Category Archives: beginnings

Rain and seedlings

Wednesday, February 1, 1939
32nd Day–333 Days to Follow

I went to the woman’s club to help with a Rotary dinner. Served ham, cabbage, yams, salad & coffee. It sprinkled rain most all day. Mrs. Tice, Mrs. Isley and Mrs. Stumpf worked. Mesdawes Hartman, Stillwell and Justin Smith waited tables.

Went to see Mrs. Grimes.

M.E., Kirchoff and Gurther went to a board meeting at the church.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Today seemed just a little sweeter, with the knowledge that I have very few of these weekdays off in the future. I delivered my two-week notice to the grocery store, then stuck around and bought some seed packets and peat pots to start some seedlings. I planted in a light drizzle that hung around all afternoon. I started organizing some of Grandpa K’s seed packets and planned what will be planted where and when for the new season. Inside I started basil, sweet marjoram, chives, Japanese eggplant, a few varieties of tomato, broccoli, cauliflower, daisies, a few varieties of peppers, and turnip greens. I even poked some holes in an old canning lid to create my own indoor watering jar. Now, remembering to keep them all moist will be the only challenge.

After J got home from work we went to her coworker’s house down the street to eat dinner and play on the Wii with her 12-year-old daughter. It was a blast, until I got a text from my mom saying my grandmother fell down and they were taking her to the ER back in Arizona. I feel helpless this far away. If I was home I’d surely be with them all at the hospital…I’m too neurotic not to know what is happening right away. Neurotic or nosy, one of the two. I’m still waiting to hear the results of the ct scan and x-rays, but I’m hoping everything is OK and she will just be sore for awhile. Even despite the new job and more hopeful outlook on moving up here, I feel like I’m on a bungee that can snap back at any minute. I knew moving up here was a risk, but I hate being so far away when someone’s health is compromised. I wonder if I’ll ever feel completely settled here, or anywhere, again.

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A Page a Day for 1939…and 2012

Sunday, January 1, 1939
1st Day–364 Days to Follow

New Year’s Day

We all went to S.S. and church. Ronnings & Grace Stewart came out. We played 500 & Bridge. They stayed for supper. Then we all went to church & heard the Bauman Cantata. Polly & Otis & Babies came to see us. Dr. Andress from Yucaipi (?) and Mrs. Bauman sang a duet. Had a very good audience.

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Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year’s Day

I begin this project for many reasons – to be more disciplined about daily writing, to gain more knowledge of my heritage, and to draw comparisons of day-to-day life over four generations. The italicized entries come from my great-grandmother’s daily diaries, on loan from my great aunt. At the start of 1939, Memo, as she is lovingly known by my family, is 47 years old, with a devoted husband and three children, the youngest a redheaded boy named Billy — my grandfather. They reside in a suburb east of Phoenix, Arizona, where Billy will spend most of his life. Eventually he will turn the eye of a young dark-haired girl at a church retreat, and they will add four children and 10 grandchildren to their brood, but for now he is young and carefree, interested in baseball and other eight-year-old pursuits.

Memo and her husband “Popo” were the two who brought our family to a small piece of land in Arizona, back when both were school teachers. I hope to learn more about them as I continue this project, asking questions and hearing more about the early years of my family. As it stands, I’m waiting for confirmation of Memo’s birth year…a bit of information I regret not already having.

As for me, I am 33, and I recently moved away from that same piece of land. My roots there spread wide through the desert soil, though something inside me longed to live in a different climate altogether. So now I am in a small town north of Seattle, but am unsure how long this period of my life will last. I have been here six months, after moving with a friend on a pinky swear. It is likely that she will continue her journey farther north, into Canada toward a new family of her own, a likelihood that makes me excited for her while I also grieve the end of a journey together. For now I enjoy the short moments we share, and plan my next steps, be they toward grad school or a teaching certification, or both.

A lot of my time is spent alone these days, so I plan to pour some of that time into writing projects rather than wasting time refreshing tumblr or posting pictures to instagram. I work part time at a grocery store, where I stand for hours at a time effectively not using my English-Linguistics degree, and trying to resurrect some of the Spanish minor. I try to engage my brain beyond simply memorizing produce codes, but I suspect that pausing to write observations on buying habits of different cultural groups is frowned upon. So I squirrel that information into dormant parts of my brain as I pass 12-packs of soda and tins of tuna across the laser sensor (while wondering if it will give me cancer, all day beaming into my mid-section), and I smile and ask, “Do you have any coupons?” Such is my life for now.

And such is the project for now. I hope it is as interesting to you as it is to me. A bit of a warning: Memo’s entries are quite short and, despite my three full years of practice on twitter, I have not yet mastered her art of brevity. So thanks for your patience as I find my voice, and hers.

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