Monday, June 13, 2011

Grandma P's Birthday!

My Grandma Phyllis's 80th birthday was yesterday.  It is hard to believe because she seems much younger than 80.  She always looks and acts the same which is so reassuring!  

This is the first photo of her that I know of, and I am not sure how old she is or why it was taken.  It doesn't look like a school headshot because it is off center and she appears to be wearing a winter coat!  It is very cute, regardless of that haircut!  I don't think their family had money to spend on salon visits for each child!
Grandma is the girl on the left in this picture and the other is her of them...I think it was Gloria...or Anita...or Geraldine...
Here is another one of those eleagant 1950's headshots!  Grandma graduated from high school in Stephen, MN.  As a teenager she lived with an aunt and uncle and helped take care of her young cousins.  I think it is very interesting how many people in those days had living arrangements that would be hard to imagine today.  My Grandpa Glenn also lived as a boarder during high school because it was difficult to make the trip to school in the winter. 

This picture is so cute!  What kills me is that her teeth appear to be perfectly straight and I know there was no orthodontia!  That elusive straight teeth gene has been long lost in my family...
Ooooh...this is the only known photo of the whole family together.  The quality is not great because it was scanned from a scan.  The kids order of age...Russell, Norma, Phyllis, Gloria, Anita, Geraldine, Donald, Dennis, Patsy, Joy, Sandra, Karen, John, and Barry!  WHEW!  Grandma is the one to the right of Russel in the back row. 

This family really had to come together in 1955, when their mom, Margaret, died unexpectedly.  Grandma and her sisters all pitched in and helped raise the younger kids.  My grandparents were just married when this happened and her brother Donny lived with them until he finished high school. 
This photo is from a girls road trip Grandma took with some friends one summer after they finished high school.  I love to imagine them giggling and being silly just as I would act on such a trip.  There are many photos of roadside picnics and silly antics at landmarks from this trip!  I love that Northern MN flatness!  Grandma was not able to attend college, although she was a working woman for years.  In addition to her childcare duties, she worked as a waitress at a relatives resort, a cook at a large farm, and a mail room clerk at a department store in Minneapolis.  I remember her working at the local bank when I was younger, back when bank workers wore matching uniforms that changed with the seasons!  She met my grandfather when she was working at a restaurant her parents owned.  He was a teacher at the city high school. 
They were married in July of 1954 and stayed married until my grandfather, Harold, died in March of 2006.  They had a happy life together.  They had 5 children...Steve, Cindy (mother!), Kris, Tim, and Jenny.  
Family legend tells of how all of children were really fat as babies, and with each 10 pounder grandma got was like they were little parasites or something!  Haha...just kidding!  This series of photos documents this phenomenon...the photo above is Steve...
I love the 1950's furnishings in the house! 
Three beefy babies down...two more to go!  The little girl is my mom.  I just saw shoes like those in a fashion magazine...very nice!
That is my great grandfather Norris...not sure who the baby is...there is the rolled pants look again, similar to what my other grandma wore in many of her pictures.  It is hard to see, but Norris has a cigarette between his fingers.  You can see it better in another photo.  Such behavior would be so unthinkable now!  It makes me laugh!

There is the whole family in the always eleagant and glamourous 1970s. 

And again in 1980 and the wedding of my parents.
And there I am...the first grandchild!  She has 8 grandhildren now. 
I love a good four generation photo!  I look forward to posing for this type of picture with my mom and Phyllis in the future!

This was taken on Easter in the 90's sometime...I appologize to anyone picture here who might be embarassed!  It looks like my brother got a new basketball...
And so we arrive in the present...This was our family's most recent wedding in 2010, when my cousin Katie got married.  What a full life!  Which more to be lived!

We are going to Las Vegas in a few days to celebrate both of the grandmas' birthdays.  We had a reception after church for Grandma in MN over the weekend.

I imagine the summer day when she was born in 1931.  People born in those days really saw so much about life change.  It fascinates me. 

Here are a few of us cousins and my mom posing with Grandma!  I wish more of our family could have been there!  After church we drove to a nearby lake resort for lunch and on the way home drove by the first house my grandparents lived in after they were married.  It looked...rundown.  Ok, it looked like it could have been on 8 Mile Road in Detroit, complete with peeling paint, decaying shingles, car parts and debris scattered around the yard and the rough tenants standing outside smoking in white underwear shirts.  She didn't seemed to mind though and laughed at the whole scene!  That street used to be very nice and the high school superintendant lived nearby.  The high school was a few blocks away and I imagined my grandpa walking to and from work. 

Happy birthday Grandma! 

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