Holiday time / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
It's the week between Christmas and New Years. We lit your crooked candle in your memory as usual. Chris and Vic now come over the day after Christmas as Chris is always wiped out from overtime delivering packages for UPS. Astrid is 8 and growing like a weed. She is a lovely child. You would love her.
Your dad had his left hip "revised" on the 8th of December. It was replaced 23 years ago and not expected to last more than 15 years. He is using a walker, but is more mobile every day.
I'm now determined to market my writing, and yours as well. You once said writing was a lot of work and indeed it is, but marketing seems even harder or perhaps you were including that aspect in your comment.
I created an author website---ratemydoodles.com Let me know what you think.
California is getting a much needed break from a long drought. It's an el Nino year.
I love you,
Eleven years ago / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
Thinking about you today. I recently entered your novel, "Brad Pitt Won't Leave Me Alone," in a contest which would connect me with movie and TV producers.
Your dad is going in for a second hip replacement on the same hip this Tuesday. He will probably have a knee done next year as well. The other hip replacement is also old so we don't know how long that one will last. He is not looking forward to a spate of surgery.
Heather is doing her Tech Guy show midday today and then will come out for dinner. I need to get Leonard Cohen music going soon. I appreciate him more each time I hear him.
I am working on polishing a second novel. Even more than you were alive, one needs to work as hard at marketing as on the writing. I hate marketing, but have resigned myself to trying.
I'm weary of working on politics, weary of spending so much time and never knowing if I'm accomplishing anything. I guess I do add to a crowd which sometimes highlights stuff.
I'd love to be talking with you about the ridiculous clown car of Republican candidates including a braying, lying Donald Trump and a man claiming to be converted to Christianity and lives in lala land.
Bernie Sanders is doing well. I thought the socialist label would hurt him big time, but people are liking what he is saying. He wants free tuition at public universities and to grow a movement to lessen the influence of big money in government.
Has Nana found you? / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
Your nana died on the morning of August 10th. She couldn't live alone any longer, so she was living with Victoria. I went to Iowa for her 91st birthday last January and took her back with me for a few days and then flew her to Portland. She declined rapidly and at last was not recognizable as your nana.
I flew to Portland when V said she was in her last days, and she died the day after. Then I flew to Iowa so visited mortuaries on both ends. She would have liked the service as nice things were said about her. They made her look good which she would also like. She wore a wig I bought her which was lucky as she refused to leave V's house for anything even to get her hair colored.
I brought back the poems and remembrances she liked to write for deceased friends and relatives. Here is yours:
A Grandmother Remembers
This grandmother remembers a tousled, sandy haired little boy who came to Bumpa and Nana's farm every
Christmas with his Mom and Dad and sister, Heather. It was such a joy for cousins to be together
and the opening of gifts.
In the summer when the Moms and Dads with my
grandchildren descended on our farm, they would have
such fun on the momemade tractor/mower made by their Bumpa. Of course, he would start it for them,
and had as much fun as they did.
I remember Shannon, Heather, and cousin Natalie feeding the bottle to the lamb, who had become quite
domesticated and enjoyed the attention
they so eagerly gave.
I remember being amazed at the pictures Shannon used to draw for his nana. Religious pictures of Jesus on the cross at Calvary, surrounded by Easter eggs.
So we remember Shannon with love and are consoled that he is in a better place, being greeted by loved ones, who have gone before, free from life's struggles, and is resting in the everlasting arms of Jesus.
Shannon, you will live forever in our hearts. We love you.
Nana (Myra Heuer) http://bit.ly/1Mytg9I
Love, Mom Close
Easter/ Eloise Hamann (Mom)
Andrew read your poem Easter at our Easter festivities. We had a riotous time. Chris, Vic, Astrid, Douglas & Chris, Andrew and his parents---Sandy and Lou were here. Heather came after work.
Much laughter! We lit your candle. Vic made lots more copies of Easter on quality paper. Remember we passed those out at your memorial.
Love, Mom Close
We remembered you on your birhday / Eloise Hamann (Mom)Read >>
We remembered you on your birhday / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
Corned beef dinner
Family picture with your photo
Lots of stories about you.
Miss you, love you
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