Posts Tagged With: reminiscing

COUSINS AT THE ELKS CLUB

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The mystery animal that made a quick pass by the motor home window a couple of days ago, turned out to be a groundhog. Thank you Virginia. Taking its place was this perky robin. Every day, she comes and I tried and tried to get a good picture of her, and finally, a decent shot. Robins move so darned fast.

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As I go yammering on about pictures, yesterday we spent most of the day with Jim’s closest cousin Simone and her husband Pat. They grew up together and share a lot  of childhood memories.

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She brought photos of her daughter’s wedding, which gave Jim an opportunity to see a bunch of family members he hasn’t seen in years.

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We went for lunch at a good Italian Restaurant called Timbers. Then we went to her daughter’s house. She lives in Oakland not far from the  Elks Club.

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Her daughter, Elizabeth is the inheritor of the pictures and family history and what a character she is. It has been placed with the right person. She remembers many summers staying with her grandparents. She remembers all the funny family stories, and, between she and Simone, I learned more about Jim’s family than ever. It was fun.

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When we returned to the Elks Lodge, it was open, and Lew gave me a tour of the place.

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Gregg is their “resident” master gardener and he was working on the landscaping around the place and then it started to rain.

We returned to the motor home and just snacked for dinner.  We had to move the motor home because the puddles began to surround it until it grew into a small lake. It is raining, still as I write, but it smells fresh and clean outside.

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SIBLING CHRISTMAS

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My sister Dawn spent Christmas with her immediate family in Chico and drove the three hours to my house on Dec. 28th. Brother Norman is my homeless brother and we all get together once a year at Christmas.  Norman is very political and shared all of the letters he has written to various newspapers and congress-people. We played Rummikub endlessly, it seemed with much fun and hilarity.

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Yesterday, the rest of the family arrived, Clark, Bill, and Theresa, Clarks Finance. Bill lost his bid for congress. Without my glasses on, I didn’t realize I caught everyone with their mouths full.

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We don’t exchange gifts, but Dawn bought me a shirt she couldn’t resist.IMG_3208

She knows I’m an avid fan of Downton Abbey. Mary from Downton Abbey is the figure on the right. If you don’t know the program, well, it may be hard to understand. We had a lot of fun, remembering the program which is set to begin a third series January 16th. I will miss it because I’ll be on the road with Jim.

 

 

IMG_3205We talked politics and solved the problems of the world in four hours. We reminisced about being raised with politics at dinner every night when we were growing up. We all have different solutions, it seems. We talked about our thinning ranks.

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Dawn reminded me she will be 80 years old on her next birthday.

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Norman is 66. Bill is 75. Clark is the youngest at 57. We’ve lost two brothers, Mark and Dan. So, we remember them and tell family stories. There is always a new one not everyone has heard before.  It is time well spent. Today, I un-decorate and say good-bye to another eventful year as I close the house, (mostly the refrigerator) and pack my bags and prepare to meet Jim. (Maybe I can hide the five pounds I put on over Thanksgiving and Christmas.)

 

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COUSINS AND MEAT PIE

We all face that time when we become the older generation and we only have cousins left. The memories must be kept alive and passed down or who would know that Aunt Rose wore a Dolly Parton wig? You mean that wasn’t here real hair? (That’s Mike.)

I remember she came into the restaurant where I worked and none of the waitresses would wait on her because she was so demanding. (Ricky & Sue.)

Do you remember the year Camello and Jeanette put on the movie of us as kids meeting Santa while we were playing Santa with our kids?

Oh yeah!  The year I played Santa Claus, I had to wear extra pillows. (Lucy)

Holy Cow! You traveled 7,000 miles in your motor home this year and that’s only half way? (Terri.)

Cousins are fun. They welcomed me like a long lost sister even as I struggled to keep new names straight with new faces. (Danny.)

Camello and Jeanette were celebrating their 57th anniversary. When asked how they met, Camello told us serious stories about his difficult life in Italy during the war, his parents killed, bombings, hunger. And then,  his transition to America and a new life. So much history and great memories in one family.

I met almost all of Jim’s (matriarchal) cousins and identified with the fun of slogging down memory lane, telling stories on each other and laughing a lot.

Earlier in the day, Jim’s cousins Jackie and Ray stopped by the motor home and brought pictures and spent a couple hours reminiscing. Jackie has two grown biological children, and 9 adopted kids. Talk about a powerful accomplishment. She is the keeper of the genealogy and gave Jim some paperwork to help him keep track of everyone. (Men are often not good about that kind of stuff.)

Later that night, we had another great feast with Bob and Donna, entertainers extraordinaire. We ate the two “different” meat pies, French and Portuguese. Both delicious but we gave the Dave Souza meat pie the edge.

The difference between a meal and a feast is the company you keep.

Recipe later.
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