The Zombies Ate My Brains

Rescuing what might remain of the grey matter.

Share Your World March 27, 2017

Does your first or middle name have any significance (or were you named after another family member)?

Like Cee, who hosts this weekly challenge, I changed my name, around the time that Rod Stewart urged his Maggie May to wake up. I balked at first when people called me Maggie May – I’d quip, “Maggie may, and then again she may not!” But the name stuck. I’m OK with being called Marg, but I hate Marge. Margaret is WAY too formal. So, Maggie may, indeed.

As for significance, I’m only guessing here:

Margaret. For Princess Margaret, perhaps? She and her sister Elizabeth and the rest of the royals were pretty important to my mom.

That is, I assume that they were important. Jean traveled to the UK to take in the coronation in 1953. This was before I was even a twinkle in anyone’s eyes.

Catherine.  For my Dad’s sister, maybe? Or perhaps his mother? I met my Aunt Catherine a couple of times. That is, she came to our house when I was a kid and I was aware that she was related to Howard. But that’s about it for the particulars.

I wish I knew. There are SO many details from my childhood, and frankly, from my entire back story that I DO. NOT. KNOW. Seen, but not heard, you understand. By the time I was old enough to know that it was OK to ask, and that I had every right to expect answers to these questions, both of my parents were gone.

Music or silence while working?

Depends on the work. If it’s creative, I cannot have music interfering with the grey matter responsible for task. But for “no-brain” work, tunes are just fine.

If you had a special place for your three most special possessions (not including photos, electronics, people or animals), what would they be?

If there was a fire, (God forbid!) the cats and Reiner would be my first, and probably last consideration. I’m not all that attached to the stuff that has managed to accumulate, in spite of last year’s purge. But, if I had time to save anything else? I’d look on the walls.

Cloudscape by Harry Booker

I have a soft spot for summer clouds. I love the towering magnificence. When I lived in London, I asked a friend to paint this cloudscape for me.

Light and Sweet by Bruce Herchenrader

Light and Sweet is a print that I bought when I visited what is known today as the “Village Silos” in Elmira. I love how the artist captured the play of light. The rustic window sill, the mason jar, and of course the sweeeeet maple syrup all combined to make an image that I couldn’t resist.  My mom joined me on that trip. It was one of the last times we spent time together.

30 Langarth Street E, London by Johnnene Maddison

Saved best for last. This watercolour illustrates all the things I loved about my last house in London. The garden that was once plain old lawn, the laundry on the line, and my dear old pal, Joey.

The Never List: What are things you know you never will do?

Instead of listing things like bungee jumping, or ski-diving, or mountain climbing in far away places, let me just combine all of my “nevers” in one sentence:

I am most comfortable with both feet planted firmly on the ground. Capiche?

***   ***   ***

In response to Cee’s Share Your World

 

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51 replies

  1. “both feet planted firmly on the ground”

    That sounds like a good plan to me Maggie.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I LOVE the painting of the clouds! You have a very talented artist friend… was it from a picture or done plein air? That’s interesting about not really knowing the background of your name. For some reason, it was a BIG DEAL to me and I know exactly why (three reasons) I was given my name – and what name my mother preferred instead.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The cloud painting gets lots of positive comments when people see it. I’m glad you like it. Harry painted it from his imagination, using pictures from books and magazines.

      Have you written the story about those three reasons behind your name? I would love to read it if and when you have the chance.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I think there are many of us who wish we’d asked questions of our parents when we could have. Those who journal or blog are leaving behind a sort of a history, or at the least, a peek into their thoughts and feelings.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I too am a big fan of dramatic clouds and love the first painting, but the backyard of that last one is so very enticing!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Some summer clouds are breath-taking and awesome – as in, I am in awe of their size.

      The garden painting was a commission from the woman who set up the blind date between The One and me. She was/is a quilter and had her sewing machines maintained by my ex on a regular basis. He exchanged repair work for the painting.

      The garden was such a lot of work, that I did gladly. But today I can hardly summon the motivation to plant a row of radish seeds. What a change, eh?

      Hm. I smell a blog post.

      Thanks, Joanne!

