Saturday, August 23, 2008
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