Monday, July 14, 2008

100th Post - 100 Things (You saw it coming)

It seems that everyone does a "100 things about me" post when they reach the 100th post. I knew that this day was coming, but have been putting it off. 100 is a big number. I guess when you realize that you have written 100 posts, it should not seem so daunting. However, those 100 posts weren't all about me. They were about me and other stuff. This is supposed to be about me. Well, I will give it a shot and see where it goes.

  1. I was born during a late spring (mid-March) blizzard in the Adirondacks of upstate New York.
  2. My maternal grandmother walked from her work to the hospital in open toe shoes.
  3. This is something she has done before (open-toe shoes in the winter).
  4. She is less crazy than you would think and has always been my biggest fan.
  5. Every thing I hear about my maternal grandfather is glowing.
  6. He was an Irish shanty boy in mill-town, youngest of eleven kids. They were hooligans. Today that means juvenile delinquent.
  7. His brother grew up to be the Chief of Police.
  8. He grew up to play minor league baseball.
  9. In Nova Scotia, Canada.
  10. He was a slow runner (by baseball standards).
  11. He also put himself through college after being married and having a daughter (my mom).
  12. He was away from home in Massachusetts during the week, only home on the weekend.
  13. One weekend he came home and my Mom had stitches across her nose. She dropped the glass milk bottle when they used to deliver it straight from the farm.
  14. She still has that scar.
  15. The next weekend, she had a dislocated shoulder.
  16. He thought that she might be being abused.
  17. She wasn't, just the Rogers grace and accident proneness. Unfortunately, it is hereditary.
  18. He later was the local gym teacher/coach. Many Many Many stories about this.
  19. He was a tough disciplinarian.
  20. He was a marine and he and his brothers served in the Pacific during WW II.
  21. My maternal grandfather died one month after I was born.
  22. He was on his way to work when his car was struck by another driver.
  23. When he was hit his heart basically did an over-pump.
  24. I am told that he should have died on impact, however due to his outstanding physical condition, he didn't.
  25. He was 50 years old and in excellent physical condition.
  26. I am much younger and not.
  27. He regained consciousness at the hospital, however his aorta had lost all elasticity due to the stress of the over pump and couldn't pump blood adequately.
  28. Today they may have been able to use a plastic replacement piece.
  29. The whole town attended his funeral. I saw the newspaper clipping.
  30. The four corners where he was hit is one of the most dangerous in our town.
  31. They finally got a traffic light about five years ago.
  32. I am not sure if it helps.
  33. My mother was 25 years old when she heard the news.
  34. My mother still cries when people talk about him.
  35. My mother still flinches whenever the fire siren goes off and someone isn't home.
  36. A few years ago the school built a new gymnasium and named it after him.
  37. Over 20 years after his death.
  38. The fact that I never got to know him is something that makes me very sad.
  39. My paternal grandparents were always there as I grew up as well.
  40. My grandmother is a Polish farm girl from Deerfield, Massachusetts.
  41. She was the oldest girl in a family with ten kids.
  42. Her parents were immigrants.
  43. They had a farm.
  44. One time my father played a Garisson Keiler tape from Lake Wobegon days about the slaughter of the pigs.
  45. It talks about the respect the farmers have for the animals.
  46. She made him turn it off. She said it was too real.
  47. It is a fantastic piece of literature/storytelling/oratory.
  48. She also attended Deerfield Private Academy for boys.
  49. A very posh WASPY school.
  50. They let the locals attend.
  51. She talks about going home from school to change to work clothes and then running like hell to get through town to get to the fields without being seen by anyone.
  52. She was the ONLY one of her siblings to graduate from high school.
  53. I remember one year that she received a card from her older brother and was so happy to see that he had signed it himself. He never learned to read.
  54. From what I understand her life was rough.
  55. Her mother cheated at cards.
  56. Her mother enjoyed setting sections of the family against each other to watch the drama.
  57. The brother whom she was closest too was killed in his teens.
  58. He was struck by lightning while bringing in the horses during a storm.
  59. His name was Charlie.
  60. My grandfather's name was Charlie.
  61. My uncle's name is Charlie.
  62. My grandfather Charlie was from Gloucester, Massachusetts.
  63. He had a two-year college degree from Wentworth Institution in Boston.
  64. He was working as a handyman at the school when my grandmother was working there too.
  65. At one point he brought a carload of his "city" friends up to visit.
  66. Grandma had a lot of sisters.
  67. They played baseball in the backyard.
  68. After the fourth sister hit the fourth home run, she asked "want us to take it easy on you boys?"
  69. My grandfather worked for Niagara Mohawk, the power company.
  70. My grandparents wound up moving to upstate New York for his job.
  71. My grandmother didn't know anyone and was the only sibling that left the Deerfield/Greenfield area.
  72. I think that this was rough on her.
  73. She only speaks Polish on the phone to her sisters.
  74. One time, they had a Hungarian boy refugee in town, 16 years old and no English.
  75. They brought him to my Grandmother because she spoke Polish.
  76. Polish is NOTHING like Hungarian.
  77. That boy is my Godfather.
  78. My grandfather bowled.
  79. My grandfather was somewhat progressive, open to new ideas.
  80. My grandfather chewed gum constantly and clicked his dentures.
  81. My grandfather had the liveliest, brightest blue eyes.
  82. The last time I saw him was on a visit back east. During my stay he had had an episode and was in the hospital. I stopped on the way to the airport and as I peeked my head into the room, he said "There she is." Like he was waiting for me.
  83. The last thing I said as I left was "See you next time."
  84. He was cute even in old age.
  85. He had a private, intelligent sense of humor that was somewhat obtuse. As he got older it became more private and obtuse.
  86. I see that trend now happening to my Dad.
  87. It will soon happen to me.
  88. I grew up in a really small town.
  89. My dad owned the local pharmacy.
  90. My mom worked as a librarian until I was born.
  91. My mom was also my girl scout troop leader.
  92. I was in girl scouts until I graduated from high school. I know, kinda lame since I didn't get that many badges, etc.
  93. But I got to go to Bermuda in ninth grade with the girl scouts. How cool is that?
  94. I also taught myself to pogo stick, stilt walk and kinda unicycle when I was a kid.
  95. And I broke my left arm, my right wrist, cracked my ribs, needed staples in the back of my head, and broke my left leg. Remember #17.
  96. I graduated salutatorian of my class.
  97. I went to a small but good SUNY (Geneseo) school where I got suckered into taking physics.
  98. I went to grad school at another SUNY (Binghamton).
  99. I got a job at a IP start up in Silicon Valley and moved there in 1996.
  100. Met husband, had three kids, quit job to do the stay at home thing, it's hard, moved to Costa Rica for a while to see what that was about, published a children's book, write this blog and now you are caught up.

This post turned out not to be so much about me, but more about the people who formed me. The people I grew up knowing so well. So in a way, it is about me. Maybe someday I will write another list more about me and my life, although I am pretty sure that will wind up focusing on my husband and kids. Ain't that the way it goes.


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