About Barbara Anne Hough

This began on March 8, 2011, and it chronicles Mom’s three year journey at Howard County General and Lorien Mt. Airy.  I’ve been posting to this blog LONGER after her death than before!    So hard to believe.  And yet, almost 40,000 hits?!  Wow.  Thank you~!  I know Mom is happy that the blog continues communications with family and friends.  She was such an extrovert and I know she is enjoying knowing her legacy of connecting people lives on!  Love, Laura

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If you follow me on Facebook, you know that Scott and I went to northeast Baltimore two weekends ago to tend to my father’s grave in Moreland Cemetery off Taylor Avenue.  We do that every couple of years and I take fresh red roses.  Afterwards, I realized it was possible to do something over Labor Day weekend that has been on my mind for several years – make the 4 1/2 hour one way journey to Scottsburg, Virginia and tend to the Lacy family graves there in Oakland Cemetery.  No fresh flowers this time.  We came up with a contraption that involved blue plastic tumblers, water bottles, marbles and silk flowers.  Scott dug holes and I did the flower placement.  Anyway, I hadn’t been to that part of Virginia since my grandmother died in the middle of December of 1982.  I was 4 months pregnant at the time.

I wondered what we would find on this trip since my research failed to identify anyone who was still in charge of running the cemetery.  We got a reservation at the Quality Inn in South Boston, VA, where my grandparents used to live, which is about 15 minutes south west of the cemetery, and we made the trip.  South Boston is a small town of just over 8,000 people.  We rode by my grandparents’ old apartment, now quite a run down property.  The Powell Funeral Home was right where it always was, and the town seemed frozen in time.  Pictures often speak 1,000 words so I will move onto those. in a moment.  Oakland Cemetery is a quiet and peaceful place, and full of moss and mold.  There are dozens of Lacys buried there, as well as those connected by marriage to Lacys.  There are eight Lacys specifically in my lineage.  My grandparents Roy P. Lacy, Alice Lacy and Edward (Eddie) N. Lacy.  Roy and Eddie were brothers and my grandmother married them both; the former marriage from 1928-1943 (his death) and the latter from 1952-1980  (his death).  Alice is buried between Roy and Eddie.  Our Aunt Lillian (Lee) was a sister of Roy’s and Eddie’s, so three of the seven children of that generation are in a row.  Then, there are Roy, Eddie and Lee’s parents, John M. and Emeline P. Lacy, my great-grandparents.  John M. died in 1912 at the age of 44, leaving Emeline, then 38 y.o., with seven children to raise, born between 1899 and 1911.  Then, my great-great grandparents, aka John M. Lacy’s parents, MT and Martha Lacy.  He served in the Civil War on the Confederate side.  We have other relatives who served in the PA Cavalry on the Union side.  Truly a house divided.  MT lived into his early 80s and Martha into her mid 70s.

Our before and after pictures follow starting with two pictures of the final work followed by the youngest generation progressing to the oldest generation.  I think you can tell the before pictures from the after pictures pretty easily.  While we were working, an older gentleman stopped by in his car to talk to us.  He’s lived in Scottsburg all but ten years of his life.  He knew the Lacys well and talked about them with honor and respect.  It was amazing to hear his stories.  Scott’s and my work was a labor of love and we were happy to do it.  I could feel Mom over my shoulder a couple of times while Scott and I were working here Sunday morning…She was smiling.    Love, Laura

 

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I am excited to report that I have not traveled, except an overnight to a friend’s house, since July 14.  It’s a miracle!  Ha!  It has been wonderful to sleep in my own bed so consistently and enjoy a concentrated bit of normalcy.  Today was one of those days.  Great early Hatha Yoga class.  Chores around the house.  Great massage.  Then, head to northeast Baltimore to clean off/around Daddy’s grave and put flowers there.  Since Mom was cremated and not buried, we then headed to her favorite restaurant in Glen Burnie to honor her.   We hear from Andy fairly regularly and are counting the days until his return in several months.  Nina is working as lead teacher through the summer at the Montessori School where she used to teach before grad school.  Scott’s Andy is away on a long trip on the African continent and due to return in early September to begin his new job in Chicago.  Scott has hurt his back so he has put his “sticks” away for a bit.  Of course, he won’t go see a doctor or massage therapist.  I’m sure he’s waiting for the magic pixie dust to make it all better.  Well, at least I got him to take some Aleve.  (smile)

Before I forget….our Ravens have won their first two pre-season games.  I hope your summer is going well!  XO  Laura

Hi all!

