Saturday, August 29, 2015


Nope.  Not the Joss Whedon movie that was a conclusion to the short lived Firefly.

It is the name of a restaurant in Zionsville, the hometown of a major part of my family.  The major surprise is where it's at.

I was indeed surprised, even shocked to find out my GreatGrandmother's home had been converted into said restaurant. 

I spent a great deal of time with Grandma (pronounced Gramma) Hiland over my early life.  She was a great positive influence who has never flagged, even all these years later.  What she taught me has lived within me and guided me, in spite of any detour.  I have always gotten back on course.

The revelation of this development has caused me to reflect, even beyond my normal memories.  I am not living in the past, mind you.  I am remembering.  All the good and bad of those years has coalesced in warm reflections.

Grandma Hiland, Rose Belle StClair Hiland, was a moral compass for me, my Dad and so many more. 

She was a lifelong Democrat and a suffragette.  What a difference between her and the monster that has morphed into a collectivist miasma now.  Her moral compass never flagged.  She was loyal, dedicated and American. 

She treated people equally, content of character uppermost, long before MLK. 

Her love was unconditional.  She gave as well as she got and more.

Her instincts re human nature were incisive.  Yet she overlooked the flaws in her own family.  That was part of her inclusive nature.

Her door was always unlocked, well til real late at night.  People all day long would come and pay their respects.  And she always had time for all of them.

When I visited her, quite frequently, I never felt jealous of that.  She had time for all.  Old friends and new, family, folks she influenced, they all came.

When I visited, I often ran errands for her.  I'd go from the grocery store to the bank and anywhere else she bade me.  Returning, Grandma always had lunch ready, for she loved to cook.  And that included breakfast, lunch and dinner, which she called breakfast, dinner and supper.

I'll never forget she would say I could sleep as late as I wanted.

Then , invariably, at between 6-7am, she'd yell, 'Mike, Mike MIKE!'

We'd sit down to an old fashioned farm breakfast and talk.  And talk.  And learn of family, friends, clan, as well as what was important.  That was mostly to be honest and face problems with no excuses. 

She had a most incisive view, not only of individual people, but of events

I'm going to write a memoir about her, my relationship with her, and how it all plays out.

At night, in the bedroom upstairs, I would sometimes stand at the window, gazing down on Main Street.  Quiet, streetlights shining, I was able to be peaceful, to sort things out.

Grandma Hiland's place was a peaceful nest in a sea of turmoil.

There is no coincidence the place is now called Serenity.

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