My mother, Marie Carter, would have been 82 years old today. She’s been gone 22 years.
My sister Karen made the trip on Saturday to decorate the graves of our forebears.
Top: my mother and father, in Lee’s Summit.
Bottom: forty miles south, in Crescent Hill Cemetery outside of Adrian, my grandmother Ruth and grandfather Edwin, and my beloved Aunt Esther, her sister, with Uncle John.
And sixty miles south of where I live, my paternal grandparents in De Soto:
My immediate family gathered together on Friday, the first time all of us were together since my father died two years ago. The family has grown by one since then.
L-R: me, Joseph, Anna, Luke, Beth, Robert (all Beth’s family); Karen, Kristen (holding her son Leo), Jimmy (married to Kristen), Debby (Karen’s partner), Blayne, Sarah (married to Blayne, and holding Lily). Leo is one year old; Lily, two and a half. Kristen and Blayne are Karen’s children.
Photos from Friday:
This Nativity set is the one that was in our house when I was a child. Karen hosts the gathering now —
I spent Christmas Day with my sister Beth’s family in Lee’s Summit, and saw them again on Thursday.
Friday was a morning and early afternoon for me. I got two Circus Harmony charts finished and posted. And I went to the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art, more of which later.
Then Friday afternoon, for the first time in two years since father’s funeral, all three of us Carter kids and the children and grandchildren were in the same place. Photos will follow later, but great-niece Lily finally warmed up to me:
I only cried twice Friday during gift-giving. Karen presented me with a memento book of scans of recipes in the handwriting of my mother Marie, G-ma Blocher, and Aunt Esther. I was a puddle.
Then Beth passed along to me a fountain pen that had belonged by Aunt Esther’s husband John, one that after his death she gave to my father, along with a hand-written note. To see Aunt Esther’s handwriting nearly six years after she died was just a bit overwhelming. And what a joyous gift were both of these treasured items as well!
Read this. Then read it again if you have pubescent children. Then again if you have grandchildren. Then again just because.
My sister Karen is another year older today.
This photo is from G-ma’s house in Adrian, and looks like it was most likely taken at her fifth birthday. G-ma made an angel food cake in the shape of a butterfly.
I’m at left, age 7. Beth is in the middle, more interested in the cake at 21 months old. Karen is at right.
Happy birthday, Karen!
Two nephews and a niece each have birthdays this month.
I recall visiting Karen in the hospital after Blayne was born. He is the first child born to either of my sisters, and that made his birth truly special.
Anna is the niece born in November. Her birth, right at Thanksgiving, was welcomed by my parents on a brief furlough from Argentina. (That trip would be the last time any of us saw Mom, since she died not long after, in Argentina.) I visited Beth in the hospital the day after Thanksgiving, if I recall correctly.
And then Joseph came along fourteen years ago. I was in Muncie, Indiana at the time, as had to wait a few weeks to great the last of the nephews.
. . . that moment when you realize it’s your parents’ 60th wedding anniversary, and they only made it 38 years before Mom died, and you just start crying because you forgot the anniversary, and suddenly you miss her more than your father, and years of grief wash over you again . . . .
That was my Friday about 12.45 p.m.
I find it odd. The optometrist can mail me my prescription, or fax it to me, both of which can be intercepted by others, but because of FERPA laws cannot email a PDF copy, even though that is likely the most secure way to send my scrip to me.
Thank you to students who helped move furniture on Friday as we got some new/used items for Thompson House!
All the best-laid plans of chefs and cooks go out the window during the first week of school. Other people have been doing my cooking.
And speaking of the first week of school, we exceeded our expected music-major headcount. Significantly exceeded. My expectations for slippage were inaccurate. Rejoicing abounds!
Second-highest total number of music majors in two generations of students . . . .
The number of cars driving around Saint Louis with expired temporary tags — some expired for months — astounds me.
Tornado sirens and green-gray skies on a Friday afternoon make for an eerie end of the week.
I love my new office configuration. And my new desk chair.
And I love teaching voice lessons. One new Webster student started Friday. The light bulbs popping on above his head were copious and a balm for a weary administrator’s eyes. I still have my teaching chops.
Beware. More new eyeglasses are on their way.
So apparently yesterday was Gay Uncles Day.
My friend Ken reminded me that we should be receiving cards and gifts from our nieces and nephews. (Alas . . . .)
So in honor, here’s photos of me with the blood relative (for I have numerous adopted) nieces and nephews over the years, and some photos I’ve taken of them: