Connie Crow (Tentative Start)
12″x16″ mixed media painting on clay board
$300 + shipping.
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Connie Crow was one of the Crow sisters. I can’t remember the the name of the other two sisters.
OK, I am fairly sure that Connie Crow did not look like this. Actually I am 100% sure that she didn’t but I hey, that is what they call artistic license. I am a card carrying member and not only is the membership free, there is no expiry date on the card.
That aside, I was thinking about the Crow sisters and how they never married and why that was. All three of them. I guess it is not so strange but I can’t help it and I know it sounds so needy and not very modern but whenever I meet an old woman that never married I wonder why. Choice? Fate? Tragedy? It is not such a strange thing now a days but back in the turn of the 18th century and into the early to mid 1900’s it was pretty much expected that you are going to marry. So many didn’t however. If they had wanted to and never found a companion, or (as I know was the case for many) were obligated to stay and look after their siblings or relatives because the Mother had died, it is so sad. If they were not going to put up with any MAN telling them how to live their life , then GREAT on them. I am just CURIOUS as to why.
When I was growing up in the Guesthouse, before my parents converted it into a B&B, there were many people that had lived there for decades. They were all single, and before you get any wild ideas, really old. Not all of them never married, some were widows/ers or divorcees (this I am only assuming, as it was not something that people spoke freely of back then, especially in front of a seven year old). Perhaps this is where my curiosity stems from. I wanted to know these people’s stories but as a child could never ask. Now the answers are gone forever.
Miss. Gregg and Miss. Roberts were two women that lived in the Guesthouse that never married.
Miss Gregg was a retired grade one school teacher that was so wonderfully kind to me. She wore her soft white hair in a bun, was completely bent over ( and I mean completely), was in her nineties and had elephantiasis. None of these things stopped her from climbing the two flights of stairs to her room at the top of the house at least three times a day. Unlike many of the tourist that would stay in her room years later, she never complained. Not about the stairs and certainly not about the size of her room. She lived in that room for decades and it was crammed with trunks ,books and in my mind as a child, mystery and treasure. She was so good with children it always made me sad that she never had any of her own.
She used to say great things like ‘many hands make light work’ as we would set the tables together, she would pinch her cheeks ‘just to add a little colour’ and her drink of choice was teoffee, a blend of coffee and tea. (Nobody is perfect).
Miss Roberts was the pampered daughter of a Sea Captain. She couldn’t have been more different than Miss Greg. Miss Greg was a lady in every way. Estelle, was not. She was kind of lazy and loved to lounge in her room looking at ‘movie magazines’ and eating chocolates. She wasn’t really interested in me, I am not sure I really existed in her world which was fine with me as I found her slightly frightening. Perhaps here is where I should mention that she looked rather a lot like the sea hag from Popeye when she didn’t wear her teeth, which was most of the time as she lost them or forgot them often. Most frequently she would take them out at the dinner table,wrapping them up in her napkin, I am guessing as an attempt to not offend her dinner companions and then, placing her napkin in her lap she would promptly forget where she put them. When she would get up at the end of her meal she would either leave them behind in her napkin which would mean routing around in the garbage a few hours later looking for her teeth or her napkin would fall on the ground and out her teeth would roll onto the dining room floor for everyone to see. So much for not offending her dinner companions.
Miss Greg had no time for her and would angrily shake her head and say “Oh! Estelle!” as if she was talking to one of her six year old students. Miss Roberts didn’t give one care. She may have had ripped stockings and a slip that hung haphazardly down below her skirt but she did have spunk.
What was she like when she was young? One can only wonder. I don’t know why she never married. She couldn’t have always looked like the Sea Hag ( hey funny that her dad was a Sea Captain!) or like my mother would say had a face like the map of Girbaltar. You really have never seen so many wrinkles but on another note, have you ever heard this expression? I just made myself laugh out loud typing it.
My Irish mother has the craziest expressions that she always qualifies first by saying ‘ as my mother would say’. I guess I just did that as well, so I guess I am keeping that alive.
But some of these expressions are not very PC and may be better off forgotten. Sometimes I don’t even know what they mean before they come out of my mouth.
Once I said ‘I almost split my kipper’ to a boyfriend’s mother because I had almost slipped and fallen down. Now, this wasn’t one of my mother’s expressions but she had told me numerous times about her friend who when after saving herself from a slip had exclaimed this. I just never put two and two together, not until the words were being formed and leaving my mouth and heading directly toward my boyfriend’s mother’s ears. It was like a light bulb went on and it was suddenly crystal clear exactly what that expression meant and why my mother had retold it so many times. She didn’t think it was funny, what she thought was it was in unbelievably bad taste. It was too late. It was out there. Now I will be the one that will be thought of as having unbelievably bad taste because as bad as it was coming out of my mouth, I at least hadn’t qualified it with; ‘as my mother would say’.