Wednesday, January 28, 2015

A blogger’s delight …

Every once in awhile I will get a comment on one of my older blog entries and it always surprises and pleases me. Recently I received this comment in reference to an entry that I posted way back on June 14 2007.
 
"Ginny - What a moving and profound remembrance! I, too, had Mr. Crockett at Wellesley High, but it was 22 years after you left the hallowed halls of the old majestic building on Seaver Street. Like you and Sylvia, Mr. Crockett left an indelible mark on my life. In the end, I became a teacher because of him (I am now in year 35 in the classroom at The Greenwich Country Day School.) I think of Sylvia quite often when I stay at my home in Eastham on the Cape, just down the road on the Bay Side where Sylvia and Ted lived for two months during the summer of 1957. Warren Plath is a neighbor. When I visit Rock Harbor or walk the beaches at Nauset I am reminded that Sylvia also found such vistas sacred as well. By the way, I also loved your post on the Totem Pole! Mom and Dad had their first date their together in 1939, when they danced to Glenn Miller and His Orchestra! God bless you, my fellow Wellesleyite - and, as Mr. Crockett would surely say, keep writing!"

Isn’t that a great comment? Not only does it make me want to keep writing but it is gratifying to know that my words have had a positive impact on an unknown reader. I’m sure that you bloggers out there know what I mean.

I am in my 80’s now and the exercise of writing and posting a new entry every fifth day helps to keep my mind alert. This alone would keep me going but the comments are the icing on the cake !

Friday, January 23, 2015

My 1969 CAMARO !


In 1969 my husband made a big Real Estate sale and, to celebrate he surprised me with a brand new Camaro SS coupe. It looked a lot like the one in the picture except that it was a gorgeous shade of burnt orange. He paid cash for the car and it turned out to be the one and only time in our married life that we would be able to splurge like that ... but, of course we didn't know it then.
My husband’s vehicle was a Blazer and we decided we’d use that to show properties and to chauffer children and animals. The Camaro would be for my use and for special occasions for the two of us. I still remember how I felt the first time that I drove off alone. No longer was I the dowdy old housewife with three children …I was one foxy lady (in my mind anyway ! )  and I actually got some wolf whistles.
About three months later my husband came to me one night and said we needed to have a serious talk. I think he must have practiced his speech because it was very effective. He explained that his business was expanding and we were in desperate need of a truck and the only way we could afford that would be to sell my car. He never actually said it but I felt that I would be very selfish to keep my frivolous “toy” in the face of the family emergency.
So, that was that ! We sold my Camaro and bought a dark green flat-bed truck (ugh!). I went back to hauling kids, groceries and dogs in the Blazer and lived the rest of my life without once getting an admiring glance or a whistle from a stranger !
 
 
 
 
 

Sunday, January 18, 2015

APHRODITE” … our GODDESS OF LOVE, 1973


This beautiful Samoyed became part of our family in 1973. Her name was “Aphrodite” and we teased her relentlessly about being the “Goddess of Love”. We were living in a small, rural town in Upstate New York and Aphrodite fit right in with our 4 German Shorthair Pointers and our horse Thunder. The other animals were penned but “Aphrodite” had been used to a city apartment so she became our “house dog”. She was good as gold and we couldn’t have been more pleased.

About three months after “Aphrodite” came to live with us she came into heat. My husband was very old fashioned where this was concerned and he did not believe in “fixing” his female animals. “We’ll keep her in the house”, he said, “no problem.” and that’s what we tried to do.

This proved to be an impossibility. There must have been 5 or 6 Adonis-like dogs milling around our front yard and the pull was too strong for our “Aphrodite”. At the first chance she was out the door and away they went in a flash. We searched for her but with no luck and it was two days before she returned.

We had a large open field across from our house and my husband was the first to spy her. “Look at that little minx”, he said and sure enough, here she came. She was positively glowing as she trotted across the field. She had a big smile on her face and wasn‘t the least bit interested in the line of exhausted looking male dogs that were straggling to keep up with her.

Now she was happy to be home and the mixed-breed puppies that she inevitably had were easy to place since they were an adorable combination of brown fluff and her big smile.

But it became more and more difficult to keep her at home and we worried about the busy turnpike nearby. We had friends in West Virginia who loved her too and when they offered her a home on their 200 acre farm we let her go.

It broke our hearts to see her leave but we knew that she was a free soul and needed to wander. “Aphrodite” closely resembled her namesake, the “Greek Goddess of Love” and I can imagine the two of them roaming those West Virginia hills even today.

Monday, January 12, 2015

In solidarity …

 
This was the mass of humanity that gathered on Sunday in Paris in support and solidarity against the terrorist attacks at the headquarters of Charlie Hebdo, the slaying of two policemen and the death of four hostages.

