She chooses to park in the distant reaches of parking lots to get more exercise.
She loves a glass of wine each night. Truth be told, her wine standards are quite low and she enjoys whatever is set in front of her. Just no white Zinfandel.
As a kid she loved going with her dad on house calls. It’s when her love for the elderly was born.
She is a homebody. She is also a damn good sport about my itch to travel.
She is done with long distance biking. After 175 miles on the Confederation Trail in Prince Edward Island and 190 miles on the Cabot Trail in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, she says no mas. I have to agree.
Years ago she and I had friends for Christmas dinner at our house in Tempe, Arizona on a day that was 85 degrees!
On Sunday mornings before we had kids and the city woke up, she and I would run six miles on the canal paths in Phoenix, breakfast at Bill Johnson’s Big Apple, and go to the swap meet at the nearby Greyhound Park.
She wondered if she would be a good grandmother. Let me tell you, she is an All-Star Omi to Owen and Max.
As a hairdresser, she sometimes does the hair of the recently deceased at Pelkey’s Funeral Home in Kittery, Maine. She thinks of it as a sacred moment-shared.
She writes every morning. Letters, postcards, emails. She takes after her mother Elizabeth in that way.
When Owen or Max needs to have his diaper changed, she is the first to volunteer.
She took a full time job with health benefits as the activities director at the Homestead Nursing Home in Kittery so I could be a full time PhD student at the University of New Hampshire.
She is a past champion of our family Fantasy Football League.
She has a Masters in Health Education from Arizona State University.
At a party she swallowed a hard-boiled egg whole to win a team-eating contest .
With Los Ninos of Santa Barbara, CA, she and I went to the garbage dumps of Tijuana, Mexico to provide food and clothing to the families that live there.
She is the fifth of seven children of Elizabeth and John Kraai. (pronounced “cry”)
Of her six siblings, she was closest to her brother Doug, the fourth child. His death in 2002 left a hole in her heart.
At home she has oatmeal every morning.
She has had spasmodic dysphonia for thirteen years.
She does not like cut flowers as a gift, unless they are from a funeral home.
She stopped chewing her nails when as a college girl she waitressed and thought customers would not want food served by a “nail biter.”
In our family she is the one who sets mouse traps and marks her nightly successes with a black mark on the side of the trap.
Her first year out of college she taught physical education at Thornell Road Elementary School in Pittsford, New York.
Her feet are always cold. On all but five days per year, she wears double wool socks.
Hairdressers-in-training at the Portsmouth (NH) Beauty School are required to complete 1500 hours and as such graduate at random times throughout the year. She wrote and read a poem for each of the 35 girls when they graduated.
She never needed or wanted a clothes dryer during the ten years we lived in Tempe, Arizona. By the time we finished hanging the laundry on our backyard umbrella clothes line, the first clothes hung were dry.
Surprisingly, being a hairdresser, she never uses a blow dryer herself.
Her mother-in-law Jean called her a keeper when I first brought her home to Fair Lawn, NJ. My mom added, Don’t be a fool and let her go. Mama knows best.
When living in Tempe, Arizona, she would pick oranges and grapefruit off our backyard trees for breakfast.
She likes to solve problems (not the mathematical kind, but the practical, around-the-house kind).
She taught two sections of Intro to Health Education as a graduate assistant at ASU.
When our son Will was a preschooler, she and he would sing along with the country music singers on the car radio.
She and I were all ready to move from Arizona to Montana in the late 1970s. Then came Molly.
She plays Happy Birthday on the harmonica when birthdays come around.
For years she led a ten week training for people wanting to become hospice volunteers. She is the former president of Hospice of York.
She once bought a banjo, left it at a repair shop in Tempe, AZ for 18 months, and needed her friend Ralph to rescue it. And he did!
On our honeymoon in 1972 we drove from New York to Arizona in seven days so I could begin grad school at Arizona State. By Albuquerque I was ready to put her on a plane to Phoenix, and she was equally “thrilled” with me.
Twenty years later we had a second honeymoon at the Fun Club on Paradise Island in the Bahamas.
She hopes Owen is left handed to join her in that family club.
She was a physical education major at the College of Wooster.
Her first car was a dark green, two door 1967 Mustang.
She cries easily when she’s happy.
She drank tea one morning before the Nubble Light 10K here in York, Maine and ended up in the hospital due to dehydration. She was on pace for a sub-40 minute 10K.
She whistles. Who does that? Well, her Dad did.
One of her favorite movies is Love Actually. Mine is The Graduate, but this isn’t about me.
She is a big fan of John Lennon, George Harrison, and David Kraai, our musical nephew.
Every Thursday you will find her cutting hair at the Durgin Pines Nursing Home.
She was a varsity tennis player at the College of Wooster, Ohio. She dabbled at field hockey and gymnastics there.
When our children and I wanted no part of clinging to mountainside chains 1500 feet above the canyon floor on the way to Angel’s Landing at Zion National Park, she was raring to go.
She is all she seems and more.