Hello

Here is where I occasionally post about Almost Home and related topics. 

I also write the blog Sixty Something, which features observations and insights from the perspective of someone born in the middle of the Baby Boom (me.) But you don’t have to be sixty to appreciate it.      

Adoptee Reading Resource

I’m honored that my memoir, Almost Home, has been added to the Adoptee Reading Resource website.  This website is a catalog of books written by adoptees, along with other adoption-related books recommended by adoptees.  The books include memoir, fiction, poetry, self-help, essays, and anthologies.  It’s a tremendous resource, and I’m proud to be part of it.   http://adopteereading.com


Summer 1967

 

This photo of me and my best friend Kathy was taken in the summer of 1967 in Silver Lake, Michigan. We are sitting in a dune-buggy, wearing our matching Snoopy sweatshirts, and I am holding my mom’s chihuahua. 

This was the summer following my discovery that my parents were not my parents; the summer I had that horrible short haircut that made me look like a boy. 

I envied Kathy for being cute, petite, and blonde.  We were both just 12 years old at the time, almost 13.  On the cusp of so much.    

 

An Extraordinary Thing

I do not believe the dead can communicate with the living, and I do not believe dreams can be prescient. But an  uncanny experience made me wonder.

While searching through my old journals several months ago, looking for a specific bit of information about my past, I came across the transcript of a significant dream. Digging down into a plastic tub I keep in my basement, I found a spiral notebook from 1990.  I read a few random entries in this notebook, and then flipped to the back where I found some loose-leaf pages, folded in half. The first sentence on these pages is, “I dreamed I found my father!” 

This got my attention since the search for my father, a man whose name I didn’t know, had obsessively absorbed more than a decade of my life. I learned my father’s identity in 2014, but back in 1990 he was still a mystery. Continue reading An Extraordinary Thing

Some things that Mary said

This photo of my grandmother, Mary Preston, was taken in Miami Beach in 1960.  

She worked as a hotel desk clerk then.

“There was a season in Florida in those days.  People only came for the winter.  You had to make as much as you could, and then we spent the summers on the Jersey shore.”  

“I never planned my life,” she once said. “It just happened.” 

“I never worry.  I’ve been through the most appalling things.  But I’ve just made the best of it.  I’ve just gotten on with it.”

“Children are not with you very long.”

 “The tragedy of life is all the things you never asked your parents.” 

“People spend a lot of money on medications, I’d rather go to the movies.” 

You can read more about Mary, me, and the search for my father in my memoir, Almost Home

Marie’s TWA timetable

This is the TWA flight timetable my mom, Marie, had with her when she flew from Michigan to California to pick me up,  following the accident that killed my biological mother and my aunt.  

Marie has doodled on this timetable, perhaps out of nervous anticipation, and I guess the red stain to be spilled nail polish. Marie has also written the address of her brother, Tom, on it.  He lived in Racita, California, and she visited him after the funeral in San Jose, which I know only because of a photo.  

It never occurred to me until today to google that address.  The 4 bedroom house, built in 1954, is now worth $500,000, and has trees, bushes, and flowers in its front yard, unlike the photo I have of it when it was new, with nothing growing around it.

I also googled ” TWA timetable,” and found whole sites devoted to vintage airline timetables.  (In good condition, this one would go for about 10 bucks on Ebay.) 

I think my mom saved this timeline because it must have been the first time she flew on an airplane, a big deal in those days, and certainly a significant trip. I found it at the bottom of the window seat in her bedroom with a lot of other miscellaneous stuff, and I value it as a relic, an object from a pivotal moment in my life. 

Hollywood 1933

My father claimed to have worked as a stand-in for Clark Gable, and this photo makes me believe that might have been true. There are no other photos of him wearing clothes like this, especially not leather gloves and a walking stick. “Hollywood 1933” is written on the back of this photo, and I wonder if this is a movie costume Ted is wearing?

Twins in the family

After finally finding my paternal family two years ago, it delighted me (a mother of identical twins) to discover  wonderful vintage photographs of three sets of twins in my family tree. 

Iva and Inez Hadley, born in 1901, were my first cousins once removed. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vera and Verna Hadley, born in 1914, were also my first cousins once removed. 

And Matilda and Quintilda Rowe, born in 1876, were my great aunts. 

Because my father was 49 when I was born ( and he was the youngest of eleven) I have cousins much older than me,  and also a great grandfather who served in the Civil War.

The ship she sailed here on

I recently discovered that my mother came to the United States from England on the SS Ile de France.

She was a 19 year old nanny, traveling with an American family in 1950, when she crossed the Atlantic on what was one of the most beautifully decorated luxury liners of its time. Continue reading The ship she sailed here on

Brooklyn Heights 1958

This is a photograph of my  grandmother, with her eldest son John, in Brooklyn in 1958. They had just recently immigrated to the United States from England. 

My grandmother loved this apartment on Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights. “It was very arty in those days,” she once told me, about the neighborhood.

Of course she put a lounge chair on the fire-escape so she could sit in the sun. She was a beach bum at heart (like me), and loved sunshine, which she said seemed so abundant to her when she first came here from England.

She was 50 when this photo was taken, divorced, struggling to get by, to make a new life, and still grieving the loss of her two eldest daughters in a car crash. But she looks pretty pleased in this photo. She was definitely one to appreciate the small pleasures of life. Like a lounge chair on a fire-escape on a sunny day.