Kind & Loving

Recently I was reading an article and the question was posed, “How has the world changed since you were a child”.

I thought for a long time about it. What I eventually came up with both shocked and saddened me.

I think the biggest difference is that people are not as kind or as loving as they were in the 1960s.

I recall people being kind. I recall people being allowed to have a difference of opinion without them becoming arch enemies.

I saw people taking a lost child under their wing. A friend’s parents going out of their way to make their child’s friend part of something positive.

I had many adults in our community theater treat me so warmly and I felt part of something good.

I was brought up in a multicultural community and I enjoyed learning about and knowing about things that were different from mine.

I loved that people judged me for the person I am and not the color of my skin, the church I attended, or my political affiliation.

People were kind to me. People were loving toward me, and when I rode my bicycle all around town, people waved at me and smiled.

I miss that. It is my hope that one day, the Country can return to civility.


Christmas Past

Recently, I read a story a man had written where he fussed and fumed about his father never buying him any good Christmas gift. Well, I shook my head in disbelief.

You see, my Dad was a really busy man. He taught school 5 days a week, he taught piano after school to so many of the kids I went to school with. He also played the organ at the local Congregational Church, was the director of the Senior and Junior Choirs and also directed the Handbell Choir. Each year Dad directed a Christmas Carol sing on our town’s Village Green. Not to mention playing the organ for many weddings and funerals.

So each year Dad would go down to the local Pharmacy or 7/11 Grocery Store, whichever was open on Christmas morning and did his Christmas Shopping for us.

img514Here I am, at the age of 12, on Christmas Morning with the gifts that Dad got for me. Notecards, a horoscope book, hat and gloves, a little kitty and two dolls.

I wish I could sit down with that man who complained and tell him how lucky I feel that my Dad went out before I woke on Christmas to get these things for me. He did it every year. Sometimes I got life-saver candies, sometimes some Christmas candy. Sometimes chapsticks. Sometimes a teen magazine. But he shopped on his own and bought these things for me all by himself.

My Dad did the very best he could, all on his own, and I feel like I was pretty lucky!

Mom did the big shopping. And it was pretty good too. Mom also cooked the best Christmas breakfasts and Christmas dinners. She was a traditional Mum.

But all in all, looking back now, I think I was pretty blessed all around. I didn’t have to have my Dad buy me the world to show me that he loved me. His Christmas Day shopping sprees mean more to me now than he will ever know.


What I Did This Past Weekend

Miss Marple 2

Our host is Gattina. Come join us and tell us what YOU did this past weekend! After all, you never know when you will need an alibi!


The last week I simply have not slept well. Thus, all weekend, it was much the same. Me crashing late at night and then up with the dogs at the stroke of 7 AM. Have I mentioned, I am not a morning person?

Coffee and quiet has been the saving grace. Except then Sunday morning I woke to a long, hard, thunderstorm! None of the dogs would venture out, not even Fritz, who will almost always go out.

But, let’s work our way back to Saturday.

I spent most of the day running errands, doing laundry, and cleaning the kitchen area. Why is it that I cannot ever seem to get it done? I feel like I am always cleaning or doing laundry. The cooking part, I love, so no complaints there.

Around three we got a call from our next door neighbors, for a last minute cookout. With Lamb, Spanakopita and salad. You would have to be crazy (or my cousin) to turn down a meal like that! We, naturally accepted!!!

Since I hate to arrive without something in hand, I quickly whipped up a gingerbread cake. It was a new mix I was trying and all I can say is ‘WOW’! It was a mix I’d gotten at the King Arthur Museum and shop and it was fantastic! I need to get a few more boxes of that to have on hand just for this sort of last minute cake! It took me 45 minutes and  at the end of the meal half of the sheet cake was gone!

Then, as we were cleaning up two families arrived with their kids. I think there were 5 kids, but 5 kids under the age of 10 made it feel like much more! It all made me smile.

The adults also were quite interesting. A man who owns a gym in Pensacola, FL and  Erik and Ellie Weihenmayer. Erik holds the record for being the first blind man to climb Mount Everest and Mount Ararat. He has written several books and has not allowed his blindness to limit the possibilities in his life. His amazing wife, is a sweet delightful woman, who treats Erik like anyone else. I found myself feeling awkward at one point when we said good-bye, and I wish I was so cool that I could be as terrific as his wife.

Their two kids were also delightful, and I was so please to become acquainted with their entire family!

You see, it made me realize that we are the only ones capable of ‘letting ourselves down’!

The night ended very late, and since we all know my brain goes to sleep at 9:30 PM, when we got in at 11 o’clock, I was totally wiped out.

I was up early due to the hard rain storm. Once again, Hubby slept in, and I kept the dogs quiet for a while.

After Hubby woke, we did breakfast and I started the laundry part of my day and the cleaning.

Now he is getting the nets ready for the cherry trees and I am continuing to work on meals, laundry and writing. The usual!

My cousins, Janet and Dave stopped by with both Rainbow and lake trout! Yay! It will be for dinner tonight and again in a few more days. I just love fresh fish!

The week ahead will be a busy one. Hubby will be staying home with the pups, while I drive down to see my sister and my mother. I’ll also be going to a baby shower for my nephew’s and niece in law’s twin boys. They were born on May 31 at 32 weeks and are both doing well.

