Tuesday, December 28, 2010

family ties.

first of all, i should say that it's only appropriate that i write this post on my mom's birthday. happy, happy, happy birthday, mom!

when i was visiting my parents over the holiday break (is it sad that i consider a three-day weekend a break now? must take more vacation in 2011), i spent a lot of time at my grandmother's house, where most of my visiting family was staying.

grandma (my mom's mom) lives two blocks away from my parents, and i've visited her in that exact location for 27 years -- in other words, my entire life. she's is 95 now, and her mind is much softer than it used to be, but she's in perfect physical health and i caught her dancing merrily at the the kitchen sink the other day while she rinsed out a glass. she stays up late, she loves strong iced tea, and she has a moral constitution that i swear is made of steel. i admire her so much.

that's why i was thrilled to discover her college yearbook during this last visit. grandma went to marywood university in scranton, pennsylvania, and graduated in 1936 -- a time when many women didn't attend college in the first place, and something i admire and am so proud of.  flipping through the pages of the yearbook was fantastic, and i'm going to see if it's something i might be able to hold on to when grandma is ready to give it up. that's her page in the book, above, and her photograph -- wasn't she beautiful? (you can click to enlarge, if you'd like.)

the best part of her particular entry in this book, though, is the paragraph that accompanies it. i literally laughed out loud when i read it, and i thought i'd document it here, too -- both for posterity and for the fact that you guys might also get a kick out of it.

"another charming member of our utopian society is mary o'hara. mary appeared to be a very sophisticated type with straight black hair and braids, but underneath she was a very friendly sort of person. much may be told about mary. she was interested in art and had many very good drawings to her credit, several of which may be seen throughout this book. she is not particularly athletic, but enjoyed skating, tobogganing, sleigh-riding, and an occasional dip in a swimming pool. she can boast that she has been on the back of a horse for more than half an hour. (for proof ask her to show you the picture.) she enjoyed open cars, going without a hat, was a willing pupil of contract, and had quite a capacity for ice cream. mary's cheerful laugh was often heard ringing down the corridors of the administration building, for she found something to laugh at in almost every situation. her clothes were always attractive and neat, and her raven black braids formed a real old-fashioned setting for her cameo-like face. mary worked unceasingly for the literary productions of utopia and contributed many attractive sketches to both the tourmaline and the bay leaf. and whenever we heard the expression "isn't that tender!"  we could be sure mary was around. we hope her post-utopian days will be as successful and happy as her college days were."

it's hard to pin down a favorite sentence, but i think "she had quite a capacity for ice cream" might be it.

now i know where it comes from.

1 comment:

  1. You look like your grandma! So pretty! Also..."isn't that tender!" happens to be the BEST phrase ever. I'm so glad you shared this; it's such a nice thing. xo.