Month: November 2015

11.16.15 lavender


Virginia and George Lavender, 1947

11.16.15 rose


My great-grandma Myrtle Lavender lived until she was 99 years old. This is the garden she planted in front of her home in the trailer park, near the county fairgrounds.

11.16.15 santa


My first Santa visit. Merit Mart, Bremerton, 1971.

Quote from my mother: “Well, they did hire any old drunk off the street.”


11.15.15 front


It would be impossible to offer my mother sufficient tribute for all she has done for me. She gave me life, and worked herself senseless at shitty jobs to give me opportunities she never had. Which would be enough, but she did more: steadfastly refusing to allow me to wallow in self-pity or succumb to pain, regardless of the circumstance.

During the darkest cancer years she pulled me out of the hospital bed and made me walk and talk until I was so angry I forgot to die. And most significantly, she always saw the funny side of even the most macabre situation. Her ferocity and scathing wit set the standard for the rest of my life. Her commonsense stoical heroism is beyond understanding. I owe her everything.

I can never thank her often enough. But I can make at least a couple of her lifelong dreams come true.

Today that meant front row tickets for the opening day of the Rockette’s Christmas Spectacular.



11.15.15 spectacular

11.14.15 proof


Last year my mother gave me the complete family archives, including but not limited to photographs, legal documents, newspaper clippings, and random ephemera. It was all jumbled together, with no distinctions between the Lavender, Laakso, Frederickson, McGinty, or Nyland clans.

She is visiting for a week, and wants to help me put it all in logical order. Today we sat down to start sifting through the boxes. This is the bracelet the hospital put on my wrist (after they accidentally switched me with my cousin, but that is a different story) the day I was born.

I’ve been promised that the accompanying newspaper story is somewhere in the archives.


11.13.15 tart


At the Annex with Byron and Zane. I didn’t share!

11.08.15 cider


At the cider festival with Pat, Roxane, Roberta & the gang.

11.08.15 dancers


Morris dancers / Orchard Street / Lower East Side / Manhattan / wtf

11.07.15 dollhouse




Details of the interior, Stettheimer Dollhouse. Currently on display at MCNY.