E is for Eleanore

is for Eleanore.

Eleanore entered my life by marriage, like a wedding gift. The second wife of my father-in-law, Eleanore was a gift in every sense. A beautiful, stately, elegant woman, Eleanore’s beauty came from within.

Born in Osseo, Wisconsin, Eleanore was one of five children of Norwegian immigrants. She was the embodiment of the Christian values she learned from her Lutheran upbringing which she lived out to the end of her long life. A single mom, Eleanore raised three children and enjoyed a successful career as a registered nurse.

An excellent baker, Eleanore always had cookies, fresh fruit pies, or luscious cakes to offer with tea or coffee in the afternoon or for dessert following dinner. Eleanore’s Norwegian Christmas cookies always made Christmas merrier. Ever true to her Wisconsin roots, Eleanore was “The Queen” of Jell-O salads, some of which are standard fare for holiday and festive occasions to this day.

In some ways, Eleanore reminded me of Rose, the Betty White character of The Golden Girls. Perhaps it was her speech pattern or the amusing way in which she told a story about growing up on a dairy farm in rural Wisconsin. No intellectual lightweight, Eleanore was well-read and open minded. She was the source of reliable information on everything from health and wellness to popular culture and issues of social justice like poverty, civil rights, and same sex marriage.

When I divorced and subsequently came out, Eleanore and my former father-in-law stood by me, as supportive as it is possible to be. “We are a family,” Eleanore said. “And you are one of our kids.”

0 thoughts on “E is for Eleanore

  1. marwil

    What a great idea, writing about one person each day (as I assume at a glance on your posts). Beautiful way of honouring the people that means a lot to you. And Eleanore sounds like a gem.

    1. Dennis Post author

      Thanks for reading my blog. Glad you enjoyed the post. Writing about important people in my life is a good way to learn about myself, about writing, and about character development.

  2. Joan Raymond

    Eleanore sounds like such a special lady. I love the “Queen” of the Jell-O, salads and her complete support for you.


    1. Dennis Post author

      Eleanore was an exceptional woman. Anyone would be blessed to have someone like her in their life. Thanks for reading, Joan.

  3. Annis

    Another enjoyable peek into your porfolio of wonderful people in your life, Dennis. I love this: “We are a family,” Eleanore said. “And you are one of our kids.”

  4. Dana Martin

    Wow… after a divorce your in-laws stood by you? Sheesh… I’ve been married to the same person for 24 years, and my in-laws want nothing to do with me. What a lovely tribute to this wonderful woman. Her love for you is a great example of Christian love and acceptance. Anything less is less than our Teacher wants.

    Loving this….

    Waiter, drink please!

    1. Dennis Post author


      I am loving your responses to my posts. You’ve given me some wonderful insights that are teaching me a lot about the writing process and about myself. And that is what this is all about. Writes don’t write to explain. They write to understand themselves. Thanks you.



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