience of a veteran clinician is extremely valuable in treating clients, however experienced clinicians who believe that only their views, judgments, and culture of sickness are the most helpful approaches create a potentially dangerous situations for their clients. Clinicians of all levels of experience must be open-minded to considering and perceiving different views – including those from a wellness perspective – so that their clients receive optimal care and so that they profession, itself, can grow and develop in a healthy way.
Clinicians who view clients from a perspective of illness and negative judgment place their clients at risk for further illness. Clinicians who are set in their ways of expertise toward mental health treatment, and who are unable to be open-minded toward viewing different perspectives regarding it have already erected walls around themselves that are harmful for themselves, their clients, the culture of their agency/organization, and the field of mental health.
What clinicians must always place as a primary priority is that people are people. As such, people should be treated with dignity, understanding, kindness, respect, and sensitivity. If a perspective of client wellness is lacking or absent, clients will likely experience a more difficult road to recovery and may not achieve wellness. What is healthier – being an “expert” clinician whose views of client illness cause him or her to be closed to considering a client’s optimal recovery, or being a clinician who treats a person as a person, and who applies a wellness perspective that supports rather than negatively judges the client? You be the judge.
Camping in the Great Smokies (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)
Summer is a great time of the year for camping, and this summer is no different. Last week, my son went camping with a group in the Great Smoky Mountains near Gatlinburg, Tennessee. He hiked, cooked, and photographed the outdoors. There were many beautiful trees, creeks, rocks, plants, and other wildlife to photograph.
At one point during my son’s camping trip, a mother black bear and three of her cubs walked along the outskirts of the camp. It was quite an experience for the campers and the bears. One of the cubs got scared and climbed up a tree. Thankfully, the bears remained at a safe distance from everyone, and vice versa.
My son had a great opportunity for camping in the Great Smokies, and he returned home feeling even more inspired than he already was to conserve nature and protect wildlife. I’m glad that he had a good experience and was with other campers who were responsible and who looked out for each other.
Thankfully, my son was no longer in the area when lightning storms and tornadoes swept through on the next day, however most of his group remained. Luckily, everyone was okay.
Note: The photos in this post were taken by my son.
Remembering American Military Veterans on this Memorial Day (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)
My son put out the American flag today, in special remembrance of America’s military veterans and in celebration of Memorial Day 2014. Putting out the flag has become somewhat of a tradition for him throughout the past few years, particularly since it was a requirement for one of his achievements as a Cub Scout. Today, he put out the flag as a new Boy Scout. Last evening, my family also watched the Memorial Day tribute celebration on television, as broadcasted by PBS. That has also been a tradition in my family for many years. This year is the 25th anniversary of the annual Memorial Day broadcast.
In remembrance of military veterans in my family, I have authored this article, having arranged photos and/or memorabilia of all of those known family members and/or ancestors who have served in the American military. I am thankful for those who have risked their lives and/or who have given their lives for the freedoms that I enjoy.
One important issue to keep in mind, however, is that our freedoms may be our right, but should also be practiced with appropriate reason and rationalization. I stated this, particularly due to interpretations of the Second Amendment of our country’s Constitution, in regard to the right to bear arms. We should all keep in mind that while we have a right to bear arms, that does not mean that we have the right to take another’s life, unless circumstances absolutely warrant it in matters of self-protection. Let us not allow the right to bear arms, as well as monetary-backed interests to that aim, to remain more important than protecting people’s lives.
May we all strive to live together in peace and harmony. Let us all remember the sacrifices of those who serve and who have served in our military forces so that not only our freedoms are maintained, but so that the spirit of democracy may infuse those in other countries, as well. May our military forces stationed in Afghanistan soon return home, and back to our wonderful democracy!
I am also aware that one of the Tomaszewski men (formerly of Gowanda, New York, and now of Chicago, Illinois), a cousin to my mom, was a pilot in the Air Force, possibly in the Vietnam War.
These photos, information, and memorabilia represent individuals within my family, and from my family ancestry, who have served in the American military. My former spouse also briefly served in the military. I salute you for your risks, sacrifices, and in the case of David Briggs, his ultimate sacrifice of his life, for the freedoms and protections of others. While I have taught history, and honor and appreciate our military veterans, I am not one who has the will to risk my life in possible sacrifice in the military. You all are a credit to our country for your service, and to the preservation of democracy.
