luscious_purple: scribal blot (scribal icon)
On Monday, Labor Day, I posted the following tribute on Facebook. I *meant* to copy it here too, but I got tired later in the day.

One hundred years ago TODAY, my Uncle Rene was born. Yes, my father and one of my uncles were born just four days apart in the same year. Uncle Rene was my *maternal* uncle, just so you're not totally confused.

Most people pronounce "Rene" as "reh-NAY," same as "Renee," but my family of French Canadian Americans always pronounced my uncle's name as "RAY-nee." At any rate, my Uncle Rene was the third of six children born to a couple of residents of a heavily French Canadian neighborhood in Fitchburg, Massachusetts.

Rene grew up to be the tallest of his siblings and was always a big high-strung. His hair stood up straight on top of his head, and he wore thick glasses. He left school after the eighth grade because by then it was the Depression. At some point he lost the tip of his right middle finger to some sort of tool or machine. He had only the tiniest stump of nail on that finger.

As you can see from the
[Facebook] photo, Uncle Rene joined the service during World War II, but I don't think he stayed on the front lines long. My mother always said he had "shellshock." I think he was shipped home to recuperate. I have a little satin pillow that is printed with the words "For Mom from Fort Belvoir."

Rene never married or had kids, but lived with his mother (my grandmother) and took care of her as she aged. She signed the house over to him before she died, so he would always have a place to live. He worked as a janitor at Fitchburg State College (as Diane N***
[a former member of my church who attended Fitchburg State] can attest) until he retired.

My Dad and Uncle Rene were good friends and were in a bowling league together. One Sunday afternoon they scared my Mom -- they went down to the local airport and convinced someone to take them up on his small plane for a cruise around southern New Hampshire. Better to seek forgiveness afterward than to try to get permission beforehand....

By 1987 Uncle Rene and my mother were the last of their siblings left alive. They were the third and fourth kids in the family, and I think my mother was closer to him than to her other siblings. He died at age 79, and my Mom died four weeks later.

Happy 100th Birthday, Uncle Rene.


* * * * *


On Monday I had gotten up early to march in the Labor Day parade as a member (really, president) of the local Toastmasters Club. I should really start a DW/LJ tag for Toastmasters, as that's probably going to be a bigger part of my life for the rest of the "club year" (i.e., until next June 30). The town where I live was built as a New Deal project 80 years ago, so yeah, we love our Labor Day festivities. It's traditional for marchers to toss candy to the children on the sidelines, and some of them bring bags, almost like Halloween trick-or-treating.

This is the third year I marched in the parade with the Toastmasters. It's really quite fun, and it's not a lengthy parade at all. This year's event had a TON of entries for local politicians. The area is so heavily Democratic that next year's primary (I think it will be in June) is tantamount to election. So, yeah, everybody wanted to "press the flesh."

At the elementary school book sale at the Labor Day festival, I scored three books, including The Civilization of the Goddess by Marija Gimbutas -- list price $60 when it came out. I think I paid $8 for the three books and the reusable tote bag to carry them in. Deal!

At the parade I scored coupons for a free Mission BBQ sandwich and a free slice of Three Brothers pizza. So I think I came out even, more or less.

* * * * *


I was supposed to have a small surgical procedure today (to remove a small BENIGN lump), but the hospital arbitrarily rescheduled it to next Tuesday, without bothering to TELL me until I made inquiries late yesterday afternoon. *grumble*

I had explicitly made no commitments to anything for the coming weekend, because I figured I was going to spend the weekend loafing around and sleeping off the painkillers. Now, however, what to do? In addition, money is a bit tight again, since I paid off some crucial bills.

Although I've been invited to attend no less than three different SCA events in three different states, I think I'll stick closer to home this weekend. Maybe I'll catch up on some projects here. I really hadn't planned on going to an event until Battle on the Bay, which is the weekend of Sept. 22-24.

