Queen Helen of Wingate


The official portrait of King Harland and Queen Helen of the Kingdom of Wingate

My grandmother was a no-nonsense New Englander whose mother passed away when she was a teen, leaving her alone with a gruff Swedish father who didn’t believe in doling out compliments.  She wore coke bottle glasses, had an overbite, and couldn’t tolerate a change in her schedule. Married barely out of nursing school, she worked through the Great Depression as “The District Nurse” for the county and raised three, shall we say, spirited children.


Arguably her most spirited child, my rambunctious Uncle Bob.

To the grandmother I remember, being plain and modest was far better than being pretty. Vanity was a sin.  Flowers and candy on Valentine’s Day were a waste of money.  And anyone trying to give her a compliment – oh my goodness – she’d sink them with an icy stare  Yes, siree bob!  There’d be none of that Tom Foolery on her watch.QueenHelen

The woman above is not my grandmother!  Giggling and holding hands with a man who is not her husband – even if he is the king! Not my Gram!KingHarlan

Now this is my grandmother – fixing to tell someone off. (I’ve seen this look many times!) You think King Harland dared to cop a feel?


Their coronation makes headlines worldwide!

Even though she spent her life feeling plain and unattractive, she wasn’t.  As you can see, the good citizens of the Kingdom of Wingate acknowledged her dignity, strength and beauty by crowning her their queen!

May you be recognized for the unique and special person that you are!


A thing of beauty is a joy forever,
Its loveliness increases, it will never
Pass into nothingness; but will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

John Keats, From Endymion