Saturday, August 23, 2008

Mother's Mother

Another beautiful Mathews County sunset, and another entirely unrelated post.

I had a busy day yesterday. Chesapeake Bay Son had a sleepover and I had to drive four hundred miles to take them to the movies. So, to save some time, I am posting something my mother wrote about her mother and her mother's family, including her mother's sisters and her mother's brother and I am tired of writing "mother".
Written by Chesapeake Bay Mother:

"My mother could look at the Grand Canyon and say, "What a botched up mess!" Hard to impress? Not hard, impossible.

Every single opportunity I took to engage her in mutual admiration of something usually met with something like, "I wouldn't wear that one," or, "Is that the only lipstick you have?" or "For God's sake don't wear your hair in that pompadour." (It was the sixties and high hair was desirable.)

Mama didn't offer me a center, just edges. "Don't cross this boundary or we will all be disgraced." "Don't cross that boundary or you will amount to nothing." And yet, she was a funny, loving and hopeful person, a crazy quilt of many incompatible patches, just like most of us.

Her father was the village (not idiot, but) blacksmith. Some may have considered him the village idiot, but that never reached our ears. Born of peasant stock, my providers of life (the earthly ones) were passionately unaware of their lowness and were of a mind to find the highest ground their lives could bring. At least most took that attitude.

My mother's siblings were sister Viola, brother Eugene, and little sister Nellie.

Nellie was the only one with a middle name: "Pearl." Little Nellie Pearl narrowly escaped being named Phyllis Arvella, which I believe is a good thing, or maybe just tomato-tomahto. She was born adorable, grew up adorable, and remains adorable in Florida with second husband Bill, who is an ex-army Air Force pilot and ex-teacher of languages, in his 90's, who drives like a NASCAR competitor and is also adorable in several tongues.

Brother Eugene was tall, handsome and a ballroom dancer of gymnastic proportions, overwhelming his partners with his energetic "throw yourself into it" style at wedding receptions, etc. I made the mistake of partnering up with him after enjoying the champagne fountain at length. No, no, Nannette. God was with me that day as I kept my footing and skidded sideways to a stop without fandangoing* the whole ballroom into a human heap.

That leaves sister Viola, who vied with my mother for everything, leaving them forever on opposite sides of any issue you could name. Their contests were memorable, especially when you are young and seated between them, such as the time I watched the rockets' red glare over who had the better sweet potato pie recipe. My memory isn't sufficient to know how a potato recipe could become indignant--all this in the front seat of an Oldsmobile rolling down the highway.

Theirs was a warm and loving family with many stories to tell. I only remember a few."-Chesapeake Bay Mother
* "Fandangoing?" I have another new favorite word. Here's how I'd use it:

"Where are my fandangoing car keys?" or "What the fandango is that fiddler crab doing near my garage?"

I know it isn't the correct use, just humor me. - cbw


kaffy said...

Yer mumma sure has a way with words. Loved it! Tell mumma she has a fan.

tj said...

...Hello CBMom! Well I see where the illusive, lovable, witty CBW gets her gift of writing... And it's obvious the scintillating roots of your family run very deep...(how'd you like that new word - "scintillating") :oD

...I just loved these lil' tidbits throughout your story:
"...a crazy quilt of many incompatible patches"
"Mama didn't offer me a center, just edges."
" the time I watched the rockets' red glare over who had the better sweet potato pie recipe."
- Priceless! ;o)

...And "Little Nellie Pearl", I love that name! So much better than "Phyllis Arvella" watch a Phyllis Arvella out there somewhere start commentin' here... :o/ That name there brought to mind "Anastasia Beaverhausen", which btw, I use as my alias in certain ;o)

..."fandangoing"...wasn't that a Ted Nugent song?

...Thanks for the great story CBMom!...Have a great day! You too CBW! Btw, aren't sleepovers fun? hee,hee...

...Blessings... :o)

tj said...

...You know, lookin' at the length of my comment there, it almost seems like I should delete my blog and just count my comments over here as a "post"...good idea, no?

Grandma J said...

I love reading all of your mom's posts. The humor gene is deeply embedded in your dna.

In my early morning stuper, I looked at that picture and thought it was a bunch of people wading out in the bay,,but alas, with you uncut photos, that allow me to click and enlarge, I see it's seegulls on pilings! What a relief!

