Friday, December 30, 2011
Wednesday, December 7, 2011
I was able to arrange an excellent sub to be with my student at school and so I was set. Then it occurred to me that the museum to which we were going might enjoy having a large pen and ink drawing of a PBY which I had inherited from my father. We have a lot of wall space in our cathedral ceiled living room in Gig Harbor, but when we move to our home in Ilwaco there will be no such wall space. Since my father, who was many things including an artist, did not draw the picture I could part with it and believe that he would have approved so down it came.
Friday, December 2, 2011
I am reminded of the time my daughter-in-law’s ex-husband and his current wife came to our house. Obviously this man is not a prince—if he were my son would have missed out on a special princess—but upon introduction the man is charming. The same cannot be said for his wife who made herself look like “the-world’s-worst-wife” by berating him constantly. The result was that he looked not only charming, but patient. She might have thought that our family would be predisposed to not like this man, but instead we certainly had no respect for her. I think that we can get so caught up in our feelings of being put upon that we forget how our behavior will look to others.
Monday, October 31, 2011
Wednesday, October 5, 2011
I told my friend Smitty that sometimes I need the literary equivalent of a toasted cheese sandwich. It’s not particularly good for your body, but sometimes it comforts the soul. “Morrigan’s Cross,” by Nora Roberts falls into that category. It combines magic, time-travel and vampyres. The first two are things I really like for a good escape and the last is how I got turned on the Anne Rice before she found religion.
Sunday, September 18, 2011
Judy is still beautiful and still sings like an angel, but I was a little disappointed. First of all she fiddled with her ample white hair away too much, fluffing it like a teenage girl, and frankly, she didn’t sing as much as I would have liked. Okay, there was an opening act we hadn’t anticipated. Kenny White turned out to be a joyful find. He’s funny, a cross between a crooner and Randy Newman and can make a grand piano sing. He was on long enough for us to want more (we bought a CD), but not enough to feel it was going to cut into Judy Blue Eyes. Well, Judy managed to do that.
Sunday, September 11, 2011
My second thought was that there might be a reaction to Americans of Middle Eastern heritage similar to what happened to Japanese Americans following December 7th, 1941. I had a personal reason to fear that. My youngest, who was just beginning his senior year in high school, is the son of an Iranian-American. It wasn’t the first time I’d feared for his safety, but previously I’d feared his abduction to Iran as a small child. I had sought the help of the US government then. Now I was worried about what the government would do to Americans of Middle Eastern decent. What other Americans would do. Osama Bin Laden was not Iranian, but there was plenty of prejudice against Iranian Americans (and even Hispanic Americans) during the hostage crisis. Americans have difficulty differentiating between Arabs and Persians.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Back-to-school shoes were at Nordstrom’s (which sold only shoes then), but for the several years of my life they were black and white corrective saddle shoes which did nothing to improve my decidedly flat feet. My consolation was that the girl next door had the black boot type of corrective shoes. It made me feel moderately better. Third grade brought my first soap and water saddle shoes! Gosh, I was excited.
By the mid to late 1970s and into the ‘80s, when I had three and four school age children, back-to-school shopping happened at thrift stores out of necessity and I have school pictures of the older boys in the same shirt—different years. We handed down and wore it out. I told them it was character building. I liked to believe that my children didn’t mind, but that wasn’t entirely true. When my oldest son was old enough for a newspaper job he began working to earn money for his own school clothes and always had a job thereafter.
September was always a thin month with lists of school supplies, emergency packs, school pictures and shoes. Shoes and underwear I bought new. I had an annual every year in high school. Out of the three older children, two of them got annuals their senior year. The third escaped high school for TCC and could not have cared less about annuals. By the time Nadir came along our circumstances had improved. Annuals were purchased for him and I don’t think he cared one way or another as long as he had his black J.C. Penney’s Arizona jeans.
