Relatively Speaking

Last Sunday, I had brunch with my second cousin Meg (I think I've got that relationship right). Until she read my post about my grandfather and sent me an email, I never knew she existed! It turns out that my grandfather and her grandfather were brothers! She and her husband came to town to visit their son, so we got together to exchange our various life stories and get to know one another. We had... Read more →


Shared Memories

Last Saturday night I went to my 45th grade school reunion. I had a great time! As Joe and I walked into the Emerald Room at the K of C Hall, I was a little nervous. But almost as soon as I stepped through the door, Pat Ryan looked at me and said, "Mary Wise!" And immediately we were off to the races with the catching up and the remembering and the laughing and the... Read more →


What to Do?

Just our luck! We spend a shitpile of cash on a new A/C system and the weather decides to turn perfect -- or so the forecast predicts. Heh. I do not mind. It's nice to be able to choose to shut off the A/C and throw open the windows. At the moment, it's still pretty warm. Our little feral cat is stretched out on the back stoop, being lazy, and I am inclined to do... Read more →


Pictures From The Past

I only knew my parents when they were older -- I wasn't even born until Mom was 40. And, of course, I never knew my Gramma as a young woman. I often think about what they were like when they were young. The clues are in the old photos I have of them and other family members, so I thought I'd share a few of my favorites. Here's my Pop in the 1930s. Isn't he... Read more →


Condition Is Everything

I meant to write this last night, and then Gilda started up on TCM and I got distracted by Glen Ford and Rita Hayworth. Did people really dress like that? I suppose the rich did. Anyway, here's what I started to tell you. Back in the dark ages, I did a lot of community theater. (I was going to be a famous actress back then and it seemed like a good way to get some... Read more →


Big Sister, Little Brother

I have always liked this old photograph of my grandmother and her brother, my Great-Uncle Earl. Gramma was born in 1883; Uncle Earl in 1890. Judging by her dress and her beautiful young face, I think she must have been about 16, making Uncle Earl about 9. Doesn't he look mischievous? I wouldn't be surprised if he had a frog in the pocket of those knickers. And what about her, with that sweet butterfly ornament... Read more →


Words of Counsel

Friday night was packing night; we gathered at Mom's house to continue boxing up her life. We continue to find amazing things from our distant past, like the big, old family Bible that originally belonged to my great grandparents. It's literally falling apart. My Pop used that old standard method to repair it: duct tape. Yes, duct tape. Sigh. Between the Old and New Testaments is a space for family records; my great grandfather meticulously... Read more →


Rerun: True Love

Note: This entry was originally written on February 14, 2004 and posted in my late, great (well...) Diary-X diary. It still applies, so here it is. With the approach of Valentine's Day, I've been thinking a bit about love. In writing Girl Clown, I got immersed in remembering one of the Grand Passions of my youth. He was tall, well-built (impressive shoulders!), blonde, not traditionally good looking, but hot as all get out. He was... Read more →


The Old Church

Isn't this a beautiful old church? Go take a look, and read the caption. I'll wait. Even though I don't attend Mass anymore and don't even consider myself Catholic, I still think of this little church as my church. Down the hill from the church is a little street, and across the street are two old houses. My mom grew up in one of them; my dad grew up in the other. Yes, Mom and... Read more →


Land Sakes!

Back in August, I wrote about my paternal grandparents and how I found some records from the Maryland archives. Those archives listed all these interesting foreclosure actions taken against various people, mostly over parcels of land. What I absolutely loved about these records were the names that the owners gave their land! I wrote down a few of my favorites, with my own commentary. I swear to you; these are actual, real names. Honest. Gay's... Read more →