Looking Forward and Ahead

Today’s post comes from Ben.

Been nice, sunny, warm-(ish) weather this week and looks nice into the coming week. Good time to get all those outdoor summer projects finished up.

We ended the growing season with about 3000 GDU’s, +200 above normal. Last year was +511.

Rosie and Guildy are fine, but they barely come out of their pen, and they’re not mingling with the others, and it will certainly complicate winter chores if those two keep being so anti-social. In a slight attempt at unification, I moved their water buckets a few feet further away and took the fence down. We’ll see.

This week was all about getting the college show up and running. It opened Thursday. It was mostly ready. Set was finished (well, to a point) and the paint was dry. Costumes… well… we made do. And it wasn’t for lack of ambition or determination by the costumer, it’s just that, well, life happens. So, it wouldn’t do the director or I any good to get mad; we know she was trying. And we had a good laugh about how we would have handled this 20 years ago. I said I would have had to take his clipboard away. (The joke is he used to throw it across the stage. Course now it’s an iPad) Now we sigh, and we laugh, and we know it will work out somehow.) And we go home and complain to our spouses.

There’s always one set piece that’s a challenge. I have a ‘ball of fire’ that the Fire Troll pulls. (That joke was “Fire BOWL?” or “Fire BALL?”)  A wood frame, some plastic tubing wrapped around it, muslin soaked in paint covering it all. Painted yellows and reds.  And then inside some fans blowing streamers up to be flames. I can’t imagine why that didn’t work. Sounded like a good idea! Evidently there is a lot more physics involved in air movement than I imagined. This was my ‘do-fer’ one night.

I walk past these photos every day.

The farm in about 1930 something.

An arial view of the farm in the mid to late 1950’s.

My Grandparents, before my Dad was added to the mix so this is about 1924.

And then this family, my grandparents and uncles. Don’t know who they are, but I can’t get over how tiny the mother is! Eleven kids!

Ever had a ‘Tiny Grandma’?  

Have you mellowed or gotten feistier in the last 20 years? 

51 thoughts on “Looking Forward and Ahead”

  1. My grandma wasn’t tiny. But she wasn’t big.
    We would look forward to her coming to stay. But we’d soon be looking forward even more to her departure.
    She was awful.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. My maternal grandma stood about 5 feet even – grandpa was just over 6 feet. She bore 11 children. One was stillborn and another died at age 1 during the Spanish flu epidemic. Despite a small frame, she was on the stout side most of her adult life. Of course, she was pregnant much of the time! But later in life she had part of her stomach removed for cancer and she shrunk to less than 90 pounds by the time she died at age 83. I was only 11 when she died and for the last few years of her life I was afraid to hug her because she was so frail. I’m pretty sure I got my small frame and lack of height from her.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Rise and Shine, Baboons,

    Look at the hair in those pictures! Thick and lush. Thanks for the pictures, Ben. They add a lot.

    There are a variety of tiny people in my background, especially 2 grandmothers. Cora Rose Newell, maternal great-grandmother, was not even 5 feet tall, but her pictures show a soft, buxom woman. My grandma loved her a lot and was very devoted to her. My “Mother’s Day” geranium is the one Grandma gave her for a Mother’s Day gift during WWII. Cora Rose was born a twin and was recorded as only a 3 pound baby. Her twin, Coradelle, was a much larger child, but she died later that day, while Cora Rose lived a long life.

    Emma Jackson Hoel, paternal great-grandmother, was also tiny and she also had 11 children. I have the rocking chair she used to rock all those babies. It is very short and too small for me, but I have always loved having it.

    I think I am aging like a fine wine. (Pause. EyeRoll). Actually I am both crabbier and mellower.

    Liked by 5 people

  4. My great grandmother and her sisters were noted for the number of twins they gave birth to. When my great grandmother’s sister had her third set of twins, (she and her husband were poorer than poor) my great grandmother’s brothers beat up their sister’s husband. They had no more children after that.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I had one grandmother who was larger than life. Divorced her husband at an age when it wasn’t that easy, made a life for herself and became a prosperous real estate agent, lived with the man she loved outside of marriage despite what others said, played a mean hand of bridge. My other grandma was a little on the small side stature-wise but she did a marvelous job of surviving difficult circumstances. My grandfather was not an easy man, not even close. But she made it safe and fun for all of us grand children (she’s the one who always had an assortment of pop in the fridge raider in the basement for us).

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Nice old photos, Ben.

