Thursday, December 30, 2010

SNOW GLOBE 12/30/00

Subj: snow globe
Date: Sat Dec 30 17:42:15 EST 2000

Sitting safe and snug in the big chair in the living room feels like being in the beautiful snow globe that Clara gives Heidi, the one with the cabin that looks like The Grandfather's house. It has been snowing since before dawn, big beautiful flakes in the morning and smaller "means business" flakes in the afternoon. It is now just past dusk and it is still snowing.

There is something about snow that can bring out a sense of community, at least in these parts. Elsa fires up the oven and makes "Blizzard Brownies" for the Staubs, Millmans and Gallaghers, all neighbors with children. She has been making the rich, dark fudgy brownies for as long as I can remember - the neighbors know that they can count on having her trudge through the snow to deliver a full batch to each house. Concerned for the wild life, she turned the three big green trash bins on their sides out on the back porch and pointed them toward the house, away from the snow, and loaded them up with bird seed and sunflower seeds.

John slept until almost 3:00 p.m. This has been the first day in weeks that he could get a long slumber - it is a blessing that it is such a sleepy-time day.

As for myself, I slept until 10:00 a.m. this morning and then, throughout the day, I kept falling asleep in the big chair in the living room. I headed up for an early nap and slept until 5:00 p.m. As I said, the snow made it a great day for hibernating.

We do not live in a community in the sense that Bryn Athyn is a community, but we do live in one, all the same. One of our neighbors dug out from his path to beyond our driveway, another shoveled the entire length of our path, and a third shoveled our driveway. That is community with a capital C.

Many wonderful sights have been seen from our big living room window over the past week. Last Saturday, I was sitting in the living room when the sound of sirens came closer and closer and closer until it sounded like they were going up Mallard, which is the next street over. They sounded familiar and strange, at the same time. I realized it was because they kept going and going and going, even though Mallard is not a long stretch of road. Even stranger was the fact that the neighborhood children came streaming out of their houses onto the road.

It turned out that Santa was making his annual visit to the neighborhood, which apparently he does every year - thanks to the Feasterville Fire Department - on the Saturday before Christmas, but we have never been at home on that Saturday before. It was quite a sight - the fire trucks stopped smack dab in front of Squirrel Haven and Santa, who was riding on the top, got down to talk to all the excited children and hand out candy canes. The children looked so happy and their parents looked like little kids themselves. It is a moment those children will never forget. It is a memory this Gramster will never forget.

Last Sunday, the blessed sight was seeing Whitney and Chad and Peter, then later Shannon, then still later Reynolds, walking through the front door.

On Christmas Day, it was fun to watch the comings and goings to the various houses, as families headed out or headed in for holiday celebrations.

Today, it was the snow and watching the children - bundled from top to toe - having snow ball fights and hauling sleds around and one of the older children even was heading up and down the street on a snow mobile.

I am grateful that it was a Saturday, so Elsa did not have to go to work, that is it not New Year's Eve, and it is not New Year's Day, so I can just sit back and savor the experience of a soft hush of a day in utter peace and quiet.

Take care, stay safe, and God bless - Jessie's Adopted Grandma

ODE TO JOY 12/29/00

Subj: Ode to Joy
Date: Fri Dec 29 07:49:13 EST 2000

The Dallas Symphony Orchestra closed its season last night with a rousing presentation of Beethoven's 9th Symphony, the Choral Symphony, which includes the Ode to Joy. My goodness, what a lot of memories it sparked.

It reminded me of a summer many, many moons ago when Wynne Pitcairn, Mim, myself and Elsa went to the shore for a week - Ventnor, or Brigantine or Ocean City. We had a house right on the beach.

Unfortunately, Wynne got sick almost as soon as we arrived. In true generous Wynne style, she did not want the rest of us to miss out on a good time, so she had Mim drive her back to her Horigan grandparents' Bryn Athyn home where she could get TLC and then Mim could come back to the shore for the rest of the stay.

We missed them when they left, so I decided that we should take the jitney (a small bus) up to Atlantic City, stroll the boardwalk and see a movie. We saw HELP!, which starred the Beatles.

My, how I enjoyed that movie. I remember the scene where the four of them entered what looked like the doors to four separate row houses, only to find they were in a large common room. It was a delightful movie. At one part, Ringo is threatened by the a man-eating Bengal tiger. A Scotland Yard inspector tells him that all will be well, that it was the famous man-eating Bengal tiger that had escaped from the famous London Zoo and that it had a fondness for the Ode to Joy. The inspector starts singing it, then Ringo joins in, then the rest of the Beatles, then the rest of the Scotland Yard contingent, then the group gets larger and larger until there is a shot of an entire stadium singing the Ode to Joy.

It also reminds me of the television broadcasts of the Olympics. I do not know if it still is, but the Ode to Joy was part and parcel of the telecasts at one time. It always set my spirits soaring.

Whenever I hear the Ode to Joy, I think of fun and exhilaration. I think Beethoven would be pleased.

Have a warm, snug day. We are expecting a major snowstorm tonight. Brrrrr.

Take care - KRL

Tuesday, December 28, 2010


Subj: ancient rattlesnake
Date: Thu Dec 28 08:05:56 EST 2000

That was John's description to Elsa of how I sound when I shake "Clappy" (my noise maker) to let them know I need to get up in the night. It makes me feel good to know that in spite of being pulled out of the studio or out of bed to help me get up to use "Lamb," they see humor instead of bother in the situation.

Last night was rough. If my shoulder had permitted the movement, it would have been a toss and turn night. When Elsa came down at the same time the sun was beginning to come up, she noticed my top covers were tossed off. I normally sleep with a cotton flannel sheet, a wonderful "North Star" blanket, a 2nd blanket and with my dear old red robe keeping my feet snug. Sounds like a lot, but my room is over the garage and can get a bit nippy at night. Last night, I experienced something I have not felt for forty or more years - hot flashes! Pardon the imagery, but I felt like throwing off all my covers, tossing off my nightgown and running around naked. It was strange and interesting, but it did not make for a good night's sleep.

As soon as Elsa finishes tapping this out and heads to work, I will be back to bed for what I hope will be a long and peaceful sleep.

Love and peace to you all from this restless and unrested -
*Ancient Rattlesnake*

STAR of WONDER 12/27/00

Subj: star of wonder
Date: Wed Dec 27 08:03:18 EST 2000

As long as there is a hint of ice out yonder, I will stay safe and snug in Squirrel Haven. That means that I have not seen all the familiar sights of Christmas. The only decorated houses I have seen this season are the ones within view from the big chair in the living room - Staubs, across the street, with it’s bright colored lights and the electric Santa standing by the chimney; Millman’s brilliantly outlined home; and I can see, reflected in Betty and George’s windows across the street from us, the fabulously decked out Gallagher and Kuchar homes, both dripping with those electric "icicles" which are so popular.

Elsa and John have described the sights outside of my viewing range. The great big tree that John and Jill King outlined with white lights. The houses on Byberry and on Terwood Roads that are apparently done by people in the same family (same last name on the greetings), both of which are top notch examples of excess. Peter told me about the house on Moreland Road that is what they call "over the top" with decorations.

The places that I remember best include a house over on Fitzwatertown Road that Pete would drive us to see every year. I think this was around the late 1960s and early 1970s. There would be cars parked so people could get out for a good look. Before that, we would take the children to see the lights in Greenridge Farms, which is off of Buck Road before you get to County Line. Once, Pete took us to see the lights of Manayunk and Conshohocken - they were really something to behold.

The light I miss seeing more than any other is the star atop the cathedral. Our family’s favorite Christmas Eve Children’s Service was the 4:00 p.m. service - when we went in, it was still light out, and when we came out, it was dark and we would look up at the top of the cathedral tower and there it would be, the star. It was a moment that was always fresh and new.

The star itself is a light bulb atop a long thin pole of some sort. One year - I think it was in the ‘80s - Ariel Gunther was heading up to check it or something. Now, Ariel was no spring chicken at this point. When he got to the top, he collapsed. He said he was just winded, but the people who were with him were justifiably alarmed. They called the rescue squad. Now, imagine trying to get someone who is all the way up on the top of a cathedral tower back down. They literally had to call in the Navy. Soon, there were rescue helicopters buzzing the cathedral, but they realized that air lifting Gunnie wouldn’t work. What they finally did was to have Navy personnel "rappel" him down the side of the tower. I can only imagine how mortified Gunnie was, especially as he kept telling everyone he was fine, that he had been winded and that was all. You can imagine the local news had a field day.

We found out just how famous the incident was a couple weeks later when Mim, Elsa and yours truly were doing some Christmas shopping in Wilmington, DE. Mim asked the lady at a shop if she accepted checks. Yes, she did. Mim wrote out her check, only to have the woman ask her for her driver’s license and a credit card for verification. Well, Mim did not have a credit card. As she explained to the woman, if she had a credit card, she would have put the purchase on that. The woman would not budge. Then her eyes lit on the address on the check. "Are you from the town where that man was stuck up on the top of a church?" she asked. "Do you know the man they had to get down?" Mim acknowledged she was from Bryn Athyn and that, yes, she had known Mr. Gunther for all of her life. "Well, SURE we’ll take your check!" Is that amazing or what?

It reminded me of when I was at Strawbridge’s in Jenkintown and a salesgirl would not accept my passport as verification for a check, only a driver's license (I have never had one) or another credit card (I don't use credit cards). That was that. Or it was until Phyllis Pitcairn, also shopping at Strawbridge's, happened to spot me just after I had been turned down flat; the two of us greeted each other happily and did some catching us. After we parted and I headed for the escalator, the salesgirl caught up with me. "Well, Mrs. Lockhart, if you know Mrs. Pitcairn, of course we will accept your check." I never have and never will understand how that passed for sound business practice.

When you go past a brightly decorated house or look up at the "star" atop the cathedral, take an extra look for me.

