Sunday, January 20, 2013

Weddings and Funerals

Mary Louise Copley Moore Case died this past week. I was blessed to have her as my mother-in-law for twenty-two years. Officially she stopped being my mother-in-law when my marriage to her son ended, but I held her dear in my heart all the rest of her life. She was a good woman.

She was born the baby of the family in Western Nebraska. Her mother was widowed early in Mary's life and life was hard during the depression and dust bowl years. She never spoke about it much, she never complained much. It wasn't her way. She married Paul Moore near the end of the depression. He was twenty years older than she and had gorgeous red hair. They had four children and I married the oldest, Roger, in 1959. 

Mary's marriage was difficult, but I never heard her complain about that, either. She was widowed when she was in her '40's and remained single for a number of years while she worked in a nearby hospital. Later on, when three of her four children were living in the west, she too moved to Oregon where she met the love of her life, Judson Case.

The top picture and the one just below were taken at the wedding of her granddaughter Colleen in 1984.  In the top picture Mary and I (in our oh-so-fashionable 80's glasses) sip Champagne. In the picture below, Mary's son, Roger,escorts Colleen down the path to the tree where the ceremony took place.
.The four children of Mary and Paul: Gordon, Roger, Sandra, and Mike, say good-bye to their mother. An afghan draped over the coffin is one of many made by Mary in her later years. Mary crocheted ceaselessly, producing a multitude of afghans which became gifts to her family and friends. She even made one for me, even though I was by that time "out of the picture." The most important one she made became Logan's security blanket (Ti-ti by name). It was the only thing he brought from New York when he began his new life in California with me. It stayed by his side and in his bed bringing him comfort until he was twelve years old and Ti-ti was once again nothing more than a ball of yarn.

I have many wonderful memories of this wonderful woman and I know the world is a better place because of her time spent here. RIP Mary Case.

Monday, January 14, 2013

New Love

Some things change and some things are immutable. The wheels are now larger, swivel effectively, and roll smoothly. Two of the shelves have morphed into baskets and they are made of wire. 
It's not my mother's kitchen utility cart, neither the one in my kitchen nor the blue one in the photo above. I borrowed the photo above because I don't have a photo of my mother's green version. I much prefer the newer version. My mother's sat immobile near the kitchen stove in my childhood home. The kitchen was large, dilapidated, and had very little usable space like counter, and cupboards. I think the cart was intended to compensate in some degree for those deficiencies, but as near as I can recall it was only used to hold dish towels (our version had a handle or rack on the top level).

My new cart serves me as a laundry cart when I move clothes from the hamper to the washer, the washer to the dryer, and the dryer back to my bedroom where I fold them. It saves my back and many steps. It also serves as an auxiliary walker. I leave my walker in the car and push the cart around the house. It's useful when I'm using the dining room for meals and need to carry food and dirty dishes to and fro. I love it!

And here are three of my new loves all in one! Watching and listening to Downton Abbey on my new Kindle Fire with my new headset has given me enormous pleasure. I wondered what all the buzz was about Downton Abbey and now I know: my dears, the costumes, the scenery, the characters, the setting, the story, and Maggie Smith! I'm also delighted with the Kindle cover which doubles as a stand. Buying all this seemed so indulgent and as I grow older, the acquisition of things often seems burdensome. This is different -- I am enthralled!

I still take time out from new addiction to practice the old -- I've completed two more table runners, only one more to go and I will have a complete set of twelve. And I keep on quilting on other projects.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Something Old , Something New

Brittany and Bill are getting married this spring. Her engagement ring is an heirloom diamond from Bill's great-great grandmother Minnie Pauline (Nichols) Blair -- my grandmother. Ernest Blair gave her this diamond in 1908 and they were married December 26 of that year. The diamond, an old miner's cut, next saw service as a birthstone ring for me. On my 18th birthday, April 18, 1957 it was given to me set in a traditional solitaire setting. Some time later, I decided I wanted it reset so that it looked more like a birthstone ring instead of an engagement ring. In that setting, it now graces Brittany's left hand.

Here's the same ring on my grandmother's hand on her wedding day, 104 years earlier.
Brittany is a beautiful girl -- I wish I had a picture of her to post here. Here's to a long and happy marriage for Bill and Brittany.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Aft and Fore

In 2012, Logan:
  • Turned 15, got his driver's permit, and learned to drive forward. We'll work on backing up as the weather allows.
  • Finished his Freshman year and got half way through his sophomore year.
  • Pursued speech and debate, "finalling" for the first time.
  • Played football. His team had an outstanding season, finishing third state-wide for their division. He was thrilled to be able to play a few plays after the varsity had established a significant lead.
  • Kept busy all summer at summer school, football camp, and visiting Massachusetts.
In 2012, Ben:
  • Got his driver's license. He still doesn't drive much, takes the car to school when I don't need it. Sometimes he brings it home again. (He forgot one day and rode the bus home, leaving the car in the school parking lot.) Another time he called and asked me to come pick him up -- I had to inform him he had driven to school.
  • Did very well in math competition and will compete at the state level.
  • Got a "Bright Flight" scholarship in recognition of his outstanding ACT score. 
  • Marched for his last high school season.
  • Finished his Junior year and got half way through his senior year.
  • Kept busy all summer at summer school, band camp, and GLADE (a nature-based summer camp).
In 2012, I did very few of the things I thought in January, 2011 that I would do.
  • I didn't have a second knee replacement.
  • No relatives came to claim any household goods.
  • Didn't sell the house.
  • Didn't go to Massachusetts.
  • I did go to the reunion of my high school friends and had a fabulous time -- much better than I had dreamed of.
  • Did enjoy a nice visit when Valery came.
  • Held true to my vow to relinquish hosting Christmas.

Plans for this year include:
  • Ben's graduation.
  • A special trip for Ben's graduation (TBA).
  • More dental work (ugh!).
  • Replace knee #2.
  • Sell the house and move.
  • Logan to get his driver's license.
  • Keep on quilting.
  • More football for Logan.
  • Add at least one new car to the family fleet.
  • Send Ben off to college to an as yet undetermined school.