Archive for the ‘Memories’ Category

Pong

Family Vino PONG – The old folks win. The young ones fall in love.

Vino Pong Family Style

When my eyes met yours my heart stopped in awe. For although I had seen it before it was more prevalent now. Age had done something lovingly profound to you. The mirrors in your eyes held me captive. Although I was looking at you I was seeing and feeling the love of my grandmother through you. You had been blessed with her beautiful expressive eyes. Your lips were pursed in a knowing smile. I hope you were not uncomfortable with the thoroughness of my gaze. I could only drink in the beauty and remember the wonderful memories of the other. If ever you shall leave this earth my tears are sure to flow for hundreds of years. I saw you today. What joy I feel in my heart! Image

Winter would be cold without memories

A blanket would be cold without a warm body

I could be a one woman act, but that would be boring and lonely

Life is meant to be shared regardless of the season

memories1

The slightest consideration of a dear friend brings to mind fun memories

Fun memories make you smile as you walk through the grocery store

All that’s really necessary is a warm smile. A new memory

A backyard with a frosty lawn reminds me of its warm green sprouts in the summer

Red Cosy Cups filled with water waiting on a Beer Pong contest (The older folks win) What a memory

Resting in a comfy sunchair watching the younger ones fall in love

Red Wine, grapes and cheese along with fresh warm french bread, served by candlelight

Sharing your deepest feelings with your best friend during a snowstorm. Memories retold.

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Alone

Posted: January 6, 2012 in Death, Family, Life, Love, Memories, Poetry
Tags: , , , ,

My gut wrenches with the thought that I don’t have you anymore. You are gone from me for now. Shall we some day be reunited? Each breath I take is taken with that purpose alone in mind. Your last ones were not mine to hear. I left you in the care of deep love and comfort. You weren’t alone.

Nobody knows how this feels inside. I’m empty without your smile. Always a good word you spoke. You spoke the truth. You taught the truth. You loved deep. You fulfilled your responsibility while on earth. You followed the footsteps as spoken by The Word. The foundation beneath many is there because you cared. You took me by the hand. Yes, you cared. You never left me alone.

Many are foolish enough to convince themselves into believing that the changes you made throughout the years didn’t impact who they were. I am here to state that they are quite wrong. We loved and learned to love through the changes you made in your life. For this I am very grateful. He drew you and I followed your lead. They have made a choice to walk alone.

You were so strong. Frequently I ask myself from where did you draw your inner strength? Ah, but I know. You didn’t do it alone. You were a success through many failures. But no, indeed you didn’t do it alone. Neither shall I. For when I am weak, indeed it is true, for that too is when I am also very strong. Never alone.

Who shall take your place? The lines on my face are deepening with this concern. Did you think anyone could? Was that your expectation? Many times you told me how much I was like you. I am happy you told me, but were you saying this in preparing me for the journey which you already knew so well? Daily I look at myself and know I have the responsibility of making this choice. Since I am so much like you I shall never be alone.

I saw it in your eyes on that last day. You couldn’t speak anymore  but you were telling me with your eyes. It was the expression in them that caught my heart and took my breath. I give way to tears even today when I think of how you looked at me. Did I truly understand? Did I read your expression correctly? Was I helping you through your last day in a way that brought you the comfort you so needed and deserved? If I did it wasn’t I alone.

I whispered his great name into your ear and told you he was there with us. He had your right hand as I stood on your left. We all three had a very special bond in those minutes. Even those around us who couldn’t see him standing there saw the affects his love imparted upon us. They even remarked upon it. Your breathing was calmer. You were peaceful. I hope it touched their hearts. Most certainly it touched mine. For I knew we weren’t alone.

I too shall take the road less traveled. But never alone.

 

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Steak on Saturday nights! Sounds good doesn’t it? A trip to the most famous steak house in town for a delectable dinner so Nana could close the kitchen and take a much needed rest on a Saturday night. Warm sour dough bread wrapped in white linens snuggled into woven baskets with slabs of cold, creamery butter in a silver bowl as its companion awaited our indulgence. This would be followed by juicy melt-in-your-mouth rib eye steaks, mounds of ravioli, perfectly cooked green beans and pot shots at the staff. On a light note the sundaes were great!

Nana would begin her Saturday night out routine early in the day and in a somewhat predictable manner. Since the house was always thoroughly cleaned on Thursdays, the only thing she needed to focus on was getting herself ready for that night. It started with a leisurely cup of coffee with biscotti, an hour of tv aerobics, and a quick sweeping of the front porch. Next she and mama rounded-up us kids up for the more important stuff. Two errands. Shopping and the beauty salon. We knew better than to complain or she would snap a twig off of the old weeping willow tree in the backyard and give us a gentle swipe across the legs as she herded us into the car. Complain? Not on your life!

