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Archive for November, 2013

The day after Thanksgiving is the National Day of Listening. I am a bit unsure if it is always a date tied to our Thanksgiving, the last Thursday in November, or is always the 29th of November. But it seems tied to Story Corps. And their entire concept of recording the stories of ordinary people (though I think their are no “ordinary” people) is a remarkable one and worth supporting.

http://nationaldayoflistening.org/

And take time to listen to their video “Listening is an Act of Love”.

http://storycorps.org/

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A Day Early!

There is a terrible storm coming, so they say, and it’s an ill wind that blows no good………Emily and her family were alarmed enough to begin their “Over the River and through the Woods” journey a day early!

And we are all rejoicing here that we get to spend more time with them.

It’s a bit chaotic because Alice and Mike’s kitchen remodeling is not quite finished, but will be close enough by Thursday to celebrate at her house. Indeed. They hope to finish it today except for the crown molding. This morning I think we will all be at the Nat, the Natatorium in Cuyahoga Falls. All my housecleaning is not finished because I’m losing the day for that, but I’d rather be having time with my family!

Dinner at my house tonight. Some playing it by ear for tomorrow. I’ll bring my turkey plates over to Alice’s for Thanksgiving, the wild turkey plates that were my grandmother’s.

In the interests of getting in the spirit of things, as if I weren’t already filled with holiday excitement, here are some vintage greetings I’ve found, just for you.

Thanksgiving card 2010Art Thanksgiving blue backgroundArt Thanksgiving gateArt Thanksgiving catch him

Art Thanksgiving pumpkin girl

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Papa and Armistice Day

Today is my grandfather’s birthday. Arthur Richard Granat would be 121 years old today. And how proud he was that the war ended on his birthday, November 11th, 1918. Papa was not a soldier in any of the wars that took place during his lifetime. He was the sole support of his wife, daughter and widowed mother during WWI, and was not required to go to war. But his brother Axel, Uncle Al, did fight and live to return. My Uncle Bill, brother of my father Eli also fought in the war to end all wars. And Eli fought in WWII as a flight instructor, a lieutenant in the Naval Air Force. He died when I was in Kindergarten. My next father, Charles, was a dentist in the Army Air Force in WWII. Perhaps it was just the Air Force by then.

Flowers poppy field

I do remember them! I remember a lot about WWII because, though I was born near the end of it, the day the Russians reached Auschwitz, and people were still talking about it all during my childhood, one way or another. And when I was in high school the Vietnam War was beginning. I remember my junior year, 1962-1963, feeling quite puzzled about what was beginning in south east Asia. I read a lot of newspapers and magazine articles in the school library and never really did understand. I just felt that there was no good side for us to ally ourselves with. I knew some young men from my generation who fought there, and a friend who was unable to fight because he had had polio as a young child and was classified as 4F. He said, bitterly, that he was probably missing a major experience for his generation. I’m rather glad he did. I was not for the war nor against it at the time. I was just confused about it. And now I think it was probably an unnecessary tragedy that took so many lives and harmed so many survivors. I honor our soldiers but I hope war will cease. It doesn’t seem that the sad world is close to that.

I think one year I quoted “In Flander’s Fields” here. Today I’m thinking of Robert Laurence Binyon’s poem. He was a man born in 1869 who died in 1943. What changes his generation saw. He was 44 before WWI began and yet lived to see WWII. These are the third and fourth verses of his poem about war.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam

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And so I am. Home again after eight hours driving back from St. Mary’s City, Maryland after spending a week and a day with my dd Emily. It’s always a bit sad how one can be so torn with wanting to be in two places at once. For the weekend my other dd Alice and her family joined Emily and me and it was such a happy moment to sit down at the table with four children and four adults whom I all too rarely get to see all together. Andy and Ingmar were not with us, but we will all be together for Thanksgiving in a few weeks time! Having something to look forward to is such a blessing.

We went to Point Lookout on Saturday and enjoyed having the Potomac on one side and the bay on the other. Sunday was a ramble down to the water at historic St. Mary’s. Mike took what is one of my favorite photos of my two daughters and I also have a picture of Sunday which was taken in what Alice calls “the golden hour”, that beautiful mellow gold late afternoon light we have in autumn. Everywhere we went the children found “treasures” to bring back. Sofia had a bag of beautiful leaves and Nathan had an enormous Osage Orange and slabs of sparkly quartz. Life is good.

Alice and Emily Point Lookout State Park Maryland November 1 2013

Alice and Emily and all of us historic saint mary's ....nov 2 2013

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Down By the Bay

When my children were little the singer Raffi was very popular with children and one of his silly songs was this:

Down by the bay
Where the watermelons grow
Back to my home
I dare not go
For if I do
My mother will say
“Did you ever see a moose
Kissing a goose?”
Down by the bay

Down by the bay
Where the watermelons grow
Back to my home
I dare not go
For if I do
My mother will say
“Did you ever see a whale
With a polka dot tail?”
Down by the bay

Down by the bay
Where the watermelons grow
Back to my home
I dare not go
For if I do
My mother will say
“Did you ever see a fly
Wearing a tie?”
Down by the bay

Down by the bay
Where the watermelons grow
Back to my home
I dare not go
For if I do
My mother will say
“Did you ever see a bear
Combing his hair?”
Down by the bay

Down by the bay
Where the watermelons grow
Back to my home
I dare not go
For if I do
My mother will say
“Did you ever see some llamas
Eating pajamas?”
Down by the bay

Down by the bay
Where the watermelons grow
Back to my home
I dare not go
For if I do
My mother will say
“Did you ever have a time
When you couldn’t make a rhyme?”
Down by the bay

Down by the bay
Where the watermelons grow
Back to my home
I dare not go
For if I do

If you got this far, I should really give you a prize! This morning was the last day of driving my granddaughters to their school in the stick shift VW. I’m beginning to regain most of my skills for this driving, but won’t need it anymore just now…

I have photos to share, but not until Tuesday or Wednesday when I return.

The time with Sofia and Clara has been splendid! Highpoints were watching their ballet classes and seeing them dressed in their Halloween costumes, setting of for a party with trick or treating. Sofia was a blue crayon and Clara a blue princess this year.

Alice and Co. will arrive about 3am tomorrow and we’ll have a weekend together. I think one of the days we’ll go to Point Lookout State Park with the nine mile wide Potomac on one side and Chesapeake Bay on the other. They have a small but interesting nature center there and I’m interested in seeing it. I hope we don’t get too much rain, but it’s warmer here than Ohio. At the moment it’s 70 degrees Fahrenheit.

The sad news is that Ingmar’s grandmother died yesterday afternoon according to daylight savings time. I am so glad that Ingmar was able to be there with her and with his family. Today we looked at the slideshow from Emily and Ingmar’s wedding. It has lots of photos from their early life and Ingmar’s part has many wonderful pictures of his lovely grandmother, Irmgard Gruber. Sofia has Irmgard as one of her two middle names. The other is Isabella after the grandmother with whom Emily was close.

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