Saturday, December 10, 2011

Margaret Day!

It's the Most Underful Time.....of the year! With your panties all shreddy and holes in your teddy but be of good cheer...it's the Most Underful Time...of the year! Oh my goodness, International Day Of Margaret is almost upon us! And just in time, too, wedged in that crotch between Thanksgiving and Christmas when we could all use a lift. There is no more frabjous holiday!

It's been obvious for some time that there would have to be a special holiday in Margaret's honor, and I don't say this just because I was lucky enough to be her sister. Everyone who knew her feels the same way. She was the fire we warmed ourselves at. She was all trumpet-toots and confetti, an entire marching band in size-five sneakers. She was a bright red Skittle in the sofa cushions, she was a parrot crashing a crow convention. Rrraawwwwk! That was her shriek of delight. Delight at the world, delight at life, delight in your very company. Margaret's was the primal shriek of joy, and lordy, could she let it rip.

It's easy to love someone who thinks you're a better person than you really are, especially if she allows you to grow into her opinion. "This changed my life," she'd pronounce, all gratitude and exuberance, and she could have been referring to a new support pillow, a jar-opener, a portable carrier for her oxygen tank. Oh, we lined up ten deep to help change her life, we did. She didn't run out of friends, she ran out of air. The world has had a creak in its spin ever since. If friends could keep someone alive, she'd be here now. Since she's not, there has to be a Margaret Day. That much is clear: but what form should it take?

Maybe it wasn't a coincidence that after my sister eased off the planet, we had solar panels installed. Something needs to be able to take energy out of thin air and bring it inside, and if we can't have Margaret, we have to make do. It's a poor substitute, but there are similarities. Both work better in the sunlight. Both are hot. Both make me deeply ashamed of my underwear.

The solar panels are indirect about it. They come with a read-out on the computer showing our hourly energy production, in smug green, vs. our consumption, in accusatory red. The red line rolls in hills and valleys until we turn on the clothes dryer, and that produces a scarlet spike sharp enough to impale the toolbar. It was no longer possible to ignore the energy waste, and we started hanging our clothes on a line, including my underwear, the condition of which used to be known only to me and God, but now also our neighbors and anyone walking down the alley.

"Rrraawwwk! What is this?" my sister once said, scandalized, plucking something out of the dryer that had started out life as a pair of panties. I had nothing to say in my defense. The frayed cotton hung in tatters from a few anchor points on the elastic. Worse, all of my panties were in the same seedy state.

"This is outrageous," she said, riffling through my laundry. "What does this say about you as a person?"

"Um," I said, struggling. "That I'm not having an affair?"

Looking in my underwear drawer, it is impossible to imagine what it would take to send a pair of my panties to the dumpster.  When we had a puppy, she would find my underwear in the hamper, which is what we called the area on the floor next to the bed, and carefully chew out the entire business section. I wouldn't notice until I cleaned them and pulled them on again and a little breeze would inform me that the only part missing was the part that mattered most, and even then I hesitated throwing them away, if the elastic still looked okay. I'm not proud of this.

A while ago, probably when I was supposed to be doing my taxes, I got a notion to turn the panty and sock drawers upside down and do a thorough purge. The socks weren't any better. Even after the ones with holes in the heels are eliminated, we're hard pressed to get any two alike to pair up; they seem to have gotten their instructions from some obscure chapter in Leviticus. Margaret once told me that our niece's underwear was equally disreputable, and yet that niece feels comfortable informing me that I need to update my style. "Yours are granny panties," she says, which just goes to show. They are not. They are French Cut, entirely different. If you want to see granny panties, you should have seen my own mother's, of voluminous silk with cuffs in place of leg elastic. We used to rig them up over the picnic table on hot days for the shade. Granny panties, my adequately-covered ass.

I invited Dave to join the purge party. "We can do this once a year, in honor of Margaret," I said. "Great," he said. "In fact, we should do that on her birthday." Genius! That gave me eight more months to say goodbye to my underwear.

