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Early morning....

Early morning.

I stand holding my cup of tea and let it's warmth infuse my hands and arms.

It's a cold autumn morning at 6 AM, 35 degrees. 

I look to the sky, turning to the East.

Dark navy and dusky blue clouds, broken into ribbons allow the peach and muted yellow light to pierce through.

The colors softly fade towards the North and South, the West still shrouded in the stillness of night.

So peaceful.  I sigh deeply.  Peaceful and beautiful.  With each passing moment the sky lightens and changes.

I look away for but a glance, and it is brighter, more awake.

The big oak tree in the back yard stands silent witness to the unfolding of day, reaching heavenward with bare arms, hoping to catch a dream rising.

I have a busy day ahead of me.  A holiday is almost upon us.  I am mother and wife and daughter.  I have jobs to do.  But I will try to carry this peacefulness within me today.  When the day becomes too much.  When the stress overwhelms me, I will close my eyes and remember these colors, this dawning.

Tonight, I will look to the West.  I will watch those same ribbons saturated with deep oranges and crimson reds.  I will see the darkening sky to the East, and see the circle of day complete it's journey.  And I will close my eyes with the anticipation of a child on Christmas eve, hoping to wake early enough the next day, to see this show again!


Writings from the past...........4

This is one of those pages that I just scribbled on.  This was written after a lover and I had just discussed that it was time for me to move out of his apartment.  I was hurt and feeling alone, even though we weren't breaking up, just breaking up our co-living arrangement at the time.

3.26.1997  8:32PM

My chest feels a sharp pain that doesn't fade.  It lingers and begins to open me wide, the tears about to burst through and over the rims of my eyes.
You questioned if we can survive the transition.
Can I?
How will I sleep without your strong arms to hold me?
What will my silent nights be?
How empty will my heart feel each morning when I awake to my arms just as empty?
Who will kiss me sweetly each evening before dreams take over?
I am leaving - in days - in weeks - but I am so lonely for you right now.
My heart aches to hold you.
You seem so distant across this couch.
I miss you so already.
And now going back a bit in time;

July 20, 1996  5:07PM

And so the clan gathers.  While the chatter flows, speckled with quick bursts of laughter, some of the more energetic prepare the communal meal.  Time seems to pass so slowly as the endless family news is passed from person to person.  Voices that have been familat for most of my life in almost nothing but short memories come alive and take on a life of their own.  Spilling through my mind are the images of days gone by and the family members not present now. Can we all have aged so quickly?  Where have the years gone>  Fucking chatter driving me nuts!  Don't laugh if you don't mean it!  How annoying and did you see how big she's gotten?  Oh you look so good - GIVE ME A FREAKIN BREAK! Why is it that we long to be par of a family so much that we subject ourselves to this nonsense?  Judy looks tired, Joe will never change.  Rainy looks so much older than I remember her ever being.   Tara is fat and bitchy - as always.  Walter is handsome and lean and very cocky about it. Sue has gained weight and looks drawn - is she ill? Linda doesn;t look as though she has changed much - although she is distant.  Shannon is tall and beautiful and doesn't seem like she belongs in this circus at all.  I feel lie a stranger lost and asking for direction in the wrong langauge.  I don't fit.  Do any of us?

I wrote this while on a trip to visit my half-siblings for my mother's 74th birthday.  It was an awkward time for me.  I had been ill, and my husband and I were not well either.  My marriage had dissolved before my eyes two years before when I found my hero-cop-husband had had an affair with a young girl for four years, I left him for a time in 1995, and then came back to try one more time or lose it all.  We made the trip more for my parents than anything else, and I sat alone in a corner chair with my pad and pen - an obvserver on the outside of the fray.  I had been judged harshly by this family of mine for leaving my husband the year before, even if I had come back, and recognized that I handled it poorly.  THEY would never walk out of their marriages, THEY would seek the advice of their ministers and pray about it and stay.  I was the black sheep.  So I felt isolated from their talk and celebration.  
There were many other people there, so I am not sure why I only focused on my sibblings and two neices. 

