The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough. Rabindranath Tagore
Butterflies and Purple Things
- purple mums brought from our California garden when we moved here in 1988
- sweet potato vines from the Flower Ranch
- Texas sized coleus from the Flower Ranch
- creeping thyme step-ables from local garden centers
- native phlox – a gift from a neighbor
- zinnias that self sowed
- rose moss that self sowed
Creativity is always a leap of faith. You’re faced with a blank page, blank easel, or an empty stage. – Julia Cameron
Easels Made Easy
A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin and culture is like a tree without roots. Marcus Garvey
I have been diving into the histories of the families which converged into one and eventually made their home at Maison Steinbüchel, the Kansas Historic Landmark where we have made our home since 1988. I am grateful for the personal history put together in the book “A Living Gravestone” by Elisabeth Wilson Guldner, the daughter of Hermann Joseph Steinbüchel of Cologne, Germany, Marie-Louise’s second husband. In 225 pages she covers, to varying degrees, the family history from the 1100’s up to the death of her mother in 1947.
Stories are Gifts
- To compile family documents and record stories as she recalled them. Reading the book is like having a conversation around a fireplace, as you took a walk or even worked on some task in the kitchen or garden, with her.
- To honor her son who died in WW II and never found. There is a sense of her processing the last of her loss by preserving his story and the story of his family.
- Lastly, a third reason, which I doubt she had any conscious intention of: To provide valuable information on which the basis of an Historic Designation might be granted to a significant property.
As current owners and caretakers of this house, this book provides invaluable information from which to draw on. What a gift. The book is a perfect example of why we all, including you, should record in some way, your stories.
Was ist das Steinbüchel?
I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious – Albert Einstein on Education
Maison Steinbüchel, a Kansas State Historic Landmark and our home, is named for the family of Herman Frederick Steinbüchel , the second husband of Marie-Louise Hahn. I have been digging into the details of the three family lines that converged and lived
in this landmark. The life of this blended family is told in the book “A Living Gravestone” by Elisabeth Guldner, Herman’s daughter. Other posts have outlined their journey to Wichita as well as Herman Steinbüchel ‘s parallel journey to the area.
Education In The Early Years
The Stackman-Steinbüchel children’s education began at home with a governess. Little is known about who this woman was, her exact duties or for how long she worked with the
children. Poking around census and city records has not revealed any details and likely will not, as the records of the 1890 census were for the most part, destroyed in a fire in 1921 She is mentioned only once in the book when when it was stated that Marie-Louise had tried to play match maker with Herman Steinbüchel and her at one point.
Their Grammar school education was received at the Pro-Cathedral school at second and St. Francis. It was run by the St. Joseph Order of Nuns. In looking at this Order’s roots from France, I can’t help but think of the European influence and no doubt having some French spoken among the sisters would have connected Marie-Louise’s language heritage to her children’s daily life, if not her Lutheran faith.
Middle And Upper School Education
At some point when the household was becoming rather over grown with five children, it was decided the three older ones would be sent to boarding school. The two girls were enrolled at Mt. Carmel Academy on the western edge of then Wichita. Friz, (Frederick Charles) was taken to the Catholic Christian Brothers in St. Joseph. Mo.
“Sometimes love isn’t fireworks, sometimes love just comes softly.”
― Janette Oke,
The time-line of Herman’s journey to Kansas where he met Marie-Louise
Abstract: A condensed history, taken from public records or documents, of the ownership of a piece of land.
We have the original abstract of our Kansas Historic Landmark home dating back to the land grant of 160 acres from the Osage Land Trust. It’s existence serves to preserve history far beyond the handing off of property ownership.
In past BLOG posts, I have told how three individual lives, immigrants from France and Germany, converged in Wichita, Kansas. How, through love, hope, taking risks and even tragedy ended up as three blood lines merged into a family for which the Steinbuchel house is named.
It took eight-teen years from the time the land was acquired via land grant, divided, plated and developed until 1905 Park Place was built in 1888. It was another nine-teen years before the blended Hahn-Stackman-Steinbuchel family made it their home in 1907.
Land Trading and Transfers
- 1870 – Land designated for grant from the Osage Trust Lands which were bought in 1820 via treaty
- 1873 – 160 acres, which included the land our house is on, was granted to Mr. George Sharpe
- 1871 – 40 Acres of the original grant was sold to Mr. William Polk
- 1872 – A portion of the land was sold to to Doc Lewellen – the same Lewellen who had the trading post a few blocks south.
The gardener knows how to turn garbage into compost. Therefore our anger, sadness, and fear is the best compost for our compassion.
For over a year I have had an image in my head of a vertical garden at the back of one of our lots. One problem: there were four bins of compost in the spot where this needed to go. The bins were in bad shape and needed redoing, and moving it would be a big job.
- flower beds and borders
- rose gardens
- a secret garden
- an herb garden
- a kitchen garden (the French call it a potager)
- bagging and dragging garden leavings for trash pickup (not to mention the extra cost of bags and hauling)
- bundling of limbs and branches (we have a muncher shredder to speed up the process)
- tramping to the garden center to lug bags of compost home – it just waits for me in my bin until needed.
The Vertical Garden Comes to Light
- T-posts left from other projects (5 x $3.00)
- Four weathered pallets left from the old bins (4 x $5.00)
- Screws and hardware from our stash ($25.00)
- A mixture of hanging baskets I have managed to accumulate over the years, and (of course) ($30-$60.00)
- composted soil and plants
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalms 91:1
Hospitality Is An Action
“In the evenings, if she saw us sitting outside, she’d pull out an unlabeled bottle of local white wine, pour us each a glass and leave the bottle or grill us up some octopus. A little pat on the shoulder for me in the afternoon, a fresh towel at night, a cup of Greek coffee in the morning. Everything Dina did seemed to be touched with a sense of grace and humor. She was as warm as the sun on our yet-to-be-burned shoulders. The words she spoke to me weren’t necessarily understood, but her meaning was always clear. “You are most welcome.”
The Greeks have a word for it, but don’t they seem to have a word for everything? In this case, the word is philoxenia. Philos= love, xeno= stranger. Essentially, the word means “hospitality” but that definition is too facile. One enters a Greek household and one is immediately offered a drink and something to eat. Taking care of a guest’s wants and needs is deeply ingrained into the culture. There is a sense of generosity that seems completely unstrained. As a guest of Dina’s, even though this was ultimately (and I do not mean this cynically) to be. a moneyed transaction, I found her kindness was not something that was paid for. My stay with her completely refreshing in every sense of the word. I felt restored. And I am most grateful.”
I enjoy re-doing and re-making things. I always have. Using leftovers, taking what is on hand and making something useful again:
- Whatever I might have in the pantry or frig becomes a one-time kind of meal.
- Scraps of cloth become a comforter, pillow or something for the wall.
- Scraps of wood become art, wooden trays or even furniture.
- Dad, an auto salvage operator took old cars apart. They were scrapped out for usable parts and metal. Some parts were refurbished and resold, others just reused as is on another vehicle.
- Clothes were re-done and handed down. If they were too worn out, the cloth was remade into quilts, comforters or some other useful item (remember cloth dust rags?).
- Mom composted in the garden and turned grass clippings and leaves into flower beds (no pesticides were used!).