But Advent is upon us, it's nearly Margaret Eve, and I'm excited. Mark your calendars: International Day Of Margaret is Tuesday, December 13th. The carols have begun. Rrraawwwk The Herald Angels Sing. Little Drummer Boyshorts. The Christmas Thong. Panty Claus Is Coming To Town. Ding Dong Merrily On Thigh. Lo, How The Rosy Bloomers. O Holey Night. It's time to upend those drawers, cast out the old, and tug up the new! Let's hoist a pair of skivvies To Margaret! To Margaret, and the dawn of a fresh and stretchy new year!

If the new stuff doesn't work out, Boxer Day is right around the corner.

74 comments:

  1. I am weeping. Weeping, I tell you.

    My preferred method of disposing of untoward unmentionables is to bring them on vacation and discard them along the way. No re-packing the dirty underpants!

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  2. Margaret will be proud of you as you toss and shop for new..perhaps it could be a yearly event.

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  3. Keep them another year; just start calling them "Witches' Lace". Works for me.

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  4. Why is it so hard to purge the old underwear drawer? I pondered this question myself as I noticed breezy areas where there should be none. I will do it for Margaret Day. And I do think she would be proud that you are not only doing it for yourself, but pulling along others who need a healthy kick in the panties...

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  5. You're a fantastic writer; by the end of this post, I loved and missed Margaret too. Maybe I'll attack my panty drawer in her honour.

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  6. Ever since I left Mormonism I've had no problem whatsoever throwing away ugly holey underwear. In fact I have an annual underwear burning fest. Incense, brats, and beer. Oh, and a full moon.

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  7. Lovely post.
    I am so sorry that you have lost your Margaret.

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  8. Brilliant post! Saint Margaret is the evanescent sparkle on a fleeting ocean wave. Feel so lucky to have known you both. My panties off to you!

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  9. Oh, Murr, this is so beautiful, as was your Margaret. I laughed through my tears. I shall purge my panties drawer with you on that Margaret Day, celebrating sisters who know us and love us even when they know the state of our panties.

    You move us and you make us laugh. What a great gift.

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  10. Sheesh! I don't keep my panties that long. I buy 6 for $8.00 at Kmart every 6 months and toss the old, stained ones out. Yup, purge the drawer regularly.

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  11. I'm in. Like you, I too am an undie slackard and what better day to purge the old than Margaret Day! Cast out the BVD's. Make way Fruit of the Loom. Judgement Day is upon thee!

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  12. I haven't even eaten breakfast yet and I'm both laughing and crying so much I'm not even hungry.I'll be checking my drawers.

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  13. What a poignant yet laugh-my-face-off post. Wonderful tribute to your sister. Wish I had known her, or anyone like her.

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  14. Oh goody! I've got several people on board for Margaret Day already. She'd be so proud! Gigi, she's already proud of you. You too, Cognitive, but the incense and brats are a nice touch.

    Susannah, one more year will make the tenth year in some cases, and I couldn't call them Witch's Lace so much as Witch's Anklets. Jenny, I wish everyone had known her.

    DJan, it's because we're, uh, Thrifty.

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  15. What a lovely way to honor your sister. Something tells me she would be proud. So much love in this post. Way to make me laugh and cry.

    I'm tossing a pair in Margaret's honor.

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  16. Unwittingly, we observed Margaret Day a while back. But here's to Margaret. I am glad to have her sister as a friend. And I wish I had known her.

    I am just slightly worried about skivvy inspection in WV, though ...

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  17. Wow! I always wanted a sister, but my parents would never oblige my requests. Now, not only do I still miss the sister I never had, but I miss your beloved Margaret too. I will be celebrating on Tuesday with you and will say Kaddish for her and the departed panties everywhere... Elaine

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  18. December 13th... got it... I love Margaret and off to Walmart for a package of 6 white cotton panties to be opened only on her day ...

    "Panty Claus Is Coming To Town. Ding Dong Merrily On Thigh. "

    HAHAHaaaaaaa

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  19. The true mark of a wonderful writer is to turn a story about holey panties into a tear jerking memorial.

    I'm going to purge my tighty whities in Margaret's honor.

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  20. Speechless. I'm speechless. But I don't think you could ever be accused of becoming mawkishly sentimental.

