Wisdom and Books

It’s graduation time once again, sending another flock of young minds out into the world, always a hopeful premise. Living near a major university, I find the streets littered with everything fleeing new alums no longer need, the stuff that doesn’t fit into a trash bag or the parents’ SUV.

Sofas and mattresses line the curbs of old family homes turned student housing near campus. As to books, that’s another matter. I think I used to recycle my used textbooks through the college bookstore, having kept them remarkably free of damage or excessive highlighting. Some were retained. My aunt was an English teacher, so I never threw away a book.

While walking dog Lulu yesterday I passed a Little Free Library that had in it a copy of The Odyssey. Wow, that’s been a while. I imagine a graduate looking forward to finally getting rid of this classic while dumping it unceremoniously into the repository, only to have a senior citizen look at it with glee and bring it home to enjoy, despite its copious margin notes and highlighting.

For my father’s 70th birthday, his girlfriend took our families on a sailing yacht through the Ionian Sea tracing the route of Odysseus. It was a wonderful voyage but I haven’t read the book since college. Last year, I invested in another copy of Edith Hamilton’s classic reference, “Mythology.” I must have been foreshadowing my encounter with this local Little Free Library!

I even took the first lesson in modern Greek on Duolingo, where I’ve been doing my best to butcher both the Italian and French languages since the onset of world COVID.

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, indeed. When one gets old and still chooses to learn something new every day, I hope that translates into wisdom. We’ll see once I re-read The Odyssey.

How about this, we do learn from history…. so, why not have a local Banned Bookstore? I don’t think current knowledge-haters want to stand in the public square burning books. But I may be wrong. Who knows what we’re headed for if we choose not to stand up for our democracy.

Perhaps I’ll read to Zoe about the first known fictional pet dog Argos. If I left home and Lulu was still around twenty years later, would she be the first to remember me? Somehow I doubt that kind of loyalty that she thinks only belongs to whomever filled her food bowl this morning. Read your history! Dee

Thank You, Rep. McMorrow

Last week, Michigan Representative Mallory McMorrow spoke out regarding a hateful attack against her by a supposed colleague. She spoke forcefully and eloquently about her background and how those who say they’re “for” kids by banning books and shunning everyone other than white males from privileged upbringings does a disservice to children in particular and our nation as a whole.

We currently live in a democracy, if we choose to fight to keep it. A democracy is signified by our votes for people who are supposed to represent our interests, all of our interests, within the bounds of our Constitution. To this day, Donald Trump is still trying to get Wisconsin politicians to nullify all 3.3 million of our votes, have the Republican-led legislature substitute its vote for ours and put him back in the White House. That’s not legal or constitutional, but our former president wants it anyway.

It is in our best interest as a nation to have every American who is eligible to vote, to vote. I’m even considering supporting Universal Voting in order to fix all the problems that current politics and gerrymandering have wrought. What can I do to make sure that I and other disenfranchised voters get our say?

Rep. McMorrow listed her qualifications. Here are mine. I am a straight, white, married, college-educated quasi-suburban senior citizen. I grew up in a village of 400 souls, all white. I learned about tolerance from my parents. Kids would call on Dad every evening to play ball and his rule was “everyone plays.” Girls got to play, even toddlers were carried around the bases to great applause when they got a home run.

I learned to read at age five and soon tired of kiddie lit. My aunt was an English teacher and we had a decent library in town so I learned about race from reading To Kill a Mockingbird, the horrors of war and genocide in The Diary of Anne Frank, and life in Death Be Not Proud. Our public school wanted to change to phonics for reading education and two mothers objected as we were already reading, so two of us brought our own books to school and read in the back of the classroom while the other kids learned the curriculum. My reading pal Steven only read kid-level books about sports. My choices at age 6-8 were my own, with some input from parents and Auntie L.

Divisiveness and hatred have come out from under their rocks beginning with the Trump presidency, giving credence to “both sides” of white supremacy. I was always a bit different and longed to be the same as all the other kids but settled for being different and accepted as such. And I always helped others feel as if they belonged as well. Years ago I heard from a grade school classmate. She and her little brother, my younger sister and I used to walk together from school to CCD (Catholic religious instruction) every week and the girls would taunt the boy mercilessly. He and I would walk together and let them know it didn’t bother us. Turns out he was gay, and his sister thanked me for treating her brother so well when she was being so mean to him. They’re now best of friends.