I have not seen any of these people since then.

Ramblings from a weary mind...

Oh, what a day!  Then again, yesterday was a day and I think today just sped into it and flowed as a continuation.  The stress in this house is so thick you could cut it with a chain saw, but not much else.
It is now 18 minutes after midnight on a Thursday night.  You would think I would be snugly settled in my bed, doing my reading, as usual, after my relaxing nightly bath, wouldn't you? No, I am here, writing, and staying awake.  My children, and friends, are at the movies.  Yes, at this hour.  To see the opening of Twilight.  I must be crazy, but I encouraged this.  I thought it would be fun for them. A girls night out as it is.  Jackie, Shawna, Maggie, Sean, Samantha and Brean.  I have to pick them up at 2AM.  

So today someone mentioned in a blog I read elsewhere (meaning, not here at LJ! oh my!) that they have been upset a few times recently by others bringing up their faith and beliefs.  In particular, this person was upset by an extended family member who asked for a "potion or lotion or some such" to be made to help out yet another family member.  This person was insulted by this, as the request is for something this person is wholly against, and the thought was "why would you ask me to do something you don't believe in anyway, for something you know I am against?".  Then this person was asked a silly by another person; "can't you put a hex or curse or something on so and so? hahahaha".  That truly upset this person.
I can understand her feelings.  Honestly, I do.  But I just don't get in a tizzy about such things.
>I< make fun of me!
Ok, here it is............I am a witch.  Now, if you think pointy nose, warts, riding a broom, stirring a big black pot with nasty smells and sounds coming from it, and hanging out with bats and in grave yards.....well....good for you!  lol  I don't mind - that means you are normal!  I like "normal" (whatever the hell that means......).  

I will wear a pointy hat, although mine are a bit designer in nature and I will show you my collection of straw brooms, and yes, I do stir a might big pot sometimes! lol

The word witch has always brought those images to mind!  I have learned to either laugh it off, or, if the place and situation are fitting, take the opportunity to enlighten and educate.  I enjoy the fun of having an inside joke with those images!
Just two days ago I took my daughter to the book store.  As is our tradition, we pick out a new bookmark for each of us each time we go.  I found one with Glenda the Good Witch form the Wizard of Oz on it, and it says "Only bad witches are ugly!" - I love it! I grabbed it up right away!  There was one with the Wicked Witch of the West on it as well, and that one says "You say wicked like it's a bad thing!", I'll get that one next week.  

I do not eat my neighbors infants on a full moon.  I do not worship satan, heck, I don't even believe in him!  I do not hide - I am not ashamed of who I am or what I believe.  And I respect your beliefs and your right to have them.  I can honestly find beauty in every faith.  I do not ask you to "join" mine, please respect me with the same courtesy.  

Bah....I had something to say here and I went off again.....I'm going to stop here, and post one of my series next.

Writings from years ago....3

This is another from the "regression" papers.

"8:40PM Thursday

He trod threw the muck to the old barn.  It had stood for so long until the goddamned english came.  Burned it.  Killed the family too.  Kilt slappin at his bare legs he wondered how many more time he'd have to play before they'd be playin' for him.  The fog was almost lifting.  His braided hair hung down his back, dripping wet, with rain or sweat he couldn't tell.  Finally at what was left of the gate.  Only a skeleton of a builidng still standing - just like the country.  The women were headed this way, best to be building a fire now.  No real shelter but it would have to do for the night.  If Goddess Mother saw what they'd done to her earth and done nothin' to be to hades with her too!  He'd not make the beltaine fires this year!  Mary gone, the babes starvin' - should be less crying soon.  Be dmaned all of you! He was crying now, but the wind and the rain hid his tears."

