Dusty called his wife (and my gramma) Marge but she mostly goes by her official moniker, Marguerite.
This is a family for nicknames, so I have a soft spot for Marge.
They called me Lisi. My middle sis was Lynnie. (There's a trend here.) Our uncle Phil was Dugie.
My little sis I call Yula, a leftover from a long-ago Russian class.
We have nicknames for the younger members of our tribe, now: Jaymers and Baffank, Miss Thang, aka Hammy Smackbooty.
You remember the way the previous generation talks about you, and to you. Not much fazed Dusty. He'd survived being shot at on two continents during the Second World War, outlived two of his four kids and many of his siblings. That's the way she bounces, he'd say--not making light, I don't think, but cracking a window into his mindset: a faithful Catholic, but resigned to fate.
Over the weekend Marge told me she was living one day at a time. You just forget about yesterday and look forward to tomorrow, she said.
Yula and I carved pumpkins with Hammy and my man the week before halloween. A few days later, the hollowed-out squash had already started to list and sag, kind of like humans as life takes its toll. It's a ripening. A kind of progression.