Mark your Calendar, Hon!

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The universe is but one great city, full of beloved ones, divine and human, by nature endeared to each other. ~ Epictetus

Mark your calendars, right now! The 2014 Bawlmer Hon Fest is coming up in less than a month. This year it is June 14th and June 15th. It’s a whole weekend dedicated to the culture that I grew up on the outskirts of,  in the mid-Atlantic city of Baltimore. People like to poke fun over it’s regional subculture in self-deprecating humor.

Don’t know what I am talking about? The movie Hairspray with John Travolta will give you insight into what I am talking about. It’s hard to explain but once you are immersed in the jest, you’d quickly get it. It’s all about fun and fortune of being among friends or close family, hon, and speaking the same language.

That’s all I’m sayin’ except that the influences are there, in my memoir. I’ll say no more. I don’t want to get myself in trouble. Here are some pictures that might explain a little to outsiders.


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VIDEO OPTION: We're looking at the turnout for Honfest. Who's there? What are they doing? Do they really care about the HONtroversy?


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This blog brought to you by Sue BattonLeonard, the author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected.Sue’s memoir

Come on back tomorrow, hon, I’ll be sharing some more childhood memories from living in Baltimore, Maryland.


At the Center of Our Worlds


Other things may change us, but we begin and end with family.” ~ Anthony Brandt 

Holidays and the steamy, humid days of summer they are the most memorable and fulfilling times of my childhood days. Looking back on the almost 650 blog writings that have been posted on All Things Fulfilling, I find that nostalgic thoughts have crept into my blog writing during those times of year. 

My summer memories would not be complete without the thoughts of my Grandparents, living in the “ summer sauna,” created by nature, of Baltimore City. My parents, my sister, brothers and I lived in the somewhat cooler suburbs, and when things began to heat up too much, my Grandparents would take a “drive to the country” and come to our house, as a reprieve from the summer heat. 

Summer just wasn’t summer without:

  • Watching my Grandfather record the score of the Orioles baseball games on the blank edges of the morning’s Baltimore Sun newspaper.  He wanted to make sure there were no errors made on the scoreboard at Memorial Stadium or at any other ballpark in the country!
  •  Rocking  in the chairs on my Grandparents front porch. My Grandmother gave all the passers-by a loud  “Hi, Hon” greeting. 
  • Walking through my Grandmothers impressive, citified gardens as she recited the names of the flowers in bloom, one by one.                 
  • Rushing to the crystal candy dish sitting on my Grandmother’s dining room buffet. We knew it had just been filled, in anticipation of our coming. We found hard candies, spearmint leaf “jellies” and nonpareils, too.
  • Peach-cake that my Grandmother had baked. Like no other!
  • Seeing our Grandfather walk out the door with his bow-tie neatly placed under his chin, dress hat atop his bald head and wearing  his fine leather dress shoes that just been polished, buffed and shined in preparation for a new day. He was dressed like that everyday to build custom homes. And we never even blinked!
  • Hearing our Grandmother announce invariably “Hon, I am going to go upstairs and throw myself across the bed” as the stifling afternoon heat and humidity made her succumb to her  “sinking spells.”
  • Seeing the sweat drip, drip, drip from the kitchen tap on the white kitchen drainboard sink. 

My brothers and sister and I find it hard to believe how many years our Grandparents have been gone from our lives. They were so much a part of our lives and, we, of theirs. My son and his seven cousins will have the same kind of fond memories of their loving Grandparents, only during a different time and in a different place.

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