Sunday, March 27, 2011

From my journals.........1976

March 17: Suzanne and I sing "Close to You" at bedtime, our heads together.

May 25: B and T arrived yesterday and had planned to stay through at least this morning, but left as quickly as they could at 7:00 a.m., refusing even to eat breakfast here. Their sudden departure had to do with a bat that appeared in the house last evening.

July 24: N and J arrived at 1:00 a.m. to spend the following day with us. We had fun water skiing. J was very quiet....hard to tell if she had a good time or not. I got the giggles when Joe kept sinking me on skis.

October 4: Flew to Arizona today for a visit with Mom and Harold. I have lost 36 lbs. so far,and will try not to gain on vacation.

October 18: Flew from Phoenix to Daytona with the kids. Florida feels beyond damp. I could swear the walls are dripping.

November 4: Home yesterday from our month's trip: two weeks in Arizona with Mom and Harold and two weeks in Florida with my parents. Gained 2 lbs. in Carefree, and 5 in Florida.

November 27: Cooked a small turkey, had dinner, and went out to accompany Joe while he posted the property. While we were out, Thistle—one week post-surgery—pulled the turkey off the counter and ate the whole thing!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

From my journals.........1975

January 3: I long to hear a conversation that is over my head. Joe is great to talk with, but he isn't here all that often. I get so tired of talking about the demise of Blue Stamps, the weather, and what's on sale at the Banner Market. I'd love a good food talk! This area seems saturated with Hamburger Helper users.

February 7: Today we went to look at an old farm. Joe had seen the ad while I was in Florida, and call the realtor to inquire about seeing it. Then when I got home I saw another ad for the same property, was intrigued by it, and called the realtor myself.

We wanted to fall in love with the place, and at first that appeared doubtful; the siding is truly tacky, and the paint needs freshening. Joe, especially, was put off by our first view of the outside. But we started smiling once inside, and our hearts really warmed when we toured the property: 30 acres, wooded and open, all rolling, all beautiful.

February 8:
We are buying the old farm!!

May 8: Lunch at Nino's with Mom and Harold. I told Mom I was scheduled for a pregnancy test on Monday, and was pleased with her happy reaction.

June 11:
The baby is a nice firm round mound, fun to feel each morning.

August 15: A newspaper item pasted on the page......Thunder was a beautiful German Shepherd who loved his family with all his heart. Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Jaffer treasured the relationship they had with him during his three years of life. Thunder cared deeply for his humans, so when he was killed recently his family remembered the many dogs and puppies being sheltered at the Humane Society and sent a generous contribution. The Society makes good use of memorials such as this . . . and we think Thunder must be pleased.

November 24:
Our first Lamaze class. We are the only repeaters in a group of seven couples, and the beginners hung on our every word. Joe asked me later how I liked being a star.

November 27: A nice Thanksgiving, as usual. Despite my misgivings, I managed to put together a respectable holiday dinner, complete with 19 lb. turkey. We had cornbread-sausage stuffing, our own homegrown buttercup squash, and Joe's favorite creamed celery. Also Heavenly Pumpkin Pie with ice cream.

December 25: Merry "Crimpas!" as (2-year-old) Suzanne calls it. Her face was full of wonderment as she spied the Christmas tree this morning, and she breathed "Wow!"—and then said, "Very nice!"

December 26: Gillian Campbell Jaffer was born today!!

(The last two entries are the condensed versions.) :-)

Monday, March 21, 2011

From my journals.........1956-58

January 1956: You know, when I'm 17 years old, and I look back and read this, I'll think I was silly when I was 13, but right now I'm very serious.

March 1957: Today a funny thing happened. Ingi came home from the store at about 5 o'clock. She told me that Paul had just left the A&P.

April 1957: Nothing fascinates me like the boy I can fascinate.

June 1957: I have a lovely crush on Charlie. I probably wrote about how I met him, but I love to tell it, so I'll review.

July 1957: Boys I have had fun with at Sag Harbor, July: Bobby & Dick, Bob, John, Dave, also another John (B.) & Richie & Jim. And Gail.

September 1957: Teddy kissed me for the 6th time.

December 1957: I have the strangest feeling that I'm in love, but I don't know with whom.

October 1958: Gave my father my report card, and I'm not allowed out.....ever!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Blessing of Journaling

Thanks to journals I've kept over the years, I know much more than I ever could have remembered without them. As you can probably tell from my blog, I haven't been the most faithful journaler—and I wish I'd done better. It got worse with the advent of email, online forums, and social networking, and now it's to the point where the majority of my journal entries are copied and pasted from emails to close friends. But those entries will still be able to jog my memory someday.

This weekend I ran across my gardening journal from 1982-84. Like a lot of journals started by a lot of people, this one petered out after a while. But I was interested to read several of the entries.

In 1983 I put the following in the freezer: 14 quarts of spinach, 53 quarts of broccoli, 11 heads of cauliflower, 10 pints of peas, 30 quarts of green beans, 2 quarts of cherries, 6 quarts of peaches, 5 quarts of corn, 25 quarts of tomatoes, 1 quart of Swiss chard, and 33 quarts of applesauce.

That same year, I planted 10 different Asiatic lilies. I also wrote at length about my nicotiana, poppies, day lilies, veronica, statice, balsam, delphiniums, monardas, strawflowers (I said the strawflowers looked "troubled"), tall dahlias, dwarf dahlias, zinnias, hollyhocks, herbs, coreopsis, anchusa, Futura impatiens (whatever happened to that variety, anyway?), gaillardia, tithonia, and wallflowers. The following year I got much more heavily into perennials.

Oh, and I mention that my children were 10, 8, and 5 years old? And that I sewed a lot of their clothes? And cooked three meals a day (from scratch) every day? I'm exhausted just reading this.

But the best thing I learned from reading the journal concerned a good deed I did for an elderly flower gardener. Here's the entry:

Last year I planted a few of my leftovers for Mrs. Reynolds, whose heart condition had prevented her from growing any new flowers. I brought over nicotiana, marigolds, and delphiniums, and planted them in her garden. This year I started some seeds especially for her: "Inca" marigolds, "Kablouna" calendulas, and "Domino" dwarf nicotianas.

I didn't know much about Mrs. Reynolds' family back then. I didn't know, for instance, that she had a one-year-old great-granddaughter who would grow up to marry my son.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

From my dad's camera(s)

I've been scanning a lot of my father's negatives, and thought I'd share some of the results with you. I've said it before: Thank heavens for my dad and his fine cameras. Most people my age don't have family photographs like this.

My cousin Terry (the wonderful gardener who died in 2008) and her handsome father, Eddie.

Me, learning to walk (with a little help and cheering on from my parents). The woman facing away from the camera is our lovely cousin Ruth. The picture was taken at her home.

My mom. I've posted more glamorous shots of her on this blog, but she loved to laugh and could be very funny.

I've also mentioned my uber-creative cousin Barbara, who paints, sews, and has designed toys. Here she is being creative with her mother's clothespins. Her dad was overseas, fighting WWII, and those are diapers on the line, folks.

My mom and I are on the right, with her sister Elsie and Elsie's daughter Barbara on the left.

Like I said, most people don't have family photographs like this.