Thursday, August 16, 2018
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“It’s in the third or fourth drawer down on the right side of my Mom’s dresser,” I told my husband. I was recovering from surgery after breast cancer and needed a light wrap over the shirt with pockets on the inside that held my drains. I could not easily open drawers, so asked my husband for help. I had never worn the bed jacket, but I remembered exactly where it was. In fact, I had never seen my mother, who was rarely sick at all when I was growing up, wear it. But, I took in much of my mother’s furniture when she came to live with us for two years after her stroke. Her dresser, nearly... (Read More ...)

My grandparents always lived far away. One grandmother lived in New Mexico, Louisiana and Tulsa, Oklahoma when I was growing up, as she followed her son, a petroleum engineer. The world’s first commercially produced Christmas card, designed by John Callcott Horsley for Henry Cole (Photo credit: Wikipedia) My other grandparents lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, then, retired to St. Petersburg, Florida. We saw them on family vacations about every five years. After my other grandparents moved to Florida and were too far away for family vacations, they made the grand tour of the U.S., visiting each... (Read More ...)

I asked my mother what was in her mother’s cedar chest when she gave it to me. Doroteo Arango Arámbula (June 5, 1878 – July 23, 1923), better known as Francisco or “Pancho” Villa, a Mexican Revolutionary general. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) “I don’t know.” “You don’t know?” “I’ve never opened it.” This is as close as my mother ever came to admitting she had emotions. Over the years, I’ve taken a few things out. My grandmother’s wedding dress was packed away carefully. I took it out to wear to my mother’s 80th birthday and it now hangs in a closet. A poster... (Read More ...)

How Do You Inspire Your Grandchildren? When I was in elementary school, my grandmother started a bank account for me. It was dedicated to helping me go to Europe when I was old enough. East Germans drive their vehicles through Checkpoint Charlie as they take advantage of relaxed travel restrictions to visit West Germany. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I was nearly an adult before I found out I could have taken out the money at any time I wanted. Instead, I put most of my baby-sitting money in it from the age of 12 through high school. At 20, in 1967, I spent the summer in Europe using that bank account. I... (Read More ...)