Audrey Mae SpencerSpencer Historical CemeteryHenry Straight / William Spencer Family Cemetery
Vaughn Historical CemeterySpencers of East Greenwich, RI
Life at Crystal and Dawn’s Home
1 January 2003

Heather: How are you feeling?

Audrey: There is a weakness in my whole body, even talking. Sometimes my arms ache a lot. “Everybody has their own little hill to climb. I’m sitting on top of it. I have no more climbing to do.” Any chance of you coming lately?

9 January 2003

Heather: What’s the news on the east coast?

Audrey: Belinda is on a break from school. She is into the third semester. She enjoys working in nursing.  She will be an R.N. when she passes the board.  She has a 5 hours drive (238 miles) to get here.  Belinda took me to Walmart today. I am looking for a white winter coat, a tan, thin coat.  Lisa came over for supper. Vaughn came too.

9 January 2003

Heather: What’s happening in Rhode Island?

Audrey: There is snow on the ground. It’s not very deep, only about two inches and it is starting to melt. There are squirrels running around. Today is Spencer’s birthday. I’ll be 91 years, (my life span has covered) from the horse and buggy to the moon!

29 January 2003

Heather: Well, how is the weather?

Audrey: I’m sitting by the window looking out. The sun isn’t shining. Vaughn generally gets me over there to see his kids. It looks like it’s trying to snow.

12 February 2003

Heather: Mother, what did you do this week?

Audrey: I went to Spencer’s place. I rode around doing everything. Brenda’s doing better.

12 February 2003

Heather: How are you doing?

Audrey’s mother MaryJane Vaughn Spencer and Audrey’s brother John Edward Spencer

Audrey: I’m going along fine. I’m tired and weak all the time. My legs hate to move. I’d rather be in bed than anywhere else. I’m tired all the time. I can’t do too much. It is just a relief to sit down. I can’t do much of anything anymore. Uncle Ed, (John Edward Spencer) he used a walker (when he was older) and then at the end (of his life) sat in a wheelchair. Edith sent him the wheelchair. Uncle Ed (at the end of his life) did a lot of crying every time anybody went near him, he would cry. My father lived with us at (420 East Greenwich Avenue) and he couldn’t get around too good. He didn’t walk too much. He got up and dressed up every day!

12 February 2003

Heather: After you and Dad married, didn’t you live at your home until the house on Seven Mile Road was built?

Audrey Mae MacDonald and Spencer Kent MacDonald

Audrey: When I lived there I used to wheel Spencer up and down across the street, as there was cement (a side walk)across the street from the Washington house.

12 February 2003

Heather: What will you be doing the rest of the day’?

Audrey: Crystal gets me books at the library. I am waiting for Amber to come and cut my hair and Dawn said she would stop.

19 February 2003

Heather: Hello, Mother, I hear you have a lot of snow in New England!

MaryJane Vaughn Spencer and William J.B. Spencer at their home at 742 Washington Street, Coventry, Rhode Island

John Edward Spencer

Audrey: Yes, this is the first snow like this since I was a little child. It’s the first bad snow storm since I’ve grown up. The snow is twelve inches high next to the wall, but the streets are all right. Ernie shoveled by the door and Buddy went out and got stuck—he hopped and wiggled a little. (Laughter)

When we lived on the farm, we had to shovel a path to the outhouse. When we moved to Anthony (742 Washington St. in Coventry), we had a bathroom in the house! I was twelve years old and I moved from the country to the town! The Anthony house had one acre of land, I think. We had a garage, a barn, a hen yard and little building and shops. Spencer was a baby then and I can remember uncle Ed come down and took a bath and steam would come out of the bathroom.

Mother, she never would run down anybody. Mother was a very peaceful person. She, unfortunately, let everybody run all over her. She was a quiet woman, never opened her mouth. She liked to be called MaryJane, not Mary or Jane. She was a sweet, gentle person who was friends with all ladies around, even Annie Mertz and Lizzie.

Now Father was quiet but stern. Nobody got away with anything. He led a quiet life. He joined the Sons of Veterans and was busy doing things with Freddie Arnold. I never heard him holler at anybody. He had a nice quiet life. Once a week he played cards. He would milk the cow every day and a Mr. Smith came daily to get a quart of milk. They would talk for about an hour.

As for me, when I was a child, I would sit there and draw from the funnies in the newspaper. I drew Lillie the toiler*. She was so pretty.

Audrey: When are you coming out here again?

(Heather: I plan to be in R.I., for your birthday, March 19th.)

* (Crystal’s explanation of Tillie the Toiler: Tilly the Toiler is the name of the lady that Mom designed outfits for. She  found Tilly in a magazine or newspaper.  It may have been an advertisement for ladies clothes or a cartoon. I’m not aware of any paper or magazine around in 1924 to validate where Tilly the Toiler came from.)

1 March 2003

Shephard of the Valley United Methodist Church

March 1, 2003, Audrey, along with hundreds of other guests, attended Brenda’s Memorial Service at the
Shephard of the Valley United Methodist Church, Scituate, Rhode Island.

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