Today is a different sort of post. I'm going to tell you a couple stories, show you some photos, and leave it at that (a WIP Wednesday post is probably forthcoming, if you're interested). I apologize right now for this is going to be a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG post.
September 2nd is an interesting day in my world. Some of you may recall that Little Man was born on November 9, 2010....the same day my maternal grandmother, Agnes Lucille (Johnston) Green, passed away. Well, September 2nd is similar. Today is Stormageddon's first birthday. Today is also seven years since my maternal grandfather, George Anton Green, passed away.
See, the boys just won't let me have their birthdays on normal days.
So, first, my grandfather, George Anton Green.
Now, to be quite fair, this photo is from c 1992 but, that's my grandpa (and me, of course).
George Anton Green was born in Elk Mound, Wisconsin on 19 April, 1923, most likely at home. His parents were Margaret Mary (Michelbook) and Anton Edward Green (who went by Ed, as his father was also named Anton). He joined older brother Vernon Nicholas Green.
He spent his early years in northern Wisconsin, working on the farm with his family. They survived the Great Depression as well as any Catholic farming family could during that time. He went to school in Elk Mound, played basketball, was a member of the student council, and graduated from Elk Mound High School in 1941. Sometime in 1942, he married Muriel Irene Hawkinson. Now, if you've been reading and paying attention, you'll know that Muriel Irene Hawkinson is not my grandmother. I'm unsure of what exactly happened but they were divorced before April 1945 and I've since heard that my great-grandmother may be partially to blame for that. My great-grandmother was a stoic German woman (she being a second-generation born in the US - her grandfather was born in Luxembourg in 1818) and was apparently pretty harsh with both my grandfather's first wife, Muriel, as well as my great-uncle Vernon's first wife, Idell. I don't know if it was the unemotional stoic German nature or if she just didn't like anyone her boys took up with....but both my grandfather and my great-uncle, Vernon, divorced their first wives. Keep in mind that they were Catholic. You just didn't do that. Both were kicked out of the Catholic church and neither are buried in a Catholic cemetery. But, anyway...moving on. My grandfather and Muriel divorced prior to April 1945. I'm unsure of when exactly but I do know they were divorced before my uncle's birth, which was in April 1945. Yeah.......about that......Muriel was pregnant when they got divorced. She had a son, Michael David (Green) Tylee, who took his step-father's last name, born 23 April, 1945. I had heard rumors as a small child that my grandfather had another child but upon his deathbed, when I asked him outright, he told me he didn't know if she was pregnant or not....which is a total lie. Not only did he know, my grandmother knew, her siblings knew, some of my mom's cousins knew.....but my mother and I? Nope. We didn't know for sure.
In 1945, George enlisted in the US Army. It was nearing the end of WWII, not that anyone really knew that at that point. He enlisted 8 May, 1945 and was honorably discharged in November 1946. He never really talked about his time in the military. I do know that he was in Japan twice during his 18 months in the army. He once told me that it *was* a beautiful country, which means he was there post-atomic bomb and probably not long before that. I found quite a bit of Japanese items upon his death, including military-issued Japanese yen, a couple kimonos, and several other random items.
I'm still a little fuzzy on when my grandparents actually met because I have all the letters my grandfather sent to my grandmother while he was enlisted...which means they were dating by the time he was in the army. I suspect they met not long before he enlisted. Either way, he and my grandmother married on 21 December 1946 in St. Paul, Minnesota and my mother came along on 25 May 1947. Yes, yes, do the math...my grandmother was pregnant when they got married. And I've seen their wedding photos....you cannot tell she was pregnant.
They moved to Stoughton, Wisconsin in 1951, when an army buddy of my grandpa's said, "hey, I've found you a job down here." In 1951, Stoughton was a very finicky town. I mean, it still is even now, but back then, you were either an old Stoughton family or you were an outsider. It took my grandparents almost 10 years to break the barriers that existed. They became members of the Methodist Church because the Catholic Church wouldn't take them (as my grandfather had been kicked out) and the gazillion Lutheran churches wouldn't take them because my grandpa was Catholic. The Methodists didn't care as long as they were Christian. So, my mother and, by extension, I were raised in the Methodist Church in Stoughton.
While in Stoughton, my grandfather was on the school board, a member of the Jaycees, the Lions Club, the American Legion, and the Syttende Mai committee. They bought their first house sometime in the early 1960s, a house on the corner of what was then Wisconsin Highway 138 and West South Street. The house still stands, though it's now the corner of Van Buren and West South. A friend of mine from high school grew up there and her parents still live there. In the basement of that house, they found a 100+ year old table and chairs (and all the leaves for the table). I still own that table and chairs.