Today we took our Granddaughter Linda for a little last minute back-to-school shopping. School starts tomorrow. I swear that all thoughts of economy and moderation fly out of my head where the grandchildren are concerned, but we landed somewhere in the middle of my back-to-school experiences. I still got dressed up because my mother taught me that you tell people what you think of them by how you dress and I do adore my grandchildren. Lunch was at a teriyaki joint near her home. I miss Fredrick’s and Nelson.
The shopping was done at Fred Meyer where I was happy to use $50 worth of coupons, but still spoiled her well with a pair of her favorite Twinkle Toes shoes and a pair of “stylish boots,” not to mention hair ribbons, tights, a new pink water-bottle and a Sponge Bob Squarepants Golden Book along with a Tinker Bell one for her little sister. Linda’s in second grade this year and excited to start. Grandson Gabriel is home schooled in our home and consequently is liable to be the recipient of things piece meal, but is spoiled just the same. Wait until little Lydia begins school. What fun we will have taking two little girls shopping!
Tuesday, August 30, 2011
Monday, August 29, 2011
The fact that we have not had days of 80 plus degree weather this summer suits me just fine. It wasn’t until I was at a family gathering where my husband’s family was bemoaning the weather this summer and my brother-in-law Corky piped up, “I’ve been loving the weather.” At last, another one! I wasn’t alone!
Part of my delight with the weather is that Autumn is my favorite season. That is counter intuitive because Autumn is when my break from my job with the school district is over and I have to go back to work. Autumn is my compensation for that. Other than having to get up in the dark each morning to go to work, what is not to like about Autumn? And I don’t so very much mind the dark anyway. I love the colors, smell and feel of Autumn, plus it is the season of my two favorite holidays, Halloween and Thanksgiving.
As we rejoice in the bounty of the gifts with which Mother Earth has rewarded our labor, the She and we prepare ourselves for the quiet, inward turning of the winter--cold quiet days when we recharge and contemplate the turning of the wheel of life.
In truth the Ancient Celts, for whom I have a great deal of love and respect, viewed the month we call August as being the beginning of Autumn. The holiday of Lugnasa was the first harvest festival and occurred on the first of August. If we are harvesting then are we not in the harvest season? And even though the nights do not yet have that nip in them that I so love, there is a Vine Maple out in Chinook who has already dressed herself in shades of orange.
So although I shall be sad to leave our home by the sea I return to a job that is mostly agreeable and to the pleasure of the Autumnal Equinox which happens to be my husband’s birthday and when he will catch up with me!
Thursday, August 18, 2011
A sign in the bedroom of my cottage at the sea reads “I come to the sea to breathe.” When I saw it in a shop I had to have it because it describes my feeling upon arriving at the sea—I can breathe. It is not that the air in Gig Harbor is so very foul. On the contrary, many mornings I marvel at the smell of the Doug Firs and flowers, but there you don’t have the smell of the sea.
Last night we took the dog and went to the Sid Snyder beach approach and walked along the boardwalk to the mid-point where we plunked ourselves down to watch the sunset. I let the sound of the breakers and the wind in the grass and smell of salt and seaweed wash over me, releasing the stress of my early summer and savoring the icy blue the ocean becomes just at sunset.
I love the sea in all it's moods from stormy to peaceful. During the Easter storm several years ago Dave went up to North Head Lighthouse to look at it. I prefer that stormy sea from the comfort of our car on a beach approach, but the power of the breakers crashing on shore is both humbling and energizing.
I know for a fact that there are people who live on the coast who go for weeks, months and even years without getting out on to the beach. I don’t understand it. I’m not just talking about folks like my mother who do not have a car and can’t go unless someone takes them. I’m talking about perfectly fit people so caught up in their day to day lives that they never stop and smell the sea. They live in one of the prettiest parts of the world and fail to realize it. I am very sorry for them.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
It is true that to teenagers who came across Lake Washington from Seattle to dance at the Lake Hills Roller Rink on Saturday nights, we may have appeared affluent. We certainly were middle class and the housing tracts we lived in quintessential post WWII suburbs. But even within Bellevue there was stratification. I grew up in Lake Hills in the eastern part of Bellevue. Lake Hills was not considered as affluent as “old” Bellevue and some of the swankier housing tracts. My mother chronically suffered from house envy.
