Missing My Friend, Candy

On Thanksgiving 2018, my friend Candy was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. I will never forget the night she called me. She had just gone to a walk-in clinic for her cough. They x-rayed her lungs and found the masses.

She called me as she sat in her car in the parking lot. She knew. I kept trying to explain away what the doctors had found, but Candy being a nurse knew.

July 15 13 005How lucky I was to have been her friend all of those years. We could go for a while not talking on the phone and then one of us would call the other and it was like we just talked yesterday. It was always easy to talk to Candy. She understood me in so many ways, that no one else did.

1471833_10152064816746499_671583404_nWhen Candy and her husband visited us back in 2013, they both fell in love with our Greta. So much so that a few months later they got their very own wire-haired dachshund. Aurora went everywhere with Candy and she was the real joy in her life.

FB_IMG_1548898268358Candy was an identical twin. I speak to her sister Mary when I can. Needless to say, she is feeling an unimaginable loss. I knew this would be very hard for her.

I was not only blessed to have been Candy’s friend all these years but during her last days on this earth, I was able to give back to my friend all that she had given me, by caring for her.

My darling friend Candy passed away on February 7th, 2019. She was one of the finest women I have ever known. She gave of herself constantly and never asked for anything in return. She was one of my constants in life. One of those people that I depended on just to be there.

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Candy and her darling Aurora.

I’m not sure I will ever “get over” losing this wonderful friend, who was more like a sister to me. I think perhaps I will not. I will learn to live with it.

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Oh, how I miss this wonderful woman. But as I told her the last time I saw her, “Love never dies, Candy. I will see you next in God’s Garden”.

Happy Heavenly Birthday, Grandma Honey

February 4th would have been my Grandma Honey’s 123rd birthday. It’s difficult to imagine her at that age. She passed from this world into the next 37 years ago. She was a very important woman in my life and taught me so much. Even now, I miss her like crazy!

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Here she is, Mary Frances the day she married my Papa, Frederick Carl.

Here is a picture of Mel and me with our much loved, Grandma Honey, at Goodwill Park.

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Grandma Honey and Papa Fred. Theirs was truly an epic love story! They met when they were less than ten years old. Grandma was friends with Papa’s sister, Katchen, and spent a lot of time at the house teaching Katchen to speak English. The family had recently arrived from Mülheim an der Ruhr, Germany, and aside from the eldest sister, Hedwig, who worked as a Nanny, no one spoke a lot of English.

Anyway, Papa always said he fell in love with her then, and as a teenager, he would chase off any beau that tried to court her. My great grandfather eventually allowed them to become engaged but insisted that Mary finish college before they married.

They were married until Mary eventually passed from this life to the next. He joined her 8 months later.

Happy Birthday, Uschi!

Today is the birthday of my best friend, Uschi!

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Oh, how I wish she lived just down the street and I could bake her a special cake and bring it over, with a bottle of champagne, and celebrate the day of her birth!

Friendship

There’s a miracle of Friendship
that dwells within the heart,
And you don’t know how it happens
or where it gets its start…
But the happiness it brings you
always gives a special lift,
And you realize that Friendship
Is God’s most perfect gift.
-Jean Kyler McManus-

Dear friends Uschi Maribeth

So Happy Birthday, my dearest friend and sister!

Sending you all of my love!

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!