Christmas Time / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
Your aunt Maxine passed away this Christmas. On Christmas Eve, McKenzie had a baby girl. McKenzie is your cousin Julie's daughter. Eleanor Grace is her name. I imagine Maxine was told she had a new great granddaughter. Maxine's quality of life was poor so there is some relief, but it is still will be a big loss to her children.
Your nana is frail and not doing well mentally.
Chris and Vic will come over tomorrow to share Christmas. His job at UPS is so exhausting he needs to rest on Christmas day.
We had gumbo for Christmas Eve, crab benedict for Christmas brunch, and duck a l'orange for Christmas dinner.
I am writing another novel. I started it shortly after the election which turned out miserably. It was a good distraction.
Then as it was, then again it will be / Leif (friend)Read >>
Then as it was, then again it will be / Leif (friend)
And though the course may change sometimes
Rivers always reach the sea Close
Ten Year Reflection / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
The first year I often wore your black Cuba pullover, and a friend wondered how I could wear it thinking it was a painful reminder. She did not understand I needed no reminder of my pain. I needed comfort, and the pullover helped. It was the black top with flowers I wore to your memorial service which I can no longer wear. I love reminders of your life, but not of your death.
My friend could not wear her grandmother’s skirt because it was a painful reminder to her. Years later she lost her husband and she understood. She wore his shirt around the house.
I thought of you daily for about five years. Now it’s once a week. One visit to a museum I bought a polished rock in the shape of a heart. I’ve forgotten the special rock material, maybe soapstone . When I got home I decided it would reside in your ashes.
People comment on the painting of you by Attila when they first visit the house, and comment on how handsome you were. A few more people have read your book who have read mine. I’m almost ready to bite the marketing bullet.
Heather has scored me two interviews with newspapers: Sioux City Journal and the Spartan Daily---San Jose State’s student paper. Her angle isn’t the book, but the author. Mathematician turned writer is the hook. Never thought of that. I’m working on another book. I was bummed by the last election. I had turned to politics from writing as I was turned off by marketing activity and too easily angered at injustice. The book has a political message, but if I can’t garner some attention to the one I wrote, and I can’t get a publisher I don’t know if I will self publish. If I could get going I could get more attention to the Brad Pitt book and maybe the poetry book, DeathDoubledactyl.
You now have four first cousins once removed. Evan has two daughers, Erica a son, and Missy a son. I think he was only a couple of months old when you left us.
We light your candle with the crooked Shannon engraved in the glass on special occasions. Today Heather is coming out to help decorate for Christmas. We had decorated the day before you died so we try to decorate on the 4th or 5th in honor of your love of Christmas.
Your nana is not doing well. She has dementia and many aches and pains. I will to to see her for her January 28th birthday. Not looking forward to the Iowa winter weather.
Love from Mom Close
Just thinking about you / Eloise Hamann (Mom)Read >>
Just thinking about you / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
We are going to see the Manhatten Transfer tonight and I thought of you. I guess the former lead has joined your part of the universe.
I started another novel, but I'm realizing I have to bite the bullet and work hard on marketing my first novel and your work. I have little stomach for it, but Heather has the expertise and will help me. She got me two interviews---Sioux City Journal and the Spartan Daily, the San jose State student paper.
It's been a while / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
I still miss you. Did I write that I have self published a book called Inhabited? I call it Garrison Keillor meets Stephen King as it's loosely set in Rock Valley, Iowa and it includes the supernatural or preternatural.
People seem to like it and it's getting your Brad Pitt book some attention. I'm going to campaign for your buddies to review the book for the 10th anniversary of your leaving us.
Last night we saw Avenue Q, a puppet play you would looooove as Heather likes to pronounce the word "love." I wore an out fit you complimented me on so I thought of you.
Busy with politics as usual, but thinking of writing another book. The marketing angle discouraged me, but maybe if I hire a marketer and can get Inhabited some attention I'll feel more like trying again. Heather has been of great help. It was her idea to put a picture of the book in my signature. After a while I should replace it with Brad Pitt and DeathDoubleDactyl. Hmm, I could put them all in I suppose. I wonder if one can set it up to alternate automatically. Probably not.
Love, Mom Close
It's your birthday / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
I can't believe you were born 48 years ago.
Chris, Vic, and Astrid just left. You would love Astrid. She's a sweetie like her parents. We lit your candle and had your fave----corned beef.
We talked about what a unique human being you were.
Love, Mom Close
We are almost out of the candle oil which we use in your glass candle with the crooked Shannon engraved on it. The store no longer sells the glass candles and so a few years ago I bought all of the oil they had left knowing they would order no more. Today I will go online and look for it.
