Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Wistful Wednesday - 1964

And then in 1964 I got my wish and my parents finally handed over a baby sister for me and my three brothers!

Kitsyboo was my Nana's favorite because they both arrived around the same time, Kitsy as an addition to the family and Nana as a transplanted New Yorker to tiny Mayberry. I guess they bonded immediately.

She grew up to be a holy terror. A real prissy princess.

Only I can say these things!

(As you can see, another Kit!)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wistful Wednesday - 1959

I am really looking forward to Wednesday these days thanks to Far From Fifty and her idea of posting old photo's that tell a story.

For my birthday many years ago, I got a new baby brother! All 11 pouunds of him. He was the biggest baby born in the local Mayberry hospital at the time! He was a chunk as is evident in this photo!

Now, looking at the picture I realize it is Palm Sunday because of the small crosses on the T's shirt. T is the one mugging for the camera. Every picture we ever took, T is mugging and playing the camera.

I had two brothers, I truly wanted a sister and look what I got! Another brother. Mom told me he was my birthday present! Not only did I not get a sister, I now had to share my birthday! Well, almost, he was born the day before my birthday.

The picture is taken in my parents bedroom with the baby bassinet behind T's shoulder. Mom hired a lady, Mrs. Cassidy, to come help her out for a month or so, because three children, all at home at the time, and an infant...well, who couldn't use the help! Behind Mrs. C is Mom's dresser. It is loaded to the ceiling with her "stuff". Nothing ever changes, my Mom's house to this day is piled sky high with her stuff, stamps, rare books, newspapers about stamps, the Irish Echo, the Messanger, her begging mail (pls. send us money for the missions) ....well, the list is endless.

So the gang of Three is now the gang of Four and I now have Three Brothers.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Two Birthdays and a Funeral

A friend of mine, one I have not seen for 15 or so years, died in October. His family cremated his remains and had a service to celebrate his life on his birthday this past Saturday. He would have been 57.

The reason it had been so long since I had seen him is he was a No Show in 2002 when I went to Churchill Downs to meet up with him and my buddy from Florida who was in town for a visit.

My friend from Florida could not make the service and I assured him I would represent us both. I recognized no one at the funeral. I commented to the woman siting next to me, who knew the Departed from working with him during the 1980's, that everyone needed to strip off 20 years and then I might know a face or two.

I called my Florida friend afterwards and described the service, what was said, and described the people who were there. "I didn't see So and So" I said, "but, I did see this guy who looked familiar and he had salt and pepper hair......blah blah blah......" and he would know who that person was. I did it several times and he would say, "That was So & So's daughter."

I was really hard on myself afterwards, that I could not recognize anyone and then I had a revelation of sorts. I was raising a small child at the time! I was not running with that crowd every week-end and every chance I got. It was every so often at the Butchertown Pub that I would run into the crowd. And the Departed was the boy friend of my room mate at that time, so it would make more sense that she would know the people at the service. That made me feel a little better about my lack of face recognition and fuzziness of memories that my Florida friend was reminiscing with me. And I without a clue.

But my lack of memories made me sad.

The next day was the grand babies birthday and I was, as always behind the camera instead of in front of it. When I came home and powered up the chip and began to crop and remove red eye I had a second revelation. These are memories that I will never forget and if my rapidly shrinking brain needs stimulus, I am able to whip out the photo album and have the day return to me in a warm fuzzy rush.

I picked up a camera in the early 1990's when I found a Nikon Series F in a pawn shop with several lens and a beat up soft leather butter color bag for $150. Big bucks back then, but it gave me my own memory catcher that was certainly more reliable than my flesh and blood personal CPU.

Still, I have my memories of the 1980's, being a single parent with one of my best friends as a room mate and the struggle of working, going to school in the evenings, and trying to raise a child.