* * * * *


I haven't been in touch with Tall Dancer a lot lately, but he called twice this afternoon. Apparently he is on a long drive from Georgia to Tennessee for a small relax-a-con with friends. And he just got back from Florida to celebrate his grandmother's 95th birthday. I do hope his relatives are safe during Hurricane Irma.
luscious_purple: Lithuanian map and flag -- "Proud to Be Lithuanian" (lithuanian map and flag)
One hundred years ago TODAY, a couple of Lithuanian immigrants in Gardner, Massachusetts, welcomed their first child: a boy of fair skin and hair who resembled his mother. They named him Anthony, later nicknamed "Tony." He grew up active and strong and took technical courses in high school, but his parents died when he was a teenager, so he went to work in the factories.

Tony volunteered for the service right after Pearl Harbor, so the Army Air Corps sent him to Scott Field in Illinois for training in radio operation, navigation, and airplane mechanics. He was sent to India on "the Hump" route of the China-Burma-India Theater of WWII. After the war, he met a woman at a dance, and they married and built a small house together. After many years of trying, they had a daughter of whom he was always proud. He once told her that the day she graduated from college would be the happiest day of his life.

Sadly, Tony -- my father -- died the year after I graduated from college (the first time around). But at least he got to see that. It's true that I've spent more years of my life without him than with him. But at least I spent my important growing-up years with both parents in my life.

And his spirit is with me whenever I'm doing something he would have enjoyed, whether it's dancing, marveling over the latest technology, or looking up at a plane in the sky.

Happy 100th Birthday, Dad. Laba naktis....
luscious_purple: scribal blot (scribal icon)
In case you may be wondering why I find August 29th a day to be endured rather than enjoyed ... today is the 35th anniversary of my father's death. For those of you who haven't been around me long enough to know the full story, and/or those of you who don't want to touch LiveJournal with a ten-meter pole, I'll put the original LJ entry from Aug. 29, 2003, under a cut.

The sad story here... )

And here's another way I think about my Dad, even today. Heck, you can read more of my past writings by clicking on the "dad" tag on whichever journal you're reading this on.

As far as the rest of today ... it's been a quiet, rainy day, with not much to do except plug away at my freelance writing and keep tabs on the Harvey flooding situation in the Houston area.
luscious_purple: OMG WTF BBQ (OMG WTF BBQ)
For those who were wondering about Expo 67, 50 years ago this month....

My family drove up from Massachusetts to Montreal. By this time, the family car would have been a 1965 Dodge Polara, sort of an off-white eggshell color. I have no idea which roads we took, but the trip seemed to take all day, and we got to Montreal in the late afternoon. My mother tried to teach me a bit of French; I was fascinated that the red stop signs said "Arrêt" and the exit signs said "Sortie." Since I had been reading everything I could find in advance of Expo 67 -- and even though I was only 7 1/2, that was a lot! -- I could recognize the huge geodesic dome of the U.S. pavilion off in the distance, but my Dad could not figure out how to get any closer to it. I remember saying, "Daddy, I think you missed the sortie."

We pulled over to the side of the highway and Dad pored over the map. A car pulled up behind us and a man got out and walked up to our car. He asked us whether we had any hotel reservations, and when my parents said no, he said, "You aren't going to find any." He introduced himself as a Mr. Dalton, pulled out his government ID and said that he was a Quebec government official and he and his wife were letting tourists stay in their home. So we followed him to his house, which had a facade made of randomly shaped blocks of white stone. The house seemed magnificent to me, especially because the street was also named Dalton. I have no idea how much my parents paid for us to stay in their spare bedroom, breakfast included.

We spent two or three days at the Expo. I remember HUGE crowds everywhere. At one point my mother and I waited 45 minutes in line to use the ladies' room. Forty-five minutes' wait to PEE!!!! I remember going up the escalator in the U.S. pavilion, which was said to be the longest escalator in the world. (I suspect the ones now at the Wheaton Metro station are longer.) I remember turning up my nose at the tuna-fish sandwiches my mother had packed for me in a cooler; I wanted fresh French fries, while my parents had a "buffalo burger." A parade for the 20-millionth visitor to the exposition passed by us.

