Happy Birthday to my Mom

She was born Rosamond Ruth Prussman, to parents Frederick and Mary on June 28, 1929. She had a much loved older brother, Robert, and a cousin George, (who grew up like a brother to her). In fact, until the day they passed, they really adored each other.

Mom’s brother, Robert, and his wife Cynthia.

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Aunt Betty, Larry, Janet, and Uncle George.

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She met my Dad when she was 13 and she was dancing and my Dad played the piano. I asked Dad once what made him look twice at Mom and he said “It was a bright red sweater that she was wearing! She looked so beautiful in it! I was hooked!”

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A collage of their life together.

They married early on, and Dad finished getting his teaching degree. They moved to Monument Beach,  Massachusetts,

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and lived in a little white cottage in the Burtonwood section, where my brother, Richard, and my sister Melodie were born.

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Then they moved to Falmouth, Massachusetts, and shortly after, Mom had me.

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My parent’s stayed married for well over 60 years.

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Mom was with him until the end of his life, and really until the end of hers too.  She never remarried. I think in her mind and her heart she was always Jimmie’s girl!

Her last days were spent, not in fear of dying, no, Mom knew Jesus Christ and she knew she would see Dad again. She just worried about Mel and me and all of our cousins.

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Me, Mel & Janet with Mom.

This was the last time we were together before Mom was diagnosed with Liver Cancer. It was a wedding. Mom was so happy to be with us all. I almost didn’t go because of my facial surgery, but I am so glad I did now. Seeing her so happy and sharing that day with her, left us all with wonderful memories.

The last time I saw her, at Hospice Care, Mel and I, sat there, with Janet and the four of us were talking quietly. I asked Mom how we would know if she was with us. She smiled and said, “You will see butterflies, and that will be me.” This really surprised me because she always had related to beautiful flowers in the past.

But you know what? We see beautiful butterflies all the time. And we smile!

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Happy Birthday, Mom!

MomWe  Love you and we miss you!

Why Tuesday Is The Best Day Of My Week

During this horrid Covid-19 lock-down there were not too many days I would have termed as my good days. It was a very narrowly lived life. I fixed three meals a day and would go out once a week to collect mail and groceries, before racing home and jumping into the shower to de-germ myself.

My State has been doing very well. We have been on the way down with new cases, with only 15 new patients on Monday and Tuesday. Best of all, there have been no deaths in a few days!

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Last Tuesday my back row group of WW Attendees, my pals, my gals, my friends, all met up at a local park in my town. We get there early and bring our own lawn chair to sit on. We share the Big Lake (Lake Winnipesaukee) with the ducks and geese and the Ultra-Lite Planes, and we sit there talking and smiling at each other, while we enjoy being together once again.

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Most of us have been devoted friends since 2008. We gathered a few more into our group and we share our ups and downs and struggles, and best of all, when the chips are down for one of us, the others are there!

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In fact, after my Staph Infection, I quit WW. I told the girls I wasn’t coming back. I was miserable, depressed, and in pain, both physically and emotionally.

My girls arranged a lunch with me and took me out. They encouraged me, with their love and concern to come back. I realized I didn’t just need my Class, I needed them. So I went back.

From 2017 until 2019 I didn’t do too well in Class. But I never missed one meeting unless I was sick. Wednesday Morning = WW Class.

I wonder if WW will reopen our Class? I’m thinking that they may not. It isn’t that the Class wasn’t big enough, we were 50-75 people strong year-round. But the one strike against us is that we are all middle-aged women, and we do not fit WW’s new Branding. Too bad because there are a lot of us 60+-year-olds who have been loyal members for years.

Anyway, We’re going to keep meeting at the Lake for the Summer, and will figure out what to do in the Autumn when things begin getting colder around here. But, for now, we have each other once again!

Maribeth Dackel

TBT: My Dad

It’s fun to look at my Dad in this picture. He was in his late teens before graduation from High School when he signed up in the Navy.

Since Dad was pretty young, my grandfather had to sign papers so Dad could join the Navy. Dad wanted to serve overseas, but he spent most of his time in the service State-side. He did secretarial work and also played the organ for all church services on the base as well as the funerals.

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Dad was short a few credits when he returned and he made up the classes he had missed and graduated from High School and was accepted at college.

He and Mom married at about this time. They’d been sweethearts since they were 13 & 14 years old and in the end, they were married over 60 years.

Dad graduated from The New England Conservatory of Music. And after that, they moved to Cape Cod where they lived nearly all of their married life and raised us, three kids.

1452302_10204723563262019_5891527753400129170_nAnd yes, the littlest pip-squeak is me with one of my Mom’s horrible hair-cuts.

Dad taught school, music, and he played the organ at several churches in town for Sunday services, weddings and funerals. He also gave lessons, and during our busy summer months, Dad worked as a Police Officer. Mostly he worked on the desk, answering phones, typing reports, and dispatching officers.

