Sepia Saturday – (S)No Shoveling

Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs. Historical photographs of any age or kind become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images.

Winter in central Texas has been even milder than usual. In February the temperature has already reached 85 degrees and many days have seen the upper 70s. The apple tree in our back yard (an Israeli variety) is full of buds and a couple have blossomed. One of my friends recently posted a screenshot on Facebook of her weather app showing a temp of 75 degrees and wrote: “January helps me survive August here.”

So true!

Anyway, I thought about posting our rare (but not sepia) pictures of the few times we have had measurable snow in the past 15 years, but as I looked through some of the older family pictures, I came across one that seemed perfect for this week’s prompt.

Here we have snow, houses in the background, window coverings, a short fence (or porch railing) partially hidden by snow, a post, warm hats and coats. Most important, though, are the people with snow shovels who are not shoveling. And a bystander – or in this case – a bysitter.

The photograph came from my Grandmother’s photo album and was probably taken in Weedsport, New York during the winter of 1940-41. The cute kids are the children of Fred and Carol Webber, my great aunt and uncle. (Fred being my Grandmother Abbie’s younger brother.)

Now take a break from your shoveling and warm yourself while visiting other Sepia Saturday bloggers.






Family Recipe Friday – Chocolate X 2

Since this week has been devoted to the Fred and Carol Webber family, I’m sharing two recipes I received from their daughter Dee. I’ll get back to my Mom’s recipes next week.

Both recipes involve chocolate and the accompanying note says, “You can see that we are chocolate lovers.”

We share the chocolate gene!

The note also says that this first recipe was usually made by Ted as he was growing up.
I love this picture, by the way! Do you see the “So lovely” embroidered on Chris’s dress?

Dolores, Ted, Chris, Bea


2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 squares chocolate
butter or margarine size of walnut
1 teaspoon vanilla – add after cooking

Boil 8 minutes. Stir in vanilla. Pour in buttered pan. Cool.

****  The second recipe is for chocolate cake and it comes with three names. A cake with three names must be a family favorite! If you missed the story about Fred Webber baking his first apple pie, you can read it here.


1/2 cup shortening
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
1 ounce chocolate – melted
2 cups flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 cup evaporated milk

Combine shortening, salt and vanilla; add sugar and cream until light. Add eggs, one at a time; add chocolate and blend well. Add flour and baking powder alternately with milk.

Put into two well-greased and floured round cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.


1 3-ounce package cream cheese
4 tablespoons milk
dash salt
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
1 ounce melted chocolate
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Soften cheese with milk; add salt; add sugar gradually; add chocolate and vanilla and beat until smooth. Put on cool cake.

****  I have company coming in a few days. Sounds like a good excuse to bake a chocolate cake….




Treasure Chest Thursday – Me, My Great-Uncle Fred, and a Love Story

I am sharing several posts about my great-uncle and great-aunt, Fred and Carol Webber, this week. The 80th anniversary of their wedding was Tuesday.

I don’t really have any memories of Fred and Carol Webber. We lived many states away from one another and we didn’t often visit relatives at the same time. But here I have a photograph of what was probably our first introduction to one another. I look quite happy in his arms.

This picture was taken at the home of my great-grandparents, Dorinda Strange Webber and Myron David Webber. There was a lot of picture-taking that day, so I’m going to add a couple more. The back of one of the pictures says that I was 4 months old, so these must have been taken sometime in February 1954.


The 2nd treasure for today is a family story. I meant to include it here, but didn’t yet have permission from the story-teller to use it. As told by Fred’s and Carol’s son Ted (“The Strange Webber Connection” Spring 2000):

One of the greatest things I heard about Fred Webber I heard after he died. Mom told me this story and I think it is nothing short of being a great love story. Excuse any poetic license I may use in telling this story, because I don’t remember each and every detail. I have told this story to my friends and they also find it to be an amazing story.

It seems that Mom received a call that Dad would be late. Maybe the call came late and Dad had to go out late. It doesn’t really matter. What matters is that he was gone, was out the entire night, didn’t call and let Mom know where he was. Quite assuredly, Mom was upset over the evening. Dad came back to the house the next morning, got dressed for work, went to work and said not a word about the incident.

It was years later, maybe at the going away party when they left Hamburg, that a woman came up to Mom and told her how much Dad meant to her. It seems that on the night in question, this lady had to have her son committed to a mental institution. She was totally stressed out and Fred Webber was there for the entire night helping her with what had to have been the most difficult night of her life.

To me this story tells the whole story of Fred Myron Webber. He lived to serve other people. He loved others and loved making life better for others. That he did what he did and kept his sanity is hard to believe.

It also tells of the great love Carol and Fred Webber had for each other. Dad, out all night, had enough confidence in Mom’s love to just go to work the next day. Mom had enough confidence in Dad’s love to assume  nothing. How many marriages can go through a night like that without any stress and strain?

Thanks for sharing this wonderful story, Ted!