Your 54th / Eloise Hamann
Your birthday party of corned beef and dumplings has been cancelled or postponed this year. There is a global pandemic due to a new highly infectious virus. Heather fears being exposed at work. People are staying home as much as possible.
Your dad will have the corned beef and light your crooked candle. Heather thinks we shouldn’t even mingle so it will be a quiet day.
I didn’t sleep well last night after midnight. It must have been in recognition of the anniversary of my labor pains with you.
Christmas 2019 / Eloise Hamann
We missed you at Christmas but lit your candle. We had beef bourguignon on Christmas Eve and crab benedict Christmas morning. Then later over to the Heifners.
On the 23rd, I picked up Astrid and we made caramel corn and English Toffee at our house.
In January, we are looking forward to a trip to Patagonia to see the Andes mountains and glaciers while they are still here. Heather is also going.
Your dad is doing great after knee replacement in September. He timed it right for hiking on our trip.
Fifteen Years / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
You’ve been missing from our lives for fifteen years. I wonder what you would think of today’s world and imagine what you would have to say. The current president is undergoing impeachment proceedings in the House for abuse of power. Remember our political discussions? You would make me laugh.
We had a fun Thanksgiving at our house. Chris and Vic, Douglas and Chris— friends of yours— were here. You would have enjoyed the frivolity and food. Everyone chipped in. Heather loves to put together lovely bouquets. She came out Sunday and helped put up the tree. We skipped most of the rest of the décor to keep things simple. When we got out the reindeer, we remembered how you arranged them. Instead of scattered across the tree, you had them rising up as if they had just left the North Pole.
Heather took a picture of you from the wall and sat holding it in front of the decorated tree while looking down at you.
I’m spending the day reading your letters and looking at your pictures. I’ll play the Leonard Cohen station on Pandora. The technology changes over fifteen years have been remarkable. Some good, some not. The trick is to use it all wisely. Many are addicted to their cell phones, which are now small computers and there are many sites online that are addictive.
There are little gadgets that you can talk to that will turn on music, unlock doors, and look up something for you. Too much for me, but I love the convenience of shopping online and today’s word processing, which finds typos. You’d love that.
Your dad hikes frequently. He likes to go to parks and I go with him half of the time, but prefer walking in the neighborhood to save the driving time. I don’t think I’ve updated you on your cousins’ families. Dan has a little boy and he and Ashley are expecting another child this month. Evan’s two daughters are Victoria’s oldest grandchildren. Erica has a young son and daughter. Katie has a daughter. Holly has two young sons. Your cousin, Jeff, passed away around a year ago. His mother, Yvonne, passed away the year before. Maxine has been gone. She died at Christmas time a few years back, and Vernon on New Year’s Eve. Your father is the only one left from his immediate family.
I am glad I’m old as climate change is accelerating rapidly.
Love you still,
The party / Eloise Hamann
It was a beautiful day. Astrid is a little taller than I am. She no doubt takes after Chris. Tia praised you as a monumental artist. She said you thought like an artist. Chris praised your genius. We lit your glass candle with the crooked engraving.
Wish you had been here.
Love, Mom Close
Happy 53rd Birthday / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
It’s your Ides of March birthday. We are planning to remember your birthday and favorite corned beef dinner this Sunday. We haven’t missed a year since you left us.
It is true that the human perception of time makes it shrink as we get older. I recently acquired hearing aids and have cataract surgery scheduled. Your dad keeps on hiking but no tennis or golf. Even Heather complains of a few aches and pains she blames on age. I can’t believe how fast Astrid is growing.
There is a TV show you would love called After Life. A man has lost his beloved wife deciding it gives him the right to be nasty to everyone. It is quite funny. The music after the first episode is Satellite of Love, which Heather chose for your memorial page. I have to turn off the sound when I go to the site.
