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Archive for the ‘Memories’ Category

platter of sandwiches

I used to make up 12 or more sandwiches for when “the kids” (our grandgirls) came for a visit.

Ham and cheese, Ham and no cheese, roast beef with mustard or without, turkey plain, turkey with mayo and mustard, turkey with lettuce, or without….. ad infinitum.

And those sans would somehow evaporate in one afternoon!

Lately our grandgirls are beginning to evaporate too.

Two are out of college and beginning adult lives in different states.  One remains in a college close by.  We just attended the middle girl’s graduation and celebrated her degree in Business/Marketing, but couldn’t make the older girl’s because it was the same day, only in Michigan.

Us n Kendall

Wonder who the graduate is?  Both Kendall and Grammy are wearing school colors May 5, 2017.

We had a surprise visit this week from Jessica and what a joy she is!  And how happy we were to see her since she will not only be embarking on a career in Human Resource Management and a new life in another state, but first she going on a trip to Tibet!

Jess Graduates Grad Schl

The big smile in front is Jess.

These days, it is folly to make up huge platters of sandwiches for the onslaught of “the kids” who used to all descend at once.  What fun we all had making memories with trips to Safari Park, the Dollar Store, the lake and the pool, games of jacks and scrabble, and just all “vegging out” watching SpongeBob Square Pants on television.

SpongeBob_SquarePants_characters_cast

It is a little sad, but I no longer ask the question, “Mustard or Mayo?”

One of the last times they were all three here together, they made a stir fry dinner and wouldn’t even let me in the kitchen!

Perhaps soon it will be the reverse and when I come to visit them they will ask ME –

“Mustard or Mayonaise?”

 

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Roadside Vision

I have cars on the brain maybe.

On the road to town there is an old car

that reminds me of old photos Mom saved.

Her pictures always struck me as from a Once Upon a Time era that was never truly real.

But the car I pass en route to town

is a daily reminder of a living past.

I found a photo Mom saved of her family’s new car, but Bill said, “No, that isn’t the same one we see on the way to town.”  Or, is it?

Grandpa's New Car

The Grandparents’ New Car – No Date provided.

Does anyone know anything about this Once Upon a Time vehicle that belonged to my grandparents?

What year is it?  And what make?  And I wonder how much it was to buy?

Even if it is not a match for today’s roadside version, it still stirs my imagination and I yearn to take a trip back in time.

Oh for a visit to my grandparents who must have been excited to have a new car, to the aunts and uncles and cousins who may have lined up to see it, and the kids who wished for the keys.  

They were my own family and their lives went by before I ever got to know them.  But they are all somehow lingering and alive in that flat tired, beat up apparition I  see almost every day on the way to town.

 

 

 

 

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babyalicesuck-good-01-01-1932-171-M3

Image from www. vintage-ads.livejournal.com

I have suffered numerous bad habits over the years, beginning with Thumb Sucking.

My parents tried everything including rubbing something on that tasted bad.  Nothing worked.  Finally, on the first day of kindergarten the teacher announced, “Look around children.  We have a baby in the room.”  And there they were all looking at ME!  I do love commanding attention (still) but that was the last day of thumb sucking.

Then in the teen years there was the Nail Biting habit.

Would you say these habits were symptoms of an insecure personality?

In those days, long fingernails were a sign of beauty (but mostly a sign of control over one’s habitual impulses).  I proudly decided to stop nail biting and stopped.  Congrats to that determined young woman.

Smoking was another horrible habit which took hold for years until I stopped “cold turkey”.

I still feel rather smug and self-righteous about that and sincerely try not to lecture friends about the evils of smoking.

Oddly enough, Rubbing-it-In can become a habit too.

But now my latest habit involves Reading Books!

READING BOOKS?

Habitual reading maybe?

Habitual reading of special interest books?

Too much reading?

Too much of the same kind of reading?

No, No, No and No.

What happened the other night revealed  an entirely new habit to break.

The story goes like this:  I was reading a “real book.”

The definition of a real book is one you can hold in your hands and turn pages.  If you are destructive you can even write in it or turn down page corners (but this is a travesty and can be considered inhuman behavior).

Anyway, I was reading a real book for a change and suddenly found myself tapping the side of the page.

Nothing happened so I tapped again.

Then I tapped more aggressively.

Nothing happened.

Until it finally clicked in that I was not reading on my Kindle, and could not tap the margins of a real book to make it turn a page.

 I had to turn the page myself!

Talk about a strange habit in late life!

THE PAGE TAPPING HABIT!

THE KINDLE READING HABIT.

THE HABIT OF READING BACKLIT PAGES WITH NO PAPER CORNERS.

THE HABIT OF TAP TOUCHING THE MARGIN TO GET TO THE NEXT PAGE.

