Saturday, September 05, 2009

After Auntie Blanche died, on this day last year, Miflohny asked if I would tell you all about her. I couldn't back then. Every so often when I'm wondering what to write about I think, "I still owe some Auntie Blanche stories." Sometimes I even get so far as to rifle through the mental files and figure out which stories I might tell but they never make it as far as the keyboard. A lot of my writing this week has been about how writing the hard things is kind of the point so today of all days seems like a good time to see if I can get just one of these stories out.

Auntie Blanche was born in August of 1910 up near Sunapee, NH. She began playing the piano at the age of five or six according to the photos we found last year. Her mother was a twin and the twins married brothers and Auntie Blanche took care of them all when they needed it. She got her teaching degree in 1933 if memory serves. 1933. Not a great time for the public school system or the economy. She didn't get a job that used her degree for 10 years. She stayed at home and taught piano in the living room, something she would continue to do until the year before she died. On Christmas Eve she anonymously delivered a single rose to each of the senior citizens in town.

One year she was in Southern NH at a conference in my home town. In the shiny new gym a good friend told her about a job opening at that school. He thought she was perfect for it and if she wanted it she should put her hat in the ring by telling the principal immediately. She had her aunt and uncle on a farm outside of town up north, she would need to make arrangements for them and for her house. She didn't know how they would feel about it. She sat on the bottom of the bleachers in that gymnasium and thought about it all for 15 solid minutes. By the time she reached the principal's office she'd forgotten his name and had to ask. She got the job and moved to a small apartment off a big Victorian house in my home town.

We met when I was born and she was 59-years-old.


  1. I love, love, love family histories that are not mine! Please keep sharing, I love your style.

    One question, how do you blog (here, and at the woman's colony) about things that would otherwise upset family. Are you just that bold, or does your family simply not know that you post?

    I would love to unload on a blog, but somehow family always ends up knowing what I've written!

  2. Miflohny11:35 PM

    Thanks for the wonderful story!