So what can we do about today’s unfortunate situation? Here’s what I plan:

I will vote and make sure my vote is counted and not vetoed by politicians who only want power.

I will only vote for candidates who support my right and the right of all eligible voters to be heard.

I will vote against any politician who has/had anything to do with legislation to curtail the right to vote and work to assure that all elections are held fairly and democratically.

I will vote against any candidate who discriminates against or tries to shame persons of another gender, color, religious background or sexual orientation.

I will vote against anyone who espouses ludicrous conspiracy theories. If you want to slander me by saying I’m intimately involved with martians who live on a spaceship in my back yard, you’d better darn well have proof.

* * * *

America is the land of the free, a melting pot by design. We should expect growing populations to be represented in our democracy. Calling everyone you don’t like a “pedophile” for no reason, won’t work for long. Ask Henny Penny, who kept telling all the villagers the sky was falling until they didn’t listen.

And stop hating groomers. My dog goes to hers for a nail trim every month and there’s nothing nefarious about it. And I use a hairbrush and comb every day. Aren’t those considered grooming tools?

Seriously, these personal attacks must end. Politics is the give and take of ideas, including the idea of compromise. Political opponents are just that, not enemies. This vitriol, constant spreading of hate and misinformation has no place in our society, no matter how much money it makes these politicians or companies spewing it.

Ms. McMorrow said it best in her conclusion, and I concur. “Hate wins when people like me stand by and let it happen. I won’t.”

Do something positive for your country today. And pray for Ukraine, Dee

Plotting, Not Plodding

Think about what’s been happening the past few weeks as an innocent democratic republic is besieged by a megalomaniacal dictator, who wants to take over a sovereign nation for his ego, legacy or both.

In the United States, the right wing is apoplectic, calling the Russian invasion of Ukraine the fault of Joe Biden, and saying that under Donald Trump, everything would be hunky dory. Wrong!

Behind-the-scenes negotiations have so far chastened the unwelcome usurpers, and united our allies and our fellow Americans to the importance of democracy. Just because Joe Biden isn’t hammering away at voter rights in the good ol’ US of A doesn’t mean it’s not foremost in his mind.

Just because he wants to allow NATO members and other nations to be a part of a united effort and is not out in front of the cameras tooting his own horn every day, doesn’t mean President Biden is not hard at work on our behalf of our nation and democracy around the world.

Yes, he’s not touting “love letters” from dictators or sucking up calling them brilliant and savvy. Yea for that! He’s not denigrating our own intelligence services or illegally hoarding Congressionally- appropriated aid to Ukraine to get political dirt for his campaign. And he’s not keeping a pandemic quiet and refusing to assist dying people because they come from “blue states” so are not “American” enough to be granted assistance by the federal government.

Hillary Clinton once asked who we’d want to answer the phone at three o’clock in the morning in an international emergency. Given the choice of Donald Trump or Joe Biden, I’ll pick Biden every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Every President has armchair quarterbacks in the opposing party and in the media, people who’ve never written a proverbial book but feel superior because they can criticize its’ writing. President Biden has a huge monkey on his back, however, called Donald Trump. Donald Trump is the perennial backseat driver that never shuts up.

Wake up, Americans. This is the world we live in. Do we want Vladimir Putin to run Europe? He wants to bite off a big chunk of it right now. First, Ukraine then former SSR’s. Do we want partisans to take over our elections at home, taking our votes and changing them so whoever they say wins, wins? Well, I certainly don’t.

Give our President a chance to do what he does best, and know we selected the right person for the job. Long live an independent Ukraine! Dee

Voters, Beware!

Just two weeks ago, Vladimir Putin’s Russia invaded a democratic neighbor, mercilessly and without provocation. Here in the U.S., Donald Trump praised dictator Putin for his brilliance and “savvy.”

Trump was, of course, seconded by his supplicants who lauded this invasion of a peaceful, democratic country. Then, inexplicably, everything changed.

All of a sudden Trump and his U.S. “team” changed course. Now they want economic sanctions on Russia. Of course, the minute they demanded that the U.S. added oil sanctions, they got what they wanted, an opportunity to berate President Biden for his economic policies making gas prices rise. But that’s just politics as usual. There is something more nefarious afoot.

