Saturday, October 29, 2011

Aunt Emma’s Halloween “Treat” …

I introduced you to my great Aunt Emma in my last blog entry, and since Halloween is just around the corner, I thought you might enjoy this story about her too.

As I mentioned Aunt Emma was a very frugal New Englander and she lived a simple life; but she did have one passion that I was aware of. She loved gardening, in all it’s forms. Her vegetable garden took up most of the back lawn and she harvested enough from that to last her through the winter.

Her showpiece, however, was at the front of her house. That was where she planted her roses. They took up most of the small front lawn and were separated from the sidewalk by an evergreen hedge that she kept neatly trimmed.

The story goes that the morning after Halloween Aunt Emma walked out front to find that her rose bushes and the hedge border had been completely smothered in toilet paper. A lesser person might have been upset by this but she took it in stride.

She came outside with a wooden dowel and preceded to wind the paper around it. The boys had used at least three rolls to cover her foliage so she had a huge ball when she was done…enough to last a long time and it was FREE!

I’m sure this wasn’t the result that the little Halloween Hooligans were looking for but it must have made the day for Aunt Emma.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A surprise in Aunt Emma’s diary…

My mother was born in 1896. She, her older sister and their parents lived in West Brattleboro, Vt. Also living there, just two houses down from theirs, was my Grandmother’s sister, my great Aunt Emma.

After Aunt Emma died my mother was given all her diaries and she divided them among the family. I received 12 of them and I couldn’t wait to read what she’d written. Was I ever disappointed! I knew that Aunt Emma was a spinster and a very frugal one at that; but I had no idea that her life was so devoid of enchantment or just plain fun.

Page after page recorded nothing but the weather conditions for the day and the exact price of everything she bought. Of course she would mention visiting her sister, etc., but not much else of interest until ...

Imagine my surprise when I read, in her diary of 1912: “I stood on my front porch and waved to President Taft as he rode by on the trolly.”

I couldn’t wait to research this and, sure enough, here is a picture of the trolly tracks and a caption that reads: “In the early years of the 20th century, the town built a trolly which traveled the length of Main Street and out Western Avenue to West Brattleboro.”

And here’s the big man himself speaking at a town just North of West Brattleboro. So I guess Aunt Emma had a special treat that day ... even if her New England stoicism made it hard for her to express it!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

My daughter’s 50th UN-Birthday party !

Well, that’s me…dancing at my daughter’s big bash just 3 days before I drove home, fell and fractured my femur. Now it’s 3 weeks later and I feel well enough to finally write all about it !

Late in Sept. I headed North to attend my daughter’s 50th UN birthday celebration. She had been greatly affected by the TV pictures of the poor Somalian children and wanted to do her part so, instead of receiving gifts, she decided to host a FUNdraiser for Doctor’s Without Borders and the children of Somalia.

Their antique shop (a three story converted cow barn) is located in Dutchess County, NY and open only on weekends, so they decided to utilize that and the party was held from 1 to 5 in their place of business on Saturday, Oct. 1st.

They had hired the musical group “Gypsy Jazz Caravan” from NY City and they proved to be an enormous success. Their music is based on the music of the 1930’s with a definite Parisian twist. We all enjoyed their music and it was fun to sing along as they played. I think the band enjoyed it almost as much as we did.

Here is an overview and you can see that the audience just settled in among the antiques. I laughed at one point when I saw my son-in-law come in and transfer a guest from one chair to another. It seems he’d just sold the chair that he was sitting on ! (Business must go on!)

It took months of preparation between the invitations, the food, the music and the rearrangement of their shop; but it was an outstanding success and one that will be remembered for a very long time. When all was said and done they raised over $4,000 for Doctor’s Without Border’s !

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Well, you can see I wasn’t lacking for attention. These are the cards and flowers that I received during my Physical Rehab stay, not to mention the many, many wonderful visits.

Now I am home and I’ll try to get back in the blogging groove ! My energy level is very low but I will try to visit you one by one and leave my comments of “thanks”. Then, hopefully in a few days or a week, I should be able to get back to my regular blog.

‘til then … I wish the very best to you all.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Safe ... but not so sound !

Well, I was hoping to have a wonderful blog entry for you with lots of pictures and a rundown of where I've been. However, that's not so easy from a hospital bed !

To make the story short...I arrived home Tuesday night and while emptying my car I tripped over a rock and fractured my femur. Not much fun, as you can imagine ... but at least the operation is over and I am in a lovely rehab here in the hospital. I start physical therapy on Monday and it should be all uphill from there.

Some of you may remember the blog that i wrote about "The I hate to exercise, exercises". I can tell you that I'm so happy now that I stayed on them because all the PT folks tell me I am a great candidate to be walking and almost back to normal in 4 to 6 weeks. So that's very encouraging and once I get home I will get my pictures going and try to get you up to date.

Hugs to all of you. Ginnie