It's worth noting that sometime in the early 1960s, my uncle, Michael David (Green) Tylee made the trip from northwest Wisconsin to Stoughton (in the days where Interstate Highways weren't totally a thing....so he made the trek on Wisconsin and US highways, through cities and towns along the way - took much longer than it would take now). I imagine it was probably the summer of 1963, after he graduated from high school. The story goes that he drove that whole way with the intention of meeting his biological father. He got there, parked the car across the street, got out, and never went to the door.
After my mother graduated from Stoughton High School in 1965, plans were conceived to build a house in a new housing development near the location of the new high school. I'm unsure of the exact year but I suspect it was in 1971 when they designed and built their first house. We bought the house from them in 1992 and moved into it in January 1993.
Sometime in the mid-1970s, my grandparents decided to open up their own business in downtown Stoughton. They called it The Stationery House. It's original location was at 276 E. Main Street, which no longer exists (I believe it was swallowed up when the library expanded in the early 1990s). In 1976, they moved up the street to 211 E. Main Street (which now houses VIKing Brew Pub). They had their shop there until I closed it in 2009.
Their merchandise? Office supplies, art supplies, school supplies, and Norwegian giftware. Hey, Stoughton is a Norwegian town. It sold very well and they made a comfortable living.
That store was packed full of stuff. You cannot imagine and the photos do not do it justice. But, that was the store.
Sometime in late 1989 or early 1990, my grandparents bought a plot of land on West South Street. It was near the new elementary school, Fox Prairie, where I went to 5th grade. They designed and built another house (hence us buying their house and them moving).
In 1993, my grandparents were King & Queen of Syttende Mai. Syttende Mai is Norwegian Constitution Day and is celebrated in my hometown as it's a Norwegian town.
My grandfather's last few years were spent in nursing homes. He fell off a chair at the store on April Fools' Day 2006 and broke his hip. While he did better than many in his situation, he never fully recovered and passed away on this day in 2008.
But, on to happier things.
First of all, that little booger came three weeks early. He was due 17 September 2014 and I had a c-section scheduled for a week or so before that.
The morning of 2 September 2014 was a usual morning. I was awake several times during the night to pee because that's what you do when you're incredibly pregnant. So, around 4am, I got up to have a pee and when I laid back down in bed, I felt a little.....blurp, kind of like peeing. So, I got back up, peed again, and laid back down. I had the brief thought of, "was that my water breaking?" but I shrugged it off, stayed awake for about an hour, decided it was nothing, and went back to sleep. When I got up for real a couple hours later, it was the Tuesday after Labor Day. Husband was taking Little Man to work with him so I could do all the things! I was going to clean the bathrooms, do a buttload of laundry, dye my hair, knit, clean the kitchen, mop.....I HAD PLANS, DAMMIT! I dyed my hair and took a shower. I was making the walk from the closet to our bathroom when the WHOOSH happened. I kind of just stood there for a second and then the first thought was, "OH HELL NO!"
I sent Husband a text that said, "I think my water just broke but I've no idea. I'm going to call the doctor and see what they say." Keep in mind that Husband had my car and was at work. So, I called my OB's office, they called the doctor on call at the hospital, she called me and it was decided that I should probably come in. While I waited for Husband and Little Man to get home, I tried to do all the things: I got laundry going, packed up hospital bags, did some cleaning....then we went to the hospital.
No labor pains, no nothing....but that test came back that said, "HI, WE'RE HAVING A BABY TODAY!"
I called our friends in Fremont and said, "hey guess what?" and Husband took Little Man across the Bay and was back in about 45 minutes. He got there, they threw scrubs at him and wheeled me off.
It was a typical c-section other than I coughed through the damn thing. Then this happened:
George Eugene was born at 5:04pm PDT, 18.5" and 6 lbs., 9.6 oz. He screamed his head off and didn't stop until they swaddled him.
Here are photos from the last year...
His one year appointment is next week but his abilities include:
1. Talking. Lots of mamamama, dadadada, babababa, guh....the usual sounds for a baby.
2. Walking between furniture and across the living room (10-15 steps) and ending with either an "I'm exhausted" fall onto his butt or he'll go into a downward dog pose...and then topple over.
3. Pincer grasp (as seen above)
4. Eating all the foods. He tried black olives the other night and seemed to like them. He also likes cereal (Apple Jacks, French Toast Crunch, Cheerios, whatever), pudding, bread, spaghetti, and various other things....he's not liking yogurt lately, though.
5. Teething. He currently has 8 teeth and a zillion more coming in. He's chewing on everything.
6. Books. He's figured out how to hold books correctly and likes to "read." And then he eats the books.
7. Swimming. Baby boy loves the water. He loves bathtime and the pool. He thinks splashing is hilarious. It's almost time to put him in the big bathtub instead of his little one.
Didn't I warn you this would be a long one?
Anyway, I hope you're having a lovely Wednesday :)