I remember riding on an antique carousel in the amusement-park section, La Ronde. I was terrified, because instead of the vertical pole right in front of the saddle, the only place for me to hang on was a tiny little T-shaped handle to the right of the horse's mane. I remember spending my carefully saved-up allowance on an Expo 67 tote bag and a little flag with the "Man and His World" logo. I remember that I'd fall asleep in the back seat of the car on the way back to Mr. Dalton's house, but I would wake up when the car stopped at a gas station or something and my mother (whose grandparents were all born in the St. Lawrence River valley) would be translating directions for my father, who didn't speak a word of French, couldn't read the signs and kept getting lost.

On the last afternoon we were there, my mother declared that her feet hurt and parked herself on a spot of grass in the shade of a tree. My Dad took me to La Ronde, where we rode the Gyrotron, which I'd read about, probably in Life magazine. (An image of its exterior is here.) It was the first time I'd been on a ride with little moving cars that never quite stopped, even though this is quite normal now in the big theme parks. The first building was filled with a space motif, and it was my first encounter with black light -- I laughed at how my white ankle socks and the white parts of Dad's print shirt glowed eerily. Then the moving car took us back outside and down into the bowels of a fake volcano, where we were "eaten" by a big red monster at the end. I'm not sure what the combination of the two scenarios was supposed to convey, but I was thrilled anyway.

I wanted to take my mother on the Gyrotron, but wouldn't you know it -- that night there was a huge thunderstorm and the La Ronde rides closed early for safety reasons. We spent the evening sitting under the roof of a food-vending booth, with my mother talking in French to one of the workers there. The next morning we checked out of Mr. Dalton's house and headed home.

In late July 1983, as my mother and I were approaching the first anniversary of my father's death, she and I took a short trip to Montreal to see the actual city. We stayed at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel -- I didn't yet know it had been the site of the famous John and Yoko "bed-in" -- and saw lots of neat stuff. I insisted on checking out the Expo property again. From a distance we could see the skeleton of the geodesic dome. The Gyrotron had vanished from La Ronde, but I did go on a loop-the-loop roller coaster, just to satisfy myself.
luscious_purple: Boston STRONG! (Boston Strong)
And now, everyone who was born in a year beginning with 18 is dead. Since today is the day after what would have been my grandmother's 127th birthday, it seems appropriate somehow.

Today is also the fourth anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, right around the corner, practically, from the building where I rented a room in an apartment during the summer of 1979. I have the Netflix DVD of the Mark Wahlberg movie at home, but I don't think it's going to get watched this weekend, not with the new Doctor Who episode tonight.
luscious_purple: Star Wars Against Hate (Star Wars Against Hate)
(Note: I don't know whether this will cross-post to LJ because I haven't accepted LJ's new TOS yet. We shall see what happens.)

Today makes the 100th anniversary of America's entry into World War I. Of course, the war has fallen out of living memory -- the only people who were alive back then and still exist were tiny children then. Of course we don't go around reenacting it much, because it wasn't full of "exciting" maneuvers, just a long, static, disgustingly miserable slog that was only peripherally relevant to our continued existence as a nation. (One could argue that we as a species did not learn a damned thing from that war because people are STILL using chemical weapons in Syria -- HORRIBLE.)

I honestly don't know whether I have any relatives who served in World War I. Once I found an online listing of WWI soldiers from my mother's hometown and it included a man with the same name as my grandfather. However, I have a hard time believing that my grandfather served. His first two kids were born in 1914 and 1915, then my Uncle Rene was born in September 1917, and my mother was born in September 1919. Do the math. IMHO, my mother looked more like her father than any of her siblings. So if he had served in any capacity, he probably remained on the home front.