Bellevue in the 1950s (my parents and I moved to Bellevue in 1957) was nothing like the Bellevue of today. The downtown area was a few blocks of buildings on which there was a three story height restriction. There were grocery stores downtown and in the housing tracts which were populated largely by veterans of WWII and purchased with VA loans. Initially when we moved there from Seattle my mother and I dressed up in our Sunday best and took the bus or car (we had one for years and my father ride-pooled to Boeing) to Seattle to shop at department stores. I still remember when Fredrick & Nelson built a store in downtown Bellevue and how relieved I was to not make, what seemed to a child, long boring trips to buy whatever it was my mother thought we couldn’t live without.
The student parking lot at Sammamish High School only held about a dozen cars. At Gig Harbor High School where I work the student parking lot is several times larger than the staff lot and sprinkled with BMWs and F150s. Most of us rode the bus to school all three years. The boys who had cars were is large demand by the girls, thus eliminating the need for having parents cart them on dates. Those of us who had cars had ones that were ten years or older, not bright, shiny new ones. The gearheads, boys who knew cars inside and out, took great pride in keeping their cars looking nice and running well. In the district where I work the automotive program has been ghettoized by being moved out of town to another city where today’s gearheads are bused for part of the day. Talk about elitist. Although available to students, our district doesn’t want the program visible. The former automotive classroom houses a weight room now. I have no idea if the Bellevue high schools still have automotive programs.
During the 1950s and ‘60s the Bellevue School District was considered the best in the state, but apparently it wasn’t a given that everyone received a proper education. With elementary classes as large as 40, teachers had their hands full just keeping us in line. My first and second grade classes sat in alphabetical rows and there was little cooperative learning. It is not surprising that there were students whose learning styles fell outside of the set curriculum and fell through the cracks. Only recently did I learn that one of my classmates never learned to read until well on his way to senior citizen status. That fact that he has learned late in life is proof that he could have learned then if someone had had or taken the time to figure out a different way to present the material. But there are stories like this in all school districts, although it makes my heart ache at the years of pleasure this man missed in recreational reading, much less reading that would have helped him in his job life. Fortunately he’s making up for lost time.
From a distance our lives might have been viewed at perfect. Most of our parents owned their own homes, many of the fathers worked at Boeing; most of the mothers were stay-at-home moms. We undoubtedly looked bright and shiny ourselves on that June evening in 1969 when we walked across the stage and received our diplomas. Despite what other communities might have thought, we were not born with silver spoons. For the most part our Depression Era parents worked hard to give us what they had not had and that level of comfort allowed our generation to cause a social and political upheaval, the ramifications—both good and bad—are still felt today.
The only time I have demurred at telling people where I was raised was to people unfamiliar with the Puget Sound Area. Back in the 1960 and ‘70s if you said you were from Bellevue, WA you were frequently met with a blank stare. If you said Seattle, well that was a city they understood. Where the World’s Fair was, right? No, if anything makes me loath to claim my hometown it is what it represents now. I’m glad we grew up there when we did. Not all of our families were Father’s Knows Best, but we were better off than many. I wonder what they young people of Bellevue today think of their hometown.
Monday, August 15, 2011
The ten year reunion it was essentially just exactly like high school. (photo courtesy of Jodi Ruddenberg)
I wasn’t going to post a blog today. I don’t have time. We are getting ready to go back to my beloved old house on the Long Beach Peninsula. It’s been a wonderful weekend and if I don’t write about it I will be sorry and by the time I have regular Internet access the blush may be off the bloom so to speak, but I doubt it.
Saturday was magical. After not having any reunions for twenty years, our high school class of 1969 has taken to having them yearly. We have a lot of time to make up for. Last year was wonderful, but too hot. This year the crowd was smaller and the weather was Baby Bear perfect. The smaller crowd meant that I was able to talk to everyone save one who sneaked away when I wasn’t looking.
