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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

23 park street lane

my grandmother turned 87 last week, and so the lowells & poiriers (and collins) of vt made the mass exodus to our homeland, our mecca -- 23 park street, malone, ny. g'ma l. and uncle mark had made the 45 minute trip from potsdam and mom's turkey was pretty much ready to be sliced into when we all arrived. g'ma l., ever the practical one, as my readers already well know, doesn't accept gifts well. however, she didn't hesitate to take the remainder of her decadent triple chocolate mocha mousse cake home for the actual big day (we celebrated on sunday, 3/22; her bday was actually wednesday, 3/25).

with bellies full of turkey & mousse cake, and not much to do but sit around on the love seats chatting the hours away until we all had to make our mass exodus back to our homes away from home, the obvious choice was to see what treasures we could find hiding up in the attic.
(please notice new leg warmers)

baxter & paige have taken to fashion shows lately. mainly, i think it's their stalling technique for going to bed. they like to show off which pjs they've chosen for their nocturnal musings and they like there to be a rather dramatic unveiling. (i have no idea who started this ;). so, not lost on the 2 and 4 year olds was the concept of showing off an outfit, but the first items on display (see exhibit a), certainly were lost on baxter and paige. what do they know about '80s fashion? oh, what they don't know, margaret lowell could fill a book, or at least a unitard snowsuit! neon colors only of course!
exhibit a (above)

but the lowell sisters had some key '80s fashion style of their own that they were dying to reveal. i suspect that the youngest lowell sister had alterior motives (in order to secure the love of her beau, she needed him to see, understand, and accept her roots, however tafetta-laced & nylon-silked they are).

trying on old prom dresses is supposed to be fun. trying on old prom dresses is supposed to be fun? why, when i was 16 years old did i think i was fat? why, when those dresses zipped so easily up my back? and today? -- well, notice that those pictures are only taken from the front (exhibit b).
exhibit b:
(prom may '94 and rick, my very first love)

after the fashion show, it was time to look through our old halloween costumes and stuffed animal collections. and that's when B & P got in on the action (exhibit c). what's better than their mom's old tutus? their aunt's micky & minnie dolls and pound puppies!

exhibit c:
(they were already in their pjs for the ride home)

when my parents celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary, g'ma l. & g'ma t. got so into it that they unwrapped their mother-of-the-groom and mother-of-the-bride dresses and surprised us all by walking out arm in arm. g'ma l.'s zipped up, but she couldn't breathe, and g'ma t. wasn't able to show us her back. i've got to get to work if i am to wear that shiny burgundy bridesmaid dress for jennie & derek's silver celebration. the trip down memory lane felt a little melancholy to me. when i told g'ma l. that we had big plans for her 90th -- a cruise for the whole family -- she told me she hoped she wouldn't be around for it. my grandma is active and leads an enriching life -- she takes classes and plays bridge and still attends ski club meetings and ornament exchanges. she goes out to see movies and she reads and she loves suzy ormand! she has an opinion about just about everything and is not afraid to let people know how she feels. she goes to star lake in the summer and remembers all of our birthdays and is there for all of our celebrations. she's been on her own since my granfather died in 1999, but it seems to me that she lives a full life. i hope that when i am that old, i will take happiness in seeing my family grow up around me and that i'll feel frustration but fascination in seeing the changes in my world -- technologies and presidents and foreign relations. i suppose i might also feel lonely and bored, especially when my friends and siblings and loved ones are dying around me. maybe memory lane isn't that much fun when you are always living on it. i told g'ma l. that we want her to be around and that there's still so much for her to see and do. but if she doesn't feel that way, then what are we to do? i guess we continue doing what we do, which includes putting on silly old outfits and indulging her with rich desserts and the occassional gift that she doesn't really need and making her celebrate her 90 years with us on a cruise.


Anonymous said...

Testing here on using a different log-on gizmo.Nice pictures kid.

Eva the Deadbeat said...

Suz - LOVE your red prom dress and your lovely stories! xox