Today I am grateful for this picture of Peggy, Mari and I sleeping out on the grass in the backyard. We were all adults at the time, it was fun to re-live our youths. Good to know I was a side sleeper, with two pillows back then too.
Today I am grateful for this picture of Mom in her favorite spot, and for this picture of her view from that favorite spot. Mom has always been a very avid reader, staying up til the wee hours of the morning reading in her chair. I remember her going to the library quite often, bringing home a stack of books at a time. Notice the pile on the floor next to her chair? She instilled this love of reading in at least two of her children (me and Mari) who also are night owls staying up late reading. This chair was also the spot for happy hour every night when the weather was too cold for it outside on the patio. My Dad would make Mom her favorite version of a Margarita, called an Eldorita (Mom’s name is Eldora).
I am grateful for this photo of Dad teaching me how to mow the lawn. I am wondering who took this picture (Jim maybe?). I do have vivid memories of this day and learning how to run the mower wheels along the brick edging the flowerbeds, and dumping the grass cutting in the compost heap on the side of the house. I can almost smell the cut grass as I type. As a kid the girls worked inside the house and the boys outside. It seems like I worked outside with the boys when I was younger, maybe the summer Mary and Peggy went to Iowa. They were busy cleaning the house from top to bottom, to earn money for their air fare to Iowa. I always loved working outside in the yard and in the garden. I didn’t even mind weeding. The funnest was climbing up on the roof of the house to pick cherries from my tree.
Today I am Grateful for Mrs. Marge’s memory about Dad’s favorite song being Hey Jude by The Beatles. Her memory reminded me of going to see The Yellow Submarine movie when I was seven with Dad, Jim and Bill. Thinking it was Jim’s Christmas present to us.
Seems like I was older than seven, maybe it was a repeat showing years later. I am also reminded how it was Aunt Marge who suggested the playroom become the boys bedroom, so mom could have a sewing room (with wallpaper I actually hugged a year ago, I loved and missed it :o). In this new bedroom I remember Jim’s (and maybe Bill’s) album collection on top of the 5 foot long cabinet Dad built. The collection was very organized and contained ALL the Beatles’ albums.
I remember bragging about how cool my Dad was… memories for another day.
I first met Bob when he came to Minot to meet the parents…I think the year before their marriage. We all approved instantly. He was tall, handsome and everything we wanted for Eldora. He was a bit shy and quiet until he turned on his jazz music and his whole body wiggled like I had never seen anyone before! He did like his music…all kinds…especially, Hey Jude. Before they married, Eldora and I sneaked into his and Jamie’s letters to us. They were married in Minot and the reception was at the Minot Country Club paid for by Mother’s slot machine winnings from the two machines in the small bar there.
Eldora graduated a year before Bob and they lived in student housing his last year and my first year at Ames. Eldora once said “I feel like I’m married to the back of a man” as he was sitting studying at his desk in the L R. “I seldom see his face”. It was a surprise to them when she learned she was pregnant. Bob thought he was sterile from having mumps. After having 6 children, she said “we have done pretty well considering your condition.” Her condition was much worse with her two bad kidneys. While raising young children Jim and I didn’t get have much time together with them but we did have a wonderful weekend with our families in Minot (and a day at the Eaton Ranch…coming back by train and forgetting Jim at the depot!) for Helen & Albert’s 50th wedding anniversary.
After Jim’s death, Eldora convinced me to come to Albuquerque to meet a “wonderful single man”. I was certain I did not want to get married again and especially to a divorced man that had a hobby of making and flying antique airplanes…but my 3 nieces were so excited about the possibility of me moving to NM. Our “date” was a flop…neither interested in the other, but I had a wonderful time away from my sons. I did not expect to have a relaxing time with a family with 6 kids…but such a surprise. The kids were perfect…never picking on each other and putting together their own lunches. Eldora’s life seemed to be just lounging on that chaise lounge in the LR polishing her nails or reading novels, serving amazing wonderful dinners from the freezer! Bob was such a wonderful husband. At breakfast, E would tell me to remind her of something to pick up for dinner that night…we would forget, but Bob would come him with it! That happened twice and I asked Bob how often did they end both bringing it…he said she never remembered. I did come back to MN feeling very inadequate.
Six years after Jim died, I married his good friend, Roger and the four of us had many good times where they lived and trips we took together and some times in MN. I feel fortunate to have had such a wonderful sister and brother-in-law. Aunt Marge
Today I am Grateful for the plentiful flower gardens and fruit trees I grew up around. Every spring I miss my Mom’s garden. Jim you best be enjoying it!
Day 49: Today I am grateful that my Daddy thought to get out from behind the camera while taking these pictures back in 1980. Thank you, thank you, thank you.