I still think of the black bag with your name on it which surfaced in our cabin on the Rhone cruise. Thanks for reaching out and making me question my beliefs. Unfortunately, I attended your Nana's church whose current pastor is narrow minded and whose sermon was out of touch with our current culture and understanding, to say nothing of my own values. His children's sermon included the statement "white is good and black is bad." He was talking about symbolism regarding men of the bible wearing white robes. If he had stopped with white symbolizing purity, I might have thought little of it. Adding "black is bad" was so unnecessary and I couldn't imagine someone so oblivious as to not recognize the implication regarding racism. I gently informed him as I shook hands. He merely replied that that's what the colors symbolized. His wife got it, however as I saw her eyes grow wide or maybe she'd never heard anyone question her pastor/husband. His sermon at Missy's wedding was based on the wife being subject to the husband. You can imagine how I felt about that.
So I imagine you floating around this old world rather than sitting on a heavenly cloud. I wish you could scare the bejesus out of the Tea Party types somehow.
Political stuff keeps pulling me away from writing although there is some writing involved. I really like trying to do a good job of messaging ala reaching people's values. Repuglicans have think tanks for that and use focus groups. They are incredibly assinine these days and are hurting our country big time. I'm glad I'm old. I won't be affected in my life time, but I don't want to see the long term consequences of their obstructionism.
I also don't have the stomach for the marketing writers must do. Now to get published, you must have a social media presence large enough to sell your book. I go to occasional writers workshops and that theme is touted over and over. I'm afraid it's true.
Well, best go shopping for your candle oil. I'll probably also go up to the Shannon corner of our attic and read old letters.
Thanks for the 50th Wedding Anniversary gift / Eloise Hamann (Mom)Read >>
Thanks for the 50th Wedding Anniversary gift / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
Thanks for the black travel bag with your name on it that you left in our cabin on our cruise. We found it on the chair next to the chilled champagne and the card from the captain wishing us a happy 50th. How clever of you to have the maid find it behind the bed and place it next to the card and champagne. We were delighted to hear from you. It made our trip extra special.
Love, Mom and Dad Close
Thyself away art present still with me / Leif (friend)Read >>
Thyself away art present still with me / Leif (friend)
Happy Birthday wherever you are / Eloise Hamann Read >>
Happy Birthday wherever you are / Eloise Hamann
Did you know the new pope is the first Pope Francis? Everyone mentions St. Francis of Assisi, a historical figure you were fascinated with in discussing his choice. The news talks about his concern for the poor and that's in keeping with the pope who was a bishop from Argentina, so first from the Americas. Maybe that's what you liked about St. Francis.
We are having the corned beef in your honor this Sunday. Heather has her Crime Time Radio show to produce on Friday nights. Vic and Chris will be here as always. I feel it's still Pi Day, but since it's after midnight I thought I'd say hi. I usually look at pictures or your old letters on your birthday. Not sure what I'll do.
I'm very involved in politics these days. Climate Change and getting big money out of politcs. You'd be right there with me.
Heather and I lit your candle per usual and you watched It's a Wonderful Life with us just before Christmas. Chris, Vic, and Astrid were here for Christmas dinner. Astrid is growing so fast, such a neat kid. We watched the animated Grinch.
The day after Christmas, a letter came from a publisher, Anderbo, who held a contest for self published books. I'd entered Brad Pitt Won't Leave Me Alone. I know if you win they call you so I opened the letter resignedly. To my surprise your novel was named one of the best three. I was so excited!
Tonight, I watched The Colbert Report because your friend, Michael Stipe, was listed as a guest. He sang a Christmas carol at the end so I was disappointed he wasn't interviewed.
I'm at your Nana's house on this anniversary. She has been in the hospital for two nights. She is supposed to come home this morning.
She has a lovely nativity scene outside that I think you would like.
Remember the last time you were here. It was in December after Bumpa's death. It was just before Christmas so we had one last Heuer Christmas. That will be 15 years ago this December 19th.
Your nana and I will probably spend the day making English Toffee and Pecan Tassies.
I wear your Cuba sweatshirt sometimes and one of your stocking cap. What I cannot wear any more is the top I wore to your memorial. I can't give it away, but it's too hard to wear.
Did you see that Ric Martin sent me some of your poems that you had given him when you were in college? Two of them I did not have.