My Gale, Henn, Cole, McGee, and Bulson Family Ancestry Photos (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)
The families of Gale, Henn, Cole, McGee, and Bulson are a big part of my family ancestry on my dad’s mother’s mom’s side of the family. The Gale’s came to the United States from England. William M. Gale, who is my Great Great Grandfather or Great Great Great Grandfather, was born in England. Emily Esther (Costard) Gale (born on Isle of Jersey in the Channel Island, England on January 29, 1849-died in North Collins, New York on July 11, 1917), is possibly the mother (more likely) or a sister of William H. Gale, though I am unsure if he was William Hamilton Gale or William Henry Gale. There were also other Gale’s in the family, including Walter Allen Gale, Harry Hamilton Gale, Julia Emily Gale, Alice Costard Gale, Lydia Ada Gale, and Carrie Camilla Gale. Either William Hamilton Gale or William Henry Gale married Anna (Henn) Gale, and they had a daughter, Emily B. Gale. Harry Hamilton Gale (September 14, 1878-March 1930), an uncle of my grandmother, served in the military in New York State.
All of the Gale’s lived in Hamburg, New York, but for Harry who is later said to have moved to Canada. William (Emily B. Gale’s father) was a successful barber, and owned and operated his own barber shop in Hamburg for decades. They lived on Main Street, and the barber shop was close by their residence. Julia Emily (Gale) Briggs was married to Clarence Briggs, and they had a daughter, Bernice Gale Briggs Babcock Sprague, my grandmother – my father’s mother.
My Great Great Grandmother Emily (Costard) Gale’s sisters remained in England, but stayed in touch with her and sent photos and letters to her through the years. Irish ancestry, through marriage, came from one of my great great grandmother’s sisters, Julia McGee; her son was named William McGee. He married and had two daughters, Dorothy and Phyllis. Dorothy married Mr. B. Apps on August 2, 1937.
There were also several members of the Henn Family, who had immigrated to the United States from Germany. From what I have uncovered, I believe that Frank Henn married Anna (Goetz) Henn. They had children, including Fred and Louis, and possibly Anna, Frank, William, and Charles. Fred (Frederick) (born October 20, 1843 in Bavaria, Germany) was a soldier in the Union Army and fought in the Civil War in Louisiana and Virginia. He was a private in Company D, 116th NYVI Regiment of Buffalo. He was wounded in Louisiana, and spent 2-3 months in the hospital, there, recovering. He was honorably discharged due to the end of the war. There is a photo and record of his service on file at the Hamburg (New York) Historical Society. I also have a photo and an item of memorabilia reflecting his service in the Army. He was married to Mary A. Henn, who died in 1896.
When Emily B. Gale died in 1986 and her estate was sold, my family missed acquiring Fred Henn’s medal from his service in the Civil War because it was grabbed quickly by an antique dealer who had a special interest in such memorabilia, and who had arrived just ahead of my parents for the sale. It would have been a wonderful piece to keep in the family. Additionally, I have a beautiful and colorful marriage certificate of a Friedrich Henn and Mahole (Thompson) Henn, reflecting their wedding date as July 27, 1897 in Germany. This is believed to be a different Fred Henn than the man who fought in the American Civil War. Also remember that Emily B. Gale was the only child of William H. Gale and Anna (Henn) Gale.
The Cole’s are part of my family ancestry through Carrie Camilla Gale’s marriage to Frank Cole. Carrie was the eldest daughter of William and Emily (Costard) Gale. Frank and Carrie had a son, Arnold, who married Grace Cochran. They then had three sons and a daughter, including Arnold Cole, Jr., William E. Cole, Eugene Cole, and Norma G. Cole. I have several photos of Arnold Cole as a baby and as a private school student in Buffalo, New York.
I have one image William M. Gale, and a few photos of Emily (Costard) Gale. I do not have any photos of Frank Cole, though I do have a couple of photos that include Carrie with her sisters, Julia and Alice. Julia was my Great Grandmother – my Grandmother’s mom. Emily B. Gale, my grandmother’s cousin, lived with her parents, and never married. She inherited the family home following the death of Anna (as William had predeceased her), though was placed in a nursing home in Hamburg, New York, where she died in 1986. Emily B. Gale owned many amazing antiques and treasures, including antique furniture; dolls; photographs in frames; and Civil War memorabilia of Fred Henn. My family was able to purchase a few of those items at her estate sale just after her death.
