Going, going, gone… page 129

Day 224 – 10/25/2020

Wow, mood all over the place this morning, my Diary muse. October is almost over and we’re down to single digits – 9 days until what we’re still calling Election Day even though at least 56 million people have already voted as of three days ago and the lines stay long most everywhere. Including today we have over 200 hours to fill before the polls close on the 3rd. I’ll probably start with moving to my other chair and watching whatever sports happen to be on. And more coffee.

The cook went for a walk early and then still wasn’t hungry by 10am so he tried to talk me into hot cereal. On a Sunday morning. No and no, he wasn’t passin’ that cheese by me unless it was in an omelet. I’m spoiled – why get over myself now? I neeeeed that ranch omelet or Sunday isn’t Sunday, and I mean, what else ya’ got? Forecast says hard freeze tonight and possible snow tomorrow, wha… ? Tues thru Thurs isn’t looking too inviting either, but the weekend bodes well if Mother Kansas doesn’t get all moody on us. I totally feel her and she’s entitled. Long hours to wait for the answer to the question: Is there any price under the sun that’s too high a cost for the pleasure of owning the libs?

Came across this pic from gentler, more tranquil, days… maybe five years ago, all things considered. When our world comes ’round right, these sweet times can return and we’ll gather in the courtyard at Cielito with friends again, laugh, enjoy great food, and toss back tequila shots. When I see Americans in long voting lines in every town and city every single day I begin to think that the world we knew is still out there… only better, once the chaos ends. It has to end.

Let’s get back here…
Also this, I think…

Photo Credits: Kim Smith

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Breaking out… page 126

Day 221 – 10/22/2020

It’s a bright, shiny Thursday morning, with temps headed for the mid-80s by afternoon, so we have PLANS. Can’t waste a day like this. Getting really nice now, but it was foggy when Kim went walking early, and all our windows were steamed over.

South Park
Richard’s Music, still sleeping…

The PickleBallers are playing at 9:00 and then we’re gonna blow this pop stand for a few hours. Going over on the Missouri side to buy a few fireworks just in case we have reason to celebrate on the 3rd or thereafter. Wouldn’t want to be caught without a way to holla, and we can always start a funeral pyre with them if things go south. Again.

Just saw that today’s high will be 85º… and tomorrow’s 45º. Kansas, you are rarely boring. Tedious, yes, but boring? There’s never time.

So yeah, ready when it’s Go Time. I even put on eye makeup, for me, not the fireworks people or even Kim. The girl part of the old girl is still in there.

Photo Credits: Kim Smith

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That will bring us back to Do (oh-oh-oh)… page 123

Day 220 – 10/19/2020

Yup, rollin’ on into another week. We finally started the fireplace last night – it’s been chilly for enough days that the building is absorbing some of the cold and the fire was soothing. Same this morning – high temp today of 46º, overcast and gray. But then… Mother Kansas takes over again and it’s the ol’ rollercoaster ride:

Over the past couple of weeks I’m sensing a sea change in the country… or I hope that’s what it is. I’m starting to allow a cautious optimism to permeate my thoughts and to maybe, possibly believe that truth and right will win out. It’s hard to get there, though, because for as long as I live – and I’m counting on another 30 years or so – the night of November 8, 2016 will never leave my consciousness. We knew that night what the nation was in for and all of it has come true, so never again will I blindly trust that things will work out for the best no matter what.

But… I’m starting to have hope with something under it and I do know what time it is.

Monday’s MickeyD day and my belly’s starting to tell me about it. So with Taco Tuesday and the big weekend breakfasts, that leaves just three lunches a week to get creative with and the routine, for two non-traditionalists, is comforting and fun. Also we’re lazy, yeah.

Something happy yesterday as I was bopping through my photo cache – a pic of John, taken I know not where nor when, but I love it. That smile turned my okay day stellar.

John says: Taken April 26, 2013, inside a Lockheed Super Constellation on display at the National Air & Space Museum in Washington, D.C.

I’m thinking this might be the weirdest of Halloweirds we’ve experienced, so I’m bracing for the worst while opening a large porthole to the best. Mere days to wait, we hope, as we test our capacity for suspense, stress, and terror. Suck it up, fellow believers, we’re going to make it.

