My grandparents passed away right around the time I turned 16. Grandma Pat loved music and art and was one of the most generous, kind-hearted human beings I have ever known. Grandpa James was highly intelligent, had three Master's degrees (in science, physics and education -- something like that), and was stoic man that didn't express emotion much. They both became school teachers. Pat taught elementary school and James taught high school science.
The following is an old letter that I discovered in a drawer of our family's cabin in Cobb Mountain, CA. It is written from my grandmother to my grandfather prior to their marriage and three children. (My father is their second born son.)
I believe my grandmother was living near Coalinga, CA at the time this letter was written and she must have been about 21 years old. I think my grandfather was studying at the University of New Mexico and was about to be deployed to Korea to serve in the war. That could be incorrect though. I don't know all the details for sure, but it's neither here nor there. The letter really speaks for itself.
J.Wilcox looking south on Westerly ridge of the Valley of the Moon
November 20, 1950
I've been thinking about us. Prepare for profound observations!
We don't talk the same language. I guess it's really just as simple as that; a matter of semantics. It's understandable, too. We've had different, very different backgrounds and bringing-up. You're an introvert, I'm not, at least not as much as you, though you're not as (much) as you used to be. I'm an idealist, you're a realist (except on rare subjects, no names mentioned).
Besides "bringing-up" in general, our life-experience in particular has been different. I can't fathom your needs, though I try. You don't understand mine, I know you try too. Your heartaches have been far removed from mine. Yet here we are groping around trying to reach each other. Our reasons for even this are different. No wonder I shriek with dismay and you call me stupid.
Is it profound? At least it'll do till I find a better theory to go on. It's fun anyway to arrive at some kind of theory or postulate.
Hope you have your job by now, since that is what you hoped for. If you go to New York you can expect a letter from Mom with details of what you "can't miss" etc.
Foo on February. (I'm from the hill country.) I'm not going to ask any more questions. All I can say is, I hope Uncle Sam doesn't surprise you along about then.
We have been having diversified weather here. The King's river area is in critical flood condition. Millions of dollars of land, cattle & house losses are a result. (A cheerful bit of news from the West.)
Sorry I have no clever prattle or witty chatter to write. I'll refrain from making comments on your letter in lieu of our recent sordid experience as a result of my taking you to task.
Oh yes, a descant is an obligato or counter-melody, sung by solo voice (usually), against the rest of the choir singing the regular melody. Comprenez vous?
By the way - Please, may I correct the erroneous impressions you have - I do not dislike your singing. And pleas don't apologize for it - it's your gift and I like it, use it all you can and want to. I'd like to hear you sing to me, for me, at me, with me, or even without any connection with me what-so-ever. Simply, I like to hear you sing. I'm glad you like to, too.
My very best love to you, right out of the top of my heart.
(I love you, Grandma! I miss you!) ~V