I’ve been asked to say a few words about my grandmother, Eleanor Blankenship, who we grandkids knew as “Nana.” As children, my sister, Jennifer, and I had the incredible good fortune of living in Nana and Paw Paw’s house, with our mother, in a time that was otherwise rife with upheaval and difficulty, but that is not my memory of our time in Nana’s house.

My memory is of laughter.

If you spent any amount of time with Mack and Eleanor Blankenship, you know that the foundation of their happy life together was in giving of their time and talents to their family, this church, and their community. But behind that outward expression of God’s love, shining through a marriage that spanned more than half a century, there were two witty, giggling sweethearts, trying to make each other laugh.

Paw Paw’s humor is big and silly, his handsome, rubberized face stretching in huge expressions. Nana’s comedy was sharp and clever, and would’ve gone over my head as a kid without her twinkling glances. I’d make a mess or forget a chore, and she’d just tilt her head towards me in mock wistfulness, “We’re gonna miss you.“

As children who grew up in homemade clothes and with handmade Christmas toys, it may seem strange to describe us as being spoiled, but that’s how it feels, looking back. Birthdays had custom cakes. Halloween required home-sewn costumes of whatever we wanted. She helped make me a superhero long before I was a comics creator. Nana would tape a folded paper towel around our Chek Cola cans just so our fingers didn’t get cold.

Our family is one that makes things. I didn’t fully appreciate it until I understood how unusual it was, but Nana and Paw Paw were inventors. Paw Paw rigged a way to control the VCR from his recliner before we had remotes. Nana made a device that kept ants out of hummingbird feeders long before anyone thought to patent and market something similar. Nana invented recipes, not mere modifications of things that came before, but delicious, new ideas. Cheesy crunch-dogs and peanut butter oven s’mores, incredible foods unique to one brick house on Pine Lake Place.

Mother of four strong daughters, grandmother to eleven young men and women, great-grandmother of five precious lights, Eleanor Blankenship leaves a legacy of faith, hope, and charity, having poured love into the world with every gift, every craft, and every bite. We will honor her life’s work of making this extended family, by growing in grace, number, and love.

Eleanor Blankenship, you were a brilliant, beautiful girl who found her beau and gave her family everything.

We’re gonna miss you.

Rewatching old Mad Men episodes...some loosely-connected thoughts
  • So does this make Ken Cosgrove the second person (after Freddy) to specifically ask that Pete Campbell not be informed of/participate in an account?
  • I had no idea Miss Blankenship was referenced by name in season 3! Ohh, foreshadowing.
  • I know he’s never seen or introduced and is only mentioned by name, but I feel really, really bad for Nigel Pryce. That poor kid.
  • Relatedly, and I might have missed this…so was Rebecca involved in sending Lane’s dad over to bring him back to England (since presumably she was involved in NOT sending over Nigel)? I’m guessing this means she has no idea how messed-up that particular father-son relationship is…or does she? (Obviously Lane wouldn’t have have told her, but I don’t know if she’s always been as oblivious as she seems.)
  • The more I watch old episodes, the more I realize I really enjoy the show more the less Betty is in it. She basically only exists anymore because of Sally, right? (Also, oh my god Sally, you are so tiny in the first 3 seasons.)
  • I really like how Don’s pilot episode prediction about Pete has been increasingly coming true. I mean if you go back to season 1, Pete had his whole little bunch of cronies at the office, but by season 4 or 5, who does he even consider a friend anymore? 
  • Man, nobody in this show has friends. Except Peggy and Megan, I guess. Not that it’s important to the plot, but what a bunch of lonely people.
  • Ken and Stan both were pretty awful people when they were introduced, but then got better later. I don’t get the Stan-hate just because he isn’t Sal though. I’d like to see Sal again as much as the next person, but I’d rather hear nothing at all than have him come back in some really depressing way like Midge or Kinsey.
  • Remember when everybody thought Roger was going to kill himself in season 4? Ha. That was a good one.
  • I really, really, really, really hope things work out for Joan in the end. Her life had better only get better from this point. (Knowing Mad Men, it’ll probably get worse, but that doesn’t mean I can’t hope.)

I’ve been spending my whole evening being a nerd trying to google advice for me to be a better admin assistant. This video is where I’ve ended up, and it is a deafening whimper reminding me exactly what kind of assistant I am.