Saturday, January 22, 2005

So you see, I had just a wonderful birthday

celebration today. Susan and Sarah took me to lunch in Ocala and gave me such presents!

Before the kids came along, Susan was a photographer, as you can see. Now I have always been filled with revulsion at having my picture taken, it's a disease, and as I've gotten older I've absolutely refused. But Susan apparently has lots from before I got so adamant (when could that have been??) and produced these that I had never seen before, of Mama and me just after she moved here, when I was visiting, probably Christmas 1978. Half my life ago. They cut three out and stuck them in this wire sculptural thingy dressed in a matching evening gown (have any of us EVER worn an evening gown?) and what could have been better? Now I ask you?

Suze gave me a couple of others, too, one of which I have manipulated and posted below. I am chewing on my fingers, which is characteristic (did I ever look like that?); Mama is smoking, so this was before she quit (will I ever look like that?) I'm wearing the same purple shirt I was wearing in the mural drawings, which was a couple of years later so this must have been when it was new and I didn't yet paint in it. I think, in fact, I didn't yet paint at all. It has recently been immortalized in Ghosts (2004). Suze says there are lots more slides and she's going to give them to me--I can't imagine I've ever seen the things before. I know I hadn't seen these. And there's Mama again!

Lunch was at the Verandah Gallery in Ocala which once, well over 100 years ago, belonged to a distant relative and then miraculously, after it fell on hard times, became a rooming house at which our Aunt Anna Belle stayed in during the weekdays when she came in from the farm to attend Ocala High, from which she graduated in 1929. The very same house! Today it is a wonderful tea and gifty place and we love it. The food is what I call real Southern Lady food (remember, I'm not from here, but they are and they agree.) A buffet of bow-tie pasta salad, and chicken salad and spring greens. There was a rice and chicken dish I didn't try. Only there were croissants instead of biscuits, so that wasn't right, but it was good! Many kinds of sweetea (Susan and I had mint, Sarah peach) and more desserts than I could count. Very, very sweet ones. Susan tried to steal the peanut butter cookies, but it didn't work. Oh, and wonderful bean soup. It was so nice. We had never done this before, always having others in this mega-family of ours to bring along when birthdays happen, but this time it was just us. If you read this, please don't tell their grandmother (my aunt.) We went there last year for her 98th birthday and she would have wanted to come now, too. But that was just about the whole family (of the female persuasion which is, after all, the main persuasion) and we took up a whole long table in the main room, maybe 25 people? This time we needed to be just us.

Oh, and the antique store acress the street was finally open, although it had turned into a gifty store too. But I lost my mind and they didn't help: I bought a victorian doll. I never played with dolls as a child and my mother was so disappointed that I didn't. So now I buy one. Go figure. She was at first going to be Catherine, but when I was enhancing her picture I realized she was Callie, because she's from Ocala. And on the other side of that familiy we had an Aunt Callie, I'm told....that would have been Callie Kennedy, not Dunn. I wonder what Callie was short for? Now how can we ask Aunt Eleanor, then she'll figure out we went!

Update: It's just Callie. It's not short for anything, Aunt Eleanor says. She called tonight asking if I had the Kennedy bible (no) so it was a natural transition.

No comments: