Grace in the Ether

Grace Beatrice Brown Jenkins (1921-2011)

Although Grace was on this planet 90 years—just ten shy of a century—it was too soon for her to leave. Some lives are like that.

“She believed she would never die and she had the rest of us convinced,” Grace’s eldest daughter tells me.

I’m with Grace on death, just a matter of changing form. Yet, it is hard to let go of Grace even if she is in the ether.

Grace was disposed to kindness, courtesy, generosity. Her legacy overflows with civic and philanthropic works. The people of Casper, Wyoming–past residents and those yet to reside–thrive among Grace’s good works.

Like many Casperites, my introduction to opera came  from Grace.  I try not to miss a Saturday afternoon performance of “Live at the Met.” My classical FM radio station is a 24/7 background to my days, and on my own scale, I am a patron. I can distinguish an oboe from a clarinet in less than three notes; I have yet to hear chamber music that does not reach my essence.

I thought often of Grace before she entered the ether. The day she gave me her chili recipe is a frequent memory replay.

I sit at Grace’s modest, functional kitchen table as she thoughtfully answers my litany of questions, ranging from the distinctions between garlic powder and garlic salt to the indisputable opinion that Kuner’s kidney beans “are just the best.” My notes of the actual ingredient amounts are seriously sketchy–my scoffing at recipes proves to be a permanent trait—yet Grace provides the only phrase I need to hear: “the recipe will not fail.”

My culinary courage is still with me but Grace is in the ether now.

2 thoughts on “Grace in the Ether

  1. Thanks, Adrian! Your support this past year has been invaluable. Clearly, has influenced me. It remains a favorite place to visit. Here’s to living in the ether, for the moment.


  2. Welcome to the ether yourself–or at least the ether we, the living, have access to. I’ve been waiting for your blog to appear and here it is! I am so happy–and, as always, charmed by your writing. Good work Karen!


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