I wish you were here to discuss my writing. The publishing world has changed so much. I’ll be publishing Lost Sea soon, the second in a trilogy I call Ocean series. Our oceans and consequently our world is in deep trouble and our government is indifferent, bought out by the fossil fuel industry or thinking they won’t be personally affected. Once a senator brought in a snowball to disprove global warming like someone pointing at a skinny person to prove this country does not have an obesity problem. Writing helps distract me from the ugliness in the world. Our country has never been so divided.
Love, Mom Close
What is your substance, whereof are you made,
That millions of strange shadows on you tend?
Since every one hath, every one, one shade,
And you, but one, can every shadow lend. Close
I haven't decided how to spend this 14th anniversa / Eloise Hamann (Mom)Read >>
I haven't decided how to spend this 14th anniversa / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
I listened to sad Christmas music yesterday. It’s a netwokr channel station where you can choose a theme. It began with Charlie Brown’s Christmas and moved on to nostalgia. I found myself thinking about Christmases of old from ones on the Iowa farm with your Nana and Bumpa—both now gone—to times when we flew you out from New York. Of course you’d often go MIA visiting friends in San Francisco. You always set your own clock.
Today is a day of mourning and remembrance: the 14th anniversary of your departure and the funeral of George Bush the elder, someone I did not appreciate as decent until we have an unbelievably bad and corrupt president, who is attempting to destroy so so much. He is mentally ill and will likely eventually pay for his corruption, but in the meantime he and his cronies are hurting so many people.
I’m sorry you’re not here to hear your take.
Heather made Christmas cards with the picture of you hitchhiking.
The year you left us, we decorated for Christmas the day before so we continue the tradition of decorating around that time. I’m doing less this year, but the tree itself is up with a sea shell theme. I don’t know if you lived to see that theme. Heather gave us the shells. I remember how you arranged the reindeer so they appeared to be soaring up into the sky except I put them on a sliding glass door.
Lori’s husband, Dan, passed away this past summer after three years dealing with leukemia. We went to his funeral in July and saw Julie, Pam, and husbands.
I’m in the final stages of a sequel to Lower World so second in a trilogy and third book. It’s called Lost Sea. So now I have 4 or 5 books to promote counting your Deathdoubledactyl and Brad Pitt Won’t Leave Me Alone. I’ve learned a lot.
Miss you and would love to talk with you about writing and politics.
Love, Mom Close
Thinking of you.. / Christopher Hook (Friend)Read >>
Thinking of you.. / Christopher Hook (Friend)
So, I am lying here and you popped into my head. How funny. It's been almost 15 years since you have passed. Shannon and I knew each other from the late 1980s until his death. He would visit me regularly when I lived in Williamsburg Brooklyn. He was just a beautiful gentle soul. Once in the East Village in the 80s I was walking down a street and looked over to find Shannon rolled up in a carpet on the sidewalk. How funny. How beautiful he was. So gifted. So smart and childlike. I am the better for knowing him. How odd to be laying here so many years later and have him pop into my brain. I googled him and it led me here. Pretty amazing. Xoxo Close
Mother's reader - got your book / Sandra Linebaugh (reader of Eloise's books )Read >>
Mother's reader - got your book / Sandra Linebaugh (reader of Eloise's books )
I am a reader of Eloise's books and found out about you from an email from her. It caught my attention because my son, David, would have been 47 last October. So, I know how she feels without you. The number of years don't matter when you have a son who is no longer with you. David went to be with the Lord in 1992 but I still miss him. I have ordered your book and look forward to getting to know you somewhat through your book. Close
Your 52nd birthday / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
So you were born 52 years ago today. I remember your little face only from the baby picture. I don’t think newborns are cute so I remember when you were older and so cute. You were a wiggler back then.
I’ve put your Brad Pitt book free on Amazon for five days. I think last time over 200 picked up your book.
Did Heather ever tell you she ran into a tradesperson from another country who said, “So your last name is Hamann. One of my favorite poets has a last name Hamann. You can guess it was you.”