"10:37PM Wens.
I remember being so much younger than I am now.  I remember the hills rising out of the early morning mist covered in the glory of the sun.  I remember the smell of the fires being lit like so many stars anchored to the earth.  The children crying for their first meal of the day.  The smell of the heather.  The soft calls of the men in the distance, driving the flocks out to graze.  The beating of a drum in a far off distant place, forboding, frightening, filling even the strongest of us with dread.  I remember weeping.  Tears of the mothers and wives and sisters and children as the pipes began to play and our men walked out of the village to greet those who would slaughter our old, make slaves of our children, rape and kill the women.  I remember crying softly as I rocked my son.  I remember the stillness of the day as the golden orb left the sky to leave darkness in it's stead. Darkness to cover us and let us fear the coming of light and knowledge.  I remember the mouring wahl, being caught up even stronger as the warriors cart passed by each hut.  I remember being handed this broadsword and taking up the wahl and being caught up in it for centuries."

Writings from years ago....2

I'm back from taking Maggie to juggling club.  I've had my nightly bath to relax and the house is quiet and still, but I have this on my mind, so I'll add another entry.  This one from the "regression" pages.  (exact translation from pages, spelling, cross outs and all)

10:03pm Sunday 3-17-1996

Holding the basket is my arms I tried getting through the doorway side ways.  Lord I was as big as that already! readjusted my load and muttering to myself, went inside.
The babe would no doubt be startin' the birthing pains soon.  At this point I almost wanted them to come.  I wasn't afraid of the pain mind ya, it was the babe itself that fr scared me. Tiny little person looking (just) like it's Da and then leaving me with a broken heart like the two before it, within a year of the pains.  But She promised me that'd not be happenin' this time, and I'll put my faith in her, knowing theres nothing to be done either way.
The house was smellin' good.  The ewe that got it's fool leg broken was a blessin' to me at this point, so hungry I was for some good stew.  Course, he was fire tounged for days about over it and all I could do was laugh at him when he couldn't hold his anger for long when he was with me.  This was only the third meal I'd cooked us indoors.  Just had the men here two a half moon ago to finish building this indoor cooking fire pit.  Where he bought or traded for the stone, or what he sold or gave for that point, he didn't say and I won't be askin'.  Some things are best that a woman doesn't know.
Now all our hopes lie in this big belly of mine.  He's been sharpin' and polishin' that sword of his, says his son must see it sharp and ready for action, and blindin' bright as the sun's heat rays.  His son!  If only I could cut out that part of me in this child and make it wholly his.  Its evil I pass to them that takes the life breath from them.  But he'll not accept that, says I'm a foolish woman.  Even came to fetch me after I tried to leave.  He's still young enough to find a new woman and get himself some fine healthy sons, but he'll not hear of it.  He won't tell the others for fear they'd force me out and he'd have to go too because he can't live without me by his side.  He says I should stay with him if only to wait for him to die - says I'll be rich then! Hah!  Crazy man - thinks I need promises of gold to keep me by his side.  I've loved him since my eyes first layed sight on him and I'll love him for evermore.  He's a good man, and I'll stay his woman as long he wants me and it does him no harm.  I'll not have the evil in me harm him.  Should anyone find out -he'd be lost for sure.  And so we deny it to even ourselves.  But I can't forget the dreams. And the thimble - least thats what I remember it being called - the only two things of worth in this house - his sword and that damned thing.  Can't sell it, gold or not, they'd know then.  So he makes me keep it, like he keeps his dream of riches.

That was the end of that entry.  They aren't very long, but remember, they were handwritten and usually done very quickly as the "memories" flowed out of me.

Writings from years ago....

I recently had reason to go through a small hope chest I keep next to my bed, filled with momentos of my life past.

In this I found some old tattered pages, dozens of them in fact, of things I wrote between the years of 1993 and 1997.  I am going to begin posting some of these each day and I would love feedback on them.  A few facts to keep in mind when reading them: entries marked "regression" are from memories unearthed after a number of dreams and past life regression sessions, I would write these a few days afterward when everything seemed a bit more "solid";  some were written in the heat of the moment; and some were written in the dark on scraps of paper.
I will try to date them if I can, and if you have questions, ask away!

