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21 September 2011 @ 05:19 pm
Grandma Ellaene  
I have some photographs for your viewing pleasure, this morning. Some of them are hilarious, some are sad, some have me thinking, "Did my parents want a boy?" and some inform the reason that I am the very girly girl I am, today.

The reason for these pictures, that I went digging through old photo albums - you know, the kind with the plastic cellophane sheeting covering a sticky surface, so you have to kind of dig behind the picture before you can get it free - is that my family lost my grandmother last Tuesday morning. She was a vibrant woman, always on the go, always reinventing herself, always changing. And she had a great smile.

She also loved to take pictures of her grandchildren. Or to put it in her words, "You want to have your picture made, honey?"

We'll start with a big bucket full of cute before we get to the tragic.

Me and my cousin Sara, age 3-ish, before church. I mean. REALLY. Pinafore? LOVE IT. Cute smiles? Check. We were precious.

Well, Sara's still cute, and so is Carissa (far L) and Matt is by far the chunkiest baby I've ever seen, but THAT HAIR IS NOT CUTE. It makes me weep for my 4 year-old self.

Is that a BARBIE DOLL in my hand? *gasp* That little playdate was certainly not sanctioned by my mother.

Please, no one put this on Awkward Family Photos. Matt (who got hair since the last picture!) looks like he might cry at any moment, Josh looks like he just chugged a bottle of baby Tylenol, and Emily (my little sister, the one I'm holding on the L) is showing the camera how much she loves to be held.

Just kidding. She loathed to be held. I think she probably still prefers a quick hug and clean break.

This is probably my favorite picture of my grandmother. I can still hear her laugh. It appears that even then I laughed at weird times. Like when someone was trying to take my picture.

Quick story - my grandfather, who passed away when I was five, was called John. This wasn't actually his name, though. The story goes that grandma didn't like "Ernest Weldon," my grandpa's name, and started calling him John. John is on his headstone, y'all. She was a force to be reckoned with. I hope I'm a force like that one day. I call Nolan 'Sparky," but I just don't think it'll stick.

There's me sitting still and getting a hug, and my sister running around with her blonde, NATURALLY CURLY hair. (Though I'm not bitter. 'Course not.) And can we note the watch? What did I need to be on time for? I was seven.

Wow. Check out that seventies decor. The paneling and the sofa and the carpet and the wall hanging. It's so.... brown.

Grandma, bless her heart, tried to teach me how to crochet, to no avail. I can only do one of those long chains. But check out her houseshoes. Now THOSE are some houseshoes. If I gave crocheting the single-minded dedication that you see in the picture, I could make my own. Alas.

Okay. Here's where it gets dicey.

Hello, 1982.

Grandma and I shopped at the same store for our glasses, looks like. Mine were from the Dorothy Hamill collection. To go with the Dorothy Hamill haircut.

If you don't know who Dorothy Hamill is, please educate yourself on figure skaters of the seventies. Thanks.

Anyway, the glasses and hair go with the corduroy blazer (which my mom made and I secretly LOVED), lavender sweater vest and the purple ribbon tied around my neck to top off my miniature forty year-old in an eight year-old's body.

My grandmother, who I called Grandma Ellaene (prnounced Al-een), looks as she always did; elegant, (and age appropriate) with her jewelry and clothes. She was put together. One of the things I loved back then was that she had the best makeup and perfumes (Avon, probably) and that her powder room trash had little pieces of tissue with lipstick blots on them. To this day, whenever I catch a scent of her perfume (I don't, sadly, recall what it was), I stop the person, usually a woman about her age, and tell them that they wear the same scent as my grandmother.

Allyson (The cute redheaded baby in the front) got the pinafore this go-round. I got the unattractive hair and glasses. And unfortunate blue sweatsuit. In the next several months, I would get braces, as if I didn't have enough against me, here. I see the Dorothy Hamill damage was inflicted on my sister, too. She could pull it off, though.

I love that you can tell what year it is by the height of the bangs.

I also love that that rust couch was still in the picture, five years later.

Aaaand I got the pinafore again, in teenage style.

Also... I love my sister's hair.

And her shoes.

And her dress.

It makes me LAUGH. It is so patently NOT her, today.

This picture was the last time we were all together. All of the cousins. I'm sad that it took the passing of our grandmother to get us all in the same place. I'm sad that our lives are so busy and we're so far apart that it's difficult for us to catch up. Yet, I am happy that I was able to celebrate the life of a great woman with these people, and I'm glad that she isn't in any pain, and that she's in heaven.

She'll be missed. Definitely, definitely missed.

I leave you with this:

Lord, have mercy. I was an unattractive child.

This is the reason that I'll never have short hair. :)

And note to my sister: You wear a shirt under your overalls, now, right?

