Sepia Saturday – Such a Face!

Sep Sat 10-31-2015Gee, I haven’t participated in Sepia Saturday in quite a while! I mean too, but my muddled brain doesn’t always cooperate. But I am here today!

Sepia Saturday provides bloggers with an opportunity to share their history through the medium of photographs. Historical photographs of any age or kind become the launchpad for explorations of family history, local history and social history in fact or fiction, poetry or prose, words or further images.

Today’s prompt is an image of a vintage Halloween greeting card. I don’t have a greeting card, but I have a couple of pictures that I think complement the theme.

Doris helps Jim HalloweenHere we have a woman standing with her back to us, right hand raised, facing a man dressed in a jacket and wearing a hat. This guy looks pretty grumpy, as does the guy on the card.

A second photo was taken a few minutes later and now we understand that this is a grumpy boy. His hat looks rather juvenile by comparison. Perhaps he grew into a grumpy man.Doris and Jim Halloween costumesThese pictures were taken while my mom and step-dad were dating – so the poem on the greeting card is also a match:

She believed in the mirror’s magic spell;
That of her future husband it would tell.
He must be tall, and good lineage trace:-
But how could he, with such a face.

I recently showed Dad this picture and he said that they went to a costume party and assumed people knew who they were, but after sitting on a couch for some time with no one speaking to them, they realized that no one had any idea who they were.

I think these are pretty great masks! I wonder where they (probably Mom) found them? This was long before the internet after all.

At the time this was taken, Mom and I lived with her parents in Ottumwa, Iowa. I’d never noticed until now that my grandfather’s hat is hanging on the back of the chair on the right.

They made quite a cute couple at Halloween – and on their wedding day!

It’s Halloween, so go trick-or-treating at the doors of other Sepia Saturday participants.

Treasure Chest Thursday – Halloween Decorating with Mom

I haven’t really decorated for Halloween the past couple of years. DH would bring home a pumpkin for me and that was about the extent of it. This year, I decided to get the decorations out and get in the spirit of the holiday for a change.

As you may know, my mom passed away the end of August from Alzheimer’s Disease. When I got out the Halloween decorations, I realized I’d forgotten that several of our decorations are the result of Mom’s crafting. It was fun to see the things she made or that she helped the kids make and place them around the house. Here are two pots she made with my kids.
Halloween potsI usually stick a candle in them and fill with candy corn … which I have to refill a little each day even though the kids have moved out of the house. Yes, dear, I’m talking about you!
table setting

When A was over the other evening, I pointed out the decorations she made with her grandmother. She remembers going to the store to buy the flowerpots with her and said, “We made a lot of things with pots!” Yes, indeed, Mom did a lot of crafting with flower pots. Here’s another one A made with Mom’s help:
2015-10-30 00.08.14The witch’s hat used to be black, but has faded with time. She’s pretty cute, though.

Mitu and Kathy copy crop

Me as Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Yesterday we had our little Halloween celebration for the adult ESL class where I teach. Several of the teachers dressed in costume – and I was one of them. As I put my costume together, I found myself smiling, remembering Mom’s willingness – make that all-in enthusiasm, when something at TOPS or work or some other group she belonged to had a reason to dress up in costume. I think of her as having no fear of being a bit silly for the cause – whatever it was.

I saw the meme below on Facebook this week:
Mom sayingMom feels so far away, and yet, here she is. She is the map I follow.

With occasional detours and alternate routes.

Our Sweet Mom is at Rest

2015.09.04 Funeral cover

It was a long good-bye, as Alzheimer’s Disease made its steady march, chipping away at memories and function. I really don’t know what to say today, so I will simply mark Mom’s passing with some details from the memorial service.

2015.09.04 Funeral inside

2015.09.04 Funeral back

The service was just as it needed to be. A talented young man, Aaron Rogers, who is studying to be a music director, sang the solos – Amazing Grace and Going Home. As many people with dementia do, Mom spoke often of her desire to “go home,” so Dad chose this beautiful song especially for her.

Here is a link to the eulogy, should you wish to read it. We are thankful that my sister’s pastor, the Reverend David Roberts, was available to lead the service. Although he never met my mother, he spent time talking with Dad and seemed to get a genuine feel for many of the qualities that make mom so special to us.


It is hard to say good-bye to a mother, wife, and sister, but we are at peace because she is at peace after a long and brutal disease.