Sunday, June 28, 2015


of sixty-five years ago, when I painted my dollhouse kitchen pink with my Mother’s nail polish in the dead of night. . .

To the NOW, this week, about ten minutes after four plumbers and a supervisor walked out my door, leaving me with my real Dream Kitchen.

Moire non, when I can organize pictures, find the words, and remember my name.

Thank you for your patience.

Monday, June 22, 2015


You need all the CUTE you can get.

Baby Seal in a Tutu---she’s less than an inch, and the tutu would wrap around my finger.

And a Boom Compenion by your side, come what may.

Monday, June 15, 2015


I’d like to be a Namer. If talents and charms were given out, you’d choose you one that’s important and would be rewarding to you (but maybe one that hasn’t been thought of yet, or is an esoteric gift, like the lady in Paxton who undoes knots in anything---string and shoelaces and yarn and necklace chains and those beautiful beaded hangings on Great-Aunt Ursula’s tiny bedroom chandelier which you loved and coveted, but which has been in a box in your attic since she passed it on). 

And I just thought a minute ago, “I’d like to be a NAMER!”  Sis and I put names to every face and body we can find in the old boxes and albums of photos, and wish we had asked the olders of the family who was who, standing next to Aunt Lo, or in the goat cart in the feathered hat.  And who IS that handsome man standing beside our parents at some body of water, as if their Sunday clothes were perfect wear for the beach, and they’re twenty and fresh-married and isn’t it a glorious day?  

Or my darling, beloved Aunt Cilla in a rakish teenage pose in the thirties, her ensemble and hair as straight out of a movie as the seams in her hose.

What about those children clustered around in little chairs in the old family pictures, in white gauzy dresses and all-just-alike overalls, or in such buttoned-up intricate outfits and boots that they look as if they should be in a doll-shop window--are they ancestors, or great-cousins with all those firsts and seconds and once-removeds attached, and we’ll never know their names, save for a long list of Born-Tos in a dusty Bible or in a great list of poetic-sounding names in an impersonal Internet Family Tree.    And who’s to put which name with which little face gazing, if not into the future, at least out at us OF IT, who gaze back and wonder who they are.   We can’t just lose those people of our pasts as if they just whispered away with that last breath---they were important.

So.  Of all the gifts of magical hue---the healing and the knowing and the telling of time to come---I’d like to be able to look at a face and tell you the name.  Those folks who live on in Sepia, the withered, creased memories pressed between dark album pages for more years than they lived, and whose names and deeds died with those who loved them---they deserve a memory.

 I’d love to come to your house and look at your old pictures, pointing out the little boy who ran away at nine and became a part of a War not his own.  And the black-clad young man standing quietly removed from the others in the shade of the porch, having been sent to live with the elderly Aunt and Uncle when his folks died in The Flu; now that THEY are gone, who are the WE of him?   There’s surely a staid, unsmiling couple sitting before an urn of flowers, their wedding day commemorated only through this one graying image, and their faces set in the grim lines befitting a momentous event.  

 But every now and then, there’d be a smooth-faced young girl, curls to her shoulders and the slightest hint of a smile as she gazes serenely into the left-distance---I hope that her wish or wonderful secret came true.

I’d know their names, every one, their times and places and what made them laugh, and remember the time your Mama told you about her three cousins who came for the Summer and never left for four years?  Or what about all those aunts and Uncles that nobody in the family knows which was who, though two of the brothers married twin sisters, making a whole gaggle of children double-first-cousins.  I could sort ‘em out for you, like naming off the cast of Cheers. 

That’s who I’d like to be, that Namer, that straightener-out of family ties, that rememberer of relationships, that helper-to-know.

And we’d write them all on the back; for complicated pictures, we’d trace off the shoulders on paper and put numbers in little circles for faces, and we’d make a neat chart below with names to match, tucking it into the frame or album for searchers of the future. 

If I could.   If only I could.  Wouldn’t that be a FINE THING?

Saturday, June 13, 2015


An image from Aunt Kim’s travels with Sweetpea---we call the Pink Pachyderm "Miss Pank-eh,"---with a little uplift on the "eh" as we shout in greeting as we pass, much like those car horns in movies when an accident is closely avoided.   This picture is quite a composite of the feelings and all the fun and activity and zany conversations of our week together (though aside from a beer each for the two guys, out by the grill, I don’t think anybody even thought of a real drink, for we were too busy talking).

We kept the iced tea flowing, the table filled with goodies, and the conversation in full swing for HOURS at a time. We ranged from cackles to giggles to (does anybody know what a guffaw sounds like?) to setting the table all a-roar to dazzle Yorick.  I'm sure a good ole HEE-HAW was the order of the day, most times, as well.

  What a wonderful time---disjointed and hilarious, and sometimes I felt as if I were living with the Scalosians, they buzzing through their swift lives and days, and I just wading in molasses, up and down the stairs from crippled kitchen to that full-of-life bright one upstairs, where I could step in right where we left off.  

Oh.  Boy.   Moire anon,

Thursday, June 11, 2015


Kim took this picture out the window yesterday, and it’s quite the perfect illustration for the end of our visit.   We’re so full of the wonder of this time together, so talked-out, over-filled, over-excited, and neither as bright-eyed nor bushy-tailed as when it started, but still enjoying the short time left before they have to go.   We're a little bit morose for the leaving, and quite a bit put out at Time-in-its-Flight, but oh-so-glad for the meeting.