Is it any wonder my brain is fried?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

A Sweet Childhood Memory

Things certainly have changed over the years. Especially when I was a kid and my Mom was the stay at home kind. We lived on a shoe string. I realize that now. We never felt deprived of anything. Our Christmas was just like everyone else. Our parents were the Depression Era Kids, so we were never lavished with gifts. Under the tree always looked plentiful because there were so many of us! Usually each of us received two gifts from our parents and several more from Aunts and Uncles. Christmas was wonderful and I remember each Madam Alexander doll,my first bike, the year I got the Barbie (!),the Beatle albums, the Chatty Cathy doll! Each one was very special. Even that small itty bitty sewing machine. The clothes were quickly forgotten though when I see the Christmas pictures from those long ago days, I realize I am wearing some brand new clothes and remember those were part of my Christmas loot.

Birthday's were the same. One or two gifts and a great birthday party where you received gifts from your friends. Usually coloring books and junk like that. Still, highly anticipated and oh so sweet.

Remember the Christmas when the favorite toy was the large box it came in?

I recall with vivid clarity how I loved to play with my Mothers "costume jewelry". That was what she called it, not to be confused with the real jewelry...which I don't think she ever had! I would sit on the floor and take each piece out, examine it then lay it next to the box. Everything out, put on, taken off, respectfully put back in the box in the proper place and returned to the top of the dresser where I would beg to play with it again on any given day.

One day Joe came home with a bunch of costume jewelry that had been blown into the front yard. (I kid you not!). As I sifted through it all those cheap baubles I recalled that lovely memory. I remembered how thrilled I was when I hung all those necklaces around my small neck and attached all those fake gem brooches to my blouse and had the heavy bracelet's sliding down my arm.

The seed of an idea began to grow.

This is what I am going to give the Grand baby for her Third Birthday! A box of jewelry! She always is wanting to wear whatever I have on's just perfect.

Above is a jar of colorful bits of glass and beads I found at the Goodwill.

Look at that Indian Beading!! To die for when I was a kid. And three rosary's in there too!!

All for $6.00.

Now all I need is to find one of those jewelry boxes with the little ballerina that twirls around to Lara's theme.

I hope she likes it. I have a strong feeling her ten month old brother will.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wistful Wednesday - 1947

Thanks to Far Side of Fifty I am continuing with posting old family photo's and telling the stories!

This is how I remember my Mothers Mother! A no nonsense get to work kind of lady. Mom was 19 when she graduated from college and Grandma thought she was too young to go on to graduate school so she took her to Ireland for six months.

So, there is about 15 - 16 years between the pic last week and this one. Man, did she ever age bringing up three girls and my wild Uncle!

Here she is, getting ready to toss the hay I think.

Here is the a story told to me by my Aunt Kitty from Ireland, who is around my Mom's age and her first cousin. Kit is also my Grandma's name (lots of Catherine's in my this day even, still Kit's too)

Sitting around the table, having a spot of tea and talking, Aunt Kit's mother says, "Kitty is first in her class this year!"

My Grandma Kit responds, "My Tess was first in the school!" (Tess is my Mom).

Undeterred, Aunt Kitty's mother says, "My Kit has a boyfriend this year who is taking her to the dance!"

Grandma Kit responds, "My Tess had three boyfriends."

Undaunted, (since they are sister in law's and in great competition and Aunt Kit's mother is beginning to realize she may be in over her head), "My Kit was the goalie for the winning team of the Ashbourne Trophy this year!" (how could Kit trump this!)

"My Tess won the city wide Irish dance contest in all of New York! Five years running!"

Aunt Kitty's mother had to give up in defeat.

My Mom, Tess, and my Aunt Kitty sat at the table, sipping their tea, not daring to utter a word under the glare of the clashing titans.

"Everyone was in awe of your Mother", Aunt Kitty confided to me with a rolling of her eyes!

And I thought, "They probably In awe of my Grandmother too!"

(it looks like she is wearing some kind of plastic apron! Maybe leather? Maybe she is getting ready to slaughter a sheep or a chicken. Also, what does she have in her hands? Looks dark and ominous.......)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Moon Mouse?

(The astronaut looks like he is carrying a rodent!)

Last year I stumbled across a blog that was artistic in nature. I really enjoyed it and when she announced a postcard exchange I jumped at the challenge. It was only after I had committed that I realized you were suppose to create the post card!! Horrors! It took me forever to come up with a workable, passable, presentable end product.

