Bex: Even though I hesitate to consider a living being a “possession,” I’d have to say “Belle,” our beautiful life-saving collie dog.
5. Where would you like to live?
Bev: If I were rich, I’d live in or near Santa Barbara so we could be closer to the grandchildren, but I’m happy living in Davis. I have no desire to move to some exotic location.
Bex: In Yorkshire, England. (This was a no-brainer!)
6. Who would you get to play you in a film of your life?
Bev: Rosie O’Donnell or Melissa McCarthy
Bex: Hayley Mills.
7. What is your favorite book?
Bev: This question again? I always answer either “The Mother Tongue” by Bill Bryson or “Prince of Tides.” I might add the “Outlander” series now too.
Bex: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
8. What is your most unappealing habit?
Bev: Pick a habit, any habit.
Bex: Making uncontrolled noises when I least expect them… (sorry!) (I’m old)
9. Twitter or Facebook? (Or if both share the differences in your opinion.)
Bev: I never really got into Twitter until recently (figuring it was self preservation to find out what the president was saying). I kinda sorta enjoy it, but I’ve been on Facebook for about 9 years and have made many casual friends there.
Bex: Although I have a Twitter account, I never use it. I do use Facebook regularly, having once given it up and then gone back to it. It has its advantages of enjoying social contact with not only old friends/family/acquaintances, but making new ones, as well. And besides, without FB, we would never have found and adopted Belle the Collie-Girl from Mit Skinner in Iowa! One of the most amazing things for us.
Mit Skinner, Belle, and Paul – the day Mit & her son Shawn delivered Belle to us all the way from Iowa to Massachusetts!
10. What would be your fancy dress costume of choice?
Bev: I never do costumes. Last time I dressed in a costume was more than 40 years ago. (I dressed as our friend Andrij Hornjatkewyc.)
Bex: Sweatshirt. Tee-shirt underneath. Jeans. White socks. Crocs. The same as I wear every single day of my life. I never want to have to “dress up” again!
11. What is your earliest memory?
Bev: I have two, and I don’t know which is earliest. When my sister was a baby, I wanted to find out what it was like to be in a crib drinking from a bottle. I would have been 4. I also have snippets of memory of a train trip I took with my mother to Pasadena. I was probably younger than 4.
Bex: My 3rd (or 4th) birthday. I can remember one scene right before my little friends showed up for my birthday party, it was in my first home in West Medford, MA, and I had my “posh frock” on and Mother kept telling me not to rough-house around the apartment (we lived in a 2-family, on the 2nd floor, that my Great Nana Ingersoll owned), but when someone came to the door and rang the bell, I can remember running to the top of the stairs and then sliding down all the stairs on my bum, to get to the door fast! Mum was not happy with me. After that, we moved to Marblehead, MA, where I spent my childhood.
12. What is your guiltiest pleasure?
Bev: Any over the top sundae or milk shake from Fenton’s Creamery. Fortunately I rarely get there.
Bex: Every so often I get an uncontrollable craving for something either salty or sweet. If it’s the salty craving, I’ll get a couple of bags of Cheetos and they might last 2 or 3 days. Guilty! If it’s sweet I am craving, I’ll order some exotic expensive type of chocolates and keep them in a stash somewhere, out of the prying noses of curious collies!
13. What do you owe your parents?
Bev: My sense of humor, my love of music, my love of San Francisco, and, from my father, my curly hair, from my mother my love of books.
Bex: Now I had to read Bev’s answer to get this one. I would have said “Nothing” meaning in a monetary way. But as far as attributes go, I guess I owe my being alcoholic (recovering now since 1983 without a drop to drink) to my mother, who was one. Despite the fact that she also smoked cigarettes like a chimney all my early years, I owe the fact that I never smoked to my Dad who heroically lived with her and put up with her smoking and drinking for all those years but never did so himself. He loved his ice cream but that was the worst habit he had. He was a good and wonderful but underappreciated man. I miss him. He died 39 years ago today.
14. To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
Bev: Sigh. This question again. Peggy …. for whatever it was that I did.
Bex: To my Dad, Reese. For not showing him more how much I loved and appreciated him, because I was still young and foolish when he passed away.
15. What or who is the greatest love of your life?
Bev: My family.
Bex: Paul Hooper Crowell.
16. What does love feel like to you?
Bev: Comfy as a pair of old slippers, no drama.
17. What was the best kiss of your life?
Bev: No one kiss stands out.
Bex: Two… see below. The moment I became Paul’s wife, and a few minutes later in the garden of our soon-to-be new home in Marblehead (before Crow Cottage days).
18. Which words or phrases do you overuse?
Bev: They all have four letters.
Bex: GDFA. I know. Not nice. But I never claimed to be “nice.” I swear a lot when I’m alone, or when it’s just the 3 of us here… poor Belle! You see, I drop things and that drives me right up the wall and back down again when I do it, which is all the time!
