MEMORIES: Marion in VT

Our Girl was always great with my family. Sometimes I though that they loved her more and I was the tolerated in-law. She always went out of her way to accommodate them; even when it was clearly unreasonable. Mowing Grandma’s lawn even though it meant she had to drive the slow riding lawn mower around the block once a week in the hot sun with the dog on a leash for Grandpa. “Meals on wheels” for my Mom. And, doing all the things that needed to be done that needed a woman’s touch. All without complaining.

One reason that Grandma and Grandpa loved her was that, as sound as she realized they were both deaf as stones, she “spoke” to them at the top of her lungs. She used her “basketball court voice” that she developed coaching. When she called a play, teams in the next county were trying to run it. She’d often come home horse and I’d have a headache. But they loved her visits.

So, we’re on one of our road trips in New England. Our Girl pipes up, as were coming down 95, “Let’s swing up Route 7 and visit your Aunt Marion.” Huh? I barely knew that she knew that I had an Aunt. Guess my look said it all. “Grandma was worried so I told her we’d check on her. And, I called Aunt Marion and said we might be by.” Guess it slipped her mind to mention it to me, or maybe she didn’t want to deal with my reaction. It really wasn’t that big a deal. Turn left at Route 7 and three hours or so of more driving, and we’re at Aunt’s house.

We visit. Now Aunt Marion and Grandma were sisters that look alike, dress alike, and sound alike. Our Girl carries on a conversation with Aunt about all sorts of things. With her “coach voice”. Eventually Aunt goes to the WC. I say sotto voce “Ev, it’s Aunt Marion, not Grandma. Aunt’s hearing is perfect.” She looked like she’d kissed a frog, or a fat old white guy injineer.

Aunt comes back and Ev apologizes profusely. Aunt generously says: “That’s fine child. I knew what you were doing. When I talk to Sister, I have a sore throat after. She’s really vain about the hearing aids Micky bought her.” Ev was red. But by the end of the trip, she was laughing about it. We had to go directly to Grandma’s, despite the hour, so Ev could report in. I suggested we do it the next morning because it was so late. Our Girl vetoed that with her trademark scowl. So we went.

She was right! Grandma was sitting up alone in the middle of the night waiting for Our Girl’s report. They sat and chatted and Ev gave her all the details. We got home when the Sun was coming up.

Maybe that’s why I love her? She was a kind soul that would go out of her way to reassure a pair of Sisters to whom she had no real obligation to. And, she even tolerated me going along. Not that I had a choice. It was always her way. And, that way usually turned out to be right in so many ways.

She made the world a better place and me a better person. And, I miss her more each day.   

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MEMORIES: Went down the shore, but …

MEMORIES: Went down the shore, but …

… It’s just not the same.

On the way down, I didn’t listen to the political shows. Like you tolerated. When you were having those bad days, I put the oldies. I know you were back going to the shore with your gal pals many decades ago. I didn’t want to disturb the happy illusion. Even when you sang the ”Bayonne” lyrics to Petula Clark’s Downtown. That’s how I knew where and when you were.

It was your kind of day. Cold. Street breeze. Tiny waves, sorry.

Parked by the house. Test the size of the posters. Yeah, you’d be suitably embarrassed. They are large. I’ll need H’s help to put them up correctly. Have to behind the faux frame. They should last eons. Much to your chagrin.

Some tourists taking their pics in front of the Jersey Shore house. What rubes! To worship at a shrine to what?

Left the car by the house, walked to Casino Pier, for the exercise, played poker. In those dumb machines.

I was going to have fries if I lost. And lunch if you won. Just like we always did. Cheapest beer if I had to pay. Top shelf if it was on you. … All to hear you pseudo whine “sure when I’m buying, nothing but the best”. Ahh the games we used to play.

But the casino pier manageress broke the spell and asked where you were, looking around for you. What could I do but tell her?

I just finished and left. Unable to complete the mission.

But Jimbo’s was still closed for the season. Any way.

So I went to Klee’s but it’s just not the same.

Maybe it just too soon?

Can’t even think of a good “Church” quote to cover it!


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Song lyric when I was driving down: “And what am I gonna do when the best part of me was always you.”

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SURVIVAL: Bury your gold where the kommissar win’t find it

Lead Your Family Out or Stay?, by Richard G.
By James Wesley, Rawles on March 19, 2011 11:08 PM

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Life on the farm went on for a few more years, information was scarce, no communication, many rumors. Lithuanian silver coinage disappeared, replaced by paper occupation money. No one could be trusted, farms were being raided for food, and many “bad things” occurred. Then suddenly the Germans were back, in full retreat. By fall of 1944 they followed the retreating Germans out on a horse and carriage, gold coinage got them across the many river bridges,(a stash was left behind-buried under their wooden kitchen floor)until the horse and cart was confiscated, then only what bags they could carry, then those to were gone and by the time they reached Dresden (bad timing), February 1945, they only had the clothes on there back. Dresden was bombed to a pile of rubble. They somehow survived Dresden, but were forced into work camps. When the war was finally over, they found themselves in a refugee camp near Munich. Stanislaus, my grandfather, had one last ‘trade’ item left, a gold pocket watch.

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When I returned to Lithuania with my mother in September of 1991 (during the Soviet’s withdrawal of Lithuania) her parent’s farm was still standing, found to be inhabited by squatters. The “wooden” kitchen floor was no more, now just a dirt floor. A distant relative informed us the Soviet collective farm manager found the gold coins and threw the largest wedding party for his daughter the town had ever seen.

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If you bury your gold, which seems to be a good idea, make sure only you can find it again.

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