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  21. You see, this is why they call them unmentionables. Oh well.

    Your sister sounds so very endearing, and so I say, hooray for Margaret Day. However, you will never find me mentioning why. :)

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  22. Dang, I thought I was the only one who had holey undies with the elastic hanging out the back of my pants....Margaret's Day will be celibrated with joy.
    Oh, what are french cut...I thought that was a type of fries?

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  23. My drawers have been sorted. Funnily enough I was thinking I should do that very chore a couple of days ago - couldn't quite raise the enthusiasm then.

    Margaret's Day is now marked in my 2012 diary.

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  24. My personal favorites would likely be "Rudolph the Red-Reared Nosedeer" though a close second is "While Shepherds Washed their Frocks at night".
    Happy International Margaret Day.

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  25. Count me in for Margaret Day. I need some impetus to throw out my shame (or some of it) and you have given it to me. Thank you to both you and St Margaret.

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  26. Murr, only you could write a piece that weds Margaret and underwear, AND has us alternately laughing and crying...RIP, Margaret. I'll be doing an undie inventory on 12/13/2011

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  27. ACK Robert, I KNEW someone would be able to remember a few more of the good ol' Margaret Day standards!

    Hey, this is looking to be a right festive day. I hope there's a measurable uptick in underpants sales. Murrmurrs: doing our part every day for the economy.

    Thanks, Suburban Correspondent, you sent me to the dictionary to look up the derivation for "mawkish." (It doesn't take much.) And it comes from the Old English word for "maggot." You're right--Maggot Day will have to be celebrated on some other blog.

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  28. So very sorry you lost your dear sister. I can understand, as three years ago, I lost my baby sister. RIP Margaret.

    And alas, I recently did my Margaret. However, I'll bet within the next few days, something will crop up. Like, if I tug a little harder on one of the elastic dangly things around my pantyleg, the whole elastic contraption may give way and then I'll have my little devotional in her honor. While I toss them, I'll sing Greenskiivs or Crotchy the Snowman.

    xo
    Kimber

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  29. She's undoubtedly rockin' around the Margaret Tree at this very moment. And dragging every soul within reach to take a look at what her sister hath wrought in her honor. Which begs the question, Do they bother with underwear in heaven?

    Stupendous, Murr.

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  30. Dat you, Nance? They ought to bother with underwear in Heaven. Think of the view from here.

    Crotchy the Snowman...thanks for that, Kimber.

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  31. Patricia W., Charlotte, NCDecember 10, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    This made my day...you are a marvelous writer...what a way with the words.

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  32. The best underpants are the ones that come six in a tube at Filene's Basement. They used to cost about $9 per tube, and they are sort of French cut but skinnier, and they come in RIOTOUS COLORS!! They are NOT granny pants. Every one is different. They last a long time, too. So long that I already have a whole bunch of unders and none of them is falling apart. I buy new ones now and then cuz I get bored of the old ones.

    You are so lucky to have had Margaret as a sister, and you are so lucky to be able to write like an angel. Onward!

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  33. I've never read such a wondrous memorial. Margaret has to be guffawing and jabbing all the angels bellowing, "You gotta' read this"!

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  34. Aww...I am so touched, because those of us with sisters know all about the love and the laughs...this is a perfect tribute! I will share with mine...Happy Margaret Day.

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  35. A couple of weeks ago I went through some boxes and performed the St. Margaret ceremony for my dear sister and mother, both now somewhere in her neighborhood. Mother in her former mind would have been distraught at any imperfection in her undies. One of her greatest worries was that if she had an auto accident, her underwear might show, and it had better be pristine and perfect. Later, in the Alzheimer unit, it wasn't so perfect, but maybe she didn't notice by then. At the moment, my own drawer is all Margareted out of raggy ones, but I'll wave a fine intact flag to her and my Margaret/Peggy sis and Mother. And I'll be anonymous today to protect my mom's modesty.

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  36. Never had a sister but but she sounds like the kind I wanted and I will celebrate Margaret day with you, as always living vicariously through your blog.
    I had a crotch munching hound like yours who insisted on running through the house with them, quelle embarrasement!
    Oh, and thanks for your encouraging words re Christmas cards, over at my place.