Photo Credits: Kim Smith

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Stay in line, America… page 119

Day 216 – 10/14/2020

First day of advance voting here. We ordered mail-in ballots but decided we needed the rush of being there… and that was a great call. It’s a perfect fall morning, little breezy, little cool, sunshine everywhere along with the leaves. The line, distanced and masked, was out the door only about 50 feet when we got there, and the whole thing was a smooth operation – eight voting cubbies on two floors, everything sanitized and in order – and the woman who facilitated our voting process in light of the fact that we have mail-in ballots out there somewhere was amazing – she knows her stuff, and we have no qualms that our votes won’t be counted. When the paper ballots arrive we’ll shred them, and that will be that. And anyone silly enough to think you could get away with voting twice has never met the force of nature that is the County poll worker.

Neither of us has ever been so energized to cast our vote and we’ve been voting since Nixon. And now we wait. We were near this level of urgency in 2016, and we were marinated in the belief/hope that it wouldn’t go south. But it did… so the next three weeks… and hopefully not beyond, please, universe… will be a wonky bundle of angst tied with barbed wire.

Me until we see the white smoke.

We’re so incredibly privileged – we drove three blocks straight south, parked in the courthouse lot, stood in line, signed the required paperwork to keep tabs on our vote, took our time marking our ballots, returned to the car… and by the time we walked back through our door we’d been gone exactly 30 minutes… on a morning so beautiful it could make a grown man cry, on a day when we’re upright and breathing, with eyes and ears to take it all in. Everything about this morning has felt right… make it so, world.

Beautiful inside too, and a memorable place to fulfill a sacred duty, right, and privilege.

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The circle… page 115

Day 210 – 10/08/2020

Yesterday’s task with Rita was sorting a six-drawer dresser packed to the gills with old and newer family photos – not ours, but people we knew so not all mystery. This is my seventh household to help deconstruct, the previous six for family members, and the impact is always the same – when life ends, it’s over. Every tiniest object that meant something special… all the carefully laundered and folded favorites… the Post-Its, the bills that keep finding the mailbox, the personal rubble left behind in jacket pockets… nobody’s coming back to see to any of that. It’s over.

So if we’re very lucky, someone who knew us, loved us, cared what became of us, shows up to make things right and tie up the dangling participles.

We were halfway to the bottom of Drawer #4, talking about how good it was to hear from Susan the day before, when we both reached for the same photo… High School Homecoming Queen Susan! The basement chill zinged up to 11 and we celebrated a sweet Twilight Zone moment – just like that, the three of us were in the same room again. Life is weird and spooky and crazy and I like it a lot. It’s good to be reminded regularly that humans aren’t one-dimensional and neither is the world we live in. Susan moved away almost two years ago and we miss the socks off of her… yesterday’s serendipity was a gift.

And just like that, life goes on. In Susan’s sweet face I see our nieces and great-nieces and the little great-great-niece we “met” last week… and Reese and Wagner genes going back as far as we want to explore. Life goes on… the circle keeps turning.

I nabbed Rita’s senior pic out of the same drawer and since I’m the equal-opportunity do-it-my-way Big Sister, I have to put it here for posterity, doubly proving that DNA-by-association has always been on my side. My sisters are my best friends… always were, really… and age doesn’t change any of that, thank the universe. 💙

So Diary… am I good or what? It’s actually Throwback Thursday, a masterstroke of timing, which bodes well for wrapping up the week on a high note. I see 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 little jobs I could get done this morning and hardly move from my desk – ask me tomorrow how that went down. I’m still in Coffee & Think mode at almost 10am, so we’ll see…

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The weeks… page 112

Day 207 – 10/05/2020

And lo, we are delivered once again unto mOnday. Hello bright world, hello color, hello resolve… let’s go.

It’s chilly this morning, but the PickleBallers don’t much care as long as the sun’s shining. Kim would have crawled out of his skin by now if they hadn’t been able to keep playing outdoors when SPL closed things down, so that needs to go on for as long as possible… ’til frostbite becomes an issue.

This morning we have the case of Schrödinger’s president… he is either ill or not ill, highly-contagious or benign, in hospital or out… and American life limps on. Less than 30 days from an election nobody trusts, we have little real knowledge as to how it might all play out, which is crazy-making. Should we be finalizing our passport applications and choosing the things we’ll take with us… or getting prepared to roll up our sleeves and put the country back together? The truly crazy-making factor is that we may not have a definitive answer for months, not days. But hey, why borrow trouble on a mOnday when I could be making GOOD trouble somewhere??