Prior to one intrepid classmate taking the bull by the horns and organizing our 40th reunion we’d only had two. The ten year reunion it was essentially just exactly like high school. Everyone stood around with the same folks they had stood around with in high school. It was all rather ill planned from the motel in Issaquah, where we did not grow up, to the Vienna sausages on tooth picks and the fact that our dance music came from another group in a room next door. They opened folding doors and we got to see the back of the band. It was miserable.
Things were a little better at our 20th reunion. I was delighted to see so many familiar faces, but at this point people were anxious to impress each other with their accomplishments. We did grow up in Bellevue and the expectation was that everyone had been to four or more years of college and were highly successful. I hadn’t, but that didn’t stop me from having a good time, but even I held onto some of the high school sensibilities. I found the dentists and lawyers insufferable in their need to impress and I became hysterical when a cheerleader and one of the women from what we called the “sosh” clique discovered that they’d come in the exact same beautiful cream colored suit. I thought it was a Kodak moment and nearly rolled on the floor. Not very mature, but would have made a great scene in a movie.
I’ve written previously about my experience at our 41st get-together, about how none of that stuff matters anymore and this year was even sweeter. It was gratifying to watch a couple of people who had never been to a reunion and who had agonized about attending, come to the realization that we are just a bunch of old people, mostly grandparents, who have a shared history. We were a diverse bunch—a plumber, a musician, a Sufi, mechanics, teachers, artists. We spoke the names of those who are no longer with us with the knowledge that at our age there will be more and more on that list.
I felt thirsty to hear everyone’s stories. Some I hadn’t known a whit in high school and now I wanted to know everything from what it had been like in high school for them to what they are doing now and hope to do. One woman, so dear to me in junior high, had left at the end of our sophomore year and my heart sang to see her.
There were tears and a lot of laughter.
I must not have been alone in this hunger for connecting with our roots because this year people lingered all the way through the evening until darkness, mosquitoes and park closure sent us on our ways with promises to get together again before another twelve months have gone by and determined to find more of the missing.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
(picture courtesy of Jodi & Tim Ruddenberg)
Today we got to indulge in one of our favorite summer activities, the Tacoma Thursday Farmer’s Market. The bulk of our time this summer has been spent on my beloved Long Beach Peninsula and been busy caring for extended family and their pets and home improvements. Coming back to Pierce County this week has been more relaxing and when Dave suggested we take a trip across the bridge to Tacoma’s Farmer’s Market that happens every Thursday during the summer.
We were gratified to see lots of people taking advantage of buying right from farmers, butchers, bakers and candle makers. After checking out a few of the stalls and deciding what we’d come back and get, we made a beeline for something to eat. There is a whole section of food vendors on the plaza next to the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts, but we chose two down along the street. Dave got Mexican from a taco truck and I had a turkey-cream cheese-cranberry sandwich on a rosemary bagel. Yum!
When our lunch was finished we got a cookie to share from the bagel man and then strolled the rest of market, stopping to listen to a street musician doing Cab Callaway tunes. On the way back up Broadway we stopped and bought organic raspberries and beets before heading home.
On the way home we talked about living locally. It is Dave’s and my belief that the best way we can spend our limited income is in purchasing straight from the folks producing the products we want. Imported products, particularly Chinese products, are inescapable, but whenever we can we prefer to keep our money in the community because it fuels the local economy and makes for a smaller footprint on the Earth.
(picture courtesy of Jodi & Tim Ruddenberg)
Another activity that we believe is important to the environment, health and finances are backyard gardens. Our house in Gig Harbor is surrounded by Doug Firs which makes for a cool house in the summer, but for little in the way of garden. Nevertheless, we admire those who can and do grow much of their own food. An example of our food heroes are Jodi and Tim Ruddenberg on Camano Island. “I have always raised food for the family, not to sell. We give away virtually all our excess to family, friends, and neighbors, “says Tim, a photographer by trade.
