Welcome to Finding Promise.  In this space we will climb our family tree, finding promise, hope, stories, and more than a few nuts along the way.   I’ve decided to call it Finding Promise because many of our ancestors moved west and settled in Promise, Oregon in the Wallowa Mountains.  They too were looking for Promise. Family stories say that our ancestors settled in Promise because the area reminded them of the mountains and hollers of Appalachia, where they were from.

My vision for this site is to share the family history in a place where all of the family who is interested can easily find it.  There will be pictures, stories, and where to find the gravestones of our ancestors.  Please share your stories, your photos with me.  And if I have something wrong, please let me know so that it can be fixed!

I am Paula Kaye (Sannar) Niziolek.

I am the daughter of Thomas Alvin and Janice Sharon (Simmons) Sannar

and the granddaughter of:

Charles Alvin and Shirley Marcilee (Kennison) Sannar


Rolin Clay and Leoma Nesta (Dallas) Simmons

 It’s very nice to meet you!

Enjoy your travels through the pages of our shared story.



I Am From Hammer and Nails 

I am from hammer and nails, from Avon and fishing poles.

I am from the cool feel of the big stone porch on a hot summer day

Where the sound of laughter and the clink of dishes

Makes you know that you are safe.

I am from brick.

I am from the pine tree’s and the aspen whispering in the soft mountain wind,

from the purple lilacs and the soft buzzing bee’s.

I am from the wild onions that leave their taste in the fresh cow’s milk.

I am from fourth of July sparklers,

strong women,

lumber yards

and crackling fires.

I am from the love of Rolin and Leoma,

the strength of Toot and Shirley,

and the storms of Tommy and Janice.

I am from shallow pockets and deep love.

From “This too shall pass”


“Rise and shine in the early morning”.

I am from Vacation Bible School with the smell of glue

and Mom next door teaching a class.

From cherry tree’s and hot August days at the county fair.

I am from Cricket Flat and Denmark,

Alaska and England.

From pumpkin pie and biscuits.

From the young man who drowned in the Grande Ronde River,

the grandmother who tossed the Christmas tree out the window

and from the woman who longed to be a writer.

I am from a dusty cardboard box in the attic,

letters under the bed,

and from diaries lost long ago.

I am from the carpenter and the country girl.

~Paula Niziolek


Purchase my first book here – Dancing Around the Maypole 

Dancing Around the Maypole This is a small collection of short stories about my memories of living in Ketchikan, Alaska as a young girl in the 1970’s.  One story about snow piling up so high that when Grandpa walked out the door, I could no longer see him;  A story about going to work with Dad and getting a ride in a Grumman Goose airplane. and six more stories of childhood adventures.