So now the GOP says it’s not OK for an autocracy to attack a democracy without a valid reason to do so. Might it be because they’d prefer this be done as an inside job? On November 3, 2020 Joe Biden won the presidency fairly and Republicans challenged voting machines, poll workers, harangued election officials and state legislators and every court in the land begging them to lie and cheat and give the presidency to the election’s loser instead of the fair winner. It didn’t work.

To this day, Donald Trump is on the phone to legislators in my current swing state of Wisconsin begging them to illegally and un-constitutionally re-cast our ten electoral votes for him. I say enough is enough. He’s been trying to take my vote away for 16 months now and I won’t hear of it!

Luckily for Ukraine, the world has come to its aid in rebuffing Putin’s ill-advised and disastrous invasion of a sovereign people. We cannot expect the same outpouring on our behalf. If we lose our democracy after 250 years, it’ll be all our own fault.

We are a free nation, one that has welcomed the world’s tired, poor, its huddled masses yearning to be free. With that comes a nation that is inclusive, not exclusive. Our state legislatures are now making it impossible to register to vote and to find a time and place convenient to cast a ballot. Worse yet, some of this legislation is designed to allow local election officials and state representatives to take our vote and change it willy nilly. They think we should be OK with them taking our votes from us and changing them so that their candidates win.

That does not sit right with me. What can we do to stop this? If you’ve incumbents running again, check their voting record. If they voted to cast out the 2020 electoral college decision at the federal level, vote for their opponent. Just this time, they’ll get the message. If it’s an open or contested seat, check what they’re promising. If it has anything to do with their priority being “voting integrity” be suspicious and ask what they mean by that term. Chances are it’ll be tougher for you to vote and they want to take your vote and change it to what they want the result to be. That is not democracy – vote for their opponent.

We’re going to need to hit the streets for voter rights before the 2022 federal elections so be ready to let your representatives know that you’re a voter and if they are elected, they work for you. That’s the spirit. That’s how we can use this groundswell of worldwide democratic power to assure our nation remains free for another 250 years. A vote is a precious thing. There are no wrong votes or duly registered voters. In a democracy every vote counts. Here’s to the American voter! Dee

There’s No U.S. Without US

On this President’s Day, let us remember We The People, all of us in this grand democratic experiment. It’s breaking before our eyes. I don’t want to go back to the fifties or beyond, but want a United States of now, and prepared for a bright future.

First, we must make it easy to register to vote, to cast a ballot, and to know that each and every vote will be counted. That is in jeopardy, and with it our democracy.

We can, and must, do better to save it. Your fellow American, Dee

Stories

Nineteen years of marriage, where did the years go? My husband still says he could live/work out of a hotel room or faceless corporate apartment and be just fine. He really doesn’t mind eating in a restaurant three meals a day. Me, I need a nest. I don’t know if it’s just a male-female thing, because I think he feels just as much at home at our home, wherever that may be.

We don’t have kids or grandkids so our walls aren’t stocked with the usual family and school photos, year by year. I do like, however, to populate them with memories.

Our new front entryway boasts two idyllic country scenes, two lithos I found at a consignment shop in Houston years ago for $2 apiece. They are of the Italian countryside, rustic but reminding both of us of our country roots. Facing us is a charcoal drawing of a pas de deux, as dance has been a part of my family for many years, as have the arts. It’s a competition winner from a former art school client, my Dad bought it for me at auction.

In the kitchen above my precious knives are scenes from travels in Greece and Italy, and a framed recipe for Chilean Sea Bass. Not just any sea bass, it’s on James Earl Jones’ letterhead and is signed. Dad bought it at auction from another client, an HBCU in Texas.

Most important are the quilts, which are the theme of our new home. My mother-in-law made two of them, one a crazy color mix which she made into an all seasons quilt, and another she made for my husband when he was a young boy, of boys in overalls in matching sun hats. There is also the flower/flour power hexagonal quilt that has been in her family for over 100 years and is made in a themed flower pattern of old flour sacks.

These quilts are further personalized by new ones purchased just for our new office spaces. I bought my husband a pastel version of a Texas flag for his office, and my roots come back to me with a classic farmhouse sampler quilt, but it’s made by four ladies in Canada who met every month for lunch for a year to share their squares. Mom was a lifelong Canadian.

We have paintings done by my father, who took up art in his seventies. I just framed some works from the part of Texas where my husband grew up, scenes from my cooking schools, and a number of travel photos taken by me before and after we met.