William H., Anna (Henn), and Emily B. Gale, and Frederick and Mary A. Henn, are buried in Prospect Lawn Cemetery in Hamburg, New York.
This is an image of William M. Gale, the father of William H. Gale. The image is printed on a postcard, and would have to be from the early half of the 1800s.
Here is Emily Gale with Julia Gale, in Hamburg, New York in about 1890.
This photo is thought to possibly be that of a Gale boy.
This is a photo of Alice Gale, who was one of William Gale’s sisters or nieces.
This photo is of Emily Esther (Costard) Gale, in Hamburg, New York in later life, around 1900-1910.
In her later years, Emily (Costard) Gale also worked at Condenseo Mince Meat in or around Hamburg, New York. This is the best photo that I have of the employees of this company, a photo that also includes my Great Grandfather, Clarence Briggs, and one of his brothers, Howard Briggs, who both also worked there at that time. Emily is seated in the middle, front row of the photo, while the Briggs men are standing at the rear.
This is a picture of Emily (Costard) Gale’s sisters, Julia McGee and Martha Bulson, from 1929 in England.
Here is Martha Bulson an her sister, Julia McGee, in England in 1923. They were sisters of Emily (Costard) Gale.
Here is Julia McGee at Christmas in England in 1923. The flowerettes were painted on the photo by William McGee, who painted pictures. I believe the William was either her husband or son.
Here is Martha E. Bulson with her sons and grandchildren at her ‘Manor House’ in Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire, England, on November 27, 1932.
Again, here is a photo of Martha E. Bulson with her sons and grandchildren at her Manor House in Lee-on-the-Solent, Hampshire, England, on November 27, 1932.
This is a photo of William McGee in England in 1933.
Here is William McGee (right) with his family. William’s wife is at the far left. The McGee’s daugther, Dorothy married Mr. B. Apps on August 2, 1937. The woman standing next to William is the groom’s mother. The McGee’s daughter, Phyllis, is sitting.
This photo is of Ronald Bulson in England. Ronald was Martha Bulson’s grandson.
This is a photo of my Great Grandmother, Julia Emily (Gale) Briggs as a girl.Here are the Gale girls of Hamburg, New York around 1890.
This photo is possibly of Alice Gale and a daughter, although I am not sure. It is from 1908.
This is a photo of Anna (Henn) Gale with my Great Grandmother, Julia Gale, and Anna’s only child, Emily B. Gale, in Hamburg, New York around 1900.
Anna (Henn) Gale is shown in this photo, in Hamburg, New York around 1910.
Pictured is William H. Gale, husband of Anna (Henn) Gale, and father of Emily B. Gale, of Hamburg, New York around 1890-1900. He was a barber in Hamburg for decades.
This is a photo of my grandmother’s cousin, Emily B. Gale, as a young girl, wearing a fur coat in Hamburg, New York around 1900.
This is another photo of Emily B. Gale as a young girl in Hamburg, New York around 1905.
Again, pictured is Emily B. Gale of Hamburg, New York around 1910.
Here, William Gale is pictured as an elderly man. He was 91 years old in 1938 when this photo was taken, just outside the Gale Family home in Hamburg, New York.
This is a photo of Harry H. Gale, a brother of William H. Gale.
This is a photo of Harry Hamilton Gale as a Union Army soldier out of Buffalo, New York in the 1880s.
This is a photo of Frederick Henn and his wife, thought to be named Anna, in Hamburg, New York around 1890-1900. Notice that Fred is wearing his medal for service in the Union Army during the American Civil War.
This is a funeral card for Mrs. Fred Henn, whom I believe would have been the lady in the photo preceding this image. She died on March 19, 1896 in Hamburg, New York at age 58.
This is a photo that is thought to be of Fred Henn, around 1870-1890, in Hamburg, New York.
This copy of a photo is of Fred Henn, also identifying his regiment in the Army in which he fought in the Civil War. I obtained copies of these items from the Hamburg Historical Society in Hamburg, New York in 2001.
This is a photo on display at the Hamburg Historical Museum/Society. I took a photo of the picture when I visited there. My grandmother’s cousin’s uncle is Fred Henn, who served in the Grand Army of the Republic’s Company D of the 116th Regiment during the Civil War.
