Family Times

When husband John joined a train club four hours away, I told him my hobby was going out to eat. Bless his heart, he honored that. Before he died, we were in the habit of eating at a restaurant on grandson David’s day off and on Sunday. I began to take a photo of the two men across the table. I’m very pleased to have those shots now, keepsakes of relaxed times when we chatted and laughed together. David is working as usual these days, and Lise is transforming our house into organized living. What a whirlwind she is! All of John’s papers have been put into folders, and the office closet now houses games and jigsaw puzzles. She and David straightened up the hall linen closet, and the guest room storage space is now under scrutiny. Lise and I are dealing with paperwork for change of titles for large items, life insurance claims, retirement benefits, medical bills, and change of names on all joint accounts. We have continued our habit of eating out. Here are photos of my lunch companions across the table and David’s tuna wrap at Beach Mountain Diner.

We asked David to pose with both of us at Waynesville Pizza.

I’ve never spoken of the Maclin Pat, a new name for a goofy practice that my brother Bob and I began when we were teenagers. Maclin is our family name, hence the title. In a teasing mood, we’d cock our heads at an angle, put on a silly expression, and pat each other’s arms. David and I continued the practice when he came to live here, and Lise has joined in. Would you agree with me that the ritual needed to be documented?

40 thoughts on “Family Times

  1. You are lucky to have organizational help. There is so much to be done and often no ambition to do it. I can’t think of anything my family has that’s unique except maybe a smirk. My brother has it and I’ve been know to toss it right back at him!


  2. You are so lucky you have help Lise for all paper work. So pretty photo with David. All photography are nice. I hope you well. God bless you!


        1. I don’t know what was behind the man’s statement. In our family we share our lives with photographs. Having a visual history is certainly important to me. John disliked posing for a photo, but he prized the results and shared them.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I wonder if that is something that changed with age. I generally noted in the England photos John was not smiling, but in all of the current ones, he was and seemed like he relished it. Perhaps it is the difference in responsibility as a young father, in a different environment and then later having your children and life work settled for the most part. I saw that in my dad. It was rare for him to be smiling in the family photos, and as he aged and mellowed, he seemed to always be smiling. Either way, I agree–documenting our lives is important.


            1. What a keen observation! I hadn’t noticed that John wasn’t smiling in England. He was probably chafing at posing. I didn’t take as many photos then as I did when we got a digital camera. Also, he didn’t see results until the film was developed. If he was scowling, I’d show him the image and ask if that was the way he wanted to be remembered.

              Liked by 1 person

    1. I will save my photos, and daughter Lise will enjoy them. She has most of them, anyway. How easy it will be to dispose of them with the delete button after I’m gone! No heavy boxes of albums are lurking in the attic or at the back of a closet.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I am a believer! All things should be documented. I smiled throughout this reacting to your, Lise’s, and David’s smiles. Great smiles seem to run in your family.


  4. I’m so glad you have your tight-knit family to support you during what must be a difficult and emotional time. Bless them and you, so far you are handling things in a spectacular manner 🤗💕


      1. That’s how you have to look at it Anne. John’s spirit was willing; his body was not. That’s how I thought about my mom’s passing. Same thing – the pain and suffering were finally over … as you say, set free.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Yes, those kinds of rituals live on beyond their origin. Family sayings, “baby-jokes,” and all sorts of inside jokes endure sometimes long after their meaning is lost. 🙂


      1. I still remember being at Grandma’s and helping her set the table “for tea” every Tuesday afternoon. Her former sister-in-law showed up in the afternoon to partake of “Tea.” I was in my 70s when it suddenly dawned on me that it was about more than just cookies or little sandwiches, and hot tea in a fancy teapot. (I think I still have one of her tea pots.) When I went to England a few years ago, the family always had Tea in the afternoon. Ah-ha! My grandmother’s mother was born in England and moved to the US when she was 10. I admit that I’m kinda slow on the uptake sometimes. duh 🙂


          1. That particular branch (Mom’s paternal line) is “from” Australia. Back in the day they moved from various English and Scottish, and German roots. One of my Australian cousins has published several books on our family.


Do you have a comment? I'd love to hear from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s