Archive for the ‘Marta LaRue’ Category

On being a Mom for “quite a many” now!

Sunday, May 14th, 2023

Charlie, 1956

For me, the greatest joy of my “golden years” has been sharing adulthood with my children — with my son Charlie and my bonus daughter Marta both of whom are well into their retirement years!  Who woulda thunk it!

Marta, c. 1959

The basics of young motherhood never go away, of course.   I still worry and fuss (hopefully to myself) when they are ailing, feel like I’ve failed them if they bump into obstacles (literal or figurative), and want to brag and shout to the world about their successes.

Charlie and Marta, 10/11/21

But an added pleasure — and one I couldn’t have imagined fifty or sixty years ago — is seeking their opinions and advice on all sorts of concerns and having righteous discussions about the things that really matter.  “The gift of time” has been good to me in many ways, but it is in my ever-developing friendship with my children that I feel most blessed,

And so, on this Mother’s Day 0f 2023, I have to say “Thank you, Charlie and Marta, for being such great ‘kids’ and for all the years you’ve put up with me “no matter what!”  I love you to the moon and back.

Say WHAT, UPS??? You want a password???

Friday, May 12th, 2023

I think UPS just put me over some edge.  They sent a message that they would provide tracking information (it’s my Mother’s Day present from Marta — she already told me it’s coming by UPS), if I would give them a user name and password.   Say what????  Just deliver the damned package.  Why in in the world would they want a password?  Which item of privacy am  I protecting now?

I don’t know about you, but I am up to HERE with passwords and user names and privacy worries.  Especially considering I don’t think we have any privacy, anyway.  Why is it that I can blog on my WordPress site about anything at all and before I’ve even gotten it posted, I’m getting advertisements for products related to what I’m writing.

And all the while I’m reading that our County Sheriff (who has not had any more training than the rest of us who played cops and robbers when we were kids) really thinks he is in charge of our County.  Say what?  I wonder if he has a more potent password than the rest of us.

And then there’s the guy in Raymond who “everyone” says is the Kingpin among the drug dealers of the County.  Probably his password is even more effective.  We’re undoubtedly into some “My password is bigger than your password” time of existence.

Sorry UPS.  Just call me a luddite, but I really don’t care WHEN my gift arrives.  It’s the thought that counts and my thoughts about your password request would probably be bleeped out of cyberspace.

P.S. — Just revisited that UPS email.  It’s now gone!  Replaced by the tracking information (“out for delivery”) — and all without me providing a password.  Do you think they’ve been reading my blogsite even before I’ve posted it?

And before I forget to say so… our UPS driver, Chrissy, is THE BEST!!  She even got married in the Oysterville Church!  (And there were no passwords involved that I know of.)

Oh Boy! It’s Sunday!

Sunday, February 26th, 2023

Charlie and Lupe

Lately — like for the last several years — I’ve looked forward to Sundays because that’s ZoomDay with Marta and Charlie.  When the internet is behaving itself (which is not often) we visit and catch up with ourselves and with Charlie’s kitties, Lupe and Rosencrantz.

Usually, of course, my internet is being wonky and everything freezes up at this end and I get a message that says, “Your Internet Connection is Unstable.”  Yeah.  Yeah.  Yeah.  I know that.  Welcome to Rural America.  If it gets too bad, we hang up and do a conference call instead.  Lately, though,  the  telephone hasn’t been all that reliable either.  I’m not sure if it’s a Verizon cell tower problem or what.

I was told by Spectrum a few weeks back that their marketing campaign in this area would begin in February and that we would be able to sign up for their Cable service on February 28th.  I took that as a good sign since it’s my birthday.  However…I haven’t seen any marketing campaign yet.

I hope this is meant for the Internet Provider…

Still, hope springs eternal and I have my pen poised for that sign-up opportunity on Tuesday.  I’m really not optimistic by nature, so I guess I’m just plain tired of always being on the shitty end of the stick.  How many months ago was it, anyway, that the crews were laying the cables along the right-of-way along Territory Road?

