Little Calendars

Little Calendars

I was recently digging through a few boxes of my mother’s stashed  memorabilia and noticed yet another calendar in my hand. I thought to myself “Another little calendar?”  My parents didn’t throw them away. Now I need to find a new home for them.  I guess. But maybe I should look at them one more time.  

When I flip through the months of an old calendar, I can’t help but think something happened on those days. People went to work. People went to school. People grew up and got married. And things like becoming a grandparent happened on those days.  

I really do not like to think about how fast the years are flying by. How did it happen? How can I hear myself say, “They are a young couple – they’re only maybe fifty years old.”  How, oh how, did that happen to me?

I am still the same little girl I was way back when. Really – I am in here. And you are in there too. I know you are in there, even though I do not recognize you, and you have to tell me who you are.

When I am with Steven, people have the advantage of knowing I must be his older sister and know who I am. But very often, I know not who others are.

In some of our old family photos,  a calendar can be seen in the background on the wall, and if you expand the photo, the calendar once again gets to do it’s job.

I found my Grandma Lula’s wallet. She didn’t leave any cash for me, but I do have her Medicare card, and her social security card is tucked between other cards. A little purse calendar, dated 1973, is from Leo F. Thomas, an insurance agent.

There were two baby photos in the wallet – a boy and a girl. No names on the back. Who in the family was born around 1972? Grandma knew whose pictures were in her wallet, and that is all that matters. But I can’t help myself – I will text the pictures to family who may know who the children are.

What should I do with her wallet? I found it when I was cleaning out Grandma and Grandpa’s antique secretary. Since my sister Carolyn is the new owner of the secretary – I shall give it to her and tell her she should let her little granddaughters play with Grandma Lula’s wallet.

The little girls will know that the grey wallet, with a gold butterfly on the outside, belonged to their great-great grandmother Lula. And if they read the papers within, they will find Grandma Lula filled out the identification card. They will learn her phone number – back when there was no need for an area code. And they will know she was an 83 year old woman who weighed 100 pounds.

There is a space on the card for a photo or a thumb print. Grandma did not leave a thumb print on the little piece of cardboard. She did not fill in her height or her hair color and eye color. So what color was Grandma’s eyes? Another question for the oldest cousins.

Interestingly enough, I know the color of Grandpa Imm’s eyes – for I have a copy of his WWI discharge paper from 1918. And they listed his eye color as grey. How I would love to look into his eyes again and see what that army was talking about. My grandfather had grey eyes. And it was nice of the army to spell grey my favorite way. That word should be spelled grey, and never gray, in my eyes.  

My little great nieces who play with Grandma’s wallet will know their grandmother Lula lived on the most giant hill there ever was. Lily of the valley flowers bloomed each spring in her backyard. Children played all over the place and took their sleds to slide down the most giant hill ever.

The children kept their balance as they walked on the front brick landscaping. It would be quite a tumble, as a child, to fall off that brick wall. But when I walk on the same sidewalk as an adult, I wonder where the magnificence went. The wall is certainly not as grand today as it was decades ago.  

Someday, the calendar will be turned to the month when we leave our house on the most giant hill of hills, and our spirit moves on to even better landscaping. And  on this earth our wallet will be left for someone to find. We might as well surprise them with some cash – after all, we can’t take it with us.

Will they find a photo of someone we hold dear – why no they won’t – for they will need to get into the  cellphone in order to see what was going on in our life. Oh that’s right – they will not wonder what was going on in our life – for they already know that. The pictures were already shared with them.

Hopefully when our time is no more upon this earth, those we love will have spent plenty of moments with us and when asked what color our eyes are – they will have the answer.

If you know not the color of your friend’s eyes, possibly now would be a grand time to get together with them  and take a look. Any smokey greys out there?

When we are told that a friend or family member has passed away – we often remember something about the last time we were with them. The last hug. The last gift. The last laugh. Or it could have been the last birthday cake or the last conversation. We may remember the last time we heard them say ‘see ya later.’

