Sunday, August 23, 2009

"Castles in the Air" by GJ

I have three such edifices, so far.

From time to time, when I want to comfort or playfully tease Jean, I tell her that she "Belongs in the 'Jean Van Delinder Good Sport's Hall of Fame.'" Her first response is almost always, a modest denial.

Knowing her reaction is beginning to build, I then follow with, "It is right next door to the 'Jean Van Delinder Back-Scratcher's Hall of Fame.'" She often responds, "Stop that, now." Quickly, I add, "And that's right across the street from 'The Jean Van Delinder Sweet Little Angel's Hall of Fame.'''

By this time, she gives me a gentle poke in the arm and says, "Ohhh, you KNOW that's not true."

I'm thinking of a fourth castle so that there will be one on each corner of the intersection, but I have to wait until she pauses, some time. When the right time comes, I'll try to draw a sketch of Jean's "Intersection." You'll be bound to recognize it.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Welcome back! By GJ

Somebody once asked me about fact that Jean and I married young...20 and 1/2 for me, 17 and 1/2 for her. There was a time when I would recommend it. But I can't any more, for a very simple reason. There are too many, complex, and varied factors that come to bear. It was 1947, and that season, that year, that decade, that century cannot be repeated. I was in the navy, she was in high school, and WWII was barely over. Glenn Miller's music inspired romance of the old-fashioned sort...moonlight, roses, etc.

We were both idealistic. That's probably not conducive to anything. We had no money, my very meager navy pay (but about to end with impending discharge) and no savings.

Yet, it was also a rare period when jobs were plentiful, albeit of the "entry-level, minimum-wage variety." Our parents were not in position to support us, and we would never have asked!

Finally, but not at all completely, there is the matter of preparation. In our day (which did not last long) we had only our family values to guide us. Those were enough to sustain us for these six decades, but we were lucky to have them. Our vows were important to us. Nobody on either side had ever divorced. Divorce was to be avoided, maybe at all costs? (We both knew of couples who avoided it and suffered some consequences.)

If, today, one faces the decision to marry, one needs (desperately) to ask themselves, each other, and somebody wise, "are we ready?"

Something a little different by GJ

I've been thinking about age differences lately. Nothing major, mind you. Just sort of mulling over trivial notions. My Dad was 10 years older than Mom. My oldest brother was 17 years older than I. The youngest of my three older brothers was almost 11 years older than I.

I have no idea what any of those facts had to do with my upbringing, except that I think I missed having the kind of mentor that many friends had. Older brothers have valuable things to teach the "kid brother," but all of mine had left home before I could take advantage of those little gems.

I wonder what some of you might have to add to these thoughts? My Dad was 60 when I turned 14, and all of a sudden, it seemed to me, he didn't want to play catch any more. (One older brother was fairly athletic, and might have shown me how to throw a curve?)

Is it ALTOGETHER TRUE that "life is what you make it?" Or is it possible that a difference in age helps (or hinders) you in that pursuit?

Thursday, August 20, 2009


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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Monday, July 27, 2009


Howlin Wolf has left a new comment on your post "Transfer #2 from terminal blog by GJ": I couldn't agree more with you here-- what the reader brings to the writing. You may recall my eldest son Mark was in your English class-- but what you may not know, was that his mother READ to him every night--AND, despite being dyslexic, he continued to read. When his younger brother bought Indian souvenirs during our camping trips, Mark bought BOOKS. All through elementary school, he tested 2-3 grades BELOW level-- yet by his sophomore year, he had reached grade 10. I firmly believe that his successes were a direct result of his mother's devotion to reading. Howlin'

Transfer #3, the dedication by GJ

Dedicated to Ellie Skees, 1998 - 2007

Engraved on numerous hearts,
Etched in numerous memories.
Abiding in our minds,
Dwelling in our thoughts.

Among uppermost who knew you,
Within closest who bonded,
There is Great Grandma Jean;
Your pal, your playmate,
Your partner in pretending,
Wherein you forever remain.