Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Today is our fifty-ninth wedding anniversary. I thought it might be fun to show you what we looked like way back in 1950. And then to show you what we look like now. We have been through a lot together, but all in all we have had a good life together. Bill is now in a rest home with Alzheimer’s disease . He has had it for the last 7 years but has only lately become more disabled. I go to see him everyday. He is here but not here but I am glad he is still here.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Death of Panty Hose

It was homecoming for several local high schools last Friday and many appeared for dinner at one of my favorite restaurants. There were girls with dates but many more were going stag. Where heretofore they had chosen to bare as much of their boobs as was legal, apparently this year was the year of the leg.

I didn’t know that mini-skirts were back in but the vote for them in my town was unanimous. And my how mini!!! Some looked as though they had swimsuits on with the dress just barely covering their butts .

If ever a female could get away with wearing this style successfully, it should be high school girls with their young, supple and thin figures. But I felt there was a huge flaw in their appearance. Bare legs just don’t go with lovely expensive dresses which go up to here, and spike - heeled shoes. One especially tall girl looked three-fourths legs!

When panty hose first came out they were built so one could get them on without making oneself into a pretzel. Talk about hot flashes. One was so worn out and sweaty after all the gyrations just completed one hardly was able to finish dressing. There was a sort of built in panty which made it relatively easy to put on and was very comfortable.

Then the people, undoubtably men, had the idea of making it into a sort of girdle to help you hold your gut in. The top got narrower and narrower. I detested them.

I don’t think I was alone. I imagine the heavier you were, the harder it was to get them on. I even bought the XXlarge queen size, when according to the chart; I could have fit into a medium. Wrinkled with too much hose. They didn’t work either.

I bet if I could start up a business making panty hose the way they used to be, I could be a millionaire in no time. Bare white legs are ugly and I rue the day they became fashionable. What do you think?

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

My Own Cheers Place

“Where everyone knew your name”

We were returning from our annual vacation spot in Minnesota when we saw this delightful moving bar in Minneapolis. Bellying up to the bar had a whole new meaning with this unusual contraption. Sure beats the streetcars I used to travel on when I went to school in Chicago.

These barflies were not flying. They were peddling for all their worth to propel this vehicle down the street as they imbibed their favorite libations and conversed and laughed with their fellow boozers. Midst the cacophony of the street sounds, they appeared like an island of coziness—close enough to each other and certainly close enough to grab the bar tender to get his immediate attention to order another round. We could not see who was doing the steering, but they seemed to be getting it right and having a hilarious time doing it. I would have loved to have a ride on it and try it out.

When I saw this happy scene, I was reminded of when I was in college in Winona when we too had a favorite bar, The Blue Blazer, where everyone knew our name. It was a very congenial place—a place where our gang hung out most nights a week and the guys from St. Thomas did also.

Our gang happened to consist of returned veterans on the GI Bill (WWII folks) who didn’t have much money to spend . The gal that ran the place would be very kind to our guys. If they carried cases of beer up from the basement for her, she would give them beers in return. I was a cheap date in those days. Two 35cent Virginia Dare Light wines would put me in nirvana for the evening. (Never could get that back again later in life.)

Sometimes we would cross the Mississippi and go into Wisconsin to a bar called The Blackhawk. This was true particularly if we had underage gals with us. I was the only one over 21, so when they started asking for ID’s, the guys would all point to me to show mine and we were good to go.

A bar in a distant way propelled us into an earlier marriage than planned. When my husband, Bill, and I were courtin’-- he teaching 500 miles away from me-- our only place to go would be the town bar or the back seats of the local theatre or sitting in the car freezing or walking the streets. In those days, we did not have apartments, but only rented rooms and my landlady did not permit visitors! And Heaven forbid for me to go up to Bill’s hotel room. The whole town would know that in 5 minutes and teachers were to be models of moral decor . But this bar was really not your usual bar in that it sold ice cream and stuff to kids and parents as well. Bill would order a beer for him and a 7-up for me. I hate 7-up to this day, but I drank it and then the rest of the evening Bill would fill my glass with beer.

We had planned to be married in December, a Christmas wedding, but one especially cold night we changed our plans and decided to be married right away. We didn’t have a big wedding, but we did it in four week’s time. All of my siblings were sure that I was pregnant, but I didn’t have Jon until three years later!

In your past or present memory, do you have a bar that was your favorite hang-out if that was your scene at some time in your life?

