Eulogy to Mother - Lydia Catherine Sanders George
Author: Zelda Moon - Mayberry
Lydia Catherine Sanders George was born January 20, 1887 at North Branch, Kansas to Arthur and Ella Sanders, the eldest of three children. At the age of 15 she moved with the family from Jewell County, Kansas to Woodland, Idaho in 1895, one of the first families, members of the Friends Faith, to come to Woodland from the same area of Kansas. A log school house had been built by members of the community in 1898 at Woodland, and Lydia attended school there until 1904. In the summer she worked for her grandmother Kenworthy helping in their cheddar cheese factory; and another summer for neighbors, helping in the house, caring for children, doing outdoor chores and hauling water in barrels
for the Wall Canyon Spring.
In the fall of 1904 she started school at Grandeville sharing a housekeeping room in a private home with a friend until they finished their high school education. After having completed the examination for a teaching certificate, she taught for 3 months in a country school at the head of Lawyers Canyon. The next term she taught at the Pleasant View School on the Beaver Slide road.
On Christmas Day, 1905 Lydia Sanders married Lorenzo D. George. To this union were born three daughters and a son. They are Elsie, Maude, Enid, and Arden. During the early years of their marriage, Lydia assisted L.D. in the operation of the Woodland Post Office and General Merchandise Store, but in 1919 L.D. became manager of the Farmers Union Store in Kamiah, and they lived there for two years. At that time the family moved to Clarkston, Washington where further education was available for their children.
In 1933, when the children were all through high school and three of them
through college - they bought another farm at Woodland and returned there to live. After L.D.'s death in 1935, Lydia continued operating the farm with son Ander's assistance until he was married in 1939. At that time she moved back to the original George family home and helped her sister care for their aging father for many years.
Wherever she had lived she was always very active in Sunday School and Church participation with her family. From 1942 to 1975 she was secretary of the Woodland Cemetery Maintenance Board. During that period the whole cemetery was resurveyed and all lots marked with steel corner posts. Name plates were installed on all unmarked graves, the cemetery marked, new fence and gates built, a tool house erected, and arrangements made to provide perpetual care for the plates.
She always took an active part in all progressive activities of the community, giving her time and effort as well as intuitive ideas, and her support and encouragement to others interested in a better environment.
Not having had the opportunity for a music education earlier, she chose to take music lessons along with her children when they were young. A love of the outdoors and beauties of nature prompted many trips into the surrounding country and even travels into other states. She had an insatiable interest in "what was to be seen around the next corner" as she so often stated. Because of this enthusiasm for enjoying new places and new people, and appreciating the world around her, she was a good traveling companion, and her children and friends were happy to accompany her.
Aunt Lydia, as she was known, not only by her niece's and nephews and those of her husband, but by many of the young people in the community, loved people. Little children and young people were a delight to her. Her encouragement of good reading, quality of appropriate poetry to amuse, teach, or ease problems; and her ever ready song to serve those same purposes, were a way of life to her. Her acquaintances were also her friends, and at 90 years of age she was still keeping in touch with childhood friends and their children.
Her list of correspondents was innumerable in the years after the family was raised and she had more time for chosen activities, for she had a keen interest in keeping family ties, and acquainting her immediate family with the lives of their forbears.
This also lead to a concentrated study and compiling of the family genealogy. her collection of family photos, and her snapshots from her many travels were eagerly shared on request, and have been enjoyed by her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and friends.
Among her papers are recorded bits and pieces of her personal thoughts and philosophies more often than not written in verse. The following is a poem she wrote soon after her husband's death.
Let me look at those hills up there
That was dear to his heart and mine
We wandered them once with a pleasure rare
That brought us close to the divine
But now he is gone, and I am left
Alone on the hills of time
And I gather strength from the thought
Of the past, that will help me to make the climb.
Then let me think of other days too
When our children around us were glad
In the home, in the school, in the Sunday School
The pride of their Mother and Dad.
But now we are scattered, with miles between
And our interests are wearied as well
Yet the tie of home still lingers keen
And our hearts with love do swell.
That love of home is akin to the love
That God on his children bestows
And we pray that it draws each soul to him
In reconciled consecrate vows.
It is a very special heritage she is leaving her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren; and, yes, to all of those that knew and loved her. She will always be very much "alive" in our lives.
Her daughters, Maude Chittick and Enid Tripp
THIS OLD CLAY HOUSE
When I'm through with this old clay house of mine,
When no more guide lights thro' the windows shine,
Just box it up and lay it away
With the other clay houses of yesterday.
And with it my friends, do try if you can,
To bury the wrongs since first I began
To live in this house, bury deep and forget
I want to be square and out of your debt.
When I meet the Great Architect supreme,
face to face, I want to be clean.
Of course I know it's too late to mend,
A bad builded house when we come to the end,
But to you who are building, just look over mine
And make your alternations while there is time.
Just study this house - no tears would be shed,
It's like any clay house when the tenant has fled.
I have lived in this house many days all alone,
Just waiting, and oh! How I long to go home.
Don't misunderstand me - This old world divine,
With love binds and flowers and glorious sunshine,
Is a wonderful place and wonderful plan,
and a wonderful, wonderful gift to a man.
Yet somehow we feel when this cycle's complete,
There are clear ones across we are anxious to meet.
We open the book and check up the past
And no more forced balances, this is the last.
Each item is checked, each page must be clean,
It's the passport we carry to our Builder Supreme.
So, when I am thru' with this old house of clay,
Just box it up tight and lay it away,
For the Builder has promised when this house is spent;
To have one all finished with the timber I've sent.
Wile I lived here in this one, of course it will be
Exactly as I have builded, you see,
It's the kind of material we each send across,
And if we build poorly, of course, 'tis our loss.
You ask what material is best to select?
'Twas told you long since by the Great Architect:
"A new commandment I give unto you,
That ye love one another as I have loved you."
So the finest material to send up above,
Is clear, straight - grained timber of Brotherly Love,
(kindness of Rev. Ralph Butler (11-20-65))
Mother heard this read at a friend's memorial and ask the reader for a copy. It apparently had a special meaning to her.