Holiday hugs and love - the Gramster

Sunday, December 26, 2010


Subj: more Christmas heart
Date: Tue Dec 26 22:05:06 EST 2000

A memory popped up last night, so vivid it felt as if it happened the other day, not over 50 years ago.

When Mike was around 5 years old, my mother took him Christmas shopping. Mike had the grand sum of $3.00 to spend on presents for his family. He spotted a rhinestone broach that struck him as just the ticket for his Mom. It cost $3.00. His Gran tried her best to talk him out of it - he would have spent all he had on one gift - but Mike would not budge.

As Mother told it to me later, he stood his ground and looked her straight in the eye and declared, "If I want to spend all my money on my mother, that is what I am going to do." He did, too.

Of all our children, Mike has the most down-to-earth concept of money. When he was 17, he informed us that we were not to buy him any more clothing, that it would be his responsibility. He joined the Navy while he was as senior and sent directly into full service straight out of high school. He's supported himself ever since.

Mike was not always so. Before he was 15, money burned a hole in his pocket. As soon as it came in, it went out. What turned him around was wanting to go out to California to visit the Ripleys for the summer and work on the ranch. To get there, he had to earn the money for the trip out and back.

That did it.

Mike watched every dollar, quarter, dime, nickel and penny.

Today, Mike is a thrifty Scot, getting good value for money spent. He likes to save, to spend wisely, to splurge judiciously. Noble traits.

Love to all - Mike's Mom

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Subj: Christmas roses
Date: Sat Dec 23 00:22:49 EST 2000

At lunchtime, I knew pretty much what I wanted to write about tonight - snow and bone-chilling temperatures, children slip-sliding outside on the sidewalk, and me snug and cozy in the big chair in the living room. I was going to write about Lockhart trips down to Wanamaker's on Market Street, meeting people at "the Eagle," the magnificent light-fountain-organ shows that left us all slack jawed year after year after year. I was going to write about cold walks home from Bethayres station, a chilly house and hot cocoa.

Then the afternoon - and a delivery van - rolled around and everything changed.

Karen, thank you for the beautiful flowers. Have you ever experienced a sense of magic when a florist's van pulls up in the driveway? There is something about florists that is disarmingly enchanting. The arrangement is stunning, with white spider mums (they remind me of the best sort of fireworks), red and white carnations, holly and holly berries, and beautiful, fragrant red roses.

The sight and rich scent of the red roses took me back 27 years, to the day of Pete's memorial service in March. (I know I have told this story before, but one of the privilege's of advanced years is having license to retell classic tales.)

All through the day, I had been missing Mike and Kerry, especially after Willard's simple and profoundly moving service. Returning from the church to what felt like a profoundly empty house, I walked into our dining room and caught the scent of something wonderful.

Behind the dining room door, on top of the china cabinet, stood a large classic green urn filled with the most beautiful red roses I have ever seen. The petals looked like the finest velvet and the scent was truly heavenly.

There was a card from Michael and Kerry (Scott and Karen not yet even a gleam in their parents' eyes), something along the lines of "Thinking of you at this special time."

Knowing they were with us in mind and heart deeply moved me and lifted my spirits. Because of those roses and that brief note, I had the comfort of feeling like they were close by me.

Well, when Mike and Kerry called later on that same day to hear about the service, I thanked them for the roses and said how much it meant to me to have them waiting for us on our return home. I must have mentioned at least three times the perfect timing before I noticed an absolute silence on the other end. Finally, one of them said, "What roses?"

It turned out that they had sent the roses at Christmas - a month before Pete collapsed and he was diagnosed with cancer, three months before he died. They had wondered why we never mentioned receiving them at Christmas.

That whole thing will forever give me pause and make the hair on the back of my head, right where it meets the neck, rise. What wondrous hand was at work? The timing, the card, the rightness of the arrangement. Makes me wonder.

I will think of that amazing time and of Karen, who is always in my heart and too long not in my arms, whenever I look at the beautiful arrangement from her that arrived this afternoon.

Elsa set it on the island, where it reigns supreme, flanked by our three Beyer's Choice carolers - the grey-haired lady in red velvet with a muff on one side, the younger couple keeping close together standing on the other. I took one last look as I headed up the wooden hill. It is a blessing to feel such happiness and love. Karen, your "little pressie" was a big hit.

It is way past my bedtime. Am off to bed with thoughts of loved ones far, far away, especially a much loved, much missed granddaughter.

Love – Nan Lockhart

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Subj: ornaments and memories
Date: Thu Dec 21 21:52:24 EST 2000

The most precious ornaments in our house are the ones that we made after Peter was born. The yellow stroller crafted to celebrate his arrival. The little red wagon made when Peter was a toddler – which was stepped on two years ago, yet John managed to make "all better" with a little glue and some skillful application of his airbrush.

Over the years, others have gained a special place in my heart and on our trees...

The ornaments from Tiffany that Mim presented as "favors" at an elegant Christmas Eve dinner that she planned ~ with great secrecy ~ every detail of, from the "Tiffany blue" boxes at each place (the iconic name emblazoned on each, each wrapped with the equally iconic white satin ribbon) -to- the perfectly cooked crown pork roast and even (inspired by Alicia) a "Yule Log" dessert -to- her adamant request that all of us ~ Pete, Elsa and I ~ dress for a "black tie" event, Pete resplendent in his suit, each of us women in beautiful evening gowns. Mim managed to keep everything utterly secret until we walked into the living room at Woodland Road, with a small elegantly set table in the middle of the room, a blazing fire roaring in the fireplace, chilled champagne waiting to be popped. The setting was only the living room at our Woodland Road house, but no supper club or 5-star restaurant could have been more stylish.

The paper angels that Ian made in school have brought special grace to the tree and topped it until just a few years ago, when an angel bear - perfect for Squirrel Haven - took over the tree-topping duties; the paper Santa and cardboard clown that he made.

The clay ornaments that Whitney and Reynolds made many moons ago that have long since crumbled, but which I lovingly remember each year as we put up the other treasures.

The really really old Murphy ornaments,
and so many more that I cannot remember at this moment - our tree is decked out with love and memories and happiness.

Have a holly-jolly-getting-ready-for Christmas. KRL

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Since Mom didn't write a 12/19/00 posting... taking the opportunity to repost one written in November 2000 (see below) about the first leg of our journey home on our fantasies-do-come-true trip to DisneyWorld.

Elsa aka Deev


Subj: moseying back home
Date: Fri Nov 17 23:08:24 EST 2000

We took sort of a coastal route down to DisneyWorld and ambled our way back home via the Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge. It was loverly.

What a surprise to find that central Florida has a good number of cattle and horse ranches. I felt like we had blinked our eyes and wound up in Texas. It was an unexpected treat.

Elsa had looked forward to showing me Atlanta ever since she first visited there on a business trip when she worked for Prudential. In fact, she made quite a few trips to Atlanta when she worked for Prudential. She made sure a stop over in Atlanta was on our agenda.

We swung by the Prudential HealthCare office - a dramatic all-glass building on a bluff overlooking Vinings (a northwestern suburb). Some of Elsa's business associates gave us the grand tour, then took us out for a delightful lunch. It was a special reunion with two of them, who'd been to Squirrel Haven for dinner when they were up north for meetings.

Dinner was at the Buckhead Diner, a diner in name only; it is beautifully appointed with lush wood and Art Deco lighting - and the food was out of this world.

We spent our second night in North Carolina's Maggie Valley, at the eastern edge of the Smokies, at a way high up place called Smoky Mountain View.

Since we arrived long after dark, all we were aware of was the steep drive up and the rustic, comfy lodge. I remember waking up in the morning and looking out into mists. All through breakfast, the mountains were covered by mist (hence the name Smoky). As the morning sun got stronger, we sat out on the long porch and watched - it looked as if Mother Nature was gently lifting a beautiful sheer sheet up and off a quilt of autumn colors. The mountains were as beautiful as I had imagined.

We had lunch at a marvelous little restaurant and shop - Chelsea - in Asheville. I liked Asheville; Elsa completely lost her heart to it and to the region. I think she would move down to North Carolina in an instant if she had the chance. Anyway, it was a marvelous little restaurant and we were silly and had champagne with our lunch. Very festive.

The plan was to take the Blue Ridge Parkway, another treat Elsa had dreamed of ever since Pete and I told tales of taking it many moons ago. We had been driving up and up and up - with no guard rails! - when we turned a corner and Elsa quietly said, "I don't think so." I could not see what the big deal way, I could not see anything in front of us.

That, she pointed out, was the problem.

All that there was in front of us was a thick wall of mist.

Well, I remember driving the Blue Ridge in a similar pea soup with Pete - we stayed safe by inching along and following the stripe down the middle of the road - but Elsa was not up for such an adventure. She turned the car around. The next dilemma to be solved was whether to take the central route and take a regular highway to Greenville or head out west to Tennessee and head up from there.

We lit out for the west.

I am forever grateful we did - the autumn colors were more vivid, more beautiful in Tennessee than on any other part of the trip. It was a long and unexpected jog out of our way, but it turned into a blessing.

I am turning in with thoughts of friends, great food, fun times, gracious hospitality and beauty that is forever in my heart.

Love - Nan

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Subj: Little House on the Pennypack
Date: Mon Dec 18 00:03:40 EST 2000

A week that started out with me feeling like a Nervous Nellie about the state of my fixtures and fittings turned out to be something very special.

First of all, the Lasix seems to be doing some good. According to Elsa (one of my two "Putter On Of Socks and Shoes"), my legs are not as swollen as they were less than a week ago. That is a comfort, given that since taking the Lasix I am up every hour on the hour throughout the night to use "Lamb" which is quite tiring to me and to my getter-uppers. I keep my feet elevated on a small stool, so that helps too.

Nice things resulted from feeling rotten. Mim called twice this week, which made me happy. Whitney called AND she and Chad sent me a get well card. Peter stopped by this afternoon and he is taking me out for dinner tomorrow night and then for a drive to see the Christmas lights.

