Family, History, Holidays |
It was Mother’s Day 1947. In those days (gulp) taking pictures was a rarer and more formal thing. Someone (my father? My grandfather?) lined up the women of the family for a snapshot with fourteen-month-old me in my beautiful young mother’s arms. I don’t remember it, of course–not even the enormous sunbonnet. Can you imagine putting something like that on a toddler today?
Left to right, my paternal grandmother Elizabeth Schroeder Gross (I’m named for her, although that’s a story in itself), my aunt Margaret Gross Paugh, me, my dear dear mother Margaret Fleming Gross (to whom The Flower Reader is dedicated), and my maternal grandmother Bonnie Otto Fleming. Bonnie’s real name was “Bonnalynn”–one has to wonder where that came from, as she was born in 1887. But her mother’s name was Margaret Roxanne Landers, so perhaps a penchant for fanciful names ran in the family. In any case, she herself hated “Bonnalynn” and called herself “Bonnie.” but I loved it and always thought that if I were ever fortunate enough to have a daughter of my own (which I’m not, alas) I’d name her “Bonnalynn.”
Perhaps one day there will be a “Bonnalynn” in a book….
Our trip to Nashville was wonderful, but oh, what a delight it is to be barefoot again after four whole days of wearing shoes. I am so not a shoe person.
Of course I have to post a picture of our Bella. Beauty and the Beast was wonderful, Bella as Belle was simply spectacular, her brother Isaiah was fall-off-the-chair funny as Le Fou, and the rest of the cast was terrific.
Give me a day to catch my breath and then I have something lovely to share.
Family, News |
We’re off to Nashville tomorrow to see our gorgeous and amazingly talented eldest granddaughter Bella starring as Belle (Bella, Belle—it was clearly meant to be) in the Lifesong Theatre Group’s production of Beauty and the Beast. I am so looking forward to it!
Teetering on the razor edge of having some fabulous news to impart… stay tuned until next week when we return and I can tell all, omitting no detail….
Family, Hermitage, The Second Duchess |
Two wonderful things happened today.
First, son, daughter-in-law, their two babies (who aren’t babies any more, oh my!) and their two chihuahuas arrived for a nice long visit.
Second, copyedits for The Second Duchess landed in my mailbox. So amazing and awe-inspiring to see it all laid out so officially!
Anyway, lots of work and zero online time for me, for the next couple of weeks at least. You-all play nice, now.
Family, History, Holidays |
My ancestors didn’t come over on the Mayflower, but they were not far behind on one of the voyages of the Abigail, which sailed from London April to July 1635, arriving in Massachusetts Bay. Henry Collins, my ninth great-grandfather, a starchmaker (all those ruffs and caps had to be starched by someone, you know) from Stepney, Middlesex, brought his wife Ann and his three young children Henry, John and Margery. I’m descended from John (who was only three at the time of the voyage), through the Motts, Rhodeses, Sarjents, McConnells and Flemings.
So although they weren’t Pilgrims but ordinary Puritan tradesmen, here’s to the Collins family, who sailed to the New World and settled in Lynn, Massachusetts. Here’s to Ann Collins, who undertook a two-month-plus voyage across the Atlantic in cramped shipboard quarters with three children, ages five, three and two! Men may have gotten all the credit for bravery in those days, but a woman who could manage that is a woman I’m proud to be descended from.
Happy Thanksgiving wishes to everyone—because even if you don’t celebrate Thanksgiving Day as a holiday, it’s always good to be thankful.
Family, Hermitage, Writing |
I’m going to be out of touch for a while—I have some family matters to attend to and I want to do some deep writing.
At left, see my imaginary hermitage. Where else would I squirrel myself away but in an ancient stone cottage with a thatched roof? Can’t you just feel the delicious solitude and the silence, but for leaves rustling and an occasional bird singing? Fortunately it is also equipped with high-speed fiberoptic broadband internet.
See you in a few weeks!