Thursday, March 16, 2006

Boxes and boxes and boxes They're all over the house. That's what happens when you combine two households into one. Gee, I'd like the house to make a nice presentation for the wedding reception / family reunion. The boxes are gathered and make the trip to the basement, except for four boxes. I discovered that they contain paper....lots of paper. Surely I can let some of this paper go. Time to dig through and discard.
The boxes contain my past, my husband's past and his parent's past. They are filled with letters, report cards, graduation certificates, newspaper obituaries, birthday cards, things cut out and saved.
The day is spent opening old letters and remembering ....a trip down memory lane. Some letters are interesting, others make me laugh. Some letters bring tears to my eyes. I found the autograph album I had in elementary school and the other one from high school. Where are these people now? Some names seem familiar, but I can't remember who they are, or who they were.
I have letters from world war one and world war two. Who are these people who speak to me from their written words? Several letters were written by my grandfather to my soon to be grandmother. I knew little of these people who produced my father.
Again I am supported and encouraged by friends when my husband died. Three women wrote to me frequently. We're still friends even through We live in separate states.. I see evidence that I went to Meeting For Worship in Auburn Prison. Some of the prisoners wrote to me. Letters speak to me that I am special to the writer. I have commendation letters from work. There are Documents from my involvement in the National Peace Academy . Best wishes cards say goodbye from old employers, signed by the entire department. Contacts from various workshops and committees come alive again.
Set aside for my daughters and their families are letters that they wrote to me. They tell of coping as a young bride with no money, of babies and activities. Husbands divorced because of good reason, reports of children growing up. I will give these letters to my daughters at the reunion....their "report cards" on their life and where it has taken them.
The very old letters from my second husband's family??? I think they will be sold for their stamps. My father-in-law's collection from his career in the Fire Department shall be donated to the Fire Museum in our state.
It is very hard to clean up an old house saturated with history.
Tribute to the men in Public Works I would appreciate it , if I never heard again, the untrue stereotype that city workers are lazy and stupid, that people work for the city because they're too inept to get a job anywhere else. Those "lazy" guys who work in Highway are working two jobs to pay their bills.
Here's to the man in the garage, who spent an entire week on his back under the garbage trucks, fixing their transmissions while maggots dropped down on him.
Here's to the man who came to work with mastoiditis, who couldn't take time off...and here's to the man who works while standing in an unnatural position all day long, until his whole body the one who gets the paving machine duty where it is 300 degrees hot and smells so obnoxious that the other men duck the job, if they can.
Here's too, to the man who snowplowed two and a half days with only one break. When His shift was over, He collapsed with fatigue. the man who waded in swamp muck to clear out debris and is rewarded with poison ivy and insect bites. our heavy equipment operators who always handle their equipment responsibily and with the skill of a surgeon, knowing that one slip could ruin equipment or kill a man.
I saw similar heroism in our garbage collectors, at the wastewater treatment plants, the Parks Department and Building Maintenance. Those down to earth men (and women) turn the wheels of our minicipality. Our government functions because of them. A tip of the hat to you guys!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Good News My grandson is engaged. His mom wants him to wait until He finishes college, but remembering my own college days, I know He isn't going to wait. The family is scattered all over the United States. His mom lives in Australia with her husband. The wedding is scheduled for June in Arizona.
We are not Mormons, so We can't attend the wedding itself. I am pouting. Instead, it is their custom to have a reception open to everyone.. The bride and groom attend wearing their wedding apparel. In this case, there will be two receptions: one in Arizona for the bride's family and friends. The second reception will be at my house: for the groom's family living on the east coast.
I count 15 family will be at staying at my house. I don't have 15 beds, but We shall manage. Of course, several of my neighbors will be in to see the celebration. We're up to 20 people. My mind is wizzing with what I have to do in order to be ready on time.
Melanie and Dan are taking my truck to go on a sight seeing tour of New England before the reception. Let's see: my truck holds two people. Where shall they put their luggage? In the back of the truck, of course.
The truck has a tonneau cover, a cloth cover that snaps shut on the sides. That will do to cover suitcases, but I've always wanted to replace it with a better cover. This is an opportunity to go forward with a better cover for the truck bed. First project: get a new bed cover.
Then, I need to put storage boxes somewhere else than all over the house. Boxes need to be opened, inventoried, packed with fresh bubble wrap or tissue paper and moved to the basement. Thank goodness I waterproofed the walls and cleaned out the trash. There is now room for my own boxes down there. Second project: move boxes
This will be the first time we're all together in years. What an opportunity for family portraits. I shall hire a professional photographer to take my oldest daughter's family's portraits, my second daughter's family's portrait , my portrait with my two daughters and finally the entire group's portrait. I plan on taking a lot of pictures with video camera , SLR camera and digital camera as well as the ones from the photographer. Whopps. There goes the budget. Oh well. Third project: photos
How delightful to have , finally, after all those years, a formal diningroom. I have a place to set up a buffet. Because of my mother-in-law and a friend, I've inherited lots of table linens and dishes. We can use my own stuff for the table. A caterer is needed . This will be the first time I've hired one. For most gatherings, I cook or We all cook. I know just the lady I will call. We need a wedding cake, too. Fourth project: hire a caterer.
Melanie and I e-mail each other about the details. I think I will leave Melanie in charge of the buffet. The reception will take place the second week in July. Perhaps picnic items and wedding cake will be all We need.
Sleeping arrangements: I shall put my youngest daughter and some of her family in the smallest bedroom that has a double bed plus a single bed. Melanie and Dan can take over my queen size bed in my bedroom. I claim the couch. I will send all the young men over to my Melba Street house. They can turn it into a frat house for the 2 weeks. I bet they have more fun than the adults.
One thing I promised both my sons-in-law, is a ride on a narrow gage railroad in Essex. We were there in summer's past and loved it. I saw in their brochure, that they offer classes in being the engineer that drives the train. I think both men would love that experience. That will be my gift to them. Fifth project: research driving the train.
The two weeks schedule: Melanie and Dan come up the first week in July. After a rest, they take day trips in my truck to visit New England, or they make a circle tour of it. Beth comes from Syracuse about the same time with 2 of her sons. The second week, Beth's husband, Don comes down with their 3rd son. (Working schedules interfereing, here. ) Sometime in the second week, Ian and Sabrina drive in. That's the time for the photographs and the reception. Ian and Sabrina are on their honeymoon. Melanie will treat them to a night in a motel. Ian and Sabrina will probably only stay a day or two before driving up to Syracuse to see Ian's dad and his other grandparent's family. It will be wonderful to be all together for a while.