Dec 27 2009

Silver Bullets

You know how you wake up with a phrase running through your mind for no apparent reason? Stuck in my preconscious brain today was the following: “It’s no silver bullet!” It got me to wondering: what is a silver bullet? If you find one, what do you do with it? Hold it in your hand? Find a werewolf? Keep it in your pocket till you find a werewolf? Shoot yourself?

I forgot to put Christmas Eve photos in here.


blood table bubbles

On to December 26. Here is my mother. She is very pretty. We stumbled upon a new name for her. From now on I shall call her “Small.”


Small is 81. She has many wonderful traits. She is generous, smart, funny, and a very good cleaner. She even styles her hair. However, over the years she has had the consistent propensity to give me — how shall I say? — evaluations of my hair. Since I was twenty-three, the first or second thing she says to me, after a long absence, is something like, “Now, your hair…it would look so much cuter if you’d only ____ ” [fill in the blank; it usually involves bangs and curls]. “Like me, you have a gigantic forehead. Your face looks so lonnnnnng. You look so much prettier when your hair isn’t all drooooopy.”

She remembers my hair in snapshots. “You know when I really liked your hair? It was in that picture…” One was taken when I was twenty-three; then, I would have looked good bald. Another was when I was with Mister Rogers and my hair was sproinging out on either side of my head like wings. There’s also the one when I did have wings — gold ones — in our church’s Christmas pageant. I was eight and my bangs were an inch long.

Just for fun yesterday, shortly before we went to visit friends, I pulled my frizzy hair into a ponytail at the top of my head and tied a red ribbon around it. Then I went in and sat next to Mom. “Ginna!” You can’t wear your hair like that! The [so-and-so’s] will think you look ridiculous!” Mom is such an easy mark.

hair1 ma+daught

I released my hair from its erect position and then we went to see my courtesy-uncle and -aunt. I always love seeing them because, as my parents’ best friends, they were a huge part of my early life. Both are in their late eighties: still sharp, quick and witty. Uncle B. and Dad were like brothers, so these visits also help bring Dad to life a little.

They live in a beautiful old house and their driveway is about a mile long, rolling over some of Delaware’s prettiest country, along the Brandywine Valley. There were geese up the wazoo. (Most of the snow had melted off in the previous night’s rain.)

geese airborne

We arrived. To my delight, Uncle B. told a story about the canoe trip he and Dad took down the Okefenokee Swamp in the ‘sixties. Their vessel went over a waterfall not marked on their map: a nearly fatal error. As he tells it, Uncle B first swam to the bank and pulled up his pants which had entangled around his ankles due to turbulent waters. Only when he was no longer bare-butted did he have time to worry about Dad, who had vanished underwater. But soon Dad popped up across the river, bashed and bruised but with rescued cameras in hand.

One of Uncle B’s favorite things to do for visitors is play the giant organ in the basement of their house. The music is piped up through a sort of window well above which is painted a Maxfield Parrish. You’ve seen pictures of it here on this blog before. Here’s another view.

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After that we had dinner at the Greenville Country Club again, this time with Ed. We examined Eleni’s tattoos and played the staring contest game again. Mom was the victor until she encountered the steely-eyed Ed.

tattoos laughing-contest

Ed was wearing a blazer onto which he’d sewn buttons from his grandfather’s uniform worn at Gettysburg. The initials are GAR: Grand Army of the Republic (Union soldiers, I was pleased to learn).


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