Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Address Book=Book of Memories

During yet another cleaning project (one of many started but not yet finished) I found my mother's address book, the old fashioned hand written kind of address book with people's old contact information crossed out and the new information written below.

From what I can tell she used the book from sometime in the early 1940s until her death in 1965 when she was 51 years old.. It is, of course, special to me because it was my mother's and is filled with her handwriting. It is special on another level because of the memories I have some of the names and places she entered into the book. Though there are many names I don't know at all there are others that bring back a rush of memories.

Cascia Hall was on of several high schools that my brother attended in our hometown, Tulsa, Oklahoma, that at some point "asked him to leave". If I remember correctly in this case my brother got in trouble for getting between a teacher and a student the teacher was paddling, unfairly my brother thought. Not to worry, things turned out well for my brother. He ended up with a P.hD and is still willing to stand up against something he thinks is wrong.

My Aunt Dorothy was a very cool woman who lived in a very elegant area in Chicago about 1/2 block off Michigan Avenue. Though I wasn't, I thought I was pretty cool when I got to go visit her. 

Tippy LaGrave (isn't that a fun name?) was a friend of my mother's who had no children of her own. When I was 7 or 8 she started taking me to the ballet and the symphony and other such performances that I probably would not have otherwise had as much exposure to. I just Googled her and found out her real first name was Agnes....I kind of wish I hadn't found that out.

The Van Sants were friends of my parents that we visited from time to time in Colorado. I think he and my dad had been Army buddies during WWII. I remember them living on a farm that had a cherry orchard. My first snow skiing experiences were during visits to the Van Sants. This was so long ago that the skis were six feet long and made of wood. 

Chloe (Snell) Key was a lifelong friend of my mother. My mother told stories of having to sneak out of her house to see Chloe because Chloe was an Indian and there was a great deal of prejudice against Indians in the small Oklahoma town where they lived during the time they were growing up. Her parents would not have approved of the friendship. One of the things I can say about both of my parents is that neither of them ever showed any kind of racial or cultural prejudice toward anyone.

More names, more memories, but that is enough for now.

I do have an old, handwritten address book that I use sometimes but it is far from up to date since I keep so much of that information on my computer or my phone. I wonder what my kids will think about it if they find it sometime in the future.

Do you keep a handwritten address book or is it all electronic these days?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014


I don't know how it is for everyone but it is my experience as a grandmother that it is easier to be involved in the lives of my younger grandkids than in the lives of my pre-teen and teen-age grandchildren. The older ones get busy with friends and with school or sports activities and a lot of the time I "spend" with them is watching them in a school performance or from the sidelines of their sports events with barely a chance to say "good game" when the game is over.

So, when my oldest granddaughter, Hope, 11, texted me a couple of days ago and asked if I would take her and my two oldest grandsons, Jared, 13, and Justin, 10, to Target I,  of course, said I would come pick them up and take them. They were not looking for any sort of bonding time with Grandmom. They had Christmas money and Target gift cards burning a hole in their pockets and needed a ride and the requisite adult accompaniment.

It was no big event or special activity but it was a fun time for me to get to spend these moments with these kids in a way that happens far too seldom these days. I liked hearing what they talked about to each other in the car, listening to their shopping advice to each other and observing their different shopping styles. Jared was very studied in his selections, knowing just what he wanted and making sure the box hadn't been tampered with indicating a returned item. Hope also knew what she wanted but was a bit more flighty in her decision making. She kept very good track of exactly what she was spending as she went. Justin was especially attracted to anything that said 50% off.

I'm not sure that the money they spent was all spent wisely, but they provided some priceless moments for their Grandmom.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Good Intentions

The other day I was looking for something in a desk drawer and ended up cleaning out the entire drawer without ever finding what I was looking for. What I did find were all of these cards that I had at one time chosen and bought with good intentions to give or send to someone to mark a special occasion. There are birthday cards, new baby cards, graduation cards and blank cards in which I meant to write my own message of congratulations, thanks or good wishes.  Obviously, none of them ever reached the intended recipient.

This made me think of something I once heard about good works and good intentions being as far apart as heaven and hell. Of course, I am not saying that my following through with my good intentions to send someone a card would change much for me or that person, but it did make me think about other good intentions that I have had that I never followed through. There's the call I never made to a friend I haven't seen for a while, the meal I meant to take to a friend who just had surgery, the check-in visit to an elderly neighbor, the whatever kind thing I thought about doing but never did. 

I'm not one who makes new year's resolutions but this stack of cards has encouraged me to at least make an effort to do a better job of  following through on my good intentions. I am going to start with a gift I have been meaning to send to a blog friend and then I think I will make a couple of long overdue calls. At least I have a good supply of cards to send when the right occasions arise.

