I *heart* My Family

i heart my family: the fisher-women

I was fortunate to have two grandmothers who were quite the outdoors women.  Maybe not in the contemporary sense of the word, but both women were not afraid to get their hands dirty, for work or play.  (Including but not limited to: gardening, camping, fishing, farming, hunting, golfing, walking, birding…)  I really appreciate the legacy of these two very feminine and domestic tomboys.

Seeing as how October is upon us, the fish are biting and I would love to play hooky from work to head out into the Gulf.  But between my allergies and my super-sensitive equilibrium, I’ve been land-locked.  Maybe I should try surf/land fishing like my maternal grandmother did in the photo below where she managed to land this monster fish.  Clearly I’ve inherited her adventurous spirit, but how come I never look so cute when I’ve just caught a big fish?

{the hubs likes to fish too!}

i *heart* my family: in the garden

I have lamented here before my inability to sustain anything green beyond a week; but not so was the case with my maternal grandmother.  I have such fond memories of her and her garden.  It was nothing elaborate.  She wasn’t even out on a farm; but her suburban-esque backyard was summer’s bounty.  I mean, every time I have a green bean, I think of her *snapping* beans from one worn, plastic, white bowl to another.  (She’s the one that taught me the key to successful green beans is adding bacon!)  And I will inevitably think of her every time I see a cucumber too.  She always had cucumbers — from her garden — ready for my sister and I to eat in the summer.  You know, I hardly ever have cucumbers now, at least not by themselves the way she fixed it: one freshly peeled and sliced cucumber in a bowl of of ice water, with a pinch of salt.  It really is the perfect summer snack.

* my maternal grandmother, circa 1967 *

i *heart* my family: february birthdays

This weekend these ladies in my family will assemble to celebrate their shared month.

This is my paternal grandmother with her two daughters and her first granddaughter (read, my sister).  The year was 1977, and it’s a bit crazy to think that my aunts in this photo are just a drip younger than what I am now!  (I dont’ know that I could rock some pig-tails like my Aunt Penny, or a snuggly-tied polka dot scarf like my Aunt Dotty.)  I’m the only female in the family without a spring birthday.  My mom fell right in to place as her birthday is on the 25th and my sister might as well be since her’s is in early March.  The best part about this?  I’ve constantly pulled rank as the baby in the family, and so as not to disrupt my fragile since of self-worth, I always received presents in February along with everybody else!  Lucky me.

i *heart* my family: christmas ’84

Not much changes….

The year was 1984, and it was our first Christmas in our newly built-by-my-dad-in-61-days house.  My very exotic Aunt and Uncle came over and had the brilliant idea to put “snow” on our very-real Christmas tree.  I’m not quite sure what this “snow” was, but I just remember that instead of smelling like a forest of pine trees, the new house smell was given over to fresh washing detergent.  We were told to scoop up this soupy solution by the handful and let it rip towards the tree — no doubt to give it that fresh-from-a-winter-blizzard feel.  Honestly the only thing I really remember from the night is getting my ass handed to me by my dad for having a bad attitude and storming off crying to my room.  (Mind you, I was a fickle child with VERY tender feelings — sidebar: My dad regularly asked me, “Carrie have you cried yet today?!” — so an outburst of emotions was not that unusual.)  Maybe it wasn’t that harsh, but looking back at the evidence and knowing how confused little emotions stirred violently in my belly with no way out other than through my eyes, I think I know what the problem was. There are two very real possibilities:

A.)  It wasn’t real!  Just why in the world were we trying to create something that could never live up to the expectation of the Bing Crosby special of a White Christmas?!  I knew Christmas was a farce from a young age, I just didn’t know how to step up onto my soap box (like I do now).  So my only option was to sit in that chair in front of the fireplace and sulk it up!

B.) (The more realistic version) I was having a bit of a melt down that this “snoooow” was getting all over our NEW house!  It was messy and I didn’t like it!   (This coming from the same child who didn’t want to get water on her face as a baby and didn’t go barefoot outside on the grass until college!)

Good grief — how did my parents survive me?!

i *heart* my family: the dinner table

With Thanksgiving just a week away, family gatherings are on my brain.  This unmarked photo was grouped together with some of my maternal grandmother’s photos.  I do know that it’s her table and lace table-cloth (that my mother still has).  But I was surprised when I saw this photo because 1.) someone actually used a frame to capture a lovely table setting — instead of a person and 2.) it piqued my curiosity as to what the special occasion must have been.  But I really like that someone took the time to try to capture something seemingly ordinary when it wasn’t necessarily in vogue to do so. I like to think there was good news, love, and laughter shared over a beautiful spread. (I also like that I’m not the only one in my family to take pictures of a table setting! )


i *heart* my family: halloween 1982

In 1982, the parents dressed us up as a 6 year old skeleton (the sis) and a 4 year old Count Dracula (me).  What I find peculiar about the photo on the left is that it seems to demonstrate a bit of a personality reversal for us.  My sister, never the one to be shy in front of the camera as a child seems to posture herself here as a demure little girl, hesitantly posing with her very dramatic little sister.  I mean, look at that pose! (Well, for me it was dramatic.)  The photo on the right seems a little more appropriate as I can hear my four year old self saying in a high-pitched, nasally voice muffled by the mask, “What mom?  Hold my hands up how? Am I done now?”  At least the mask makes me look like I’m smiling under there.

(Oh, and props to the parents for choosing a skeleton costume a whole two years before Johnny Lawrence made tough, blonde, karate-kicking guys every where want to wear one just like it!)

i *heart* my family: fatherly fashion

This week’s post is a nod — or rather, “hat tip” — to the ever sartorial outdoorsman that is my father.  His choice of head gear through the years would make every Brooklyn hipster extremely jealous.  I could do a week’s worth of posts about his entire outfit choices, but I chose to focus on what’s above his shoulders.  (Besides there’s already a tumblr about that.)  And, most of these photos involve some sort of dead animal; so again, I edited.  These days he’s more akin to a Parrot-head than a Brooklyn-ite, sporting his rayon, button-up, Hawaiian shirts and cargo shorts.  But each hunting season, I am sure to be treated with vintage flannel, waffled undershirts, and a well-worn belt buckle if not a smart piece of head gear.  {See my favorite look here!}

i *heart* my family: mexico

In the summer of ’81, the folks decided to ditch us kiddo’s and go have some fun with friends scuba diving in Mexico.  I absolutely love the photo of my mom in silhouette.  And the one of them together — too much!  Between my mom’s awesome striped tube-top and my dad’s righteous creepy-man ‘stash, this photo goes down as a keeper!