PATCH-IT-ALL ....our family blog

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Harry Patch, Britain's oldest remaining survivor of World War I, passed away yesterday, Saturday, July 25, 2009. He was 111 years old. Do we know if he was a relative? Well, if he was, he was far removed. But he shares our name, and so it does catch our attention.

Wikipedia shares lots of information about Harry, almost all of it referring to his WWI experience. Apparently he refused to speak about the war for almost 100 years. Seriously, he joined the service in 1917 at the age of 19. He finally broke his silence in the past few years, when it became clear that he was one of the last remaining soldiers of WWI in the world! (Of course my sarcastic husband says that is because there is no one left to dispute him!)

He survived 90 days in the trenches at a battle in Battle of Passchendaele while thousands of soldiers died all around him. One of his final acts was to return to this battlefield and lay a wreath of poppies in memory of all those who died, including the German enemy combatants.

"Any one of them could have been me. Millions of men came to fight in this war and I find it incredible that I am the only one left."
—Commenting on graves at a Flanders war cemetery, July 2007
With all his ribbons and medals, Harry despised war. He took no glory in it. He reflected on a moment when he came face to face with a German soldier in combat and thought of the Ten Commandments as he faced him down. Harry shot him in the shoulder, he shot him in the knee, and in the ankle. To his great relief, he brought him down without killing him.

Recalling the death of another soldier Harry said:

"And when that fellah died, he just said one word: ‘Mother.’ It wasn’t a cry of despair. It was a cry or surprise and joy. I think - although I wasn’t allowed to see her - I am sure his mother was in the next world to welcome him. And he knew it. I was just allowed to see that much and no more. And from that day until today - and now I’m nearly 106 years old - I shall always remember that cry and I shall always remember that death is not the end.

You’ve got a memory. You’ve got a brain about the size of a tea cup. I’ve got a memory that goes back for 80 or 90 years and I think that memory goes on with you when you die. And that’s my opinion. Death is not the end."

These are the few things I have learned about Harry Patch and I feel honored to share his name. He has gone on to join his three wives and two sons who passed away before him. Sounds like a Patch to me!

Friday, July 24, 2009


Hi Family, Just got back from Arizona and helping Matt and Anna Marie move to their new house. So, I am sharing a few pics of their new abode. We all love it! Nice big trees in the front of the house and lovely courtyard effect in the front entry. Of course the lovely, big trees are why the plumbing was clogged and the sewer line had to be drilled, but at least that is done now and they can flush again!
Their furniture fits beautifully in the new living room! The previous owners left this lovely big tree in the LR and it really adds. We think it was too heavy to move! Also, notice the plantation shutters. They are beautiful and go through the whole house. Love that they don't have to deal with window treatments!
Here is a corner of the yard with the pool. A darling mural enhances the back wall. I love that potted palm on the right. And cute lampposts! The cool decking is done in blocks, also an attractive feature. There are orange trees on the side of the house along with additional storage sheds.
Kyle, who is almost 18, and his friends moved all the furniture! They were great! Kyle also completed his Eagle Scout project while I was there, along with lots of help from his friends and ward leaders, and especially his MOM! Way to go Kyle! I am so proud of him for that accomplishment!
Darling Danielle sitting in her newly painted bedroom. She is a happy girl! And she is a very good worker! She and her friend Maybry helped pack and clean and carry boxes! They were great! And they never complained!
I was so happy to be able to help out. I love their new house, and you will too! I also loved seeing my relatives while there, going to lunch for Mexican food and visiting!