My husband got his degree in physics, but he said it was too lonely to work in a lab all day and go home to life as a single guy. Then he met me. Even though he’ll tell you the story about the number of square feet he took up in a moving truck (three, the absolute minimum) for an easy chair, dual-brained computer he built and huge CRT monitors. I brought him a kitchen and office. We built from there. And yes, it took 12 more linear feet in the truck and now, even more.

As a consultant, he used to fly out every Monday and return Friday evening. Then COVID struck, and now he has his own studio/office for Zoom meetings and training when it cannot be held on-site. We’re getting normal bit by bit but for now working from home is the new reality.

What he won’t tell you is that he does enjoy returning home to a hot meal and our dog Lulu wagging her tail to greet him. I don’t want to go live in a corporate apartment forever, while a few months at a time is OK provided my nest exists to go home to. He won’t begrudge me the few linear moving truck feet I cost as the ROI is worth it!

I’m closing the current decorating phase and ended up with a vastly better livable/workable space for the whole family. Lulu still doesn’t know where her “spot” is with us working at each end of our space, but she’ll work it out, and if not, we know where to find her a puppy friend. There is an impasse, however. Of course there is! Life wouldn’t be fun without a challenge. I’d like to match her Aussie brains and 42 lbs. of sheer muscle, and my husband would prefer a less-smart, more sedentary and less hard-headed beast. We’ll work it out.

Our home tells a story, it’s our story. Cheers! Dee

Making Do

I’m reminded of an old story where a young bride goes to make her first roast for guests and her husband sees her cutting off an entire end of the roast before placing it in the oven. “Why did you just do that,” he asked. She told him she didn’t know, that her mother always did it that way.

She asked her mother. Same answer. She asked her mother and sure enough, her mother didn’t have a pan large enough for the roast. So much for family tradition!

When my own mother came into her own in the kitchen she decided to create a very British Christmas because her father was from Jolly Olde England and she also had Irish relatives. Unbeknownst to me, she wasn’t a fan of turkey and while it was OK to have it once a year for American Thanksgiving (she was always a Canadian citizen) she wasn’t about to have it for Christmas as well.

So it was to be prime rib au jus, roasted potatoes (in the drippings, yum), lots of different veggies and Yorkshire pudding. For dessert, she and my sisters baked for two months, beginning in early November but the most Brit of the desserts was mincemeat tarts. She and my aunt tried to make mincemeat one year but that’s another story. So Crosse and Blackwells it was. Now she had to make and cut the tart pastry.

By the time I became aware of my passion for cooking, she already had the routine down pat. For the bottom she used an old champagne glass, the type that was made to fit Marie Antoiette’s breast and not the kind that does the most for Champagne’s bubbles. For the “hats,” as my Aunt L called them, that called for a small champagne flute. They were both the perfect size. We only had one of each glass and they were not fine crystal by any means, but they served their purpose for many years.

I hope Mom passed those along to my sisters, who often bake. Whenever I saw a cookie cutter over the years I’ve been on my own, one that I like, I’d buy it. Then I started making dog cookies so found the requisite paw and bone-shaped cutters for those.

It was only when I went to cooking school that I found that one could buy measured cookie cutters nested in their own little box. I recently found one on Amazon with 12 round cutters that range from one inch to 4.4,” all for about ten bucks. My old fluted set rusted out but this one should last, especially if I don’t let them soak in soapy dishwater. That may be the perfect gift for my sisters, for other purposes. They’re already making do with Mom’s muffin tins and the two perfect champagne glasses, for mincemeat tarts.

I think there’s some mincemeat in my new pantry. I may have to find out which cutters fit my muffin tins! Cheers! Dee

All Three Made It!

We moved last weekend. We still haven’t found our normal toothbrushes or silverware yet but I cooked for the first time (pre-formed meatballs, jarred spaghetti sauce) the other night. We haven’t started on our offices yet and bathrooms are still in disarray but my computer’s running and we have made a sideboard and two bookcases once those boxes get unpacked. At this rate it’ll be a couple of weeks.

Today is my pantry, knives, spice rack, coat rack and my husband’s new, still-in-the-box sit/stand desk which he’s excited to open. The cavalry is coming in in the way of my housekeeper and a friend so we’ll bang some tough things out. Like the bumpers on my dining table and my husband’s glass desk. The bumpers came off the furniture so he got new ones, we have to replace them, clean the glass and the movers put both glass tops on upside down so that’s a two-person job at least.

