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Archive for the ‘The Brother’ Category

Protected: Tut

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Oct-25-2019

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Protected: Jeepers Frickin’ Creepers

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Feb-14-2019

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Protected: A Musical Past

Posted by Mummy Dearest on May-2-2018

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Protected: Homesick

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Nov-5-2017

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The Kiss Of The Sun For Pardon…

Posted by Mummy Dearest on May-14-2010

“The kiss of the Sun for Pardon,
The song of the birds for mirth,
I’m dearer God’s heart in a garden
than anywhere else on earth”

This is a sampler that I made for my Mother when I was about 15. It hangs above our fancy stove ( I have just discovered that the rebuilding of the kitchen page is missing. Do I want to look for this ? No. But I have to find it.) Bucky put it in some fancy contest for handiwork- or whatever it is called- and it won a first prize. All glory, no dough.

My Mother’s passion was gardening as was her Mother’s. Poor as a church mouse ( Frenchy was a cleaning lady at some hospital and a bartender in the evenings in Detroit) when Frenchy bought a house, she bought a double plot, for her garden. Frenchy actually had two plastic ( or Bakelite, what do I know) pink flamingos in her yard, she had one of those sortof glider swings and the biggest plum tree that I have ever seen. Frenchy’s garden is gone now, that pear tree that never did that much, her pink flamingos. It is now a part of the moonscape known as 7 mile or 8 mile. Her street no longer exists. I looked it up on Google. Gone, gone, gone.

My Mother had a beautiful garden. There was a rock garden, there was a chestnut tree from a chestnut that I picked up on the day that I graduated from Smith, there was a little pondy sortof thing, beds of different flowers. On her last birthday, 20 days before she died, she received this little tv that she could take out into her garden and listen to whatever while she did what she loved most.

When we ran back to America, a day after her death, The Father and I and my brother agreed that we would keep her garden going, as a memorial to her.

It was spring, after a harsh New England winter. The Father and I mucked out the pond, we did this, we did that, we worked like donkeys. My brother played the guitar for us, as we worked away.

The road to hell and all.

Today, The Father took me to a garden store.

Our garden sortof looks like this.

But I enjoyed it very much. I enjoyed planting the plants, the flower baskets. I bought some pinks. I should have bought more, although they always die, they never make it through the winter. They did not have lavender there, nor daisies ( Mummy’s favorite flower) so tomorrow, he has agreed to take me to another place. But I do want some more of those pinks. They are Dianthus something, but just the right color. Our garden is pink and blue and white and dead grass.

But I also bought the correct sort of geraniums . They look good and they were really cheap.

And now an old photo, from back when I had a camera that worked, my Leander rose leander

Omaha

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Apr-9-2010

I have a lot of things. So does my little brother. It is sortof like we have tried to retain our past by the things that were a part of each time period. We are devoted pack rats. I still have the first pair of Levi’s that I ever had in my life, bought when we left Thailand ( for whatever reason, we were not allowed to buy Levi”s- wait, more correctly, Levi’s were never in stock- in Thailand) and I was 14. Eventually, they were whacked off to make some very nasty shorts, but I still have them, they still fit. I look like a fool in them, but, hey, we have a walled garden, who can see me looking like an old fool and in the end, who cares ?

I last mentioned being in Germany, once again. I attended 4th, 5th and 6th grade there. My brother, Tut, started school there. It was a really exciting morning, Tut’s first day of school. I must have taken him, I loved Tut dearly- I still do-but I must have taken him over there, across the street. Different times, different mores.

We then moved to Omaha, Nebraska. We lived there for one semester, as my Dad needed that much time at some College to get a BA. In Religion, of all things. Or maybe Art History. You get the idea. I started 7th grade there.

I really liked Omaha, although I could hear those first chords of Martian playing in the background. I went to the J.Sterling Morton Jr./ Sr. High school. It was an amazing school. I would now say that I found it very high tech. They had this big indoor pool and little penguin bathing suits for everyone, I was stunned.

For music, I learned all of these old cowboy songs, really. * For I’m a poor cowboy and I know I must die*. I loved it. I am tone deaf, but I loved that music. I still do.

In that * there is no choice* range of school subjects, boys had to take shop and girls had to take home ec.

