Monday, February 9, 2009

Lovely February

Ah, February!

The month of Love!

February memories special to me include...

My Mutti passed away February 2, 2002. It is an understatement to say I miss her very much. I send hugs and kisses to heaven for her each day. Sometimes it seems like she's been gone longer than seven years. However, she has given me so many wonderful memories it sometimes seems like I can reach out and hug my beloved Mutti.

Elsie Jean Wilson Blakeley, my Father's Mother was born February 2, 1900. My Grandma Blakeley was the only grandmother I knew. My Grandma Walp passed when I was very young and lived in California, so I didn't know her. Although Grandma Blakeley's first given name was Elsie, she preferred to go by Jean. After all, she couldn't go by Elsie because there was a girl in her primary school named Elsie and she had head lice! Horrors!

Grandma Blakeley was very talented with handicrafts. She would make clothes for our dolls when I was a child. I remember she had a Barbie she would use as a model. Because she was just a model, Grandma's Barbie was in mint condition. I would often hold her Barbie and wish, wish, wish my Barbie was as beautiful. You see, Grandma's Barbie had never been to the *Beauty Salon* so her hair was still perfect. My Barbie had received numerous salon treatments at my novice hand, which meant her hair was, well, not beautiful. Oh how I longed to take Grandma's Barbie home with me.

Grandma also made a quilt for each one of her granddaughters to receive as a wedding gift. Being the late bloomer that I was in the marriage thing, I received my quilt upon her passing. I love it, especially it's imperfectness.

Grandma had a personal *rule* that you would receive a gift from her until you were 19 or married, which ever came first. In my early days I would receive doll clothes; pre-teen years capes knit at her hands (on her new knitting machine, actually); in my later teen years she would give me things for my hope chest... sets of sheets and the like. However one year, the last year I qualified, she gave me a 25lb. bag of sugar! That's right, sugar. I don't know what happened to that big bag of sugar. Hopefully Jane or Charmalee received it prior to our move to Michigan. They didn't go with us because they were married by then.

Grandma Blakeley raised African Violets; her laundry facilities were in her bathroom; she always had beautiful drapes in her homes. She was very particular about her drapes. Every child I know loves to go behind the drapes and hide. If we tried it at Grandma's house we were quickly told to come from behind the drapes and sit like a lady (or gentleman, if the case).

As a general rule, we visited Grandma and Grandpa Blakeley every Sunday (we lived in the same town). In our younger years, Grandma had boxes of dress-up clothes in her closet. The boxes were there for us to play with and play we did! Now that I'm a grandmother, I wish I had all of those wonderful hats, handbags, dresses and jewelry Grandma Blakeley saved for us.

Somehow, Grandma and Grandpa Blakeley would be at our house Christmas mornings waiting for us to wake up and see what Santa had left for us. I never could figure out how they knew that Santa had visited our house before we did!

Grandma Blakeley was a wonderful correspondent with me after Mom and Dad moved us to Michigan and then Germany. She and I exchanged many letters.

Grandma Blakeley had the softest hands of anyone I remember. My Dad is following in her footsteps... his hands are very soft now, too.

Ellen, Val's sister, was also born on February 2, in 1961. Ellen is a great sister-in-law. She is 4 years younger than Val and I. Although Ellen has had her share of challenges and trails in her life, she is a very happy, talented, kind, grateful lady!

The year Val and I were married Ellen was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She underwent surgery to remove the tumor the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. I remember it well because it was my first Thanksgiving as a married woman and our year to spend the holiday with the Bagley family. Because Ellen was still in the hospital, Caren spent the day with Ellen. Honey met us at Chuck-a-Rama in Bountiful. He didn't want to stand in line and so he paid for our dinner and left. Val, the kids and I had dinner alone. Needless to say, it was a very 'flat' day for us although we were grateful Ellen survived her surgery.

We were also thankful for all of the other blessings we received in life. Like me... I was so grateful for the blessing of my sweet husband!

Ellen is a survivor. Not only did she survive brain surgery, she also survived chemotherapy, a divorce, the death of her second husband and the death of her youngest daughter, Kendra (Boo) Smith.

The Bagleys and the Hilles love getting together as often as possible. However, they live in south Salt Lake County and we live in north Davis County, so we don't get to see each other as often as we would like. When we do get together, we have wonderful times, laugh much and wish it happened more often.

Miss Abbigail Jean Bagley, one of my sweet granddaughters was born February 17, 2005. Abbi is petite like her Mommy and has beautiful blue eyes. She gives wonderful hugs, too. She has an older sister, Alona, and a younger brother, Kacen. Abbi also has a baby brother on his way... Jesse, debuting in June!

Learning is one of her favorite things to do. She also loves her baby dolls. A few weeks ago when I asked her what she wanted for her birthday she told me very succinctly "I'm going to get a scooter and a Barbie for my birthday." Some of my favorite memories of Abbi include...

Almost weekly visits to her house in Magna when she was a toddler. Being shy and demure, it wasn't uncommon for Abbi to sit on her Mommy's lap and watch her sister interact and play with Grandpa and I. Alona loved to make houses with the sofa cushions and pillows and Grandpa would always help construct them. One evening they built a house with Alona inside. Abbi got down on the floor with us and I *knocked* on Alona's door. When Alona answered the knock Abbi was so excited and laughed. It was so fun to see the look on Abbi's face and hear her cute laugh!

When Abbi was learning to talk it wasn't uncommon for her to drop the first and sometimes second letter(s) of many words. It is also not uncommon for me to wear my reading glasses on my head so they are available when needed. One day while visiting them in Provo, Abbi asked me for my (gl)asses. That's right, the gl were silent that day! Heather was out of the room when this request was uttered by Miss Abbigail and so when she returned I mentioned 'the incident'. Heather said something to the effect "Yeah, it's funny when she says castle, too!" Other words were cute too, including Ampa for Grandpa. Some words, you wish would stick! I love Miss Abbi!

Of course we can't forget Valentine's Day! My Valentine and I love to share cards and sometimes gifts on the day of Love. My favorite part is Val-entine kisses. My Valentine has such kissable lips!

As usual, Val does an awesome job decorating for the holiday, too!

My sister Barbara and her man Greg (he's some good eye candy, for sure!) usually come to Utah (from San Diego, CA) each year in February, the Tuesday after President's Day. They enjoy a week of skiing, snowmobiling and visiting friends and family. I always look forward to seeing her during this annual pilgrimage. Can't wait to see them this year.

Well, that's it for another Bagley Brief... that isn't brief. :)

Happy Valentine's Day!


Jared said...

Not brief, but I enjoyed reading it! So many memories, happy and sad. Thank you for sharing, Ruth, and again a sincere thanks for your help with our house! Love you both, and hope you enjoy your Valentine's day / President's day weekend!


Heather said...

not sure if it is a mistake or a typo, but Abbi's b-day is the 17th!! Happy late Valentines! I would return your call, but my phone doesn't work!

Kimberlee St. Clair said...

I love reading little Bagley updates. How fun! I get a little inside information...And I love the cute pictures!

Melinda said...

Wonderful blog Ruth! You are a wonderful writer with great tributes to loved ones. Thanks for sharing :)

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