Thursday, April 27, 2006

A Grandson

On Easter this year, I asked my son Daniel if he would come with me to visit my Mom, his grandma. I wasn't sure how he would react. Sometimes the young can be rather cruel. He said sure, he'd love to, and had been thinking about Grandma and about visiting her soon. Knowing how meaning to and doing it are often two different things, I was glad I had asked...and even more glad he had accepted.

We went over Easter Sunday in the afternoon, a beautiful spring day - warm, sunny, trees budding and birds singing. We found Mom with her new SHORT haircut (you can blame me - I asked the beauty shop to do it for ease of care) and it was a shock at first, but then I looked at her with more objective eyes and found it flattering. Mom has a wonderfully shaped face, and a very engaging stare; she always has a slightly amused glint in her eye and around her mouth, and is very ready to share a laugh. There are times when she's just as ready to shed a tear if Dad's memory bubbles to the surface, which happens still all too easily to this day with no reminders from anyone. There is no doubt she will miss him to the day she dies.

We had an amazing visit with her on the patio, everyone enjoying the weather. We talked about memories, but also about what was going on in our lives today. She has a new roommate, a much quieter and pleasant lady, who by coincidence has the same first name of Harriet! Daniel told her all about the work he has been doing, and his continued love of music and what he hopes to do with his passion for it. He has come a long way from the little boy that lived with Grandpa and Grandma while he, Eva, and I got back on our feet again in the mid 1980's. At that time, he would often play alone at their place, making airplanes out of old pieces of wood in Grandpa's 'plunder pile', or climbing up on top of the old chicken coop and gazing around the pastures, trees, and off into the distance, just hanging out. I understood that, having done much the same when I was growing up - solitude in such a place does amazing, inutterable things for your soul...

Saturday, April 08, 2006

"Bad in the Kitchen, but good in the bedroom..."

I never met my Great Aunt Maud, Great Uncle Dick's first wife. She may have been a saint for all I know. But knowing my Mom like I do, I've never known her to say something without grounds. Whatever the truth, I thought it was fascinating to learn more about Uncle Dick's earlier life, and here's what Mom recently told us during a visit with her...
Maud, Uncle Dick's first wife, was a dance hall girl and a horrible housekeeper. "You'd come into the kitchen and there wasn't a spot...that wasn't covered by mounds of dirty dishes, pots, and pans!" She was a snob, thinking she was better than others. Mom said that her cousin Rita - one of their 6 daughters - talked back to her mother right and left, didn't let her get away with anything, and Mom rather liked that!
When Mom said "There wasn't a spot...", there was a pregnant pause, which Betty and I took to be the end of the statement, meaning she kept a spotless house, then she suddenly finished the sentence, and I began laughing and laughing, Betty joining in, and then Mom...I explained to Mom I thought you were saying the house was clean...! Evidently, she was known for being quite the opposite. Then Betty said (forgive me Betty, it's too good a line to pass by), "Bad in the Kitchen, but good in the bedroom...!"

Monday, April 03, 2006

Almost Home

I viewed an amazing documentary tonight. It was a window into one retirement home complex, over the course of one year...