More people visit your Facebook page these days than your memorial site. I should post more stuff there.
I’m in three different writers’ groups, and when I announced I was putting your book free beginning March 15th, people loved the title, “Brad Pitt Won’t Leave Me Alone.”
Sandy, Victoria, and I went to a celebration of life of one of our farm neighbors in Boise. It was a great weekend. We were the “Heuer girls.”
This old world and country is not in good shape. You absolutely would not believe the despicable president we have, but I suspect he can’t help it. He is clearly mentally ill.
I’m reading a book about the murder and treatment of the Osage Indians in the 1920s in Oklahoma. Their poor land sat over oil so they became rich but weren’t allowed to manage their money. People took advantage of them in so many ways. One man killed family members so he could herd the inheritance to the wife of his nephew. No doubt would make him the heir and bump them off. I was naïve. Corruption is part of the human condition.
We are celebrating your birthday on St. Patty’s Day at Heather’s. with your favorite meal of corned beef.
We lit your candle tonight / Eloise Hamann (Mom)Read >>
We lit your candle tonight / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
It's Valentine's Day and we treated ourselves to a meal of corned beef with dumplings and cabbage boiled in the corned beef broth. We usually also boil turnips, but tonight we used daikon and liked it even better.
Of course I thought of your love for corned beef. You've been getting extra views on Facebook. I'm wondering if people finished reading your Brad Pitt book and were checking you out.
At some point I want to do a relaunch. I'm not sure when, but I'm thinking if I ever get a decent following that would be the time.
At any rate, it was delicious corned beef and we lit your candle. Despite being an essential atheist I can't help but think there's something at work that's behind the propensity for life even in the most hellish of places. I often marvel at that bag with your name on it on the cruise to celebrate our 50th anniversary. Thank you for the congratulatsions as I like to think of it.
Heather sent us flowers today. Kenn bought me roses and I bought him some deer proof calla lily bulbs.
Tomorrow I begin volunteering for this year's San Francisco Writers Conference.
I almost forgot / Eloise Hamann (mom)
Shannon, I forgot to include the news you are most interested in.
My marketing plan involves connecting with readers who like my writing and send them occasional newsletters with good content. As a Christmas gift to them, I set your ebook of "Brad Pitt Won't Leave Me Alone" free for five days before Christmas. A little over 200 people downloaded it so your readership increased a lot.
I was excited.
Love, Mom Close
2017 Holidays / Eloise Hamann (proud mom )
We thought of you over the holidays. They are not over yet. New Year’s is coming up. Of course we lit your candle.
I spent several days before Christmas sorting pictures thinking it would take hours not days when I began. We don't print pictures any more, but I'd never sorted your Nana’s pictures after her death nor other photos people gave us for years. I found I needed to fold them into my last sort probably 10 years ago and do more careful labeling. Mainly, I want to be able to find a particular photo if need be. On the anniversary of your death, I pulled out all of the photos of you. I found a caricature of you we had done by a sidewalk artist in Disneyland years ago. You looked about six. I remember you didn’t like it and gave it to your Bumpa, a passive aggressive gesture, no doubt as he used to try to tease you. I recall you gave him no reaction so he eventually stopped.
Your cousin Jeff died suddenly over the Thanksgiving weekend and Heather was able to find some pictures of him as a child to send to his family from my previous labeling. However, there were collages and notes from my mother, and other items which were unlabled, which I gathered together into a notebook and labeled. Then we had photos several places in the house, which I got down to two sites with three new albums and 3 photo boxes. Good job done.
I don't remember if I wrote you about Yvonne passing last August. I am only glad she didn't have to suffer her son's death. She wasn't in her right mind for over a year.
