Gratitude Sunday: Whatever Became of Aunt Ruth?

Gratitude * Sunday
Sunday’s heartfelt tradition.
A time to slow down, to reflect, to be grateful.
A list of gratitudes, our gratefulness feeds one another.
Quoted from Taryn Wilson
Joining the Gratitude Sunday Tradition at Wooly Moss Roots.

Sunday Haiku
Bright blue sun spots peak
though silver white clouds. Teaser!
Not warm; wind chills air.

Sunday Musings
Occasionally the universe puts some pretty interesting curves in the journey through this life.

Today, November 17, 2013, would have been my parents 62nd wedding anniversary. My folks never made too big a deal of their anniversary, they were so busy raising us four children and trying to give us the TV suburban version of life with very little money. They might prepare a special dinner at home but I remember them going out together about six times in my childhood life. They went out more after we were teenagers and able to stay home by ourselves. And since they divorced after we were raised and adults with families of our own, it’s rather moot now. But it was a significant day in my growing-up life.

My dad died in my arms back in May 2001, a sacred moment I would recommend for everyone to experience in this life. Hard as I tried to see it, when he gave up the ghost I saw nothing. Perhaps I was trying too hard, or maybe he was so sick he didn’t have much spirit left. Mom, as you know, died this last summer. I miss them both terribly, and every day I see myself growing closer to being the eldest generation of my family rather than the youngest. I am still a middle generation with two of my mother’s siblings and their spouses alive to be my elders.

So, speaking of elders, I’d been thinking of the hubster’s Aunt Ruth for a several years, and more intensely so after Mom passed. The hubster’s mother died in February 2000; Ruth was her elder sister. Before my mother-in-law passed we knew Aunt Ruth’s husband had died; Aunt Ruth had been placed in dementia care, and didn’t recognize her own sister. The hubster’s dad never trusted him with anything regarding his affairs or his estate while he was alive, though he had the grace to leave all the clean up of the estate to the hubster in his will after he died in July 2003. Because Ruth’s Bible came to us in his dad’s estate, I thought it was likely Ruth had died and my father-in-law had received her estate and just never bothered to say, which was his way. But lately I’ve been wondering what her story was. Whatever happened to Ruth?

Imagine my surprise when I took a phone call at eight o’clock one morning a couple weeks ago thinking it was Sallie Mae and needing to deal with the dun phone calls (I’ll talk about my student loan struggles in another post), when the caller introduced herself and said she was trying to locate the next of kin for Aunt Ruth which would be the hubster, and only the hubster. Good news was there might be a little money coming to him. Bad news was we needed to locate Aunt Ruth.

On the internet we found a picture of Aunt Ruth’s grave and headstone next to her husband’s, but she wasn’t there! The cemetery assistant said she wasn’t listed, and walked across the street to look at the actual grave; there was no death date on the gravestone and no indent in the ground like a hand dug/refilled hole would make. The hubster contacted the attorney who closed his father’s estate, hubster obtained Aunt Ruth’s death certificate through the State of Oregon Vital Statistics Department, and that same afternoon discovered Aunt Ruth’s cremains had been languishing at a mortuary since July 2007.

There is a much bigger mystery to solve – what happened to her and her estate – but for the nonce Aunt Ruth is here with us, in a nice little square box covered with white tissue paper and a gold sticker with her name. The hubster, without consulting me, placed her in the middle of his beloved and most treasured musical instruments and equipment (a source of great joy to him), appropriately placed I think. Eventually we will have her interred in the grave site she bought next to her husband for the eternal rest they intended together.

And now, Watson, the game is afoot.

Color Watch – blooming attractions in my neighborhoods this week – raspberries to a suspension;

Yes, I know these are strawberries.  Isn't the green pretty with the brown leaves?

Yes, I know these are strawberries. Isn’t the green pretty with the brown leaves?

nature provides color all year round even if I don’t catch a picture of it. I saw a lovely bed of vibrant yellow and orange nasturtiums running over a half block long slope, so bright and cheerful;
Red and Green Leaves

Red and Green Leaves

and though most of the trees are naked already,
Shades of Orange

Shades of Orange

a few of the maples are still presenting some brilliant reds and oranges;
Maple Reds

Maple Reds

and then there’s the contrast of red and green in the luxuriant holly that thrives around here.
Christmas Colors

Christmas Colors

Currently Reading – The Good Death: The New American Search to Reshape the End of Life (sociology) by Marilyn Webb; The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives (sociology and politics) by Sasha Abramsky; The Long Winter (“fictionalized” autobiography) by Laura Ingalls Wilder (I never read this series as a kid and I want to finish it); Hanging Out the Wash: And Other Ways to Find More in Less (simplifying life) by Adair Lara. Yes, concurrently.

