Monday, April 20, 2009

A good visit and some sweet retro

Reunion 2008G I had a really nice time with my folks and my sisters today! It was good to get caught up on things and hear how everyone is doing. (This is a picture from our family reunion last summer, sorry Dad isn’t in there.) Mom and Dad took us out for lunch at a Chinese buffet, and I got my one sister to try a bite of sushi--just a veggie roll. She was noncommittal, but didn't spit it out or anything, so I guess that was a pretty good sign. Ha!

One tense moment at the restaurant, when the check came, and my sister Sue grabbed it.

Mom: Susie, give Dad that check.

Sue: Let me get this. I'd really like to.

Mom: No, you don't. Give it to Dad. I'm going to get mad if you don't.

Sue: It's okay. I really want to do this.

[By this time, Dad is chuckling, Diana is outright laughing, and I'm wondering if my sister Sue has lost her mind]

Mom: Fine. Then I won't go get any ice cream.

Sue: Mom, go get some ice cream! Let me get this.

Mom: Nope. [sits back and crosses her arms] I'm not getting any.

Sue: But you just said you wanted some strawberry ice cream.

Mom: I do. But I'm not getting any now.

[Sue hands the check over to Dad]

Mom: Good. Now I can go get my ice cream. [walks off]

Dad: You see what I deal with? She's stubborn.

Me: Susie, you've been around longer than I should know by now that's how she'd react!

I've learned that when Mom says stuff like "Don't get us anything," she means business. She gets more upset if we buy her something than she does if we don't. I know she loves getting cards or phone calls or visits, and sometimes I'll cross the boundaries and get her something I think she'll like, and know that I'll hear, "Honey, you didn't have to do that." I just say, "I know, but I wanted to."

After we left the restaurant, we stopped by to see my Uncle Burt (my Dad's brother, his only brother left), who is in poor health but looked pretty good today! He'll be 91 soon. We always did a lot with Uncle Burt and Aunt Margaret (she passed on many years ago), even going on vacations with them to their cabin in Minnesota. His son and his wife stay with him most of the time, but on Mondays, a guy from Hospice comes in, and he was there today. Just the nicest guy, a retired teacher, and we all had fun visiting. You should have seen Uncle Burt's face when the three of us girls followed Mom and Dad in...he said, "All three of you are here!" It was pretty cool, and I'm glad we stopped to see him. Mom said he'll probably tell everybody about how we all stopped by to see him today. Aww.

Retro chair As we were talking, Dad showed us the letter opener that Uncle Burt made out of shell casings and bullets when he was in the Navy during WWII. Dad asked him if he still had the model planes that he'd made back then (also out of bullets), and Uncle Burt said yes, they're on the bookshelves in the basement. So we all went down there to see them, and they were very intricate and really neat! It had been years since I'd been in the basement of their house, and I was amazed to see some gorgeous retro furniture down there. Very sixties, and in just beautiful shape. Next time I see Doug (my cousin), I'm going to tell him that if they want to sell any of that furniture, please let me know. I would love to have some of it for the basement. It's so cool and retro, and I would love to take care of some of Uncle Burt's furniture. This picture isn't of one of the pieces, but there was a chair very similar to this one. Also sixties era couches with the original upholstery, still in great shape.

We've talked about doing retro stuff in the basement--I think it would be fun to put stuff like that down there, even more so if it were things from my family!

My sisters and I decided that we should do this more often, and Sue said, "Maybe next time we can take the convertible Mustang...?!" I said sure (if Ken gives the go-ahead, of course), but I think they'd better be careful what they wish for! I don't drive the speed limit, although I'm not a speed demon or anything (Diana has a Camaro, and there were times when I wanted to tell her to PUNCH IT!), and at highway speeds, you really take a battering with the top down. It's also pretty hard to talk, because of the wind, so we tend to really crank up the stereo. So get ready, big sisters, Little Sis is at the wheel! Heh heh heh....


  1. Hi Beth,
    I think it's great that you all stopped by to visit your Uncle Burt. He sounds like a great guy and I'll bet the visit meant the world to him.

  2. Fun family time. Life is short and it is the time you spend with your loved ones that they will remember, not the gifts.