It has been a while since I posted; however, my schedule would make you shake your head.  When I posted last, I’d just returned from Nairobi.  Since then, we attended Nina’s graduation from Johns Hopkins (Master of Education)… hosted Carol and Jim (Scott’s sister and brother-in-law) for Memorial Day weekend…I had a weekend in Roanoke, VA (with friend, Cindy Coto)… there was a great week in Boston/Cape Cod (Scott, Andy and Nina)…I was in Chicago on business, and there was a lovely long weekend in Northwest Arkansas (with Scott, Kara & Mark Rago).  I leave this coming Monday for a week of training in Harbor East/Baltimore.   ALL GOOD, and yet my suitcase and I are very good friends right now.  Also, since my last post, we celebrated Scott’s birthday, Wayne’s birthday, and Father’s Day.  And, Andy began a four month deployment.  Sigh.

Maybe these pictures tell the story better.   Graduation!  Nina and Andy…Carol and Jim…Cindy and Laura…followed by Boston (Freedom Trail, Granary Burial Ground, Old North Church, Make Way for Ducklings, U.S.S. Constitution, Bunker Hill, Lobster!), Plymouth, Thoreau’s house across from Walden Pond, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birthplace, Chatham, the Chihuly exhibit at Crystal Bridges (Bentonville, Arkansas), cooking with Kara, and WYLIE, the Rago’s cute Scottie puppy !  Enjoy!  Love, Laura

Yesterday, was a family celebration for Andy’s 34th birthday.  The actual day was Friday, May 19.  Randy and Arielle were up from Florida.  They brought Wayne and joined me, Scott, Andy and Nina at the Sunset Lounge and Restaurant in Glen Burnie.  In addition to being one of Mom’s favorite places, it was also the site of my first date with high school boyfriend, Rick Butts, before we went to the movies to see Romeo and Juliet in January 1971.  Lots of family history!  We dined in the “tiffany lamp” room which is the original restaurant, within the expansion and our party of seven enjoyed crab soup, crab cakes, chicken imperial and more in its confines.  Then, we left to go to Andy and Nina’s house.  I’d been trying to figure out how to get Wayne over to see their house for a while now.  It’s about an hour plus from Mt. Airy, but too far for him to drive on unfamiliar roads, and for us to orchestrate it by driving him would pretty much take the whole day.  This way…Randy could chauffeur and it worked wonderfully. Wayne, as well as Randy and Arielle, got to see their beautiful home and enjoy delightful homemade desserts of cupcakes, coffee butter pecan ice cream and chocolate mint ice cream.  Nina gets credit for making the chocolate mint ice cream!  And of course, Laika and Cosmo provided a good deal of entertainment.  It was a memorable three and a half hours.  I could feel Mom enjoying it too.  Once Randy sends me some pictures as he took a few, I’ll post them to share.

As for me, I’m glad to be back from so much travel.  Since I posted last in mid-April, I’ve been to a wedding in Myrtle Beach, a conference in Miami and a retreat and board meeting in Nairobi, Kenya.   Nina “walks” on Tuesday across the stage to receive her Master’s in Education from Johns Hopkins University.  Then, we have Scott’s sister and brother-in-law coming our way for Memorial Day weekend.  I have a weekend in Roanoke planned in early June with dear friend, Cindy Coto.  Then, Andy, Nina, Scott and I have our week long Boston/Cape trip June 14-21.  Hard to believe I have time for a demanding job in between all of this!  Ha!  I will post pictures of past and future events soon.  In the meantime, enjoy spring and hug your family and friends.  Love, Laura

 

Happy Good Friday to this most wonderful blog community.  I’ve been remiss.  I admit it.  It’s been over two months.  Never has it been this long.  It is making me think.  The purpose of this blog was to keep everyone in touch with Mom’s health situation after she fell ill in February 2011.  Have we all moved on?  Are there other ways to keep in touch?  Maybe.  You let me know what you think.   Is Facebook enough?  (smile).