Winter Classic Reading rules:
1. You must never have read the book before.
2. The book must be recognized as a classic, and can be contemporary.
* Extra points if you’ve never read the author before, if the author is female, or if the title or author have won a Pulitzer or Nobel Prize.

Winter Classic Reading choices as of today:
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte; I’ve never read this author.
The Stranger by Albert Camus; I’ve never read this author.
The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne; I’ve read House of the Seven Gables.
So Big by Edna Ferber; I’ve never read this author.
Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray; I’ve never read this author.
Something by Anthony Trollope, suggested by the co-worker; neither of us have read this author.

**Can you suggest any others? Do you want to read a Winter Classic you’ve never read before? I read a Winter Classic between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox. The point of reading a Winter Classic during those dark cold days of winter before spring breaks the spell is to choose something you might not ever otherwise choose; something to slow you down because the language use or the setting is unfamiliar, the plot or non-plot is unusual, or to read yourself into a different time, world, and culture. We’ll decide by the winter solstice. Or maybe I’ll decide, I haven’t decided yet if I want to be the decider since it’s my tradition or if I want to share. And if I decide on a title and you want to join in with your own choice, have fun with that, too. I’d like to hear what you are reading.**

This week I have been grateful for:

  • People who know how to fix broken vehicles and those who come to the rescue.
  • Telephones. In my pocket. Remembering the days of phone booths on most street corners.
  • Old stories, new stories.
  • Little mysteries.
  • Cleaning corners of dust and cobwebs. The maid around this house is sporadic. As she is able.
  • Electricity. Functioning appliances and wall heaters.
  • Warm clothing. Already the changing of the season chills me. I’ve become such a fair weather girl these days. The snow bunny and the bikini goddess live beneath the surface now.
  • Mild late autumn weather.
  • Words. Grammar. Syntax.
  • The frogsong from the frog who resides under my front porch. I wonder what he likes there. Must be some kinda good eats or he wouldn’t stay.
  • Water.

Hoping you have a lovely week.

Namaste. Peace. Blessings.

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6 Responses to Gratitude Sunday: Whatever Became of Aunt Ruth?

  1. heathermama says:

    what an interesting story about aunt ruth. so strange how things like that can happen.
    beautiful list of gratitudes

    Like

    • sassykas says:

      Thank you! I am so happy you continue to read me. I am very excited to be host to Aunt Ruth for a while as we arrange to have her placed next to her husband. I’m thinking there will be more to the story. Stay tuned.

      Like

  2. piratesorka says:

    Very interesting about Aunt Ruth and sad all the same. I’ve often wondered about my Aunt Alice and now I guess I shall have to get on the stick and do some searching. She died back when I was in California, no one ever told me until one day as my mother and I drove past her old place. Mom had no further information. Auntie never had children and most of that generation was gone. Now I think I have stirred the pot of curiosity and a certain amount of shame that I haven’t done this before now.
    AS for books…how I love them but I end up doing so much reading and most of it isn’t of my choice but for my job. That’s not a complaint, its just what it is. When I do find myself reading for pleasure I like to read something that will offer some words of cheer or humor. Something bright to lighten the winter dulls.
    How on earth did you ever escape reading The Scarlet Letter? Ahh, you had Rudfelt and I had Christiensen, that must have been it! Hmmm…I think…. Oh well.

    I am grateful for warm blankets under and over me in my bed.
    I am grateful for my sweet little place
    I am grateful for you back in my life

    Love, Connie.

    Like

  3. sassykas says:

    we are become detectives in our years. you must find Aunt Alice’s story. so many stories are gone. I had Christiansen my sophomore year (Shakespeare!), and Bouthilet my junior year (not realizing what a treasure he was), and Redpath (culture) and McGinnis my senior year. Somehow I got away in Bouthilet’s class with fake reading Scarlet Letter and managed to pass the test. I keep looking at the first few pages and it kinda gacks me every time, so one of these years it’s going to be grit the teeth and plow through. never got to have Rudfelt. I love you too.

    Like

  4. Pingback: Gratitude Sunday: Planting Aunt Ruth | Sassy Kas

  5. Pingback: The Legacy of Aunt Ruth: Or How I Was Finally Released From Student Loan Hell | Sassy Kas

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