I did it again this year! And once again, it was like giving birth to a creation. The above is the result after weeks of prototypes and luckily a chance encounter with a National Geographic from the walking on the Moon era.

I have to hand it to people who create for a living, it is a tough job. Like writing or even keeping up this blog. I wanted to participate in the National Writing thing that is going on right now, but I know it is too hard and I take my hat off to those who are dedicated enough to finish it!

Like I said, I can barely keep up with this blog.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Second Old Photo Thursday

My Mom and her Mom and Her two sisters

This old photo blows me away for the number one MONSTER reason, my Grandmother is smiling. In all the pictures we have of her, this must be only one of at the most three, where she is smiling.

And she is so pretty!! I now see where the high apple cheeks come from, and I see why my Grandfather defied his family and married her. You see, they came from different sides of the tracks. Too much to go into right now, maybe later when I check the facts and get it straight in my mind.

My Mom is the one in the front, her Irish twin, Aunt Pat is behind her with the boyish looking mop of hair. She always was a Tomboy and at one time could could name all the players of the Brooklyn Dodgers, their stats and out talk anyone about her team. Aunt Mary is the blond, AKA the Blond Bomb. At one time the boys in the neighborhood went door to door and sold a paper they had written. There was a whole column dedicated to her, called the Blond Bomb, which kept all the males abreast on what she was up to, who she was going out with and how long she would be in "jug", which is what they called detention. I think she spent a lot of time in "jug".

I love this old photo thing, thanks to Far Side of Fifty!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

My Vote Counted!

Late last week I took my husband to the Court House in downtown Jeffesonville Indiana to cast his vote. The hallway was packed with people waiting their turn to do the same thing. Early voting is allowed in this state without having to give a reason. Just show up with the correct and proper identification and you can do it.

I had voted earlier in the week. As I sat and waited (approx. 45 min.) I was surrounded with the hum and buzz concerning the pending appearance of Sarah Palin in our community. The women sitting next to me, more than likely in her 70's, with her eyes bright with anticipation talked of sending her husband to stand in line to secure tickets so that she could be one of throngs chanting.

The gentleman to the right of me was practically giddy talking about Palin and how she was going to clean up Washington the way she cleaned up Alaska. I made eye contact with a gentleman of color who was sitting in between us, he smiled slightly.

Last night as I watched the election results I was surprised by the emotion that overcame me when CNN announced, with the closing of the polls in California, that Barack Obama was being declared the next President of the United States. I became choked up and tears began to stream down my face.

I was transported back to my Civics Class in 1968, with Mrs Tibbs, when the door to our classroom flew open and startled us. We were more started by the news, Martin Luther King, Jr. had been shot in Tennessee.

What a far way we have traveled in the 40 years since that moment in time to this moment.

As I voted for Obama I prayed that my vote would mean something.

As the next president of the United States carried my state of Indiana by a mere 20,000 votes, I know it did.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Out of the Mouth of Babes

I was just reading Cynthia's post on the election in Tennessee and it saddened me. Actually it made my face flush with shame at my fellow southerners.

We were visiting with my Sister-In-Law this past week-end and she related this story to us.

She has some property that she rents to a friend who was visiting her with his family, which included his wife and two daughters, ages 6 and 15.

The six year old asked S-I-L, "Who you voting for President?"

S-I-L replied, "Baby, I'm not sure but I think I am leaning towards Obama."

"You a "N word" lover?" she asked.

S-I-L looked at her father, who would not meet her eye. "Where did you hear that?"

"At school."

"Well, you should not call people that not matter what they say at school. It's a bad thing to say, Baby."

"You should vote for McCain." the six year old continued.

"And why is that?"

"Because when he dies then a lady would be President!"

S-I-L just looked at her Dad again and shook her head, "That is not a good reason to vote for someone."

"Better a woman than a 'N-word'", she resumed playing and lost interest in her political conversation with S-I-L.

And we wonder why the world is going to hell. Ignorance is taught, not inbred.