Monday, September 21, 2009

Honest Scrap Award

I am so happy to have received my first award from Linda at Wander to the Wayside. Honest Scrap. It was a big surprise and was greatly appreciated. Thank you so much.

I'm enjoying spending time reading other people's blogs and am so impressed with the beauty of the photography, the variety of subject matter discussed, and the humor and talent that is represented.

Also grateful for all of you who have visited my blog and I apologize to many of you for reading your blog but failing to leave a comment. (Sometimes I can't find the right place to put one in, but I am learning.)

So this is just a "thank you" post.

Friday, September 18, 2009

A Mother's Lot

One of the things I like best about being sick is getting well. After you have suffered through a night or two of coughing your guts out and you finally get some relief permitting you to feel human again, the world seems really cool and you feel this urge to get up and do. I have just had such a session and am feeling much better.

I remember when my children were small and sick and you were sick right along with them. You just stayed up, held their heads and put cold cloths on their foreheads. You never got to lie down and any breaks you took were to do your own barfing.

I am thinking of one such night when my husband, Bill, came home from work and pronounced himself sick and went immediately to bed. Now all of you know how men are when they get sick. Get me this and get me that and moan and groan. I helped him the best I could and put all the kids to bed. Three of them. Tonight I had four-- Let’s not forget hubby!!!

I finally got the dishes done and went to bed myself. As I lay back luxuriating in how good it felt, I heard my son, Jonathan, hit the floor above and the usual sound of Harrumph. As I ran up the stairs, there he was sliding across the floor in his own fluids trying to get to the stairs. Cleaned up him, the floor, the sheets, and the blankets. He kept it up for about 2 hours and then I went back to bed. Then my daughter, Julie, started in. Just the sheets and the blanket for her. Why is it they can never get to the toilet on time? Then the baby started. This went on all night with Bill snoring in bed.

In the morning, after feeding the baby who had recovered quite well, I spent the day lying on the couch with him in the playpen next to me. That is, when I wasn’t bringing hot tea and Seven-Up to my husband and the other two.

At five o’clock my husband came out of our bedroom, waving a cigar like Groucho Marx, declaring that he was now feeling very well. I looked at him and if looks could kill he would have fallen right there. I have always said if I had had a gun, I would have shot him .

It is then I vowed if I ever came back to this world again, I would come back as a man.

Monday, September 14, 2009


Meet my youngest granddaughter, Miranda Sucha a/k/a Matilda by her grandmother. I don't know how that came about exactly but I was talking about her on the phone to my son one day and used the name Matilda and it seems to fit her in my mind. Her folks don't mind and think it is funny.

Today she is two years old. She came two months prematurely so we are doubly glad she is a fine and healthy and beautiful girl. She has older parents (in their 40's) and God knows a rather old grandmother, but she does have a younger grandmother on her mother's side.

Happy Birthday, Matilda. I am so glad you're here.

Friday, September 11, 2009

College Days

We were down by the lake smooching (in those days we did just smooch) and looking at the moon on a beautiful night in the Spring of l944 when all of a sudden I whispered, “Look, Bill. What IS THAT coming toward us?

Bill turned to look and the rear car door opened and two women in nightgowns with robes over them climbed in the back seat.The Dean of Women snarled,” Long past time for you to be in your room at the dormitory, Bernice. Here I was, 21 years old , a junior m college and Miss Pederson and Mrs. Griffin, the house mother were in my face. She snarled because this was the third time she had caught me out after hours and she had me now.

Bill’s car would have well qualified to be a clunker in today’s world. If he ran at a certain speed, it would shimmy like crazy and he ran it that speed all the way back from the lake to the dorm and the wicked witches from the west in back were holding on like mad.

We got back to the dorm and the two fell out relieved to have survived and led the way, heads held high. even in their ludicrous apparel and Bill and I followed. Bill didn’t add to the occasion much when he bent low and pretended to doff his hat and said,” Been nice knowing you, Bernie?” grinning from ear to ear.

As I followed the women into the dorm, the Dean turned to me and told me I was expelled for good this time.

The next day I had two finals and I skipped them both because I thought I was done. The president of the University (Prexy ) called me up at noon (his niece and I were best friends) and asked me why I had skipped the tests. I told him that I had been expelled the night before and saw no reason then to go and he told me he would arrange for me to have them given to me that afternoon. The expulsion was not legal yet.

I had spent a restless night. After all I had worked for six years to get through college and here I had blown it. In those days there was a 10 o’clock curfew for all women students . No exceptions, a rule I had broken climbing out windows and out fire escapes.

