Sunday, March 30, 2014

On the Third Anniversary of Mom's Passing

It seems like yesterday. It seems like a hundred years ago. How can both be true? Yet they are. My mother passed away on March 31, 2011 at the Notre Dame du Lac long-term care center in Worcester, MA. My sister, Jessica, was with her. Mom had Alzheimer's - we were aware of it a good 10 years before she died.

My photo albums are all still in storage in Santa Fe, NM, so I don't have any pictures of her later in life. But I do have these very old photos of her on my computer:

This one is my favorite! She is 11 or 12 here. I can tell, because she has the awful haircut required by the Liverpool Blue Coat School for Orphans and Fatherless Children, where my grandmother placed her in October of 1936. I know that the boarding school was like a prison to her, but in this photo she looks so happy. It must have been on a school holiday. I don't know where she was, what she was pointing to, or whose dog that is. Look at the face on the dog!

This is Mom's passport picture taken in 1940. She was 14 and about to come home to the U.S. 

And this one was taken in June 1940. She'd returned to the U.S., where her mother was about to marry a widower with two children for whom Grandma was governess. There's a story there, but we'll never know it! You can see how tentative Mom looks in this picture. That's probably how she felt  - for years she'd been stuck in a boarding school in England, and now that Grandma finally brought her home, she was to be part of a new family - a stepfather, step-brother and step-sister to whom she was the outsider. Fortunately, the step-father, Pop, was a nice man. 

I remain fascinated by this time in Mom's life. You may recall me writing about my efforts to find out about her life as an evacuee with the school in Beaumaris, Wales.

This is the poem I wrote for Mom's memorial service:

I’ll Remember You
(A poem for Mom)
by Melissa Ann Goodwin

I’ll remember you
on the rocks at Gray’s,
knitting needles clacking
and the seagulls flocking.
When sunny days seem to
last forever
and thunder rolls
like a distant drummer,
I’ll remember you,
in summer.

I’ll remember you
at the kitchen door,
as I waved goodbye
‘neath an autumn sky.
When leaves are piled 
and chestnuts fall
with bittersweet vines
and popcorn balls,
I’ll remember you,
in fall.

I’ll remember you
knitting mittens
by a fire warm
in a snowy storm.
When stars shine bright
like cosmic glitter
and snowflakes fly
and winds blow bitter,
I’ll remember you,
in winter.

I’ll remember you
on days in May,
when poppies bloom
and winter’s gloom is
left behind.
When all the world
feels fresh and new
And robins sing,
I’ll remember you,
in spring.

Love and Miss you, Mom! xoxo

Friday, March 7, 2014

Dixieland Jazz in the Garden

Just because we stopped RVing doesn't mean we've stopped having fun :) There is plenty here in Florida to investigate, and we've only just begun.

Last Sunday we went to the Naples Botanical Garden for an afternoon Dixieland Jazz concert. This was a great deal (I'm a fan of great deals), as you only paid the $12.50 price of admission to the gardens and got to wander around the garden and see the concert too. I know! All for $12.50! Can't beat that!

We brought our own chairs, parked them under a palm tree, and wandered off to check out the gardens. When we lived in Arizona, the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden was one of our favorite places. Well, the Naples Botanical Garden is one of our NEW favorite places! There are gardens with different themes,
like the Japanese Garden:

And the Brazilian Garden:

I forgot to mention they were having a Lego exhibit, which at first doesn't sound all that interesting, but when you see the Lego sculptures, I think you'll be impressed. In fact, see those big lily pads in the picture just above? Those are made from Legos! Here are some more:

Lego Lawn Mower

Lego Butterfly

Lego Farmer Guy

The concert was great too - it had a Mardi Gras Theme:

Here are more pictures from the garden:

Recycle Garden

My favorite - a garden that grows pocketbooks!!

And here's Dick keeping sun off of his right ear :)

Monday, March 3, 2014


I'm so THRILLED with this review of


Pop on over to their website for the review and 


Sunday, March 2, 2014


Thank you all for entering to win a copy of

The winner of the giveaway is LOVE OF QUILTS!

I'm sure to run more giveaways during the year, so please try again. And I hope you'll keep my books in mind for summer reading and as gifts for the young and the young at heart in your life.

Happy Reading!

Dear Love of Quilts, please email me at 
so that we can arrange to send you your book.