Nov. 11th, 2010 12:41 pm
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My grandfather fixed bombers in WWII - before the Air Force was a separate branch of the service. We never much talked about him growing up - there's one surviving picture of him with me, the only grandchild he'd ever know, taken when I was approximately two.
He died of throat cancer before I'd turn three, one week before my sister was born.

Helping Mom clean out my grandmother's house these past few years, I've gotten to know this gentleman better. When you have to go through all the ephemera of someone's life, it'll happen.

Mom left going through a lot of his service stuff to me - not entirely sure why, other than she was overwhelmed with everything else. Rifling through old paperwork, awards, hardware, odd things he must have picked up overseas - currency long out of date, and many, many pictures and letters from Nancy, France, where he was taken in by a French family. Consequently named his second daughter after the town.
He was not a kind man, and had quite the temper when he drank, which was often by popular account.

I wonder about him often. I keep the book we inscribed to each other close, and I carry his pocketknife daily.
In that picture, clothing dated, fuzzy, and colors blown out with age, I see a hard man looking in the face of a future he helped secure. My face.
Perhaps I imagine it, or I regard it with a certain amount of romanticism we reserve for the past, but there's a bit of softening there, around his eyes.

Today I remember him, and I thank all of those who've served. The list is long and illustrious.

- K.


Sep. 22nd, 2008 02:16 pm
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So, this is my parent's 30th anniversary.

Getting them a gift is futile. They will complain at length that we shouldn't have gotten them anything, and in the case of a gift card, they never use it. I love them, but they drive me mad.

I had all kinds of great ideas, but no. It's just really not worth the aggravation.

This year HorseChaser will go grab the gift card we got them *last* year off the fridge, put it in a new card, get mom some flowers and we'll call it done.

Damn old yankees.

- K.
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Today is Flag Day. It's also my grandfather's birthday.
He died when I was three. Larynx cancer that led to tounge, lung and liver cancer, brought about from decades of smoking.

It's no small wonder that I refuse to even entertain the thought of smoking anything, except perhaps my bacon. You laugh. It's no secret that my darling love participates in activities that lean toward the burning and inhaling, and that's fine. I wish he wouldn't, but he's a big boy and it's his choice.

Over the years, many such products have been offered to me personally, and via the media. The closest I allow myself to get is to stand downwind of a person smoking cloves and enjoy the scent.
Watching an old man in the process of drowning to death in his own fluids has had a profound effect on the young me, it appears.


By all accounts, my grandfather was a hard, unforgiving, mean drunk.
My mother does not talk about him. My grandmother does not talk about him except in those hushed ways that the emotionally abused talk of their long dead abusers. "Oh No! I can't put wall to wall carpeting in the house! Your grandfather put in that crown molding!" "Oh No! I can't take down those pine trees that are threatening to fall on the house, you grandfather planted them!"
As if he's going to materialize and berate her for putting in new carpets.

I'm not particularly fond of my Grandmother for the abuse that she's put my mother through, but if you listen closely, you can start to the the patterns. In the speach, in the mannerisms. I can see how they've flowed down through my grandmother, into my mother, and to a certian extent into me.
The difference is that I'm aware of this, and try to keep it at bay.

There are very few pictures of my grandfather. For the most part to me he remains an enigma - part WWII vet, standing proudly among his planes (picture #1,) part doting Grandfather, holding me in my easter dress (Picture #2,) and part malevolent shadow, never talked about, only elluded to.

On the service holidays (Memorial day, Flag Day, 4th of July,) I wish I could talk to him about his service in the "Great War." Mostly out of a desire to have a concrete conection to history. But I won't, and never will.

Part of me is sad that me and my family have lost that, but a different part of me is ok never having really known him.
I don't think I would have liked him much.

One way or another, Happy Birthday, Father of my Mother.
May you have found the peace in death that it appears you couldn't find in life.

