Tuesday, March 22, 2011


BORN MARCH 21, 1878 DIED MARCH 31, 1951
This photo of my maternal grandmother, Susie Mabel Grant Glidden, the grandmother for whom I was named, was taken to celebrate her 25th wedding anniversary.

She married at eighteen and gave birth to ten children, eight of whom lived.

The first time I saw this picture, I, too, had just celebrated my 25th wedding anniversary. Having also married at eighteen, I was very close in age to Grammie as I was seeing her now, not as I remembered her shortly before she passed away when I was eleven. I was stunned at the resemblance between her and me. I had always known I was born into the family, was named for her, my mother, and a great-aunt; however, this was the first time I ever felt the true belonging that reached into my soul.

Years have passed since that unforgettable experience, but as I age I continue to seek signs of belonging when I look in the mirror. I have aged more gently than Grammie did. I have had a far easier life. But, Grammie, I wish I could tell you that no March 21st ever passes without my thinking about you. And I wish you could know the great-granddaughter and great-great-granddaughter, each of whom have been named after you as well. They know about you.

(C) Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 3-22-2011

Saturday, March 19, 2011


Our eldest daughter, Beth, recently reminisced briefly on her blog about a train ride we took the night we left Cleethorpes, on our way into London, England, the summer of 1971. That was a unique trip in that each of our children, ages seven, ten, and twelve, were old enough to have memories to remember it.

Train rides were common during my husband’s and my earlier years. During World War II, we saw family members come and go regularly by train. The depots were in small towns and larger cities. It remained so even after the war for a number of years, eventually giving way to bus, personal, and air transport.

John and I married in January, 1958. We used train travel between Boston, Massachusetts and Bangor, Maine. In order to be near him and prepare things for our marriage, I had moved in with a Brookline, Massachusetts, minister’s family the end of November the previous year. This gave me opportunity to find a job and get to know the area. John had found a job with a sporting goods store as a shipping clerk in downtown Boston. (Loved those Joe and Nemo’s hot dogs for lunch at that little hole in the wall across the street!) We found and reserved a furnished corner basement apartment in a three-story building that went from 89 to 99 Marion Street in Brookline. We were ready to be married!

The weekend prior to our marriage we took the train back to Maine to take care of the necessary pre-wedding legal paperwork. A little bit of time for personal visits with family but soon, we had a train schedule to keep so we headed back to the Bangor Depot and Boston.

The following week we were on the train, once again, heading north on another Friday. Upon learning of our wedding plans, one of the male passengers, felt it necessary ask, “Why get married? It’s a terrible way to ruin a friendship.” Strange…that remark still sticks so firmly today.

Our wedding was small, but love was there. The following Sunday afternoon, my dad took John and me to catch the train at the little town of Newport where I, as a child had said happy hellos and sad good-byes during World War II to my two older USN brothers. This time, though, I was on the train that rumbled down the tracks taking my brand new husband and me off to our married life in Brookline.

A few months later, Beth received her first train ride although there’s no way she would remember it. At that time, she was what is today commonly referred to as “a fetus.” We called her, “a baby!” With the thoughts of approaching parenthood and remembering what having grandparents in our own lives meant to us, we wanted that family fellowship in our child’s life, too. We decided to move back to Maine.

When you hear the term, “kit and kaboodle” that pretty well describes how we traveled back to Maine, by train. By that time we had acquired, Honey, an adorable little honey-blonde Spitz-and-Spaniel dog from the pound. She was leash-trained and allowed on the train along with our (you’re not gonna believe this!) ironing board, packed boxes of household goods, whatever we had. Don’t ask me how we managed it all. I have no idea. We must have put it in a baggage car somehow. Sure wouldn’t get away with such today.

Beth’s next train ride is one she won’t remember either, but if she looks in her baby book, I think she may find a flattened paper cup with the train company logo on it. (And Chip, please don’t start again, about Beth has a Baby Book and you have none! At least you were cared for! And loved! Don’t forget loved!) John had to go to Chelsea Naval Hospital for medical assessment, so we took advantage and made a family trip out of it. I was so proud to take our Baby Beth back to introduce her to the people I had worked with. They were properly impressed with our then five-months old daughter.

One of my favorite co-worker/friends, Mary Pasyanos, a Greek lady, just a bit older than I, wasn’t at work that day, but as I recall left word for us to please come to her apartment. She gave us ten dollars in shiny quarters for Beth. They had some special Greek meaning for a new or, I think first, baby, but I cannot tell now what it is. Perhaps it is written in the baby book. After our visiting, we returned to Bangor…another train ride.

It’s no wonder train travel holds happy memories for Beth. She has had many more miles traveling down the tracks than she likely knew!

