A Registered Chapter of the Red Hat Society

Queen Mariyn

"Mondays child is full of face…
Tuesdays child is full of grace…."

I was born on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving and I can assure you that this Tuesdays child is NOT full of grace.  Mischievous yes, full of grace no.  Just read the comments on any of my elementary school report cards and the word mischievous is found on every one!

I was born and raised in Windsor Vermont.  My family consisted of my mom and dad, my brother Billy, and my sisters Pinky and Lolly.  I’m the baby of the family by 10 years but I sure did try to be like my sisters.  After a visit with Santa at age 4, Santa told my mom that I had requested “cosmetics” and “new hose” just like my sisters had.  My earliest memory is being spun around the living room floor while watching American Bandstand with my sisters.  They told me I couldn’t watch Mickey Mouse unless I danced with them.

Our family always loved the water.  My mom made sure I learned how to swim at age 3.  Billy, Pinky, and Lolly were responsible for taking me to the local swimming area for my lessons and I had to follow at least 10 feet behind them.  They were teenagers and being seen with their baby sister wasn’t the coolest of things to do but, they kept a careful watch on me and were very protective.

Every summer we took a two week vacation to Crystal Lake.  We had to travel across the lake by boat to get to our camp.  What a great place camp was.  It had a huge wood stove in the kitchen for cooking, a huge fireplace in the living room, and a big porch with rocking chairs for sitting and watching the sunset.  I loved going to camp!  The water was so clear my sisters and I would swim all day.  My dad and brother always took the boat out early in the morning to go fishing and in the afternoon we’d all go out and water ski.  We always took vacations together even when my brother and sisters got married and had families of their own.  We also had several family outings each summer at Lake Bomoseen were we water skied, cooked out, and spent time swimming at the beach.

Being so much younger than my brother and sisters I had the best of both worlds.  I was raised like an only child, but I was also raised with a brother and sisters.  I was closer in age to my nieces and nephews but I loved it.  Once my next younger sister Lolly married and moved away my parents did a lot of traveling and played a lot of golf.  I learned how to play golf at age 8 and started playing on the ladies golf league when I was 13.  I love golf!  I haven’t played in several years now and miss it, but I know I can always hit the links and still enjoy a round even if I don’t have a 9 handicap anymore.  I always wanted to beat my mom who was a club champion.  I would look at my mom and dad's trophies and wanted one for myself.  I never did beat her in a women’s club championship match but my team beat her team for the league club championship the year I was pregnant with my first child.  We were finishing on the 4th hole which was a par 5.  My mom had a two foot putt and of course my putt was about 15 feet and on a side hill.  I had to sink the putt to get a birdie and my mom had this little glint in her eye.  I lined up the ball and just gave it a good tap……..plunk, it was in the hole!  My mom had to make her putt to tie but she was so overconfident she missed.  We won!!!!  I finally beat my mom and I’d get a trophy of my very own!  Imagine my surprise when they awarded crystal bowls as prizes that year instead of trophies!  Why or why couldn't they have given me my own trophy with a lady golfer on top????

I inherited my love for singing from my mom and my love of the Red Sox from my dad.  My mom was always singing or humming.  She always had some tune to go with anything she was doing; vacuuming, dusting, chasing me up the stairs at bedtime, or just sitting in the backyard with me watching the lightening bugs at dusk.  My mom was also a leprechaun, or so I believed.  I would spend hours looking for a four leaf clover in the backyard.  She’d come out to hang the laundry on the line and ask me what I was doing.  I’d tell her and she’d just bend over, pick one, and say “here’s one”.  I never did find one but she had the luck of the Irish (she should, she was full blooded Irish).

My favorite memory of my dad is of him sitting in the backyard at the table with a Ballentine Ale in one hand, a cigar in his mouth, and a Red Sox game playing on the radio.  It didn’t matter where we were or what we were doing; fishing, boating, or sitting in the backyard, the Red Sox were always on the radio.  It took almost 51 years since I started listening to their games but they finally WON THE WORLD SERIES!!!!

