Sunday, July 28, 2019

Mom Moved

After my father died Mom lived in that big house for a while. Then she decided that it was simply too big for a woman living alone.

She moved in with my youngest sister. They were still in Detroit so she was close to the rest of us. Our other sister had moved to Florida with her son. The oldest of our brothers eventually moved to Florida as well.

Mom had been complaining about the cold winters of Michigan and Nebraska (where we were from) for a few years. She decided to move to Florida where she stayed with my sister and her son.

Mom hated Florida. She said it smelled like fish and was always raining.

The sister she was living with is not easy to live with. We all love one another but there are some people you cannot be with all day every day.

Mom moved back to Michigan.

Mom and I had been talking for some time about seeing New England. We decided a road trip was in order.

She picked me up. Off we went to see what we could see in New England.

It was a great trip. We took turns driving. We stopped when we saw something interesting. There were even a couple of times we doubled back when we saw a sign about someplace we had passed and decided to see.

On the spur of the moment we decided to drive to Kentucky to visit my sister and her sons. I did not know it at the time but Mom was toying with the idea of living there.

Mom stayed with my sister for a couple of years. Then she wanted a place of her own. She rented a small place down the road from my sister.

Mom no longer had her own furniture. She built most of her new furniture. Using 2x4's she built a couch and chair that my sister still uses today. Of course the cushions Mom made have long since worn out.

After a period of time my sister needed help because of her job. Someone had to help her boys get ready for school and stay with them after school. Mom moved once again.

One morning she did not call the boys for school. The older one found her still in bed. He sent his little brother up the hill to their other grandmother's house while he called my sister.

Mom had died in her sleep.

We made arrangements for a funeral in Michigan. She is buried between my father and my brother.

The day of her funeral was a cold, cold day with a wind that cut right through to your core. Mom was a loving person who would never hurt anyone. But I think she must have had a wicked moment of glee seeing us all freezing at the cemetery.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

My Parents' House

My parents lived in that house for a long time. Two of my brothers had been drafted into the Army. My sister finally returned home.  Two brothers and two sisters were married while they lived there.

My second son was born while my little family had the small apartment there. Then a few years later there was a baby boom in our family. In about a year and a half we had 5 babies in our family. My brother and his wife started it all with my loving niece. She also began a baby boom in her mother's family; they had 7 babies in the same amount of time.

Mom had her garden every year. Besides her vegetables she always had a lot of flowers. My dad had his grapevines and his roses. There were cook-outs which the kids all loved.

Our family flower became the snapdragon. Daddy would pick one blossom and squeeze it on the sides to show his grandchildren how the dragon's mouth would open and close. The kids loved it.

We celebrated holidays in that house. Mom would cook and bake. I mostly baked and contributed some of my goodies.

My niece was so full of love. She was sick all her life but she would take my daughter with her as she went visiting in the neighborhood. My niece had made friends with all the older people who lived in the neighborhood. She would knock on their doors and tell them she just wanted to say hello.

When my niece died my daughter continued the visits as a tribute to her cousin. She told me she knew those people missed my niece and that her cousin wanted her to still visit them. The brother of the woman next door found out that my daughter was making a ball of rubber bands. Any rubber bands he came across would be put on a certain fence post so my daughter knew where to find them. They would promptly be added to the ball.

My niece was 8 when she died. All of us were devastated especially the children who were born in the baby boom. There were 2 new babies in the family. She had pictures of them in her hospital room and was anxious to see them.

My brother was also killed in Viet Nam. It has been 50 years and it is still hard to comprehend. The people of the neighborhood were all so kind. It was touching.

My brother's death was especially hard on my father. They had worked together before my brother was drafted. It was the only time I can remember seeing my father cry.

There were 2 more grandchildren born. Then we began to be grandparents. The way it should be.

Unfortunately my father did not live to see them.

My brother and his wife thought they might be having another baby when my father had a massive heart attack and died.

I hate to end on a sad note. Please know that we all have such wonderful and happy memories of my father. He was a much-loved man.

Everyone from the neighborhood came to the funeral. Everyone from the plant he managed came to the funeral. Not everyone who came could fit inside the funeral home. They waited outside and accompanied him to the cemetery. He would have been proud.

Friday, July 5, 2019


The stories of my family moving to Detroit is being interrupted. I have a humorous and sad tale to tell.

Quite by accident we found out some news about our little town. The former city clerk was the person available part-time to ask questions about city functions. She arranged meetings of the city council and mayor. She collected utility bills for electricity, water, and trash collection. She applied for grant money to make improvements on city properties.

The clerk also worked at the bank in the next town where we do our banking.

I thought there might be something strange when we were looking at a house across the corner from us that we were thinking of purchasing. The man we spoke to told us he was married to the city clerk.

The bank she worked at received notices of properties that would be foreclosed. She would tell her husbsnd and he would buy them as they went on the market. Then he would renovate them and resell them for a profit. That sounds similar to insider trading to me. Insider trading is illegal.

But that is not what this is about. It seems that she embezzled about $75,000 dollars from our tiny little town. Apparently she did not record all the monthly utility payments as being paid.

I jokingly said, "That is why that fire at the city hall happened!"

Guess what. In an apparent attempt to destroy records a fire was set. Investigation showed that the fire started on her desk near the computer.

Since I had been forced by the city to have some electrical work done outside my house I laughed when the fire happened. After all there was nothing wrong with my electricity but I faced severe fines by the city if I did not have it 'fixed'. It cost me $1800. It was Karma.

The city hall was closed for more than a year as they raised the money and made the repairs. It has re-opened and we have a new city clerk. I hope she is honest.

In the meantime the former mayor has moved away. We have a new mayor. We also have all new city council members.

How was your day?