Monday, October 23, 2017

Mom's Monday ~ 100 years

Mildred Inez Reynolds Setliffe (1917-2004)
My favorite photo of my mother was taken in 1987, the year she turned 70.  Today marks a century since she was born.  One hundred years ago!  That's hard for me to fathom.

Reynolds family at home at 3208 5th Avenue, Chattanooga, Tennessee
Here's a photo when she was 12 or younger, since her dad died in a traffic accident when she was only 12 years old.  That's her on the front row, a tall girl with her sister Bonnie (behind her), their six brothers, and their parents on the left.

She loved her four children, twelve grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.  I'm not sure how many great-grands she had before she died, but seven of them were my grandchildren.  This photo shows her with one of my sister's granddaughters.

Here's our family about 1944, when I turned four and Billy was about a year and a half old.  Later that year, Dad was drafted and had to sell our grocery store.  Mother couldn't run the store.  She was pregnant, had the two of us children to look after, and ― besides ― Dad was the meat-cutter in the family.  With him gone, Mom had to learn how to drive.  He didn't see Ann until she was several months old.  They didn't have Jimmy until 1949.

So what would she want me to tell you about her, besides her love of family, of course?  Maybe .....
  • that she taught an adult Sunday School class for more than forty years;
  • that she was president of the PTA (Parent-Teacher Association) of my elementary school two different times;
  • that she went back to school and became a cafeteria manager (she always loved cooking), 
  • that she took college courses when she was Assistant Manager of the Food Service at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga;
  • that a grandson called her "gallivanting granny" when he talked to a trucker while they were on the road visiting family;
  • that she never seemed to sit down when she had the whole family over for dinner because she was too busy getting things for everyone.
Nah, she wouldn't want to brag, but I'm doing it anyway.   I love you, Mom, and I miss you.

Edited to add what my daughter Sandra sent in an email about her "Jamma" (Auntie is my Aunt Bonnie):

Mom,  I loved the pics and biography you wrote.  However, when you mentioned "taught a Sunday school class" I wish you had taken it a bit farther.  Knowing Jamma, she would want her biggest legacy, being a strong Christian, to be given more emphasis.  When she was in her last stages, her memory often failed on so many things.  She often "switched" family generations around and she thought I was you and you were Auntie.  However, one thing she could always remember perfectly was:

"Jesus loves me this I know,
For the Bible tells me so,
Little ones to him belong,
We are weak but He is
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
Yes, Jesus loves me
The Bible tells me so."

I truly love remembering how happy she was, even when nearing her end, when we would sing this together. 

Happy 100th, Jamma!

Friday, October 20, 2017

Beginning ~ with Katie's weird day

"It was like an alien had landed.  Really, it was that weird.  Like an ancient creature from another planet had crashed into Katie's day."
Unbecoming ~ by Jenny Downham, 2016, fiction
Katie's life is falling apart:  her best friend thinks she's a freak, her mother, Caroline, controls every aspect of her life, and her estranged grandmother, Mary, appears as if out of nowhere.  Mary has dementia and needs lots of care, and when Katie starts putting together Mary's life story, secrets and lies are uncovered:  Mary's illegitimate baby, her zest for life and freedom and men; the way she lived her life to the full yet suffered huge sacrifices along the way.  As the relationship between Mary and Caroline is explored, Katie begins to understand her own mother's behavior, and from that insight, the terrors about her sexuality, her future, and her younger brother are all put into perspective.

Gilion at Rose City Reader hosts Book Beginnings on Fridays.  Click here for today's Mister Linky.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Monday Mindfulness ~ some thoughts

I don't understand the urge to follow people who haven't accomplished anything, but are famous because they are well-known, and who are well-know because we talk about them.  And we celebrate that?  Why?  I'm a reader, so "authors are the kind of celebrities I love."  And then only when they have written something that interests me.  Back in 2010, I wrote about a few authors I have met:
  • Masha Hamilton
  • Fannie Flagg
  • Laurie Halse Anderson
  • Christopher Paul Curtis
  • Avi
  • Marcus Borg
  • John Dominic Crossan
  • Theda Perdue
  • Madeleine L'Engle
  • Robert Hicks
  • Susan Gregg Gilmore
  • Paul Von Ward
  • Janisse Ray
  • E. L. Konigsburg
Since moving to St. Louis, I've also met Reza Aslan, as you can see in this photo.  That day, he signed my copy of his book  Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth (2013) that had just been published.

Today, I'm also pondering an event that happened a year and a half before I was born.  My parents were married on October 16, 1938.  My dad had turned 20 exactly one week earlier, and my mom was still 20 until exactly one week later.  That was important to him, that they were the same age, that she was not a year older.  Next Monday, I'll be thinking about her birthday, a century after it occurred.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Caturday ~ pumpkins

One of Bonnie's great-grandchildren has a picture of me on her shirt!

Compare it to a photo of me from a couple of years ago.

Clawdia, 'til next time   >^. .^<

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Wednesday Words ~ jibe and jib

The word "jibe" (jibed; jibing) is an intransitive verb that means:
  1.  to be in accord 
  2.  agree — which is usually used with the word "with."
Example:  a story that doesn't jibe with the facts.  According to Merriam-Webster, the first known usage is from 1813.  A recent example from the web from the AP in Washington:  "President Donald Trump’s new communications aide is deleting old tweets that didn’t jibe with his boss’ views."

I looked it up after using it in a private message to a friend on Facebook.
"The woman gave me directions which jibed with the google map."
When I looked up "jibe," I also discovered it's an alternate spelling for "jib," one of the sails on a sailboat.  In 1968, we bought a sailboat and named it Blue Streak, because we talked a "blue streak" before deciding to buy it and because it was a 19-foot Lightning class sailboat.  (I found this labeled photo at Brit Word of the Day.)

Here's the difference in pronunciation:  "jib" rhymes with "rib," and "jibe" rhymes with "tribe."  Since I use both words, I'll stick with the two different spellings.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Daddy's day ~ William Elmer Setliffe, Jr.

My father was born on October 9th, 1918.  That's 99 years ago!  This photo is from World War Two, probably about 1945.  He died in traffic in 1964 when he was only 45 years old.  He was excited about the Interstate Highway being built through Chattanooga that year, but he never got to drive on it.  He met only the first six of a dozen grandchildren.

This family photo shows him with my mother (who died in 2004), me, and my brother Bill (who died in April).

Two more photos of him, with Billy and me.

This day is his.  It's the day he was born, but also the day he is remembered by fewer and fewer family members because we are dying off; only two of his four children are still alive.  My three children met him, but the twins were barely four and my son was not yet a year old when a drunk driver ran a stop sign and slammed into the truck he was riding in.  They don't remember him, even though one of the girls said at the time, "Grandpa got died."  They both called National Cemetery "flower land" when they visited his grave with me after the funeral.

Others in the U.S. may be celebrating Indigenous People's Day (or perhaps they still call it Columbus Day), but for me, it's Daddy's Day.
I love you, Dad.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Caturday ~ Clawdia's view

Here I am, comfortably gazing out the window with my elbows on the windowsill.  I've been watching birds ... and bugs ... and people walking ... and cars coming and going ... and workmen tuckpointing the building across over there.  Yes, that's what it says on their sign:  tuckpointing.  Thanks to Bonnie for taking the photo, even if she didn't include the men at work or any of the other activities I keep track of.

Clawdia, 'til next time   >^. .^<