Most curious of all is why the County Public Works Department didn’t seem to know anything about it when I called them.  “Isn’t your Department in charge of the County Right-of-Ways?” I asked.  “Well, yes, but…”  I don’t remember why there were no answers to my questions.  Maybe I’ll try again tomorrow…

Hats Off to Nansen Florals!

Tuesday, March 8th, 2022

Party at Gordon & Roy’s, 2001

When I heard last year that Marcia was retiring and her Artistic Bouquets was closing, I was just a tad concerned.  For years they had been the only florist on the Peninsula — the outside world’s big connection to us on birthdays and Mother’s Day and other special occasions.  All during the ’90s they supplied the Bookvendor with fabulous weekly arrangements.  They delivered the balloons for the 16 years of Oysterville Croquet and Champagne Galas, to say nothing of several of Gordon and Roy’s Parties.  Whatever would we do without them?

But, before their doors had been closed and latched, we heard that it was Nansen Malin to the rescue!  Not that she thought of it that way, I’m sure.  But the timing was perfect.  She was starting her business, Nansen Florals, just at the right time — and in just the right place:  the Carriage House that is on her property in Seaview.  Fortuitous to the max.

Nansen’s Business Card

So I wrote Charlie and Marta, gave them the contact information, and hoped for the best.  When my birthday came around at the end of last month, I was not disappointed.  In fact I was thrilled!  Two bouquets — equally gorgeous but as different as night and day.  When Nansen delivered the second one she said, “You won’t be able to choose which you like best.  Just as with your children, equally beloved no matter how different.”  Such a fabulous thought.  And she was right, of course, on all counts.

But, there remains one small mystery.  I must ask Marta about it.  Although the little envelopes and cards for each bouquet were identical, Charlie’s was the standard greeting “from him” by the florist.  On the other hand, Marta’s was made out to “Sydley, Oysterville” in her handwriting and using her nickname for me.  And inside, also in her handwriting, was written:  Dear Sydley, Wishing you a very Happy Birthday filled with Love & Laughter!  And cake, lots of cake!  (Or whatever your sweet tooth fancies)!!  I am so blessed and grateful you are my “bonus Mom” as you have enriched my life in so many waysl  Love you much, Rooners.

The Envelope From Marta

How in the world did Marta manage that?  She must have contacted Nansen days and days ahead and the card/envelope must have traveled back and forth between Seaview. WA and Corte Madera, CA several times!  Service over and beyond, I say!  It seems we are in fine floral fettle once again here at the Beach!

Flowers and Greetings and Love Oh My!

Monday, February 28th, 2022

A Birthday Bouquet from Charlie

Officially, my birthday was today but Charlie started it on Friday with a beautiful bouquet from Nansen Florals — just the perfect cheerful accompaniment to an otherwise quiet weekend.  Plus a suitable amount of time to consider that I’m entering my 87th year…  Some days that seems just wrong; other days… not so much!

I hope I said that the cards began arriving Tuesday and continued non-stop through today — some via the U.S. Postal service,  some hand-delivered, and some by email!  And gifts — mostly chocolate — sometimes came along for the ride!  Oh, and not to forget the messages and greetings on FaceBook.  I feel honored to have received so many wonderful birthday wishes.

Today, the day of days — more flowers!  This time a gorgeous bouquet from Marta, again via Nansen Florals !  And more messages — some sedate, some silly, all heartfelt.   One of my favorites:

Flowers from Marta

Grant me the senility
to forget the people
I never liked anyway,
the good fortune to
run into the the ones I
do, & the eyesight to
tell the difference.

Thank you everyone!  Now, if we can just get this weather situation turned around and let the lamb know we’ve had all the visiting from that lion that we need…


all growed up and…

Thursday, October 14th, 2021


Charlie and Marta, 10/11/21

I loved the movie “Honeysuckle Rose,” mostly because I’m a huge Willie Nelson fan. Besides introducing the song “On the Road Again,” I remember the film for a few words spoken by Amy Irving (as Lily Ramsey), “I’m all growed up and furred over…”  Never mind that Irving’s performance won her a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Supporting Actress.