Don't worry. It was cute when you were five.
sarea okelanisarea_okelani on September 21st, 2011 10:31 pm (UTC)
I am so sorry about your grandmother, but it definitely looks like she led a very rich and fulfilling life. What great pics! Also, seriously, the pics of you as a kid, you have a resemblance to Laura Linney.
Carrie Leigh: carrie oopsy daisycarrie_leigh on September 21st, 2011 10:32 pm (UTC)
I bet she went through an awkward phase, too.
Ayla: NCIS - Puff - Loveabitofayla on September 21st, 2011 10:39 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry to hear about the passing of your grandmother, but she's in Heaven! Like you said, if anything, we should envy her.

If you stuck a red Dorothy Hamill wig and glasses on Aaron, you'd have you as a child.

Aren't you glad we (eventually...some of us...) outgrow that childhood uglyness? It took me until my senior year of high school. I personally despise pictures between the ages of 6 and 18.
Carrie Leigh: Beautiful Womencarrie_leigh on September 21st, 2011 10:41 pm (UTC)
I'm going to enjoy seeing her again, one day.

LOL. Red wig and glasses, indeed.

And yes... generally anything from 8-16 is no good.

Sylviaticklethepear on September 21st, 2011 10:39 pm (UTC)
Adorable. Yay Grandma!
Carrie Leigh: carrie stitched flowerscarrie_leigh on September 21st, 2011 10:42 pm (UTC)
:) Thanks.
(Anonymous) on September 21st, 2011 11:26 pm (UTC)
Hi Carrie - this is Mary Wiles. Loved reading your post. You are right, it was Avon! In the crochet pic above, I'm a bit surprised you didn't comment on your nice socks with the blue ball on the ankle - classic. I'm going to upload the pics I took at the dinner to Facebook - I'm "load pics to Facebook challenged", but I'll give it a try. It was great seeing you and Nolan this past week.
Jessica K Malfoyjessicakmalfoy on September 22nd, 2011 12:18 am (UTC)
these are quite awesome ♥

i loved looking at them.
Comic Book Goddess: animals - polar bearrainpuddle13 on September 22nd, 2011 12:42 am (UTC)
I, too, was a victim of the Dorothy Hamill look around the same age. My mother was a huge fan of short hair - less work for her. I grew it waist length at the first opportunity. It took until a year after she passed for me to finally cut it into a bob.
Hyacinth Girleustacia_vye28 on September 22nd, 2011 01:27 am (UTC)

I'm sorry about your grandmother, hon. :(

The pics all look so fabulously 70's and 80's. It definitely shows a fun family.
idreamofdracoidreamofdraco on September 22nd, 2011 01:28 am (UTC)
I love the pictures! My grandma's house looks exactly like your grandma's! Wood paneling, brown carpets, even tan/brown sofas and arm chairs. It's a very brown house.
Adelagiaadelagia on September 22nd, 2011 03:32 am (UTC)
Your grandmother sounds kickass. (Even if she neglected to steer you away from the Hamill hair.)
Jandy the Gnome Whisperer: <3jandjsalmon on September 22nd, 2011 03:58 am (UTC)
YOUR PINAFORE! That is the most adorable thing I've ever seen!!

And I ADORE the picture of you and Emily and your Grandmother! That is a completly precious picture and it's so so special!

(and seriously? Sparky? Like Clark Griswald in the National Lampoon movies?)

My grandma made slippers just like that too!

1982 was a year of 'Hipster' glasses. Seriously - if you wore those now you would be super cool!

(and lastly, I'm very sorry about your family's loss... but I'm certain that you'll see her again. This life is not the end and I'm very grateful for that knowledge. *hugs tight*)
seegrim: hand daisyseegrim on September 22nd, 2011 08:20 am (UTC)
I absolutely love the pictures of you with your grandmother. ♥
Mala13oct on September 22nd, 2011 11:40 am (UTC)
I'm sorry about your Gran. She seems to have been a truly wonderful person.

I love the pict spam. I also don't know a single person who likes their childhood picts. It's a fact.
O Demanding One: Urs: Blessedheyurs on September 22nd, 2011 12:29 pm (UTC)

How very precious! I see Ethan up there in that sixth pic down! hehehe! xD

rupert_talley: Peaceful Lonely Benchrupert_talley on September 26th, 2011 03:29 am (UTC)
First sorry for the lateness of response. Second we had yellow/gold chair just like in the pictures. Yes, 80s hair....big and the big round glasses. Third, wonderful pictures and I'm a weirdo, I really do love seeing other people's pictures. Fourth, I'm very sorry about your grandmother. Glad you have such great memories of her both in physical form such as these pictures and in your mind and senses. I unfortunately don't have much of that with both of mine. Hugs sent your way!