It’s been a never-ending talk-fest, stumbling over each other and laughing til our faces hurt, crowding in the million words, just trying to get it all in during this short time.   We’ll be meeting for breakfast before they pull out tomorrow, and we’re all a little blue for the parting, yet still buoyed and bouncing from the gathering for such a happy time.

It’s been a bright, fun, fast, galloping roller-coaster of a ride---talking and cooking and sharing meals together, and talking some more.   What a wonderful visit, and what a blessing to have such friends.   Serendipitous friends, met through the Internet, and now as dear and loved as kin.

Moire non,

Monday, June 8, 2015



Too much to tell, and can’t stop now. 

Moiré non,

Friday, June 5, 2015


My snazzy Sally-Car-Snowglobe from Sweetpea,  pink for my new kitchen:

Chris has made me some temporary working counter-tops from those neat panels you make shower-enclosures with. 

We’re making do, and it even looks a little like it will when all the real white ones are installed.

Despite my grumps and grumbles and constant hunts for things and stumbling over things, we’re blessed---rich and full and overflowing:

And I don’t know how we’re ever going to use up all this cheese Caro came home with today.  Kim and Mike enjoy a cheese course like we do, and this is just too much sugar for a dime.   Wow, and with the dates and Marconas and her homemade plum conserve---oh, my.   That's a confiture orange at the back and a rich, sticky date-and-walnut cake in front. 

There ARE some things which keep us laughing through this constant mess.   Sis and I found this 1914 picture in an old box several years ago, and it surfaced again whilst we were getting things in and out of THE ROOM.   It’s from one distant relative to another, and I’m sure that her message on the postcard meant to convey that in between photograph and posting, the estimable gentleman had shuffled off this mortal coil, vale of tears, etc., but her phrasing from 101 years ago still makes us fall out laughing.

And I can never resist the urge to say, “Well, Doan’t he look Nachrul??”

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


THEE-ater. Pronounce it to yourself before you start; say it out loud. Not like the THEE in My Country ‘Tis . . ., but like you’d yell, “THIEF!!” when he was running off with your purse---only leave off the “f.” THEE-a-ter---now you’ve got it.

Paxton's was on “Main Street” and was a one-aisle little affair, with maybe a dozen rows down, six-on-each-side, with the far side chairs butted right up against the wall. When you got in a row, you were in. The whole place seems narrow now, with the ticket-lady facing you through her big window in that glass room out front. She sat behind the glass with the round hole and the scallop in the bottom for our hands to make the exchanges. We slid in the dime, she tore a flimsy bit of numbered cardboard off a big spindled-roll, and slid it back through the gap.

If we’d been lucky, our parents would have parted with a quarter, and so the quarter-in, dime-and-nickel out was a wonderful exchange. An about-face took us a few steps to the bigger window, with its big glass pull-down, through which the crackly little slick bag of popcorn and cups of Co-Cola were passed. Another dime bought one of each, and with your hands full, you waited at the double-door for someone to pull the heavy handle.
And walking into that dim cave, that flickery, same-air-as-last-week darkness, with the sound blasting and the flitter of action on the screen---next to Heaven on a Saturday afternoon. If you held the door for a moment, perhaps with your hip, so others could pass, the upsurge of dust motes in the dark glittered in the glare-path of the sun. Goodness knows what we breathed in there---and at one theater in a nearby town, the smoke in the place practically obscured the screen before the last THE END.

We settled down, chatter at a minimum (Mr Redding had a BIG flashlight, and when he said SHHH, from the back, you'd better, or you'd be picked out in the beam like a spotlight while everybody laughed). The usual Saturday rustle of fifty lively kids accompanied newsreel, serial, cartoon, previews, and whatever cowboy black-and-white was the choice of the week. We were on friendly terms with Roy and Dale and Trigger, with Hoppy and Gabby and Rex Allen (my, wasn’t he handsome, and could SING!!) and Whip and Lash and Johnny Mack Brown, as well as Gene Autry and Frog Milhouse and his alter-ego Smiley Burnette.

We cheered Tarzan and Boy and Sheena, booed the Leopard Woman and anybody who gave any indication of being an owlhoot, drygulcher or double-crossin’ double-dealin’ scallywag.

And that was just Saturday---Sunday afternoon was a technicolor singing, dancing free-for-all, of wonderful costumes and elaborate show numbers. There were the extravaganzas: The Ten Commandments and The Robe and The Silver Chalice, and anything featuring Charlton Heston, Richard Burton, or Anthony Quinn was usually a three-hour epic that left us breathless.
We’d stay all afternoon, as the huge square cone of light came magically out of that little window in the back, just going and going, with a smooth segue from newsreel to cartoon to serial to feature. Then we’d stagger out into the bright heat or the coming darkness, drunk with action and sound, our ears ringing from the audio assault and our chests swelled with great swashbuckling and riding and shooting ambitions that took us swaggering home and up trees and onto rooftops in all our young energy.

Those WERE the days; those days of free time and things to do and see and run after. We went home to our suppers around the family table, woke to churchbells and another small-town day.

Our modern generations are accustomed to the bright, garish-tiled new PLEXES with sixteen vast theaters, with the lights coming on between movies and the uniformed crew ready to man the little brooms to dispose of every grain of popcorn before another crowd is allowed into the empty, ventilated  room.

I know they’ve all probably heard the phrase, but those generations who have never twice sat through a continuous run of a movie and all its attendant extras, welcome to stay on in their seats til the final lights went on to signal That's All Folks---I wonder how many of them know the real origin of, “This is where I came in.”