Dad was a man in motion really. I recall very few times growing up when Dad wasn’t busy with doing things that helped others.

I’m thinking about him this week because Sunday is Father’s Day. How I miss him, and his corny jokes and wicked sense of humor.

Happy Father’s Day Daddy!

TBT: The Cousins

Family

This picture was taken back in 2011.

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This is my family. In green, my cousin, Janet. In yellow, my sister, Melodie, In lavender, my cousin Rikki and in blue, me. We’re New England’s version of Steel Magnolias.

We have all been through so much in our lives, but we are a tough bunch and never give up!

We have a cousin (not pictured) and he is the only man in our little group. He is dearly loved, although he was not with us on this day.

Lobster Fest 2019

Today my cousins Janet and Larry, and Janet’s husband Dave came up for our annual Lobster Fest. They stopped to pick up the Lobster, steamers and corn all fresh from the sea and the garden, on their way up here and they arrived by 10 o’clock.

I’d been cleaning and puttering all morning and I’d managed to set the table, put out the dishes and I got the pots we would need too.

69021047_377893962922778_543479174451429376_nThe Lobsters before being cooked!

When Dave and I unpacked the loot, we worked together deciding which lobsters to cook in which pot and when and where to cook the corn and steamers. For those who do not know, Steamers are Clams.

69609880_809810296087837_4730889726171545600_nMy cousin Janet took this picture of Dave and me after we put everything we had cooked on the table!

Dave and I cook so well together. Since we had 5 pots that all needed full flame on the burners, we did a bit of juggling and in about 40 minutes (By this time it was about 12:45) we served up the luncheon. If anyone left here feeling hungry, it was their own fault.

20190818_125655I took this one of my plate.

We each had a two-pound Lobster, Corn on the Cob, Steamers, and Potato Salad. I never really appreciated the size of a two-pound Lobster until I found myself unable to finish mine!

68496064_495298354551991_733756336017244160_nJanet took this picture of her two-pound Lobster! Just look at that sucker!

I cleaned the rest of my Lobster, and the rest of Jack’s Lobster and we have enough for a nice meal tomorrow. I really must be getting old if I am unable to finish my Lobster!

20190818_125705My homemade potato salad with eggs. A real hit today!

One really great thing about cooking the meal with Dave was that at the end of the meal, Janet washed all the cooking pots. I managed to get all the other dishes into the dishwasher, but all those pots! She made quick work of them, and she told me that she really likes washing dishes. I’m thankful. At this point in the day, I was getting pretty tired.

So Lobster Fest 2019 is over and a success! I love eating Lobster, but more than that, I love getting together with my family! Thanks, Janet, Dave, and Larry!

The Birthday Bash!

My trip down to the State of Connecticut was highly successful! I went down to celebrate my sister’s birthday, and with the help of #2 son and his sweet girlfriend, I was able to pull off a surprise party for her on her big day!

I come up with great ideas, but in this case, it would have been impossible to pull off without Tim and Erica.

My job was simple. Supply the things I could hide, and get Melodie out of her house for the day!

67266316_355217625172240_1496811903840681984_nMe with my sister, Melodie.

Between the two of them, they decorated my sister’s house, helped me come up with a menu and Tim ordered and picked up all the food. Erica handled the decorations and she also ordered the cake!

I cannot begin to tell you what a fabulous party and meal that it was. My sister’s oldest son and his wife and their three children came, as well as Tim’s eldest son. His younger son was working.

Now here is where things got dicey. I knew that I wanted to have Eggplant Parmesan for one of the two main courses. We decided on Sausage and Peppers for the other.

I was pretty convinced that there would be a ton of the Eggplant Parm leftover (hoping!), but that entree on the buffet went quickly and there was just a small bit left at the end.

It was simply the best Eggplant Parmesan I have ever had. In fact, the next time I go down I want to order one and bring it home to freeze into sections, to enjoy over a couple of months.

Here is a picture of the Buffet Table. Isn’t it just beautiful?

20190723_175704The Eggplant is the first item at the bottom of the picture! My mouth is drooling like a St Bernard just looking at this!

The Sausage and Peppers were also great as was the salad and the Italian bread!

We sat out on their deck and enjoyed our meals and watched Melodie open her gifts.

67098028_350385052540939_4945848991045648384_nMel’s daughter-inlaw, Karan, me, her husband, Ron, and Melodie.

20190723_175639Everyone signed a seashell and the cake was in the center. It was the most amazing cake and decorations for a “Beach themed Birthday Bash!”

My sister is really good at doing this for everyone else, in fact, she even threw a surprise birthday party for me! So it was time for us to treat her.

67389581_359770604706293_908556123370422272_nErica, Melodie, and Karan.