- k.
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Attended cow auction, up at the ass-end of nowhere in ME. Got there right on time, only to find out that the schedule that I'd seen on the intar-web was wrong, and that the beef calf sale was Saturday.
Watched the pure-bred auction for fun, talked to a very nice man about Belted Galloways, sounded uneducated, got reading materials, pet the goats, sat in the shiny new tractors, quacked at the ducks, and generally had fun. Citgo had come along for the ride, and I hope HorseChaser and I entertained him.

On the way back, we stopped off in the Wells/Ogunquit area - I'd been there a few years ago on a freak file delivery mission to Portland, but HorseChaser hadn't been up since the last time we'd gone as a family, 12 to 15 years ago... There was a lot of wandering around and "wow, that's changed" and "that's different" -ing going on. We'd gone up there every year for about a week as kids in the summer with my grandmother, and my aunt and her family. I'm not sure why, but it had stopped around when I was around 12 or so (I'd imagine it got expensive) - so HorseChaser's memories of the place are very early indeed.
Now we do not talk of the place, especially around my grandmother - that is a place where she specifically remembers my Aunt, and one mention of it throws her into hysterics for weeks. It's sad that she literally can't seperate the good memories from the bad, and that any mention of my aunt causes her pain.

It was bitterly windy and cold on the coast - I wouldn't have been surprised to see snow. We all bundled up and toddled along the beach for a while, Citgo tossing rocks into the waves, HorseChaser poking through the rocks for shells, me watching both of them and blessing my lucky stars that I was so lucky to have both in my life, and at this place, where now I have new, good, solid memories, not just the grey-tinted water-color memories of youth.

We got back to the car, puttered down to Ogunquit, raided the bath store and the candy store, (good GODS, the candy,) and poked our noses into what shops were open. Hit the bakery for some hot cocoa and carrot cake, and toodled home to sunshine at about 7pm.

Watched a few episode of Eureka! (the sci-fi show, it's really fun) and went to bed.
It's good to be back to work.

Next step: Short-term and Long-term business plans for the farm.
(Because everything is easier when you have a list.)

- K.
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I have a cousin who has an obnoxious wife and they live, with their brood, in Vermont.
These are the type of people who give Vermonters a bad name.
They were married at 18 because they looooved each other so much, (insert highschool giggle here!) They swore upside down and backwards to his family, (hers is out of the picture) that it was all for the loooove, and they were going to wait to have kids.

8 months later, a robust baby girl of 8 pounds was born. You do the math.

A few days ago, I get a call from my mom. "You'd never guess what they've done this time," she said with an exaperated sigh.
My mind raced to catch up on the "they" in question, and what "they" could have done.
After some elaboration, mom reveals that the Cousins have spawned again, and so have inflicted a name on yet another child.

I'm all for non-traditional names. To a point. I think, somewhere along the line, the Cousins forgot that they weren't naming pets, and sallied forth, naming with wanton distruction.

The first (the girl) was named after a character in a fantasy book (gag.)
MistyaRose, gods bless her tiny heart, will probably use Misty the second she enters elementary school and never look back. Oh wait! They're Home-Schooling! Nevermind.

Matrix (the first boy) had better start taking marshal arts classes now, or he's going to have his ass handed to him all the way through life. What fun, to be named after a movie, or a car. You decide.

And now, dear, poor sweet Merlin. (Second, and most recent boy.) You named your kid after a wizard?
Really, come on now... These kids have to live with these names!

In the future, I have to get a dog. And I think his name shall be Merlin.
- k.
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Just because I'm bound to love members of my family doesn't mean I have to like them very much.

Anyone got a quick cure for Depressed Passive-aggressive Anti-social Grumpy Old Man Yankee-ness? Because right now a swift kick in the ass is looking really appealing.

Or leaving and not coming back until he gets and additude adjustment.

- k.

A Name

May. 4th, 2006 10:27 pm
kragore: (Default)
At least there's a name for the problem now...

Maternal Grandmother has Lou Gehrig's diease.
Only she got the ultra-special kind that comes with (and I'm not kidding) "please kill me" pain.

Fom everything I've read, there's a 10% chance I get to look forward to my mother, and someday, me, my sister, or my brother, having this.

Yay, mortality.
- k.


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