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Mathew and Anna

Marianne and Jerry

J and L


Mathew sent me some photos and I would like to share them with all of you.  Mathew is my friend here in Aptos, California.  Mathew is a special friend to my niece Jackie who also lives here in Aptos.  He has been a good friend to Jackie’s daughters Morgan and Keaton.  Mathew is a talented individual who has used his skills to remodel our two bathrooms.  He loves his dog and treats him as a member of the family.  I am a lucky person to know Mathew.

I hope you enjoy these photos as much as I.

Keyton, Mathew, Morgan

Jackie, Mathew

Grandma’s BIG Surprise

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On another day, I do not remember if it was before the incident of the figs or after, I was visiting my Grandma Jessie.  As usual, I was in the kitchen sitting at the table talking to my Grandma. She spoke to me in both Italian and a little English.  However even though I did not speak Italian I could understand my Dolly.  I never wondered how she understood me because I only spoke in English.  But somehow we were always able to communicate and we never had a problem.
Grandma Jessie had just placed some coffee (milk with a taste of coffee) and of course her home-made Italian donuts in front of me to enjoy when she told me she had a surprise.  But before I could see the surprise I had to eat my donut and drink my coffee.  I ate quickly and drank my coffee fast and soon I was ready for the surprise.  Even though I was a young man I was excited about the surprise my Grandma had for me.

Into the formal dining room we went and there before my eyes was the statue of the Blessed Mother of Jesus Christ.  Yes, her surprise was a statue of Mary, the mother of God. I just stood there looking at the statue.
However, this was not just another statue of Mary, it was an old statue of Mary and it rested on the floor of the dining room with the top of Mary’s head almost reaching the ceiling.  It was a giant statue of Mary and it stood almost eight feet tall.  I was spellbound.  For once in my life I could not speak.  All I could see was this giant statue of Mary.  Catching my senses I asked “Where did you get the statue?”  All the time I was thinking why would my Grandma want something like that?  Yet at the same time knowing why my Dolly would want the statue.
She told me how she got the statue from the church and that one of the priests gave it to her. She was so proud of her statue. She pointed to it and touched it telling me how beautiful it is and how wonderful.  I could see the sparkle in her eyes as she told me both the story of how it became hers, and then the story of the statue.  The next thing I knew we were saying the rosary in front of the statue. My Grandma’s face was all aglow and I knew that she was both proud and pleased that the statue was hers.
I cannot count the times I prayed with my Dolly in front of the statue of Mary, but I am sure it was more than just a few times. I can tell you how the statue scared me one night when I slept over her house and I got up from bed to get a glass of water.  Walking into the dining room I was scared awake after catching sight of the giant statue of Mary and me thinking that it was something else.  It did not scare me as much as the crocodile my sister Marianne told me about in fairy land.  You remember the crocodile that slept under my bed at night.  Waiting to bite my arm or leg off just as soon as it dangled from the bed.  But the statue of Mary did scare me.

(Note: to Daddy’s “Peanut” – I see your memory is fading fast, your comment implied I was not the best driver, but I was!)

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…

Something New

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Well I have told you something about my brother and sisters so I thought it would be nice to tell you something about my early years. Based on input from my mother, Godmother, aunt Grace, grandma’s Jessie and Mary, and the young girl who liked me a lot in kindergarten, I was a handsome young boy with a wonderful outlook on life. Excluding my brother and sisters, everyone wanted to play with me. I was polite and very well-mannered. I was the young boy with the future of a prince ahead of him. Once during this early growing time my oldest sister, who was many years older than I, and my younger brother, who was just two years younger than I, were taken by my father to my grandma and grandpa, Jessica and Sam’s home. Something was happening and it seemed to this little four-year-old boy that it was something of major importance. Of course, before my dad left us, he asked me to be brave and to make sure my sister and brother were good and behaved well after he left. Yes, I was asked to take care of my baby brother and my older sister. It was easy for this four-year-old boy to entertain his baby brother. We could play games, climb the tree, explored the basement and the garage, and of course we could tease the chickens. Spending time at Grandma Jessie and Grandpa Sam’s house was always wonderful. Sometimes my uncle Leonard would be at the house and he was lots of fun to play with. Anyway, with Sam and me enjoying our day at grandma’s house, my oldest sister Marianne was sitting on the back steps. Marianne was always worrying about something. Sam and I wanted her to play with us but she was way too busy worrying. She did not stop worrying even after grandma Jessie sat down next to her and tried to let her know there was nothing to worry about. As the mature young man who was the oldest boy child of the family. It was my duty to take charge. I told my brother, Sam, to just ignore our oldest worrying sister Marianne. We can have fun with our games, and other things to do’s. So we played and every so often just laughed at our oldest sister. I do not know how long my father was gone, but I am sure it was at least for a few days. When he returned mom was with him and in her arms was a funny little tiny baby. At first all I could see was a funny face, hiding in the blankets. Her eyes were closed but just like her sister, her mouth was open. Our family of five was now a family of six! Jessica (daddy’s little peanut) had arrived and the life’s of the first five of us would never be the same.