(New Wave Essays)
Glimpses of Everyday Life

The Blizzard of 1888The Kiss of Spring

Great Uncle William Beers and the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906

To Us, Love Was Like the Breath of Spring

Blueberries By the Side of the Road

My Angel Awaits ....

Cancer SurvivorMom and the TeenagerCousins


The Blizzard of 1888

by

Deanne F. Purcell


To my Grandfather and Great Grandmother
(may they rest in peace)


Living in the 21st century, we never experienced a blizzard like the one my grandparents did in the 19th century.

My grandfather was born on July 12, 1874. His mother, my Great Grandma, was alone at home, in severe pain at the height of her labor. In those days, most children were born at home, sometimes alone, and sometimes with the aid of a midwife. And often husbands or family walked through blizzards to fetch a midwife, as was the case when Grandpa's half-sister, Eleanor, was born to Great Grandma and her second husband.

Eleanor grew up knowing about the important event that happened during her birth, the unexpected Blizzard of March 12, 1888, the most severe snowstorm of the 19th century with 50 mph winds and snow walls up to 50 inches high, and her father's trek through the blizzard to fetch the midwife.

It makes me very happy to know that my family was so brave and courageous in that difficult time.

Copyright March 12, 2006
by Deanne F. Purcell

For more info on the Blizzard of March 11-14, 1888, click on the link below:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Blizzard_of_'88


The Kiss of Spring

by

Deanne F. Purcell



Today is the beginning of early Spring and the sun is shining brightly, although it is still very cold. The doldrums of winter are soon leaving us, as soon as we set the clocks ahead one hour, and it will be lighter in the morning, and stay light longer at night.

My spirit has been uplifted; I look forward to no more snow, and less cold. Plans can now be made that will brighten my life and create cherished memories in 2006. Leaves are growing back on the trees, and the focus of beautiful flowers appears on the horizon.

I welcome the scent and colors of all the types of flowers I glimpse from my window; and as I walk between them outdoors, I am enlivened with the knowledge that once again I can enjoy Spring in all its glory.

Copyright March 21, 2006
by Deanne F. Purcell



Great Uncle William Beers
and the San Francisco Earthquake of 1906


by

Deanne F. Purcell



My Great Uncle William Beers was born in 1873. He became a sportswriter columnist for Fourth Estate that had offices in New York and San Francisco. He happened to be in San Francisco on the day the earthquake took place, on assignment to cover the Bobby Jones Golf Tournaments. At that time, Bobby Jones was a much-loved golf champion. In 2004 a movie entitled "Bobby Jones: Stroke of Genius" was released, starring James Caviezel as Bobby Jones.

On the day of the Quake, my Great Uncle Beers sat at his desk with his back to the window, typing. The quake and the ensuing firestorm came with such force that it blew in the window and toppled him and his chair to the floor. He was not injured. He picked up his chair, sat back down in front of his typewriter, brushed off his pants and resumed typing.

My Great Uncle Beers was the first male in our family line to be published. And I am the first female writer to be published.

Copyright March 19, 2006
by Deanne F. Purcell



To Us, Love Was Like the Breath of Spring

by

Deanne F. Purcell



To us, love was like the breath of Spring. It whistled through the pines. The sun had risen upon the horizon. An umbrella of white marshmallow clouds chaperoned blue skies, as we sat on benches inside the gazebo.

Morning church bells were ringing, music welcome to our ears, even today as we remember our youth. Life was beautiful by day and by night, for we had found love.

Despite our different backgrounds and education levels, conversing with each other we found how different we were, yet how much alike. Finding out what we shared and admired about each other, we made each other feel better, as no one had done before, and nothing else mattered. Our circumstances made us reach out to each other and want to stay together permanently. Our love and companionship made us complete.

Thank You.