    My Irish Granny was a tall slender woman who gave birth to at least nine children. According to my mother, there were two more that died at birth or shortly thereafter. I remember Granny as a stately looking woman with an erect posture. She had the gift of gab, and used snuff. I hated it when she made me sit on her lap; I didn’t like the smell of it, and it made me sneeze. Granny lived to be eighty-three. Regretfully, I know little about her early life, although I can imagine that it was pretty hardscrabble, full of drink and deep poverty.

    My Dad’s stepmother was 4’8″ and stout. A soft, kind and gentle woman, who didn’t have an easy life. She grew up on a farm near Stubbekøbing, and left school at fourteen after completing the minimum mandatory education. The following year Dad’s adoptive father hired her as his housekeeper and to take care of my five-year-old Dad, after his wife died. A year after that, he married her. She gave birth to four children. She pretty much raised them on her own after her much older husband died when their oldest son was thirteen. She died from cancer when she was forty-nine years old.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Tried to put up a photo of my parent’s wedding with all four grandparents.
    My dad’s parents are on the left. Grandma Ann stands at least 8 inches taller than Axel.
    On the right are Lucy and Jasper. About the same size but Lucy was overlarge in dominating the family. Nothing in the way of cruelty but she always got her way.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. My Grandma Helga was average height, I think, and was a no-nonsense sort of person who landed in Iowa when in her teens, having left Norway when her father died, and her mother couldn’t support all the children. I wish I’d known her better, but she raised 5 kids with common sense, and a sense of humor. She loved hats, and there is a great picture of her in her coat and hat, laughing with my Grandpa.

    My Grandma Ruth was short and plump, and also came to Iowa in her teens after living for a decade with relatives who she felt didn’t want her – she was an orphan by age 4. She would proudly tell us her name was Ruth Thyra Augusta Blom Sterling. She was quite a character, and must have passed on an innate musical ability to my mom… She also loved to go dancing.

    Have you mellowed or gotten feistier in the last 20 years?

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Mellow me—morning all. Lovely sunrise. Beautiful day predicted.

    Feisty me—getcher behinds outta bed. NOW. And do not cross me today.

    See. I am capable of either. My whole life, though, when I get feisty and set limits, the people around me do not like it. In my old age I find I don’t care if they like me.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. You’re right Jacque, what a glorious fall morning. Enjoying the sunny peace and quiet of it.

      I’m not sure that we all share the same perception of what it means to be feisty, and perhaps not mellow, either. But I agree, as I’ve gotten older, it’s less important to me what others think of me. It depends, of course, on who they are. I do care what people I care about think of me, strangers not so much. I most definitely don’t think setting healthy boundaries as being feisty. It’s a life skill, and we’d all better off if everyone learned it.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. The COVID era seemed to really amplify this. LImits that I think are reasonable, i.e. please do not come to the Thanksgiving celebration unvaccinated around your fragile 93 yo grandmother, are now defined as unreasonable. Given that situation and the nephew involved, I am to the point that I.Just.Do.Not.Care what he thinks of me. He attended my aunt’s funeral unvaccinated in September. My 90 yo uncle, her widower, contracted COVID from someone there and spent the next 2 weeks in the hospital. Uncle Jim could have easily been exposed by the nephew.

        The same nephew plans to bring his ex-wife to family events so his children can attend. The ex-wife does not trust him to be alone with the children. I do not trust him either, but given that she hates the entire family, I don’t want her there. Good Grief. Who could even dream this stuff up. At this point I am simply absenting myself from most family events. This is just craziness and I don’t want to be involved anymore.

        Liked by 4 people

        1. I would not care either, about someone who’s happy to try and wreck the health of you and others. That guy wouldn’t be coming near any event of mine.


      2. You have my sympathies, Jacque. What a nightmare.

        I have a similar situation with my niece’s two adult children. Fortunately I live far enough away that my absence at family gatherings isn’t attributed to my extreme dislike of these two privileged young people. So far it hasn’t affected my relationship with my sister, but I no longer have meaningful contact with my niece. That pains me as she spent her senior year in high school living with us here, and we were close. But her partner, the father of their two children, is a belligerent neo-nazi, and it’s painful to be around him, his hateful nonsense, and his self-possessed offspring. Ugh.

        Liked by 4 people

  10. much mellowed over the years
    energy rather than angst these days
    no tiny grandmothers
    both mediums
    never knew my dads mom
    moms mom was 1/4 indian 1/2 polish
    ifad’s mom irish
    i am the most medium of mediums
    works fine
    thanks again ben

    Liked by 3 people

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