“It is such a labor of love for us and worth all the shoveling, weeding, and mucking about in manure. Living, farming, buying locally is dear to us, but our concern is always price. I suppose that is why we give our garden away. Seems that those who need it the most are the least likely to afford it. My interest lately has been longer term consecutive crops, late Fall and early Spring crops, and overwintering crops. We really don't need to buy anything during the season.”
Local farmers know each other and while “chatting” with Tim he mentioned that their friends Don and Elaine had just stopped by and he’d chatted with him about gardening. They own Open Gate Farm on Camano, have a roadside stand and Don bakes. If you get up their way, check them out. I’m itching to get to Camano to see Jodi and Tim and when we see them at our high school class picnic I may try to wangle and invite for this fall.
The Ruddenbergs keep chickens as do our friends Sydney and Nyel Stevens of Oysterville. We have chicken envy and this year Dave attended a chicken workshop at the Proctor District Farmers Market and there may be chickens in our future. We have a good safe spot behind our garage and living outside the city limits of Gig Harbor should not have trouble with ordnances.
picture courtesy of Jodi & Tim Ruddenberg)
(In her blog Sydney of Oysterville, Sydney Stevens recently wrote about an editable garden tour on the Long Beach Peninsula and a conversation she had with the educator in charge of the Career and Technical Education of the Ocean Beach School District, Mark Simmons, and possible sustainable gardening projects for students. That got my educator juices flowing and so I asked Tim Ruddenberg what he thought about creating more backyard farmers by teaching it to students. “I am in favor of as much exposure as possible. I work with homeless kids on the weekend, and we have started a garden for them. Most kids don't have a clue,” Tim told me.
I believe that Americans need to change their relationship with food for the sake of their health, pocketbooks and the environment. The activity at the Thursday Market certainly gave me hope and the idea of creating a new generation of backyard Victory-type gardeners is exciting. There are farmers’ markets all over the country this time of year so get out and get up close and personal with your food!
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
You cannot help but feel at peace there.
Although not Catholic this summer I visited The Grotto in Portland, OR. My cousin had told me about it last fall and after visiting her in a hospice house in Vancouver last month I decided that I would go and was very glad I did.
When you drive into the Grotto parking lot and step out of your car, you leave behind the city—the world. Regardless of your religious inclination the feeling of peace and serenity settles around you like a soft blanket. The huge Doug Firs and rhododendrons absorb the noise of the city and perhaps the prayers of the millions of visitors since Father Ambrose Mayer brought to fruition in 1924 a promise he had made to God as a child—to do something great for the Church.
The Grotto itself is carved from an old Union Pacific Railway quarry which Fr. Mayer, a Canadian Catholic priets, made a down payment of $3,000 and his faith in 1923. An altar stands in the carved out rock hillside with a copy of Michelangelo’s Pietà above. The Church of Our Sorrowful Mother stands just beyond the Grotto. Being of limited time that particular day I did not go into the church nor explore the extensive grounds that include an elevator ride to the top of the grotto, but I did go into the gift shop, purchase a candle and light it for my cousin, asking for an easy passage for her.
From the website you will see that there are many beautiful services done throughout the year including one on August 15th for the celebration of what Catholics believe was the assumption of Mary into heaven. Religiously eclectic myself, I must admit to feeling the appeal of focus on the feminine aspect of spirituality and would recommend a visit to Portland’s Grotto regardless of your spiritual persuasion. It is hard to believe that you are in the midst of a large city and you cannot help but feel at peace there.
Monday, August 8, 2011
As this past week has shown, things don’t really seem to be getting better in this country. I’m still hoping for change, but angry that the regressives in this country seem to be having their way. The rich get rich and the poor get poorer and in the meantime it’s sometimes hard to see the fun.
