Category Archives: Musings

The Case of the Mysterious Musician

Here’s a mystery. Not a huge important one, but something that has me wondering. The photo below was among my mom’s things. At this point I have no idea where it actually came from — Grandma Green, maybe.

Mysterious Musician

Someone in my mom’s family seemed to adore Ray as indicated by the hearts over his shoulders. Ray played both the saxophone and is that a clarinet at his feet?

At first I thought Ray was a famous musician and this was a promotional photo, but the more I look at the photo I think it was just something someone snapped at home. The doily in the bottom corner of the room, just behind his chair, seems less than professional. In addition the lamps, especially the one on the left, just showing on the screen, seem odd for a promo shot. Also, the original photo is tiny — the size of annual high school photos you handed out to friends.

I cannot really tell when this was taken. Certainly before the 1960s I think. I think a clue is the foldable metal music stand. Professor Google is not very helpful when I ask about the history of music stands.

My next task for this mystery is to check my mom’s yearbook for orchestra members who played the sax and clarinet.

Stay tuned!

Mothers and Daughters

For reasons I will keep to myself right now, I’ve been thinking lately about relationships between mothers and daughters. So much so that it seems to have subconsciously influenced what I’ve been reading and watching.

Some of these books were chosen for book group, so they shouldn’t factor into my subconscious book choices, but I’ll mention them anyway, because I definitely focused on the relationships.

  • In The Rose Code (bookgroup choice) three women with varying levels of closeness to their mothers become friends. One is born rich with a distracted and often absent mother, one is born poor with a mother who has more children than she can care for, and one whose mother is physically, verbally and emotionally abusive and beyond overprotective.
  • In We Were the Mulvaneys (bookgroup choice) the mother is so ashamed that her daughter has been raped, she doesn’t blink an eye when her husband sends the daughter away and never wants to see her again.
  • In Pieces of Her (my choice) a widowed mother and her daughter’s close relationship is threatened after they witness a mass shooting at a cafe in a mall and the daughter slowly learns that her mother is not who she thought she was. (I also watched the Netflix series based on this book)
  • In The Last Days of Night (bookgroup choice) an actress and professional singer and her seemingly domineering mother have a [necessarily once you learn their secret] close relationship.
  • In With Love from London (my choice) a daughter whose mother abandoned her at age 12 is surprised at age 35 when her mother dies and leaves her a bookstore in London.

The one book that I have not read that I should have read in February is You’re Wearing That? Understanding Mothers and Daughters in Conversation. It might be too late, but I’ll add it to my must read books in this year’s reading challenge. It couldn’t hurt.

[Not] Home for the Holidays

It occurred to me after we returned from our almost spur-of-the-moment trip to Atlanta for Christmas (which was a lot of fun) that we may never again host Christmas/Christmas Eve in our house. It’s pretty clear that Clare won’t be returning for the holidays ever again and Andrew’s fiancé’s folks are quite invested in Christmas, so Andrew and Alex probably won’t be spending the holidays here ever again.

When I made that realization, I was really bummed. I felt sad and a little hurt. After all, we travelled to Illinois every Christmas for at least two decades even though I would have liked to create some Christmas traditions here in Bethesda with our kids.

After thinking about it though, I realized that we did make traditions in our home. It might not be on Christmas day or Christmas Eve (in fact that was a tradition in itself — having our personal Christmas after Christmas) but we still hung stockings on our mantlepiece and unwrapped presents in the morning of the day we designated our “Christmas”.

I don’t know what the future holds for subsequent Christmases — travel probably. Maybe we will go see Clare sometimes. Maybe Dean, Clare and I will rent a house somewhere warm for a Christmas someday. Maybe if A&A have children we’ll all gather wherever they are.