Of course you know that Obama won. What a relief! I wonder how you would have fared in Hurricane Sandy. I believe we are on a collision course with disaster re climate change. On the flight here I remember thinking how ingenious is man that this large planes with filled heavy humans and luggage can soar through the air,that we can climb in vehicles and drive here and thert, that we can communicate with the world with small hand held devices. How clever are we humans! But we are too oblivious to notice we are destroying our planet or to worry or care.
It's time to catch up. I worked hard on this year's election. We would have had wonderful conversations about how lame were many of the Republican candidates, the hypocrisy, and outright lies. I'm so relieved that Obama won. I knew the votes were there because I could see Obama's magnificent ground game from the ground up. However, I didn't trust the Republicans to stop with voter suppression efforts. I feared they'd steal the election. Maybe Romney's confidence made them think they didn't need to try it. (OTOH, a group called Anonymous claims to have built a firewall around Ohio's vote counting software which indeed was attacked but they claim their wall kept it safe. Interesting, but I don't know if it's true.)
Your nana's health is not so good. Iowa was a battleground state so we went back there on election day and canvassed and visited her. We were there on election night. We, being Victoria, Heather, and I. V and I stayed a week and Heather a long weekend. It turned out well. We also worked for Christie Vilsack to try to defeat Steve King. That didn't work out, but she gave him his first real run for his money. Christie was in Sioux Center so we, including Nana, went to see her and have a three generation picture with her which appeared on her facebook page. Did you know you have a facebook page? You have been found there by old friends.
A few days after we got back Nana was in the hospital. Her heart stopped several times for a few seconds. Now she has a pacemaker.
Chris, Vic, Astrid, and Andrew were here for Thanksgiving along with Heather, of course. We lit your crooked candle.
I am going back to Iowa to be with my mom to help her with some computer stuff, make English Toffee, and take her to a doctor's appointment to test for early dementia. I'll be there from the 4th to the 11th so I will spend the 8th anniversary of your death in Iowa. That will be odd. I usually spend the day looking at old pictures and letters.
Heather has an offer for a job on KFOG mornings. She's not happy with the salary and hopes to negotiate a better deal.
Did you hear about Hurricane Sandy? It hit New York very hard, water down the subways, people without power in many areas. I wonder what it would have been like if you were still there.
Summer, oh Summer / Rene Alegria
Thinking about you so much lately. Summer and all. The neighborhood. Laughing and laughing. You saying sweet things. Us both feeling like the world was ours to juggle with and dance to. Miss you. And your tattoo, of that guy who you always said had your back and mine. You're with me now, like then, us both looking out my window, and the life at Thomkins Park that fueled our young universe. Close
I almost never remember my dreams unless I wake up early and fall back to sleep. This morning I dreamt I took you to a shoe store for new shoes. You wanted a certain kind and I bought you orange canvas tennis shoes with a pointed toe. Of course, I had to also buy you some brown leather all purpose shoes before I woke up with a smile.
remembrance/ Rachel Reynolds (college friend )
I found myself telling someone about Shannon last week. We weren't very close but we knew each other at the University of Iowa and spent at least a few nights out goofing off and talking about writing and art and music and anything, really. I'll always remember Shannon. Close
I was at a meeting all day about California's budget project so I'm tired, but want to say hi. Vic brought daffodils last Saturday for our annual corned beef and dumplings in your honor. They weren't open, but are now fully open and beautiful.
We thought of you this holiday season / Eloise Hamann (Mom)Read >>
We thought of you this holiday season / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
We lit your crooked candle as usual. We also thought about your Uncle Vernon who died on New Year's Eve last year.
The publication of your poetry book is official. The publication is listed as this month. I sent Attila several copies along with your Brad Pitt book. One of my friends absolutely loved the main character.
We are going to Phoenix the first week in January. Heather may join us. She is between jobs, but she could have one soon. She quit her sales job, but there's a fruit basked upset in radio right now so she will either get hired soon or have a long waiting period. She didn't want to do Christmas this year. We scaled way back on presents, but not on the feasting and drinking.
We did some home redecorating and your old room is less of a shrine.
It would be good to agonize over politics with you. The bipartisanship is over the top. Of course, I see it as the Repuglicans as being totally rigit and using every trick in the book to gain power. They attach their agenda items to must pass legislation for government to continue to function.
Chris, Vic, and Astrid were here this evening. They were a boost to my spirits. Vic told a story about you from Chris's stepmom I'd not heard before. I love hearing such stories. Your poetry book is still just on the verge of being available for general sale from Pavement Saw so I'll start mailing the copies I received soon.
I felt so good about seeing you published, but I realize it doesn't change the fact that you're not here. Damn it!
Seven years ago I went to bed with you still alive.