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  37. I will observe Margaret day now too. One of my 90 year old quilting friends repurposes her old holey undies by cutting off the elastic and using like big rubber bands for things. I thought that was might neat. And dear Devery and you should get together on your socks. Perhaps you both might end up with matching pairs. I wish I had met Margaret!

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  38. I'm sitting on the toilet (lid closed) and I am crying my eyes out. Thank you for this post!

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  39. Look at that gorgeous red hair! Being another among the red-headed, I know I would have just loved knowing her!
    I so envy your gift with words.

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  40. Tuttimanaiac, vielen dank fur ihren Besuch. Thank you, Patricia and Lauren. Anne, I can't believe you never met her. What a dang shame.

    Jerry, you know it! You've got her pegged, bless yore heart.

    Yes, Anonymous, do that. We must protect our moms' modesty. If my mom were still around, this blog would probably be a lot different. We didn't even say "poop."

    Caroline, can you believe that in the first picture Margaret was well in her forties? Still being carded. And lucky you.

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  41. Twice in my life (both quite recently) I have thrown away every single pair of socks, and every single pair of unmentionables; and replaced the lot. It really doesn't cost a fortune, and it's the most liberating of actions. I recommend it to everyone!

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  42. I'm in! Let the shreds be shed. I wish I'd met her.

    The thing that bothers me most about underwear is that all of it, including the fanciest of the fancy stuff, is all made by slave labor. 'N' then, I'm way not Martha Stewart enough to make my own. So, what do you do?

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  43. What a tribute! Here's to Margaret.

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  44. This was a very touching piece, Murr - admittedly in a very Phyllis Diller vein.
    I must admit to only buying new underwear when I visit the States because I've never found any anywhere else in the world whose wearing didn't put me in the foulest of tempers. I only feel at home in jockeys. Even in the Army, I kept neatly rolled standard issue boxers in my footlocker for inspection purposes, but I always had a half-dozens jockeys stowed away in my gear somewhere. They can be FTLs, Haines, BVDs or original Jockey brand, but they've got to be classics. You can dress me up like a gaucho in bombachas, Grafa shirt, chambergo and poncho to your heart's content, but underneath it all, I couldn't be more Yankee.
    The fact that I haven't made it back Stateside in three years means, however, that I should be able to contribute significantly to your Margaret Day festivities. Considering the distances involved, I figure the best way would be to build a good hot fire in the woodstove and make my rendering to Margaret by tossing in the offending garments. Watch for my smoke signals to the south - the DEEP south!

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  45. Who the hell is Test Blog and why has she taken over my identity? Oh, well; she's got great taste in bloggers.

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  46. Don't know whether to laugh or cry, so doing both at the same time - a testament to your writing skills.

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  47. I don't know whether to laugh or cry either. Your Margaret had the most glorious hair and, from the sound of it, the personality to match. I never had a sister and would have loved one.

    My Nana programmed me out of bad underwear at an early age so I think I'll qualify for the Margaret Seal of Approval on Margaret Day. I will never "die on the main street of town with my skirt over my head and my tatty underwear showing for all to see".

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  48. I don't think you ever got so many responses on one of your blogs, a tribute to beautiful, magnetic Margaret, and the fact that you hit a nerve in the population that you cater to.

    I, too, pack my tattered old friends into my suitcase as I trip off. If I leave a small tip to the housekeeping staff, and they draw the conclusion that I'm on a pension from the tattered leavings in the trash can, I hope they understand that I am stretching every penny and every elastic waistband.

    But one develops a relationship with those we are in such close daily contact. Each one contains a host of memories, and they are hard to part with.

    I guess I'm just a sentimental old fool. It even hurts to leave them in a far away hotel room, where no one will love or tend them the way I did.

    But in the interest of Margaret's concern, I will try to do better, on my next trip...

    Bless your Murr, I should be so lovingly remembered!

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  49. As a lifelong panty fetishist I enjoyed this immensely, and your undies look like some of my wife's. What a lovely testament to Margaret.

