Thursday, January 31, 2013

On becoming a grandmother

16 years ago today, Harry and I became grandparents for the first time.  I recall how Harry announced in church that Sunday that it would be okay to call me Grandma - that I would be happy to answer to that name now!!

I was working at Wildrose School, and we'd had many calls from Bonny and Bruce as Ara took her time coming!!  It was so great to look up and see Harry heading towards me - I knew he finally had the news we'd been waiting for!!

Bonny and Bruce had not found out the gender, so that was exciting to hear.  And Ara went a few days without a name.  Of course, that's almost a Terrill tradition!!

I went and spent a few days with Bonny, Bruce, and Ara.  They had only been in their new home for a couple of months, so it was fun to discover a new place.  The weather was beautiful as only California Januarys can be, and Ara had some jaundice, so we enjoyed some infant "sunbathing!!"

All of our grandchildren are unique, wonderful children.  But the first grandchild enjoys a special place in the line up - and Ara certainly fills that place with grace and beauty!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

"Crowning Glory!!"

I can nearly always find something wrong with my hair.  For one thing, my "natural curl and wave" seems to often thwart my best efforts at style.  Just look at the above jr. high photo, and you'll see what I mean.  My hair still curls and waves like that today!!

I am always trying something different with my hair - I am never content.  Well, for a few years in the early 70's, I wore my hair long and straight - having it long kind of weighed down some of the wave and curl.  I mostly pulled it back into a ponytail anyway.

But when Bonny got married, she suggested that I go to stylist - which I did - and I've been fooling around with my hair ever since!!  I have tried long, short, very short, spiral permed, short and straightened, highlighted, "going gray" - you name it.

I am never happy.  I'm always thinking something will occur to me and it will look way better.  Just to frustrate me I am sure, my hair will sometimes look GREAT on a Saturday when I'm not going anywhere and I'm not going to see anyone!

Currently I'm in a "growing it out" mode.  For a few weeks it was really awful.  If I'd had a hat to wear, I think I would have worn it.  Lately it's not so bad - I even like it some days.

So imagine my surprise when the two women sitting behind me in church - at my mom's ward - caught me afterwards and said, "You have such beautiful hair.  You carry off the "going gray" so beautifully.  If they could bottle that, they'd make a fortune."

I was truly taken aback.  Not because I can't handle a compliment, but because I have truly been unhappy with my hair most of the time.  I thought about it and it came to me what I have always known to be true, and that is that we are usually way too critical of ourselves.  Others see us in a much "softer" light and judge us much less harshly than we do ourselves.  (Although I bet they judge themselves harshly too!!)

Now if someone will just tell me how skinny I am, I may have a vastly improved self-image to contend with!!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Saying good bye to a friend

Dad and I attended the funeral service for Lynn Ipsen on Friday.  Long ago Dad was his home teacher, and later he performed the wedding ceremony for Lynn and Bonnie.  About 11 or 12 years ago, Dad, Harry, Dawn, Hannah, Noah, and I went to the Sierras and rented a cabin for the weekend.  We hiked and fished and played Scrabble as I remember.  That's when I got ink in my mouth!!

On our way home, we stopped to see the Ipsens in Bishop and had lunch with them.  Another connection you can make is that Lynn's family owned Ferraros Juices, that used to have a building on Magnolia.

Before his death, he had requested that everyone promise to not cry at his funeral and to have a great time together.  It was a very upbeat service, and those in attendance seemed to take comfort from the remarks that many shared.

It was a nice way to say good-bye.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

How many degrees of separation??

When I bought the LA Master Chorale Messiah Sing Along tickets last year, there was a discount offered for buying tickets for 3 different performances.  I chose the the Brahms German Requiem - little knowing that it came with the West Coast premiere of Peter Lieberson's The World in Flower, a cantata for chorus, mezzo and baritone soloists, and orchestra.

It is a stunning musical performance - the soloists were both Irish, and Harry and I wondered if it gave them some kind of edge!!  (Peter Lieberson died last year at age 64 - truly a loss for the world of music.)

To add to our viewing and listening pleasure, we received a complimentary upgrade in seating - and ended up on the 5th row of the orchestra section.  A treat indeed!

The Brahms was lovely too - just more familiar - some parts are very familiar to me and I loved hearing it again.  The Chorale was outstanding - wonderful choirs are such a joy to listen to!  Grant Gershon, the conductor, is a masterful performer - he has great gusto and enthusiasm - it was delightful to sit so close and see the looks on his face and to hear him singing along with the Chorale!