      Like

  5. I too am lacking in particulars about my backstory and wish I knew more. You touched me with that thought, Maggie. On the subject of the Royals, have you watched “The Crown” on Netflix? Fabulous fun and does Princess Margaret ever come to life in the story. She was quite a character. Not a bad namesake at all. Imagine your mother traveling all the way back across the pond in ’53.That would have been quite a journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Interesting that you comment about my mom traveling to the UK in ’53. You are correct – when I ponder over the pictures of her trip and what I know of her “landlocked” life raising the family, it must have been frustrating for her, if she was inclined to want to explore and travel. Mom raised us single handedly because dad was no help (to be blunt) and yet he refused to allow her to learn how to drive, nor would he take her anywhere, and they had very little money.

      I haven’t watched “The Crown” – I will add that to “My List” – thanks!

      Like

  6. Maggie–I love your artwork–especially the mason jar. Is it a photo or a painting. Either way, I would save that, too! Margaret is my confirmation name. My great grandmother’s name…..and the name of my favorite doll.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My middle name came from my Father’s middle name. Allen. I too insist on both feet remaining firmly on this planet. The mason jar calls to me and I love the composition of the shot. Especially the crack in the wall, it just seems to shout about old times.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad that you like that one too, Ron. It is so evocative of my childhood in Waterloo County.

      I’m sorry that I didn’t take the time to get a better shot of the print – I took it at an angle to avoid glare and unwanted reflections.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I love the name Maggie. Mine is Luanne Marie. One grandma was Lucille and one was Marie. My moms middle name is Ann. So she strung them altogether! Beautiful walls, but I would grab my 5 cats with the help of the gardener!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Speaking of names, you know why Southerners have three names? So they’ll know when their mamas are mad at them.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. For me, your preference for Terra Firma speaks to your grounded (and groundING – i speak from experience) nature.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Excellent response to the never question. I agree.
    And I love your choice in artwork 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  12. “By the time I was old enough to know that it was OK to ask, and that I had every right to expect answers to these questions, both of my parents were gone.”

    Me too. So many gaps in my understanding of who they really were.

    Also, I like your idea of rescuing your wall art. Easy to carry and meaningful. Smart answer from a woman with her feet firmly planted on the ground. 😉

    Like

    • You, too, eh? I know in my case, part of the reason that I didn’t seek answers in my 20’s when “I was old enough” is that I had zero experience with that kind of intimate dialog with my mom and dad. With others, sure, no problem, but not with my folks.

      And these weren’t deeply probing questions, but simple things like birth dates, how did you guys meet, where did you go for your honeymoon.

      It makes me sad to write this, I feel the loss. I suppose you must too?

      Like

  13. First off, I love the name Maggie! Your artwork is lovely, I particularly love the mason jar piece & the fact that a friend did it for you only makes if more valuable in my books.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I don’t travel well, either. I’m quite tied to the Fox River valley here, and happy to stay.

    I’ve been up in aircraft 2x in my life – both with my Dad as pilot when he had his light aircraft licence. Both times, I was happy to be back down.
    I’ve been landlocked all my life, too – would you believe I’ve never seen any of the Earth’s oceans?

    The mason jar print is stunning…I’d save it, too, if I had to, after the living and breathing assemblage in my household were gotten to safety.

    The only thing I’d drag outta my place? My portable hard-drive. It’s got all my photo work backed up on it.

    Like

    • Interesting common ground (so to speak) between us!

      Hm. The hard drive. That’s actually something I need to seriously think about. I try to remember to update it monthly, but in case of fire, then what? Thank you!

      Like

  15. I mean capiche. I have no idea what capice means. I hope it isn’t bad.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I am most comfortable with both feet planted firmly on the ground. Capiche?

    I am with you there. Give me the window seat in an airplane but don’t ask me to climb a grain leg (for you city folks, that is the tower that distributes grain to the silos).

    Liked by 1 person

  17. My mother was Margaret. Her entire family called her Marge, until she married my dad, who called her Peg. The two sides never agreed, until the day they (literally) died. My dad found another Peg, his 2nd wife. I thought I was named Dorothy after the Wizard of Oz…until I found out it was my Aunt’s middle name ! You’re so right about not asking the right questions when we are young…If I had a day or even an hour with my mother, the things I’d ask.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Well, that must have been a a let down, to learn that you were named for your Aunt – no disrespect mind you, but I can just imagine your delight it in thinking it was for the Dorothy from Kansas.

      There’s probably a blog post in there – the things we’d ask our dearly departed.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. I like your answer to the last question. Thanks for sharing with us.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. I like your walls, Maggie. Now I have the sense you work and live in a light and airy setting. Not surprising to see the inspired results. Cheers

    Liked by 1 person

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