John’s Tragedy (Part I from Kathleen’s Memoirs)

When John was in the army stationed in New Orleans, we got a letter from him saying he’d married a girl named Wanda. It included a studio picture from Wanda, too, introducing herself. They’d see us some time soon when John got leave. Before too many months, there was a letter there was a Continue reading

Can’t Afford Urine! (From Kathleen’s memoirs of the 1930s)

After we finished our shopping, we walked across the square to the corner drugstore for ice-cream to wait for time for Mama to go see the doctor. We slid into a booth where I had to make a huge decision: chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla. I worried over it, quizzing Mama and Annie which was best, finally choosing vanilla, just like I always did. Annie let Continue reading

The Funeral and the Big Hat Feud

Grandma Perkins always said she loved a good fight. Well, she must have died happy, because she and her daughter-in-law had a whing-dinger going when she had a stroke and keeled over. Ruby Nell was a sweet woman and didn’t usually get into it with Grandma, but hadn’t been able to avoid her that day. Her sons, Dave and Harry, and their Continue reading

Cookie and Uncle Riley (Part II repost)

Cookie and Uncle Riley

Cookie and Uncle Riley

This is a repost of one of my earlier stories, my mother’s recounting of a trip with eccentric relatives.  My mother, Kathleen Swain did the illustration.

People came and went. The waitress cleared the other tables and pointedly checked on Mother a few times, staring at the uneaten breakfasts and serving her enough coffee refills to float a battleship. She dawdled as long as she dared, hoping her nemeses would come back to retrieve her before the arrest. She occupied her time well, alternating between Continue reading

Mixed Nuts (Part I) Reblog

I am reblogging one of my first, favorite posts about my eccentric family.  Enjoy!

When you are dealing with family, it clarifies things to have a scale.  You don’t have to waste time analyzing people when you have a ready reference.  This one works pretty well for us.

1.Has a monogrammed straight jacket and standing reservation on mental ward.

2.Family is likely to move away without leaving forwarding address. Has jail time in the past or the future

3.People say, “Oh, crap. Here comes Johnny.”

4.Can go either way.  Gets by on a good day.  Never has been arrested.  Can be  lots of fun or a real mess. Relatives usually will invite in for coffee.  Likely to have hormone-induced behavior.

5.Regular guy. Holds down a job.  Mostly takes care of business.  Probably not a serial marrier.  Attends  church when he has to.

6.Good fellow. Almost everybody likes him or her. Volunteers for Habitat for Humanity.  Manages money well enough to retire early.

7.High achiever.  Business is in order.  Serves on city council.

8.Looks too good to be true. What’s really going on?

9.Over-achiever. Affairs are in order.  Solid citizen.  Dull, dull, dull.  Could end up as a 1 Continue reading

Prignant

Repost of an earlier post:

That was weird.  I heard tiptoeing and a door quietly locking.  I tiptoed to my parent’s room and found their door locked!  Their door was never even shut except around Christmas.  Mother must have gotten scared and locked it.   Assuming the worst, I pounded and screeched, “Mama!  Mama!  Your door’s locked. Help!  I can’t get in!!!” Continue reading