All of this led to the re-telling of a story to me by Harry - one that I'd better write down before I forget it again.  The story involves Joseph Rosenstock - shown above.  He was a well-known conductor.  One year he was a guest conductor for the Utah Symphony Orchestra and loved Salt Lake City so much, he lived there for awhile after he retired from performing.

Enter our good friend Ronnie Horton - shown here in a goofy photo that is the only good photo I have of him!  Stories about Ronnie abound in our household, but we will not go into those now.  What we will go into is the story he told Harry.  

When Rosenstock was in Salt Lake, Ronnie was able to take lessons in conducting from him.  During one of these lessons they were working on a Brahms piece,  and Rosenstock told Ronnie about an experience he had in Vienna as a young, struggling music student.

He lived in Vienna and one day his mailman found out that he was a musician.  The mailman was older, but he told Rosenstock that when he was a young mailman in Vienna, he had delivered mail to an elderly Johannes Brahms!

So I guess any of you Terrills who ever shook Ronnie's hand can say that you shook the hand that shook the hand that shook the hand that shook the hand of Johannes Brahms!  (I think I have that right - one shook for Ronnie, one for Rosenstock, one for the mailman - you get my drift.)
Assuming that the old mailman shook Brahms hand of course!

Friday, January 25, 2013

The Happiest Place on Earth!!

This was a few years ago - for instance, Phoebe and David only have 2 kids in this shot.  But I'm not good with years.  It was the year that we were in charge of the Terrill reunion - and we thought, "Hey, everyone comes to SoCal to go to Disneyland, so let's have the reunion there."

Not a bad premise I suppose.  But no one but us came.  It's tough not to have a good time at Disneyland, especially when you have most of your family with you - not sure where Harry and Dawn were - so it's not like we were all grumpy about it.

But I'm pretty sure this was the last time I was at Disneyland.

Seems like I'm just about the only person I know who doesn't get excited about going to Disneyland.  The older I get, the less inclined I am to enjoy spending large sums of money to go spend the day walking around an amusement park - since I'm not a fan of rides at amusement parks.

But I am totally aware of the joy it brings to others - and I'm happy to support the achievement of that joy.  I have been known to babysit the babies while the others went.  And I've loaned out my car.

Just by way of explaining the above photo!!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Funny the things you remember!

It's funny how a photograph - even one that's not especially clear, focused, or well-composed - can evoke such a string of memories.

This is Phoebe in 1978 - the year before we moved back to California.  We still lived in the Cook Apartments in Centerville.  Shortly after this we moved to our duplex on Main Street and then finally to our new house - only to move out of our house after less than 6 months there!!

Don't you love her Saltwater Sandals??  This was in the hall of our apartment.  Phoebe would walk around picking things up and basically hiding them.  One time Harry F's hardwood handled Fuller Brush hairbrush went missing.  He loved it and was disturbed that it was lost.  I got smart and rifled through the wastebaskets - sure enough, Phoebe had dropped it into one of them.  After we found it the first time, she continued to drop it into other wastebaskets.  If we didn't close the bathroom door, she'd drop it into the toilet!

This little green dress had been a baby gift from a good friend Susan - who only had boys and claimed she didn't know how to shop for frilly clothes!!

The Cook Apartments always make me think about Emergency, the T. V. show - we watched it every day!!

Long ago and far away - but the memories are easily retrieved - thank goodness!

Happy Birthday Hester!!

I'm pretty sure I post this photo every year on Hester's birthday.  So you wouldn't want me to stop now, would you??

And we can't do a Kerksiek post without this precious photo!!  Gotta love the hair here!!

And I didn't have all night to find a more recent photo of Hester - so here she is with Ida as a newborn.

Hester has always been part of the Terrill family life it seems - and we are so glad for that.  She's a wonderful daughter, sister, aunt, wife, mother, niece, granddaughter and friend.

Happy day to you - and all year through!!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Upcoming events

I can't believe that it's been two years already!!  Axel comes home next month!  Where has the time gone?

I am pretty sure it's gone by at the rate of 60 minutes per hour, 24 hours per day, but it still seems fast.

The exciting thing is, Axel and Alice are coming to LA to visit my mom - and anyone else who wants to visit them I am sure.