Since my hometown's city hall was built in the 1930s, probably with New Deal funding, the community's memorial to World War I got pride of place in front of the main entrance. It's a granite obelisk with four statues, one on each side, one each representing the Army, the Navy, the Marines ... and the nurses. Yes. A woman with a calf-length skirt on a military memorial. I wonder why this is not more famous nationally.
luscious_purple: scribal blot (scribal icon)
On January 12, 1997, the New England Patriots won a playoff game. I know this because I had to plan the calling hours at the funeral around this.

My mother used to say, "Don't bother having a wake for me when I go." And she went on about the expense of it all. Finally I told her, "Well, gee, Mom, what if **I** want to have people come and comfort me at the hour of my greatest need? Funeral rituals are for the living!" After that, she didn't rant about the calling hours as much.

So, when I came to make the arrangements for Mom the way she had done for Dad ... I realized that everyone was 15 years older than when Dad passed, and some people might have given up night driving along the way, and it gets dark early in January. And then the funeral director gently suggested that the playoff game started at 4 p.m. and would go till at least 7 and no one would want to be at the funeral home during that.

Thus, instead of the tradition 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. hours, I just had the wake from 1 to 4 p.m. Then my relatives trooped over to my childhood home and we all watched the Patriots together. Not like my heart was in it or anything like that.
luscious_purple: Paint Branch UU Chalice (Paint Branch Chalice)
... my mother passed away in the ICU.

She had gotten worse each of the days since I arrived in Massachusetts. The morning of her death, the hospital had called me and asked me to bring a copy of her living will, if she had one. I knew she had one, because I had visited with her lawyer when she had it drawn up. It took me a bit to find it, but fortunately I knew enough of my mother's secret hiding places.

I picked up my cousin Janet and my Aunt Bev and went to the hospital. The medical staff explained that my mother wasn't likely to be breathing on her own much longer and that once she got on a ventilator, she would probably never get off of it. I knew how strongly my mother didn't ever want to be on a ventilator, how she put that in her living will. So I signed the DNR. I hated it with every fiber of my being, but I knew it was what my mother wanted.

My mother's primary care physician stopped by the hospital on his way home from work. He took her hand and said it had been an honor and a privilege to be her doctor.

At the moment she stopped breathing and her heart stopped beating, Mom's hand fluttered a little. I hope she heard me saying "I love you, I love you" and singing snippets of songs to her through my tears. I hope my voice was the last thing she heard.

Love you still, Mom.
luscious_purple: Baby blasting milk carton with death-ray vision (death-ray baby)
Forgot to mention yesterday: The NBC commercials celebrating Matt Lauer's 20th anniversary as co-anchor of the Today show remind me of how much of a fan of Bryant Gumbel my mother was. In fact, on Gumbel's last day on Today (20 years ago yesterday), I left my VCR recording when I went to work so that I would have a tape of that tribute episode in case my mother missed it due to her knee procedure. I never showed it to her....

Twenty years ago today ... my Saturday started with a call from my cousin Janet, saying that my mother was in a lot of pain and couldn't move her legs and was being transferred from Leominster Hospital to St. Vincent's Hospital in Worcester. Obviously I was upset over the complications, and I wanted to fly up to Massachusetts, but I had the additional complication that I was the only member of my four-person work group who was supposed to be in the office for the coming week. My boss and his wife were incommunicado, somewhere in Paraguay on vacation; the second person was on a ski trip in Vermont; the third person was flying (with my boss's boss) to a conference on the West Coast.

I remember the afternoon as a tangle of phone conversations. I couldn't call Janet back directly because she had called from a pay phone -- remember that technology? So I was trying to find out what was going on from the Leominster staff, plus I was trying to convince US Airways that I needed a "family emergency fare" or whatever it was called, so that I could fly to Boston right away, plus I was trying to find somebody from my then-workplace to notify about the situation. I finally tracked down the wife of my boss's boss, who promised to tell her husband once he reached his destination.