#1 written on a piece of note paper from my organizer - possibly 1996 or 1997

Who are you?
Rain spritzes its way across the windows as I stare out through my own reflection, at the the streets slick with rain and oil.  Cars zig-zag their way through a maze and try to fit into an ever shifting puzzle.  Artwork as big as a house tells us what to eat, how to dress, what to think, invading our minds with images from a life we've never known. 
Who are you that get so close, all you faces that I'll never know - why brush so near as if we were first name friends?  Who are you with your perfect hair and pearls, with your tailored suits and Gucci watches?  Sitting so pretty like a spiders web glistening with fresh dew, luring me in even as I know I will be devoured in the end?  Damn you all!  Get out! I need to breathe and yet air is so dirty.  I want to fly from here and not hear your noise.  Don't invade with your night moves.

I can hear my lover's call and yearn to crawl into the safe comfort of his arms.  Like an old familiar quilt set aside by the hearth, he warms me and embraces me with a strong and gentle love - one standing the test of time and wear - who's threads may strain but not break.  My friend and my love.  I pity you all.  You search with your eyes and cannot see what I have found with my heart. He infuses me with a light through this drearyness you call living.


Where am I going.....

A few things happened yesterday that got me thinking about my past.

I worked in the yard most of the day yesterday.  It was unseasonably warm - in the 70's - balmy, like Florida after an afternoon thunderstorm in July.  I got the potting bench cleaned off finally, got rid of any broken or cracked pots, organized two crates into indoor things and outdoor things, put away all the outdoor statuary and nick knacks, cut back the last of some plants that need to start hibernating.  It was so nice to be out there, doing what I love and working with the outdoors stuff.  I carried a few pots to different places and got really filthy since it had rained heavily in the morning and everything was muddy.  I was out of breath, and achy and dirty and sweaty when i was done - but it felt good.  I am always at home in the garden.  I got to thinking about years ago, when my daughter Shawna was about 3.  My husband came home to find me in the yard covered in dirt and the entire back property transformed.  The house had been owned by his mother, and she had a lovely center "isle" Victorian style flower garden in the yard.  Now it was ours, and I wanted room for my kids to run around and play, I wanted a vegatable garden to the side and a playset towards the back.  So the center flower garden, with it's brick edging, had to go. As did the everygreen bushes at the rear where the swingset would end up.  And I did it all myself in one full day while he was on duty, the cjildren comfortably playing on the deck.  I was young and strong and full of energy.  I miss that.

After I came inside and showered I started playing an old Karen Carpenter cd.  Suddenly I wanted to see if I still had the clipping, so I dug into this little mini hope chest I have.  It is full of momentos of my life.  There, in my diary I kept while pregnant with Jackie, was the clipping from Feburary 1983.  Karen Carpenter was dead from a massive heart attack.  I dug into the chest further.  Newspaper clippings of me accepting an award as volunteer of the year from the town of Belleville Library for my work to begin the Girls Scouts and You Literacy program.  Clippings of my two daughters sitting enthralled, in their girl scout uniforms with other girls, as a woman reads them a story.  I once upon a time would leave the house with two briefcases stuffed with work.  I was a district organizer for the Greater Essesx County Girl Scout Council in Belleville.  I was running and moving and doing things all day everyday.  It was fun and I got pumped up about it.  It was alot of hard work, but my reward was seeing a great group of girls enjoy doing things together and learning and growing.  I miss that.

I found a ticket stub and itinery for a plane flight from Daytona Beach Florida to Newark NJ, November 22, 1995.
I was headed away from a life that might have been, to a life that had to end - but would take two long, slow years to die painfully.
While i know I did what was right - I was a mother and wife and had to deal with that first before I could start fresh somewhere else - I miss that time.  Florida, and especially where I was, was stunningly beautiful.  The city seemed to glow to me.  The sun felt good and I felt excited at the beginning of a new adventure and life.  But you can't run away from your past, and I realized I had to deal with that first.  But I miss that place, and the times I had, and the people.

