The following is all I have ever heard from my paternal grandmother about her and my grandfather’s early life together, grâce à my boyfriend questioning her about the subject.
She grew up in Chicago. One day, she met a friend on the street and was invited over to her house for dinner. She went, and met Jerry. A farm boy, he was there in the city just for the summer.
Each summer after that, when he came to the city, they would spend time together. But one year, her friend told her that Jerry wasn’t planning to come. Her friend implored her to write to him and ask him to come. Somewhere along the line, her friend told her that Jerry wasn’t coming because he was in love with her (my grandmother) but thought he had no chance. He was a poor farm boy with only 2 years of college on the GI Bill. She was a self-starter, a Chicago girl with a successful photography business of her own. What did he have to offer her?
Evidently my grandmother and Jerry cleared things up, because he came out to Chicago that summer and they began their relationship in earnest. She would have him over to her mother’s house (where she lived) for dinner. He would try to insist on taking public transportation back home, but she would insist right back on driving him. They would take Betty’s mother along for the ride, which made her very happy.
He changed schools to Northwestern so they could be together year-round. They got married when he was in his last semester there. Soon thereafter, they moved to California where the weather was good and jobs could be sought, expecting their first child.
That’s all I know.
More to follow.
When I don’t think of something to write about soon enough, I’m going to start uploading my awful poetry from high school.
Yes, I was having SAT practice test angst. Shut up. You know you felt it, too.
It’s half punishment, half encouragement. It’s punishment for me because I don’t want to face up to the fact that I wrote this crap and thought I was so cool / deep / artistic. Do any but the most talented writers look at their early work with pride? But I’m trying / struggling / hoping to see it more as a step toward that goal of breaking out of my shell. That’s the encouragement aspect.
I share everything. I’ll share food, advice, time – anything I have that I can reasonably give, I will. Yet the one thing I don’t share is myself. I can’t / won’t / don’t share my thoughts or reactions readily. I think I fear people reacting to my genuine self.
What would be wrong with that?
There’s really nothing that I should feel the need to hide from people. On a day-to-day basis, a good deal more transparency wouldn’t hurt me at all. Yet there’s the me in the world, and the me in my head, and they don’t often coincide. I’m quiet-ish. I’m reserved. I’m fairly shy. I’ve always been those things. Interaction is difficult, and there’s no one who could ever possibly judge me in my head, so that’s where I spend a lot of my time.
In high school, they would often read us a specific quote from St. Julie Billiart. “Be like the sunflower that follows every movement of the sun”. So at the same time in my life when I was artistically showcasing my SAT practice test angst to no one but my keyboard, I was at the same time being shown that I could really stand to loosen up and let myself and my emotions be seen. Flowers don’t close up and hide when a warm, kind, inquisitive beam of sunlight falls on them. Why should I?
So I’ll try harder to share more and get more comfortable with / stop being afraid of the self in my head. She needs some fresh air.
More to follow.
It was a SUPER bad idea to try to start a blog while searching for my first full time job, moving across the country, setting up an apartment for the first time, gaining lots of adult responsibilities in a short amount of time, etc.
Now that I have landed a job, hauled most of my worldly possessions across the US in a Ford Fiesta, and made myself comfortable in my new home, perhaps it’s time for Take 2.
I can’t absolutely promise that I’ll be more consistent this time, but then again, this is just for myself anyway, so I’m not sure who I’d be bothering to promise that to! As ever, I’m mostly just going to putter along, doing what makes sense to me and what makes me happy. Here’s hoping that I stick with it a little better this time.
More to follow.