I was sorry to see that a high placed official was not there from the United States; however Eric Holder was there and he told reporters that the White House would gather world leaders on Feb. 18 to discuss how to tackle extremism in the world. I hope this becomes a fact and that their solidarity will overcome differences in ethnicities and ideologies.

Just months ago my daughter and her husband were in France celebrating their wedding anniversary. They had made the trip to Paris a few years earlier and fell in love with all that it had to offer. I knew that they would be devastated when they heard the news and would have been in the crowd if it were possible. However they showed their support this way at their place of business:


 
                                      
As she wrote when she sent the picture to me: “Our mascot is standing proud showing solidarity with France” and I love the way that they honored Charlie Hedbo using pencils in the sign:
 
 
 

Wednesday, January 07, 2015

PENNY - A - RIDE …

 
I’ve written about my grandfather, Harry Lee, quite a few times since I started my blog in 2006; however, I don’t think I ever included this:

My Papa Lee was an author with two published books and a play about the life of St. Francis which had a very short Broadway run in 1928. He was a very dear man and we 5 Lee sisters adored him. We were his only grandchildren and he would spoil us royally whenever he got the chance. I don’t know the exact year but one Christmas his gift to our family was a handwritten and hand sketched book of poems he titled “Penny-a-ride.” (from the age of the girls in the sketch I would imagine it to be around 1937).

In a post-Christmas cleaning frenzy I came across this book and, although his poetry is nowhere as good as his prose, it is still fun to re-read it. Here is a small sample:

                                                    ONE RED APPLE

                                    When Grandma and my Aunt Jeanette
                                    Were just like we are … little girls,
                                    There was a naughty boy would sneak
                                    Up close behind and pull their curls.

                                    And once he pulled my Grandma’s curls
                                    And ran off down the wagon track
                                    Where’s all the dust and then he turned
                                    And rolled a big red apple back.

                                    And when I asked her why he did and
                                    Where he did and when and how …
                                    My Grandma said, “Go ask him child,
                                    That naughty boy’s your Grandpa now.”


Friday, January 02, 2015

New Year’s Eve … 1949

 
Few of my New Year’s Eves are memorable enough to write about but I thought you might get a kick out of this.

I was 16 years old in 1949 and the youngest of 5 girls. We all had invitations to New Year’s parties that year and my folks said it was OK but they were very firm about the times that we were to be home … 12:30 for Peg and me and not later than 1 a.m. for the older girls. They also told us that they were going to a neighbors for the festivities but would be home shortly after midnight.

Of course you can imagine what happened. We were all late by at least an hour and had no idea what would be waiting for us when we got home. Luckily it seemed very quiet and we breathed huge sighs of relief … obviously our folks had trusted that we’d meet the deadlines and they had gone to bed. Just to be safe we carefully took off our shoes and left them at the bottom of the stairs. Then we snuck up bare-footed, being sure to miss the creakiest treads. Sure enough our parents bedroom door was firmly closed and we were home free !

Fast forward to a family reunion in the ‘60’s. As often happens at those times we were all reminiscing and my sister Nancy gleefully brought up the New Year’s Eve when all 5 of us had hood winked our parents. “Not so fast”, my dad said and he went on to tell how he and Mom had come home much later than planned. The shoes were the first thing that they saw and, although “it was a dead give-away” they decided to let it go. They had much more fun the next morning listening to our carefully crafted versions of our big night out !

Ah…my parents. They always managed to get the last word !

 

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Life in the ‘40’s … simple but memorable.

My last blog entry was about the year 1933 and it got me to thinking about the years that followed. In particular it brought back a memory of a favorite meal that my mother used to make. We could only have it during the harvest months since tomatoes were the main ingredient. We children would gather them off the vine from our vegetable garden…still warm, ripe and juicy.
Then we would cut them into cubes and combine them with home-made mayonnaise, ketchup, herbs, salt & pepper to taste. We would do this early in the day so that it could marinate all day in the refrigerator. At supper time we would have two big bowls on the table. One bowl contained steaming hot, white rice with chunks of bologna and the other was the bowl of juicy and chilled, marinated, tomatoes.

It sounds strange in these days of plenty ... but that was a feast as far as we were concerned. We’d heap our plates and always came back for seconds. Over the years I’ve tried to reproduce that recipe but it’s never been a success. I’m sure it has to do with the tomatoes. The type that they sell in the stores today have little in common with the ones that I remember.
Last summer my daughter brought me a few heirloom tomatoes from her own garden and I couldn’t believe how delicious they were. I saved the seeds and am determined to see if I can get them to grow ! If I do you can bet that my first meal using them will be the one I’ve described here.