I'm excited for them to come.  I remember another much-longer ago time when Alice, Dale and family - before Axel was born - before Hester, Hannah and Maddy were born too for that matter - came to LA in February.

It rained every day. Started the day they came, ended the day they left.

That could happen again.  But it won't matter.

Over the years we've learned what's important in a visit.

It's the visit!!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Decisions, decisions!!

It may look like I don't think much about what I am going to wear on any given day.  As a child, maybe I didn't.  I often tell my students about how girls always wore dresses to school, and they are uniformly incredulous about that fact.  This dress was green and white check with a green skirt.  I remember really liking it, although it appears to be a bit shabby in this photo.  I think this is a summer photo, and the dress had probably been relegated to the "play dress" status.

I remember distinctly my first experience with hating what I was wearing:  Joan had outgrown a brown and gold plaid linen dress with a large collar and cuffs.  It was awful.  It was apparently the only thing in the house for me to wear one day, and I balked.  My mom said I had to wear it, and I had to go to school.  I recall sitting on the curb, crying and refusing to go.  I must have gone - perhaps the memory was so terrible that I buried it so deep it has not re-surfaced, but I can't remember anything beyond sitting on the curb.

Junior high was another story.  I worried about my wardrobe all the time.  This skirt was gray, black, and red plaid.  My mother made it for me.  The sweater was shades of gray with black.  I recall noticing two girls in my ward who appeared to go a whole month without repeating what they wore.  I was incredulous about that - and covetous.  I recall thinking that if I could go a whole month without repeating what I wore, I would be in heaven.  I would wash and iron my clothes on the weekend and line them up in the closet.  I would feel so well-dressed - until I had to start choosing something to wear each day - when I would realize how little I owned.  The focus then was not on a few well-chosen pieces.  At least not at the junior high I attended!

Also, my mom insisted that we wear bobby sox - and that was not the style - little flats with no socks were the style.  I would take off my socks down the street aways and stuff them in a bush - and then retrieve them on my way home.  My mom would comment about how I never seemed to get my socks dirty - she was impressed!!  And maybe she knew what I was doing and just didn't say!

College was another matter entirely.  In my high school years - and I have few photos of what I was wearing in those years - I started saving and spending for the clothes I wanted - and felt I needed to have.  There was a charming dress shop called Beckwiths - I stopped by there often on my way home from high school - and usually had something lovely on lay-away - so I'd make my payments and dream about the day I got to take it home.  I am actually sorry I don't have photos of some of those dresses, because they were really quite beautiful.  When college loomed on the horizon, I was a committed reader of Seventeen magazine and had plans for my college wardrobe.  I saved as diligently for that as I did for tuition and room and board!  I will say this about my mom - she absolutely never questioned how I spent my money.  Years later I would think, gee, I wish she'd encouraged me to save more.  But I think letting me spend my money the way I wanted to was really better for me in the long run.  I saved for things I wanted - so I did learn to save.  And I didn't feel deprived.  I would get my hair done at a somewhat expensive salon - and that made me feel glamorous.  Sometimes a girl needs to feel glamorous!

It's obvious that there were times in my life when fashion was not at the forefront of my concerns - this photo ought to prove that!  Actually, I would wear all the really tacky stuff around the house, so I could save the good stuff for wearing when I left the house!  I think we all do that - at least I do.  I will get dressed for the day and think, "Well, I won't waste getting that dirty - I will save it for something special."  Something special often never comes though!

This was A-9 Pin Day - you had to go to LA Unified Schools to know what that is - but it's a special day.  My mom made this brown cotton dress - and the "stiff slip" that made the skirt bouffant.  "Stiff slips" were all the rage, but we really couldn't afford them - so my mom made ours out of net and the top was the cut off top of a pair of cotton underpants - when underpants went up to your waist!  Every Saturday we starched them and clipped them to the clothesline so they dried full and bouffant.  A little silly-sounding I know - but then some styles are pretty silly nowadays too!

My point?  Well, "what to wear today" seems to be the major decision I make on a daily basis.  Not sure why it becomes such an issue.  Perhaps because what I wear seems to influence how my day goes.  And I have some real issues with "comfort," and the wrong fit or feel can ruin the day for me.  Some of it might be "body image."  I will complain to my hair stylist that I can't find the hair style that I really love.  And it often  means that I need to lose 5 or 10 lbs. or nothing will look good!

And I am definitely one of those who wears 20% of her clothing 80% of the time.

