These Are The Days

Smart ~ Writer ~ Mom

Memories, Mickey, and Bingo

My grandmother was born on this date – January 8, 1919. Which means if she were alive today she would be 96 years old! Longevity is a trait among most of the women on my mother’s side of the family; many of my great-aunts lived well into their 80s and 90s.

I always remember her birthday, as it falls right after the busy-ness of the holiday season when everything has calmed down a bit. Plus, it’s Elvis’ birthday. Not sure if she cared much for him or about sharing a birthday with him, but it’s one way of remembering the date.

I remember other things, too:

* She had an impeccable sense of style and was always in tune with the latest fashions. She would pick out some outfit and say “that’s what they’re all wearing.” Which led me to always ask in my sarcastic teenager manner, “Who are they?”

2014_05_23_14_39_400001* She was a Home Depot DIY-er before it was popular.

She totally would have loved every single show on HGTV.

Wish I remembered this photo, but here I am with her. It appears we’re painting her back door. (1974)

* She would have loved my ten year old daughter for both of the reasons stated above.

* Her nails were always long, trim, and polished. 

* She liked to stick her head out the dining room window to see what was going on in our driveway below. 







* She was thrilled that her fourth and final grandchild’s name started with the letter “M”. Especially given that her first three grandchildren’s names all began with “K” which was very confusing when calling for us, yelling at us, or simply remembering who was who. Whom? (Shout out to my cousin Marc! And my sister Kerri and cousin Kristina)

* She used catch phrases that confused the heck out of me. I recently started saying one of her favorties – “well it’s six of one, half a dozen of the other.” Which causes my girls to stare at me with blank faces. Another classic was when someone asked her what was for dinner. If she was feeling witty she may have replied, “Wind pudding and air sauce.” A throwback to the struggles of the Depression? I have no idea, but that phrase always made me squint a little…

* Her formal dining room chair cushions were covered for the longest time in a pink fabric. My poor grandfather!

1944 (Sullivan) Nana and Pa wedding picture* Speaking of my grandfather, they were married on July 4, 1944.

I totally love this photo.




* She had crushed, powder-blue velvet love seats in her formal living room and a fake fireplace in the den where she watched Wheel of Fortune and the Price is Right.  Ah, the 1980s!

1989-1* My sister, my husband and I worked for Disney for many years. My sister still does. Back in 1988 when I first started my Disney career, I worked at the Disney Store at the Burlington Mall in Burlington, Massachusetts. Mickey was making a special visit and cast members and our families were invited for a before-hours meet and greet. Glad my grandmother got to meet Mickey 🙂


The table and chairs are mine. The buffet is against the wall. Please ignore the strip of white padding under the carpet. We’ve since chopped that off 🙂


* She liked to play Bingo. And that one leads me to my newest memory. I am really happy to have my grandmother’s buffet server and china cabinet from her original set (which I’m told is probably about 70 years old).

20141231_220715Now. This set was moved to my parent’s house in 1998, following my grandmother’s death.

It remained there until 2005 when my folks put it in storage.

Now, ten years later, it made the six hour trek in the back of my father’s car to our new home in Delaware.

As my husband was refurbishing the china cabinet – I kid you not – a red Bingo chip fell out.


I’m taking it as a sign that she’s happy the set is being used again.

Thanks Nana, and Happy Birthday.


  1. Oh Kim – it seems I’m always finding a new favorite post in your blog, but this one truly won’t be beat. I loved the walk down Memory Lane and the ending – ohhh, I just love it! Everything you described is exactly how I remember it as well. One thing about her that I still repeat to this day is that I was always amazed how she could find yard sale curtains (omg – curtains! she could never have enough lol!), but she would find these castaway curtains, way too long or maybe not enough for each window – whatever the problem, it was never a problem for Aunt Dot – her windows were always gorgeous. The most amazing part (and this is why I still repeat this memory to my creative friends) – she didn’t even know how to sew! She draped, swagged, criss-crossed, looped…did whatever she had to. She was saying “Make It Work” long before anyone every heard of Tim Gunn! Happy Birthday my talented Aunt Dot and watch over that Bingo chip.

  2. Wonderful post and tribute to our Nana! You are right her nails were always polished, lipstick and blotting tissue close by at all times. Her plastic yellow address book with the little girls on the front with family and friends addresses and phone numbers. Chocolate, strawberry and vanilla ice cream…. the strawberry hardly scooped. Black and white checkered suit. She used to say if you don’t have the cash to buy it today you can’t afford it tomorrow, so be careful with credit cards. Carol, love the make it work comment, so true, the curtains.. you hit the nail on the head. Her windows were always perfect and her house stylish. She was a house flipper before house flippers were cool! She acted disinterested to meet our famous Mouse and boss but clearly by the picture, she was happy! She was a tough lady but quirky in her own way. Didn’t take guff from people, had a sarcastic humor about her and even “hairsprayed” her hair with toilet bowl cleaner on her way to her famous bingo games.
    The purple rug in her formal living room and dining room!
    Great post Kim and a wonderful way to honor Nana.
    “That’s that…so”

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