Every time I’m out here scribbling, leaving my Diary open to the immediate world (and how do they know there isn’t another, grittier one somewhere) I spare a thought for the wanderer who happens upon my blog space. Poor soul doesn’t know me from a ton o’ coal so he or she just has to jump in and run with it (or flee). I inherited a wonky sense of humor from Daddy, added to it in various ways during my Latta years, polished it on John’s delicious sarcasm, and I’ve honed it now for sixteen years keeping up with the KIMN8R. Short story… it isn’t for everyone.

And all at once, sunshine pouring in through the windows, hot coffee right here, memory flooding the room, I LOVE THE WORLD. It’s the best place I remember being so far, and it feels worth keeping intact.

Photo Credits: Kim Smith

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Beautiful weekend… page 111

Day 206 – 10/04/2020

Sunday Morning Sunshine… Harry Chapin. I hadn’t thought of either one in years, but here it is back, pouring through the window blinds, and into my ears. Too chilly for outdoor PickleBall this morning, but Kim caught some sun on the balcony a while ago and now he’s heading up to the workout room… and he’ll be riding his bicycle to a car show on the south edge of town this afternoon, masked and socially-distanced in the great outdoors. Thankfully he’ll never shed his Southern California DNA; whereas, my mornings mostly look like this and don’t measurably improve by the hour:

I’m trying not to slide off into feelings this weekend. We’ve kept a temporary lid on TV news and avoided the rest wherever possible… mostly. It does help. The Chiefs/Patriots game has been postponed, apparently due to COVID issues, so there goes the best long-play distraction on the schedule for today, dammit-cwap. So selfish of those guys not to risk their lives for my sanity.

There’s too much beauty around us to worry about it – Kim’s mums on the roof are loving fall and so are we. And today’s Matt’s birthday, so I’m celebrating with him in my heart and via cyberspace, and remembering Danny. ❤️

Photo & Digit-al Selfie: Kim Smith 10/04/2020

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The weekend… page 98

Day 190 – 09/18/2020

It’s a morning for thinking thoughts and writing some of them down, just to touch base with me at week’s end. Kim’s playing PickleBall in NoLaw, then has PT out at Ortho’s new facility, so I’m without adult supervision for the next four hours. Oops…

Sitting here soaking up the quiet makes me think of the young professional couple who are moving to our building after experiencing life in one down the street with its noisy all-hours party vibe. I doubt they’ll regret their decision, based solely on the peaceful easy feeling here and the way we let each other be. It would be a steep challenge to achieve this atmosphere in a place where everybody’s renting and most are short-term.

We still have The Skies of Doom from all the fires, a sickly yellow tinge that portends no good, but the sun’s shining through and I just noticed something that made me smile. For about three years a spider has had a summer home on the outside of the big window next to my desk, first in the left-hand corner, then at some point moving to the right. It looks like a fat-bodied garden spider and it’s there at dawn every morning, then hides for the day and comes back out around dusk to prepare its web for dinner guests. The window-washers bring their crane-lift once a year and scrub the glass on all five floors, and for three years running they’ve removed my 8-legged resident’s condo, only to have it reappear the next morning in the same spot every time. The windows got a bath yesterday and my arachnid friend was on the J.O.B. when the sun came up this morning. Google says garden spiders have a lifespan of about a year, so I’m dealing with successive generations here. Wow, the loyalty! It’s all about location, location, location, baby. 😂

Early fall temps have settled in for a while, with daytime 70s and 50s overnight. It was cool on the balcony yesterday with a breeze going, so I came in and put on the socks Kim brought me from 3rd Planet, and kept layering until I was comfy again. It’s the unvarnished me, looking like my Grandma Wagner, feeling utterly Zen, and keeping the fun in funk. For posterity…

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Breakthrough… page 96

Day 188 – 09/16/2020

It finally happened. Not because energy welled up from within and burst through my fingertips, but because disgust overwhelmed my ennui at last. Yesterday I studied the smears, smudges, and assorted rubble in front of me until I found myself on my feet, transferring everything to another surface while I decontaminated my desk and surroundings. Today the clean expanse glows, and holds only one extraneous item – so far. My monitor is free of dust and spit-takes. The 3-layer cart next to me has been unloaded, sanitized, purged, and repopulated with nothing but the priority goods, based on need or the shot of Happy they deliver.

It’s cause to wonder what else could happen right under my nose. Will I wake up one morning to discover that the WTF Basket has been whittled down to a sentimental note and an invoice for the t-shirt I really am going to send back? Will the two bins containing The Dread Unsorted find their way into the light and be forced to give up their secrets? My carelessly-hoarded stockpile of duplicate photos, bad photos, totally unnecessary photos… the ever-accumulating email… my series of I Need To Clean That Out folders… will all of that magically come up missing some glad morning? Stranger things have happened.

