Aunt Norma

My Aunt Norma died last week. She was my Dad’s youngest sister and the last living sibling at 92. Norma brought out the best in people. One of my cousins remarked on this. It was definitely true regarding my father, her big brother, who could be crabby, gruff, silent…you name it. Norma managed to smooth out those emotional wrinkles and made many a Christmas day and time spent at the cabin in the Adirondacks a sheer joy.

Today I took a shot at baking a German Chocolate Cake, one of Norma’s signature desserts; it looks a little odd but it tastes pretty good. Not as good as Norma’s but I wanted to remember and feel close.

 

Then and Now

It is graduation season and Father’s Day is just around the corner. It is also time to take a moment to celebrate old friends. I met up with a dear friend of 40 years to spend a  few hours chatting while the Mississippi River- still overflowing the banks- rolled on by. Today, our nephew David hosted a graduation brunch :).

Dad and me in 1969:

stina and dad Rome Temple of Vesta

Spending time with Gaile by the Mississippi at City House St Paul MN

gaile in color

…and the High School grad, David, with his Mom and Dad:

grad2

 

Scanning The Past No. 2: Remembering Headington

The Fall of 1969 my family moved to Kirtlington, Oxfordshire, England for a year. My Dad began a sabbatical and I was immersed in the life of an English school girl at Headington School.

I think often of that year- an eye opening and wonderful adventure- and wonder about the friends with whom I long ago lost touch. There are two women in particular: Kathryn Scott and Carole Pickaver. I remember calling Kathryn’s mother on a trip to England in the mid-80’s and being told of her marriage to a London policeman but we never made contact. Where are you now KES?

stina kathryn stuart carol picavor

Stina (me) Kathryn (back) and Carole Pickaver (?) This is a photo taken by my Dad on a return visit to Oxford a few years after the sabbatical.

Another snap of friends from school in the garden behind the house in Kirtlington.

Stina Rachel Popkin Jane Perry Eva Stewart Catriona Duthie

Stina, Rachel Popkin, Jane Perry, Eva Stewart (standing) Catriona Duthie ( now a successful Barrister whose father helped organize Dad’s sabbatical)

Scanning the past

With the help of an Epson scanner, I am starting to sort through photos from the 1940’s and slides and photos from the 1960’s through the 70’s. Regrettably, the slides were kept in less than optimal conditions but it is a worthy challenge :).

skippy grandma mark ginny mom 1948 canada

1948-  My brother Mark, sister Ginny, mother, Florence, and Grandma Ruby enjoy a vacation in Canada- as well as Skippy the dog.

john jacox 1948 canada

Grandpa John 1948

ginny and mark

Ginny and Mark- somewhere in the Adirondacks 1948

stina grandma ruby no filter

The next generation to find a love of the woods; Me with Grandma August 1961- 58 years ago.

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: (happy) Nostalgia

I thought about the idea of ‘ nostalgia ‘ most of the day today. There is great joy in the memory- and the knowledge that weathering the emotional storms allows me to look at the photograph with love.

dad-thea-andrew_edited-1

Dad, Thea (just turned 40) and Andrew (also a 40 something…) at the North Lake Adirondack cabin on an August day 35 or 36 years ago. I took the photo and was a youthful 20- something 🙂

Purging the House and Sharing a Memory

I took a few days off work this week. After reading two mysteries and cleaning the house I decided it was time to continue the daunting task of purging. This has meant pulling boxes of photos and memorabilia out of closets and crawl spaces and being as ruthless as possible. The tour books, postcards and duplicate photos- scraps of paper and receipts- none of these are the keepers of the memories for me- those still exist in my mind (at least for awhile longer).

I would like to share a photo from 1961. Yours truly is about 3 years old and seated between Otto and Ernestine, keepers of “The State House” a home that sat at the intersection of a dirt road and the headwaters of North Lake, Atwell, NY. Otto and Ernestine raised their sons there and managed the maintenance of the Black River and dam system fed by the lake.

My family and I spent decades building summer memories at North Lake. In this instance, it only took one photo to open a window on so many other images…

otto stina ernestine color

Hip Zip 55102: Burn Unit: Coffee Ward

For awesome chai and killer cinnamon muffins (made fresh!), visit Burn Unit Coffee Ward 945 West 7th, St. Paul. :). Owner Christina Graham-Ziton creates an inviting space filled with art and cozy retro spaces (not to mention her fantastic baked goods). You can also sample Kava, a unique treat!

Hip Zip 55101: Your Turn Vintage/ Retro & Antiques

Your Turn Vintage, located at 365 East 7th St, St. Paul, MN is a vintage/ retro/ antique heaven! Manager Niki will happily show you around the amazing collections that include vintage vinyl, records, hats and clothing, jewelery, kitchen wares and ceramics, lunch boxes, posters…and well, more than you can impossibly imagine. In warmer months the rear garage doors open to create a patio experience- but don’t wait- Your Turn Vintage is the perfect destination trip on a snowy winter day!