I’ve been thinking about this for a few days and have decided to go ahead and set up an area of this site for people to post thoughts about Vivy. I’ve been writing a little offline about her and the farm – perhaps others have to or would like to put pen to paper (as it were) or take pleasure or comfort in reading what others might have to say. Please consider using this space to do that.

If you’d like to contribute something long or short, a memory, a memorium, or just a passing thought, please use the Comments link below this post. The site isn’t currently set up to post comments without first getting my approval (I get a lot of spam submissions), so hang tight and I’ll approve them and they’ll post to the site as soon as I get back to a connection. I know some of you have experienced some issues already when submitting comments – I’m sorry about that and I think we’ve fixed the issue now. It’s not pretty, but it works.

If the site won’t work for you or you’d rather send me a note via email and have me post it for you, feel free to do that as well.

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Categories: News, Nuisance, Miscellany


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6 Comments on “Vivy”

  1. Pete
    January 12, 2007 at 2:32 pm #

    I only remember Vivy vaguely, since we were mostly outside during our parties at the farm, and I didn’t see her too often, what with all of the swimming, movie watching and of course badminton championships (seriously, CMC, I’m throwing down the gauntlet, whenever you’re ready!). It’s also the first place I ever saw a Monty Python movie, “The Life of Brian,” which is one of the first DVDs ever bought when it became available; I still watch it from time to time and each time I do, I think about the first time I ever saw it, gathered at Vivy’s farm with all of my closest friends.

    My heart goes out to you guys for your loss. I keep thinking about it, not even having had contact with you for so long, and I can’t even come close to knowing what you’re going through.

    I hearing from you all. I’m glad I found your blog, Emma.


  2. Anne Collins
    January 13, 2007 at 1:15 am #

    Having been thinking of Aunt Vivy often in the past week or so I have quite a few strong memories.

    First of all is the memory of how much Aunt Vivy meant to my mother, Colleen. Having lost her own mother, Vivy’s oldest sister, at such a young age, Mother seemed to feel almost as if her aunt were a replacement for her mother. The “farm” definitely felt like home to her.

    My memories are of trying to be the first to pick the dishes that I wanted from the Fiesta Ware in the cupboard. My family always stayed at Aunt Lally’s, which I could never figure out why, so when we were at the farm the dishes were important.

    Of course, the second most remembered thought, was the baking of the bread and the fact that there was no recipe – or at least that is what I believed. When we were ready to drive back to Philadelphia – Mother, Georgie and I – Aunt Vivy packed sandwiches of her bread and butter for us so that we could stop along the road. I never wanted anything except butter on the bread. I can still taste them and often make the bread myself.

    Thirdly, an important memory was going to the end of the side porch for the privacy to read my book. I have always liked hideaway spaces and this suited me to a tee.

    Hanging up the laundry is the last memory that I will share. Having always lived in or near a city, a clothesline was not something that I was familiar with. The pole which kept the clothes off of the ground was my favorite part! I can picture Aunt Vivy outside with a large basket folding the clothes as she took them off the line. They smelled so good.

    We all will miss her but hopefully these memories will keep her in our hearts.


    Anne Collins

  3. Mano
    January 13, 2007 at 3:48 pm #

    Thank you for being so candid about what has been going on. Hopefully it is as helpful for you and your family to share as it is for those of us who are concerned.

    I’m heartened by Carl’s progress, please say hello for me, after all, I might have been evicted by now if it weren’t for his (and your) generous and helpful intervention.

    Playing the piano should always be healing.


  4. Helene Carlson Hervey
    January 18, 2007 at 4:25 pm #

    I am Helene, Emma. I am Harry’s middle daughter. Your grandfather was my Dad’s older brother. I had two sisters and when we were little Uncle Carl was not only our adoring Uncle, but I am sure was responsible for many of the things we had in our lives – depressions years and my Dad didn’t make much. Then Uncle Carl married Aunt Vivian and we were just a bit put out about that. But she won us over completely – we stayed at the farm with her when Uncle Carl was awy on tannery trips and we ate spaghetti dinners on newspaper tableclothes, which we thought was so cool, we made popcorn long past our bedtimes, she read to us and we adored her. Then she comitted the unforgiveable. She had three adorable daughters of her own and I have to admit that Lois, Jane and I retreated from the field with as much dignity as possible. But she was always our Dear Aunt Viv, keeping the whole Carlson family together with reunions and trips – she showed up in Erie when my Mother died, almost before the word was out. And she did the same when my Dad died. I stopped there on my way north and south over the years, sometimes overnight, sometimes just breakfast or lunch. But always good. I have told all my nieces and nephews – Lois and Jane’s children, I had none of my own, and they all have memories of the pool and the one foot of water allowed until the little ones got older, and Lois’s son Chip said, “Oh my God, I remember how Aunt Viv smelled – like cinammon or bread or something, but I remember it.” He can remember being on her lap while she talked to other people and when she sat down she always had someone’s child in her lap. And we know she had all of us in her heart, as she was in ours.
    Our loss is great too, but we send special thoughts to you and to Carl and appreciate the news of him – what an awful thing for him to have to go through. I just wanted you to know that I am 74, my sister Lois is 75, Jane is gone now, but our memories are as bright as yesterday. Love, Helene

  5. Ali Wood
    January 21, 2007 at 5:30 pm #

    oh man, I don’t even know where to start. I have so many memories of summers spent at the farm, playing in the sandbox, swimming, watching tons of TV since we didn’t, and still don’t, have cable, and playing with family that was there.

    I remember one time when Emilt, Ben, Cary and I were playing hide-and-seek, Emily put me in the dryer thinking that it was a great hiding place. It was. Mike found me long after the game ended.

    I remember running after Viv with piles of books since she was the only one with patience enough to read them all to me.

    I remember shucking ears of corn that we had picked from Mike’s garden, and clearing the orchard of all the fallen apples.

    I could go on and on but I won’t.

    Alice Wood

  6. Tracey Carlson Cuthbert McNeil
    March 11, 2007 at 11:52 pm #

    Dear Emily,
    Though we don’t know each other, I am your grandfather’s sister Esther’s grandaughter. Bruce’s daughter.
    It has taken me a long time to write but I just wanted to add that I have several distinct memories of Vivien. One from my childhood when I was finally allowed to visit their home, I remember the swimming pool (I ‘fell’ in and it was grand! I wasn’t suppose to go swimming as it was evening and no swimsuit…. what’s an 8 yr. old to do but ‘fall in’.) Vivien was so kind about it and found me some dry clothes. g
    Most of all, I remember my wedding, when she flew with Aunt Helen to be at my wedding. It touched me so much. I will never forget her being here for that. She was a wonderful lady and I am so sorry for this whole tragedy.
    I am keeping track of Carl’s progress and thank you so much for keeping us all posted.
    My thoughts are with you.

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