Treasures, Treasuries, and Thoughts

I swore I would never do a blog! So much for swearing. I didn't think that I would have much to say or share. I was wrong! I have been so blessed with a wonderful family, loyal friends, sharing colleagues, and the support from so many that I will never run out of topics to write about.

I have opened an on-line store at a place called Etsy (rhymes with Betsy). The items on the left are available for purchase there. These will change from week to week to show you my latest creations. The link to the store is in the upper left corner of this page.

I also have items for sale listed on Art Fire. The link to my Art Fire Studio is

I hope you will visit this blog, my Flickr page ( and my Etsy and/or Art Fire stores often. (

So come along on my Trail of Treasures! It will be a Spirit Journey for me and I invite you to join me on the trip.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Great Memories: Deer Hunting (Part 1)

In the fall of 1964, when my first son Scott was only a few months old, my Daddy invited us to accompany him on a deer hunting trip. Of course with a new baby, I found it hard to think that this was something I wanted to do. However, my husband, who loved both hunting and fishing was beside himself with excitement about the invitation.

He was newly out of the army, had become a new father, and working hard on his Masters at Oklahoma State University at the time. He needed a break and when my Daddy explained that Scott and I would be guests at the host’s home while he and Warren would be at the deer encampment. I could not refuse.

Now I have to tell you a back story that sets the stage for the rest of this one.

In 1938, Daddy, a Muscogee Creek, was on the faculty at the Warm Springs Indian Reservation School in Oregon. Daddy had two sisters, Aunt Mineola and Aunt Mary, who were living in Oregon as well.

This was a new position for him. Previously he had been coaching football in Checotah, Oklahoma. Prior to leaving for his new job, he proposed to my Mother, a red haired, green eyed Irish lass, who lived in Checotah.

Mother accepted his proposal and later took a train from Oklahoma to Oregon to marry my handsome Creek Daddy.. Daddy met her train and took her to the home of one of his older sisters to introduce her to the family members who had gathered.

En route to my Aunt’s home, Daddy taught my Mother a phrase in Creek that he told her would be a proper greeting for her new in-laws. She practiced all the way to the gathering so she would say it just right. Over and over she said it, with him correcting the words when necessary. She finally got it right and was ready for her introduction.

When they arrived and she was presented, without missing a beat, she stated her greeting. Everyone in the room dissolved in loud belly laughter! She was aghast at their reaction. Immediately she realized she had been set up by my Daddy. She had no idea what she had said but knew it wasn’t a proper greeting. The young Irish lass was humiliated and furious with Daddy as she ran from the room.

Unfortunately, I only know a few words in Creek and don’t know how to spell them. Most Indian languages do not have curse words. Insults are about the worst things said. My sweet Mother soon learned that she had greeted her new family by saying “Your butt stinks.”

After being consoled by the Aunts, who assured her that they instantly knew she had been set up by their comedic baby brother, she wiped her tears and joined the group.

This story was often remembered, told at family events and brought laughs for many years. At one such event some 25 years later, my husband was told this story.

Now back to deer hunting.

We arrived at our host’s home. Scott and I were dropped off after meeting our hostess. She said the men were at the encampment. Daddy and Warren left to join them.

Warren wanted to be sure he had our host’s name down correctly before arriving at the camp. He asked Daddy the name. Daddy responded “Cray Ashalintubbi”. He repeated it again. Warren gave it a try. Daddy repeated it. And then, Warren had an epiphaney.

He said, “No way am I going to go into that camp and say “Cray Ashalintubbi”!

Daddy could not understand what the problem was and he once again repeated our host's name. Warren explained to him that he knew the story of his having set up my Mother with a "proper Creek greeting" and he was not falling for it.

Daddy insisted that it was not a set up!

Only when Warren met Cray did he believe the name was for real and not some Creek insult.

Many years have gone by since that first and unfortunately last encounter with the Ashalintubbi’s. But they have never been forgotten due to their warm hospitality, the deer encampment experience, and Warren’s reluctance to greet Cray by his name.

Yesterday while reading my notifications on Face Book, I noticed that a Donna Ashalintubbi had made a post on the Cast Iron Cooking Group page. When I checked, she lives in the same area as the deer encampment we visited so long ago. I had to contact her and she responded. It turns out that her husband is Cray’s nephew. She speculates that her husband would have been about five years old at the time of our encounter with the Ashalintubbi’s and that he and his father were probably there as well.

Memories linger for years and sometimes they make a full circle! It is a small world and some crossings are meant to be. I look forward to learning more about the Ashalintubbi family.

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