This week (fortnight actually) our small blogging group are answering a question we found in a poem and using it as a starting point for our writing. Helen suggested a few poets and their questions. I am sticking with her first suggestion “Have you noticed…” from Ghosts by Mary Oliver.
This was probably created in late May or early June 1963. Possibly September. I am somewhat shocked at the writing and spelling — I was at least 6 years and 9 months old. I think kids these days are more advanced — or I was behind at nearly 7. My drawing ability never improved much.
This card was from 1980 and the note on the back refers to Dean and my trip to the Chetek cabin for our first vacation together. By this time Grandma had moved in with John in his trailer in Plano, Illinois.
This next card was probably from 1983 because I spent a few days with my Grandma and her partner, John, on my way from Pittsburgh to Elgin to drop off the cats for some reason or another — maybe Dean and I went to San Francisco that year? It was not the most direct of routes, but it enabled me to see her in her home. I think it was the only time I went to Plano, Illinois to visit her and John.
Dean and I spent nearly 7 weeks in Northern Europe on our honeymoon in 1985. We sent this postcard to my folks.
Dear Mom, Dad & Kevin,
We are in Copenhagen now — at a laundromat believe it or not. No one seems to know the town Grandma came from.. We may go to Jutalnd (the mainland) tomorrow, after Odense (the town where Hans Christian Anderson was born). Man am I travel-weary! We have seen 6 countries (been through 9 altogether) in one month. I am ready to pack up and leave. But then soon something wonderful will happen and I’ll want to stay here all my life.
Can’t wait to tell you about Amsterdam. A post card just won’t do. Really seedy. Spent the night in a houseboat! We will go south after this. Maybe end up in Portugal — on the beaches. Paris has good food. Copenhagen is basically a city. As are all the places we’ve been. Maybe I have a jaded view of traveling like this. Staying with a family in one country is so much nicer. You only see one country — but you see it well.
If you recall, at the beginning of the year I decided to make it my year of letting go. In addition to my near Sisyphean task of disposing of unneeded belongings, I also planned on letting go of some unwanted emotions.
Today’s emotion is brought to you through a note my son brought home after helping a friend’s parents move. He parked his car on a street and spent several hours on a thankless and difficult task only to come back to a note on his car scolding him for parking on a public street.
While I understand that the space in front of a house is prime parking for the residents of that home, it is also not a crime to park there unless the neighborhood requires permits and you don’t have that permit (which is the case in our neighborhood — but if you have a permit for the neighborhood you can park anywhere, even if it is not in front of your own house). I also understand that most of the homes in neighborhoods around here have no garages.
This note is probably 3 years old, and I am mostly over it, but when I came across it in my recent purge attempts it made me angry again so therefore I needed to write about and then destroy the note.
Haven’t heard if you are coming home for Xmas. Even if you do I may not see you cause I won’t take my car out in 15° below weather. Joey couldn’t even walk into the house this morning after he pooped. His little footies are so tender they freeze. Hope your kitties have a nice Xmas and you and Dean too. Thanks for the birthday card. Leila & Joey
Aunt Pat (Leila) was a trip. I wrote about her a few times over the years, the last was when I was remembering drinking root beer in her house.
Sometimes when I think about my Grandma Patrick, I think of her as being a little uncaring — or at least feeling that I was not one of her favorite grandchildren. I then remember the time she gave me money to buy a tee-shirt that my mom would not pay for and then I find this note that probably contained more cash than I expected for my trip to England. I do think she used money for love sometimes, but maybe she thought she had to.
Just another object I am getting rid of after posting here.
Xmas 1978 To Dona Patrick, from Grandma Patrick
Have a very happy Christmas in England. We will all be missing you, but we will be thinking of you. Merry Xmas from us all. Grandma. Use this Gift where you most need it. Love Grandma.
She died about 5 years later. Okay, I am not throwing it away.