I still love the line and sometimes think of it in relationship to my own ‘kids.’ Never mind that they are both senior citizens, now collecting social security and eligible for Medicare!  And never mind, either, that Charlie’s hairline is receding (adding greatly to his close resemblance to his Uncle Jim Howell) and that Marta continues to amaze us all with experimental hairstyles and youthful exuberance.  “Furred over” doesn’t half explain what great adults they are!

Lunch at Michelangelo’s

Of particular delight to me, is that they manage to spend more time together nowadays than in any time since their childhood.  It helps that Marta is frequently in Los Angeles and that the two of them have never lost their same sense of the zany, the ridiculous, or the edgy.  And, they are both foodies, at least in terms of the restaurants they like.  Usually, Nyel and I get in on their visits through the selfies they take when out to dinner or lunch.  (And we won’t go there with the “out to lunch” expression.  Doesn’t fit either of them, but maybe both of us.)

The latest gems were taken at one of their favorite restaurants, Michelangelo’s, a few days ago.  Hard to believe that I’m lucky enough to still be around observing their antics — even from afar!

It’s Mother’s Day Sunday, but honestly…

Sunday, May 9th, 2021

This year the “official” Mother’s Day began on Wednesday with a UPS delivery from Ms. Marta LaRue, my super-duper bonus daughter.  A handmade card and a box of See’s chocolates — all sorts of milk chocolates especially for me!  I got into them after dinner that very day and read and re-read the sweet greetings — “a true blessing” “a steadfast presence” “fun and joyous” — and thought “back-atcha” over and over again.

And yesterday, here came the florist’s delivery truck and a lovely bouquet from Charlie — roses and gerbera daisies and Queen Anne’s lace and purple stock — and other bits of beauty that will brighten this special day and many more to come!

But best of all, it’s a Zoom Day.  In fact, every Sunday evening for more than a year has been a Family Get Together — the four of us on a Conference Call or Zoom.  Neither is absolutely reliable since both our telephone and internet services seem to be “intermittent” now and then.  One or more of us (but usually me) just goes away during a phone call.  With Zoom we can still see one another but are frozen in peculiar poses and silenced, as well.    But never mind!  It’s all wonderful and magical, anyway — and will be extra special on Mother’s Day!

Marta-Roonie-Bobs! The Best Bonus EVER!

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2021


I don’t know who came up with “bonus” as a substitute for “step” but they should get a special prize.  As in bonus-daughter instead of step-daughter.  I blame the Grimm boys for giving “step” a bad name in their Cinderella story — but they probably had a warped perspective in the first place, their name being what it was!

In any case, Marta LaRue is the best bonus our family could have ever imagined!  She’s beautiful, talented, funny, informed, and has all the right sensibilities.  But, even beyond that, she has a special place and function in our family that I think we all just take for granted. For 62 years — yes since she was five years old! — she has been the gentle intermediary in all the family rough spots.  I wonder if she even realizes it.

It was Marta who made sure that the favors her father bestowed upon her were equally shared with her younger “bonus” brother Charlie.  It was Marta who charmed and distracted the relatives at a family reunion in 1964 when the adults in her life were having stormy times.  It was Marta who gently took charge of “Granny,” my elderly and confused mother, during a Christmas trip to Los Angeles in the early 1990s.  And it is so often Marta who puts just the right spin on a family problem, no matter its magnitude or portent.

Marta, c. 1959

Maybe every family has a MartaRoonieBobs — a name I gave her (or maybe Charlie did) when she was little — for no reason in particular.  Just a fun name for when we were being silly.  I hadn’t been raised with much awareness of family dynamics.  I was an “only” child and so any buffering or negotiating or empathizing with the elder generation was all up to me.  Ditto Nyel.  We didn’t grow up with role models as to differing roles in the family.  But… come to think of it, neither did Marta.  She just seemed to come with qualities of grace and understanding.  Part of the package!

