Celebrating the life of Theodora Elkinton Waring, my Granny.

Granny passed away this fall, in the comfort of her daughter’s loving care. Although in the end she didn’t recognize Abby, and was confused anew every day by the virus and pandemic conditions, she died peacefully, and had a very good life. We celebrated her, like we do everything this year, over Zoom. More than 100 people and families showed up.

A zoom memorial for Granny was not what we had ever imagined, and would have seemed like a loss, but it was just what we all needed, and it was delightful to see so many Waring relatives who I get to see so rarely, and who are such lovely people.

The ceremony was well prepared and carefully organized by Sarah and Jonathan. The children (Topher, Kitty, Nat, Abby, Lydia) all spoke, as did the grandchildren, each for a single minute. Here is what I read.

Granny was a magical thinker.

She loved telling stories about history.
Quaker history and family history being the best two types. Dearie.
She would liberally add details of which she could never have known.
Precisely what the wife of a general had said
Where she had once stood,
or just how she felt.
It was a part of the story because
the story was better that way.
Because she wanted it to be true.
And so, for her, it was.

I saw this in our conversations about Tom, in the years after his death.
She would imagine forgiving Tom.
Imagine Tom coming back to her.
Imagine reclaiming Tom.
Tom was a part of her story because
Her story was better that way.
Because she wanted it to be true.
And so, for her, it was.

Thank thee, Granny. We love thee. And thee will stay with us.

Penzi’s Adventure

By Reid Quirk

Chapter one

Day one of the bedroom. In the beginning I walk up to the vast doorway. I see the bed to the side of me and decide maybe to look at that later (because, the blankets). I decided to first adventure through the costume shelves, maybe find some rope or other useful materials. I start to try to open the door from the ground, no luck. Then I decide to use some rope, swing it up, hook it around the door knob, and pull to open the door. It mostly works, except getting the rope back was a bit hard. I had to throw countless knives to finally cut that god forsaken rope. Finally it was time to scrounge the shelves.

On the first floor I found three feet of rope, a colorful bead and a bit of old food. I was ready to go to the next shelf but then, I figured out it was the end of the day. Time to make some food, get out my cot, and have a good night’s sleep.

Chapter two

I woke up to the…the…the sound of a yawning blanket!?!? Oh no! I took a quick peek up over the costume box that I was behind and I saw lulu, one of the most feared blankets on the feared blankets list! But the good thing was that she was all the way over on Owners bed *phew*. Next I decided to finally use my new and improved  

_-Grappling Hook-_ to get to the next shelf.

There wasn’t much success until the last shelf, because the third shelf had the night vision goggles. But the problem was that the night vision goggles were human sized, not stuffie sized ) : so in other words the costume shelves were a complete failure. Next I decided to explore the clothes shelf in hope that I would find some ancient writing in some of the books that are there (that actually succeeded but I have no time for that [its super boring {and dumb}] ). 

(Also I don’t know how to read).  

After a few shelves something caught my eye (actually nose) but it was something glinting in the sunlight! Oooooooooh, maybe a precious gem! It looked green, so maybe even emerald! I finally got to the other shelf after quite a bit of clambering, but soon I figured out that it was emerald! (I know my gems because I am a professional gangster).  I tried to pick it up, but it was too big. I tried to push it to the side, but it was too heavy! What was I supposed to do? Then an idea popped into my head: if I got my pick axe and chipped away a few samples, I could get some pretty good-sized pieces without people thinking I stole it! (How smart am I? So smart! [How smart are you? Kind of smart.{Not really though}]).

Next, I finally decided to venture across the beds. This was dangerous yet steady terrain. I was pretty sure I could just sneak right onto the bed but… I had no such luck.

I took a step on the bed, but even that was too much. The ground started to tremble, and then I noticed I was right on top of a comforter! The biggest blanket type of them all. Comforters are even about 5 times the size of Lu Lu! O-o              

But then from out of the blue (literally), Blue Blue came!

Chapter three

I wasn’t sure if that was bad or good because:

  •  Blue Blue could just be reinforcements 
  • Or Blue Blue could be an accidental distraction

(I decided it was choice one but that was a mistake [not because I was wrong, but because I screamed.] ) 

That’s when they really noticed me… 3…2…1… fight!I imagined in my head. But, even the three was very late. I rolled to the side to find my leg skinned from the comforter lunging. I thought, Was this the end? Was my time already up? And then my vision went black.

Chapter four

You think it would be weird to die. It’s not. It happens all the time! (Sorry for being so dramatic). At lunch time, you find poison in your food. You wake up, and a chainsaw is grinding into your face. Believe me it’s all normal! It happens every day! It may hurt in the moment but you will wake up in stuffie Heaven! (Or Hell, which I think is better because i’m the king of it).