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore

Friday, March 18, 2011


Long gone is the little pink and white calico Scottie-dog quilt mentioned a couple of days ago. Childhood days turned to those of maturity. God’s paintbrush has frosted those coppery-colored curls with touches of silver, though the eyes still softly glow with the well-worn copper of youth. No longer either a mother or stairs is present when naptime arrives.
Toys that once would have covered the childhood bed now line a closet shelf and have been replaced by two real, live Yorkshire Terriers.

Instead of climbing the stairs to the bedroom, naptime
is frequently found in a favorite recliner that sits either in the great room or the office of a one-story patio home. There’s not a lot of room in that recliner, but if either of those two little dogs sees me picking up a lap covering, they know I plan to relax for a while. I start to sit down and before I can make a lap, a bundle of busyness starts its leap-and-land process, leaving little room for me, book, laptop computer, and/or most important, the second doggie.
With my thoughts on lap coverings, etc., I want to tell a bit more about the Scottie-dog described in the earlier post. Charlotte, my mamma’s sister, made it. Aunt Charlotte and I wrote back and forth to one another with some regularity, especially the last few years before she died. She sent me a picture of herself with a quilt she had made. That brought my Scottie-dog quilt to mind so I wrote to tell her how much it had meant to me. It had been a very long time and she didn’t even remember having made it! I was so glad I could remind her. It would be a nice thing to have an actual picture of it, though in my mind’s eye I still do.
One day while we were visiting, I told the Scottie-dog quilt tale to my husband’s sister, Mary, an avid quilter. She delighted with me over my memories as we looked over her quilts and plans for more projects. Because she lives in Florida and we in Texas, we didn’t get to visit and muse that often. Once I was home I forgot our conversation, but she didn’t. In December, a few weeks later, our doorbell rang. There was a neatly wrapped package addressed to me from Mary. I confess. I do love packages in the mail, surprise or otherwise, but surprises are the absolute best!
Upon the opening, this surprise was magnified. There lay a twin-size Scottie-dog quilt with a special message tag sewed on it: “Sue’s Scotties II” Mary had tucked a note inside stating in part, “I’m sure this quilt bears little resemblance to the one you remember as a child. Since I could not replace that one, I decided to interpret and update it a bit. Hope you’ll be happy with the results and that you’ll be curled up under it with a good book very soon!”

Later, in response to my thank-you, she said, “I’m getting pretty fussy (in my old age) about whom I create for, but I felt sure Sue and the Scotties would be a good match. I hope you will spend many a happy winter together.” A few winters have come and gone since then. Not only have I been warmed physically by “Sue’s Scotties II” but also emotionally by the loving memory-connections it conjures up from generations past and present.
Thank you, Aunt Charlotte. Thank you, Mary.
© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 3-18-2011

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


With the writing prompt to write about a quilt or a blanket, it took little to get the memories moving.

She was a cute toddler with coppery-colored curly hair and eyes. She lived in a two-story house. When it came time for a nap, her mother took her by the hand as they started to climb the stairs and made a game of learning while they counted the steps as they went up…one, two, three…

Once in her room her bed greeted her with a line of dolls and toys that lay from the wall side of the bed all the way to the other side. Her pillow was covered so there seemed to be no place to lay her head. Since a nap was one of her least favorite things to do laying her head down was in the same category. She sat with her back towards her toy-laden pillow and covered her lap as she studied the handmade quilt that warmed her legs and encouraged her imagination.

Her aunt had made the quilt from 9” squares of white muslin using four-inch
deep rose-pink sashwork to frame each square. At the same time the design created vertical and horizontal lines making a rectangular quilt of three squares across by four squares down. It was just the right size for a little girl and her single bed.

Why would such a quilt inspire imagination in a small child? The answer lay in each square. A silhouette of a Scottie dog made of feed bag calico was centered in each square. Each was made from a different calico print and outlined with hand-embroidered black buttonhole stitch. Each Scottie dog had a black circle eye made from the six-strand embroidery floss as well.

As the little girl sat in her bed she would look down at each Scottie dog and choose a “Favorite of the Day.” Since she had a Favorite Favorite, he was chosen a lot more often than the rest. Sometimes she felt rather bad about choosing him so often. On that day, she’d choose another just so that one would not feel left out.

Finally the eyes of the little girl would grow heavy. She’d lay her coppery curls on the empty space on her pillow from where she’d taken her dolly to cuddle in her arms. Now she and her dolly would each snuggle under the warmth of the little quilt while the other toys would watch with wishful eyes as they heard the little girl teach her dolly, “One, two, three…”

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 3-16-2011

Picture is author and her big brother Kent Wilmer Libby.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


The recent surgery of a dear friend brought to mind a similar time of my own.

Mine came following what was the most difficult decision-making time in my life: that being admitting my aging mother to the care of a nursing home. In the few weeks she had been there, it had already been a rough time. I was dealing with emotional and physical pain. Necessity caused the physical pain to win out.