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  50. Hey Murr, I shall clear out my drawers this week in Margaret's honour. There's a lot of holes lurking in there. Thanks for sharing your memories of Margaret with us x Indigo

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  51. This is a lovely tribute to your sister. I'll sacrifice a pair of my own, equally disrespectable knickers in honor of her. My kids will be amazed -- they won't know what hit me.

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  52. Oh, Soiled Gown of Bethlehem. Come, OH,YES, Come all ye Faithful!
    I am throwing away a really pitted out tee shirt in Margaret's honor on Tuesday. She must have been a gem.

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  53. "When we had a puppy, she would find my underwear in the hamper, which is what we called the area on the floor next to the bed, and carefully chew out the entire business section." I had to read this sentence twice before I stopped wondering why Margaret would do that!

    Your sister sounds like a wonderful woman...I'm sure she's amused that you've taken her underwear advice to heart!

    Lovely, fun tribute!

    Wendy

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  54. This was almost unbearably sweet, Murr. I hope my sister is as kind toward me if I predecease her. And vice versa.

    Now I have a purging to prepare for...

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  55. Just looked at an enlarging hole in the backside of the white pair of undies I put on this morning and thought I probably should throw them out soon. I must have had some inkling of your post, or perhaps a tug from your Margaret. She does sound like a gem, but no more than you for your having written this damned-ably marvelous tribute.

    "It's easy to love someone who thinks you're a better person than you really are, especially if she allows you to grow into her opinion." Would that we all had that quality. So, I'll be tossing out this derelict pair and buying some brand-spanking new ones in honor of St. Margaret.

    xo, Stefanie

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  56. Wow, aren't sisters something extremely special? I will celebrate Margaret Day on Margaret Eve. With a cup of eggnog in hand I will get rid of those ridiculous remnants of unmentionables. Thanks for making this chore an easier task forever more.

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  57. Rest assured that I will remind everyone about Margaret Day next year too. And by this time tomorrow, all my underwear will rest in pieces. Happy flinging, everyone!

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  58. You have such a way of combining the beautiful and touching with humor. Wonderful tribute.

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  59. My unmentionables will have to remain in the shadows. Their special day will come when the mood strikes me. My fits of cleaning are totally unpredictable like when I get a cold.

    That's a moving tribute to a very special sister. We should all be remembered with such humor and for such special contributions to the world. Now that she owns Margaret Day, what would you call your special day?

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  60. I don't save the undies, they get cut up the side (so I don't accidentally wear them again) washed (there's underwear creepers out there!) and thrown out as soon as they start to show signs of wear.
    I will be adding Margaret Day to my 2012 calendar and celebrating appropriately. Will have to preblog about this one so I don't lose your link...

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  61. Would "preblog" be like Pre-posting? I like the idea of preposting. It eliminates the Present. Hey! Read this all the time and you'll never lose the link, pudd'n'!

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  62. Consider mine tossed. Three pairs expedited. Oh, and Magpie, when you have tossed your unlaundered undies along the way on vacation you have probably made not a few perverts very happy.

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  63. I'm sure I can find more than a few to toss in honor of your beloved Margaret. I loved, loved, loved this most-unusual tribute to her. And I bet she'd love it, too. xoxo

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  64. Great piece. Heartfelt and poignant without being sentimental which must have been so hard given her place in your life. The beautiful B+W off-set photo of her looking at the camera captures the zesty character, directness and her love of being involved very well I think. {And she was hot!}

    Lovely piece. Thank you for sharing.

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    1. Any time I write about Margaret my throat closes up. You're right, she was hot. Didn't know it though.

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  65. She was beautiful and I'm so glad you are honoring her in this fashion. You did this brilliantly, as you do everything else, Murr. I loved this.

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  66. I will celebrating Margaret Day this year and all the rest to come! Thank you for sharing your sister with the world!

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  67. Hopefully we can burn bras, too. I hope Margaret doesn't mind. Lovely reminder, Murr.
    Barb F.

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  68. Ignore this Murr, I'm trying to make a communt using my Wordpress ID. This is my 11th attempt. If you don't hear from me again, it's because Blogger is making me select pictures of tea or donuts and submit several times.

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