Are you good at following through on your good intentions?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I Know It Is Tuesday.....

I know today is Tuesday but pretend with me for a minute that it is Monday which is when I started writing this post so that when I say yesterday you know I am talking about Sunday. I would have posted this Monday but my computer threw a little temper tantrum.....not the dreaded blue screen, but a lighter blue screen with diagonal darker blue lines with little white lines on them popped up and wouldn't go away. Yeah, really. I don't know what it was or where it came from, but it seems to be sorted for the time being.


Yesterday was a good day. I got to start the day by  having breakfast with my daughters. Even though we see each other often and talk on the phone most days it is rare for just the three of us to have a time to just sit and talk without lots of interruptions so it was a special time for me to catch up with them. We said we should do it more often but it can be hard to plan with all the activities their kids are involved in.

I'm not sure they will love this early morning picture but they look great to me.

After breakfast I came home to meet an electrician (yes, he came on Sunday)  who was going to do all the wiring, etc. to install a new TV above our fireplace. Doc had been very resistant to a bigger TV until he saw a couple of football games at other people's houses on big screens and then he couldn't get one fast enough. While the TV installation was going on I got to have a tea party with my 5 year old granddaughter, Anna, and some Little Ponies.

With some help from my son who has been sort of our project manager for the whole TV thing (it would have taken me forever to figure out the right wall mount, cables, connections, etc.) the TV was up and running in time for us to watch the Broncos play the Chargers. The Broncos victory yesterday has football fever at a high pitch around here.

I ended the day with the new episode of Downton Abbey. It was good but I am not sure that I am going to like the way the storylines are going for some of the characters this season. My real guilty pleasure lately has been watching all six seasons of Doc Martin. I'm not sure what it is about Doc Martin that has sucked me in but I am addicted and can't wait for a seventh season.


Okay, it can be Tuesday again now. I haven't really done much today except for getting my teeth cleaned.
Oh, and all the paperwork for our 2013 tax preparation came in the mail today from our accountant ...ugh! I may have to go watch a little Doc Martin just to improve my frame of mind.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

If I HAD Been Posting....

I don't know what the protocol is, or if there even is one, for returning from a blog break. Since my fantasy of coming up with all sorts of clever blog topics while I wasn't posting didn't exactly materialize I am just going with what I probably would have posted if I HAD been posting......lots of (now out of date) pictures of family activities during the holiday season.

One of my favorite family traditions during the Christmas season is my grandchildren all coming over to decorate my Christmas tree. With 7 kids on the job it is an exercise in chaos and speed decorating. Though not perfect in design it is a tree filled with fun, love and memories and I leave (most) of the ornaments exactly where the kids hang them.

I think I have said this for the last couple of years, but it is good that some of the kids are now tall enough that ornaments get hung on more than just the bottom half of the tree.

The traditional picture of the kids in front of the tree after they are done with the decorating is never perfect but always a fun one to  have. (This year's tree decorating coincided with a big game for the Broncos so everyone was dressed to  cheer them to victory.)

Baking Day comes a day or two before Christmas. My daughters do all the baking for our Christmas Eve open house and the cookie decorating is the kid's job.

EJ and Anna (both 5 when this pic was taken) in their new pajamas on Christmas morning.

Another peas and more football on New Years Day.
My kids, Rob, Jill and Joanna....they always seem to line up from oldest to youngest, left to right when they sit on my couch.

Just a fun pic of my daughter, Joanna, and her family on Christmas Eve.
The look on Hope's face (upper left) gives you a clue to what all the giggles were about.

And finally, my middle granddaughter, EJ, turned 6 on January 3rd. She is a spunky, ornery and full of fun little girl and I couldn't miss wishing her a happy birthday.


A couple of other things I might have written about.....

I no longer love wrapping gifts. There was a time in my life when I did, but those days are gone. (Ok, that would probably have been a very short post.)

The Saturday morning a week or so before Christmas when a neighbor knocked on our door to tell us that when they were coming home late the night before they saw a family of 8 skunks hanging out on our front sidewalk and porch. I hope they were just passing through (the skunks, not the neighbors) and that this doesn't turn in to a big, smelly post somewhere in the future. 

The 50th anniversary of the Ford Mustang.....I would have told the story of my 1964 1/2 Mustang. It is kind of a sad story, but I might still write about it sometime soon.

Blogger: Why do posts from blogs I follow sometimes not show up until 8 or 10 hours after they were posted? Has any one else had this issue?

Wishing everyone a late but sincere Happy New Year.

Thanks to those who let me know that comments were turned off on this took me a while (don't laugh) but I think I finally figured it out and now comments are back on.