I called Peter on 12/15 to wish him a happy birthday. I sang a rousing chorus of "Happy Birthday to You!" and reminded him of the time I showed Whitney, who was just a little girl at the time, of a picture of Peter at around the same age, sitting in an Adirondack chair. I asked her if she knew who it was and she said, "It’s me." "No," I explained to her, "It is your Daddy." She looked at the picture and she looked at me and, turning back to what she was doing, restated with unshaken confidence, "It’s me." They really did look a lot alike and to me the span of years between the two childhoods can seem the blink of an eye.

Elsa has been pumping me for Peter memories since a few days before his birthday. As I have already shared with this list, I did not have an easy time getting pregnant. It turned out I had a crooked cervix - between medication and exercise, it righted itself, but it meant my joy was especially intense at finding out I was finally pregnant. Then, when I was in danger of miscarriage, my OB/GYN Mike Bennett sent me packing to bed with the famous order that I was "not to lift so much as a tea cup."

I love all of my children, but there is something special about that first child. We had some interesting - and one terrible - adventures in those early years.

We brought Peter home from the hospital - Hahnemann, in Philadelphia - to the house at the foot of Fettersmill as you drop down the road from Terwood, the one with boulders on the road to protect the house from cars that miss the sharp turn to go across the bridge. It is a lushy-plushy place now, but back then it was the nth degree of primitive.

In 1938, when I became pregnant with Peter, Pete and I wanted to move out of Philadelphia and closer to Bryn Athyn. We needed to find a place to rent that we could afford and the "wagon house" rent was $15.00 a month. We knew that it would be difficult living there, but we were torn. Looking out the big north window, we saw a cardinal sitting on a tree - Pete looked at it and at me and said, "That is our sign." We moved into the house in September.

We were both blessed with a strong pioneer spirit. A roaring fire kept the place heated. Since a cord of fire wood was not in the budget, we dragged fallen branches home to cut up. Being surrounded by woods, it was a pretty easy thing to do. The place had electricity but no running water. We had to trek up to the spring in the little park across the tracks (in back of where George Synnestvedt Co. was, where Jim Connally’s wood working shop currently is) to get our water.

I must admit wondering what I looked like, this very pregnant woman walking across the bridge lugging a big branch in one hand and a jug of water in another.

You can imagine our joy that winter at discovering that the Water Company, to keep the pipes that ran under the bridge from freezing, had a run-off of the water right at the edge of our property. I can still see my sister Betty standing under that beautiful run-off, filling up a jug.

Our living conditions were rustic, but Pete and I were in love and over-the-moon with happiness at being parents. We made do with a two-burner stove and Dad Lockhart made us an iron grill so I could cook over the fire in the living room. To this day, it is a point of pride that I made an entire Thanksgiving dinner at that fire place.

None of it would have been possible if my sister Betty had not been there with us. She made all the difference. I can still see her, taking care of getting the daily supply of water, washing and hanging up the diapers to dry, doing a million other invaluable things for us.

In time, even Pete and I realized they were not the best conditions for raising an itty bitty baby. We left the "wagon house" and moved into an apartment atop the Alden house at Alden Road and Cherry Lane. I remember Leone Asplundh (now Graham) when she and Peter were both toddlers and Griff and Myrtle lived at what is now Dan Pendleton’s house. She came over to play with Peter one day in our one-room apartment. She looked around the room, took it all in, that announced, "Peter’s lucky - he got ‘tove in his room!"

I cannot let Peter’s birthday pass without telling about his birth, which turned out to be as unusual as the place we lived in. Aunt Norma, Pete’s stepmother, was afraid that I would go into labor during the day, while Pete was at work (there was no phone at the wagon house), so she had me move in with her and Gar’ in Germantown when I drew close to my due date. Thank goodness I was only there one night. Norma had her bridge club over the day I arrived and I was ordered not to come anywhere near her guests because I was such an "odd shape" - strange way of taking care of someone.

At it turned out, I went into labor in the middle of that very night. Norma called a cab to take me to Hahnemann. The cabbie was nervous enough taking a pregnant woman to the hospital, so it certainly did not help when Norma said in parting, "I hope you beat the stork!" The poor man was really on edge, so I spent the whole drive talking to him about his family and his job and anything I could think of to keep his mind off my labor pains.

When I arrived at the hospital, I came in one door at the same time Mike Bennett came in another. "Where is Pete?" was his first comment. At home, I explained - he would not know I was at the hospital until he got to work. Mike looked me straight in the eye and said, "You are a brave girl."

Of course, Pete tore over as soon as he got to work and got the news. Thank goodness I was in the delivery room but still in labor - Peter apparently had no intention of leaving the nice warm womb - when Pete arrived.

Back then, Dads were not allowed anywhere near the delivery room, so he was not allowed in anyway. I had just a whiff of anesthesia - just enough to take the edge off the pain - so I was aware of the delivery. I can still see the nurse waiting with a warm blanket to receive the baby - she had the warmest brown eyes.

When Peter finally arrived and the nurse held him up for me to see, I cried and cried - Dr. Bennett said, "Now what the hell are you crying for?" "I am so happy!" was my triumphant reply. Mike said that the baby was sure to be a prize fighter, the way he kept batting away at the doctor’s hands as Mike tried to tie the cord.

The staff bundled me up and I was on my way back to my room when we went past Pete. I knew that if I said I was okay, Pete would wonder if it was really true or if I was just trying to be brave. So, in an inspired moment, as we came up to him, I looked my beloved straight in the eye and said, "I would love a hamburger right now." That set him at his ease; he knew all was well.

Hope all is well with you and yours. Special love to Peter and to all my dear children. Am FINALLY - past midnight - on my way up the wooden hill.

Love - Peter’s Mom

Friday, December 17, 2010


Subj: late bloomers
Date: Mon Dec 11 22:08:09 EST 2000

The three Reynolds-Lockhart ladies - Mim, Elsa and myself - are each late bloomers.

I did not marry until 26 - practically an old maid back in 1936 - and did not have my first child until 28.

Mim got her bachelor's degree in her late 30s and her first very own apartment when she was in her 40s.

Elsa married at 37 and had her first “children” in her mid-forties - - a multiple birth, of "her" beloved 3rd grade, “adopted” back when they were in kindergarten.

Bloom we finally did.

Mim went on to be recognized by no less than the entire NJ State Legislature, who honored her with a official proclamation recognizing her work with NJ autistic organizations (VERY official, with high-falluting wording, fancy lettering and lots of seals).

Today, Elsa got to take a bow. She received the President's Award for Excellence, presented each year by her employer, BISYS Financial Plan Services. What a surprise. It was actually presented on Friday night at the company's big holiday bash, but John and Elsa were not there! True to form, they had cut out early from the corporate soiree, heading over to the newly opened Barnes & Noble/Plymouth Meeting, just a ten minute drive from the country club where the party was in full swing. She received a stunning star paperweight from Tiffany's and a hefty tax-exempt check.

The paperweight takes me back to so many happy times with Mim in New York. Mim introduced us to Tiffany's and we went there often. It was delightful to wander the story, looking at all the wonders. If you ever get the chance to see the Christmas windows at Tiffany's, they are quite a treat, or at least they were back when we roamed the aisles.

Mim opened our eyes to the reality that a powder blue box with white silk ribbon from Tiffany was quite affordable. They had beautiful wine glasses that were only $5.00 a stem! One Christmas, Mim presented the family with a HUGE powder blue box, (which I still have, tied with its equally iconic white silk ribbon) filled with a set of Tiffany Santa mugs which she'd nabbed for a bargain $20!

Because of Mim's early influence, the three of us pilgrimaged up to New York before Elsa's wedding so she could register at Tiffany's. (If you want an idea of what it was like, watch Sleepless in Seattle - the bride and her "advisors" walk along picking things out, a stylish salesperson walks a deferential few paces back, noting down the choices).

I believe the first time Mim went to Tiffany's (back then, there was just the one 5th Avenue store) was with Brooke, when Brooke was still in elementary school. Mim likes to tell the tale of checking out the diamond rings and necklaces, then asking the dapper gentleman behind the counter "Now, where is the good stuff?"

After we were done at Tiffany's, it was our tradition to head across and down 5th Avenue to Rizzoli's, which was the most beautiful book store I have ever seen. The wood work and shelves and architecture was out of this world. I was sad when Rizzoli had to move to make way for a new building - although I did feel like I got a lovely bit of innocent revenge when the building inspectors, checking out the structure before demolition could begin, found a Louis Tiffany or Lalique glass in the facade; the architects had to go back to the drawing board because the preservation codes would not permit them to move the glasswork outside of its original setting, let alone destroy it.

We have come a long way since they destroyed the magnificent Penn Station to build Madison Square Gardens. Architects forced to redesign a building in order to preserve a pane of glass - amazing.

My goodness, here I meant to be writing about daughters and late bloomers and I end up in NYC! What I meant to say, many paragraphs ago, is that I consider the personal changes I am currently experiencing as a late bloom, one after what I thought was a hard frost.

Reynolds-Lockhart ladies may be late bloomers, but my what a lovely bloom it is.

Love to all as I toddle up the wooden hill - TechnoGram

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Subj: breakfast pie
Date: Sun Dec 10 23:26:17 EST 2000

It was grey and wet outside today, but it felt sunny from where I sat in the big chair in the living room. Kayla and Nikiah came by again for a pre-Christmas workshop. I would tell you what they made, but their main project is going to be a present, so I better hush.

I can tell you that we had a merry late morning and early afternoon, the girls working away at the coffee table, yours truly holding court in the big chair, and Elsa running back and forth to the kitchen to keep her guests well supplied with pretzels and orange juice.

To digress from crafting to breakfast - this morning, mine included a piece of Acme's pumpkin pie. I am persnickety about my pumpkin pie, but the Acme pie is generously spiced and the crust is short and dark. Wonderful.