Have a wonderful week!

Memories of Murdock Street

When I was a little girl my grandparents lived in Brighton, Massachusetts. They lived there until I was 10 years old, and then moved down to Cape Cod to be near us.
In my mind I can still see my grandparents house in Brighton. It was large with a down stairs apartment and then their part of the house on the second floor and then on the third floor another apartment. In the down stairs apartment lived my grandfather’s sister Hedwig and her husband Albert. What I remember most about them was Hedwig’s fabulous cooking. It seemed she always had cookies and hot cocoa when I would sneak down the back stairway to visit her.
The middle floor was my grandparents part of the house. It was very large with a screened porch in the front, a phone on a table in the hallway, and then a big living room which led into a large dining room with a bay window, I often sat there looking out of the windows. This led into a kitchen with an old fashioned pantry. I loved this little room because I could climb up on the counter and find cookies. (yes, I admit, I am a cookie monster!)
Off the kitchen was a hallway that led to a big bathroom, and then my grandparent’s bedroom next to that. I remember going into their bedroom in the early morning and climbing into bed with them for cuddles. Papa Fred and Grandma Honey really loved their grandchildren.
Upstairs was where my uncle, his wife and their two kids lived. Originally this was where my mother and uncle had their rooms when they were kids. When we stayed there I would sleep in my cousin’s room.
Being the baby of the family (both of my first cousins were 8 and 10 years older than me, and my brother was 7 years older and Mel is 5 years older), I was always the first one sent to bed. I hated that until I learned that if I snuck quietly into my aunt and uncles room I could open the floor grate and listen to the adults below.
My memories of Brighton are good ones. My grandparents were both still in good health and family parties were always a lot of fun. Back then when they had the parties for the family, everyone would come and I got to see my grandfather’s brother’s and their families. I remember once telling Papa’s brother how much he looked like my Papa and he laughed heartily.
Grandma’s older sister Tilly was always there too. She was my Godmother. She was always quick with a smile and often would play ragtime songs on the piano.
Tilly’s son was George and his wife my “Uncle Betty” (that I have written so much about), and their kids,
Janet and Larry.
Janet and I have always been close. She is just a year older than me and we were always inseparable at these family events. Larry was a year younger and I was grateful to him because I wasn’t the baby when he was around.
Funny how you can remember things from so long ago and find much that pleasures the mind and soul. So many of those people are gone now, and yet, in my mind I can walk through that house and they all come to life again.
Wonderful, warm memories for a Friday.

Maribeth Jewel

I was born 47 years ago today, at 12:01 PM. My mother says I tried to kill her even then, as I weighed 9 pounds and 1 ounce and as she is barely 5 feet tall this was truly difficult for her. See? All mother’s use guilt, it’s just the way it is. Of course back then, in 1958, they knocked her out for the birth, so that she went in, went to sleep and woke up to “Mrs. Stevens, wake up. You have a little girl, and meat loaf for dinner”.
I was a pretty baby, blonde with brown eyes, and apparently I grew quickly and steadily, although there is no documentation to this fact. Being a third child, I have a baby book with my name written in it, but the rest is blank. There are about four newborn pictures of me and then suddenly I am two. Such is the life of a third child!
I had a brother, Richard who was 7 years older and of course my beloved sister Melodie, who is 5 years older. I have always teased her that I was her very own living doll. She remembers coming home from school and running in to see her new baby!
After I was born, my parents hung up their baby making shoes and I was their last. I wonder at times what it would have been like to have had a younger brother or sister? But apparently I scared my parents enough, that they decided to quit while they were ahead.

Memories of Doing The Dishes

I started doing the dishes when I was really little. I know this because I remember having to stand on a kitchen chair to reach the sink. My mother hated all forms of house work, (she still does) so my sister and I were given chores as soon as she could get us to hold an iron or wash a dish.
I hated ironing. I had a stool I sat on and I remember burning myself more times than I care to remember.

But I loved doing the dishes because it was the time that my sister and I were together. Melodie would tell me stories, and we would tell each other jokes, and quite often we would sing songs. Especially songs you could sing in a round. I loved those. This one was my favorite:
White coral bells
Upon a slender stalk
Lilies of the valley
Deck my garden walk
Oh, don’t you wish
That you could
hear them ring.
That will happen only
when the fairies sing.

In the morning I’m off to see my big sister for a few days. I’m looking forward to it. We just don’t get together as often as we should. I think my New Years Resolution in 2006 is to see her more often.


I was thinking back to the days of my youth. I grew up in Falmouth, Massachusetts, before the rapid growth and over building. Back when it was a small town and a great place to live and grow up.
The first house I lived in was on Clipper Lane. It was a nice house and I had my own room. But more often than not I would find myself sleeping in my sister’s bed in the morning. Nightmares and sleepwalking.
I had a brother and a sister. My brother and I weren’t very close. My sister and I were and still are. My brother was much older then me and I think he just sort of resented this cute little kid running around the house trying to be a part of everything.
My room was over the kitchen and the back door. I could see everyone come in or go out and I could also listen to the voices of my parents talking at the table there. Sometimes good talk, sometimes bad. But I could always know what was happening.
The great thing about my room were the storm windows. They were the old fashioned kind that were fit on for the winter and then taken off and a screen would be put on for the summer.

Continue reading “Youth”