In 1939 she bought a White sewing machine so she could make clothes for Jeanie who was born that year. I still have and use that machine.
She painted in oils and in watercolors.
In the 1950s she published stories in True Story magazine and others.
She was a docent at the San Diego Natural History Museum having passed a rather rigorous class and exam to qualify. She was a secretary in the Astronomy Department at what was then San Diego State College. She probably learned more about astronomy than most workers.
For as long as I knew her she sang as she worked in the kitchen. Sentimental Journey. You Are My Sunshine. Rags to Riches. I noticed when I took care of them late in their lives that Mom sang as she washed dishes especially when Dad was being difficult. It took her to a healing space so that she could cope.
When I was young, to encourage me to be a little tidier, she would say
In 1931 just after her high school graduation she and her best friend drove from northern Illinois to Washington DC and back.
She had friends for life. She kept in touch with high school friends, friends in every city she ever lived in, neighborhood children into their adult lives when they brought their children to meet her.
When I came home during one college break, she went with me to collect plants for my Field Botany class. She had good ideas on where certain plants would be. She was a trooper!
She inherited the Duncan enthusiasm. And she was “born lucky” – this was discovered when she would win any door prize that was offered. In the 60s she won our first color TV in local supermarket drawing.
She would have been 97 today. The best way for me to celebrate is to do something she would have enjoyed doing. Eat popcorn for dinner. Go to a movie with a friend. I wish I could walk on the beach, but I think I will sit out and look at the stars. And then have that popcorn.