Since progress and success are not without price, I paid for my random foray into the real world with sciatic pain off the charts, but in my own masochistic way it was worth it. Might see what else I can get into… not sure if it’ll be instigated by ambition, boredom, being grossed out, or all of the above, but anything that moves the story forward is acceptable currency.

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There Are Heroes

My baby sister is my hero. The one our grandpa called Dutch… the child who could fall out anywhere, get puppet-walked to bed and go right on sleeping without missing a beat… grew up to be one hell of a nurse and an even better human being. She doesn’t have an RN behind her name, it’s more of an IC (I Care), but she’s a caregiver beyond measure and you’d be grateful to see her there if you needed help.

She spent three months this summer as angel of mercy to her lifetime best friend (since they were five), taking her to all the doctors’ appointments intended to address her out-of-control back pain before it was finally discovered that she was suffering not from a bad disk, but a spine full of tumors. Fifteen days later Hospice started visiting twice a week while Rita hung in as caregiver as it quickly became a full-time job, pouring love into her friend’s life while she changed sheets and finessed every detail.

I was privileged to be there with Rita as Joy took her last breath. Such love… sixty-plus years of it… heartbreaking and humbling to witness. It’s a story that’s happening about every 80 seconds in America right now with a virus moving among us, life and death played out, often with no loved ones close by… and every individual story matters. We’re so blessed if someone’s there to hold our hand and say our name and smooth Carmex on our lips as we make our exit. And if it’s from the comfort of our own bedroom with our devoted dog on the bed with us, even sweeter.

I’m so proud of my sister and her friend – there was no word of complaint that either of them had been dealt a bad hand, no going back on promises made, no shirking of the job in front of them… Joy’s to die, Rita’s to be there. It’s possible that humans are the worst thing ever to happen to planet Earth, but there are shining stars out there who pull everything together and cause it all to make perfect sense for a while. You see that circle of love and you know it’s what we live for and that it’s all worth it. In a year when everything hurts and it feels like genuine brotherly love has fled the universe, a hellish experience showed once again that if we’re supremely lucky, love and caring show up where we need them – with skin on.

Being there. It’s what you do when you love somebody.

Quintessential Joy
Rita & Joy
Rita, Joy & Caroline – the Three Musketeers – from Five to Life
Joy Anna

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Around the ‘hood… page 75

Day 138 – 07/28/2020

Woke up before six to a great morning – 74º and 97% humidity. Body knew we needed to walk, Brain wasn’t buying it.

BRAIN: I’d rather stay here, take my time waking up, get caught up online…

BODY: Online will be here when we get back – I’m not camping in that chair again all day.

BRAIN: It’s gonna hurt.

BODY: Yeah. Let’s go.

We walked down Rhode Island to 9th and when we came up New Hampshire toward home we found our reward – a display for the specially-commissioned mural painted on the adjacent building. After reading the bios, I’m good for at least a week on learning one new thing a day – Kansas has a rich history in every direction. Aaron Douglas, Gordon Parks, Langston Hughes, Oscar Micheaux, Gwendolyn Brooks, Hattie McDaniel, and Coleman Hawkins all spent a portion of their lives here and contributed to the genius that is us while sharing themselves with the greater world.

Ms. Head’s full of it and she knows it. If we listened to her all the time we’d miss some of the best stuff.

DISCLAIMER: Kim Smith had nothing to do with these wonky early-morning caffeine-free photos.

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Sunday… page 67

Day 129 – 07/19/2020

The joy of reading has eluded me this year, a true frustration. I’ve finished a handful of books, but have yet to find the one I couldn’t put down, good as they were. A few sentences in, my mind runs off on its own and I end up reading the same paragraph three times before I give up. I have literary riches at hand… it’s all the not knowing that keeps me off balance and unable to concentrate. I started a book yesterday, though, that might be the one… hope so.

I’m good with fairly mindless tasks like dumping computer files and email. I walk. I watch TV with the sound off while I rearrange my virtual world ever more to my liking. My life isn’t so very different from The Before, except that I leave the house about once a month just for the heck of it, and the vibe is so changed. We miss the sounds of life around us – kids running down the street, laughing and yelling; a band warming up somewhere in the neighborhood; our parking lot full on Farmers’ Market mornings; the buzz of daily living.