Around dinnertime I flew up to Boston. (I wasn't worried about how I was going to get around in Massachusetts, because my mother's car was sitting, unused, at her house.) Janet and her husband, Kevin, picked me up at Logan Airport. By that time, my mother was in surgery (for 4.5 hours, as it turned out), so there was no point in my trying to see her that night.

On the way back to my childhood home, we stopped at Leominster Hospital to pick up my mother's personal effects, which for some reason weren't transported in the ambulance along with her. Once alone at home, I looked through her purse just to see what was in it (you know how people always say stuff gets stolen in hospitals). At the bottom of the purse I found a baggie with two diamond rings in it. My mother's and my grandmother's. The ones that my mother had reported stolen to the local police a couple of months earlier, because she was sure that the visiting nurses and home health aides that I'd arranged for her were stealing her blind. With her mild confusion, Mom had robbed herself.
luscious_purple: Ganked from many people (damn not given)
Everybody, it seems, is saying how terrible 2016 has been because of all the deaths of celebrities. Well, I personally know a fair number of people who have lost loved ones this year. Two friends lost their spouses within a week of each other. One of the bereaved friends was the only bride for whom I was a bridesmaid (most of my good friends either are perpetual singles or were already married when I met them). Also, I know two friends who lost adult children this year -- cruelest of all -- and then other people are fighting major health stuff, like cancer and complications from detached retinas.

Yeah, the happy glow from the big Lithuanian dance festival of midyear has kind of worn off, in no small part due to the Giant Lying Russian Stooge.

Oh, yeah, I am not going to Massachusetts for Christmas this year due to the ongoing car issue. I have paid for a very cheap 1993 Honda Accord, though I am still waiting for the thing to pass inspection so that I can drive it. I went cheap because I am borrowing money from friends in order to buy it. I hope I can get a year or two out of it.

Dammit, I am SO SICK and FUCKING TIRED of this "gig economy" shit and this "get the baby boomers out of the workforce" mentality. Unlike the Trumpkins, I am NOT mad at the government. The government actually has LAWS against age discrimination and against trying to claim workers as independent contractors when they should be employees. The former is just damned hard to prove/enforce and the latter is hard to track down.
luscious_purple: i'm in ur fizx lab, testin ur string therry (string therry)
First off: Today is the 34th anniversary of my father's death. Coincidentally, at the time of Dad's death, my parents had been married for 34 years (and about seven weeks). So, about seven weeks from now, I'll have a sense of how long my parents' marriage lasted.

Gene Wilder has died at age 83. Mostly I remember him as Willy Wonka.

Tall Dancer called me again tonight. I guess this is becoming more of a weekly check-in thing. This time around I avoided talking about job searching and mostly prattled on about dancing, eating the endless leftover cole slaw from the epic party, my weekend plans, and so forth. He is always more reticent about his personal life than I am with mine -- the whole pseudo-counselor thing, I guess. But he did say he is going camping at an outdoor "relaxacon" over the coming holiday weekend. Up with friends from Kentucky and Tennessee. I think he did the same thing over last Labor Day weekend, too.

Happy find at a local Little Free Library: I snagged a copy of the Ron Chernow biography of Alexander Hamilton that inspired the Broadway musical Hamilton. Given my financial state, I don't have a snowball's chance in hell of seeing the actual production, but at least I can enjoy the book.
luscious_purple: Stop SOPA and PIPA (No SOPA)
Hello, I'm Patty. I am many things. Labeled many ways.

I am an only child. I am also the youngest of at least five children. My mother had at least four miscarriages that she hated to discuss. God is the ultimate abortionist.

I was a good child. Bit of a prodigy, even. Studies came easily to me. Until I hit a brick wall in graduate school, and my talent for taking multiple-choice exams no longer got me any further.

