Telling the Truth

connecting the dots of my life

Tag: Parents and Grandparents

Faculty Wife | Part 19 of 19

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Today’s photos bid a fond farewell to my Faculty Wife series (fall 1969 through July 1973). Here’s our son in 1970, sound asleep shortly after we brought our daughter home from the hospital. D’s Mom gave him Big Bear, just after his sister was born. He was an instant hit. He and FuFu, hiding beneath Big Bear’s head, always understood and agree with our son, not with us.

Every now and then our daughter got to play with FuFu. Here she is in 1971, intent on getting into a doll bed with FuFu who has just fallen out. You can see FuFu is already wearing out from all the love. Note: I didn’t make or buy the ruffled dress. It was a gift.

1972 Mar Sherry with Foofoo trying out a bed too small 2

In 1972 we traveled to Ft. Smith, Arkansas for a small family reunion with D’s Mom. It was held at her Dad’s home. Here’s a photo of the women and children who came: D’s great-aunt, his Mom, me, his sister, one of his aunts, our son and daughter. Four generations dressed in multiple fashions and hair styles. The three oldest women are now gone. D’s aunt is holding her camera.

1971 Sep Aunt Edith Edith Cathy Elouise Dorothy with Scott and Sherry in Arkansas

That day we went to a park, and our son got to take a train ride with Grammy! Great fun for both, as you can see.

1971 Sep Grammy Edith and Scott on a train

Now we’re back in South Carolina, in our back yard. It’s summer 1972 and unbearably hot. This calls for lots of picnics in the back yard in the late afternoon. Here’s our son taking a supper-snack break from playing outside.

1972 Scott and the Got Milk ad origin

Note the beautiful blue-flowered casual dining plate. Also the price of bread–4 loaves for $1.00! And don’t miss our teak-handled salad servers. A wedding gift. We still have them and I still use them. One more thing. I see our son has dirt in his elbow creases and generally all over himself. Possibly from the sand box in the back corner of the yard–which you can’t see. I don’t know what those pipes are on the ground; I think D was putting something together–perhaps the swing set.

It’s early summer 1973, our last summer in South Carolina. We’re down in Savannah for a last visit with my Mom and Dad. Of course we had to bid farewell to Tybee Beach. Always a hit! And always A-OK!

1973 Jul Beach Joy2
1973 Jul Different depths for different ages at the beach

In July 1973  my parents, plus Diane and Clay with their first son arrive for a last visit before we move. Here we are, standing around in the front yard.

1973 Jul Diane Clay and Chris Eileen Sherry and Elouise at Columbia SC house

Short skirts are in! So are shift-like dresses. I made mine, as well as our daughter’s outfit. I’m certain Diane made hers. It’s shocking to realize that only 9 years earlier the Bible College wouldn’t allow women’s knees to show. Nor did they allow women to wear shorts or blue jeans.

Finally, for the record, someone (Diane? My Dad? D’s camera on a tripod?) took an informal family picture of us in the back yard. Was this a way of marking the welcome end of our cultural isolation from the rest of the world? Actually, D says we were already one hip family! I totally agree. California, here we come!

1973 Jul Family portrait getting hip

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 16 November 2015
Photo credit: DAFraser, and whoever took the last photo

Faculty Wife | Part 11

1970 Scott enjoying Big Bear's box thoughtfully

FRAGILE

Handle with Care

I’ve never been an extrovert. I have, though, witnessed insensitivity toward the feelings and unpredictable responses of extroverted children who don’t have skin made of iron.

Surprisingly, our extroverted USA culture Read the rest of this entry »

Faculty Wife | Part 7 – Photos

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Time for Big Brother to meet Baby Sister! He’s captivated by her every move and feature. He also notices the earth shifting beneath his feet. He knows he’s getting a little sister; he doesn’t, however, have a clue what that will mean. Nonetheless, he throws himself into his new role with exuberance.

We now have, though we don’t realize it yet, an extroverted Son and an introverted Daughter. Maybe you can see a bit of it in the photos? I wish I had tapes of the nonstop chatter and questions. On second thought….

Here are a few photos taken soon after we brought our Daughter home from the hospital. In fact, the first photo is the day we brought her home. You can see the hospital bands on my wrist. I think D is giving Son the talk about how to touch the top of his sister’s head.

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In the photo below, I can’t help noticing the Andrew Wyeth print above the couch. Calming and peaceful. The exact opposite of what happens when Son gets on his stick-horse and gallops around the house.
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Shortly after we got home from the hospital, my mother and father came to see their new granddaughter and to help with whatever needed to be done–laundry, cooking, cleaning, gardening, and admiring their first granddaughter! I think the photo below was taken on a Sunday morning. Those look like Sunday shoes and socks on Daughter.

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The Currier and Ives print swivel rocker was my favorite chair ever. It lasted for decades before having to be retired. Comfy, comforting and always peaceful, especially with good music in the background, as seen here.

We don’t have a TV yet. Just the sound equipment we brought from Cambridge, and a growing collection of records that now includes children’s songs and stories. No piano in the house, but lots of music for relaxing, marching, crying or singing.

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Definitely another Sunday photo. Son is wearing his new ‘suit,’ made by my mother or by me. Can’t remember. Daughter has her now-familiar taking-it-all-in look. She was a quiet, present, calm, and patient second-born. She had no trouble, however, signaling when enough was enough. To say she had a ‘voice’ on her would be an understatement.

The week we arrived home, a big package came for Son. It was from D’s mother. A gift to celebrate the arrival of his sister. Here he is pulling it out of the box. Meet Big Bear, one of many stuffed animals who featured in multiple make-believe stories and activities.

1970 Jun Scott with Big Bear

Just looking at these pictures makes me a bit nostalgic. But not too much. The journey from there to here has been as human as any family’s journey. Which is why I want to keep writing about myself.

The far side of this journey feels better than the process of getting here. Yet I look back now and see connections I never saw back then. Being able to do this simply increases my gratitude for what I have now, and for family members who made this journey with me.

To be continued….

© Elouise Renich Fraser, 14 August 2015
Photos by DAFraser, Elouise and family members, 1970

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