Left to right in the above picture: Louise, Leona, Dad and I. The event was my Dad's birthday which if I am remembering correctly was May 28th.
Leona and Louise were from Chicago. They both worked at Swedish Covenant Hospital where Leona was the head medical records librarian. Their connection to my family was that they had a gorgeous summer cabin at the north end of the lake on which my parents also lived.
The cabin sat in a grove of balsam and maple trees on a hill overlooking the lake. The cabin was a dark stained wood on the outside and the inside was all knotty pine with plank floors. The cabin basically was three rooms...a nice large kitchen with eating area, a huge great room with windows rather than walls that looked out at woods and lake, and an enclosed front porch overlooking the lake which was used as a bedroom. At the base of the hill was perhaps one of the nicest beaches on the lake and the place were us kids did a lot of swimming.
Leona was an excellent cook and I still vividly remember three things she loved to make: lasagna (which she made loaded with fresh mushrooms), her crabmeat sandwiches (the recipe is in this blog) and lastly her ham and German potato sandwiches on pumpernickel bread.
Louise was the more quiet one...the one that cleaned up after Leona. Leona was the verbose one. Yet, I think in many ways Louise was the one that wore the "panties" in that family.
One summer I visited them in Chicago. I took the train...the 400 it was called which was a classy fast passenger train between the Twin Cities and Chicago. Once in Chicago I enjoyed so many things...seeing the loop, McDonalds was there and it had just sold its 1,000,000th burger, I visited the museum of Science and Industry, and spent one afternoon at a tremendous amusement park (Riverside? Lakeside?)...and lastly riding the El was a blast.
I truly loved them not only when I was a kid but as I became a young adult. They were so generous with their time and would always welcome me at their cabin and let me spend as much time as I wanted (which was a lot of time). They would talk to me, listen to me, and their insight in so many things helped to grow and expand my universe.
Leona and Louise...I honor your memory...and I love you both and I miss you both.