I never questioned my need to go to college. Now I question whether my three degrees were all for naught. I played the game and did what my parents told me would give me a good life and now I have fallen out of the middle class.

I'm a nonfiction writer trapped in trade-journal limbo and trying to figure out what to do next. I would advise today's young people that writing is something to do on the side, not one's entire career.

I love the past, present and future simultaneously. I have participated in the Society for Creative Anachronism for 10 years. I wish I'd joined in 1977. At the same time, I wish I could be around to see the 22nd century. Since I'm old enough to remember the JFK assassination, though, I am realistic. Longevity does not run on either side of my family.

My greatest fear is that I will be of sound mind and frail body and yet be euthanized because society cannot afford to keep childless elderly people alive.

And tonight I shall go out and help make music for dancers.
luscious_purple: Lithuanian map and flag -- "Proud to Be Lithuanian" (lithuanian map and flag)
Whew, between the Baltimore Lithuanian Festival on Saturday and the Maryland Faerie Festival today, I have been on the go a lot this weekend!! Now that I'm sitting down at the computer, I want to go curl up and sleep ... when I still need to do some of my freelance writing.

But first: This Mother's Day I thought I would honor my paternal grandmother, the one I never got to meet. I posted this photo of her on Facebook.

IMG_0700 grandmother

Here is the sum total of what I know of her:

She was born somewhere in what is now Lithuania. She came to the United States sometime before 1917, perhaps in 1911.

Her first name was Nellie. Her maiden surname began with a B. (I have seen at least three radically different spellings of it.)

She had two sons, and the older one (my Dad) looked more like her than the younger one.

In 1931, she took an "advanced beginner" class in English.

In January 1934, she died of pneumonia. She was either 42 years old (according to city death records) or 45 to 46 (according to the cemetery gravestone).

That's it. That is all I know. I have no idea whether she was a good cook, whether she liked to sew or knit, whether she sang songs to her sons or read them stories or whether she could read at all. I never asked my Dad what kind of a mother she was. But I am her granddaughter just the same.
luscious_purple: Snagged on LJ (great news)
First of all, we got the rest of our power back in the wee hours -- was it early Tuesday, maybe? Everything seems to blur together -- all these disasters!

The important thing about the week was that the transmission shop in Old Town Bowie did NOT lose power, or at least the electricity was on by Monday morning. That enabled the workers to finish my car by Tuesday afternoon! On Wednesday morning Maugorn kindly drove me to the bank (which was along the way) and then to the transmission shop, where I handed over my cash and retrieved my pretty purple baby (yes, my Pontiac will always be "my baby," even though she's 15 years old). The front desk in the transmission shop had a basket of small Kit Kat bars for the taking, so I made sure Maugorn got one too.

Since then I've had a couple of occasions to accelerate my purple Pontiac up to highway speed, and the transmission is transmitting power nice and smoothly. So, yay, I've got my wheels back! And I can take myself to Atlantian 30-Year! *happy dance*

A big THANK YOU to all who made it happen, too!

In other words, between all the hurricane-related disruptions, my freelance articles, and general life, I did not post that we just passed the anniversaries of my father's death and birth. For those of you who are new around here, my Dad's birthday was August 31, and he died on August 29. You can look up those dates in my journal archives (more so on LJ than DW) to see what I've written about him in the past. I certainly have been thinking of him these last few days.

Actually ... yesterday (Dad's birthday) brought me over to our Local Friendly Space Agency to interview three scientists (for an article I'm writing, not for a job). I got another tour of the Chambers of (Instrument) Torture, where spacecraft get shaken violently, blasted with 150 dB of sound, freeze-dried, baked in vacuum, and whirled on an eyeball-popping centrifuge, all in preparation for liftoff. Although all these tests are designed for non-living things, I can't help thinking that the torturers of the Inquisition would have loved to get their hands on them....
luscious_purple: "avoid heralds" (avoid heralds)
I have to start by mentioning that I'm watching the ESPN Sunday night baseball game, Red Sox versus Yanks at Fenway. Bottom of the third and the Sox are threatening to score. Hope they do -- this is the rubber game of the series, and the season has not been kind so far to the 1-7 Sox.

