Oasis

I went over today to spend the afternoon with my favorite professor from college.  We solved the world’s problems, again, and I thanked her for opening up my mind and stretching it as far as she could, again, and then she read to me and I mulled over the trouble I’m having figuring out how to end this play I’m working on and she listened and talked it through with me.

I think a problem I have with other forms of writing, besides this, is that I think it must be very difficult, almost too difficult for me to do, in order to be any good.  And so I imagine that it must be very difficult for me to write a play and so I struggle with it.  But really, it could instead be pleasurable and good, like this.  And so the ending could just be the end and not something too difficult for me to accomplish without struggle.

That’s good to realize.

I got back to my parents and the recalcitrant brother and both nephews were here.  The oldest nephew has been taking martial arts.  I flicked at him with my wet hands and said, “See, I used my water bending skills to defeat you.”

And he said, “You watch The Avatar?  So do I.”

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Dinner With My Grandma

Here are how the folks on the matrilineal side of my family met, as learned at dinner tonight.

My Mom and Dad

My mom went down to meet the student pastor at my grandma’s church and invited him over for brownies.

My Grandma and Grandpa

My Grandma and Grandpa were in the same church group after high school.  Somehow they had to deliver treats somewhere and after they did, my grandpa asked my grandma, "What do we do now?" and my grandma said, "You can take me to the movies."

My Great Grandma and Great Grandpa

They met at a party and my great grandpa decided he liked my great grandma so much that he would make the hour and  half street car trip out to Morgan Park from Chicago just to call on her.

My Great Great Grandma and Great Great Grandpa

My Great Great Grandma came over from Gamleby, Sweden when she was 16 years old and took a job as a cook’s helper in a big home in Chicago.  My Great Great Grandpa, who spoke five languages, was supposed to just be over in the States drumming up business for the family distillery.  Once he laid eyes on America, though, he was determined that he wasn’t going back to Germany and so he took a job as a delivery boy… delivering to the big house where my great great grandma was a cook’s helper.  Later on, he worked for some union cashing people’s paychecks, so he always carried a gun.

My grandma was also telling us about the Chicago World’s Fair and how her mother organized some PTA singing group so that they could get into the Fair for free.   My grandma remembers being there when Italo Balbo landed.  And she complained that it was deathly hot and that everything except for the home tour cost too much money and so she didn’t get to do anything but sit around and people watch.

She also sometimes rode her bike up Lake Shore Drive, but thinks it would be foolish to do so now.

And she has the love letters my great grandma and great grandpa wrote each other during World War I, but she and my grandpa burnt the love letters they exchanged during the Second World War, thinking they were too hot for anyone else’s eyes.

That tickles me.

It was good to see her.  She seems old and frail, but she seems to be in better spirits and more alert than I’ve seen her in my entire adult life.

In Gamleby, my family built ships.  And collected taxes.

That tickles me, too.