It was approaching Thanksgiving. My personal care physician ordered a sonogram that showed gallstones necessitating immediate surgery. My pain had already told me something had to be done soon. I went for the requisite pre-surgical procedures only to learn there was concern regarding my heart. What? I was too young to have heart issues. The medical staff assured me it was probably nothing but a precautionary extra step. Still, with no warning, my dad had died from a massive heart attack just prior to his fifty-seventh birthday. I was assured the surgeon would do his utmost to swiftly get me in for those tests and the surgery.

My husband and I waited for the expected phone call but none came, so we knew we would be held up past the Thanksgiving weekend. More pain and no tasty, filling meal of turkey and gravy for me, that was obvious. Friday morning following Thanksgiving, our phone rang. It was the surgeon. He explained he had been unsuccessful in several tries to reach us, but our line was continually busy. Apparently after a phone call with one of our family members, we inadvertently left it off balance. He explained he had made arrangements for the heart doctor to meet us at the hospital ER, to do the necessary tests on me if we could be there before noon that day. If everything checked out okay, he would do the surgery first thing the following Monday. Relief was in sight!

We scurried to the hospital. I successfully passed the tests and was cleared for upcoming surgery. With orders in hand, I looked forward to Monday morning. Surgery was swift and successful. Pain was gone, except as my friend has said, a new pain was temporarily in its place.

After I was once again on the road to good health, it was with much pleasure I wrote a thank-you note to the surgeon. He had been so thoughtful in taking time out of his holiday to see to it that I got good care as soon as possible. Having learned he had a son following in his footsteps, I also commended him for the exemplary lifestyle he was setting for future generations. Imagine my surprise when almost in return mail, I received a thank you for my thank-you! He explained that it was infrequent that he heard such, that it was more often he heard the other side, and he was so pleased that I was happy with his care.

How could I not be? After all, even though he was a human being, Dr. Gabriel (really his name) was to me an angel wearing a doctor’s coat.

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 3-12-2011

Thursday, March 3, 2011


“Just wait ‘til your father gets home!”
When our grown children visit, that’s a phrase I frequently hear when our son is reminiscing about his upbringing and how I, as a mother, chose to discipline. Need I say his memory and mine differ?

I neither deny nor doubt using that phase but I definitely deny using it as frequently as he recalls its being touted. Could it be that he, as a child, seldom listened, but when I pulled out the big guns, so to speak, he knew he’d better listen…or else?

One reason, I know I didn’t use it as often as he seems to think I did is the fact I did not believe in passing the buck. I was the mother in the home and as such, I was Johnny-on-the-spot. When I saw a wrong, it was my job to correct it. Even though I joke about my having been the youngest in a family of four and the only girl, and having learned well the art of tattling, I didn’t choose to bring that art into the raising of our children. No, just waiting to tell dad wasn’t my choice of discipline. “Nip it in the bud,” as Deputy Barney Fife has oft been heard to say.

Additional reasons “Just wait until your father gets home” wouldn’t be particularly effective include:

1) When our son was approximately three to five years old, his dad was working two fulltime jobs. During that time we had no car, so that meant we used the city bus, walked, or after his late night shift at a radio station, the dad in our family took a well-deserved cab-ride home, arriving around 1 a.m.

Waking that kid at that time for punishment sure seemed like exactly what he needed, but I always tried to be a woman of my word, and if I had said, “Just wait until your father gets home,” surely I would have meant it, so-o-o… Oh, no wonder he remembers it with such clarity. I wonder how it has slipped my mind so completely.

2) Following that, eventually we did have a car. My husband’s job took him out of town to manage an ice cream shop. He left early in the mornings and came home late many nights. Eventually, job transfers allowed us to make moves, but those were after we’d spent two summers living in a tent in order to be where his job was.

3) That brings us up to our son’s being approximately age ten when we spent a summer in England where Dad went to work in the morning, came home mid-day for a long lunch, then spent the afternoon up until ten p.m. or the wee hours of the following morning at The Fitties, what we would call an RV park, helping introduce the equivalent of Kentucky Fried Chicken.
“Just wait until your father gets home”? I think not!

4) Oh, but wait! Teen years were yet to come, right? Oh, yes, the teen years. Travel was introduced when summer vacation arrived. Son was up early in the morning and off in the car beside dad. They made quite a pair as they sold fruit and produce to restaurants along the east coast of Maine on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, then the southern coastal areas on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays!
Oh, yeah, right; “Just wait until your father gets home!” (And brings you with him!)

5) By this time, our son had spent too much time with his dad. He had learned too well the art of teasing. One day I was seriously aggravated with him. He was trying to laugh me out of it as he looked me straight in the eye and said, “I’m not afraid of you.” I was so taken by surprise. I lost it. I laughed! At that very minute, I knew that from now on, whenever discipline was to be dished up, I would have to say,

“Just wait until your father gets home!”

© Marilyn Sue (Libby) Moore 3-3-2011