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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 12, Number 1, March 2018

Deborah Schwartz
Freeland, Washington, USA

Costumes and Lilies

One of seventeen siblings raised on a farm in the south-east corner of Wyoming, grandma was a sturdy woman who told it like it was and had a teasing sense of humor that always surprised me. She survived breast cancer and the death of her husband who had a heart attack some time before I was born. And she continued to get around by herself well into her early nineties. Despite grandma’s resilience, she’s now in an adult home due to a steady decline in health and need for assistance.

It’s Halloween. We get the call mid-morning from the adult home that grandma has passed. It’s also my oldest brother’s favorite day of the year and he’s already decked out in a seventies disco-raving pimp costume. It’s quite the sight – a rowdy wig crammed under a flamboyant hat, tight flared pants, high-heeled platform shoes, and a mischievous grin that is contagious.

Dressed as he is, we rush off to the adult home to say our goodbyes. My brother’s platform shoes echo off the hardwood floors, softening the sting in the air. As he swaggers across the room, the other tenants’ faces twist in bewilderment. There are subdued smiles. And I hear someone chuckle. If only grandma were here to see this.

Winter’s reach –
the idle bread pan
in a cupboard



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