I was first introduced to pie as a breakfast food by Mennonite friends of Papa's we visited when I was a young girl. My eyes must have been as big as saucers when I first saw the breakfast spread - eggs and bacon and toast, as you would expect, but also other meats including lebanon bologna, and different types of pickles (several types of both sweet and sour), and various muffins and biscuits and jams and jellies, and my first helping of breakfast pie. What a delight to discover it was not just for dessert. I have been a fan of pie for breakfast ever since.

Doris Glenn Pendleton told a great story about breakfast pie. Apparently, she and Phil were visiting in "Pennsylvania Dutch" country, staying with a Mennonite family. The lady of the house asked Doris is she liked squash pie. Being “a Glenn woman,” she did not shilly-shally around and directly - albeit politely – said no, that squash pie was not to her liking. The lady then asked Phil the same question. Being the gentleman he was and not wanting to hurt the woman's feelings, he replied that yes, he was indeed partial to squash pie. Phil ended up eating his words, literally, because she took great care to serve him a generous slice of squash pie every morning at breakfast and, of course, being the fine gentleman he was and not wanting to hurt the woman's feelings, he ate every bit - even though he disliked squash pie every bit as much as, if not more than, Doris did.

How lovely to roll off to bed thinking of two delightful young ladies and two much missed friends.

Nite nite and God bless - Grammie Kay

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Subj: two fine Fuzzies
Date: Wed Nov 15 22:49:00 EST 2000

After our glorious four days at DisneyWorld, Elsa and I decamped for several more days with Bob & Lois Furry, the hosts with the most.

They have a marvelous little big house right on the edge of a nature preserve. Lois has tales of crocodiles walking along the edge of their property. Instead of a deck out back, they have a luxury of luxuries - a cozy little pool. I love water, whether it is the ocean, a lake, a river, a stream - or a pool. It was lovely looking out at it, and I felt sad I had not packed a swimming suit.

When I think of Lois and Bob's house, the word tranquility comes to mind. It is a soothing place. We liked it right well. Having those days of just being with friends, taking our ease, gave us a chance to recoup and recharge. Bob and Lois treated us like royalty. What I remember most - aside from my favorite part, which was shooting the breeze - was going to Cypress Gardens. Oh, what a beautiful place. The flowers were out of this world. We all commented on how John would have appreciated the outdoor railroad. My favorite part was the conservatory filled with all sorts of beautiful butterflies. It was beyond words.

DisneyWorld was a never-to-be-forgotten experience, but our stay with Bob and Lois was a special time I'll keep forever in my heart.

Their loving friend – Kay

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

IT's A SMALL WORLD 11/13/00

Subj: it’s a small world
Date: Mon Nov 13 21:49:37 EST 2000

Since 1964, Elsa was sure that one day I would see It's A Small World. She saw it that year at the New York World's Fair. Her brother, Peter, in an effort to get her performing "closer to her potential," promised her a visit to the World's Fair if she passed all her subjects, $10 for each A and $5 for each B. She came through and Peter, Elsa and Mim went to the Fair.

It's A Small World was introduced at the World's Fair (as was the Hall of President's - elm). It was Coca Cola's exhibit, produced by Disney, a fact that I can remember because Elsa was delighted to go to the VIP lounge where there was free Coke. Elsa and Mim had a ball, especially since Peter had a friend who lent him a press pass so they got all sorts of privileges including entry to the VIP lounges at the various exhibits and they did not have to wait in line.

Thirty-three years later and down in DisneyWorld, Elsa did not have a press pass, but she did have the next best thing – an elderly mom, in a wheelchair. I had a grand old time being wheeled about and we always got to go in special entrances and avoid the long waits.

On our last day, we finally went to the Magic Kingdom. We did not have a lot of time, but I could not leave without seeing It's A Small World. Well, I looked at that little boat that you have to get onto and I did not think I would make it - this was one ride where you cannot just wheel the chair on and off. I did, though and it was no small feat!

As I have described and remember, many things about DisneyWorld went straight to my heart but none that so totally enchanted me as It's A Small World. It is innocent. It is charming and entirely captivating, but most of all, it is innocent. After the ride ended, part of me wanted to do it all over again and part of me wanted to remember forever a perfect moment.

I am glad that we saved that for our last full day. It was, for me, the crowning glory. I remember when Walt Disney opened DisneyWorld back in the 1950s and dedicated to the children of the world. I loved Epcot and had a wonderful time at MGM Studios, but for me It's A Small World is DisneyWorld in microcosm. I will smile remembering it for all of my life.

Nite nite and God bless you, whatever part of the world you're in –
Grandma Lockhart

p.s. - I thought I had no other "dream trips" left but one. Not any more - I know now that I have got to, before I make that final crossing, take at least an overnight trip somewhere with Gail Reuter Cooper. Who else but Gail would think to count how many different variations of Mickey Mouse butter pats were served in DisneyWorld? Sorry, Pete, you will just have to wait a little bit longer.

Monday, December 13, 2010

M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E 11/10/00

Subj: M-I-C-K-E-Y M-O-U-S-E
Date: Fri Nov 10 21:00:17 EST 2000

When I think about going to the various parts of DisneyWorld, I feel overwhelmed. It was such a... well, such a big experience is the best way to express what is in my heart. I expected to have a really good time, I did not expect to be as moved as I was.

First of all, understand that this place really did seem like the happiest place on Earth. In the four+ days we were in DisneyWorld, I did not see a single parent snap at a child, nor did I hear a single child whine or complain.

When I think of the children, I think of the little kids who were having the time of their lives with these water jets that came up through the pavement in one part of Epcot. I can see the smiles and hear the great hoots of glee. What a memory.

I see the little children gathered around the storyteller in the "England" part of Epcot as he leaned on his staff and spun a tale.

I see the children - and the parents and the grandparents - when they spotted Pluto or Tigger or Donald Duck or the biggest and best of them all - Mickey himself - walking around.

I was there and Elsa was there, but in my heart so were Mim and Ian, both of whom watched the Mickey Mouse Club back in the 1950s. Mim was a bit old for that sort of thing, being in her early teens, but she did so much with the "Top Yard" kids - Roses, Grubbs and Lockharts - and other neighborhood children, watching Mickey Mouse Club was an extension of her interaction with them. Yes, both Mim and Ian were very much with me.

Ever since Pete and I went to England, I dreamed of going there with Elsa. We might not ever make it across the Atlantic together, but we did make it to the Rose & Crown, a pub that certainly seemed like a bit of transplanted England. We sat outside and had the jolliest waitress. We have a picture of her with yours truly, both of us grinning away like mad. Elsa and I ordered a sampler of ales along with our ploughman's lunch. Between the two of us, we polished off those ales quite easily. Time out of time and place out of place. What a gal that waitress was - I can't remember which part of England she was from. but the memory of her sets me smiling. My blessings to her, wherever she may be.

Elsa "blew the wad" by staying at Wilderness Lodge so that I could have the freedom of staying put where we were and still experiencing DisneyWorld - or - adventuring a field. As you have heard, I definitely went adventuring. However, if I had to pick my favorite spot in all of DisneyWorld, it would be Wilderness Lodge. I loved going out onto our balcony and seeing trees stretching out as far as my eyes could see. I loved sitting in that stunning yet cozy great hall. I enjoyed the people.

The 10th annual Teddy Bear Convention was taking place in DisneyWorld at the same time we were there. One evening, Elsa and I headed to the bar in Wilderness Lodge for a nightcap. As we sat there, talking, with my small black bear, Sasha, with us on the table, an attractive couple who looked to be in their 40s came up. They asked if we were there for the convention. It took me a moment to realize that the man was tenderly holding an even smaller bear in his hands. Yes, we were definitely among our own kind.

I loved the fact that Elsa bought us plastic travel coffee mugs that I could refill for free as many times as I liked. I loved watching the families walking to and fro, always happy. I loved the great care the staff took keeping everything neat and tidy. I loved looking up and up and up at carved eagles and bears and other animals tucked here and there through that magnificent structure. I loved the awesome - an understatement - fireplace. I loved every nook and cranny of that magical place. All I have to do is close my eyes and I am back in its shelter and I am happy and smiling.

This smiling Grammie is heading up the wooden hill, with loving thoughts of
DisneyWorld and you to keep me company.

Nite nite and God bless.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

oops - so busy with holiday hustle & bustle...

...yesterday, completely forgot to repost mom's 11/06/00 mindwalker e-mail, into the wilderness. doubling up today, posting both that & 11/07's guardian angels.

continuing the celebration of mom's 05/14 centenary by reposting her 2000-2001 "mindwalker1910" e-mails ~ deev


Subj: guardian angels
Date: Tue Nov 7 21:10:02 EST 2000

If Elsa was the fairy godmother of my trip to DisneyWorld, Bob & Lois Furry were certainly my guardian angels.

Bob & Lois live less than 30 minutes from Orlando. As permanent Florida residents, they get free season passes to DisneyWorld. Every day of our stay, Bob & Lois were downstairs waiting for us at the start of the day and saw us back to Wilderness Lodge each night. They knew were to go, when to go, how to avoid crowds, and best of all they were the wonderful friends they have always been. Elsa never touched my wheelchair, it was always Bob or Lois tootling me about. Both Elsa and I felt blessed by their presence and loving friendship.

Those two know how to make a body feel pampered. Best of all was the fun of just being with two people so clearly in love and as courteous with each other as with their guests. I confess they made me miss Pete, but with a sweet-bittersweet missing that brought his presence closer.

My, how Pete would have loved Epcot, which lived up to my every dream. I enjoyed the technological exhibits but it was the area with the international pavilions that I loved the very most. We were there during a wine festival (there is always some festival or another happening at DisneyWorld) and Australian wines were prominently displayed. Elsa took a snapshot of my with "Australia" in the background. More tomorrow on finally visiting "England" with Elsa and so many other dear, always-in-my-heart memories.