Last night, after getting all cleaned up and ready, Michael and I took the girls to the diner for dinner.  We laughed alot and were just plain silly.  After we got home, I went back out to stop over the Greenbrook Fire/Squad house.  My friend Krista is a member of the squad, her husband a fireman.  They were having a cookoff and she invited me over.  It was late by the time I got there, around 9:30PM.  They were playing 1980's Trival Pursuit.  The squad house is just beautiful.  North Arlington's was nothing like this place! And I thought NA's was nice! hah! Wood buring fireplace, big flat screen tv on the wall, full bar and kitchen, 12 lazyboy recliners lined up, pool table and foosball table.  Really nice.  Krista gave me a tour of the rest of the building.  Their rigs are just "clean" - really nice new equipment, etc.  The bay is spotless.  Upstairs a full hall and catering kitchen.  Later, two county sheriff's came in.  I knew one of them - a friend of Jackie's.  We sat and had a drink and laughed and talked.  I'm joining her squad.  But I miss the old days.  I miss being part of that world.  I DO NOT miss my ex-husband, but I miss being married to a cop - I admit it.  It was a safe feeling.  I enjoy going to the range.  I enjoyed "the perks".  I enjoyed the company when we had parties - I had a mix like you would't believe in my house - cops, fire, emts, geeks and housewives!  But we all got along and we all enjoyed our times together.  I ran a very successful BBS and was a Safenet and Policnet node.  I rode with the North Arlington sqaud a bit now and then (I'd fill in when needed since I was friend with them, my mother was their chaplin and I was a certifed medical assitant).  I miss those days badly.  I miss my children being young and innocent and listening to me! lol  I miss the feeling of purpose.  

So where am I going?  It's time to begin the re-invention of me again.  I have alittle less than two years.  My youngest child will graduate high school in September 2010.  She then goes into the Coast Guard.  I need to have a life beyond my children, a life AFTER my children.  My two businesses are going to grow, I'm sure of that, and I will be a full active member of the Greenbrook Squad by then.  But who will I be?  I have changed everything about me in 11 years - I am so much more comfortable in my own skin now.

me - circa 1988

me - circa 1993/94

me now

Why do we bury our dead?

The dead. The deceased. Ours?

I suppose the first reasons are the same as they are now, with a bit of law thrown in for good measure (lets face it, you can't spit without some law being involved nowadays....).

To honor them.  To keep disease at bay.  To stop their bodies from becoming food for animals.  And, as good Christians will say, to allow them to rest safely in the earth's arms until Christ returns to bring them forth with him to heaven's gates and glories! (So I guess ya gotta have a body for that - hence why if you are Jewish EVERY part of you must be buried so that when the promised Messiah finally does come (cuz they didn't buy into the whole Jesus thing), ya got something to be risen outta that grave!)

Now, here is a question - we know so much about burial customs and reasons because...........well....because we never let anyone rest in peace!  I wonder what the true fine line is.....you have to be dead more than say 100 years before they'll dig you up, examine you, tuck you away somewhere else, or back where you were?  Move your remains to another place so they can build a highway, or a condo? How about just moving the stone that is the last reminder of you on earth and leaving the rest of you there?  Now, beware oh honored dead ones! If you've been gone for more than 500 years you can bet yer bony ass (sorry - couldn't resist) that they are gonna un-tomb you, un-chamber you, un-pyramid you, un-cave you, whatever.  You ARE NOT stayin' put!  Some how, you aren't honored anymore because the people who were alive after you and honored you forgot to tell these idiots to leave you alone for ALL TIME!! 

I digress from where I want to be (didn't I blog about that recently......getting off course...and all that? hmmmm)

I love cemetaries.  I do.  I can, and have, spent hours and hours wandering their rutted pathways.  Brushing off a stone here, a tomb door there, to read the ancient inscriptions of love and devotion.  I marvel at the artistry of the monuments, the script on weathered stones. The older the better for me.  I feel sorry for those who can not see what we humans have created in our death rituals.  What beauty we have wrought from the fear and pain and ugliness of a last breath. 

