A page from my parents wedding album given to me by my aunt who visited last week. Mom and Dad were 23!
A strange thing happened during my aunt’s visit. I glanced over at the sofa and Olive the cat was sitting next to my aunt licking her fingers! Now this is a first. Olive has never let a guest touch her or vice versa. Olive does sleep with my daughter, but that doesn’t count because she was my daughter’s cat until college took my daughter away.
My aunt and I did most of the things on my list and we found ourselves very compatible. We both got hungry at the same time, wanted quiet time in the afternoons to ourselves and went to bed early to read. Having a house guest doesn’t get much better than that!
It cooled down considerably, we lit the outdoor fireplace and cooked s’mores. We hiked in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. We went to the farmer’s market in Carefree and explored consignment stores in Cave Creek. We had some delicious lunches and dinners out, plus I cooked. We visited the Musical Instrument Museum and to my delight, they changed up a few exhibits so there were new things for me to enjoy.
You might wonder what would be exciting about visiting a museum of musical instruments.
From the MIM, here’s the Artists’s Gallery experience:
Celebrate music’s most influential artists.
In every time and place, there are musicians whose art deeply touches the lives of many. MIM’s Artist Gallery highlights these personalities with ever-changing exhibits that span sound, style, and era. Through generous partnerships, MIM features historic instruments owned, played, and loved by the musicians who have created a shared soundtrack to our lives for generations.
Nearly 40 displays showcase instruments and artifacts from some of the greatest musicians in the world. See and hear instruments played by icons such as Elvis Presley®, Tito Puente, the Carter Family and Johnny Cash, Roberta Flack, Glen Campbell, Joan Baez, Maroon 5, and many others.
The exhibits not only have the artists’s grammy awards, gold records, costumes and instruments, they have a large screen that plays selections of their songs on the headsets you wear. I think my favorite was “Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison. On display is his hand written lyrics on a yellow legal pad. So not only do you get to sing along with Roy, you get to see how he wrote it, along with a photo of him and his pretty woman. There are many other galleries from all over the world. I haven’t touched the whole of MIM yet.
Here are a few photos from my aunt’s visit:
What is your idea of a perfect house guest? What do you like to do when entertaining company?
Two pages about Mom from my aunt’s scrapbook. My mom is on the right with her little sister, my aunt.
Today we pick up my aunt from the airport. She’s coming to visit us for the first time in Arizona. I have all sorts of fun things planned including visiting the MIM, the Musical Instrument Museum, where they have an Elvis exhibit (My aunt is a big Elvis fan.) We’ll have time to sit and talk. Also, go out to lunch, drive to the nearby lake and explore the tiny towns close to where I live. I’m also hoping it will be cool enough at night to light the outdoor fireplace and make s’mores. I’ve been all set since my kids visited a few weeks ago, but we had a heat wave!
Here they are years later in 2015 at our family reunion at our riverfront property in Robe, Washington. The fireplace in the background is what remains of our cabin that my parents built more than 65 years ago.
I am so looking forward to spending a few days with my aunt. It certainly helps that she’s my closest connection to Mom, who passed away from COVID this year. Also, that she is the kindest, sweetest person I know.
Today would have been my mother’s birthday. The Ides of March. (Mom died New Year’s Day.) Today I’m going to my brother’s house and we will reminisce and have dinner with family including my mom’s little sister who is 13 years younger than mom.
My mom often told me that she raised her little sister.
My cousin wrote me a loving sympathy letter that included a funny story I had never heard before about Mom, my aunt (my cousin’s mom) and red squares.
My aunt had a friend over and my mom, as the older sister, had them in a competition to earn red cloth squares. I’m not sure what ages they were, but Mom had them busy doing chores. They would earn a red cloth square for finishing their chore first.
I talked to my aunt about it and she said whoever earned the most red squares won the grand prize. She said she wanted the grand prize more than anything!
She won — and the grand prize turned out to be a bigger red cloth square.
Mom was a strong Christian and I have memories of her giving us a Bible verse each morning. She typed hundreds of them on 3 1/2 by 2″ cards.
She was big on chores and that’s one thing I despised the most coming home from school. We’d come home to an empty house, as latch key kids when Mom was earning her degree in Music at the University of Washington. She already had a degree in Home-Ec Education. Mom would leave a legal-sized yellow sheet of college-ruled paper with both sides filled with chores to be done before she got home. She had an ineligible scrawl that was hard to read.
I realize now, she not only wanted dinner cooked, the dishes done, the house vacuumed, the garage swept (you get the idea) — she was keeping my brother and I out of trouble. She was keeping us busy.
Tomorrow we spread her ashes at our riverfront property.
Here’s a photo of her in her teens or early twenties at the river.
What chores did you have growing up? Did you have your children do chores too?
I miss my mom. She passed away New Year’s day this year. I’ve been really busy and have felt pretty good most of the time. But today it hit me.
My daughter warned me that grief will come in waves. She lost a close friend to suicide not long ago and has struggled through her grief. She said just like waves come in sets, so does grief.
I was running errands and stopped to pick up mail before I drove home. There was a dear letter from my aunt (my mom’s little sister) that included a booklet about Heaven. There was also mail from CenterPoint church in Utah, where my husband’s childhood best friend is pastor and founded the church.
The letter from my aunt was encouraging me to reflect on my mom being in a better place. The synchronicity of receiving these letters and booklet gave me chills and warmed my heart. It was not a coincidence. I got the message right when I needed it.
What is the difference between coincidence and synchronicity?
Coincidence and synchronicity are related but distinct terms. The term “coincidence” describes a seemingly related series of events that occur without apparent cause. The term “synchronicity” requires that the individual ascribe deeper meaning to the coincidence; indeed, Carl Jung described synchronicity as “meaningful coincidences.”