Blame wickedthistle for this blog. She asked an innocent enough question: tell me some stuff about yourself that I don't know. Obeying her command, I jotted down a couple things and then as I finished, had another ah-hah moment about my family's gene pool.
At the shallow end of the pool: My extravagant, devil-may-care, playboy grandfather. A man who, according to my father, spent money like water on the best of everything, including – get this – pair after pair of handmade Italian shoes. In this photo, taken at Christmas, I'll bet grandpop is thinking that surely, one of his presents must be shoes.
At the deep end of the pool: my nose-to-the-grindstone grandmother who did what she had to do to raise her kids after granddad's death. Shrewd, sensible, she had a keen eye for a good bargain and a lifelong thirst to save her pennies. And she was a peerless housekeeper and cook. I bet she's thinking about all the cooking she has to do today and if it would be more sensible to use the every day china or bring out the good stuff.
Of course, I am more than the sum of these long-gone-to-dust personalities. My mother and father wielded their own weird influences, and then there's stuff that is mine and mine alone. But threads of familial commonality – whether they tug, bind, or strangle – always fascinate me.