Love to my dear friends, with special hugs and thanks to 2 fine Fuzzies - Kay


Subj: into the Wilderness
Date: Mon Nov 6 23:12:48 EST 2000

It is a relatively short hop from Jacksonville to Orlando, three hours at the most as I recall. As we got closer and closer to DisneyWorld, it seemed somehow more and more incredible that we were there. I remember Elsa turning off the interstate and driving past lots of trees - as I remember it, it was sort of like the Pine Barrens. If felt like Florida because it felt like going to the shore.

The car was headed toward the sort of toll booths that welcome visitors to DisneyWorld. Except we were not visitors at DisneyWorld, we were going to be residents.

Elsa took a road that pulled to the right and followed the signs. I recall the thrill I felt when we saw the sort of wooden twiggish sign that announced "Wilderness Lodge." We drove down the road and finally there it was up ahead, a place that looked exactly like ... well, exactly like a wilderness lodge. It looked huge and like it was timbered and built with beautiful boulders and stones.

We parked the car out front, handed the keys over to a young man in a "ranger" outfit, saw our bags and our bag of stuffies whisked inside. We walked in the big doors and into the lobby and looked up and up and up. It was magnificent.

It looked just like one of those great lodges I have read about in National
Geographic, except it was HUGE. Somehow, it did not seem huge. It seemed

We checked in and Elsa left me settled into one of the big chairs that reminded me of my big chair in our living room and went upstairs with another one of the "ranger" staff members. When she came back 15 minutes later, she practically bounced off the elevator.

It seems that the "ranger" took her to our room - about as far from the elevator as you could get. The first thing she did was ask him what she needed to do to arrange a wheel chair for use during our stay. "Why?," he wanted to know.

She explained that her 87-year old mother would be too tuckered out after doing the walk to get to anything else. He was on the phone in a flash and before Elsa knew it, our things were bundled back on the cart and redeposited in a room right around the corner from the elevators.

Now, THAT is service.

The thing that amazed me with Wilderness Lodge from our very first glimpse was how it really did feel far away from everything. When we got off the elevator at our floor and looked out windows at the end of the hall and across from the elevator, all we could see were trees. All we could see from the balcony of our room was trees. It was more than I ever could have dreamed.

Elsa got our bags unpacked, the stuffies spread out over the armoire – around the TV and on top and all over the place - and tucked me in for a nap, then headed out to check out the Magic Kingdom.

One of the things that made the trip work so well was how many times we were together yet on our own.

Elsa glowed when she came back. I had awakened some time before and was just having a marvelous time, sitting out on our balcony, soaking in the view. She told me about taking pictures of elmo and three of the Sissettes - Sissy, Baby Girl (Kelly Zeigler's) and Sissette (Brenda's) - in front of the Magic Kingdom and how a man asked if she would like to have her picture taken with them. She thought his offer was a hoot (and, no, she did not take him up on it).

Back in our room, watching as Elsa put the minkies back with the rest of the stuffies, I sensed something was not right. Picking up on my sense of foreboding, she did a head count and realized that Skylar, the almost life-size skunk puppet that Kelly found for John, was nowhere to be found! She looked high and low, no sign of Sky.

The last time she remembered seeing him was at the car, perched atop the baggage on the luggage cart.

Our hearts sank. Not only were we concerned to have lost him, we were trying to figure out what to tell John.

On our way to supper - we stayed close to home, choosing to eat at the Lodge that night - Elsa swung past the front desk and filled out a missing item report. I remember what she wrote - "Large skunk puppet; very friendly and always ready for a good time." We had a sort of quiet supper, a combination of excitement and concern.

Afterwards, we soaked in the incredible beauty of the lobby, with its massive stone fireplace and chimney that reached up and up and up. We walked past the "mountain spring-fed" pool (the "mountain spring" started in the lobby and meandered its way along until it tumbled over a waterfall into the pool), out to the dock that lead to the boat that would take us the next day to the Magic Kingdom.

Standing there on the dock in the comfortably cool night air, with the lagoon stretched out in front of us and the magnificent lodge in back of us, we seemed a hundred miles away from civilization. It was the perfect place for us to stay and it is a perfect memory, three years later.

I expected that our digs for our stay would look sort of like a mountain lodge and that I'd feel sort of happy to be there. There was nothing sort of about it - it was wonderful, through and through. As we looked around at the trees and water, we talked about Skylar - our storyline (which would continue and be embellished on for the rest of our stay) was that he had been overcome with the sense of the place as soon as he had clapped eyes on the lodge. Far from being lost, we figured, his wild side had overcome him and he had made a break for it when none of us were looking. We imagined him in the woods, having a high old time. The stories of Skylar's exploits grew taller and taller as our stay went on - the next Disney production, Skylar in the Wilderness.

It is so lovely to go off to bed with a smile on my face and lovely, lovely memories playing tag between my head and heart. Am up the wooden hill.

Love to one and all - Skylar's Grammie

Friday, December 10, 2010


Subj: Plantation Manor
Date: Sat Nov 4 23:04:04 EST 2000

We chalked up another long drive, from Charleston, SC to Jacksonville, Florida. We arrived in Jacksonville around 8:30 p.m. to find the interstate torn up with construction work right where we needed to get off. We had to get off at the next exit and turn around and get off at the exit before.

We saw a lot more of downtown Jacksonville than either of us had expected. When we finally were able to get to the other side of town, we were both tuckered out.

The neighborhood our digs for the night was in was a residential area close to a river. We drove around and around looking for the place, but kept coming up empty. At least it was a pleasant drive, even if it was going on 9:00 p.m. and dark.

We were both quite taken with one particular home. In an area of beautiful homes and gracious grounds, this one just stood out. It was a stunning white columned home with well kept lawns all around it, surrounded by a wrought iron fence and a beautifully crafted arch gateway that just looked welcoming. As it turned out, we can testify that the gate was welcoming, that the house was stunning - inside and out - and that the owners, although Northern by birth, were steeped in the tradition of Southern hospitality. Because that outstanding house turned out to be Plantation Manor, our home for the night.

Of my, that place was impossible to do justice to - and we would never have known about it if it had not been for a friend for Elsa's, Ray Lipps, who mentioned it when she was visiting him and his wife, Diana, at their home in Summit, NJ. Ray asked where we were staying in Jacksonville and was told we had not decided - there were a couple affordable places Elsa had her eye on. He gave a great pitch for the place he stayed at - for weeks on end - whenever he worked out of Prudential's Jacksonville office. Because we were friends of Ray's, the owners charged us the corporate rate. My goodness, all that beauty for under $100 a night.

Plantation Manor caters to long-stay guests, so there was no sense of rush, just a continual invitation to linger. It was built near the end of the last century. The interior is all warm woods.

Pete would have loved it.

Our room was at the top of a magnificent flight of steps. I can still recall the feel of the banister under my hand, the smooth wood somehow warm to my touch.

What a room. It was huge and impeccably decked out. A huge four poster bed took up about 1/4 of the room. The ceilings appeared to be no less than 12'. The white drapes on the 3 floor-to-ceiling windows were drawn for privacy. The walls were a deep teal green until about 2' from the ceiling, when they turned a lovely shade of light blue, the two colors divided by dark molding. To the right, outside the bathroom, was a long gold gilt mirror and a pink-striped with flowers chintz couch, as comfortable as it was beautiful.

And the bathroom - it was as large as our room at the Heritage Inn. It had a long bay window with window seat and lace curtains.

Back in the bed room, there was an area for sitting, with a small but not too small round table covered with a very pretty, very feminine cloth, draping down to the ground. A few moments after we were settled in for the night, the owner arrived with a hot pot of decaf, bone china cups and saucers, and slices of lemon pound cake with an out-of-this-world glazed icing.

It was heaven to sit there, in front of drawn brocade curtains, sipping delicious coffee and soaking in the sheer, unbridled civility of it all.

(Did I mention the bathroom featured a deep, clawed bathtub and a shower that was about the size of our den powder room?)

I haven't mentioned the TV. It will give you an idea of the room when I say that the TV did not dominate - unusual because the screen was 3' wide, if not more. It was right next to the fireplace, which was set into a section of white wood, the fire place flanked by columns that extended up about 8' to where they ended in a shelf. On top of the shelf was a wooden white swan ... and a pink chamber pot. On the other side of the fireplace was an antique secretary desk and chair.

We savored our coffee, each wallowed in a hot bath (while I luxuriated in mine, Elsa made her nightly call to John), moved the stuffies from the mountain of goose down pillows to the low table at the foot of the bed, then buried ourselves under the warm, soft blankets, said prayers, and floated blissfully off to sleep.

It was a never-to-be-forgotten room in an unbelievably beautiful house with a genial and generous host.

Good night to all of you, my dear friends and loved ones. Love - CyberGram

reposted in celebration of Cybergram's 05/14 centenary

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Subj: “the most civilized city in the world”
Date: Fri Nov 3 22:58:25 EST 2000

That was Lawson Pendleton's description of Charleston, South Carolina many years ago. For as long as I can recall, I wanted to see and experience Charleston, a city so special that legend has it Sherman refused to destroy it. When Elsa first discussed her image of the proposed trip to DisneyWorld, seeing Charleston was always part of it.

After such a long drive from Williamsburg, I expected to be travel weary the next day. As usual, Elsa was up and out early, leaving me to get up at my leisure. I knew that if I wanted to stay put until check out time, that would be fine with her.

In reality, I rolled out of bed around 9:00 a.m., which was late for me back then. About 15 minutes later, Elsa strolled in with a cup of hot coffee and some fresh fruit, a foreshadowing of the breakfast awaiting me downstairs. Elsa was glowing. She had walked around part of historical Charleston, checking out routes we could ramble later on. Best of all, she had found a great place for her own breakfast, where the locals were friendly and the staff treated her as if she was a regular.

While I dressed, Elsa packed up our bags and tucked them away at the front desk. The stuffies had their very own open bag, which we kept in the back seat.