Grandma J said...

seagulls, sorry I can't spell in the morning

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

kaffy - I'll tell her today. You need to start your blog. I am going to say it until you do it.

tj - Your comments are scintillating, and yes that is an excellent word. Since you inspired me to even start this thing, feel free to post comments as long as you want (same goes for anyone else) because I love reading them. And don't give up your blog just yet, you've got too many fans who read it.

gj If those were people, I can pretty safely say they'd only be about knee deep right there, although I could be wrong. Could be ankle deep. Or that place between the ankles and the knees. Or, for all I know, it really is deep and they'd be over their heads, but I don't think so.

Do you see how I can just ramble and ramble and make no sense whatsoever, continuously contradicting myself? This syndrome has been jumpstarted today by TOO MUCH COFFEE. Now I'm off to brew some iced tea. Watch out.

tj said...

...Hi CBW, thanks for visiting! Um, to answer your question over at my place, yes - our house is old. It's approx. 180 years, give or take a few... ;o) Which is approx. what I feel like

...And the no dusting issue would never fly around here. Our house generates its own dust. It's almost as if it has accumulated 180 years of dirt and like an old fairy sprinkles it about's a never ending process.

...I'm answering your question over here because I quite honestly don't know the correct "blogging protocol". I'm torn between, do I answer questions in my comment section? Do I answer questions at the person's blog/comment section? How do I visit all the blogs on my blogroll and answer questions at the same time while still trying to post on my own blog...whew!*sigh*eyeroll* Can someone answer me please before I implode? And let me know where the answer is located because I haven't a ;o)

...Once again, "long comment"...will it ever end?lol...

Rebeckah said...

Very nice post. Mothers are great aren't they? I am glad that first name didn't work out for her sister : ).

Karen Deborah said...

I love your mama. You were reading my mind as I was thinking, I am sure ready to hear from CBW's mama. Fandangoing, now that is a good word!

Karen Deborah said...

tj can you post your blog so we can all come by for a visit? And thank you for clarifying all the same questions I have. It's os nice to know that I am not the only one. I mean really if you answer on your own blog what if they don't come back to read the same post a second time? Doesn't that make sense? But who wants to take up a bunch of room posting all this stuff on another person's blog? But then this is CBW and her mama, in Matthews. Move over fiddler crabs, it's a comment infestation!!!

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

I wholeheartedly, and with mucho gusto, welcome long comments, especially by tj but also by any others.

More importantly, I look forward to a Comment Infestation. Karen D. you have succeeded in making me laugh and I owe you for that.

I am so very impressed by that label (Comment Infestation) that I just might overlook the current HOUSEFLY INFESTATION that is going on in Casa de Chesapeake, which I now realize will soon be replaced by a FRUITFLY INFESTATION in the months of September and October.

Bring the Comment Infestation on, so as to detract from the impending infestations from the insidious insect world.


Bear Naked said...

This was fandangoing fantastic CBW mom.
You are going to have to be a guest poster on CBW's blog at least once a week.
Or you could start writing your own blog.
Now that would be fandangoing fantastic.

Bear((( )))

Living on the Spit said...

I too, am a big momma fan as well as your fan. I always love reading what your posting!

Anonymous said...

I've been bugging my mom to write some of her better stories and allow me to guest post 'em for her. So far, nuthin'. Think we can hook up Cheasapeake Bay Mother and Soup Mother so they can encourage each other to keep up (or engage in) this wonderful practice?

foolery said...

I'm going to tell you this but I hope you take it in the spirit it's intended, with admiration and huge crushiness. And Yes, I just made that word up and No, I ain't changin' it.

When I read your mother's words I hear a strong Northern accent, like maybe Vermont. I know how crazy that is, but the only Virginians I know have these soft little voices that don't sound right when speaking in straightforward, colorful, funny, no-holds-barred sentences like CBMother does. So it's a compliment, truly, only don't tell her I compared her to a Yankee, okay? There may still be some lingering resentments there that a fruit bat Californian like Yours Truly can't get her brain around. (We get along pretty well with Oregon, mostly.)

When I come to live on your lawn I plan to just sit and watch/listen to you and your mother talk. You're two of my favorite bloggers. :)

Chesapeake Bay Woman said...

Foolery, my mother can fire off those lines, as direct as can be, with that Southern accent you'd expect. It's an odd combination and one I'm not sure I've yet become accustomed to. Many is the time I just walk away shaking my head while she's mid-sentence. You would enjoy talking to her, though, she does have a lot to say on any variety of topics.

The bitterness between North and South does in fact linger on here to a certain, reasonably small extent. But that's a topic for another day....