Not long after my last post, Scott and I spent 3 weeks in New Zealand and Australia.  We boarded the ship on the 3rd anniversary of Mom’s passing.  I keep trying to do BIG things on that day to distract.  It helps somewhat.  It was an amazing trip.  Auckland, Waiheke Island, Tauranga, Wellington, Akaroa, Dunedin, the Sounds, Hobart and Sydney.  Here is a taste.  I seriously recommend it!  I’m up to 35 countries so far with many more on my bucket list.  Happy Easter weekend.  I hope this incredible Holy Week has helped you focus on all that He did for you!  Love, Laura

Hi all,

I should have shared a picture connected to my last post.  This is Norman and Sue Koonce, age 84 and 80, respectively, my former CEO from  the American Institute of Architects, and his wife.  Lovely folks of the highest order.  norman-and-sueAlso, nice to share a celebration of a different kind.  My wonderful DiL, Nina, and I had a girl’s night out at Seasons 52 to celebrate the completion of her Master’s degree at Johns Hopkins University.  It was a great evening!  She’ll “walk” in May and we are all excited to attend!  Now she is volunteering at an animal shelter locally and waiting to begin her substitute role in the school system between April and June.nina-masters-celebrationLooking forward, much travel ahead.  A lot for work and a little for personal.  Scott and I will enjoy time with Andy and Nina this weekend.  I will spend the third anniversary of Mom’s passing (February 17) by doing something fun…I think she’d like that.  Wayne and I agreed that her death is not what we want to remember.  It is her life we want to remember.  So of course, her birthday (August 2) is still cause for celebration in our book.   And yet, I realized with this post, that I’ve been writing this blog now for longer after we lost Mom than I did before!   What???  How did that happen?   Its whole intent was to inform so many people who were interested in how she was doing day-by-day.  Now, it is to keep those same folks, and some more (!), up to speed on all the things Mom WOULD be telling you about what is going on in the family.  I suspect she is finding a way to read these blog updates herself.

Other spring travel for work includes a week in the U.K., a week plus in Nairobi, and a week in north Miami.  North Miami sounds boring, doesn’t it?  Ha ha!  Scott will hold down the fort at home.   I’m teaching on line in the midst of this craziness, but this REALLY is my last semester.  Really!  Work-wise, it has been an interesting couple of weeks heading up HR for a global development company with 3,000 employees, including U.S. permanent residents, U.S. visa holders, third country nationals and foreign nationals working in over 100 countries.  And then there is where we do work.  Some in Somalia.  Some in Iraq.  You get the picture.  My NY based immigration lawyers are on speed dial and I am the POC with our staff on our global travel updates.  Suspect the issue around the executive order and the stay will go the Supreme Court, but I have a lot of great people who are afraid to do their work right now.  Doesn’t matter your politics.  It also gets real when CBP separates kids from parents at Dulles airport, takes away phones and denies access to food and water for hours.  True.  My attorney friend’s daughter is also an attorney and camped out at Dulles to help.  First hand reports – not from the media.  Maybe I should have just posted puppy pictures here.

Thanks to each of you, subscribers and those who check in periodically, for being so supportive these past six years.  More posts to come.  Lots of love, Laura

This was a day of reflection.  A former colleague of mine and I spent a bulk of the day with our former CEO and his wife, Sue.  Norman Koonce, FAIA is a fellow of the AIA and was CEO of the American Institute of Architects from 1999-2005.   I headed up HR for the Institute from 2000-2006.  I learned that “DESIGN MATTERS” from Norman.   He’d befriended Jonas Salk in the 1990s and came to understand how Dr. Salk had been frustrated with trying to figure out the polio vaccine.  Salk retreated to a 13th century monastery in Assisi and was able to think intuitively in ways far beyond his prior abilities.  He came back to his lab in La Jolla, validated his thinking and  we now have the polio vaccine.  According to Dr. Salk, this happened because of the special design of where he was in Assisi.  Again….design matters.  Norman taught me these and other interesting things.  Also, I could always count on Norman as the “closer”; someone who could land that “hard to attract candidate” with that story about Jonas Salk along with Norman’s grace and charm.  Norman also taught me how to properly use a stapler (long story), why and how design affects how we think, heal, learn and live, and how to be genuine and true to your (competitive) self.

I told him today about my distant cousin, Robert Pascal Burns, born in 1933, an FAIA, who was honored for his teaching at NC State for 40 years and all his professional successes, before his tragic death in 2005.  Norman is now 84, and although close in age and profession, as well as being in the College of Fellows as well, he didn’t remember cousin, Bobby.  But Norman gets a pass.  As many as he needs. He struggles with growing influences of Alzheimer’s and dementia, but fortunately is still good enough to engage on some levels.

So…today…I honor the legacies built by the “traditionals” – those of my parents’ generation….like Norman and Sue.  And I look forward, despite our current challenges, to a future built on intellect, hard work and a good heart!

With love, Laura