And I'm actually starting to purge and acknowledge that fact - in fact, it's one of my new year's resolutions!

I'll let you know how it goes.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

A moment in time -

This is not a very "polished" set up - I was cleaning the glass in a photo montage we have - but I was thinking that this is truly a "snapshot" of a particular time in our lives.

A year after these photos were taken, we were at another "crazy spot" in our lives:  one in college, one in high school, one in middle school, one in elementary school, one in nursery school, and one at home in diapers!  Now that was a hectic, busy time!!

But all too soon it seemed that everyone had zoomed on to new horizons, and we were empty-nesters.  We still are in fact!

Sometimes I look at or listen to young moms, and I want to say, "It's not earth-shattering, what you are fretting over. It will end all too soon.  You will look back and see it as the easiest time of all!"

When we were at the U, and we only had Bonny, our bishop said, "You are not going to believe me, but these are the easiest times of your life.  It is only going to get harder, more complicated, more difficult - and you will look back in longing for these slow, easy days!!'

He was right - we didn't believe him.  I thought he was just waxing poetic for effect.  And he was right - they were the easiest times of all.  I look back on them fondly.

I mostly wish I could remember more details - wish I'd kept a journal, taken more photos, stayed in touch with everyone - but the memories that do linger are lovely ones.

As are the memories of having six beautiful children under one roof for a brief but happy time.

Monday, January 14, 2013

What I love about Monrovia -

As I drive up and down Hillcrest on my rounds here in Monrovia, I pass this house with the lovely poinsettias growing at the side.  Finally stopped and took a picture.  I have always wanted a large poinsettia growing against my wall.  I have gotten one to grow maybe to 2 feet, but they don't bloom.  Often people I meet who have them talk about how they want to chop them down.  I suspect this woman likes them - because I see her working in yard and tending to her flowers and plants.  If she didn't want them, I'm sure she'd have cut them down.

Meanwhile, I enjoy the view!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

What the weekend was -

Finally got to have my Grandma's Saturday with the lovely Miss Isla.  We had a fine time together - and she garnered lots of compliments as we wended our way through The Monrovian and Target.  She is pretty cute.

Went to a "farewell" party for Jennifer Martinez Hayden and her husband Robin.  They live in England but have been visiting here for the last 3 months.  It was nice to re-connect with her mom too.

Thought I'd include a shot of myself - just so you know I was there!  It was chilly but sunny.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Latest "good read!"

At our last book group meeting, I wrote down two titles in my notebook - and assumed that the title on top was our choice - so I ordered it and started reading it - and was quite enjoying it.

Then I was talking to another book club member and mentioned I was reading it and she said, "Well, that wasn't what we chose."   So apparently we'd chosen the other one!  (Which I also ordered and am now reading.)

The Snow Child was really good - a kind of fairy tale/reality tale - set in the Alaskan wilderness in 1920.   The critics have faulted the author for only doing half of her job - they feel like the ending is not as good as the beginning.  I read it without expecting great art and was not disappointed.  The story is compelling and sad and lovely - and that is enough for a holiday vacation read!!

And I'm not really "into" the other one yet - hope it gets better as I go along!!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

"I believe in magic . . "

and the power of a carpet cleaner!!"

Former residents of this domicile probably never thought they'd see the day that the family room carpet would be clean enough to dazzle!!

I'm not sure why it takes me so long to get around to things - I didn't do it myself - I just had to arrange for the guy to come!!  And it still took me forever.

I remember a little plaque I got for Eliza once - probably because it so aptly expressed my feelings on the matter:

"Begin - the rest is easy!"

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Holiday Projects!!

Every year it seems like we keep thinking of ways to accommodate more people in our house - well, every year at the holidays anyway, when more people come to our house!!

For three nights this holiday season, we had 15 people at our house - Phoebe, David and fam were staying at Harry and Dawn's.  

New Year's Eve everyone was here - that means we had 28 people in our house!!  (Except Harry had to work - that means there were 27 people in the house - a crowd, but a fun crowd!!)

So this year, we got a new futon from Ikea for the family room - now we have three of them!!  But they do the job.

And it's been a wonderful holiday season - it is winding down - and I will miss having everyone around.

But I'm not looking forward to taking down the tree and the holiday decor.

How come taking down is not as much fun as building new??

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

The holidays at our house

make me happy!!  I love the folks hanging out around here!!