The first, pristine box I packed included the remains of two of the sweetest dogs I’ve ever known. Chani was an abused Golden/X from a shelter who I rehabilitated and had for ten years, and Zoe, another shelter dog, this one a pup, an Aussie mix who my husband and I adopted at five weeks of age and had for fifteen years. Chani is in the the heart of a teddy bear she found at a flea market sale in a local park. She just walked up to the largest stuffed animal she saw and picked it up in her mouth so for fifty cents I let her have it. A dear friend who is gone now, a milliner whose husband, a Navy Captain (ret.) married us, thought that bear would be a perfect final resting place. After scattering most of Chani’s ashes in her favorite park and planning a tree ceremonially (which is doing great!) she took a bit of the ashes in a little baggie and sewed them behind a red felt “heart” trimmed with lace and teeny beads.

When Zoe, our next dog, was a pup we moved next door to prove a point and a couple of friends came over to help carry things over. I told her that Zoe could have any of Chani’s stuffed toys save one, the teddy bear with Chani’s remains. Zoe shows up at our new place with my friend and a huge brown teddy bear sticking out of her mouth. “Look, Mommy!” Since then it’s been safely on a high shelf. Zoe died in Texas, while I was in the hospital three years ago. Her remains are in a small cedar box with nameplate and lock and key. We also have her paw print framed in a shadow box that hung in the kitchen over her food bowl, her favorite place in the house.

So now that my two favorite dogs were safely ensconced in a box and the move was on, I told Lulu, our young, dear headstrong full Mini Aussie that if she was good, she could move with us as well. Honestly, she might have been happy wandering the halls of our old tower, happy to be taken in by all the friends she met there! She made it, of course, and is getting used to the new place. I’ve only found two of her three beds so far and there’s not a shred of wall-to-wall carpet in the bedrooms (a good thing) so she’s looking for hangouts by the windows. Same view, well, similar, 300 feet further in from the Lake and 30 feet lower. But it’s a huge place and once we hang the quilts it should be less cacophonous. A better view, actually, with the two balconies and view of the bike trail below,

We needed the extra space for what has become a Zoom career and we just love the view and the old Olmstead parks that dot the shoreline. It’s city but not. It’s our home base for now. Hopefully it’s for a while because moving is a bear that I do not want to repeat anytime soon.

I called my housekeeper a “moving goddess” this morning as we talked time of day for her to slot us in. Two weeks ago she cleaned while her dear big sister helped me pack two sets of fine china and all the crystal. Nothing broke. One of my old-fashioned glass lemon reamers broke, but I’ve two others. I packed that one. Oops. All the china and crystal is put up, and I even have room for it! We’re down to probably thirty boxes to unpack. Most of them are books, office stuff and pantry items.

A couple of weeks and we should be able to entertain should we be up to the task. Lulu made it here. She’ll entertain before next week is out. Rue wants to come over for a play date, and we just met Jack, a toy Aussie just rescued last week. Her date book is filling up quickly and it includes an annual vet visit just before her third birthday on New Years Eve. I’ll be up to making cookies, perhaps chicken liver cookies this year, for her to give to friends on her special day. That’s something for a retired pet parent to look forward to. Back to work, must make breakfast for the gang. Cheerio! Dee

They Took Our Toothbrushes!

Yesterday we hired two “packers” from a national company to help us in the final stages of moving. First we had to pay the company for their time, for them to collect later. We estimated four hours. The company said we could easily change it to three if we called them the next day. They lied. The kids, yes they were kids, showed up and I had asked the company if they could move a few things to trash for us first. OK.

I’ve tried for weeks to find our ten year-old sofa a home at a local charity but to no avail. One wouldn’t take it because they no longer enter people’s homes for anything since COVID, another because we don’t have a driveway or garage on the 15th floor, and the last because it looks like someone had sat on it once. So it was sadly trash-bound. One of these kids wanted it for himself or to sell. So they spent an hour using nearly an entire roll of our cling wrap to protect it from the rain and place it in their truck.

The first hour was shot. Then I found out they didn’t know how to pack a box, even how to use a mover’s tape dispenser. There was no way these kids were getting near my mother’s Lenox gravy boat. As they tore off two-inch pieces of tape to seal an overstuffed or under-packed box, another hour elapsed. Then they quit for lunch and left for an hour.