All this comes to mind because a few days ago Marta and Charlie asked about the books they had given me for Christmas.  Had I enjoyed them?  My horrified response:  “What books???”  Big blank.  Fortunately, Nyel remembered and went on the search.  I wrote to “the kids” — Am reporting in: Nyel has not lost his touch.  We’ve both looked high and low for my Christmas books (of which I actually had only the vaguest of memories, although Nyel remembered them right down to the dust jacket colors.  On a lower shelf in my office (!) (where Nyel can scarcely navigate!!) he found the three of them, neatly stacked out of harm’s way.  Reconstruction:  I think I was in the middle of a couple of overdue library books so I put my gifties in a “special place.”  YIKES!

Marta and Charlie, 2019

Marta’s response:  Oh I’m sooo glad Nylie found your “forgotten, but not gone” books…lol- they were waiting patiently for you! What a nice absent-minded surprise…I’ve had more than a few of those kind of surprises” myself!! XOXS

Thanks, Marta!  Forgiveness, humor, hugs and understanding all wrapped up together!  As usual!

The Blessings of Becoming Old

Saturday, September 5th, 2020

Dale Espy Little – “Mom” 2010

My mother used to talk about “the secrets of old age” which were mostly those by-products of aging that people in her generation never talked about — chin whiskers and thinning hair for women, for instance.  But, she never really talked about the blessings of becoming old.  Not in so many words, anyway.

One of the greatest blessings, as I see it, is the opportunity to “know” your children as they march toward their own “golden years.”  And, of course, if you are blessed with grandchildren and great- grandchildren and even great-greats, seeing them grow up and take their place in the family and in the community is a peek into the future that is the best kind of blessing of all.

Charlie and Marta – September 22, 2019

Both my son Charlie and my step-daughter Marta are now into their social security years, and I couldn’t be prouder or more delighted with either of them!  Both have “turned out well” as they say.  They are socially and politically astute, have pursued their individual talents, are independent in all respects, yet have kept their ties to family and long-time friends.  Even more importantly, we enjoy being with each other and, now that I am approaching my own dotage, I am happy to seek (and mostly follow) their advice, especially concerning this rapidly changing world that they now understand far better than I.

Dale, Sydney, Charlie – 1959

I’ve been thinking of our relationships, our gradual role reversals (perhaps), and of how proud I am of both of them.  This is the weekend of the Williams Family Reunion — an annual affair here on the Peninsula which is now in it’s 80th-something year.  For the first time ever, it is going to be a zoom reunion and, therefore, for the first time ever, Marta and Charlie can attend — Marta from the S.F. Bay Area and Charlie from L.A.  I’m so pleased that I will be able to introduce them to a whole new side of their family and vice-versa!

Marta, c. 1959

So… I really have to say that this will be a kind of back-handed perk of the pandemic.  In person, up-close-and-personal reunions are the best, of course — but maybe this taste of Williams inclusiveness and hospitality will get the two of them up here for the next one.  And that would be yet another blessing!

Flowers Galore! It’s Happy Mother’s Day!

Saturday, May 9th, 2020

Happy! Happy! from Marta

Wow!  For a moment there I thought Marta had finally done it!  Cloned herself with me as the beneficiary!

On my doorstep were two (count ’em, two!) identical FTD Florist Boxes.  Each contained a precious — also identical — message from my darling step-daughter, but the actual flowers were different.  One bouquet is mostly in reds and purples and one in yellows and peaches.  Both absolutely lovely!

They were a little droopy on arrival but came with perking-up powder and by this morning looked quite revived.  I decided to combine them into one huge, colorful bouquet which I’ve placed  on the dining table where all the blooms are calling out to anyone listening, “Look at us!  Look at us!”

Happy Mother’s Day From Charlie

They have serious competition, though from the living room table.  There, in all its spring glory, sits a wonderful bouquet from son Charlie.  It arrived in the early afternoon, hand-delivered from Artistic Bouquets & More in Seaview — a business I was happy to find was considered “essential” for Mother’s Day!

I am replete with the fragrance and beauty and love!  Charlie and Marta — you are the best!  (Rooney — I do hope that if the two bouquets were a mistake on the florist’s part that they, not you, bear the extra burden.)