Our first stop, a saunter through Joseph Magnins with a lovely purchase from the saleslady whom I believed to live there since she was ALWAYS at the counter to bid nana an over-rehearsed “Have a happy day”. Did she know something about our Saturdays? Hmm, obviously she didn’t. I’m thinking it had more to do with her commission. The next stop was for nana to wrap her already well coiffed self into strict order at Bella’s on 6th Avenue. Nana’s hairdresser Isabella was indeed very pretty and did the same for her clientele. From her perfect eyeliner to her high-heels she had a way of turning my already pretty nana into a raving beauty with her handy tools, brushes and hair products. In awe, I knew that one day I too would be her client. Then it was back home for hot bathes, dress in our nice Saturday duds, and then wait for grandpa to get home and whisk us off to eat.

Grandpa took pride in his bride of 30+ years and she loved that he did. He loved carrying her on his arm knowing they didn’t get any prettier than her (or spicier for that matter).  He was an extremely hard working man who kept a rigid schedule. Always up before sunrise and home before sunset. He took very good care of his family including us grand kids who had moved into his home at his prompting when mama and daddy separated. He wanted us there with him and it was the best feeling in the world. Being wanted, loved and well cared for made for a sturdy and happy life. That’s not to say he didn’t have expectations for us. He did. And was very rigid on how they were carried out. We never questioned him! We did just so. Oh but how we loved him for his strength and direction. He was an entrepreneur and taught us the game just as planned. We were a tight family because we played by his rules. His long arduous work week always ended in our Saturday night outing. Any physical expense it may have cost him to shower and get ready we were all there together walking to the car like little soldiers headed for the steak house.

As I look back to those nights I feel confident in saying the restaurant scene was always somewhat rehearsed because somehow it always played out the same. We were always greeted by the same Greek Goddess who no doubt only moonlighted as a hostess on Saturday nights in her gold lame and stilettos to get my grandmother’s goat. Then off to the table we would go. By this time I would have heard a snicker from behind. Nana was somewhat (okay, very) jealous of other women smiling at grandpa or saying hello to him by his first name and would never let it go until addressed. Not a good way to start dinner but weekly non-the-less. Next was the waitress. Her “hello” to grandpa along with a gentle pat on the shoulder was certain to more than raise my grandmother’s eyebrows and cause pointed darts to fly in his direction instantly. How we continued to share family dinners at the steak house week after week still amazes me. Grandpa would sit there and smile while nana made certain that everyone within hearing distance knew good and well how rude and inappropriate the staff were. Her biggest complaint being that they new her just as well as him, but never even attempted to greet her in such a comfortable, shall we say, fashion. As an adult I can’t imagine how or why they did this week after week? Perhaps this explains why I very rarely eat out! Mystery solved.

I have a childhood memory I consider special. Although, it is a little odd really.

As I recall it was a short ride with daddy. Probably no more than a half mile from home since the only thing separating us from our destination was the Oak Hill Cemetery whose fence was comprised of old wooden posts strung with rusty barbed wire.  Was the goal to keep people in or out? Should a child wonder such things? Perhaps. I loved the beautiful fountain at the entrance of the graveyard. Especially at night. The waters were aglow with underwater lights. Grand it was! It was as beautiful as the fence was ugly.

I was about three years old. I say “about” based on the fact I could stand between daddy and his friend without hitting my head on the interior of the car.  Daddy drove a red 1959 Cadillac with a soft top. As a car salesman he had the option of driving his car of choice off the lot. This car fit his personality to a T, classy and quick.  The front seat was the equivalent of a well-padded pew and had a rear view mirror in which I could see my entire head of curly locks. I could also see the cold bottle of beer between my two little hands. I held it high so it wouldn’t spill and felt very important.

Although I can not recall how I ended up going with him mama says it was the night she went for chow and a Frank Sinatra concert with her sister. She had hired a babysitter to care for my little brother and me which was exceptional since she was a homebody. No doubt a long overdue night out.  In her absence he dismissed the sitter and took me with him leaving my sleeping sibling alone. Daddy was happy and singing to Bobbie Darin’s Mack the Knife as his friend climbed from the car at his destination, an old trailer court. He laughed from the affects of many beers. His party buddy stumbled from the car with a “ciao,” and we set off for home.

As we pulled into our driveway our home’s entrance was decorated with mama’s petite and graceful silhouette. Even in the most trying of circumstances mama stayed calm most of the time, but this was an exception. They shared a few somewhat heated words. But all ended well.

I got to carry daddy’s beer bottle for him, we made it home safe, my little brother was still asleep, my parents stayed together another five years and I have this lovely yet perplexing memory.