A friend of mine told me he recently learned of the passing of a friend and it shocked him – as it often does.  Just  two weeks prior, his friend visited him at work. He was surprised to see him, and they spent some wonderful time catching up on things. His friend gave him a hug before he left, which was simply not in his nature.  It was a very big hug – the way a guy might let another guy know he is loved. As my friend was telling the story to me, his voice cracked, and he pulled out his guy handkerchief to wipe the tears away and finish speaking.

It made me think we may not know we are near the end of our life, but the wonderful spirit inside us could prompt an unexpected embrace, between two men who had never hugged before.

I’ve heard it said our last moments on earth are the best – for they are the moments we are nearest heaven.

So while we are residing on this earth where the pages of the calendar are flipping quickly, we can look for ways to live well and live simply. We can strive to be kinder, and stronger, and more compassionate. We can choose to smile at everyone we meet. Showing patience can actually be fun. We can visit with those who may be lonely in this world where love seems to be invisible at times.

And if we are so fortunate to have little ones in our life – we can cuddle, and we can snuggle, and we can talk about the color of everyone’s eyes. 

We can pamper, and we can play. On sunny winter days we can show the children things that can be done with snow that packs fairly well. And the small sledding hill may be little to you, but giant in the  eyes of the young ones.   

When spring-time arrives, no need to worry – the children won’t step on any cracks, for they don’t want to break your back. So let them be amazed when they see an old person walk on the ginormous sidewalk ledge.

May your little calendar be full of things that happened. Things that made your day. May you never miss the falling star or the wink of an eye. May your clothes smell like last night’s campfire and your hair be sticky from little marshmallowed hands. May you be a moon watcher who texts your friends to tell them to look at the moon. And they shall text back and say “Where is it at tonight?”

And most importantly, may you be contagious. May your smile be contagious. May your hugs be even more contagious. May your friends say your love was never invisible. May your many embraces always be the kind that makes the other guy say, “I think he just told me he loves me.”     

Aunt Verda in 1947.
I found this 1892 calendar within an old book by the title of Everyday Wisdom – copyright 1927. The book is a story in itself and this calendar is equally as interesting. On the back side of the calendar we read about Hood’s Pills – which are said to cure your liver ills. They are especially valuable as after-dinner pills. They contain no calomel, mercury, or mineral substance of any kind. They are sent by mail for the price of 25 cents.
A picture of a portion of Grandpa Imm’s
Honorable Discharge from the United States Army
lets me know he had grey eyes. Grandpa served in the Army from October 2, 1917 through November 15, 1918.
A cousin photo likely taken on April 10, 1955.
Grandma and Grandpa’s home was
on Clarksville Road in Edgerton.
It is safe to say many children have spent a lot of hours
playing on the hill behind them.

Grandma Lula’s wallet.


2 Comments on “Little Calendars

  1. Oh, how I enjoyed reading this. Yes, I sledded on that hill but funny I don’t remember the wall. Uncle Tony and Aunt Kathy lived in that house. We were guests there for birthday suppers. I would think of your grandparents and your family as I sat in the comfort of their home thinking of what the days were like with Grandma Lulu and Grandpa Albert.
    These days find me texting my daughter and and her texting me telling me to look for the moon! Oh how I wish the Corona would go away and the spontaneous hugs that tell our love would be back in style.
    Thanks for sharing….makes me think of when our Mom’s were writers. Keep crossing those is and dotting your ts!

  2. Judy – Thanks for the note – I’m sure you will drive by the house and take a look at the wall! If you missed it as a child – you must go back and check it out as an adult. And I love when I get a text from someone who tells me to go outside and look at the moon. It can be an easy thing to miss if we don’t think of each other. Yes – we need to go back to hugging and smiling. Steven has not figured out why the world would stop such a thing. I have a packet of cards and letters your mother sent to my family. Your mom wrote about her young family and the canning, cooking, baking, ironing and all the other things she was doing. The story of their friendship would also be interesting to put together. I hope to show you the collection sometime soon. Marlene

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