Tag Archives: Gramma

He Knows Which Side His Bread Is Buttered On

Felix and I are at the kitchen island this morning. He’s having apple juice and a gummy vitamin. I’m paging through Cooking Light.

“Oh,” I say, struck by a lovely dress in an ad.

“What?” says my Small Boy, concerned.

“I love this dress,” I reply, running a finger lovingly over the page. “It’s so pretty.”

Felix considers a moment.

“Maybe my Gramma could buy you that dress,” he suggests.


I am from academic chairs, from Bean Boots and Aunt Louise the Christmas cactus.

I am from the little brown Cape house, later gray, antiques and old photographs, comfortable sofas and wood fires.

I am from the brook, the ash tree with the soccer ball dangling from its dead branch.

I am from the paper crowns in Christmas crackers and dry humor, from Brown and Bock and Liston.

I am from inappropriate dinner conversations and a dark family secret aired. From three grandparents who would have loved me and a grandmother who loved me very much.

I am from lapsed Congregationalists and lost Methodists, a musty family Bible, my paternal grandmother’s confirmation corsage pressed within.

I’m from the city of commercial Valentines and Royal Corsets, the Black Forest, the Green Mountains, St. Andrews, Amsterdams old and New, macaroni and cheese and my grandmother’s gingerbread cookie recipe.

From my father, who once licked a parking meter on a winter’s day. His grandmother yanked him off, along with the skin of his tongue. My mother, who tried to flush her baby sister down the toilet.

I am from cemeteries and my mother’s writing desk, shoe boxes and storage containers in the crawl space behind my parents’ bed, photographs and news clippings, letters and genealogy charts.

This post is a response to a Red Dress Club prompt from months ago, titled “Where I’m From”, but I only found the words to finish it now, as the year is both ending and beginning. So here it is, a view of myself as the year turns.

Happy New Year!

Up for A Breath

So, it’s been all gloomy fiction and teenage angst (and features!) up in this place lately.

But life has actually gone on behind the scenes.

Take Thursday evening, for example! Worlds collided, universes shifted, and I met Marian! If you’re a regular, you’ll know her from the comments. Her blog is full of beautiful poetry, poignant observations, and general wonderful brilliance. She is delightful, and spending several hours with her, the last of which was spent quite literally unable to part, unable to end the conversation, in my minivan, after having closed down the local coffee place, and the Barnes and Noble down the road, was definitely the highlight of my week.

Last weekend my sister-in-law was in town with my niece and nephew, so there was lots of family fun. Gramma took us to the circus, and Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey’s Greatest Show on Earth did not disappoint. Even Felix liked it, once he got over the noise and lights. We did a Harvest Fair at Tower Hill Botanical Gardens the next day, and marched the kids to the top of Tower Hill, with it’s lovely view out to Mount Wachusett, over the Wachusett Reservoir. It’s about a hundred yards through the forest. Not exactly hiking, but very pretty! Felix, normally used to having my parents to himself, was especially clingy with Gramma, which was both endearing and irritating. He escorted her up and down the summit path, with much drama and ceremony.

Felix and his cousin A painted pumpkins together. They’re only seven months apart, and I love seeing them play together!

So, long week at work (despite it only being four days) aside, life has gone on and gone well. Sometimes it’s nice to come up out of the fiction for a breath of my lovely life.

Small Forgotten Countries

My camisole stained from gathering tomatoes in the crisp sunshine. The citrus aroma of home made bubble solution and squeals of joy as my small boy blows bubbles with his Gramma. The swing of cotton pajamas around my ankles, and my bare feet grubby and cool in the grass. Red polish chipped away to reveal maps of small, forgotten countries on my toes.

Dear Mama: Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop

Mama's Losin' ItThis week’s post is inspired by Prompt #1: Dear Mommy and/or Daddy… write a letter to yourself from one of your children. (inspired by Denise from Laughing With Spoons). In lieu of something sentimental, I chose to write the letter my nearly three-year old would dictate, right now, if he were here. Enjoy!


Actually I got my new phone at the building over the train tracks in the new town but it didn’t work so the man fixed it and I took my new phone home and we went to Betty’s house and I want to go super fast on the see-saw swing can we go on the sun-porch and play with the bubble lawn mower? my dad has a push lawn mower so anyway I have a new phone and we got a mini-van it’s red these are the points where Thomas and Toby and James on are the tracks I talked to Gramma on the phone so anyway Gramma said “gobble gobble” to the turkeys and we went to the WalMart and I got a new car last night we went to Betty’s house and we played on the playground can we go to the library tomorrow and get some new books? my pug dog is naughty outside are there any peas in the garden? do I have to wash my hair in the bath? what is that truck? why are we going this way? who’s that guy? is my Dad at home? can I watch a show? will you spread my Beek out on the table? I’m hungry can I have pasta? can I have some juice?

Bye Mama!

Second Look Saturday: The Casbah and My Gramma

Inspired by Big Mama Cass, I’m giving you another peek into the old stuff while I’m off being re-certified in Infant/Child First Aid and CPR. The things I do to secure gainful employment…

2nd Look Saturday Button

Without further ado…

Memories of the Casbah
Originally published April 30, 2008

I heard the Clash in the car this morning, and thought of my grandmother.

In 1982, when The Clash released Combat Rock, I didn’t know who The Clash was, or what a casbah was, or why we were rockin’ one. I had just turned five, and was finishing my last month at preschool.

What I did know was that I should be shaking what I had when the song came on on MTV. Yes MTV, when it used to play music videos.

The funny thing is that we didn’t have cable of any kind growing up, so there was no MTV at my house. Our neighborhood was in an odd position for utility service. We were separated from the rest of our town by an airport (no telephone poles from town), so our phone service came from the city adjacent, but the cable company wouldn’t do us the same courtesy for many years. The point of all this is that the place where I watched the MTV was my grandmother’s house. She would indulge my youthful need to shake it, and allow me to watch Solid Gold (oh, Dionne Warwick!) and a little bit of MTV, and I worshipped her TV!

I have one distinct memory of dancing in her living room to Rock the Casbah while she looked on, astonished and somewhat confused by my odd need to dance to the “noisy music,” but indulging and loving, nonetheless. I wonder how she’d feel to know that twenty six years later, I still remember her fondly when I hear the Clash on my iPod?