Thursday, September 28, 2006

Visiting my cousins at the farm: 1969/1977

I got a card the other day from my cousin Kristen who is my age. Enclosed were two photos that made my heart jump and my head long for simpler times. The top photo is her sister Leah in the conservative one piece checkered suit.Leah, Leah, LEAH!! Where was your bikini at girl??!!Leah is one year older than us~Sorry Leah, can't lie! Kristen is next to her complete with pigtails and a pre-Britney Spears tummy (we were midriff showing before it was cool!) Next up is myself and DO NOT let the pose fool you: I may be standing with hands wringing and looking shy but really I gave these girls a run for their money. Probably why I was only invited out to the farm once every so many years....heh, heh!
Nope, never a dull moment I came a visitin' from the city. But that is for later in this writing. After myself is our cousin, Ben. He and I didn't really chat alot. I only remember he didn't really seem to care for us girls much but in this picture he seems fine to be swimming with us babes.
Kristen gave me the information behind the picture: She said we were at Lenwood pool on Rte 20. I don't know whether that was Monroeville or Norwalk. This is my recollection of this day. I think I was spending a week at their house on Dogtown Rd. (yes, that's really a road) in Ohio. Leah and Kristen's parents(Jack and Belle), have a big old farmhouse out there. This must have been the week we were turned loose on late 60's/early 70's station wagon and several gallons of old cans of paint. We painted that old car up like crazy. It was sitting out with big weeds surrounding it and we just went out there with our paint and brushes and went to town. The other thing that I remember about their house and all the fun I had there was being able to play in the piece of farm equipment that had soybeans in it. It was the equivalent of today's play world with all the balls kids jump around in. What was really cool about their house was the hallway up to the bedrooms was being remodeled and their parents let them color whatever they wanted on the walls. I thought that was SOOO cool. Actually today, we are remodeling our hallway and I let the kids do the same thing. It is a cool memory everytime I see the hallway. Soon, it will be covered with new wallboard but the kids will remember the liberty they had to color on the walls without getting in trouble. They can thank Jack and Belle for that! So, whenever I went out to their Dogtown rd. house I just remember having a ball. We played in the woods, we painted, we colored, we played in soybeans, we rode our bikes down the road and not a car was in sight for hours, we played in the creek, we just got to be KIDS! Since the time of this picture-the Summer of 1977-Kristen, Leah and I have lost our mothers. Mine to a car accident in 1980 and theirs to breast cancer in 2002. Jack continues to live at the farm.

The bottom photo is from the summer of 1969 at a reunion at the farm. Here is my mother at the left holding me and Kristen's mom holding her...I love this picture and when Kristen sent it I just studied it because both of those women were beautiful, full of life, loving mothers and wives. We, their daughters, can only hope to live up to the legacy they left us.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006


Today while in my continuing quest for more knowledge I learned that a daughter actually has more of her mother's DNA than her father. When I heard this, I thought: "Oh, cool, I have more of Helen in me than Gordon." However, I have always felt like I looked and acted more like my father than my mother...Is that because I spent 27 years with him and only 10 with her? Whatever the thought, it gives me a little warm fuzzy today to think that I am a squeak bit more like my mother.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Bendix Bus Trip 1948

This was an outing with the girls from work at Bendix Westinghouse. A bus tour to Cleveland on June 15, 1948. The setting is on Broad St. in Elyria. If you know Elyria, you will recognize (somewhat) the old EST building behind the rear of the bus. The lady all the way to your left in the dark suit standing is my Aunt Vera. Behind her is the park or Ely Square. Right in the middle by the drivers window and the #8 looking more serious is Vera's sister and my mother's mom: Louise. All the way to the opposite end (rear of the bus) of Vera is my mom Helen.
Last weekend we were in Elyria and I passed over that same spot with my car. I imagined my mom and relatives right there posing for this picture. That is what I love about Elyria. Even though it is not what it used to be, it feels good to be where I can feel close to my mom and dad's old "stomping grounds" . Memories don't pay the bills, I have always said, but they sure do soothe the soul sometimes when grief seems to overwhelm you. The good memories sustain us, don't they? (Click on photo to enlarge for viewing)