About our stuffies
- as we had already experienced on previous visits to San Francisco and Richmond, everyone who clapped eyes on them were entranced. You would think they would consider us lunatics, hauling around an entourage of stuffed animals, but that was not - is not - our experience. There is something about our retinue of squirrels, minkies, bears, skunk et al that just wins people over immediately.

Those of you who know us well will understand.

The staff who had reason to come to our room at the King Charles Inn were no exception and made a fuss over the assemblage holding court in the TV armoire. As Elsa said several years earlier, when a waiter at Belle Voce at San Francisco's Fairmount Hotel asked if she would like her picture taken with the stuffies (which were in a big shopping bag, and which he then proceeded to take out gently, one at a time, carefully posing each one in back of her before taking a snap shot), it makes you wonder who's the loopier - us for having the stuffies in the first place or the many others who take them in delighted stride.

Pardon me for digressing. Back to Charleston and the King Charles Inn.

While I had breakfast in the gracious dining room - again, somehow reminiscent of Paddington and of New Orleans - Elsa went tootling in the car to find some farther-a-field routes to take. By the time she got back around 10:30ish, I was just finishing up. We said our farewells to the King Charles Inn and off we went to explore Charleston.

At first, I was tired and could only imagine admiring the beauty from my car seat, but within 30 minutes I got my second wind. How could I not, in such beauty.

To those who have never seen Charleston, it would be impossible to describe its unique beauty and sense of utter graciousness. To those who have been there, the memory of Charleston will speak for itself.

Elsa drove along little back streets, down broad boulevards lined with beautiful houses and lush plantings. It was even better than I had dreamed.

Nothing prepared me for The Battery, with its exquisite homes and the sweep out to the ocean. Its beauty took my breath away. We got out and walked about - and took pictures of Zach (a gibbon) leaning out of wrought iron fencing.

I close my eyes and I am back in the beauty of that place.

It was hard to leave The Battery. Elsa drove around three times before finally turning back toward the historic market place, which was near the place she'd been for breakfast. We had an early lunch at the same place which, we've since found out, is considered one of the best places to go for a taste of the real, not tourist, Charleston.

We had a rollicking time. Elsa was right - the staff were incredible and the food out of this world. Our waitress came out and sat with us for a while and the cook came out, too, and made a great fuss over us. It was very hard to leave, but we had a ways to go, with reservations that night at Jacksonville.

Instead of telling you about where we stayed in Jacksonville, I am going to stop right here. I am going to head up the wooden hill filled with smiles and happy thoughts of Charleston - literally a dream come true.

Nite nite, y'all - Grammie

reposted in celebration of the 05/14 centenary of Grammie's birth

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

"INN" PEOPLE - 11/02/00

Subj: “inn” people
Date: Thu Nov 2 20:08:15 EST 2000

This time three years ago, Elsa and I were tootling along to Charleston. Elsa had "guesstimated" how far it was from Williamsburg, VA to Charleston, NC. We pulled off the interstate at around 4:00 for an early supper and on the way out she asked how far it was to Charleston. "286 miles."

I was amazed - Elsa didn't turn pale or panic or anything over so many miles left to our destination, just settled down for a long stretch of driving.

Looking back, it was a great day, from beginning to end, in spite of its unexpected length. That first morning in Williamsburg set the pace for the rest of the trip. Elsa got up early and headed out for a ramble, then came back around 9:00ish with a cup of coffee and some breakfast goodies to tide me over until we had a real breakfast. I dressed as she packed and bundled everything out to the car. It was with great excitement that we bade our farewells and headed for a late breakfast - at the 5-star Williamsburg Inn.

Since I cannot abide the ticky tacky commercial parts of Williamsburg, Elsa managed to find a route that avoided all of - to me – the trashy new intruders. Instead, we drove down tree-lined streets I first came to love reading Elswyth Thane's Williamsburg book series.

Breakfast was wonderful, bringing back happy memories of our trip home from the Apollo launch with Brooke and Mim and of a trip down in 1991 with John to celebrate my 1st anniversary of becoming a Squirrel Haven-ite. We had a view of the terrace, which drew memories from Elsa of sitting out there with Mike & Kerry and Reynolds three summers ago, on a visit we took down after Scott’s 1997 graduation from Bryn Athyn College.

The service at the Williamsburg Inn reflects true Southern hospitality - I never had to open a door, there was always a smiling staff member ready to do the honors and to wish me a good day. I love the Williamsburg Inn and I hope to go back down again before being reunited with Pete.

There is not much between Williamsburg and Charleston, at least along the I-95 route, so even if Elsa had known how far it was, she probably would have done the same long stretch of driving.

It did help that we had some wonderful audio tapes to keep us company - lots of music, including my beloved Willie Nelson and unabridged recordings of Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families, Deprak Chopra, Marianne Williamson, Christiane Northrup. We may have been totally tuckered out by the time we arrived at Charleston's King Charles Inn, but we were not bored.

The King Charles Inn reminded of parts of Paddington, in Sydney. Cast iron railing and a building that was not low but somehow looked like it was. When we finally plunked down our stuff in our room - at around 10:00 p.m. - and opened the curtain, there across the way was a terrific view of an old, white, magnificently columned church.

I was finally - really and truly - in Charleston, after all those years of wishing and hoping.

We unpacked our things for the night, spread out the stuffies we had brought along, and settled in for well-deserved slumbers.

This is fun, writing about it - can see it all over again in my mind's eye and feel the happiness in my heart.

Love and hugs to one & all - Nan

reposted in honor of the 05/14 centenary of Nan's birth

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

DREAMS 11/01/00

Subj: dreams
Date: Wed Nov 1 07:55:55 EST 2000

Three years ago yesterday was Elsa's last day at Prudential HealthCare, which was cutting staff. Instead of feeling sorry for herself over losing a job she thought would take her to retirement, she celebrated the opportunity to make two dreams of mine come true.

Ever since Walt Disney announced his plans in the early 1960s to build EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow), I’ve longed to visit DisneyWorld. Another dream was to visit Charleston. Elsa made both wishes come true. We took two weeks and drove down to DisneyWorld via Charleston and home through the Smoky Mountains and the Blue Ridge.

Elsa tailored the entire trip around me. We never hit the road before 10:30 a.m. and were never in bed before 11:00 p.m. Each day’s plan was that if I was too tired to do anything, we would just stay put in the hotel, inn or lodge rather than exploring and adventuring.

Our first day out, we had lunch at the Briar Rose, which is a Williamsburgish restaurant on Frankford Ave in Philadelphia.

As we drove past Wilmington, De, we thought about the times the two of us headed down to O'Friel's, an Irish pub, to hear the Corrib Folk or Tom O'Carroll sing.

I always get a kick out of driving through Baltimore - my home town is unrecognizable.

We arrived in Washington, D.C. in time for a spectacular sunset. Instead of taking her usual route which skirts around Washington, Elsa took a route that took us past relatively up close to some of our most cherished memorials and even the Capitol, all of them bathed in the setting sun. It gives me goose bumps just remembering it.

As we were driving between Richmond and Williamsburg, Elsa pulled off the big, multi-lane highway. She had no idea where we were, but followed her instincts, driving down a country road to a place where she could pull off. Then we got out of the car and looked up at the sky.

Here, in the Philadelphia area, the sky is diffused with all sorts of lights. It is hard, even out in Lancaster County or in the northern reaches of Bucks County, to really see the stars. There, off that small road in Virginia, the stars were strewn bright against a deep, dark sky.

I thought about all the places I’ve seen stars – in the Sierra Nevada, where the sky seemed crammed with them; in Australia, where I again felt like I could touch them; on a remote back road in Massachusetts, where they arched over the ink black sky; add to that list a country road in Virginia. Sights that are forever in my heart.

In Williamsburg, we stayed at a favorite place, Heritage Inn, an affordable yet very lovely place. I had no idea that first night what an unforgettable time lay ahead of us. All I remember was going to bed very, very happy.

Happy trails to one and all - Grammie Kay

reposted in honor of Grammie Kay's 05/14 centenary

Monday, December 6, 2010

12/06/10 HEADS UP from Deev

Mom didn't send any e-mails for several days, so am using the next few to repost ones she DID write in November 2000 & I neglected to share last month. They are about our November 1997 trip down to DisneyWorld, a dream trip she took at age 87 - a special time & a complete blast for both of us!

Deev (aka Elsa Lockhart Murphy)

A GUY'S GAL 12/06/00

Subj: a guy’s gal
Date: Wed Dec 6 22:31:45 EST 2000

A reporter from The Inquirer called Elsa to do an article on her craft workshops. How exciting! I enjoy them so much myself - whether it was the women coming by to work on the Girls School Freshmen boxes in the summer or the Childs' kinder toiling over the living room table on Christmas projects. It was a shoo in to be a fun article.

What the reporter is interested in is the "For Men Only" workshop scheduled for next Friday night. Elsa thought it would be a nice opportunity for guys to make a handmade present for their gals - wife, sweetheart, mother, daughter, whoever. No one has signed up for the 12/15 workshop. I feel like getting down on the floor and kicking and screaming with disappointment. Hey, fellas, there is still time. Get in touch with your creative, non-power tool self. Think of me - pining away for what I had hoped would be a couple hours of a male majority in the house.

What a tidy segue into thinking about what a "guy's gal" I am. I love being around men. The Lockhart household very much revolved around Pete. It is what made my heart do a leap reading a "Family Circus" cartoon that Mim cut out to send me - one of the children told the Grandma that she wanted her to live forever; the Grandma replied she couldn't because she had a date with an angel ~ that is how I feel about being reunited with Pete. Wishing there were more males around these parts is one of the things I miss about not seeing more of Peter. It is why I am delighted that he is coming over tomorrow for a visit.

