55 posts categorized "History"

Make memory a blessing

GardenofmemoryIf ever we see those gardens again... / Francesca's crewel work; seen through tears

"The trick is making memory a blessing,
To learn by loss the cool subtraction of desire,
Of wanting nothing more than what has been,
To know the past forever lost, yet seeing
Behind the wall a garden still in blossom."

~ an excerpt of The Lost Garden by Dana Gioia

Love for all we did have*

At_irma_1948Remembering our cousin Major Sam and the relatives there to greet him / Jake and Doris, Irma and Jake, Edna and Eddie, Bee, Bunk, Leonard, Mary, Maggie, gas attendant, Ed, Charlie / Harrisburg, PA, circa 1948 / * Irma wrote this to me in a card years ago

How could I have come so far
(And always on such dark trails!)
I must have traveled by the light
Shining from the faces of all those I have loved.

~ Thomas McGrath

To love that well

TreeofheavenComing upon the Tree of Heaven on the island made of dredge -- like a little signpost from our Mary, the dear friend of my dear mother and the dear mother of my dear friends / Amico Island / Nov. 2011

"...where late the sweet birds sang..."

~ William Shakespeare, Sonnet 73

Brother Sun who gives us the light of day

Brother_sunDetail of the Brother Sun stained glass window by Benoit Gilsoul gracing the walls of St. Casimir / Nov. 2011

This was the day of Mary who lived 103 years (that's over 37,595 days). A woman who traveled from a small island in the Adriatic where gypsy's taught her how to embroider to Philadelphia where she worked as a seamstress and sewed men's silk shirts to the wilds along the Delaware River where she and Captain Lou built thriving businesses. A woman who was friends with my grandmother when both were members of the Croatian Singing Society. A woman who was devoted to the Blessed Mother and said the rosary every day. Her daughter told my mother I have a picture of you holding my hand when I was a girl and you are as beautiful now as you were then. Her son told my mother that he was 80 years old and yet remembered her father and the way he liked to talk politics.

"... Especially Sir Brother Sun, By whom You give us the light of day! And he is beautiful and radiant with great splendor..." ~ St. Francis

All the doings they did

All_the_fun On the steps at Nelson's place (where the stories of the "doings" that went on there are still told) in Ocean City, NJ showing off old-time bathing costumes (from the bottom: Grandma, cousin Charlie, Pap)

"It would be hard to tell all the doings they did. And fun lasted them a long time, for after it had happened they’d be years telling each other about it, and the more they told about it the funnier it got."

~ an excerpt from the story "Sold" by Wendell Berry

It's July and the garden is full

Girlinthegarden Girl in the garden with the Russian Sage / July 2011

This was the day when the girl of sixteen summers who loved to wander the garden and pick flowers had an epiphany: she must keep a journal -- write everything down -- to remember all the beautiful, ordinary moments of her life.

The poetry of the summer sun

Poetryofsummersun Enjoying the "lamp of day" / Summer 1999

"There are people one meets in books or in life whom one does not merely observe, meet, or know. A deep resonance of one's entire being is immediately set up with the entire being of the other (Cor ad cor loquitur) -- heart speaks to heart in the wholeness of the language of music; true friendship is a kind of singing."

~ Thomas Merton, Conjectures of A Guilty Bystander, 1968


Greenfamilyreunion At the Green Family Reunion organized by Judge Green in 1940 / Bee (top, far left, face partially obscured), Ed and Bunk (center, blond hair, suits and ties), Mary (next to boys, wavy hair and coat with buttons), Aunt Annie (just behind Bunk, on right), Cousin Donald (next to Bee), Cousin Betty (next to Donald) Uncle Enoch (just behind Annie, on right), Aunt Mame (next to Aunt Annie, on right) / Thanks to Aunt Mary for the corrections!

My dad unearthed the old wideview picture with hundreds of people who attended the 1940 Green Family reunion (see the whole thing after the jump). Grandma and Pap are hidden in the back row, but here are their children. Years ago my dad told me that his mother always baked something on a day when the weather was bad. I think about this frequently and when I'm feeling bad, I often bake something. It usually makes me feel better. It may be the calming ritual of baking (measuring, mixing, etc.) or the end result of having something good to eat. It doesn't matter. I wonder who did the cooking for all the people at the reunion? And what did they eat?

Happy 105th birthday Grandma.

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