When the bubble burst, stock market crashed, and the Great Recession started in ’08 I figured that we’d hunker down, tighten our belts and wait it out. In the meantime my husband’s job was eliminated. True, he had retirement from 25 plus years with the FAA, but that is a half salary and there are not a lot of jobs for aging airtraffic controllers in the private sector. True, he could have continued working for the company that took over his sector of the FAA, but it would have meant relocating to undesirable parts of the country (Sorry, Texas, Arizona, and Virginia) leaving behind aging parents. His unemployment is due to run out in October and my live-in son and I will be receiving a 2% pay cuts this year.
I have a friend who insists that circumstances are a matter of visualization and attitude. It is hard to be optimistic right now. My daughter-in-law has taken to not watching the news and reminding me that we have each other and our heath. Blessings indeed, but that hardly makes the mortgage payment on a house worth less than it was three years ago. I probably should stop listening to the news, too, but I'm too much of a junkie to do that. The belt is going to have to come in a few more notches and yet economists can’t seem to agree. Is the recession over? Are we going into a double-dip recession? If this isn’t a recession, what the heck is it?
Saturday, August 6, 2011
I thought it was emblematic of the day
Summertime is the season of reunions, familial and school. My in-laws have a reunion/family barbeque planned for this summer at their home before moving into assisted living. My husband and my high school picnic is the day before the family event so we will be busy that weekend. I am excited about both. My husband’s family is large and most amiable and I have come to value each and every of our classmates, regardless of our relationship, or lack thereof, in high school so I look forward to lively conversations all around.
One of the perks of becoming a senior citizen vs. a high school senior is having a grasp of who we are and what is important. All the labels such as “jocks,” ” socishes,” and “motor heads” have made way for “grandma” and “grandpa.” We are classic members of the Boomer Generation, raised in the post-WWII ‘burbs. Most of our daddies fought in WWII and many of those men went to work for the Boeing Company the wages for who fueled the Bellevue School District to afford us an excellent education. In short, regardless of any differences we perceived amongst ourselves growing up, in truth we were more alike than different.
The class of 1969 of Sammamish High School is pretty disorganized. Were it not I would not have been involved in organizing reunions the past two years. I was not a part of high school activities—far from it. I ran with a group who identified itself as anti-establishment, anti-war, and anti-school culture. How ironic then that, when twenty years had passed since our 20th reunion, with no sign of gathering, it was one of our number who took it upon himself to organize one. And he roped me into helping locate classmates.
Due to a conflicting family commitment and Dave having to work, we did not make it to the 40th picnic, but made it a point to attend the 41st. Even at our 20th reunion I’d felt a difference in how our classmates related to each other, but by the 41st all I felt was joy at seeing people, many of whom I had known since childhood and many of whom I wanted to know better. Because I didn’t run with the “in-crowd” there were plenty of picnickers whom I’d never spoken to. One of them, one of the most popular girls in school, arrived late, but made a point of thanking me for having arranged the picnic. I kept telling people that it was Smitty, not me, but I was the most visible on Face Book so I was getting the credit. Anyway, I thought it was emblematic of the day that one of the most beautiful and popular girls at school, whose notice I’d been beyond, genuinely seemed grateful to me. I did not know that she was seeing into my heart and mind.
I felt I had plenty of grist for the blog mill, but was exhausted by the time we got home and lo, my thunder was stolen by above mentioned woman who it would seem has as beautiful a heart as face. For someone with whom I believed I had never had anything in common with she managed to take the words right out of my fingers, creating the exact perfect end to a perfect day.
Now we are approaching our 42nd year picnic and I eagerly anticipate seeing many of the faces of my childhood, all of whom are most beloved. As the Baby Boom Generation we grew up during a unique time in American history and in our case, the quintessential ‘50s, post WWII suburb of Bellevue.
Sunday, July 17, 2011
When I was a child my mother kept a jar of buttons. I thought it was fascinating. The buttons were all sizes, colors and textures. Mother had saved them from clothing that had worn out and could tell you about the pieces the salvaged buttons had come from. They told stories of clothing my parent had owned before I was born in much the same way my grandmother’s quilts did of an even earlier time. If a button was lost from one of my father’s white shirts that he wore to work at the Boeing Company, out came the buttons for the search for another. My parents were raised during the Great Depression and didn’t throw away much.