And so, I took home ec. It was a beautiful room, with three full kitchen units spread about, bright and cheery. We learned how to use a sewing machine, had a project : I made a pillow and a green dirndl skirt. I most likely still have that skirt.

We learned how to make a breakfast, a lunch and a dinner. All that I can remember was that lunch was pigs in a blanket. We learned about the basic food groups ( perhaps my insistence upon color in food stems from this class). We learned about personal hygiene. The birds and the bees may also have been discussed, but I had been clued in on this business the year before, so this was no shocker for me and has left no trace upon my memory banks.

When we first moved there, for the first time in my life, I had to take a bus to school. I have always been intensely shy. I really did not know our new address, I don’t know that I knew our telephone number, most likely not, you would have to twist my arm behind my back now for me to be able to cough up our telephone number.

So I am on this bus, 11, or 12, and realize that I don’t really know when to get off. Eventually, I am the last person on the bus and it is the last stop. I got off of the bus. I was in the middle of nowhere, Nebraska. I really don’t know where we live, I know nothing, and that prairie land is all around me.

There I stood, keeping a stiff upper lip, having no idea what to do. I did not know where I was, I did not know where I was supposed to be. I am looking to the left and to the right and I am scared shitless.

There was a man nearby, on top of a telephone pole. He noticed me, and approached me. I have always been terribly shy and very polite. Sir, I am not allowed to speak to strangers. If you think about it, that man could have simply picked me up and tossed me into the back of whatever vehicle he had, and no one would have ever known.

But he did not.

He shimmied up that telephone pole and found my parents.

He got me home.

What kindness, and that is what Nebraska has left in my mind, such nice people, such a wonderful place.

Imagine that. What kindness.

In the winter, it was fabulous. There was enough snow to build complicated snow forts which could house three families.

When it thawed, we went to AkSarBen ( when I lived there, it was a three state fair), I saw rodeos, I think that I actually saw Fess Parker, but he weanied out. I rambled amidst those jam and pie competitions- I loved it . I was supposed to be American, and this was what being American was.

We only stayed there tops 6 months. As a going away to Thailand gift, my class gave me a green wool sweater set. How nice of them. I was a stranger and they embraced me.

I would love our children to go to AkSarBen, see a rodeo and all of those state fair sortof competitions.

I must have that AkSarBen stuff wrong. I am hitting horse racing when I do a Google. It was a tri-state fair. It was wonderful.. But I must be wrong about what it was called.

Hey, I was 11, tops, 12.

L.L.Bean

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Jan-8-2010

It is cold here, in The Netherlands.

And I am receiving a lot of comments about my inability to deal with this cold snap : why, you grew up in Massachusetts ( don’t I just love spelling that without SpellCheck ? ), you lived through one of those famous blizzards in the 70′s, when the snow was so deep you could not open the front door of your house, your family had a snow blower and you knew how to use it ( as we took turns every hour snow blowing the driveway), you know what a cord of wood is and your brother knows how to split a log.

After so many years, the only remnant of my shivery past is a well stocked larder : our family of five, two dogs who each weigh more than I do, that fool Sparrow and all of our fish could survive a nuclear war just fine for about two, maybe even three months Perhaps not a very healthy diet, but I do suppose it is better than gnawing upon one’s leather shoes.

But we are so ill prepared for this cold weather, as a family and as a country. None of us has a down vest, no one has insulated boots, the few and chosen actually still have gloves that fit and hats, scarves.

I am not a member of the chosen few.

As a country, we ( they ?) are running out of salt to put on the roads and are actually taking to using bath salts in some areas. You know, pink and green stuff which, rumor has it, smells lovely. Here in Town, I have yet to see a speck of sand or salt on the roads, most likely because it might damage the granite cobblestones from Sweden, who knows. Doing the daily shopping is a teeter- totter affair, and many of the elderly are not leaving their homes at this point.

Snow tires have never been a part of winter in The Netherlands. As well as salt, there is a run on snow tires. At times, we use the company truck, as The Father’s Business Man car cannot handle the ice and snow. Although I must admit that a few weeks ago saw me, 5’2, 48 Kilos, pushing the truck and giving a very Rocky like hands over my head as a salute when the truck finally was released from it’s icy prison.