Anyhow ... on Saturday I went to Lochmere's Night on the Town event at the Elks camp in Annapolis. I hadn't pre-registered because the boy toy had been wanting to go to the Cherry Blossom Festival, but when the weather forecast was cloudy and cool and possibly damp, he declined. I didn't get there too early -- indeed, I had to dodge a HUGE traffic backup on the Beltway and take the back roads to U.S. Route 50. So lunch was technically sold out by the time I arrived; I had to wait till mid-afternoon and then snag some leftover food.

Fortunately, I was just planning to have a relax-an-event anyway. While awaiting the opportunity to nosh, I sat in on a medieval-pinwheel-making class taught by Mistress Sigrid, and I made my own lil' pinwheel from wood and parchment paper. (I'll probably give it to Eleanor the Naked Baby or any other small children who come visiting at our Pennsic encampment.) I browsed the baronial yard sale known as "Lochmart," I chatted with some of my fellow heralds, and during evening court I worked on the practice tablet-weaving band that has been sitting around the house for a while now. (Actually, I straightened out the cards so that they were all going the same way, and I practiced just the plain old "two turns forward, two turns back" shtick. But even weaving without a pattern can be tricky if you keep getting distracted as I do/did.)

Of course feast was sold out too, so I just came home and noshed on some satisfying leftovers for supper. I do love to feast, but it's probably just as well I saved $9.

Today was mostly cloudy too, even though previous forecasts had said "sunny." *sigh* So I slept kind of late and missed the service again, and then I dawdled and was late for the Wicca 101 class. So I learned something about grounding and centering, but I missed the part about casting a circle. Darn.

Then the boy toy settled in for some laundry and cleaning, and I was OK until I came across a bag that had a lot of stuff from 1981 in it. I could tell it was from 1981 because of the dates on the letters from my parents. Mom wrote most of the letters and signed them "Mom and Dad," but a couple of times, my father wrote a separate message and slipped it in the envelope, and those notes were signed "Daddy." I didn't cry, but I got all sad and thoughtful. Having two parents ... that was such a long time ago now.

(For those of you who don't already know: my Dad died the year after I graduated from college, and my mother died 14 years ago. So this is not a divorce thing.)

Some homemade chicken soup and a great Josh Beckett pitching performance, though, and I'm doing better now.
luscious_purple: Star Wars Against Hate (Default)
I just posted a 90th-anniversary-of-his-birth tribute to my Uncle Pete on LJ. Because I embedded a photo, I wasn't sure about the cross-posting thing, but you can read it here.
luscious_purple: Star Wars Against Hate (Default)
Today is the 120th anniversary of my maternal grandmother's birth. Yes, she was born on the 25th anniversary of Lincoln's assassination, and her 22nd birthday was the last day Titanic saw sunlight.

Here she is during World War II with the youngest of her four sons:



Here is Grammy sewing in her kitchen, probably in the 1940s (the master bedroom is in the background):



I was the youngest of her 11 grandchildren, and I came upon the scene when she was already a senior citizen, but she did make me some doll clothes with that sewing machine, and she crocheted huge single-granny-square afghans for my parents and me.

I took this photo of my mother and her mother when I got my first camera, a Polaroid, for Christmas in 1971:



All my older cousins called her Mémé (pronounced "meh-may" in the Canadian French patois), but for some reason my mother thought that sounded lower-class, so I called her Grammy. I always enjoyed her company so much, even though her body had gotten frail by the time I got to be in elementary school. She had severely bowed legs. But she was a strong-minded person. Despite her dentures, she could still eat corn off the cob in 1974. I don't think she was well-educated, but she had an awfully good heart.

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