Saturday, September 8, 2007

My Grandma

I recently got the news that my Grandmother had died. I always felt that I was never sadned when old people died because I felt as if it was their time and they were in a better place with bodies that worked, their memories making them feel complete and a new found calm and completeness. For reasons unknown, her death hit me hard. It brought a lot out in my family and I regretted the last few years where I was not as close to her as I once was.
As a child, I was very close to her. I spent a lot of time at her house and she really inspired the creative side of myself. She was a creative woman and she would allow me to use her paints, taught me calligraphy, how to play the ukellee and took me to ceramic classes. Some of my fondest memories take place in her bedroom. She had a beautiful antique vanity and she would let me put on her make-up and perfume and lotions. She always seemed so glamourous to me, even though she was old and I got a sense of feminine beauty that my mother never gave me from her. I also remember her old antique bed that always had the best linens and piles of pillows. She had a featherbed and as a child I needed a step stool to climb into all of its plush glory. The head and foot board were elamboratly carved and huge in stature with a flat surface on top. I had a basket of small creatures, animals and people I had collected and we called them my "cast of thousands". She would lay in her bed, with her make-up and red hair beautiful and perfect and I would perform a variety show for her. If she didn't like the performance she would take a bamboo cane and swipe the character off stage. Very Vaudville.
Another favorite memory I have is when we found a dead dragonfly. We put it in a plush jewelry box and wrote the story of his life. My Mom still has the story and she read it to me when she shared the news of her death.
In my later years, I realized how much I was like her and how much she was an integral part of who I was. I had her write me letters about her life and I cherish those snipets of what it was like to be her. I am thankfull, now more than ever that I asked her to do this for me.
I was lucky enough to have her be a part of my daughter's life and I cherish the photo we had taken of 4 generations of women from our family. I also cherish that I have photos and stories to share with Phaedra when she gets older.
I am sad that I won't be able to go to her memorial service, so I am saying goodbye in my own ways here and sending a piece of artwork to be displayed to thank her for the creativity she gave me. In saying goodbye to her, I would love to share some pictures of her with all who happen upon this blog...
My Grandma at 16:

This picture isn't the best, but it is of her and my Grandfather making out on his letter jacket:

My Grandma and Grandpa:

My Grandma on the beach:

My Grandmother as a woman and mother:

Thank you, Grandma. For what you've given me and what I have to pass on.

Teen Advisory Board Meeting

Today I stood in for my partner in crime and facilitated the Teen Advisory Board. It was so refreshing to be around such a great group of teens, the gave me energy and smiles in a pretty dismal view of life. We started by talking about upcoming programs and they were fueled by my passion for BBW and I am so glad to have such a neat group of teens inspired by something that inspires me so much.
Another topic we talked about was Teen Read Week. My co-worker and I are going to do a display together and we want to recreate a teens bookbag. I had them bring their bookbags and share their contents with me. I thought they might think it was cheesy, but it seemed they really enjoyed letting me and the other teens at the meeting into such a frivilous and personal aspect of themselves. Here are some neat still-life photos they help me compose...

We then painted some of the bookends for the shelves in the YA area. It gave them a chance to put a bit of themselves and their creativity into the YA area. They had a lot of fun and I think they will look great on our shelves.

Banned Books Display

Every year I look forward to Banned Books Week and plan a big event for my teens at the library. BBW really stirs a passion in me that reminds me of the flame I had as a teenager... believing that some how I can make a difference in the world and caring enough to speak my mind and go against the grain. I also love how talking about BBW to teens gets them surging with that passion. Readers or not, teens feel something about this issue.
This year will be no different and I have kicked off the crusade with a display in the foyer of the library. Here are some pictures...