A Registered Chapter of the Red Hat Society

Mary, Vice Kween Princess Daughter*

For those of you who don’t know me, let me introduce myself. I am Mary, Princess Daughter. I don’t make many appearances with the flowers of the bouquet, as I live in the frozen tundra of New Hampshire. While I not am there in person, though, I am certainly with you in spirit. Well, actually, I sort of am there in person – my mother, Queen Marilyn and I are almost exact carbon copies! Ask Carole, she’ll vouch for this!I

I came into this world at the end of a long, hot August in 1973. My mother tells me that my birth date is August 29, but my baby book says August 28th …she blames it on a C-section, and the drugs that followed….I think she’s been toying with me for the better part of 32 years.

I grew up in a blink and you’ll miss it town – Windsor, Vermont. I was a typical tomboy – mud pies and Tonka trucks ruled my world! Dresses and dolls were for sissies, or in my case, my little sister. I also liked to ride my bike, go on motorcycle rides with my father (can you imagine a 5 year old on a Harley today??), swim (I was, and still am, a fish), and do gymnastics.

It was in this hometown that my overwhelming fear of snakes was born, and nurtured. This fear was inherited from my mother. My first encounter with the forked tongued creature was when I was 4 or 5…swinging on my swing set, legs dangling. I felt a tickle, and looked down and saw a black and white snake of some sort climbing up my leg! I screamed for my mother, who came to my rescue (sort of) with a broom in hand. She beat and beat and beat, missing the snake entirely, but making a nice piece of artwork on my leg. The snake finally got bored, and slithered off by itself. She yanked me off the swing, and threw me, and herself, into the bed of my fathers pick up truck. There we sat, until he came home from work. She was not going to run us across snake infested lawn! A few years later, I saw a snake sunning itself under our basketball hoop….I did not go outside for the rest of the day, and part of the next.

One of my mothers favorite snake tales is when I was in 10th grade biology – during our last semester, we had to pick wildflowers, and draw them in a journal. Every wildflower = 1 point, so you wanted to get as close to 100 as you could. My mother, sister and I were in a field near our local golf course. Mom and Tina went in 1 direction, I in another. I was wearing flip flops, and had the most unpleasant misfortune to have a snake slither across my foot. I screamed “SNAKE” at the top of my lungs, and booked it for the car. My sister and mother took off for the car, and made it before me. They then proceeded to LOCK ME OUT OF THE CAR IN A SNAKE INFESTED FIELD!! Last time I checked, snakes could not unlock car doors…then there was the time our high school band was marching around the track field, and one of those little buggers slithered in front of me, and I almost swallowed my clarinet….I could go on….and on….and on….!

From the age of 7 until I was about 15 or 16, I swam with my hometown swim team. When I was about 10 or 11, I also swam for Springfield, VT. And during the winters, I swam with a regional swim team. Every year, except for my last year with Windsor, I took first place on the team in my age group. My last year, I got 2nd place, only because my coach insisted on signing me up to swim breast stroke, and I insisted on not swimming it, because I look like I am having a seizure when I swim the breast stroke. (I was robbed!) In 1984, I was 2nd in the state of Vermont in backstroke and butterfly. Somewhere in a storage bin in Westerville are my trophies, and some of the many ribbons I won.

I am a rabid Red Sox fan, thanks to my Grandpa Bateman. Summers were spent at their house, listening to them on the radio, or watching them on TV. I have been to 3 games – 2 in 1991, and one in April of this year. I was a nervous wreck last September/October, during the playoffs and the Series, but know that my Grandpa was smiling down from Heaven when they won the World Series! I am so thankful that it happened in my lifetime! I am also a card carrying member of Red Sox Nation!!! (Update: my beloved Sox failed to even make it to the play offs this year, but thankfully, the Yankee’s didn’t make it, either! I guess we’ll have to wait another 86 years for our next trophy!)

I could not wait to get out of my little Vermont town, and the opportunity presented itself when Mom was offered a job in Ohio in 1992. I went to OSU for a year, but had no idea what I wanted to do, so I dropped out. I worked in a deli for 4 years, and went to travel school in Dublin, and worked for a travel agent in Westerville for a year.I moved back to New England in 1996 – I had a boyfriend here that I met online, and I wanted to help my Grandfather take care of my Grandmother, who was stricken with Alzheimer’s.I started work in Keene, NH for a tour company called General Tours. The working environment was not the greatest, but I was able to go to Japan, China, Costa Rica, and Brazil. Mom was lucky enough to go to China with me – ask her about the 45 minutes we spent at the Great Wall, her trying to sneak pictures of the Terra Cotta Warriors of Xian (and me worrying about getting thrown into a Chinese prison!), us spending way too much for tea, the opera “singers” at our duck dinner….I could go on and on!

I am now a travel agent here in Keene.  I currently live in Fitzwilliam, NH, with Tim, my husband of 8 years, and our 4 year old son, Benjamin. Throw in 2 unruly kittens – siblings Maggie and Nemo and that completes the Walsh family.  My husband is just like my mother – they both know what buttons to push with me, and do it frequently, their bladder is the same size – roughly the size of a grain of sand, which makes driving anywhere impossible – the one thing different (well, 2 – Tim is a man!) is that Mom would travel the world with me, and Tim hates to leave New Hampshire…except to go to Orlando.

My mother cursed me with the “I hope you have children who are just like you” curse that every mother wishes on their children, and let me tell you, it worked! He is the spitting image of his father, except for the chin dimple that he inherited from me. His personality, though, is pure me! He has just recently told me that he will not be able to start listening to me until he turns five. It’s just too much for a 4 year old boy to do! He also has my sarcastic sense of humor, although, I’m not sure he’s aware of it….he’ll come out with the most priceless things when I am trying to discipline him, which cause me to have to leave the room so that he does not see me laughing! He’s a great boy, and I would not trade him for the world. That is a huge statement from those who knew me in my teen years, when I was never going to get married of have kids! He will probably be my only, as my husband is older, and has 2 grown kids (One of which is in Iraq, serving at Camp Gannon with the 3/2 India Co. in the Marines). Another update: Tim Jr. is back at Camp Lejeune, safe and sound, until he deploys for Fallujah in July ’06.

I look forward to meeting the flowers, on my way too infrequent trips to see Queen Marilyn, and my dear Daddy Dave.

November 2005 Flower of the Month

*Coronation as Vice Kween Princess Daughter on April 17, 2010. As of September 2005, Vice Kween Princess Daughter resides in Westerville OH.