Tag Archives: family

#TBT: From Flora

A letter mailed on 9 September 1975, to my parents from Flora Carter, my paternal grandmother.

The 10¢ stamp on the envelope shows the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C.

My grandfather had just retired from International Shoe Company.  Elsie is his elder sister.  Jim was my father’s brother; Marg, his wife.  She is the only one from this letter still living.


Today I give you two postcards from my maternal grandmother Ruth Blocher (we called her “G-ma” for some reason) written from Glorieta in New Mexico and then from California where she was visiting my cousin Keith who was in the military.  This was 1978, and I was working at Windermere that summer before my senior year of high school.

But first, an early photo of me with G-ma and Poppie (who died in 1967). The children are my cousin Karyl, cousin Keith, and me on Poppie’s lap.


Today would have been my parents’ 61st wedding anniversary.

I am a bit surprised that I have forgotten this today until this evening, since normally these life anniversaries are in my mind early in the day.

Passing years soften the edges, I suppose.  And Pop has been gone pushing three years now; Mom, more than 22.

My parents in Argentina at a missionary conference.

I need to ask my sister Karen for some of their wedding photos.

Guncles Day

I learned last year that the second Sunday of August is Gay Uncles Day, or Guncles Day.

So, happy Guncles Day to me.


Photos of me being a gay uncle:

Postcard Monday: my first post card

I found a trove of postcards in a box in the basement, one that has moved with me several times.  I don’t know when I got them, but they were pretty musty.

And I have enough new fodder now for at least a year of #PostcardMonday!

This is the old card I found in my own scratchy scrawl.  I was eight years old, soon to turn nine.  I wrote this card to my sisters who were staying with G-ma in Adrian, whilst I was with my beloved Aunt Esther in Columbia.  At some point, I went to Jefferson City to stay with Aunt Margaret and my cousins.

Memorial Day 2020

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:

Vincent and Flora, my grandparents.

Family photos

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 —

Family time

I spent Christmas Day with my sister Beth’s family in Lee’s Summit, and saw them again on Thursday.

Anna, Luke, Beth, Joseph, and me. Robert took the photo.

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!