  3. Sounds like a nice day ... and I'm sure your Uncle Burt LOVED seeing all of you.


  4. Just as I thought you all had a great day together...You didn't tell me what you ate at the Chinese !! What a lovely visit that was to your Uncle. It must have given him such a boost. as for the retro furniture it would be fantastic if you can have some of it..
    Love Sybil

  5. I am glad that you all had a great day and a good visit with your Mom and Dad and then on ro see your uncle. I know the older folks enjoyed that visit. Do not set any sushi before me, No mam LOL. I hope you get some of your uncle Burt's furniture for your basement. Helen

  6. Well, I just had to laugh and laugh after reading this! My family is even heftier than yours and they love a cheap buffet too. My dad blows up if he doesn't have the honor of paying for everything. Sometimes it's not pretty!

    Bullets and retro furniture? Oh, Beth, we could be related! I'm a little too young for the 60's, but you sure are welcome to have a campy table from then that my cousin dropped off one day when he was drunk. What a scene he made! Let me know if you want the table.

  7. Glad you had a lovely time with your family, Beth. It is always good to catch up with old times and share some beautiful moments together. Little tresures that stay with us forever. All the best. Ciao. Antonella

  8. Sounds like a great time! I'm glad you all were able to do this & also visit with Uncle Burt. I know it made his day! LOL about the Mustang ride..... Great photo of you all!

  9. What a nice story of a day out with your family. You're so lucky to have them living nearby.

  10. You see what I deal with? That is priceless. Long-suffering Dad. Hey, Mom knows how to work the family, but from anything you've written, they are both sweethearts~ but Mom knows how to keep the offspring in line. I admire that.

    That chair looks very much like, even that color, my Mom's chair that I just finally put out to pasture. I used it since she died in 86, and it was time to move on, it had long been failing apart a little more every day, but it was sturdy for many years! And great memories.

    All of this was so incredibly feel good. ~Mary

  11. I love those kind of fun family days, and your conversation after lunch reminds me of, well, my family.
    This exchange:

    Dad: You see what I deal with? She's stubborn.

    is my family, except change Dad to Carlos and she to he, and, well, that's me!
    I would love to see what your uncle crafted out of bullets. What a talent!

  12. i am so glad you had such a great day with your family! Totally cool that you got to see Uncle Burt..isn't it strange how we notice different things now in our 40's that we could have cared less about 20+ yrs ago? I bet you sat in that exact chair lots of times and back then it was just some old chair.
    i like your mom....she has spunk!

  13. A good looking picture of the
    girls and Mom. Mom sure does
    not look her age. Find out her
    secret for future use, a special
    face cream maybe! Beth, take
    advantage of every opportunity
    to be with family. It's the best.

  14. cool entry Beth. I enjoyed that little exchange between your mom and sister. I am back on Aol. I was to weak from a ball of energy to stand pat on the dropping of aol. Lucy

  15. I am glad to hear that you had a good time with your family! The furniture sounds awesome. Come by and pick me up when you go for that ride please! Linda

  16. don't know why, but got a little teary ... enjoyable read. Love reading about good times and light moods.

  17. sounds like a fabulous day!! I had to laugh about punching it... you speed demon you! We all know you are :)~

  18. I've always loved reading about your family get-togethers. I remember chairs like that. My mother even had a set of what they used to call Barrel furniture. The backs wer literally made from old time barrels (Secretly I hated that set - but it was still part of an era, althought I think it was more 70's) (Hugs)Indigo

  19. Sounds like you guys had a marvelous time! Your mom sounds like quite a card. I guess it's good that you have her to keep the rest of you in line, right?

  20. That's a great story and as for the check (or cheque as we'd say up here), I've been there. But I don't think the furniture is "retro". It's just old. :-)

  21. My wife's grandmother (I'll call her Melba) is stubborn, too. There's a story that she and my mother-in-law went to dinner. When the time came to pay, my mother-in-law excused herself, intercepted the waitress and paid the tab. After a bit of complaining, Melba relented and they went on their merry way.

    A week later, my mother-in-law received a 'thank you' card via US mail with cash in the amount of the bill enclosed.

  22. I think there has been only one time when I convinced Mom and Dad to let me pay :o)

    Looking forward to some great visits when my folks get up here.

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