The Birthday Lady

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Today I would like to tell you a little something about a woman who will be celebrating another one of her birthdays. Yes, today is her birthday! I have known this women from the time when she was just a little girl, passing through puberty, to her teenage years, then her life as a young adult, the dreadful middle age, and more! She has always been in my life and will always be in my heart. As a young girl she would play with me. She was a great person when it came to story fairy land. Taking us into a dark closet she would tell us stories about ferries, princes, and animals. I always wanted to go to fairy land and hear the stories from her. I remember all of her stories in fact I told those stories to my young daughters to help them fall asleep.

As a young girl entering puberty she would spend much more time with her girl friends than with me. It was at this time that we became a little less kind to each other. She always wanted to play with her girl friends and not with a young boy. In fact she stopped telling nice stories and instead introduced monster stories. The monster stories scared me and I no longer wanted to visit fairy land with her. Time passed quickly and the next thing I knew she was a teenager. She just loved to dance and the Dick Clark TV Show “American Bandstand” was her favorite. As is normal for young teenagers little siblings are just pains in the lives of teenagers. I do remember once, that I caught this teenager and her friend pretending that the polls in the back yard were boys. She and her girlfriend would run up to the poll saying how much they missed them and then they would pretend to kiss the poll. I did not see any fun in that game and I was glad she did not want to play with me anymore. During these years I was just as much a pain to her as she was to me.

She entered young adult hood after her teenage years and was soon married. She mothered three wonderful children and I was no longer the young pain in her neck. I was a great babysitter for her three boys. So our friendship blossomed anew. She was now a wife and mother of three. I not only helped with babysitting I would help her husband with tasks around the house. She was happy and the boys were filed with curiosity and wonder. I must admit that I felt honored that she allowed me to sit for her boys.

As in life change is always something that occurs. Her family was no different. Divorce separated her and her husband and she had to raise the boys by herself. I was a family man by this time so it was much more difficult to babysit for her. However with some help from the family she raised her boys into fine young men.

If you have not guessed by now, I will tell you who I am writing about. It is my sister Marianne! Yes I may joke and tease about her but I sure am proud of her. She is a wonderful sister and I was very lucky to be her brother

Happy Birthday to my sister Marianne!

Marize oats, Just think how old you will be next year at this time…

Mari Anne (The Oldest)

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My oldest sister Mari Anne spent her youngest days spoiled by her grandparents Sam and Jessie.  Our father was serving in the Navy, and our mother was helping our Uncle Charley at the shoe repair shop.  I was still just a dream in the minds of our parents.  Mari Anne on the other hand was receiving lots of love from Grandma Jessie and Papa Sam.  During this time Mari Anne learned a great deal of the Italian language from her grandparents.

Well enough about Mari Anne’s early years… who cares.  Once my father returned from serving in the Navy my mother quit working at the shoe repair shop.  It was now time for my parents along with their young daughter Mari Anne to restart their family life.  Soon after this family was united a miracle occurred.  My mother told my dad that another family member was on the way.  Mari Anne was no longer going to hold the only child status.  Not only was she to lose her one and only status, she would be converted into a baby sitter for her wonderful brother the first-born Italian boy born into the family, me.

Life for me was great for my first year of life.  My mother treated me as the prince of the family.  My father looked at me and saw that his dream had arrived.  Mari Anne was delegated to her room and learned the meaning of “speak just when spoken too”.  I was royalty and I had nothing but a wonderful life ahead of me.  Then without notice my world changed.  Mom was way too busy with my younger brother Sammy who was born with a tiny breathing problem.  I was delegated to the baby sitter, my sister Mari Anne.  She yanked the golden spoon out of my mouth and my life quickly changed forever.

I remember her taking me into the closet and telling me scary stories.  These stories were so scary that for most of my life I believe that if my hands or feet hang off my bed a giant crocodile that waits under my bed will bite the dangling part of my body off.  Mari Anne just loved to scare me as much as possible.  Not only did she tell me scary stories she is the one who told me about the giant crocodile under my bed.  Even now there are times when I awake at night thinking about the crocodile under my bed.

As I grow older and started to attend grammar school my teachers would inform Mari Anne of my minor discrepancies.  Mari Anne would go directly home and tell my mother everything the teacher told her.  In fact, she would embellish the story on my event at school in much the same manner she embellished the scary stories she told to scare me.  Mom never seemed to ask me for my side of the event.  I would just be sent to my room until my father came home from work.  As I sat on my bed waiting for my father Mari Anne was just outside my room laughing.

I guess I was lucky to have my older sister Mari Anne.  Without her help my mother and father would not have known about my minor mistakes attending school.  Lucky for me high school was a boy’s school so Mari Anne could not attend and report back to mom and dad about any mistake made by me.

I have a lot of stories about my oldest sister Mari Anne.  Keep reading my blog and I am sure a few more stories will be shared.

More Saturday Chores

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I do not want to leave my readers hanging so after I had cleaned most of the room I had to share with my brother I went outside and started my front yard tasks.  I would rake all of the leaves that fell from the tree.  This was most difficult in the fall when the leaves would cover the lawn and garden area at between two and three feet. (Honest, there were that many dead leaves)  I had to trim the lawn everywhere the lawn ended.  I had to trim around each sprinkler and there were lots and lots of sprinkler heads.  Then I would have to cut the lawn.  When I first started cutting the lawn a push mower was all we had to complete the task.  This lawn mower was only powered by one young Italian boy.  I do remember that my father did purchase a power mower but as I remember I must have been in my late teens.

At the completion of the lawn tasks I would move on to weeding the flower gardens.  On my hands and knees I would look for and pluck out any weeds that started to grow.  Completing both the lawns and the garden I would check out one side yard to see if the hedge needed to be trimmed.  I remember needing to trim the hedges at least four times each year.  The other side yard was either filled with Calla Lilies or weeds depending on the time of the year.  With this yard filled with Calla Lilies there was nothing for me to do.  However, when the Calla Lilies died and the weeds took over, then into the side yard I went with my shovel in hand.  I had to turn over all the soil in that side yard.  That task would kill the weeds and somehow strengthen the Lilies for next year.  All I remember was that it was very hard work.

By this time my brother had crawled out of his bed and started to eat some breakfast.  I knew this because it was at this time I would enter the house for a glass of water.  There he would be enjoying his late breakfast and facing all of his chores still needing to be completed.  After drinking my glass of water I would head back outside to sweep up and return the tools to their proper place.  I was always hopeful that my brother would ask me to just leave then in the back yard so he could use them.  I do not remember him ever asking.

As you can see by this little story my mother and father expected more from me than they expected from my little messy brother.  In fact, mom and dad expected more from me than they did from both of my sisters.  I never disappointed either my mom or dad because I was the good young man they could depend on to complete his chores.  Not to sound like I was just picking on my brother Sam, two years before I could apply for my driver’s license my dad required me to wash and clean his car once a week for one hundred and four weeks.  My sister Mari Anne, my brother Sam, and my baby sister Jessica did not have to wash and clean my dad’s car.  See how much my parents could depend on me!