My favorite summer pastimes growing up were catching grasshoppers, sliding down the hill in a cardboard box, playing hide-and-seek until dark, and running around the lawn making the lightening bugs fly up in front of me.  In winter I skied, skated, and rode my own snow mobile.  In Vermont you did anything you could in winter to keep from getting cabin fever.  Mud season (in Ohio you call it Spring) brought maple sugaring and the relief from 2 feet of snow and 20 below zero temperatures.  Autumn was my all time favorite season of the year.  I loved raking the leaves into large piles and then jumping into them only to have them scatter and I’d have to start raking again.  The smell of the apple cider and fresh baked beans in my mom’s kitchen still cling to my senses.  My daughters always enjoyed autumn because that’s when their mom would “nest” and make stews, beans, and fresh apple pies

I took college prep courses in High School and spent many semesters my freshman year trying to figure out those darned word problems.  Thank you Mr. Riegel for being so patient and taking the time to explain them until I finally figured out how to solve them.  Once I finally grasped the concept, I loved math.  I never got below an A in any math class the rest of my high school or college career.   I sang first soprano in chorus and played clarinet in band, my senior year I was first chair.

I went to the University of Vermont where my major was elementary education.  During my second semester I married.  I completed 2 years at UVM and had no regrets leaving because 3 months after my last semester, I gave birth to my first daughter Mary.  Remember the trophy in golf? Mary arrived 3 days after winning the championship and she was the best trophy of all!  My husband was in the Navy at the time and was in the Mediterranean so Mary and I had plenty of time together.  If the truth be know, we actually raised each other.  Three years later our family was blessed with my second daughter Tina.  Growing up my mom always used the curse “when you grow up I hope you have two daughters just like you!”  Well the mom’s curse worked.  Mary and Tina were so different but so much like me in different ways.

Time flies and 20 years after my wedding I was a newly divorced mom.  One of my mom’s favorite sayings was “when one door closes, a window opens”.  Being on my own with a daughter ready to enter college and another daughter a sophomore in High School was not what I had planned.  I was a Customer Service Manager for my company and I traveled extensively training clients on how to use our software for redistricting legislative districts.  One trip was to the city of Cleveland for training one of the political parties in Ohio and the next two trips were to Columbus for training the other political party and the non-partisan agency responsible for the public access.  Just 5 months later I had packed up my house and moved to the capital of Ohio to take a job with the non-partisan agency!  My daughters joined me several months after I arrived.  Mary would be attending OSU and Tina would become a Junior in high school.  My daughters and I had always been close but we became even closer.  I always said that the three of us living together was like a long slumber party.  We had some great times and some not so great, but we always knew we were together.  They are not only my daughters, they are my best friends.

Dating became an adventure but I finally met the man I was destined to spend the rest of my life with, I met my husband Dave.  We have so much in common but we’re also opposites; I’m the eternal optimist and he’s the realist.  He’s my best friend and I can’t wait to get home from work every night to see him.  Just thinking about him makes me smile, even when I want to ring his neck.  He’s very close to my daughters and they think of him as Daddy Dave.  He was the first man I ever dated that Tina actually liked from the first meeting!  She told me he was a keeper after only visiting with him for 5 minutes.  Of course they’re both Aries and I think their in cahoots.  I’m very blessed to be step mother of Dave’s son Joe.  I think the world of him and I’m glad he’s my son.

Both of my daughters and my son are married and I’m lucky to have 2 wonderful son-in-laws and a wonderful daughter-in-law.  With married children I also have the thrill of being a grandmother!  My grandson Benjamin is 4 years old and so much like his mom I have to believe that the mom’s curse really works.  He’s all boy and full of energy.  My granddaughter Abagail is only a few weeks old and I can already see that she’s going to have her dad and grampa wrapped around her little finger.  I look forward to watching both children grow up and enjoy everything about them.

Family is the most important thing in my life and in looking over my bio I see where I never mentioned that I finished college at age 30 and have worked as a computer programmer for the last 13 years.  I also have worked in a drug store, a liquor store, country club, restaurant, sang with a big band orchestra, taught swimming lessons, and was a life guard.  I was a substitute teacher and taught square dancing to my daughter’s kindergarten class.  I’ve traveled all over the world including France, China, 30 of the continental states, and the Caribbean.  I’m more comfortable on stage performing than I am with having small talk at cocktail parties.  My favorite color is purple and my favorite flower is the violet.  I lost my mom and dad within 7 months of each other when they were both 82 years of age and I hope that I have as much energy as they both did until the day they died.  I miss them daily but I know I’ll see them again and that they are looking out for me and my family.

I thank God for my husband, my children and their families, our family, and all of my friends.  I also am thankful for all of the flowers in the Victorian Bouquets for their friendship and their love.

August 2005 Flower of the Month