The atmosphere outside has been ponderous for the past few days – we need rain again to break the heat and humidity, which was in the high 80s this morning when Kim walked. The picture up top is his, taken in South Park at sunrise. He said the blooms are big as dinner plates.

So, yeah… we’ll have our omelets in a bit and then… maybe I’ll read for a while.

So she DID!

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A bunny tale…

Easter was three months ago but we all pretty much missed it so this lightly-edited return to 2013 seems okay… and yeah, still feeling sentimental. A piece I wrote seven years ago…

Yesterday for the first time in memory, Easter Sunday buried me under a huge pile of nostalgia.  You’d think Thanksgiving and Christmas would have considered that their sacred duty, but no, it was innocent pastel little Easter that blindsided me.

I’m the eldest of three sisters.  Our brother is gone, our parents, too, all of our grandparents have passed away, a lot of aunts and uncles, a few cousins, and without warning yesterday a tsunami of loneliness sent me rolling end over end.  My sisters, although close in spirit, don’t live nearby, my son and Kim’s are long hours away in different directions, so it’s just me and Pa, which is ordinarily more than fine.  The KIMN8R himself is now an “orphan by default” — grandparents, parents, step-parents, sister all went off and left him via death.  His niece and nephew, cousins and aunties live far away.  So.  We manage, and we have a very good time at it.  Yesterday was just one of those days.

The growing-up years.  Depending upon the whims of the calendar, Easter morning sometimes dawned sunny and mild, but more often cloudy, gray, and chilly.  Regardless, we four munchkins threw jackets and hats or goofy little headscarves over our jammies at the crack of sunrise and ran across the driveway to our grandparents’ big yard where Grandma was waiting with our Easter baskets.  The hedges and trees and other hidey-holes yielded up an abundance of chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, candy eggs and assorted Easter-y gifts until our baskets were full. Then back home for a breakfast of waffles and bacon, followed by a mad scramble to get into our new dresses – made by our mom – white anklets, and patent-leather shoes. Our little brother was stuffed under protest into a pair of pants and a jacket, and the tie that always gave him a church headache.  As for the three of us girls, we could be found complaining bitterly about the way Mother did our hair — it looked dumb, too curly, too straight, too not right.  Caught up in the joys of motherhood, she continued the grooming ritual on the drive to church, straightening or smacking anything within arm’s reach and using Mom Spit to clean the ears of whomever was fortunate enough to grab the middle position, front seat.  When she managed to get dressed is a mystery for the ages, but at least our dad knew enough not to sit in the car and honk the horn the way one of our uncles did every Sunday.  I have to wonder if he would have lived to see another glorious Easter morn.

Once there we sat in a row, with Grandma in charge of keeping order through the judicious application of Juicy Fruit gum, pencils and church bulletins.  Our parents were in the choir shooting us the stink-eye if we whispered or giggled too much, while we pinched each other under cover of the pew in front of us.  Grandma gave it her best shot, in her Sunday dress and hat and one time wearing a pair of earrings lovingly shaped out of flour-salt-and-water paste and gifted to her that morning.  Grandpa went to church with us about once a year, at Christmas time.  He always said he wasn’t cut out for church because “When I work, I work hard. When I sit, I fall asleep. And when I go to church, I sit, so… ”

Our parents would leave the choir loft and sit with us for the sermon, during which time Daddy invariably found it imperative to clip his nails. That little task accomplished, his next aim was to free a piece of hard candy from its crackly cellophane wrapper.  His painstaking efforts to keep the whole process quiet only resulted in its taking f.o.r.e.v.e.r. … one tiny explosion at a time.  If I’d been the pastor I’d have marched down from the pulpit and thumped him on the head, but I couldn’t think about it or the giggles would do me in.

Church blessedly over, we all piled back into the station wagon, our brother sighing loudly and claiming a window seat so he could stick his head out and breathe again.  He’d already ripped his tie off on the way to the car.

We’d come back home to the aroma of the Sunday dinner Mother had somehow put in the oven that morning — another mystery of time and space — shuck out of our good clothes, and start sorting our Easter basket haul.  Pretty sure we managed to stuff a goodly pre-lunch portion of it in our faces.

The afternoon usually consisted of endless egg hunts of the boiled-and-dyed variety, culminating in the cracked and battered dregs getting thrown at whichever sister, brother or cousin veered into our line of sight.  It was all fun and games until somebody put an eye out, of course.

