Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Another passing: Great Aunt Ludmilla

Ludmilla Fowler (Tolomizenko) 1947

My family is really big on my dad's side. I learned more about my great aunt, a Ukrainian refugee/post-war bride from my second cousin. He wrote a sweet email just before her passing, which I'll share here. Farewell, Ludmilla, you touched many lives.

(robert allen's email below)
"In the midst of our sweet aunt millie's failing health, we should reflect on the history of the fowler family that began with a small wedding of chester lloyd fowler and winifred hughes at the episcopal church in manitou springs, colorado 100 years ago in 1908. having 4 children in colorado springs, ralph, helen, george, and florence, chet and winnie moved north 160 miles to a windswept railroad town in the fall of 1917, renting a home at 311 e 18th st, and choosing the methodist church as their place of worship. in 1918, tragedy struck with the drowning of 16 month old florence, but along came 3 more sons--john, warren and eddie.

helen and the boys grew up, married, and soon there were more fowlers than chet and winnie could have ever imagined. as a 6-year-old boy in 1952, our living room at 818 w first avenue (in Wyoming) was like a happy parade, with lots of smiling people coming in and going out at all times of the year. let's see, there was grandma raper, chet, winnie, ralph, mary, helen, bart, george, ila, john, betty, warren, millie, eddie, mary ann, billy, a new chet, karen, chuchie, tim, judy, helen, charlotte, joann, and eventually kenny and eddie's kids. how was i supposed to remember all these names? i can only imagine what my dear dad bart must have thought of all of this? he actually loved them all but i know he shook his head from time to time. as the fowler family grew exponentially in the 1940's, it tapered off in the 50's and sadness and death became a reality.

One by one, these people who laughed and partied and loved each other as i looked up from my small living room floor, began to disappear from earth. grandma raper, chet, mary, warren, betty, bart, winnie, john, george, ralph, the new chet, helen, ila and now millie is knocking on st peter's door. Of the original generations above us, only uncle eddie and millie are left. it helps if you believe in a life hereafter, but it doesn't eliminate the sadness. i feel sadness right now. i miss all of them, especially my mom and dad.

Ludmilla tolomizenko was a gorgeous ukrainian refugee who met us army officer warren fowler in post war europe and they married in linz, austria about 1947. no doubt apprenhensive about meeting all the fowler inl laws, she did it and was accepted unconditionally. they had a darling daughter joann and our allen family of 5 drove from cheyenne, wyoming, in a 1947 pontiac all the way to harrisburg, pennsylvania in june of 1952 to see them. altho very happy at that time, uncle warren was already struggling with the horrific diease of alcoholism. it would lead to unhappiness, divorce, loss of freedom, and early death. but we all loved uncle warren and aunt millie very much, perhaps more than ever. our lifes have been blessed to know both of you...."

-nephew bobby.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Vashon PO boat we love to hate

It's not like I'm on the walk-on commuter ferry every day to Seattle like the days of old, but when I do take it, there's nothing like seeing your old commuter pals. Today, because the boats were messed up and late by 30 min, the choice was 1- BE LATE on the PO (foot ferry) or 2- hop on the big car-holding boat and get to W. Seattle by 7:20, then take a bus to downtown. I opted for the latter.

I enjoyed a nice ride with my former ferry cohorts this morning, as most of the islanders also opted not to take the foot ferry. I caught up on stuff and discovered a yoga class offered on the island to help tweaked, aching backs like mine. Excellent!

It took a great amount of work to get to work today. First I planned to take my car in, so at 6:20a I scraped ice off the windshield in 20-degree weather in the dark. I dashed to the winding queue, only to discover the line was infinitely long--up as far as it would go to a holding lane. It occurred to me I wouldn't make any of the next three boats so home I went, parked the car, gave David a big kiss and hug and clicked on my flashlight to trudge down the hill with the other commuter sheep.

Two hours after first heading out the door, I was in the office in downtown Seattle. I will say, it is nice to occasionally get fully dressed (up) and face to face with colleagues. The mornings in the city are gorgeous and it's fun to watch the world wake up. Life is good.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

From the space needle

From New Year's Eve to Seattle escapades... They're fun!

Friday, January 11, 2008

You guys, how much is too much?

I just have to express my amusement for these two web sites my friends have shared with me.

First, do you want to know how HOT people think you are, or, if they think you are do-able? If you saw the people rating YOU, and felt like they are not so hot themselves, would you realy CARE about their opinions?

This web site, bangme.net, has you post pix and then get rated with a yes or no and allows commentary. It tracks the no's and yesses. Many of the girls are YOUNGER, teens sticking their butts out wearing undies and tanks--and they're trailer skanks. Then the occasional babe, like my gal pal, posts and steals all the love.

When I shared this site with another friend, he noted he was more amused by a website called RATEMYPOO.com. That's right folks. You'd be shocked to know just how many people in the world pinch one off, and then run to get their digital cams to snap off a photo of these specimens to garner top doo-doo-dom.

Rate. My. Poo. It just makes me laugh. I looked on the home page and almost puked when my eyes were assaulted by a HUGE turd floating in a bowl, filling the bowl.

We are one BORED society. Blogging is my therapy, but maybe poo-rating and hot-speculating are someone else's. Ha!

Monday, January 07, 2008

2008 and back on the blog

Happy new year!
This will be my 21st blogging month. Cheaper than therapy. Funner than a phone chat. I can rant, rave or just post pictures. It's a beautiful thing.

The last three weeks, I:
-went to Sacramento for the holiday
-skiied at Homewood in Lake Tahoe (icy)
-saw a family friend in Nevada City
-turned 39
-took the kids to Snoqualmie
-chaperoned a ski trip
-just got the tree put away

Next, I owe lots of you thank you notes!