Copyright January 7, 2006
by Deanne F. Purcell



Blueberries by the Side of the Road

by

Deanne F. Purcell



Living through this cold winter brought back memories of a summer long ago in my childhood. We were staying in a summer cottage on Echo Avenue, in Sound Beach. It was a cloudy day. I, along with my niece and nephew, were getting underfoot and probably being a nuisance. As a solution, my mother asked us to go outside and pick the blueberries along the side of the road, bring them back, and we could make a blueberry pie.

The oldest, I became the leader. We picked one side of the road clean. As we started on the other side, it began to rain. We had no raincoats or umbrellas with us. Rather than get soaking wet, we decided to go home.

We never did make the pie; the blueberries were hard as rocks. But we had fun just the same, working together, picking the blueberries by the side of the road.

Copyright March 3, 2006
by Deanne F. Purcell



My Angel Awaits

by

Deanne F. Purcell



To a very dear departed friend

My Angel has arrived first at the Promised Land. The Angels welcomed him and they all sang together. Although he did not want to die, his pain and suffering from cancer is now all gone, and he has finally found peace with those who went before him and welcomed him with open arms.

He is no longer alone, and his tears no longer fall. Now he stands at the gate, near the beautiful flowers in the garden. He is especially proud of the carnations that he plans to give me. I cannot arrive there yet, as my life is not through, my work not finished.

He already has his wings. I must wait.

Copyright February 27, 2006
by Deanne F. Purcell



Cancer Survivor

by

Deanne F. Purcell



Sixteen Years ago I was forced to undergo Cancer surgery. Up until the day before, I refused, but my family insisted that I have the surgery, assuring me that I would be alright after it. The doctor said that I would not need chemo or radiation treatments. My scar wouldn't be large, and it would be barely visible. It would feel a bit rough.

The night before the surgery I kept staring at myself, wondering what I would look like after the surgery. I wondered if the surgery would change me as a person — who I was and how I would feel about myself.

Feeling depressed, I told my niece, who had tears in her eyes, "If I don't make it, will you please have me laid out in a pale blue dress."

As they wheeled me into the operating room, I prayed to God to make me recover, so I could go to Fairmount, Indiana, to visit the grave of James Dean, of whom I was a devoted fan.

God answered my prayers.

Copyright March 5, 2006
by Deanne F. Purcell



Cousins

by

Deanne F. Purcell



Cousins, especially first cousins, often share a special kinship and closeness. The same blood runs in their veins, often the same surname, even similar physical appearance, mannerisms and hobbies, and sometimes they may be mistaken by others for each other. They are fortunate who share this type of loving closeness.

For me, it was harder, and a challenge. I was born late in my parent's life; I never married or had children, and my cousins were much older than me. I had to bridge the generation gap.

It was always important to me to know about my family, those in my lifetime and those who came before me. My solution was to sit down and write letters to my cousins, telling them how I felt, that I would like to be in contact with them, that I loved them very much and wanted to know them better, and we could share stories of our lives.

Copyright February 27, 2006
by Deanne F. Purcell



Mom and the Teenager

by

Deanne F. Purcell


I was born late in my parent's life. Mom Did not like the kids in my neighborhood. She kept me very close to her — accompanying me across the streets, taking me out to the diner and the movies.

I didn't agree with her tight hold, standing strongly on my opinions. I am a Taurus, born under the sign of the Bull. I am stubborn. I felt that if others can say how they feel, I could, too.

Sometimes I felt happy with Mom, yet happier alone, as the expression goes, "Alone in a crowd." I tried to fit in, but it seemed virtually impossible to me, and not my destiny. And I couldn't change it.

Later in life, when I did try to be like the others, my family became angry, telling me, "Why are you trying to change? We like you as you are." I found this upsetting, as had they said this to me in my childhood and teenage years, I would not have gone through years of suffering and anxiety.

I was born on Mother's Day, but early in my life I realized I would never be a wife or a mother. But the feelings and instincts of motherhood have always been within me. Perhaps never a mother in the physical sense, yet I believe I can help my fellow human beings here on earth through kindness and understanding, and through my prayers for them, and for those who have passed on.

Copyright February 10, 2006
by Deanne F. Purcell


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