As I get ready for bed, I am having a high old time thinking about the men in my life, of the roles they have and do play in my life - my sons, Peter, Michael, and John; my grandsons, Scott, Reynolds and Chad; my nephews Bob, Jack, Jim, Gil and David; dear-to-my-heart men like Gareth Acton and David Zeigler.

Yes, I would have basked in an influx of men into the house on December 15, but the spirit of these beloved men are with me always.

What lovely thoughts see me off on my slumbers. Love - CyberGram

Reposted in celebration of Cybergram's 05/14 centenary.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Subj: it really IS a small world
Date: Tue Dec 5 20:20:30 EST 2000

On one on of my flights home from Australia (with seven trips down and back, it is easy to get them mixed up), our plane touched down in New Zealand to let off passengers and pick up new ones. The woman who had been sitting next to me disembarked and another woman took her place for the remaining leg of the trip to Los Angeles.

I was aware that she was younger than my previous seatmate (and considerably younger than myself), but that was about all that registered. When I am flying, I don’t really notice much about the person sitting next to me. For one thing, I’m an old lady and it is not all that easy to turn my head all the way to the side to talk straight on. My tendency is to sort of talk past the person, if you know what I mean.

In any case, the young woman was busy, reading a book, so our talk was at a minimum. Truth be told, I was tempted to make a light comment to her about how much the green binding on her novel or whatever looked like it could have been a volume of the Writings, but it’s the sort of humor that requires a New Church audience to be funny.

In time, a meal was served. I finished first and my dishes were whisked away – but NO ONE was getting the last of my coffee, which was unusually good. I put up the seat tray to give my legs some more room. For some reason, I wanted to put down my coffee cup before finishing the last few drops, so I asked my seatmate if I could balance it on her seat tray. She said yes.

It’s an interesting thing that when people say “Thank you” and “My Pleasure,” we tend to look each other right in the eyes, which was what I did. I turned and, right in mid sentence, my words stopped and my jaw dropped and after a few moments of mutual stunned silence, I managed to get out, “Amy??” and she replied, “Mrs. Lockhart???” Here, Amy Grubb (now Childs), who had been in New Zealand visiting her finance, Robin, and I had been sitting right next to each other for hours without realizing it!

Thinking about that reminds me of when the Ripleys and Peddicords arrived for Elsa and John’s wedding.

Peggy and Jack, Jim and Renee and Eryn and Lauren had all arrived from Missouri and Karen had arrived from Reno. Linda, Bob and Paul had arrived from California. They all connected at our house.

Even though we’re all related through the Reynolds’ side of the family, they either hadn’t met or met a long time ago. When Bob met his cousin Karen, who are the same age, he fascinated her with how much he looked like her brother, Jim. She, in turn, seemed to fascinate him. He peppered her with all sorts of questions about her flight – had her meal been okay, did she enjoy the movie, was she comfortable. He took her by surprise with his final question, “How can you sleep on a plane? I’ve never been able to.”

Karen looked at him in stunned surprise – “How did YOU know that I slept on the plane.”

Bob’s face lit up with a cheeky grin as he answered, “Because we were sitting a few rows in back of you. There was something about you that caught my attention, but I had no idea we were cousins!” Both of them flew out of San Francisco – the Ripleys living outside of Sacramento and Karen in Reno. It’s a small world, indeed!

A happy traveler – The Gramster

Reposted with love in celebration of The Gramster's 05/14 centenary

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Subj: Medical Bulletin
Date: Mon Dec 4 22:05:29 EST 2000

John was an angel today. I had to go to Holy Redeemer Hospital to have a chest x-ray and to my GP right afterward. It was all very rush-rush - - my doctor was worried about my swollen legs (they look like they could belong to a full-back), shortness of breath and low energy. He wanted that x-ray done and done right away.

My dear s-i-l did not grumble about having to leave his drawing board (he is deep into a 2nd assignment). From the moment we left the house to when we came back, he gave me his total attention and loving care. After we left Dr. Litt's - he diagnosed water around the lungs - John swung by the pharmacy to pick up my medication. He fussed over me after we got home and made sure I was comfortable.

The medication has me feeling better tonight. I promise to take good care of myself, but I am ninety, after all.

When I got home, I called Elsa to let her know how it went. She suggested I touch base with Peter and Mim (she had left Peter a message about my symptoms, but had not been able to connect with Mim). I got Peter's answering machine, but Mim picked up the phone when she heard it was me and we had a good talk. She seemed very alarmed, which took me by surprise. John and Elsa have gotten so familiar with my alarums and excursions they take it all pretty much in loving stride. In any case, she said she will call back tomorrow, which I look forward to.

My dear daughter-of-the-heart, Leslie Adams, called. As the Aussies would say, she is a "bonza" gal!. Leslie is a nurse, so had some thoughts on my symptoms - - like Dr. Litt, they worry her.

As I have said before, the fixtures and fittings are breaking down, but it is not cause for worry. My life is touched with so much love and caring from so many people, every day is a new blessing.

Love to you all - Kay

Reposted in celebration of the 05/14 centenary of Kay's birth!

Friday, December 3, 2010


Subj: Christmas workshop
Date: Sun Dec 3 21:54:54 EST 2000

What a delightful day. Kayla and Nikia Childs came to a "Christmas Guru" craft workshop this morning.

Elsa was dubbed the Christmas Guru by Leah Heinrichs Rose a couple years ago. She certainly was this morning.

A special treat was having the girls dropped off at 11:00 a.m. by their grandmother, Mary Parker Grubb, who looks like a girl herself. It is difficult to fully grasp that Mary is a grandmother. I have known her since she was in high school and she is still beautifully young - it shimmers from her. It was special to have a few moments to talk with her.

Kayla and Nikia are already dear to our hearts. The two of them came to Elsa's Christmas craft workshops last year. Elsa offers her workshops to any child, at no cost; for the second year in a row, the only ones to nibble at her offer were these two delightful young ladies.

Because there were just the two girls and they were not baking (that will be the 12/17 workshop), Elsa worked on the coffee table in the living room, giving me a ringside seat. She covered the coffee table with a giant piece of holiday wrapping paper, so it looked Christmasy as soon as you walked in. Today's workshop was on "angels."

It was a pleasure to watch Kayla, who is 9 and Nikia, who I think is 7, watching as Elsa gave directions on making an angel from a plain paper plate. Their eagerness to get started and in picking out color schemes and embellishments was something to behold. They worked side by side but neither got in the other's way. They respected each other's territory. I was impressed again this year that each girl has a strong sense of personal style. After they were done with their angels, which were both gorgeous, they cut out and decorated butterfly ornaments and made tiny colorful cardboard heart boxes. Those little heart boxes are amazing to me.

The rule of thumb at Elsa's workshops is that the children can do whatever they want As she said whenever one of the girls asked if they could add this embellishment or use that color, "You can do anything you want." Another phrase I hear her use time and again is, "Be bold!"

Elsa played Christmas music, Kenneth Coy's Seasonal Improvisations and lots of Boston Pops. The two hours flew by. I enjoyed it all so much, I wore myself out and nodded off for a few moments right there in the big chair in the living room.

Robin and Amy picked them up. It was wonderful to have an opportunity to get to talk to the two of them - I came to know Robin from when he was in Australia. I got to know Amy as an adult (she was in Elsa's third class when she taught 6th grade, way back when) in a very unusual way that I will share with you sometime. We came to know them as a couple last winter, through Kayla and Nikia. I remember Robin last year asking Elsa why they had been so lucky as to have her put on three or four craft workshops for their daughters. I still can hear her simple, unembellished reply, "They were the only ones that signed up."

I am sorry for the children who did not leap at the chance last year or this, but am so very happy that Kayla and Nikia did. They - and their parents - have been blessings in our lives.

A happy Grammie is heading up the wooden hill to bed, filled with happy thoughts of three generations dear to my heart. Love to all - Gocky

Reposted with love in celebration of the 05/14 centenary of Gocky's birth.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

BLESSED 11/23/00

Subj: blessed
Date: Thu Nov 23 21:47:24 EST 2000

The "cpu" is still up and running, so I am keeping my fingers crossed and writing a longer note that more fully expresses my feelings of this day.

My blessings over the past year have been many. At this time in 1999, I was still in the early stages of recovering from my stroke in September. The doctors and nurses and staff who helped me through it all were God sent.

I live with two young 'uns who seem to enjoy fussing over me, even when I drag John out of the studio or Elsa out of bed for the 4th time in the wee small hours of the morning. They almost always - unless totally groggy - come into my room and leave with a smile. They are fun and make my life lively.

The Bryn Athyn community has blessed my life for almost all of my life. There are so many ways it blesses it, from the wonderful recordings of the Contemporary Service which I love to listen to, to the rides that dear Ginny Tyler arranges to take me to appointments, to the friends who she sends to be my chauffeur du jour and whose generosity and friendship are so very special, to the wonderful people who embody the word community and kindness.

A big and unexpected blessing this year has been my involvement with an online group of men and women who are exploring the role of women in the ministry of the General Church. The discussions I have heard and participated in online have kept my noggin stepping lively and the get togethers I have attended have always left me with a sense of peace and trust in the Lord.

I was blessed by the circle of women who get together every other Wednesday for discussion about topics of interest. They are older women - although all are younger than yours truly - and the discussion is always interesting. I have not been to the get togethers for over a year, but did go last month when they invited Sonia Soneson Werner to come talk to them about the current discussion on the role of women in our ministry. I was so proud of them for asking her, I was so proud of her for going, and I was so lucky to be there to hear my friends' willingness to listen to the unknown and to share their own experiences and their feelings about it. It was an unexpected and profound blessing.

The "dist list" that started my online life - New Church Women on the Internet - continues to stimulate and recharge me every time I read a new posting. Each and every one of you is dear to my heart.

The wonderful circle of women who gathered at Tonche and showed me such kindnesses throughout the women's retreat weekend was a delightful blessing and what an unexpected bonus that both of my daughters were there with me.

