American Past Time - $15.00

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American Past Time
A novel by Len Joy

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Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I spent the last week at my Mom’s house in Skaneateles, so I thought it would be a good time to do a Mom-blog. My Mom’s 93 now, but still drives her trusty Corolla and lives by herself (but with a lot of care provided by my sister, Kendra and her husband, Don) in the house that my family moved to in 1972.

When my Dad died last fall, my sister Christine took possession of the seven thousand 35mm slides he had taken chronicling our family adventures. She culled the collection down to a manageable five hundred and sent all the siblings a digital CD. Given that my Dad took 99% of the pics, I figured I’d be able to find a decent photo of Mom. Just Mom, not Mom and four funny looking kids in birthday hats mugging for the camera.

She was in about forty photos, but in most of them she’s wearing some god-awful hat that looks like a lampshade and is flanked by her beautiful daughters wearing similar hats. Plus for about twenty years she wore those cats-eye eyeglasses and they don’t photograph well. This picture is from one of my sister’s birthday parties, but I cropped out the kids.

Most mornings when I’m at Mom’s she reads the obits and death notices to me while we watch “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire.” She pointed out that many of the photos that accompany the notices were taken long ago. She didn’t disapprove of that, so I think she will be okay with me using this fifty year old photo for my blog.

One thing she did disapprove of, however, was the proclivity for obit-writers to use the term, “Passed away.” Three days in a row she railed about the use of that term (Mom’s not so good on the short-term memory.) On the fourth day, to forestall another rant, I assured her I would personally see to it that in her obit she died and did not pass away.

That night as I was reclining on her sofa watching television, she walked by me and patted me on the shoulder. “You’re a good son,” she said. So I said, “Well you’re a good mom, Mom.” And then she laughed and said, “Well, okay, then. There you have it.” Then she went to bed.


Took a couple days off after the Tri and then yesterday I took a spinning class at the Y and then did about twenty minutes of stretching. Today I took an early morning run, easy pace for an hour.

Weight: 189

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