After the prexy’s call, I dressed and ran into a friend and he told me I looked terrible and needed a shot. He took me to the Blue Blazer and ordered two shots. Me—no breakfast and no lunch.

I guess you can imagine the rest. I went back to the campus and could hardly see the first test but it was a multiple choice mostly and I guessed my way through for I could not see too well. The second was an essay for history, my major, and tho the content was o.k. the handwriting was filled with strange loop-de-loops and zig zags. I think I hit a C on each.

Later, I was expelled. Destined never to graduate with my class.

During the summer, the prexy called and told me to bring my dad to meet with him and the Dean of Women. My DAD? Had they no idea what they would be up against?

My dad should have been a lawyer for he took on that old bitch with great aplomb and left her speechless, arguing that I had already been punished by not being able to go to summer school and graduate with my class .

Revenge was sweet but I hope Ms. Petterson may rest in peace in her pink nightie.

Monday, September 7, 2009

The Elm Tree's Shadow Linger

Life has nothing sweeter
than its Springtime
Golden days, when we’re young—
Golden Days
The Student Prince

My college days have always been the happiest days of my life. I've never wavered from this feeling.. My children have sometimes been upset by the fact that other great moments in my life take second place such my wedding day or their births. But I still know that taken all in all, I had more fun in college than anywhere or anytime else.

Every day Iwoke up with anticipation of the fun I knew was in store. Oh sure, there were classes and tests. There was that. And I worked three jobs in addition to carrying a full load of credits.

But, I had always dreamed of going to North Park in Chicago. My dad graduated from there in 1910 and my sister had gone there also. I could have gone to the local community college but I went to work instead for a year and with scholarships and the money I had saved from my $10 a week secretarial job.
I have a diary I kept for the first three months at college. (Longest I ever managed to keep a diary) and my entry for my 18th birthday states,” It is everything I ever imagined it would be and I am so very happy to be here.” In this case, anticipation was not greater than realization and I thought life was wonderful.

College was freedom, friendships, belonging –really finding a place for me in life. I had been brought up very strictly as had many of my new classmates. We went to the movies three times a week and sat through three at a time. Most of us had never seen a movie before. Folks, this was the time of no TV, and no cell phones.
We had one phone on the wall in each dorm. It wasn’t quite the time of my father’s favorite radio show “Fibber McGee and Molly” where he had to ring up the operator and yell, “Hey Myrt, get me Johnny, will ya?” but we had progressed to a dial phone I think.

World War 11 was going on and we were mostly a girls college because of it. But that did not dim our fun. We had servicemen on leave and some girls had boyfriends who visited with buddies in tow. And there were always the Seminary lads -- great guys, most engaged, the rest called up for service . But we made our own fun and I think all of us reveled in the same things I did that now we were on our own and could do as we pleased within the boundaries of the school rules-------ahhhh, but there is the rub.

WhenI look back, the breaking of those rules was the most fun.
Another story to come.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Does the Food Bring Them Home?

Since time immemorial, mothers have welcomed a visit from their grown children. I was only 9 years old, but I remember my mother’s excitement when her two eldest came home to Michigan for Christmas. It was during the depression and we had moved from Illinois and left them both behind. Each were graduated from college, but both worked at the Wurlitzer Piano Factory. (When you had a job, then, you kept it and were glad to have one.)

It was the first time our family had broken up and she missed them deeply. She had baked and prepared for their coming for many weeks. All of their favorite dishes: Swedish Limpa bread, Swedish Coffee Bread, Peppeeracawker ( I can’t spell Swedish) a kind of ginger cookie, and Spritz, a butter cookie. Even the good old fruit cake.

Why is it that when we moms have grown children coming to visit, the first thing we do is get their favorite foods ready to go the minute they get there? I know I do. My eldest son is visiting and I was thinking about it as I made his favorite dinner—good ole roast beef and mashed potatoes and gravy and a lemon meringue pie. I smiled as I remembered an incident that happened not too long ago.

My daughter had been home for a few weeks one summer and my eldest son flew in to visit also. He and I were in the kitchen making my his favorite lemon pie when my daughter walked in, saw what I was doing and said, “Oh, SURE!"

It was such a delightful déjà vu moment, her reaching back to a sibling rivalry and especially funny after I showed her that her favorite butterscotch pie was already in the oven. And these “kids” were in their 40’s!

So is food our foremost way of showing how much we love them and how much we miss them?

But my biggest question is this? Do they come home and are glad just to see us and be with us , or do they come to gather up some of their childhood by eating their favorite foods?


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