I don’t think buttons have ever been inexpensive. Go to Joann Fabrics and price buttons now and you won’t want to pay $5 for a card of four buttons just to replace one on a cuff or front placket. Even now it’s good to have a jar of buttons on hands. I save several. Besides saving them from our family’s worn-out clothing I’ve purchased them, but not on expensive cards at a retail store. Obviously my mother and I are not the only old ladies with jars of buttons. Other old women pass away and their families don’t realize the treasure they’ve been left in those jars and the jars end up at barn sales and thrift stores.
My most recent acquisitions came from my ex-mother-in-law. When Mom C passed away and Dad C went to live in assisted living my children and grandchildren were invited to come to the house and take whatever they wanted. My then six-year-old grandson Gabriel wanted his Great-Grandma’s buttons. They sat untouched in his room for a year until his mother decided that space being at a premium, the buttons would have to make way for action figures and puzzles. Because Gabriel was saving money for a personal DVD player I offered to buy them from him and he readily accepted.
Mom C’s collection of buttons was huge and fascinating.
And too good to keep to myself. While sorting through the vast collection, sorting them by color, I found some so unusual that I knew that there was a future for them beyond the possibility of my children sending them to the thrift store sometime in the future. I have a friend whom I’ve known since high school who is an artist. Marlys sews what she terms wearable art from fabric she finds in thrift stores and since many pieces are shirts running the gamut from mid-century pop to the exotically beautiful. Some of the buttons were so small I could not see how they could be anything but decoration and I knew that Marlys would know what to do with them as well as some sets of unusual buttons that were just screaming her name. I popped them into the mail for what Marlys declared was Christmas in July.
My buttons don’t just sit on a closet shelf waiting for some clothing malfunction. To me they are art. The jar with the red and green ones comes out at Christmas to nestle amongst vintage ornaments on the breakfront in my kitchen. The purple ones sit in a jar with my amethyst glassware in an antique kitchen cupboard. I have oranges and yellows for fall and jars of white, blue, black and pink. I know that people sell vintage buttons in shops and on eBay and since I will be getting a pay cut come fall, I might try my hand at it.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
I have been gone from my blog for nearly a year. Last summer my life got crazy caring for my aging mother and then when I returned to school last fall I had a much busier schedule that left me satisfied, but exhausted. This summer has not been much better. My mother is better, but her sister is worse and my cousin worse still so I’ve run errands and walked dogs, done laundry and dried backs and a lot of the time while at our summer home we’ve not had an Internet connection. I have discovered that there is a coffee shop with WiFi where I hope to post some blogs during what is left of my summer. Below is something I jotted down before the end of school, but until now had not had time to post. It is ridiculous, as most of my thoughts are, but after a year away here it is:
Recently I attended a bridal shower for one of my nieces. The hostess had set out a basket of cards and some metallic pens with a sign directing the guests to write a piece of advice for the bride. One of my daughters-in-law’s advice was to not listen to advice. Probably that was the best advice. With three marriages to my credit (or discredit) I am probably not the best person to give marriage advice. I doubt if brides ever take this sort of advice seriously anyway, but this was better than those stupid shower games so on a whim I grabbed a card and wrote “Remember to cream your elbows.”
My first mother-in-law, whom I revere to this day, said she could “tell the cut of someone’s jib by their elbows.” Mom C had been in the Navy so her turn of phrase was not as surprising as her observation. When I asked about it she said that if someone had grimy, dry elbows it showed a lack of attention to one’s hygiene and sloppiness in other areas of their life. It made me pay attention to my own elbows.
Think of how we abuse our elbows. They get a workout every day as we use our arms to carry things, eat, hug loved ones. When we are tired or sad, what do we lean on? At least one if not both elbows. Like any friend they need care. I make sure mine don’t grimy and stay soft. I cream them every day before I dress and as I do, I think of Mom C.