Our children never had a sled, for until last year, there really never was enough snow to sled upon. Imagine that, The Girl is almost 17. This year was the first winter that the children could make a *life size* snowman ( oh well, boys will be boys…). Last year, it was cold enough that The Baby learned how to ice skate. The other two were too old to care about it, didn’t feel like falling on their….posteriors …in public.

Teenagers, dontcha know.

The Baby’s favorite movie is * Ice Princess* ( recently chomped to pieces by our Pyr). Last year, she skated exactly 3 times. I walked with her to a very safe place, run by some skating club, about a mile away. They measure the thickness of the ice, have big lights, a few trailers where one can buy warm things to eat or drink, and blast out music- the dutch version of a Bruins game.

After a while, though, I was frozen, and so I dragged her off of the ice and we made the long march home.

This year, The Father and his Business Mobile will take us to the ice. I am hoping that we can take turns sitting in the car, having our butts warmed by that fool seat heating.

And this morning The Baby asked me if her skates needed sharpening. Uh….

And where were those plastic protectors for the blades..

Uh…

And should we have oiled the blades ?

A Question

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Jul-23-2004

Does anybody know just exactly where the Sheraton on 128 is ? Their website sucks and it’s not clear to me at all where it is.

Dad tries to convince me on the phone this morning to seriously consider the children and me jumping on a plane with him to Hartford after The Father leaves.

Wants to show the kids my alma mater ( *boring* although I seem to vaguely recall that Edith Wharton had a summer home around that part of the state that I would much rather see-), make that beautiful drive east, see the old house, maybe my brother. He could seriously tempt me with two words : Crane’s Beach.

And of course, after 22 years, I most likely would have to go and pay my first visit to my mother’s grave since the day that she was buried.

The Curse

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Jul-21-2004

One year in the ’80s, my brother went to about three concerts- right in a row- and right after the concerts, someone from the group simply dropped dead. In fact, he still has a ticket for the last concert Ray Orbison never gave. He began to wonder if there was some occult connection, whether or not his presence at a concert was basically a cosmic kiss- of- death. A portent of doom.

I find myself beginning to wonder the same thing about myself : recently, a high percentage of sellers whom I have bought things from at Ebay are finding a member of their near- and- dears dead.

Am I a cursed Ebay buyer, sure to open the door to your peaceful home, allowing in a scourge of destruction and death ?

Or is this simply the Ebay equivalent of The dog ate my homework ?

Where Ya From ?

Posted by Mummy Dearest on Jun-9-2004

You know, whenever I hear parents saying that children are so adaptable ( usually said when they are about to move the children to another place), I say nothing. But the child inside of me is saying, that’s because children don’t really have any fucking choice now, do they ? Childhood is a sink or swim world, one lives at the mercy of the whims and wishes of those above you. Nobody ever asked me if I wanted to move. Nobody ever asked my brother.

But my brother and I were frantic at the thought of moving once again. I don’t know if it was because we were so very fond of Bangkok or not. But I know that we both felt that we had reached that breaking point. There are only so many times that you can expect a child to move, to recreate themselves once more, to say goodbye. Imagine an 11 year old boy going to a Baptist Mission and asking if he and his big sister could stay there until they finished school.

I never gave a flying fuck about anything, really, after we left Bangkok. The move didn’t break me but it came mighty close to doing so. I didn’t have it in me to recreate myself once more and so I never did. I existed on the sidelines.

I still do.

After we had settled down in Concord, I was talking with my Mom about things and I told her that The Brother couldn’t take another move, that no matter what, they had to keep him in the same school until he graduated. I guess my Mother knew a true thing when she heard it, for my family didn’t stay in Concord long. They moved to Bedford and then finally settled down in Acton. But they made sure that my brother graduated from the high school in Concord, 6 years later.

And 31 years later, my brother lives only a few miles from that first house that we lived in, that grey one in Concord, on Nashoba Road.

And me ? Oh, when The Father and I reached that point which is natural in any relationship, that of looking for our first house to buy, I did not want to buy a ‘starter’ house, something that we would live in for a few years. No, I said – in that rather melodramatic fashion I often slip into- I want a house that I can live in for the rest of my life. I never want to have to move again- I continued- never, in my entire life.

Everyone should be from somewhere.