A great advantage in life is to grow up within a few blocks of all your grandparents.   Very strong women; Big Granny and Little Granny were huge influences.  Ruby Irene Stephenson never drove and caught the bus to sell fabric at Hudson Belks in downtown Raleigh.   Julian Stephenson was a farmer and traveling salesman and used to pour gasoline on his cuts to clean them.  He would drink a raw egg and milk in the morning.  YUK.  Annie Wilson Schwerin was a nurse and amazing gardener with beautiful roses and Edward Ralph Schwerin owned a dental lab and was the best gold man this side of the Mississippi.

*Ruby, young and later sitting on her porch as we all did on Glenwood Ave. counting cars and drinking sweet tea.  Never judgie, always welcoming.
ruby youngsmgrannyporch

My immediate family was known as the “sunshine family” by the neighbors!

mom tami vsmom

dad tami vw 1dad
Michael became a male model in his later years…around 10.  He had that all american farmboy look that Caterpillar and a few others wanted.  I don’t get to see Michael all that much, but what I love is that when we are together, we have the exact same sense of humor and we laugh and laugh.  Thank you Michael for that.
tamimichaelmichael bike2
Always so fun having the city cousins come see us….we’d cry and listen to “Feelings” when they left.  I learned about music from Charlie and freeze outs, and oh so many things from Pamela!
tami pamela charlie1

George, my Mom’s partner is the sweetest and a fabulous cook.  He dotes on Mom, so that is good…and so does Dad, so that is good too. Ha!  Aunt Joyce gave me the love of theatre…in the summers we’d stand in line in NYC and get “twofers” tickets to the broadway plays.  Later in life, Lyle’s mother Ann would also do the same for our family with Stratford play tickets (home of the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario).  We’ve been able to take the kids to wonderful plays every summer thanks to Ann.

Aunt Joyce married Uncle Bob in the 80’s and sadly he is in his last days fighting brain cancer.  We will miss him and are learning more and more about death and dying and what’s important and what’s not.  I see the strength of our Granny in Joyce as she caretakes and makes the difficult decisions that come with end of life.
joyce bob


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