19. What’s the worst job you have done?
Bev: I worked for an attorney here in this town for awhile. He was a most annoying man and the day I quit was one of the happiest of my life. He later asked if I could come in and work for one day while he was in court. He asked me to stop by his house to get instructions. Turns out he wanted me to pretend to work and keep track of who talked instead of working while he was out of the office. I said no. He never called me again and I was happier for it.
Bex: Wow, I have to go back to when I was 18 and had my first full-time job right out of high school. (All my other jobs, of which there were many, were OK and had good vibes about them). At 18 I was hired as a “clerk” in the Bookkeeping Dept. of the Essex County Bank & Trust Co. in Lynn, MA. I worked in a one-story, flat-roofed building that went back for ages with glass partitions all the way down the length so you could see everyone who worked in there in one fell swoop. And, back in those days (1966), most of the employees in that hermetically sealed building were Smokers! I wasn’t, but the air was so thick with the smoke every day that you almost couldn’t see clearly to the back of our area! I cannot believe I worked in that hell-hole of smoke for almost a year! If I wind up with lung cancer, I blame it all on that job!
20. If you could edit your past, what would you change?
Bev: One thing I wish I could change was advice I got when I was choosing courses in my first semester at UC Berkeley. My roommate told me that Speech-1 was an “easy A” and I should take that. So I did. For someone terrified of public speaking, and someone who loves to write, taking that class set me up for failure from the beginning. I might have finished college if I had taken an English class instead.
Bex: I wish I had had the chance to go to college. My parents (mainly Mother) made it abundantly clear that they were not going to provide the means for me to go to college and that I had to start paying her rent to remain living there within 2 weeks of graduating from high school, which I did. That bank job described above was it. I think I paid her $45/month for rent to remain in my childhood home, but by the end of that first year as a a working adult, at the age of 19, I was gone, moved into Boston on my own and then out into the big world for years and years after that. I did eventually enroll as a freshman college student after I was married to Husband No. 1, in Bloomington, Indiana, where he was in graduate school working on a Ph.D. in Political Science, and I was a lowly freshman majoring in history. But our marriage fell apart and so did my chance at college.
21. What is the closest you have come to death?
Bev: I almost drowned at a lake when I was a little kid. I remember the lifeguard carrying me out to shore.
This is a long story and I have related it somewhere, probably my blog
, before. But long-story short, I was walking home in Boston, MA (where I lived in a small apartment at the age of 19), in the wee early hours of the morning, after having stayed overnight with someone, and all I had was my house-key and no money on me. A car pulled up beside me filled with young scary-looking men who stopped me and opened the door, pointed a gun at me and said “get in!” My life flashed before me, I though I was a goner, but a Boston police cruiser happened to pull up right at that moment, behind the boys in the car, and scared them away. The lovely police drove me home (about a mile down the road, very near the famous Fenway Park in Boston) and gave me the lecture about not walking alone around the city without protection. That was close!
22. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Bev: Raising five kids to adulthood, seeing what good people they are, really liking them, and considering them some of my best friends. Writing the Lamplighters history ranks up there too.
Bex: Making it to the age of almost 69 whereas so many of my contemporaries and friends have passed away already!
23. When did you cry last?
Bev: As I have said many times, I cry easily (my grandmother used to call me a “spitzmuller”). I cry at Hallmark commercials. I cry if anything emotional comes on TV, even something as simple as a contestant winning a game show.
Bex: The other day when I was talking with Paul about our Kip. The best boy collie dog in the world. The late great Kip Crowell. (sniff)
24. How do you relax?
Bev: In my recliner, in front of the TV, with a laptop at my side to check e-mail.
Bex: Crocheting. Listening to music. Watching British DVDs. Playing online.
25. What single thing would improve the quality of your life?
Bev: A different resident in the White House
Bex: A body that does not hurt all the damn time! (and second, what Bev said above!)
26. What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
Bev: People you think are going to be your friends forever, won’t. (Char is hanging in there, though.) Jobs that you give your all to, thinking you will be there forever, turn on you. Never give up yourself for someone or something unless you really want to.
Bex: Never make a life-or-death decision until you are well and truly a grown-up!
So there you have it, a Two-Fer.
Oh and BTW, thirty nine years ago today my Dad passed away. He was shoveling out the back bulkhead during the Blizzard of ’78 when he had a fatal heart attack and just keeled over in the snow. Mom and Sister found him when they got back from shopping. It was the Presidents’ Day holiday, as it is today.
I won’t say “Happy” Presidents’ Day because just the thought of ours makes me nauseated. I’m trying to ignore it all by taking up crochet, which is calling my name, so off I go back to my current project a brightly colored corner-to-corner blanket.
Bex & Co.