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Posts Tagged ‘family’

reading and waffles

One of my grandson’s favorite foods is waffles. He used to like them frozen out of a box – that started when he was teething and frozen waffles seemed to soothe his gums. He’s graduated to the real deal now.  He’s a very picky eater, believing not in the pyramid of food groups but in a tiny mound of individual food items. Waffles for breakfast. Only.

He’s five,  in kindergarten, and learning to read amazingly well. So it shouldn’t have been a surprise that as he was riding home with his mom and dad last week he realized that nirvana was only  a few blocks away from home. A big shout from the back seat: “Mama, there’s a place called Waffle House!”

Of course they stopped and ate.

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Woke up at 4:45 this morning and thought about the past year. Was I a good daughter, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, friend? I do think I get a gold star as grandma, the easiest and best role!  And I really did consciously try to think about others first. Good grief, at my age I still have to work on that.

As for my job, who knows what will happen over the next year. As we slowly sink into obsolescence we’re all thinking of options. I’ve been here for 25 years and can’t crank up enthusiasm for doing anything else. Where does a third generation (non-reporter) newspaper person go?

Job interviews? Ugh.  But how to keep a roof over our heads on my retirement check for several years until Social Security kicks in?

Just take one day at a time. Do what I can to keep us going.  Be grateful for my wonderful family and decent health.

Enjoy the ink on my fingers while I can.

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I occasionally google myself to see if anything bizarre shows up on the list. I’ve gone from three pages to nine, with a lot of repetitions but only a few links totally unrelated. At least the one linking to my race time in a half-marathon is gone. Years ago I walked in a fundraiser, the only time I’ve ever walked that far without stopping. I’d be embarrassed if anyone from my past googled me and thought I could actually finish any part of a marathon.

One surprise today was a link to a PDF of part of my family’s genealogy. I know the basics, but having this document pop up in relation to my name was new.

My grandmother came from two branches of early white arrivals to what became Massachusetts. I want to try to trace her ancestry through the mothers since the odds of no woman in nearly 300 years getting pregnant by a man other than her husband, voluntarily or involuntarily, seem pretty slim.

But for now, I’ll assume that generations of Groziers and Hopkins brought my mother into the world, and then me. Our first Grozier ancestor on this continent, William, died September 28th, 1734 and was buried at Christ Church in Boston. Christ Church is the Old North Church, built in 1723 with the steeple used to broadcast “one if by land, two if by sea.” Stephen Hopkins, a Stranger, landed with the Pilgrims in 1620 and died in Plymouth in 1644. He’s always been a favorite of mine, because, if the story is true, he got into hot water with the Pilgrims for brewing beer on the Sabbath.

The genealogy notes where many of the men are buried, but often the resting place of the women is marked “unknown.”

It seems most of my ancestors before 1920 were buried in Plymouth, Boston or in the Old North Truro cemetery.

On the grave listing of the Truro cemetery I see many ancestral names. Which makes me sad because I don’t know exactly where my grandmother is buried. Somewhere in Connecticut. I haven’t been to Connecticut since I was 13.

But a casual internet search, lasting a few seconds, puts pins on the map of our family’s lives and deaths. Why do the long dead feel more real than the grandmother who made us fudge and had brown eyes?

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Decided I wouldn’t read much news today, so I spent my first cup of coffee reading the Sunday comics. Every single one. Got to “Pickles”, the one about the older couple, retired, spending too much time together. But in this one the woman was out having lunch with a friend. She says, “I always carry change with me in case I need to use a pay phone. I  know that sounds silly and outdated, because I do have a cell phone in my purse.”

And I realized that’s me! Whether it’s my regular purse or a lighter one for shopping or a picnic, I always put two quarters in. With my cell phone. I do it automatically. If I had no cell phone coverage and urgently needed to make a call, I’d probably ask someone if I could borrow their cell phone. I don’t think it would even occur to me to look for a payphone. Are there any left?

But my mother trained me well.

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Yesterday was my grandson’s 5th birthday party. I asked him if he was excited to be five. He gave a little shrug and said, “Um, ya see, it’s a lot like being four.”

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heavenly day

I think heaven happened one day last fall when my grandson was over for the afternoon. We were playing outside,  under the mesquite tree. He gathered twigs and sticks that had fallen and we spent hours “planting” a forest across the yard with them. It was one of those wonderful desert days, sun and cool breeze and birds full of things to say…I had been under a lot of stress for months and not feeling well because of it, but all of a sudden I realized that on that day, under that tree with my lovely grandson, I was having a perfect day.   I took a deep breath, went back to our work, and spent the rest of the afternoon paying attention to every glorious moment.

Sometimes memories are tucked into songs like flowers pressed in a book. Whenever I hear Patty Griffin sing this song my feeling from that day is released like a fragrance. In the video she says this is her first love song, and that she wrote it for her dog. But it’s an all-purpose love song, especially when you’re lucky enough to have had a Heavenly Day.

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my father’s hands

My grandson tried to unscrew the legs from a stool today, so I took him to my father’s toolshed and we found jars of nails and screws. I got him a short length of a 2 x4, my dad’s hammer, and some screwdrivers. We spent the rest of the day screwing in regular and phillips screws (righty-tighty lefty-loosey) and pounding in different size nails (“Oh my doodness, look, a little tiny baby nail!”)

The hammer is heavy, but he pounded until his little arm was wobbly with the weight. He looks like he’ll have my dad’s big hands. We used to call them “carpenter’s hands.” I wish my dad could have been the one teaching him about tools, and rides in wheelbarrows…

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