A cabin in Glacier

This is one of four paintings that came my way today. They were painted by my mom’s oldest sister/sib (MacMu fam) and given to my dad’s youngest sister/sib (FinFam). They were newly discovered during preparation for a move (a *good* thing but not something I feel entitled to post about here) and when asked, I DECISIVELY replied, “Sure I’ll take ’em!”

Do I really want them? No, not really. I am also trying to get rid of things. But somehow I couldn’t give Roberta’s art work away, at least not without offering it up to my MacMu cousins, her nieces and nephews of various degrees.

This painting has a story and it’s part of one of the stories I grew up with, the ones that I regret not asking for more details about when that generation was still around. At some point well before I was born, these two aunts from different families took a trip together (by train, I think) out to the American west and Roberta painted this picture of the cabin they stayed in at Glacier National Park. I’m thinking maybe Roberta was a sort of chaperone for Bubs, a much younger woman? But who knows because I didn’t ask.

Roberta was quite eccentric and I have good memories of her but boy oh boy, The Commander (3rd sib out of five) had her own issues. I think they stem from the fact that their mom (my MacMu grandma) died when The Comm was 15. I think (but again I am just conjecturing here) that Roberta may have tried to take on a mother-type role. My mom needed a mother but she needed HER mother, not her older sister who was never all that motherly that I remember.

But the good memories? Roberta taught in Japan for a few years after WWII and when I was a child, she kept me well supplied with origami paper and instruction books. I spent HOURS making origami stuff and I lived in the yooperland where most people had no clue what origami was. When I turned 13, she sent me a pair of false eyelashes. They delighted me although I was AWFUL at applying them and I bet The Comm was not all that happy. And then there was the day she met my firstborn. And the time she wrote to my moom how she wished she could adopt me and the GG (who is my HUSBAND, not my BROTHER, just to be clear).

Roberta did not have children of her own. She met Tatsuo later in life and they married when she was 70 and he was 60. She died at 98, outliving Tatsuo and all but her youngest sibling.

We won’t talk about the time I took The Comm and Roberta out to lunch in Royal Oak. Or maybe we will. They were 86 and 91 or thereabouts and they had a “fight” in the restaurant and The Comm threatened to leave and it was POURING RAIN. I settled them down (SOMEHOW) and fetched the Dogha to pick them up outside the restaurant and then I had to go back because my mother had left her coat there.

But I was decisive about those paintings and I don’t regret it one iota.

3 Responses to “A cabin in Glacier”

  1. Jay Says:

    I grew up with that picture, and had no idea of the backstory
    I am also extremely happy they will be in the family, where they belong.

  2. Pooh Says:

    Ditto with Jay, I hadn’t heard the story either. I will send some of the pics that Bubs took in Glacier on her trip with Roberta.

  3. Margaret Says:

    Wonderful family story!!