This habit of page tapping has become so ingrained I may need lessons on how to read a real book – the kind you can find in the library – or at least some libraries.

I hear some university libraries are doing away with real books and going fully digital.

Yikes!

Any suggestions for a cure though?

I am a Habitual Page Tapper and need help to break the habit.

 

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jessica-1st-grade-picasso

 A watercolor painting by a first-grader Grandgirl.

A child-painted bird house too sweet to expose to the elements.

painted-bird-house

And a trio of little ones painted this watering can to celebrate Spring!

painted-watering-can

Handcrafted gifts from young-uns are memories by design.

A nostaligic art form that makes our house a home.

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Viola was a local  Virginia “character” who took pride in having an independent streak.  She was forthright and fiercely opinionated, and loved beautiful things.  And she was a beloved friend whose gifts over the years are things I still cherish.  They were old gifts she found in antique stores and one-of-a-kinds for the young me.

Sadly, we lost Viola, but there are wonderful reminders of her all over my home.  She was a friend who put extra thought into gift giving.

cookie-platter

  • A beautiful scalloped edged platter I still use to serve cookies.

  • An art deco bowl that makes bananas seem  brighter and yellower (is yellower a word?).

    art-deco-bowl

  • A lacy edged vase for short stemmed flowers to make into elegant arrangements.

    ruffled-flower-vase

I just read an article about how young people don’t like old stuff anymore. They don’t want Grandma’s china or sterling silver that has to be polished.

Who needs gold edged dinner plates for fast food or pizza delivery?  And who wants cutlery you can’t put into a dishwasher?

I concede there is some logic in this thinking albeit the younger generation seems to be forfeiting an atmosphere of beauty, charm and grace.

But do they know about the feelings you can get from holding or using something with a history?

A beautiful old serving dish is never really old.

And an elegant old vase will always complement a spray of  seasonal flowers.

And much like people, some old things age gracefully with the help of a little extra care.

And other things grow more beautiful with little to assist them but age and patina.

I was a young woman when Viola gave me some exquisite old things.  They never required too much care and they are cherished now, almost thirty years later, along with some very sweet memories.

I keep reminding myself that finding the one-of-a-kind perfect gift for someone special may be as easy as a stop at the local antique store.

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kenmore freezerI know it is a bit unorthodox to lean into a deep freeze when the temps hover around 100 degrees outside, but yes, I confess, “I did it.”

Truth is our cavernous HUGE deep freezer suddenly began spewing water over everything in it.  I haven’t defrosted it in a month or two, 3 or 4 months, maybe a year, so I blamed myself.

Well, I know I defrosted it since 1990.

We bought the freezer in 1990!

Imagine?

And it has been going non-stop ever since.  No repairs, rare defrostings, overloading, underloading, whatever.

Anyway, I was overheated due to rising temps in this part of Virginia, so decided to hang over the edge of the old girl, chipping away at mountains of accumulated ice and picking at giant slabs with gloved hands and long prongs.

Cool!

And to add to the joy of being slightly chilled in a heat wave I had memories of balancing on the monkey bars when I was a kid.  Leaning leaning leaning over the edge of our freezer was  a similar feeling.

I felt young again!  Carefree.  And yes – Cool!

It took about four hours to defrost, de-ice, and displace all the foods that needed to be discarded or moved to our smaller refrigerator freezer.

And at the end of four hours I could barely move!

No longer cool.

In need of Ibuprofen.

Exhausted.

I turned the X&6%#@&* thing back on again, but Bill came along and turned it off.  “The freezer’s shot,” said he.  And this morning he went to Lowe’s and ordered a new one.

Me, I’m still wondering why I defrosted and cleaned a 26 year old faltering freezer.

It must have been to keep cool.

The Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in Finland offers a variety of accommodations, including snow igloos. Guests who book a snow igloo during their stay get to sleep inside a shelter of ice. The temperature is kept at a consistent level regardless of the temperature outside and the guests are provided with down sleeping bags to keep them warm when they turn in for the night. If you’re noticing a trend, it is one of many ice hotels based in the Nordic countries, a sign of ingenuity from countries that celebrate the cold.

 

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happy_wedding_anniversary_valentines_day_special_vector_568815

I wish I had taken their picture.

I went to visit old friends who have been married  for 72 years.

He is 98 , looks 65 and is still a community volunteer!

Still driving her around town too.

He proudly says he takes no prescription medications- only Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and baby aspirin.

Imagine?

She is 92 and beautiful – elegantly coiffed with painted nails, gorgeous clothes, and a smile that transforms her face to youth.

They are both beautiful.

I love talking to them, or rather, just listening to their stories of a lifetime together.

Oh, there are the negatives like lost hearing, balance and reading ability.

But they both offer this advice:

“Do not dwell on  the things you cannot do.  Be grateful for  the things you can.”

And they are truly my inspiration.

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