I am back in Dundee so life has improved immensely. Yes, still busy (week two of a three-week online intensive, one review written and sent, a couple of deadlines looming) but I have played with the Executive Princess, slept soundly, finished a book I’ve been reading in bits, and started watching the final series of Bron/Broen/The Bridge — Saga, how I have missed you!
No conference papers this summer, but plenty of shenanigans to come.
I’m going to aim to work backwards until I get to all the things from this summer. In theory anyway: we’ll see how that works out. But here are some photos from the week with my dad. Lots of pictures of his dog Maggie, no surprise. Some beautiful sunrises and sunsets. More on the ‘book.
In which I sigh because I am there no longer: yeah, mostly that crazy girl. Camera loves her.
We had to say good-bye to this girl yesterday.
During @WorldCon75 I played hookey for a day to go to Suomenlinna, the island in Helsinki’s harbour with my friend and ‘borrowed cousin’ Laura. It was a beautiful day, but as I got to the harbour I saw there was a thick bank of fog over the water. It made the day a little more magical. Here are a few pictures (more in the album on FB). Magpies, white cheek geese, wild flowers, cake, and the Toy Museum, which veered from interesting nostalgia to outright nightmarish!
Marjorie Virginia Laity, née Weber 1937-2017
Rather unexpectedly my mom died Saturday night. We’re all reeling a bit, especially my dad. She had hip surgery earlier this summer but had recovered so quickly that she was walking down the block without assistance already. In keeping with her desires there will be no funeral; if you would like to honour her memory, you can send a donation to the Friends of the Thomas Branigan Library, PO Box 213, Las Cruces, NM 88004. If you’d like to be part of a general donation we’re gathering in her name [click here for the PayPal link].
Robert wrote up a very nice obituary that will be appearing soon in The Lansing State Journal, The Johnson City Record Courier and The Las Cruces Sun-News.
If you knew my mom, you knew how energetic she was, never still for long. In recent years she really loved feeding the roadrunners from the back yard of their home in Las Cruces. They got a new Lab puppy at Christmas and Maggie is already a robust 70 lbs.
Mom was a superb seamstress: she always said that computers were beyond her, but somehow she had no trouble programming the computer-run sewing machine that seemed to do everything but knit (it scared me!). She loved ice skating so much, even when she fell backstage at the ice show on Mother’s Day and broke her ankle in four places. Of course she had her first knee surgery after a spill hill climbing on motorcycles back when we were kids. She was mostly fearless.
Here’s something that never failed to make her laugh. It became a long-running joke on family trips along with the guy who looked at the beauties of Monument Valley and muttered, “I see no significance in that.”
In high school she started working as a telephone operator, a job she loved. She always told the story of helping the woman who wanted to talk to Elvis (she was a big fan herself) and they got as far as Colonel Tom Parker. My dad and us kids would always make her call for pizza because “You have such a nice telephone voice” (which she did). We always had music on in the house. My mom loved to dance too, especially a lively Polish polka.
Thanks for everything, mom. Feel free to share your memories.
While I’m busy with my conference, here are some lovely photos: the Howff, progress on the V&A and the rail station, fascinating exhibit at the McManus, graduation with the penguins, and of course that cheeky gal.