67232283_401409527144966_721887215369584640_nMel and her two sons. Mike, left and Tim, right.

I wish I’d gotten pictures of her grandchildren, but it was a crazy happy time and I was not thinking. I will tell you that everyone had a great time and the kids were all super happy to be at a party!

67091920_487194112110704_3065550860483297280_n (1)Melodie and her husband of nearly 48 years, Ron.

So once again, a Happy Birthday to my beloved sister, Melodie. I wish you many, many more, and I also hope we can continue to share them together!

Happy Birthday, Melodie!

Today is my sister’s birthday. I am down with her to celebrate in Connecticut, while Jack stays home with the doggies!

I wanted to tell you all what a wonderful sister Melodie is. She is five and a half years older than me, and I was her “first baby”. She cared for me like a little mother and was always more like a mother to me, than a sister.

Mel is one of the kindest women that I know. She always has a smile and a warm greeting for those around her. She loves her family with her whole heart and rejoices in their successes and comforts them in their sorrows.

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Ron and Melodie

She has been married to her husband, Ron for 48 years. They met at the age of 13 at summer camp and wrote to each other for many years before their wedding in November of 1971.

So today, on her sixty-sixth Birthday I want to wish my beloved sister, Melodie a very Happy Birthday!

Mel & Me

So by the time you read this, I will be on my way to Connecticut to my sister’s house. I haven’t seen my sister in almost a year and so I am really looking forward to this visit.

31564165_10156103190411183_6175445862433423360_nMelodie and Me.

It usually takes me 4 hours and 15 minutes to get to her place. I am hoping that the traffic won’t be bad and I will breeze on down. I’m taking the back way across New Hampshire first to Vermont and then to Massachusetts and then to Connecticut.

I’m taking my Ipod so I can listen to and sing along with my favorite songs, and I have a new cell phone holder, so I can have my phone available to use as my GPS with an App called Waze.

Spending time with my sister! It doesn’t get much better than this!

46436778_364378414135206_4687094382740897792_nMel and Me.

The excitement builds!

It’s All In The Family

I started looking at family pictures recently and when I saw this picture of my Grandfather Prussman’s sister, Katchen, I was blown away at the family resemblance with both my mother and me.

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This is Katchen at about 4-5 years old. She had chestnut brown hair and big brown eyes. She was Papa’s baby sister and he adored her. She was born in Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany, came to Boston as a child, married and tragically died in the Influenza Epidemic of 1918.

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This is my Mom. Light brown hair, dark brown eyes, and a simple and sweet expression. Much like her Aunt Katchen. Mom was a shy woman, although many people would disagree with this. She volunteered for everything and she tried very hard to make people happy with her cooking and her way of welcoming people into her home.

img077And this is me. Lighter brown hair, and dark brown eyes. Papa often mentioned his sister Katchen to me, telling me that I had chocolate brown eyes just like his sister, and Grandma Honey remarked that I looked very much like her. I never thought about this until I held the three pictures together and I saw the familial link.

Since I never met Katchen I can only wonder about what she was like. She was best friends with my grandmother and very close until Katchen’s rather untimely death. I imagine that Katchen must have been a lot of fun since Grandma was.

Happy Birthday, Grandma Honey

1. She was born February 4, 1898. Her parents George and Sarah named her Mary Francis Daniell.

2. She had two sisters, Sarah Mathilda, the oldest, whom we all called Tilly, and Marionette, who chose to move away and never have much to do with any of the family.


Marionette, Tilly, seated and my very blond grandmother.

3. She met my Grandfather when she was 8 or 9 years old. His family moved into her neighborhood and Gram became best friends with his sister, Katchen. Gram taught them to speak English, as they were from Germany and didn’t speak a bit of English when they arrived.

4. Papa fell instantly in love with her and pursued her all through their teens. (Today we would call this stalking! LOL)

5. Her father insisted she finish college before she even considered marriage. He wanted Papa to go to college too. And he did!

6. They married right after graduation on June 1, 1921, and were married for over 65 years before she passed away.

7. They had one son, Robert and my mother, Rosamond. They always thought of Tilly’s son George as their own too. They adored him.

8. Gram taught school in the Boston Public Schools. She taught 5th grade and she also taught Special Education.

9. She was a member of the DAR, The Eastern Star and worked for the Christian Science Monitor in Boston.

10. She was always busy working for charities and I can’t recall a time until she was very old that she actually rested.

11. She adored her grandchildren, there were five of us, Carl, Erica, my brother Richard, sister Melodie and yours truly!

12. She made the best cookies and also warm milk with honey and a pat of butter in it. To this day it calms me.

13. Sadly, she passed December 2, 1984. I feel lucky to have had such a great and wonderful grandmother.

14. So, Happy Birthday to my dearest Grandma Honey in Heaven. I miss you each and every day, but carry your love with me everywhere!