Ask Poops, Please

Putting my two cents in.

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Location: Belmont, New Hampshire, United States

Born and bred in a small New England town, I am convinced that I know something about everything, and that my opinion matters. If only to me. Well, you'll see what I mean. And I love to knit, so you'll see what kind of things I'm doing when I should be vacuuming the living room.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

The Clairmont Family Reunion

The Clairmont Family, circa 1939
top row: Aunt Irene, Aunt Pudgie (Eva),Uncle Joe, Uncle George, Aunt Pauline, Uncle Skip (Romeo)
bottom row: Grammy (Regina), Uncle Shimmy (Wilfred), Memere (Celina), Pepere (Levi), Aunt Evelyn, Uncle Bill (Lawrence)
Meet the Clairmonts, the ten children of of my great-granparents. Memere and Pepere immigrated to NH from Trois Rivieres, Quebec. They owned a farm on Windmill Hill in Belmont for many years.
My grandmother is the lovely lady in the front row, all the way to the far left. (Your far left, her right.) This was taken in 1939, so she would have been 29 years old. She and my grandfather, Ernest, had been married for 6 years, and my Aunt Elaine would have been three. My dad, also Ernest, wouldn't be born for another 2 years yet. At this time my grandparents were living in Dover, since my grandfather worked for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard where he built submarines for the Allies. They moved back to Belmont after the war, and settled on High Street.
Today, my sister and her husband live downstairs in that house, and my dad and his girlfriend live upstairs. We live in the house next door that my parents bought when they got married.
Memere and Pepere died quite a long time ago, so long in fact that I only have the vaguest memories of Memere from when I was little and she lived with Aunt Pudgie.
As for the brothers and sisters, three are still alive today. Aunt Irene is the oldest surviving sister, and I don't know her date of birth right off hand, but if I had to guess I'd say she's well into her 80's, if not in her 90's. Sadly, she's been in the nursing home with Alzheimer's for many, many years. Nearly half of them had Alzheimer's when they died. Aunt Pauline is still alive and kicking, and she organized the even. She is the youngest of the sisters. She's married to a lovely man named Ken, and calls herself "Polly" these days, though why she does that I have no idea. I call her Aunt Pauline because you can't teach an old niece new tricks.
Uncle Skip is still with us too, and still a ladies' man after all these years. He used to live in the house next door when my Aunt Elaine was alive, but the stairs got to be too much for his knees, so he moved in with his girlfriend, Ellie.
And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that Aunt Katherine (Uncle Joe's widow) and Aunt Elsie (Uncle George's widow) are both still with us and as feisty as ever.
I got to see cousins I hadn't seen in awhile, and remark over how big all our collective kids are getting. It seems like just yesterday (yeah, I know everyone says that, but it really does seem like that) that we were the kids at the reunion, running races for prizes and swimming in Uncle Bill's pond. Today our kids were playing tag and hide and seek in the church hall, while we parents looked on and the "old folks" sat around and caught up.
Even though such things are inevitable, it still seems somewhat foreign to me that my dad's generation are all grandparents, and some are great-grandparents even.
Time flies when you're having fun, I guess.


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