I have wept at the reading out loud of simple words on a stone with a white lamb on it.  I have sighed deeply when seeing hearts intertwined with dates not far apart.  I rub my hand across faded words and feel a slight dizziness as if i too am beginning to fade.  Voices speak to me, point me this way and that......here, come see me, visit, it's been so very long, I wish someone would remember me............I hear them and I can't help but follow.  

I have literally hundreds and hundreds of grave yard photos that my daughter and I have taken.  And I have collected some online that touch me.  

I once walked thru a park.  The sign said it was a park.  It was dedicated in 1863 as a park.  The name of it is "Colonial Park Cemetery" in Savannah Georgia.  The voices called, and I followed.  I strolled hand in hand with someone who heard them too, both of us in sync, listening, turning here and then there.  Reading, touching, feeling pain, joy, fear.  It was bright sunlight, a warm summer day.  I saw dark shadows peeking from around pieces of granite and marble.  I could feel the damp coldness of the grave.  I could feel the forgotteness.  Dogs bounded thru running after tossed balls, children laughed and yelled.  Lovers strolled hand in hand.  For some, I suppose, the sounds of life were joyful.  But I do wonder, if for some, the sounds of hushed reverences and respect of light steps were missed and made them feel all the more forgotten.  
Photos of getting to this place and the place itself:

this is the amazingly long and high bridge heading into Savannah (and if you fear suspension bridges as I do, this IS NOT fun to cross)

the Savannah waterfront shops....I first walked here and could smell the age gone by......

park benches and high rises.....

encased in stone....


and beauty growing in a place of the dead.......

A few that I find haunting even in sunlight from another place...(Bonaventure cemetery on the outer banks of Savannah)

  reaching to heaven..... babies......

a mansion in death...... father and mother were loved....

And from other sources online......


And from my family.....
not nearly as ornate or impressive......

my grandmother, who I take my middle name from, and the only grandparent I ever knew in life....

  my grandfather and his second wife

my great-grandmother (Irene's mother) born in Hungary passed in upstate NY

my great grandparents and a great uncle....I always wished I had been named after her.....such a regal name! The uncle's name is Italian for Jack - and was my father's given name as well. They came from Italy to begin a new life....one of their children died on board ship...so sad.....

my grandmother (adopted) on my mother's side....I am adding an OES symbol next year

  her husband...notice the death dates....they say he died of a broken heart, never sick a day in his life.....he receives a Masonic symbol next year....

  a great-great aunt to me on the "France" side.......

  her husband....I don't know what the BLE stand for.....

  their son.......

  his wife......

If I ever get to Cooperstown NY I'll take pictures of my ancestors graves on the Bell side...I am listed as the owner of the nine plots there.  My cousins in upstate NY on the blood side of my mother (the Warner's) are historians for the Warner's Lake and Berne NY area - they have all the family burial plots marked out - starting dates are from about 1680.  Someday I'll drive up there to get those as well.

Now....tell me your thoughts on all this....I am dying to hear....................


Why do I write?

That question has been running around my head for days now.

And why do I write what I write?

I suppose I have to clarify what I write first...

I write my thoughts and feelings.

I write what is happening to me, my family, my friends, my world.

I write lists. Lists of things to get done, lists of groceries, lists of the positive aspects of each day. 

I write notes each day on what I make for dinner, and I write recipes.

At one time I thought I would write a book.  A few friends have told me numerous times that I should.

I dreamed about it.  I seem to have so much, or, depending on your relationship with me, too much, to say.

I have begun novels.  I have written and written until I thought my words would turn to mush .  And I have thrown my notebooks across the room in in utter dismay when reading what I have taken days, weeks to write.  I am never happy with anything I write.

I write.

I suppose that should be the most of it. I write.  Others sing.  Others yell.  Others cry.