When they returned they still didn’t know how to pack a box or use tape, I set them to books. A little better. Then bathroom closets. I asked them to stick to closets but no, even after being asked to leave everything be because we had to live here for two more days, they didn’t listen. They packed our toothbrushes in the toothbrush holder, how I shudder to think but I’ll buy new toothbrushes before using those. Then they packed my husband’s glasses. My husband can’t see without his contacts. Practically blind, after he takes out the contacts to go to bed, he puts on his glasses with titanium frames so he can lose them if he falls asleep watching the Tonight Show and they’ll survive.

Gone. We let them go an hour early. I just couldn’t take it anymore. They left thinking they were the cat’s meow and that they’d certainly be called back again. And in taking the sofa cushions now that it had stopped raining (and draining us of a number of tall kitchen garbage bags), they dropped the note containing their payment code by the elevator. I didn’t know what it was so when I found it, I threw it away. They called moments later from the road, and I searched for and found it. Yes, they got paid.

I’ve always believed in our public schools, and was a product of them when my very Catholic (at the time) mother checked out the parish school in our small village and found it wanting. This is something else altogether. One of them was just lazy and stupid and will get what he deserves in life. The other has potential, and a one-year old daughter, but may be limited by his education if he doesn’t know to fight for more. He thinks he can be a music consultant because he likes rap, but has never picked up a musical instrument. No, I didn’t let him touch my instruments, as I had already packed them myself.

Moving is a bear, but hopefully the extra work left to us to accomplish alone will get done. Today we get the keys to our new place, and a new living room carpet and sofa will be delivered there, that won’t have to be moved on Saturday. Lulu’s at doggie camp with our long-time in-home pet-sitter who she loves (I’ll bet she’ll run around with his dog and barely miss us) and we have movers coming tomorrow morning. We have the weekend to finish the move and lock up a ten-year phase of our lives.

That’s life as the sun rises over the lake and I get to packing. How’s your day going? Cheers! Dee

A Sense of Place

As I continue clearing out to move in a few weeks, there is some trepidation as I decide on which pile and how much to save. I know that anything I place in storage will go unheeded for perhaps years so I try to throw more away.

As we age, however, there are some things one needs to have a true home. My husband appears to be quite nonchalant about things in general. My “I might need that” is tempered sometimes by his “we can always get another.” Some things, however, are not easily replaceable. He has no problem with the thought of getting rid of everything and going to live on the road. Not me. I’ve been collecting for forty years, since graduating college, and these things mean a great deal to me. We did pick up once and live overseas for a few months, but kept our home as it was and moved right back in after we picked up our dog from a friend.

When we got married, his mother gave us three quilts. I never learned to even sew, having failed that, my first and only badge attempt, in Girl Scouts. One she started when she got married, a crazy 70’s geometric quilt with every color in the rainbow. A second quilt, small and dainty with little flowers, had been in her family for a couple of generations and is made of flour sacks. It’s about a 5′ hexagon that she backed and bordered and it hangs in our guest room.

Another has never been on a wall, it’s of little boys in overalls with sun hats that she made to put on my husband’s bed when he was a child. I’ve never asked but I’ll bet his little brother has one as well.

I have framed photos that I’ve taken of the places we’ve lived and I’ve visited over the years, and artwork that my father has painted, and a beautiful drawing of a pas de deux from an American art museum that Dad bought at auction for me. Neither of us have a childhood home to visit, anymore, so I’d like to make sure that as we take this next step toward a “forever home” we bring our pasts with us into our future.

For him, I chose a shabby chic Texas flag quilt for his new office. We’ve asked the artist to place a sleeve on the back so it can be hung, so that should be done next week and shipped to us before we move. I’ve chosen a country sampler quilt, from Canadian artists. That is on its way here as I write this, and the artist will be happy to know it is going to a good home.

I love the story of the quilters meeting every month for lunch for a year, until they finished their twelve blocks each. That they’re Canadian makes the story even better as it makes me think of three infamous sisters from Montreal, who are no longer with us. My mother and my two aunts loved Canada. Her eldest sister lived in Montreal and Toronto all her life, and the youngest moved to the States, near our family, became an English teacher and in the 1970’s became a U.S. citizen. Mom lived in the United States for fifty years and remained proud of her Canadian citizenship until the day she died.

So, to our new home, far from family and childhood memories, we will take a version of them. Perhaps as we gently age, gracefully I hope, looking at our walls will stir memories and stories of days gone by. My mother-in-law introduced me to quilts as an art form. Thanks, M. Cheers! Dee