Tag Archives: kevin

A gift

In 2000 when I graduated from George Washington University with a Master’s degree my mom, and her two sisters pooled their money and bought me a Lenox mug that featured an illustration of a cedar waxwing (by artist Catherine McClung), my favorite bird and my online persona on several forums. I knew that they’d spent a fair amount on it because Mom cautioned me that it should probably not be used.

I heeded her warning and didn’t use the mug for several years but in April 2013 I decided to start using it, a decision I documented on Facebook:

Fast forward to a little over a month ago during our kitchen renovation, when, while washing dishes in the basement, Dean accidentally knocked the mug to the cement floor where it broke in several pieces. I heard it, I knew what it was and my heart momentarily froze and when he showed me what happened, I replied, “Don’t worry about it. It was bound to happen sometime. I got lots of years out of it.” And strangely, that was how I really felt.

Of course I documented it on Facebook.

The responses were heartwarming and several friends tried to help me find a replacement, at least one even offering to buy me one.

I could not find the exact mug and felt that buying one would be cheating. Part of its appeal was because it was from three special people in my life who were no longer with us.

Two days after the mug was broken my brother commented with a photo of the mug and later said it was an early Christmas gift to me in memory of Mom. It turned out that he found a set of four Lenox bird mugs online and bought them for me.

Screenshot of FB conversation. Kevin: Mom is excited all over again, she made me do it. Love you. Me: Where did you find this? Kevin: I have my sources. It's actually a set of 4. An early Xmas present in memory of mom. Dad is represented too with the blue bird. Me: I am speechless!

I got them a week or so later and put them in my China cabinet. I’ll use them someday, but not right now.

Kevin buying them for me was such a surprise, but when I think of it, not that much of a surprise. He’s always been a kind and thoughtful person. I’m lucky he’s my brother.

Arithmetic Workbook and other memorable phrases

Another thing I found when helping my mom sort out her attic was a tape my brother, Kevin, and I made in 1969. I was 13 and he was 6. I’d recently acquired a tape recorder and was practicing my interview skills.



Dona: Hello
Kevin: Hello
D: What’s your favorite subject in school?
K:Um. [unintelligible]
D: No, first — What school do you go to?
K: Highland School
D: What’s your teacher’s name?
K: Mrs. Varisco
D: What grade are you in?
K: First
D: What’s your favorite subject?
K: [Intake of breath] — What’s– Um — No — Ah — Recess!
D: No! Your favorite subject.
K: Uh
D: Like favorite um reading or math or stuff like that.
K: Math? We don’t got math.
D: Math – yeah, don’t you have arithmetic?
K: Arithmetic Workbook
D: Oh, OK. Um — What do you like to do at home?
K: Play with the tape recorder.
D: Oh, tape recorder? Who has a tape recorder in your house?
K: Dona! I’m talking on it.
D: Oh. Um — What else do you like to do at home? Do you help your mommy?
K: Sometimes
D: Sometimes? Do you help her enough?
K: Mm-huh
D: What do you want for Christmas?
K: [Sigh] Dona! It’s too long to tell and I can’t remember all of ’em.
D: Say a couple things.
K: Battling Tops, Bang Box, [sigh] – um, more Lego Blocks, and all that stuff, other stuff.
D: Lego Blocks? Um — Hot Wheels?
K: Yeah, except we didn’t put that on the… Oh yeah, yeah we did. And hot wheels and all that stuff, all that stuff. I don’t know what you guys are gonna give me.
D: I do
K: You know?
D: Oh yeah, I forgot, I was going to show you what I got Daddy.

Here I turned the tape recorder off, presumably to show Kevin what I got our Dad.

D: How many people are in your family?
K: Four
D: Do you have any animals?
K: One

D: What’s that?
K: A dog. We used to have a cat named Puff
D: Mmmm. What’s the dog’s name?
K: Jock — and um — but — our friends were taking him to the farm — to a farm — and then he — the window was open — ah — so um — just so much as he — Puff could get out — jump out.
D: Mmmm
K: So he jumped out.
D: Mmm. That’s sad isn’t it?
K: Yeah — but he ain’t dead or anything — got ran over because he’s smart enough.
D: Mmm, huh. Well. — Is there any problems you have with your mommy? What do you call your mom?
K: Mrs. Patr[ick]

[tape was turned off before he could finish Patrick, I probably said something about how he doesnlt call his mom by her last name, but it was not recorded.]

D: [Are there any] problems at your house?
K: No, not much.
D: Um — Does anyone get into any fights or anything?
K: Sometimes
D: Hmm?
K: Sometimes!
D: Like – how -, are they real bad?
K: No
D: Hmmm, who fights usually?
K: My mom.
D: And who else?
K: My dad.
D: Do you and your sister ever fight?
K: Sometimes.
D: Very much? Is it very bad when you fight?
K: No
D: Do you fist-fight or just talk-fight?
K: Fist-fight and talk-fight
D: Do your mommy and daddy fist-fight or talk-fight?
K: Both
D: Really? They do? They punch each other?
K: No, talk-fight.
D: Oh, I was kinda worried there. Um — um
K: Dona! I was doing something.
D: If. Um.
K: Um

[Tape recorder was turned off]

D: Well, let’s see now.
K: Well, let’s see now.

[Tape recorder was turned off]

D: Do you know any nursery rhymes?
K: Um, yeah.
D: Tell me some of them.
K: Hey diddle, diddle
The cat and the fiddle
The cow jumped over the moon.
The little dog laughed
To see such sport
And the dish ran away with the spoon
D: Do you know any Christmas carols?
K: No
D: Oh…
K: ‘Cept Jingle Bells
D: Well, just say a little bit of it
K: Dashing through the snow
On a one-horse open sleigh
[something] spirits rise [someone started snapping at this point]
Laughing all the way
D: Mmmm, huh. Very good! Um, well — Gonna have to stop now, so, um.
K: K. you say g—
D: What’s your favorite… What is your favorite stuff for supper?
K: Um, mmm yum mmm, — I’m thinkin’. Ahh — fish.
D: Fish?
K: Mmm, huh.
D: Oh, well, let’s say goodbye —
K: You say goodbye first
D: Bye. And don’t you dare say “Goodbye Dick” [whispered]
K: Goodbye!
D: Ok. K: Dick!