In general, I have been taking a break from writing and marketing and will continue to do so until January. I am very happy to have a marketing plan that I like, just creating maintaining a good sized email list of people who like my writing. I accumulated over 1500 from an anthology of short fantasy stories called Glimpses. Not many will want to be on 16 authors' lists, but I am going to try to keep a substantial number with a non-salesy newsletter. I'll keep writing my blog so my marketing consists of writing content rather than ads.
We went to The Hard Nut, a spoof of The Nutcracker.yesterday for a Christmas Eve matinee, which was gift from Heather, then came home to one of our family favorites, Gumbo, which I had made in advance to heat up. The Hard Nut was a visual feast with lots of chuckles.We took BART because we had heard about a street closure near the Berkeley campus, the site of the hall where it played. A charming 6-year-old little black boy sat across the aisle from us across from his sleeping mother. He immediately bounced over to Heather (We were lucky to find facing seats.) I forgot what he asked, but he was obviously gregarious and not prone to sitting still. Heather gave him a flavored cough drop. In fact he left his seat so often, another black woman got up and woke the mother suggesting she keep a better eye on her child, but her eye just closed again. He cracked us up when a guy walked by him, and the kid called out, "Pull up your pants." Evidently, he did so.
The gumbo and crab benedict tasted extra good this year. Ditto for the caramel corn. I deliberately made the toffee a little softer as that's how your dad likes it and I no longer bring it to other folks. Oh, I did give Pam some when she and Paul were out here for just one day. She had a flight into San Jose and he took advantage of her relative passes. We had picture perfect weather, went for a hike, wine tasting, and lunch. The men napped while I took Pam over to see Heather's house. Heather took the day off so was with us for hike through lunch.
We went over to Chris, Vic, and Astrid's for an evening meal on Christmas Day. We had no trouble enjoying it even after a big brunch of crab benedict, etc. at noon. We went to their house last year as well, which was perfect given I had not bothered with decorations since we had recently come back from Kauai. None of the Hamanns were into Christmas last year. I missed having Astrid open gifts at our house with no other kids around so this year I arranged with Vic to have them over NY Day for Astrid's gift opening calling myself the selfish grandma that I am. She readily agreed so now I am happy if we make this a tradition. Vic is such a great person. For months she made a huge cauldron of soup to take to a homeless camp in Oakland. She noticed I was so busy talking to people at the launch party for my book, Lower World that she offered to bring me a drink from the wine table. Late in the evening I remembered that I hadn't plugged in the coffee, but she and Heather were in charge of it all.
The jellyfish balloons from the launch party are mostly still inflated. There's a herd in the corner and one remains hanging from the lowest sill of our high windows.
Here’s a video Heather took of my little speech a Close
Thirteen years / Eloise Hamann (mom)
Here's my FB post. More of your friends go to your site there.
By the time I finish this post, it will be exactly 13 years ago that I received the fateful call from a New York policeman. I've been thinking more about you lately. I had a party for the launch of my second book. In toasting those who were there that contributed to my writing, I found myself talking about you and your work. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0xGwF73-eEM
In putting up the Christmas tree decorations, which have been sea shells or creatures of various kinds for years, I remember the older ones and the reindeer that you put on the tree so they appeared to be ascending into the sky. I dug them out and now they ascend on the glass sliding door next to the tree.
I printed a new picture of you in a tuxedo coat we found in your apartment. The sun fades pictures in our living room because of all of our uncovered windows.
I will be spending the day looking at your photos and reading old letters from you. I'll also put this on your memorial site and reread some of the posts there.
PS: Family update: I don't think I told you Yvonne died a few months ago, and we were shocked that Jeff died very recently. He had been suffering from vertigo and may have suffered a brain aneurysm. Just glad Yvonne didn't have to suffer that. She became very confused in her last year, but I think she would have understood the loss of her son.
To continue the bad news, Lori's husband, Dan has leukemia. He has had a bone marrow transplant and has gone through hell. There is some graft/host conflict so things look iffy for a normal life. Julie's husband, Craig had heart surgery. That did go well, but it takes quite a while to recuperate.
