My Father / My Son

For the past few weeks I’ve sat at my [messy] desk, working and feeling a little guilty. I’ve meant to transcribe more of my dad’s letters to his family in my spare time, but I always find other things do do instead. It’s not that I don’t want to type them up, I just haven’t. They...
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Puzzle from Cindy/Cynthia

My friend Cindy (now Cynthia) knew I liked Rupert Bear and when she was travelling in England the year she and her folks lived in Spain she sent me a Rupert Bear puzzle and orange chocolate bar (possibly with Rupert on it) for my high school graduation. Cynthia graduated from high school a year early so she...
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Letters from Dad — Letter 1 to his parents

In the box that probably belonged to my Uncle Don and Aunt Leila were some letters Dad wrote to his parents and to my aunt and uncle. Here is the oldest one to his parents. He was twenty and a half years old. 9-6-48 Great Lakes, Ill Dear Folks, Well, how is everybody? I’m feeling...
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My Wants by Elvin, age 7

One of the attic kneewall finds was a box that probably came from my Aunt Leila and Uncle Don’s house. In that box, in an envelope marked Portrait Reorder Division was, among other things, a piece of paper with “To Elvin” written on one side and the following poem written in nearly completely faded purple...
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Squeeze Coin Purse

Not much reminds me of my dad more than a squeeze coin purse. He carried one in his pocket at all times, packed full of change. The points where you squeezed the purse were usually darker than the rest of the purse from the motor oil that stained his fingers for most of his life...
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Where’s Your Mecca?

This morning as I gazed sleepily at my Moosewood Restaurant coffee cup I remembered fondly the time I dragged my husband, young children and mother to the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, New York. We were on our way to or back from Toronto and, since I’d been a loyal fan of their cookbooks for several...
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Chopped Salad

Only recently did I hear about this newfangled kind of salad called a “chopped salad”. My sister-in-law (well, ex-sister-in-law, but she lives with my mom so who’s keeping track and I love cooking with her and respect many of her culinary opinions) brought me some from her second job and I loved it and I...
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Dad’s 9th Grade Report Card

Among some of the more interesting items I found at Mom’s house last month was a Joseph Spiess box of photos, letters and documents that belonged to my Uncle Don and Aunt Leila. One of the items was my dad’s 9th grade report card from Plato Township High School. For some reason I’d always thought...
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Mess

If you could look through your screen and see what is behind me, and over to my left (your right) you’d be shocked that I am such an untidy person. You’d be right. We cleaned out our kneewall over a month ago and I still have boxes that I need to go through before deciding...
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Grandma’s Kitchen Band

On one of my visits to Chetek to spend time with my grandparents, Grandma told me about the Kitchen Band she and other Women of the Moose were in. She opened a drawer in the kitchen and pulled out a matching pair of tea balls and told me they were part of her costume —...
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