Friday, June 18, 2010


I've been slowly, slowly organizing and simplifying the closets and corners of our house.  And I do mean slowly.  I was determined to get a move on this morning and surprise myself with the results by dinner.  Well, so far, I've taken a few breaks...

With the morning light on the bed just so, I thought the girls looked scrumptious and had to take pictures of them.  And they had to be naked bee-hind pics cause I haven't taken any in a long while.

Then I got caught in the trap of uploading the photos into the computer.  I tried to justify this break from organizing, with the thought of Cesar enjoying a blog post treat while at work.  He, he!

Oh and then, it was snack time.  Hugo wanted a peanut butter sandwich, I said no.  I gave him the choice of a yogurt or a banana.  He decided he wanted an apple and some pretzels rods.  No surprise there.  I was surprised, when he tried to barter for 10 pretzels.  10!  Yowzaa!

Organizing in my bedroom closet, otherwise known as the black hole, I unearthed my box of mementos from the past.  I haven't added to it for some time.  Which is probably good, but also sad.  I got kinda lost in the box while the girls napped.  I found some great stuff.  Some touching letters from my littlest sister Elizabeth and mission letters from Josh, Ephraim and Taylor.  Amazing those boys wrote at all, shocking the amount of letters I actually received.

I once had a box which I covered with daffodil patterned wrapping paper and filled with lovely letters.  We had recently moved from California to Wisconsin, about broke my heart.  My school friends wrote to me like crazy at first.  We were living with my Great Grandmother Marion (we called her GiGi) while my parents figured out where they wanted to buy a house.  It was a very confusing time for me.  My Grandpa Jim was dying of cancer, we weren't allowed to see him much.  My memories of him during that time are fuzzy and few.  He seemed very grumpy, almost angry and... small, which he wasn't.  Once during an afternoon visit to Gigi's house, he wore a toupe and sat in the sunshine of her living room.  Another odd memory was the whisperings of when my Uncle Jeff had to carry my grandfather in his arms downstairs like a little baby.  I guess that must have been near the end.

I remember feeling like I was swirling in a world of adults with hushed conversations and a lot of crying.  I remember I didn't want to be there.  At my grandfather's funeral, I hung out with my Great Aunt Lucy.  I loved, loved her.  She helped me to not be so frightened and to find happiness in the family coming together.  She introduced me to all sorts of distant relatives and old family friends that I didn't remember.  She also taught me that this "party" was a time to share each others grief and listen to good stories and partake of yummy food with one another.  She helped me to smile and laugh during a difficult time.  Still, at the end of the day, I couldn't wait to escape to my friend Sheryl's house.  Her mother had a brand new husband and they were gone a lot.  We were free.  It didn't hurt any that she had an entire drawer in the kitchen devoted to nothing but Twinkies, Cheetos, Hostess Cupcakes, Apple Pies... you name it and I'll bet it was in there.

My daffodil patterned, covered box quickly filled with wonderful letters as I lived on Monroe Street.  At first I placed inside it saved cards and letters from my two grandmothers and Gigi.  I don't think I ever received a letter from my Great Grandmother Evan.  She did give me steel crochet hooks and Coats and Clark threads once.  We had moved to Wisconsin in the middle of the school year, I'd had a good-bye party at school and was given lots of cards and trinkets such as friendship pins and pretty barretts for my hair.  They all made it into my box.  I also saved Valentine cards from favorite beaus, namely Damon Junior.  I missed my friends out west terribly and I wrote like mad.  Thank heavens they wrote like mad back!

Gigi's house was very special.  My Great Grandpa Art loved his wife Gigi very much.  He chose the plans for the house right out of a Sears catalog, I think.  Gotta check that piece of info with Mom.  It was a two story house from the street view with a driveway on the left.  The driveway dipped down to the back yard and then to the right to the waiting garage, which was at the very back of the house, basement level.  The basement was exposed on two sides and had a door at the far end of the main room, which opened up into the garage.  In this room was a washer and dryer, an indoor clothes line, and a laundry shoot which led from the top floor down.  Lots of light poured through the windows from outside while we rode bikes and played ball in that main room.  Most special of all, a swing resided in the middle of the room.  It was hung by Art for my mother when she was a little girl.  Along the back wall, which was the front of the house, was a small, old TV with rabbit ears and a few odd chairs.  To the right of the TV was a door which led to a super creepy root cellar/pantry.  Above the garage, a sleeping porch had been built and that is where my sister Maggie and I slept in twin beds with pink woolen blankets.

I used to sneak down the basement steps late at night to escape to that TV.  There I discovered Dr Who, with Tom Baker and while on summer vacation, General Hospital.  My Dad soon discovered my late night wanderings and instead of being angry with me, quickly became my partner in crime and was soon hooked on Dr Who.

Gigi's house was special with built-in bookcases with fancy glass doors around the fireplace, and large heat grates in the floors.  I used to love to stand above them as the heat rushed on when I was little.  The coat closet was amazing.  It had a huge mirror on the inside of the door, smelled of cedar and was chock full of her long coats and furs, hats, gloves and purses.  The stairway which led to the second floor was hidden behind a door.  You opened up this door, sorta kitty corner to the right of the dining room, but before the bathroom, and there it was, a staircase, with a window above the landing.  Gigi's bedroom was different from all the other rooms in her house.  It was a dark and quiet room and just as reverent a place, as any chapel should be.  It smelled of rose perfume.  Her dressing table was irresistible to my sneaky little self. But by far, best, best of all, was the screened porch in front of the house.  It was big.  There was seating and plants all over the place.  My very favorite part, favorite above all else, even the little table up against the wall in the kitchen, where I sat eating grapefruit with a bamboo handled grapefruit spoon prepared for me by Gigi herself, was the attached mailbox.  It was built right into the screened porch.  The mailman came up the walk and on up the porch steps.  There, he opened a small, square door and placed the mail in a square mailbox.  We on the inside of the porch, unlatched our small, square inside door, to retrieve our mail.  This is where I found the letters, which I read over and over, which were eventually placed inside my box covered with daffodil patterned wrapping paper. 


sam said...

wow. these shots are nothing but magic

MAGGIE MAY said...

thanks for the memories (some new ones and/or reminding me)

Tinkerbell's Treehouse said...

Your photos are lovely - you have 2 very beautiful angels there! Great Shadow Shot last week!

amy said...

Hi Alissa!! Oh my my those little ones are so precious! You are the best photographer! I must proceed to peruse all your photos and posts to look at your litte lovey dovey smoochie babes.