Category Archives: family

b.r.

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why is it that my children were shocked

when i told them that i was born ‘before ranch’ (b.r.)?

shock and awe that i was alive when

cap’n crunch, doritos, $100,00 bars, pop tarts, ding dongs, cool whip, count chocula, and more

came to be

back in the day when food fell into the 

quick, easy, greasy, crunchy, sweet, and fun category

and lived to tell.

 

“my mouth doesn’t want to be quiet.”

-greta, age 4

 

memories gather and dance.

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Toy Department during Christmas season in the J.L. Hudson store, Detroit – 1957

 loved this view of the toy department at the store during the Christmas season.

toys were displayed on shelves, tables, and display cases,

with decorations featuring elves, a sleigh, and reindeer in background.

this is where i went every year

all dressed up fancy

to buy little gifts (with help from the elves) for my family

to see santa

to have a special lunch

 always, always amazed

by the glamour and magic of it all.

“like snowflakes, my christmas memories gather and dance –

each, beautiful, unique, and gone too soon.

-deborah whipp

 

credits: detroit memories, linda yates rudnicki, j.l. hudson’s

as far as anyone knows…

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not me, nor anyone in my family, but i love the spirit of ‘pocket pancaking’

all families are unique, with their own quirks, traditions, and ways of communicating – and the holiday season often serves as the perfect showcase for these interconnected elements. so when tonight show host, jimmy fallon asked his viewers to tweet funny examples using hashtag #myfamilyisweird, the responses did not disappoint. one person shared their relatives’ tradition of hiding leftover pancakes in each other’s pockets, while another posted a photo of a ‘hideous hand-me-down elf ornament their mother keeps trying to throw away each year, but hilariously ends up back on the tree. customs we cultivate with our kin can do more than just make us laugh, studies have long shown that establishing family routines and rituals positively benefits our health, relationships and well-being.

does your family have any unusual traditions? in my family we had a super creepy automotron mange-y looking furry toy cat that kept coming back. we bought it for a visiting grandie and just thought it was an ordinary stuffed animal, but what we soon discovered was that it would move or make noise at random times. people who received this gift ending up reporting that they kept in their garage or basement or closet, because it creeped them out so much. even with all that, they housed if for a full year, just for the opportunity to ‘gift it’ to someone else in family at the next christmas gathering. people went to great lengths to disguise it when wrapping, so the recipient would let down their guard and open it. we gifted it back and forth to each other for many years, until one year it just disappeared….

“remember as far as anyone knows we’re a nice, normal family.”

— homer Ssmpson

across the universe.

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my grandson stargazing in a night field

i met my ex-husband many years ago

a man with a brilliant mind

who taught me myriad things

among them

oceanography, astronomy, photography

astrophotography

my grandson

 never met his (now late) grandfather

yet all these years later

he put together one of his old telescopes

 taking it upon himself

to learn astrophotography

he has become a stargazer

two generations later

his grandfather

would have been thrilled and so proud of him

proving once again that

everything in the universe is truly connected

most in ways we cannot even begin to imagine.

 

“Science is the one human activity that is truly progressive.

The body of positive knowledge is transmitted from generation to generation.” 

Edwin Powell Hubble, The Realm of the Nebulae

on the day after daughters day.

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(not us, but somewhat similar if your glasses are off)

this is a day late 

and a million or so dollars short

but we all came together

at exactly the right time.

“here’s to good women. may we know them. may we be them. may we raise them.”

love, yourmom

 

marcel.

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this film.

i recently saw it with one daughter and two grandies

based on a youtube character created by comedians who were bored at a wedding

with low expectations, just wanting to be entertained

i was not prepared for this poignant, sweet, sad, funny, and heartwarming story

a documentary with a perfect blend of stop-action and live-action film

you may recognize some of the humans who appear on the screen

not an action film but fully a reaction film

give it time, it’s slow, it’s quiet, it’s incredibly touching, and will enchant all ages

it’s seeing the world through marcel’s tiny eyes,

as he deals with joy, love, loss, fear, grief, courage, and a renewal of life

 reminding us of the importance of family, friendship, support, and connections of all kinds.

This poem, The Trees, by Phillip Larkin, was read at a pivotal point in the film and is so fitting:

lucky six!

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the six-pack is back

hard to get

the grandies all in place at one time

bigger and better than ever

along with sweet dog, nia

now one of the pack.

“one who doesn’t roll the dice can never expect to score a six.”

naviot singh sidhu

ailyak.

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 ailyak – the end of a day with family on glen lake

ailyak:

the subtle art of doing everything calmly and without rushing, whilst enjoying the experience and life in general.

-origin: bulgarian

 

 

 

glen lake, empire, michigan, usa 2022

mothers.

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much love to my three daughters, each one now a mother too, on mothers day.

even if i only rarely called you by your right name on the first try.

“mothers are not the nameless,

faceless stereotypes

who appear once a year on a greeting card with their virtues set to prose,

but women who have been dealt a hand for life

and play each card one at a time the best way they know how.

no mother is all good or all bad,

all laughing or all serious,

all loving or all angry,

ambivalence rushes through their veins.”

-erma bombeck