Among my greatest blessings this year has been my relationships with my children, each of which is more clearly defined than ever. That has brought me a deep sense of peace.

My blessings include two new grandchildren - Kimberly and Chad. May their marriages to Scott and Whitney be blessed with all the happiness true married love offers.

This group - my Mindwalkers - continues to be a blessing. When I was confined to the big chair in the living room, I could always get up and about through this list. Just knowing each of you is out there makes a tremendous difference in my life and - this might sound strange but it is true - in my energy. I truly do believe that this has done more than I can imagine in helping me recover more of my energies than I would have believed possible.

My faith, my Creator and my constant love for my dearly missed Pete are my greatest blessings and the foundation of all others. I am a lucky lady and I know it.

Love to you all and my thanks to the computer for not going walk-about before
I sent this. The Lord upon you send His blessings - Grammie Kay

Away too long - elm

Mea culpa - couldn't locate Mom's November postings, which is such a pity as they are rich in adventures & the Gramster's unique spirit. Will post them - out of order - as gaps in her memory work allows!


Monday, November 1, 2010


Date: Mon, 30 Oct 2000 07:11:21 EST
Subject: William Wolf Davis

The Reynolds branch of my family may have the more distinguished heritage but the Davis side is rich with interesting characters.

My grandfather, William Wolf Davis, outlived three wives. His first and the mother of his children was Katharine Rebecca. I am named for her. She died when she was 45 years old. At that time, everyone thought she'd lived to a good age. Since she died before I was born, I have no memories of her.

I barely recall Grandfather Davis' second wife. In fact, I cannot remember her name, just that we called her Mom-Mom. That woman was a piece of work. When she cooked anything, she went strictly by the recipe, cooking something no longer and no shorter than it called for in the recipe. This was back in the days of wood-heated stoves, without the temperature controls we take for granted these days. My grandfather developed a stomach condition because of eating too much undercooked food. The kitchen was her department,so he would not say a word. One time, my mother made an early dinner for her brother, Aram, who was going out for the evening. Mom-Mom chewed her out, saying that if Aram could not eat with the family, he would not eat at all. She was a real tartar.

I do have more distinct memories of Sarah, my grandfather's last wife. Sarah was attractive to the eye, but inside she seemed to be a dried up, withered prune. A maiden lady when she married Grandfather Davis, he got the surprise of his life when she denied him the privileges of the marriage bed. Sarah said that, at their age, they were too old for that sort of thing. I got the impression from my mother that my grandfather did not agree, but what could he do.

As a staunch Methodist household of that period, there was no drinking, no dancing, no cards, no nothing at my grandfather's house. He only took liquor if he was having ”a spell”. It amazed me how many spells that man had.

I recall one time when he was visiting at our house in Arbutus. My brother Al made ginger ale and bourbon drinks for everyone, except grandfather. Grandfather Davis perked up and asked if he could have one too. Al was only too happy and poured a generous serving. Just as he handed it to Grandfather Davis, who should walk in but Uncle Aram.

Now, Uncle Aram was the staunchest of the staunch when it came to the "thou shalt nots." Everyone shot around a look of "what next?"

Uncle Aram looked at them all holding their highball glasses and grilled, "What are you drinking?"

My brother Al remained completely unflustered. (I was quivering in my boots.) "Why, we are all enjoying some ginger ale. Could I get you some?"

"Yes," replied Uncle Aram, "But add some water - ginger ale is too strong a drink for me."

So there we all were on the wraparound porch, Uncle Aram with his ginger ale with a splash of water and the rest with more spirited beverages.

A toast - to the characters in our families who help build the character of our families!

Love to all – Gocky

Saturday, October 30, 2010

TONCHE October 30, 2000

Subj: Tonche
Date: Mon Oct 30 08:32:43 EST 2000

Almost a month without a posting from me. All is well. In fact, all is beyond the beyond. I think that the reason I haven’t written is because words are inadequate to describe what I have experienced this month.

Miracles do happen.

Earlier this month, I attended the Women’s Weekend at Tonche (outside of Woodstock, NY). I wanted to go last year, had planned on going, but could not make it because I was still recuperating from my “episode.”

This year, I got there.

It is awful, the way that words fail me when I am most deeply, deeply moved. My vocabulary does not include the words to describe what I saw and felt over that remarkable weekend. I felt totally wrapped up in love.

It was a weekend filled with old and new friends, renewed energies, and an unexpected chance to get in a good visit with my older daughter, Mim. I do not know who was more surprised to see the other person there – Mim or me! My age made it almost unthinkable that I would actually get there and keep going under my own steam for the whole time; Mim’s lack of transportation and own physical challenges make it equally challenging for her. What a blessing that we both overcame any obstacles to be there, in the heart of caring women.

Elsa was informed right off the bat by Deanna Nelson Odhner that she and the others would take care of me over the weekend. I felt like a mountain woman version of the Queen of Sheba, with my every wish and want taken care of. So much love, wonderful homemade food AND a view of the Catskills that would knock your socks off.

The one thing that I am going to share is a realization that came during ”sharing” time with the small circle of women I met with in the morning and evening. I had, over the two days, discussed bits and pieces of my life. I think it was on the second evening – or maybe it was on the last morning – that I mentioned that life had been easy on me. One of the young woman looked at me in disbelief and blurted out, “Mrs. Lockhart, from what you’ve described, your life has been anything but easy!” That got me thinking – it feels like the right word to describe my life is “easy,” but I can see what she meant. Perhaps “fortunate” is better.

One of the key blessings to come out of the weekend has been the gift of seeing things in a new light, with a richer awareness and a deeper appreciation. For 2 ½ days, I basked in the happiness of being there with both of my daughters. I developed new friendships, especially with Julie Conaron, and increased the depth of old ones, particularly with Deanna.

I was up every morning bright and early and down to Danna’s house in plenty of time for breakfast, and I stayed up until the end of each program/discussion group. I felt strong mentally, spiritually and physically.

I said I was going to go and I went!

If only I could share all that was in my heart, all the images in my mind – what a glorious posting this would be!

Love to one and all, especially to my fellow mountain women – The Queen of Sheba (aka Grammie)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010


since Mom took an inexplicable hiatus from writing Mindwalker1910 e-mails throughout most of October, am taking the liberty of posting some earlier,out-of-order musings of Mom's:

Subj: What a Wednesday
Date: Thu Jul 27 23:33:08 EDT 2000

It has taken me 24 hours to write about what a wonderful day I had yesterday. Two major visits on the same day and I still felt up for going to the hairdresser today. That is progress.

Jeremy Simons stopped by yesterday afternoon to talk with me about the role of New Church women in the ministry. It was so stimulating. He brought several pamphlets by for me to look over and we shared how we see the current discussion going on around this issue. I remember a couple years ago when Gay Pendleton had dropped by and the two of us were discussing women seeking a recognized role within the General Church ministry. Gay asked Elsa what she thought and Elsa replied, "Nature hates a vacuum." I did not understand what she meant at first, but Gay got it right off the bat.

I think there is nothing so beautiful as men taking a strong masculine role and women taking a strong feminine role, the two beautifully fulfilling each other in different ways but on the same plane. I think of Pete and how much delight he took in building a secure foundation for his family. We did not have a lot - for many years we were comparatively poor (and poor within a wealthy town) - but we never went hungry and always had a roof over our heads. I took the greatest delight in being a wife and mother. It was heaven on earth. Unfortunately, these are not ideal days when it comes to the concept of conjugial - or true marriage - love. Men and women TOGETHER are to safeguard that priceless pearl, conjugial love. Women cannot be held responsible for the confusion about gender roles or the breakdown of marriage. That is a 2-way street.

My goodness, this has nothing to do with what Jeremy and I discussed; just shows to go you that his visit got my little grey cells sitting up and taking notice. What we said was private to us, although I am delighted to say how uplifted I was by the clearness of his thought and opinions. Jeremy, please drop by again!

Jeremy stopped by in the afternoon. In the evening, Elsa getting together with a young friend to discuss the young lady's upcoming wedding. The original plan was for the two of them to head off to Barnes & Noble to discuss wedding plans. Then, a couple days ago, Elsa got the great idea of having Jessica come to our house for supper, so I could get in a visit. That snowballed into Darryl coming too, when his baseball game was rained out and he was left high and dry with nothing to do. It still amazes me that I was not too bushed from the stimulating afternoon to do justice to their visit.

Jessica and Darryl are getting married next June and Jessica asked Elsa to help out, since her Mom is far away, in (western?) Canada. There are few things that Elsa loves more than helping out with a wedding. She becomes a sort of "Adopt-an-Aunt." I remember the fun she had helping Stella Rose with her wedding and helping Rebekah Darkwah with hers and Aline Cooper with hers and the incredible time she had last year helping out with Shada Rabone's wedding.

There were so many things that I loved about Darryl and Jessica's visit. They have such an ease with each other, like good friends. It was lovely to see how they batted ideas about the wedding back and forth ideas.

I liked hearing them talk about their circle of friends, which includes some young people who dear to my heart - Mike and Stella, Aline and Jeff, Doug and Carla, among others. It makes me smile thinking that if Scott and Kimberly were here, they might be part of that same circle of friends. Scott was Mike's best man, Mike would have been Scott's if he could have gotten down to Australia, and Mike is Darryl's. A lovely connection of sorts to a couple who are too far away.

We talked about so many things - Jessica's teaching position in Toronto, Darryl working on his degree in architecture, their families, discussions taking place within the church, friends and friendship, and glimmerings of what they might be considering considering for their wedding, and lots of other things that I am too tired to recall. I enjoyed their visit very much. I would like to keep track of them. I hope I am up to going to their wedding. If I am not there in presence, I surely will be in spirit.

It was a wonderful Wednesday. I am so pleased that I had the get up and go to fully enjoy both visits. I feel like I am getting stronger every day. Who'd a thunk it?

Love to you all, a tired - but well-coiffed - Grammie