I’ve been contemplating what sort of cosmic convergence might have set off yesterday’s blue mood, but nothing momentous stands out.  Just a little too much, maybe.  A little too much perfect day, a little too much sunshine, too much quiet, too much capacity for remembering, too much of not seeing people I love for too long.

The earth is back on its axis now and life goes on …

1951 – the year I fully realized I was no longer an only child. My sister Susan was about 3 months old that Easter.

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And a Monday… page 63

Day 123 – 07/13/2020

My Wagner/Stauth/Dierking/Fuhrmann DNA is pretty straight, as in straight off the boat. I have a copy of the ship’s manifest for my Great-grandma Caroline Fuhrmann Dierking’s voyage with her parents and eleven siblings from Germany to the United States on the S.S. Silesia, and I heard all the stories, still fresh, from my grandma, Caroline’s daughter.

My Reese heritage is more mysterious to me, but only because I didn’t grow up next door to it and I spent far less day-to-day time with that part of my family. My Uncle Vic’s extensive family genealogy, lovingly and painstakingly assembled over the years, is priceless. Without him I would likely never know that my grandpa, his dad’s, lines were from England, Wales, and the Netherlands, or that grandma’s were from Ireland, France, the Netherlands, and Germany. See? Mystery…

My Great-grandmothers, each holding a grandchild, my Uncle Bob and Aunt Bette if memory serves.

Great-grandma Somerville on the left was a wife, mother of three sons and three daughters – one of whom became my grandma, Jennie Reese – and she was a midwife and ran a boarding house. Unfortunately, she was gone before I arrived, but I remember visiting Grandma Cummings, my grandpa’s mother, in various tiny houses that always smelled of mothballs and peppermint. She gave me my first real acquaintance with what “jolly” meant, but I know her life wasn’t easy.

Great-grandma C and Me – 1948
My grandpa, Victor E. Reese – enlisted in the U.S. Army underage, was at the front during WWI at 18 – came home to marry my grandmother and start a dynasty.
Jennie Marie Somerville at age 15 shortly before Victor Reese met and married her. They raised a family of six boys and three girls and were married for 56 years.

4-Generations – Great-grandpa Somerville, Grandma Reese, my mother Virginia, and new-baby me. Apologies to my sisters – it’s just all about me today.
Vic and Jennie Reese with their six sons, three daughters, and their first grandchild. Grandma received the title before she was 35.
All nine Reese siblings with their mama.
Not even half of the cousins. One of the last big reunions we had.
The Queen Bee at 95, livin’ the good life at home. I was privileged enough to be with her as she left…

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A Sunday…. page 62

Day 122 – 07/12/2020

When nostalgia hits (see yesterday), my mental viewfinder fills up with images of family and the farm where I grew up, or at least came of age. If you liked my Memorial Day post, these photos are for you. (Link follows)

https://playingfortimeblog.com/2020/05/23/remembering/

The people in the image above are my Grandma and Grandpa Wagner, my dad and his dog Sarge, in 1933 when my dad was 11 years old. The garden in the story was north of the house but you can see my grandma’s pretty fish pond in the background, filled in before my memory because of the dust off the cattle pens and the hazard to toddler grandchildren. Grandma had plans that didn’t always suit farm living, but she never gave up.

My grandparents, my dad, about 6 yrs old, and his brother Ed, eleven years older. They had a good relationship as adults.
The Dierking sisters – Nora, Ruth, and Clara (my grandma)
My Great-aunt Ruth in flush times
The dugout/livestock barn/root cellar where the three girls grew up, shown during a visit by family in the late 50s or early 60s, long after it had been abandoned. It was outside a little town about an hour SW of where I live now.
Caroline Dierking on the right, mother of the girls – and my great-grandmother – with her sister Emma.
In Sheboygan, Wisconsin with my Great-aunt Emma and a little relative on her right whose name was Colleen.
My cousin Katie, Uncle Ed’s daughter, and I after playing dress-up in Grandma’s big upstairs closet. I was about 5 and worried that my dress would end me as I negotiated the steep stairs.
The Wagner munchkins, Rita, Judy, Susan, and our brother Danny in Grandma & Grandpa’s shelter belt north of the garden. Says 1957 so I was ten years old. And our mom was obviously curler-happy that day.

Tomorrow… barring anything unforeseen… my mom’s people. 💙

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Humor at the Speed of Life

Funnier In Writing

A Humor Blog for Horrible People

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