A "good enough" mom muses about alpha moms, adoption, computers, the State Of The World, Internet quirkiness, and the Kosmik All
One Hundred and Two
Marguerite was born in Arizona in December, 1903. Teddy Roosevelt was president of the United States. The day she was born would later be immortalized as "the day which will live in infamy"--Pearl Harbor Day, an event which served as a cultural marker for her generation, in the way that 9/11 and the Challenger explosion were cultural markers for another generation, and the assassination of JFK was for yet a different generation. Her mother met her father as a middle-aged spinster, and they married when she was 40. They promptly had four children (Josephine, Marguerite, Ione, and Edward--who should properly have been named Etienne or Edouard to fit the mold) and one stillborn child. They lived on a farm with orange trees and a variety of vegetables and fruits. Milk was delivered to their home by horse and cart. The milkman was courting one of her teachers, and would drive on his rounds with the teacher up beside him; Marguerite remembers drawing a chalk portrait of the milkman and his horse on the wall of their house. When the Flu Epidemic came around, their father pulled the children from school, hired a teacher, and had them schooled at home to protect them. Marguerite recalls Thanksgiving dinners that were picnics in the Riverside mountains. She and her siblings entertained themselves with plays and performances, written by Marguerite; our family has pictures from when they were in their mid-teens, clowning around, brother Edward "playing" a violin with a saw. She moved to Phoenix in her early 20s, and started teaching at a business school. And then she met Norvin--who preferred to be called "Bill". We have a picture of Bill from when he was about 19, and he looks astonishingly like Lyle Lovett. They fell in love. They married; Marguerite made her own wedding dress, which was blue. They quickly had a daughter, and, a year later, a son. The 30s were tough...so when Bill passed the Civil Service examination, and got an assignment to Jacksonville, FL, making $3000 per year, they were ecstatic. (Many years later, Bill performed IRS audits on Ernest Hemingway on a yearly basis.) Life went swirling on...the children grew up, and, as children tend to do, became independent thinkers, wanting to be out on their own, doing their own thing. They married...they had children of their own. Marguerite volunteered at the local hospital...joined the garden club...won a variety of accolades for ingenious and charming decorations and poetry. Her three granddaughters spent every summer with her, learning stick dancing, having fake "initiations" in the middle of the night, listening to her stories of the mischief she and her sisters got into as youngsters. They moved to Sun City, Arizona, in the early 1970s. They both had relatives who had moved there, and Bill wanted Marguerite to be close to them. A year later, he died. Marguerite lived in Sun City for 30 years. She continued on, as she made new friends, then watched them get ill and die, over and over again. She kept bowling, and told her daughter that she would move into her daughter's town when she could no longer bowl or drive. A few years ago, she gave up her car. Then she decided she couldn't bowl any more. (She was 98 at this time.) She moved up into the mountains to be near her daughter, and there she lives today. She is an amazing woman. She has seen the U.S. go from horse-drawn carriage to supersonic jets and airline shuttles. She has lived through four named wars (World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War) and a wide variety of military incidents. Her life encompasses communicating by telegraph, telephone, and computer. The world has changed a lot in the past 102 years.
We had Grandma's 102nd birthday party this weekend. It was a small but pleasant affair. Various friends from her assisted living home joined in; relatives drove down the mountain to be there; the foodservice folks made her a delicious carrot cake and provided cookies, punch, and munchies; people brought presents and balloons. Sadly, OmegaMom and family don't think Marguerite will last another full year. For a while, we would joke that she would outlive us all, or at least live to 110. Now...well, this lady with the sharp-as-a-tack mind is losing her short-term memory at an amazing pace. And she's tired and bored, and her eyesight is failing quickly. So I just wanted to introduce you to her and tell you her story. Marguerite: Image hosted by Photobucket.com Some party attendees: Image hosted by Photobucket.com OmegaDotter and her GreatGrandmother: Image hosted by Photobucket.com Omegamom enjoying balloons: Image hosted by Photobucket.com Categories: [Family] [Photo Posts]
posted by Kate @ 12/13/2005 02:52:00 PM  
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About Me
Name: OmegaMom
Home: Southwest
About Me: Middle-aged mom of a 4-year-old adopted from China. Love science, debate, good SF and fantasy, hiking, music of almost every style. Lousy housekeeper. "Good enough" mom.
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