Tag Archives: aunt esther

Merry Christmas

In 1993, Aunt Esther gave us hand-painted Christmas cards.  I found this one the other day, and thought I’d share it this Christmas.

More Aunt Esther goodies:

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Childhood bedroom

Emery, at left, would be in his early 20s. Esther, Ruth, and Clyde complete the photo of four Gutshall siblings growing up.

Some years ago, my youngest sister gave my aged Great-Aunt Esther a book intended for a mother or grandmother to write recollections that could be passed on to others.

Aunt Esther filled out a couple dozen pages, and then said ‘enough.’

I have photos of all of these pages.  Aunt Esther has been gone three and half years now, and I thought I might slowly transcribe her writings.


Describe the view from your childhood bedroom.

I shared a rather small bedroom with your grandmother. It was nothing special but it was comfortable and adequate for two girls. A bed, chair, dresser, and a corner clothes closet made from a shelf, rod under it and covered by a curtain.

The view from the window looked out on the farmyard, barn, hen house, smoke house, and a pasture usually full of sheep. There was always something going on, if it was only the old hen in the flower bed!

Things

So I’m thinking this evening about things that I have collected from family members who have gone on before me.

I am surrounded by objects that belonged to others, and now belong to me.  I see these things every day, and touch many of them every day, and they are part of my life now.

That's one of Aunt Esther's mirrors on my living room wall.

That’s one of Aunt Esther’s mirrors on my living room wall.

In no particular order:

Grandma Carter: her formal china.  A living room table.  My favorite lamp.

Grandma Blocher: her formal silverware. A chenille bedspread.  An antique wall mirror.  Various pieces of cookware.  A great deal of lovely stemware.

Great-grandmother Slade: a double bed.

Aunt Esther: two wall mirrors.  Two lamps.  A bedroom suite.  An antique platform rocker, now reupholstered in my colors.  Some paintings.  And in a few days, a china cabinet.

My mother: Fireking Jade-ite dishes. An antique dining room table.  An antique buffet.

Christmas 2013

I spent three nights in Lee’s Summit this week.  The time at home included four visits to Beth’s home, a visit with Aunt Esther (who is failing at 101 years old), two services at Grace & Holy Trinity Cathedral, and of course time at my father’s house.  Christmas Day festivities were at Beth’s home.

I went to sleep on Christmas Eve, as I have for several years now, listening to ‘This Christmastide’ performed by the American Boy Choir, and to Lauridsen’s ‘O magnum mysterium’ in the Brompton Oratory rendition.

In these photos, my blog buds will find Karen and her partner Debbie and Karen’s children Blayne and Kristen, Beth and Robert and their three children Anna, Luke, and Joseph, my father and step-mother, my step-brother Greg, Aunt Esther, and various folks from the Cathedral.  And Anna’s boyfriend, Dan.  And Samson.

The tree

The holiday season has arrived at Chez Carter.  Samson’s ornament is on the tree.  Also on the tree are numerous ornaments created by mother, one painted by Aunt Esther many years ago, mementos of shows and casts, ornaments purchased on my various trips around the world, and gifts from students and friends over nearly 30 years of adult life.  This tree is filled with memories as well as life.  (But the tree itself, of course, is a pre-lit factory creation, most likely made in a shop in China.)