This is a photo of Louis Henn, a brother of Fred Henn, in Hamburg, New York around 1890.
This is a photo of a man believed to be a member of the Henn Family.This is a photo of Arnold Cole, the son of Frank and Carrie (Gale) Cole, in Buffalo, New York in 1892.
Here is another picture of Arnold Cole, with his toy horse, probably in Buffalo, New York around 1895.
Here is another picture of Arnold Cole as a boy.This photo of Arnold Cole was taken in 1908 in Buffalo, New York when he was 16-years-old. It was taken outside of a private school that he attended in Buffalo.
Here is another photo of Arnold Cole at age 13, outside of another private school that he attended in Buffalo, New York, in 1905.This is another photo that shows Arnold Cole in Buffalo, New York as a young man in 1909.
These represent some of the many photos that I have of these of my family ancestors. My grandmother, Bernice, had loads of vintage and antique photos that she kept for many years until she decided to burn most of them in a burn barrel used for burning trash in the back yard of her home. One day, when I was a girl, when I was visiting her and there was “trash” burning in the barrel, I asked what she was burning, and she told me. I remember getting very angry and upset, and stated to her that I wanted the photos, and not to burn any anymore. I could not believe that she would burn such valuable memories related to her family heritage!
Therefore, I have many photos of my family ancestors, but would have had many more had my grandmother not put them up in smoke. Additionally, I used to have many more tin types, especially those of the Henn’s, however when my family moved from Collins to Gowanda, New York around 1992, they were unknowingly discarded by my parents. I was heartbroken that such valuable family treasures had been thrown away.
This photo reflects the 15 tin types of my Gale, Briggs, and Henn ancestry that were accidentally discarded by my parents during my family’s move from Collins to Gowanda around 1992.
Again, as in previous posts of photos of my ancestors, the dates included represent the best possible accurate dates and/or estimates of dates of the images.
References and Sources:
Family photos and information of Bernice Gale Briggs Babcock Sprague from 1860-1987. Collins, New York. Currently the Property of Michele Babcock-Nice (2014). Snellville, Georgia.
Ryther, James F. (Undated). Personal War Sketch of Frederick Henn. Buffalo, New York. From Hamburg (New York) Historical Society, 2001.
“A Wet Summer in the Blue Ridge Mountains” (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)
Last week – the first week of July, 2013 – my son and I spent a couple of days in the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina. The full day that we spent in the mountains was perfect; we hit the weather just right! Our sunny, dry day of activities was sandwiched between two rainy, wet days – the days that we spent driving.
We were blessed and lucky to have a nice vacation day that was so beautiful. There has been so much rain in the South so far this summer that I was worried that our one summer vacation day spent away from home would be a wash, but it wasn’t. Thank goodness; it was perfect for us!
It is always refreshing to get away to the mountains – they are so beautiful and majestic. To be back with nature in it’s fully beauty and greenery is food for the soul. With all of the rain we have had so far this spring and summer, there is an abundance of greenery all throughout the mountains. Usually, we are concerned about the lack of rain that contributes to drought, but not this year.
There has been so much rain that the mosses and lichens growing on the trees tend to look more like Spanish moss. The moss is growing to longer lengths than usual because of the highly wet conditions. Also, there are many more mushrooms and toadstools to be found throughout the forest, as well.
With all of the rain, the rivers, creeks, and streams have been swelling with water. The banks of all of the rivers and creeks that we saw were overpassed, and the water was at a much higher level than usual.
This, however, led to the increased beauty of the falling water at Soco Falls, a beautiful falls near Maggie Valley and Cherokee, North Carolina in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This summer, there was a greater volume of water spewing over the falls – the most that I have seen in my past many years of visiting this lovely natural wonder. It is always refreshing to hear the sound of the waterfalls at Soco Falls.
It is always a wonderful treat to visit and stay in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. Typically, especially for Southerners, going to the mountains in summer is a cool, refreshing retreat from the usual activities of daily life and those hot, humid days. This year, visitors will be even more refreshed by the beautiful greenery; cooler temperatures; abundant water from all of the rains; great opportunities for hiking, fishing, sight-seeing, swimming, horseback riding, and other activities; as well as simply enjoying the peaceful beauty of nature.