Saturday, October 21, 2017
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97 Years of Marriage in Two Rings We had five days to get married. I found out I was pregnant on Monday. He was scheduled to leave for boot camp on Friday, responding to a January 1 draft notice. He looked up the legal requirements for marriage in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia, from his apartment in Arlington, Virginia. I had just come up from my parents’ house in Georgia for a planned second semester at George Washington University to be near him. I moved my trip up after he got the draft notice, also suspecting by then that I might be pregnant. One local jurisdiction required... (Read More ...)

“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 ...)

Español: Armadura de caballero en la armería del Alcázar de Segovia (España) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I was sitting next to a guy at the bar mitzvah party for a friend’s son and we struck up a conversation. He had recently gotten remarried and was ruminating about his observations on women. “I understand that women like to be wooed and won,” he said. “But, I thought after you won them, the wooing part was over.” I don’t consider myself an expert on relations between men and women. I dated only a little in high school, not even enough to go to either my junior or senior prom. In... (Read More ...)

He introduced himself to me on the phone as “Dave.” singer, dancer, comedienne, and actress Carol Burnett, receiving a Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) But, I soon found out all his friends called him “Georgia.” He had lost his Southern accent by the time I met him three-and-a-half years after he arrived on that Michigan State campus. A natural ear for languages and years of singing let him drop his Southern drawl in favor of broadcast English, the non-accented English heard in the Midwest. But, his friends and fraternity brothers kept the reminder of his... (Read More ...)

Great-great Uncle Walter Tuller signed up for Company C of the Ohio 5th Cavalry regiment on January 28, 1862. He survived the bloody battle of Shiloh, but was dead by August, of a sniper shot from a cornfield as his cavalry company pushed into Mississippi in General Grant’s Western campaign to take control of the Mississippi River in the Civil War, restricting the South’s ability to get supplies. Chromolithograph of the Battle of Shiloh, American Civil War (Photo credit: Wikipedia) My uncle, Don Notley, a geologist, never knew his father because my grandfather was banned from the family... (Read More ...)

U Iron your socks don’t you? Day 28 of 365 (Photo credit: DieselDemon) A soon-to-be cousin from the other side of the family, young and single, at a recent family wedding asked me if it is true that men have to be trained after they are married and if they are trainable. My husband and I looked at each other and both said, “the iron.” My husband broke the ice. “Both people train each other to what they need.” Then, I told the story. On some occasion, I no longer remember whether it was a birthday or Christmas, but let’s just say it was Christmas, my husband gave me an iron. He knows... (Read More ...)

They read like the 1930s relics they are. They are tiny little booklets, tasseled and corded so women could tie them to their wrists, with numbered lines so dance partners could sign up for the dances they wanted when they asked permission to sign a girl’s dance card.  Photo of a dance card from a June 26, 1899 dance hosted by the Sphinx Senior Society at Dartmouth College (Photo credit: Wikipedia) These are from my Mother’s college scrapbook. None had the numbered lines filled in. All were reserved for and signed by her date of the evening. Fifth Annual University of Michigan Union Formal Friday,... (Read More ...)

On January 3, 1959, Alaska became the 49th state of the United States. US Flag with 49 stars. It was defined in Executive Order 10798. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) I was 11. It was a novel concept. No other state had been added in my lifetime. The most recent state added to the country before then was before either of my parents were born, Arizona, on February 14, 1912, five years before my mother was born there, in Nogales. For Alaska, we had to change the flag to add another star. Before the year was out, another state and another star, for Hawaii, were added, on August 21, 1959. The phrase, “the... (Read More ...)

It was the first time I was going to meet my boyfriend’s extended family. Vintage Saks Fifth Avenue Powder Compact, H. Liebes, Portland Oregon (Photo credit: France1978) We had been dating 11 months, together at Michigan State for the first four, then from a distance. I’d met his parents and sisters nine months before. I’d decided to transfer schools to be near where he’d gotten a job after graduation, Washington, DC. But, this was between the end of fall quarter and the beginning of second semester, so I was still staying with my parents in Macon, Georgia, where they’d moved from Texas... (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 ...)