Some bash their heads against walls and wonder at the fairness of life. Others find solace in a bottle or a needle.

And some others yet find their peace in pounding their pain into another.

I write.

It releases my soul.  It allows me to fly, to soar. To dream, to remember.

It gives me the means to honor, and respect.  It keeps me on track.

I write. 

And I depend on you to read.


What happened?

I'm in this kind of writing mood - so many thoughts over the past few days to share, to get out, to put down.
I wonder sometimes if we write to get it out of us, to share it, or to get rid of it! lol

Indian summers always confuse my moods. 
For all intents and purposes I have put my garden to bed.
I still have mulching to do, but we got 9 yards of top soil to level out the back of the yard and Michael wanted to deal with that first.
Once done, I was anxious to begin putting together a raised bed for a veggie garden for next spring.  The idea was to build the raised bed and then use all the raked up leaves (once we go over them with the mower) to compost it for the winter.  Now Michael is fully ensconced in doing the haunted porch that I'm not sure when we will have time, or the proper weather to work outside on that.
I suppose we could do it in early November.  It'll be colder than......well, it'll be cold!

I'd like to weather seal the deck before winter.  We do it every other spring, but I'm looking at this years wear and really think it needs to be done sooner.  I also have to do some repair work on the side steps.  That one falls to me, which is fine.  No wimpy housewife here! I do all the electrical and plumping work around here.  Michael does the heavy labor!  

So all that and this weather is beckoning me outdoors to do some of it, but I see the leaves turning and I look at the calendar and those say "stay in and nest and bake and cook!" *sigh*

Time got away from me this year.  My surgery took seemed to take so long to recover from. Even now I get aches and sharp pains and the doctor say six months - yikes! I've barely hit 87 days!  

I wonder how it was when my great-grandmother was alive.  I'm sure once she came from Italy it was hard. New country, new language, new home and even new family.  (she only knew a select number of family members who lived here already)
She was a Strega which meant she knew all the local plants and herbs and had her own garden to cultivate them.  When she came here they moved to, where else, Brooklyn.  No garden there!  It didn't take long, and they moved to Scranton, Pa.  There she could have a garden, and see the mountains, although she was far from the sea.  I imagine that must have been hard for her, coming from Sicily.  But she made it work, and raised a large family.  The house is still there, but of course, the city of Scranton has grown and changed dramatically.  But what did this time of year hold for a woman of that age? Of 1890?  Most women of those days would be putting up for the year. Canning and preserving food for the winter months. 

I feel the pull back to those days during this time of year.  It was simpler. It was about home and family.  Preparing for the long, cold winter. 

If there is one thing I can say I am proudest of in my life is that aside from all the jobs/positions/titles I have held professionally - I am wife and mother first.  I do that job best.  I carry on the traditions of generations of women who didn't feel as though they were not worth anything if they didn't bring home money, or ran an office or business.  They knew who there were.  They took great pride in their family.  In raising their children and caring for their husband. They cooked amazing meals on wood buring stoves, they did laundry in a tub of sudsy water using a wash board, by hand, for hours a day.  They dusted and swept and even polished silver if they had a few pieces.  And thy wrote long hand written letters to family back home and friends across the country.  They wrote cards for births and deaths and weddings.  
I do carry on for them, in their honor.

Do you? Do you take the time to be proud of your home? Of your children? Of the small things in life that you create/accomplish?

Here's a challenge for you - each week pick up a pen (remember those?!) and write out a little note or card to someone and mail it to them. Good old United States Postal service mail!  Se if you can keep this up.  Weeks, months?  If the person you write to calls and asks "why?", tell them the art of writing, of personal communication, of taking the time to truly make the effort for one person for a few moments in time has been dying.  Ask them to carry it on.  Challenge them!  No one will know if you do this, no one will judge you if you don't. But you will reap the rewards.  I promise, you will feel good about it. You will cheer someone's day, you will enjoy the step back in time.

What happened.............time got away from us.

(and this blog got away from me today!!!!)