Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Antiques and History

Sarah Wallace and Guy Klapp, my mothers parents. We moved from Ohio to Texas when I was six and every summer we would go back for a visit. My Grandmother Sarah passed away one summer while we were visiting, I was 12. My Grandfather died two years later. What I remember of these two is a bit sad, my grandmother would always kiss me with lips that seemed to stretch out from her face, soft and powdery, her skin like rice paper to the touch. That last summer we spent there, she was really quite crazy, washing dishes with bug spray, sometimes walking around the house naked, talking about how her breasts were once beautiful and large and now they were so empty, they couldn't possibly belong to her. She talked extensively about Elvis and also mentioned to me that her children, all nine of them were tucked safely into her pocket. Sometimes she would say something shocking, and I would think, isn't she a ministers wife? My twelve year old mind listened and wondered if all old people were this odd. My grandfather had melanoma on his nose in the sixties and the surgeon was NOT skilled in his removal of the cancer, leaving his nose with deep crevasses and one small lump of flesh on top to cover the missing portion. He was always in a bad mood and gave all of us grandchildren strange nicknames that felt a little belligerent. My sister was Miss Wiggins, I was was Tavia Wavia (very original) and my brother John was either Johnny High pockets or Low pockets, depending on where his pants were riding that day. He used to tell me and my sister that when we grew up we would be so fat that all the boys would say in unison: "I don't want her, you can have her, she's too fat for me."  This treatment left us cold. I assumed that grandparents were supposed to be sweet and spoil their grandchildren. My fathers parents were divorced and I rarely saw my grandmother from his side, and met his father once when I was 15, he died a few months later, so I had no others to compare them to.  When I was older and became curious about their history, my mother told me stories about her life growing up and about her parents, I really enjoyed learning about them.  My mean Grandfather and odd Grandmother become real people, they're love story was beautiful and romantic, they had gained and lost fortunes, been involved in politics, owned many homes, raised nine children, all of whom were born to my grandmother after she was thirty.

 Like finding and old silver teapot tarnished and forgotten, once polished it's true beauty and unique design comes to the fore. This is how I felt about my grandparents once I learned intimate details about their lives. I am going to write a "fictional biography" about the two of them, so please check back on that! Here are some photos of them....

 They had fifty five grandchildren when they died and have left many wonderful memories with their children and those who knew them well, I wish I had known them better, but they were of the belief that children were seen and not heard.

Friday, January 7, 2011


While posting about things that make me happy I was thinking about some items from my past that I have held on to over the years, some old enough (and not on  acid free paper) that they are crumbling to bits.  I went to find a few certain ones and ended up rifling through the whole box, diaries from high school, notes from friends, ticket stubs, movie stubs, photos. I was so happy reading through some of it, it made me remember why I was friends with someone or why I loved them... so I'm going to share just a wee bit here.
This is a note from me to my sister... it must have been 1987
A tin full of old buttons, letters from my pen pals, some old notes, letters
old stubs from a ballet, a concert, notes, some diary entries...
Old high school, photos, letters from old boyfriends
A friend who was an artist sent these, telling me to "save face" hahaha...
This lovely stack is from Greg & I when we briefly lived in different cities.
Lots of post cards Greg & I sent, I found a whole 'Alice in Wonderland' stack
I just liked the front of this envelope from me to Greg
dated 1987.... BACK of note
This is a funny note from my sister FRONT

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Things that bring happiness

A chill in the air, colors of fallen leaves, the sounds of feet on brick, the ocean rising to wash over your legs, cold and wet... the smell of hay, a remembered moment from childhood, running in a dress in bare feet to climb a tree, a friend holding your hand, a child's softest cheek against yours, a welcome home embrace, a rough beard scratching your neck, a baby's kick inside your belly... the first small flutters of newly discovered love, a nose bright pink from the cold, a sunrise, a sunset, mountains shadowed in fog, warm summer rain, a sleeping child, a song that makes you float, a kiss, a memory....

Sunday, January 2, 2011

The Eyes Have it

I love looking into peoples eyes, you can tell so much about a person from just a five second look into their eyes. The saying that eyes are the windows to the soul isn't quite true, but it does give a small inkling about how one is feeling or how they are receiving you at the time. I love that the more you look into someones eyes the more you learn and discover. Take my husbands eyes for example, at first glance you see a very light blue eye, but step closer and you will see small spots of yellow inside the iris and a few small brown flecks, an even closer look and a pattern comes into focus, he has the shape of a flower coming from the pupil out to the edges of his iris, a daisy to be exact.
My Husband's eyes
My Middle son has Green eyes with swirls of blue and tiny silver/gold bursts, with the same floral pattern as my husband, so sweet and beautiful. Very expressive.
My middle son's eyes
My oldest son has very crystal blue eyes with the pattern of ocean water, swirling blues and grays, a deep gray ring around the outside of the Iris. I find his eyes very soothing to my soul.
My oldest son's eyes
My youngest son, started out with steel gray eyes, then they changed to  dark green, now they have rested between moods, sometimes greenish gold, sometimes light brown, he has patterns most like mine, spiderweb like patterns, that widen with sunlight, darkness and mood swings. (You can even tell that he is an unwilling subject at the time this photo was taken!)
My baby's eyes
 I know a girl with eyes that you've heard described in a romance novel, her eyes shine like green emeralds.... or something like that, nothing else would make her a standout, but the eyes are so incredible, glowing with life and energy. A dear friend of mine has eyes that have remained so open and clear, seeing the world for what it is, accepting, serene and alert, yet alive with curiosity. Someone that is very dear to me has seen so much pain that it should have broken anyone, yet still her eyes sparkle with happiness and energy.  Some eyes carry a story that you can almost make out, tragedy, sadness, something lost....some eyes have an innocence not yet touched, the world awaiting, a challenge, this is wonderful to see, a life not affected, still bubbling with hopes and dreams. Some eyes show anger and bitterness, full of pain and restlessness, reflecting a broken spirit, unfulfilled dreams.
Watching a baby focus on a brightly colored object with so much intensity can bring a mother to tears, everything new and perfect in it's eyes, these are the moments that bind a mother/father to a child, that perfect love and trust that they give you with just a look. Eyes can be the reflection of who we are and what we present to others, but I've noticed with age they begin to dull, to look as though layers are wrapping around them, covering the light. Is this our bodies dying slowly, and is this what it means when they say the light in the eyes is gone when people pass away? When next you have a conversation with another, take a deeper look and you may discover something new, something unexpected.