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Today in My History

2000: Lions & Tigers & Grants, Oh My
2001:  Love Story
2002:  Out of the Closet
2003:  Attack of the Killer Brownies
2004:  How RU 2Day?
lurry of Activity
2006:  Back to Reality
The Pitter Patter of Little Feet

2008:  Feeling Crabby
2009:  The Empty Music Stand
2010:  Collaborations

Bitter Hack
Updated: 3/18
9 to 5

Books Read in 2011
Updated: 3/14


Ned tries to quit Facebook from Bev Sykes on Vimeo.


Most Recent on My flickr_logo.gif (801 bytes)

The Funeral Trip

Mirror Site for RSS Feed
Airy Persiflage

My Compassion Kids (new 3/14)

Postcrossing Postcards (new 3/18)

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23 March 2011

As I mentioned in my last entry, Peach and I went on a cousins day a day early, so we could go with my mother to the doctor's office.  We were convinced, based on how she has been for the past several weeks, that Kathy would not feel well enough to join us.  Wouldn't you know it that while we were gone, Kathy called Peach's husband to tell him she was feeling so much better.  Probably if we had waited until the scheduled cousins day, she would have come with us.

But we had no way of knowing that and we made the most of our 3-person cousins day. 

We were half a block away from our house when I realized I'd left my camera at home, but decided I wouldn't need it.  Naturally the ride was gorgeous, with all the rain having brought out the green grass and a new crop of poppies, and then several things I would like to have taken pictures of at my mother's house.  I made do with a couple of poorly focused cell phone photos.

We arrived at my mother's early and chatted until noon, when we had some lunch and then broke out the cards.

It was canasta until her doctor's appointment and then 65 from thereafter.  I was the big 65 winner this time around.  I think I won 3 games and everyone hates me.

This was not a good "memory week" for my mother.  Her short term memory was terrible, and this was the first time I remember her forgetting the rules of card games--we figured that would be her LAST memory to go, since she's so passionate about it, but she continually mixed up the rules of canasta with the rules of 65  But her worsening memory loss doesn't seem to be any detriment to her ability to manage on herself yet.  I worry about her since she doesn't have someone with her at all times, but her telephone has been out and when we went to the doctor's office, we ran into a couple who are good friends of hers.  The guy was about ready to go over to her house and check on her because she hadn't been answering her phone.  That's when I realized that she had more people checking on her than I remembered, so I'm not going to fret about it for the moment.

We had such a good visit.  We talked about each one of my mother's siblings -- about how she and her younger sister would go to visit their oldest sister (who was already married with a chid when my mother was born).  Mel was an amazing woman who was the first woman to have a pilot's license in California, she danced ballet, was a beautiful seamstress who made lots of clothes for my mother and her siblings, and I don't remember what else she did (except that she was married 13 times to 12 different men--#5 and #7 were the same guy and in between marriages to Mel, he married one of her sisters), but she had many interests and always became the best at what she did.  She was also alcoholic and, with two of her sisters, established AA groups all over California.

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Mel with husband #7 (previously husband #5), and at the right
my aunt Betsy, who may have been trying to contact my mother yesterday!

My mother's fondest memory of Mel is watching her put on makeup.   My mother was living on a farm and had never seen someone with so much makeup before.  As she tells it, Mel was not a beautiful woman, but when she finished putting on her makeup, they thought she was the most beautiful, elegant woman they had ever seen.

She also is fond of telling the story about her sister Jean, another alcoholic, who came to the farm with Mel to visit when my mother was small.  My mother's uncle and his wife were there at the same time and what my mother remembers is the four of them getting drunk and someone taking a picture of Jean sitting on a toilet out in the field (my grandfather was getting ready to install indoor plumbing).   "Drunk as a skunk" is always the way she describes it.

She tells that story at least once every time I see her, and each time she tells it as if she never remembers having told it before.  It obviously had a huge impact on her as a child. I got to where I'd heard that story so often that I was sure I had seen the photo somewhere.  Peach and I compared notes and she, too, has heard the story so often that she has a mental image of the photo in her mind.  Only her mental image is totally different from mine, so I think that over the years we just have convinced ourselves that we have seen the photo, when we never have.

But that's how the evening went--lots of memories of each of her siblings, and of her parents.  We laughed so much and Peach and I were happy realizing that we may be the only ones of our generation who actually knew all of the siblings and have strong memories of each of them.  Perhaps Kathy, too, but she is younger than we are, so Peach isn't sure.


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This is my mother's family at Mel's funeral.  Her brother Jim had also died by this time.
L to R:  My mother, Paul, Marge (Peach's mother), Jean, Barb (Kathy's mother)
Rodger (Scotty), Marie and Betsy.  My mother is the only one left now.



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