OK, I"m a bad news/good news person, bad first. So now for good news. Your aunt Sandy dotes on her new cute Grandson, and Dan and Ashley have moved back to the Chicago area. Victoria has four grandchildren along with her large home and yard, full time job, and volunteer work for the Red Cross. She went through training so she can help in disasters.
Disasters we've had many this year. I wish you were here to talk about the one that bothers me most as you'd make me laugh. Close
Easter 2017 / Eloise Hamann (Mother)
Douglas McDonald and Chris were here for Easter. Tia's husband, Jeff, read your poem, Easter. Douglas did not have your poetry book so I gave him one and one for a friend he knows will enjoy it. We lit your candle with crooked lettering per usual.
Love, Mom Close
Easter Poem / Eloise Hamann (Mom)
I just got back from reading your poem, Easter at an open mic for poetry month. Seemed appropriate since next Sunday is the day.
I gave away four of Deathdoubledactyl, your poetry collection.
I'm on my umpty umph draft of my second novel, and have a complicated marketing plan.
I'm over my depression in the sense I feel like doing things again.
Love, Mom Close
51st Birthday, 2017 / Eloise Hamann (Mother)
It seems these posts aren't dated so I guess I'll mark it in the title. I seem to have missed a Christmas greeting in 2016. We passed on Christmas and took a trip to Kauai with Heather.
On your day people are sending postcards to our new unduly elected minority president. Words cannot describe how awful he is or, more to the point, the awful potential consequences of his election. Many words have been wasted on this racist, narcissistic pathological liar who has cheated and bullied his entire life so I’ll stop there.
We’ve already celebrated your birthday at Heather’s new place, which she just finished settling in with her new dining room table. She is so excited, and so am I as I looked forward to her being able to make full use of her cute place.
Next month is National Poetry Month, and I think I’ll read your Easter poem at an open mic in Pleasanton.
I’m working hard as a writer and have a complicated marketing plan, which involves giving away e-books to get email addresses to help sell your next book.
Love, Mom Close
Recited one of your poems in a staff meeting yeste / Tia Woodward (Friend)Read >>
Recited one of your poems in a staff meeting yeste / Tia Woodward (Friend)
Shannon, I recited your poem as an example of passive vs. active voice yesterday when presenting to the staff in SF and LA. This is how I remembered it, but don't know where I'd find the original now:
Mother said to Inga returning from college
Inga, your brother was hit by a train
Never use passive voice
You sound like an illiterate
Wish we could talk / Eloise Hamann (Mother)Read >>
Wish we could talk / Eloise Hamann (Mother)
Two sad events in my life. A despicable man was elected president and Leonard Cohen died. Maybe the latter is good news for you if you meet up or he continues his songwriting wherever you are.
The despicable man has zero redeeming features although one or two of his policies are OK. He is against a bad trade agreement and claims to support family leave. He has very few articulated plans and is volatile so... We can kiss efforts for clean water and air goodbye.
He is mysoginist and racist. The Washington Post revealed a tape on which he bragged that his fame allowed him to grope women and get away with it. He denied he'd ever really done it. It was just locker room talk, but 17 women came forward, all liars (according to him) accusing him of grabbing them inappropriately. One woman was just standing on the sidewalk and when she acted horrified, he asked her if she knew who he was.
He made fun of a disabled reporter, and his awfulness continues. Oh, I guess you might remember him since you lived in New York. His name rhymes with Frump.
I am depressed and was so even before the result as the election was so awful and the media followed his daily outrageousness.
I am working on distracting myself from it all, but people are protesting in large cities all over the country. You'd no doubt be marching in NYC.
One distracting thing is Heather's move to Alameda across the bay. Andrew's girlfriend will be moving in so...
Alameda is a great small city with a sense of community. Free parking and Heather can take the ferry to work. I think she will really like it there.