And, oh yeah, I’m not talking to you humans! (Because I’m not sure what happens to you) ,-.-, 

Next I decided to revive. (I will tell you more about heaven later). What happens is when you say “revive,” you fall down from heaven. Ok that sounds dangerous, but it doesn’t hurt too much when you hit the ground, but it did. That is because the blankets smacked me right on back to Heaven. I tried to revive again but it happened again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, but finally they let me fall right back into a squishy, bouncy, soft, annoying, non dramatic, boring, non stimulating, non fun, non exciting, dumb pillow. (I hid in there for days, but I imagine you don’t want to hear about me lying in there for three days.) Next I decided to finally, maybe, probably not make it to the book box. I heroically jumped off the pillow with a back flip and a double spin and a mid air karate chop, and when I landed I broke my back (and died). I finally got back to the floor and started my not-too-long walk to the book bo- why did I Want to go to the book box again? I don’t know, because it sounds kind of boring, so i’m gonna go under the bed

  Chapter five

       o-o ˝◊The creepy tail of the underbed◊˝ o-o

There Once was a little stuffie named jack,

He said to his pals “I shall be back”,

They said goodbye and they tipped their hats,

And one of his friends gave him a pat on the back,

So he put on his hat ,

And reached for his pack ,

And set off for a good night scare,

BUT in the end LITTLE jack never came back!

dun-dun-dun-d-d-dunnnnnn

As you can see, I wasn’t very excited to go. I got ready for the long journey ahead and I was just about to go under the bed when blue blue glided right in front of me. Uh, oh.

But the thing is she didn’t attack me, she only said, “Watch out,” and also, “I hope you die,” and then muttered,“You probably will.” Then she glided up back to the bed.·-·. That was strange. But I didn’t really care so I kept walking, right until I ran straight into a… what is that!? It looks like Pocker except insane…. Wait, Pocker is insane, so I think it was Pocker until he killed me. I revived and decided, why should I go under the bed? It’s mostly just plane nothingness. I decided to leave and head to the next…        

Rrrroooooommmmmm. 

Chapter Six

I decided to go to the living room, so I murdered myself and revived in the living room. Yay!

I fell heroically on to the table, landed smack dab on a book, face first and broke my neck. JK BOIS HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!! I actually landed on my feet and fell over but tried to make it look on purpose so I did a bad somersault and fell off the side of the glass table. I tried to grab the post, but hooked my arm around it, got it stuck, and was hanging there for about 1 minute. I finally got myself free and fell to my death. Oh wait, never mind, I was 1 inch off the ground (human inch). I didn’t notice that till later so I was screaming while standing on the ground and that was pretty embarrassing. But nobody was watchi— Was that Katie!? I think it was, so I grabbed my microphone and walked up to brew up a Q&A. ( ;

Q. What brought you to the living room?

  1. The bird feeder.

Q. What book are you reading?

  1. The Book of Longings.

Q. Do you think the living room is the most comfortable place in the house?

  1. Yeah.

Q. Why aren’t you working?

  1. Because it’s the evening and I finished my grading! 

Q. What’s grading? 

  1. Helping students become better writers.

Q. Why do you like writing?

  1. Because I like stories.

Q. Do you want to ask me any questions?

  1. Yes.

Q. What?

Q. What is the scariest place you have ever been?

  1. Most likely in a room that had spikes closing in on me, a trap door that fell into a pool of acid, and lava being dripped around my feet probably.

Q. Have you ever written a story?

  1. Yes this is one.

Ok that was pretty cool. Now what else should I do… maybe I should go get some food? I’m pretty hungry.

Yeah, I should do that because the next restaurant is only one or two miles out, around the sunken living room. (The reason I know that, is that it’s my restaurant). So I walk over to the restaurant and on the way, I rob at least one bank.

(I enter the bank and three guards are guarding the door. I punch two of them and kick one in the crotch. They all run away, but they might bring re— oh no! There is an ultra guard! (that’s what I call them) so I turn into god mode because I am a god (I will tell you more about this later) and kill him with the snap of my fingers (I don’t have fingers but whatever). Then I decide to fly through the walls, get the money, and leave (oh yeah, I also vowed to not turn into god mode on this adventure but I thought it was ok that I could turn into god mode just to rob the bank more easily and kill everybody).)

Then I buy my food and eat it until—owner picks me up!?

Oh, come on. Why does this always happen!!!! I’m always supposed to do something cool when something completely messes everything up! OMG!!!! I wonder where he’s gonna take me. -_- I decide to plead to him to let me down. It doesn’t work. At all. In the end he finally brings me to the table. And then, I see that heavenly food!

I can’t wait until he tells me to munch away! But he just eats all the food right in front of me! Can you believe him? (I sure as heck cant !) like srsly dude! Manners! But then I wonder why he would’ve brought me here in the first place. Maybe he was gonna send me on an epic quest inside my already kind of not really epic quest! (Now that would be awesome). He  finally brings me over to his room, slings Lu Lu over his back, and calls out “Ready, Mom!”

Oh, wait. What if we were going on a trip in the car! Now that would spice up my story a little bit! He runs outside, gets in the car, and sits down. Liam, Katie and Tim are already in the car. 

Tim says, “Why did you have to bring penzi!” 

Liam and Reid say at the same time, “Because he’s cute!” 

I frantically nod and wag my tail. Then Tim starts the car. We pull out of the driveway, out on to the circle which I have rarely been to in my life. We drive down to the bottom of Winterhaven and turn the bend out into the big human world. O-o