Friday, February 26, 2010

Scrap Book

China Doll and Grandma Sharon- ski/tubing trip (2000)
A visit with Pooh Bear- book signing.
20+ hours and we are home! China Doll decided she did not care for airline OJ- carry on bag was misplaced- so much for the adorable 101 Dalmation dress- Detroit sweats from the airport gift shop had to do. It didn't matter if she were dressed in burlap this child looked adorable!! *Not sure...looks like Pop Pop is dancing in the background wouldn't you say?
After the adoption process...we flew to Hong Kong for a few days
this is a floating restaurant in Aberdean.
Fu Xiao Xu/China Doll with hotel waitresses Fu Zhou city
Me and China Doll in front of a day care center- Guangzhou, China

Scrap Book

Little Drew aka Gap Boy age 2
Attending a reception with Gracie ~ *note: new shoes!

Scrap Book

LeeAnn aka Gracie....goofing around in my little city apartment (89')
Me and the munchkins at KC1025- hey I eventually was promoted to Transitional Kindergarten! No biters, but I did have wild child moments! I loved them just as much.
My Bella
Fu Xiao Xu (Beautiful Dawn) dossier photo

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Scrap Book

My parents with my Pappaw V.
* Celebrating retirement*
My mother with her best friend/soul sister Colleen

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

So, the 80's are finally coming to a close

I'm not sure what happened with Lizzies inherited mess, but she and Alex shortly broke off their engagement. And yet another year has gone by.
I've decided to stick out my teaching job at KC1025. I was asked to assist the high profile manager (Mrs. C. of Florida- go figure) of these expensive preschools to -recreate 1025's new Two Year Old program. Flattered, maybe....but truthfully I wanted out of that two year old program. I felt as if my education and hands on knowledge was being drained
on munchkins- as cute as they were- and I was having fun- I needed a "time out" from being used as a human tissue and at least have a break in my day because little Johnny decided to take a chunk out of my arm as I placed myself between little Bobby and Johnny's own teeth.
Once Mrs. C. came to 1025 and we started chatting about how wonderful the program would be with this and that....I could see her mouth moving- but my mind was on something totally different. My life again. I had a bad habit of not being able to say "no" to certain people-especially nice people. And as much as Mrs. C. took me back to sitting in the front pew of Mass listening to Monsignor T. - I just couldn't say no. I'll do it....I'll stay here with these cute munchkins. After all, I never got a tattoo in NYC like "L"...but these bite marks made by little Johnny began to resemble a daisy- I love daises-finally had my tattoo.
It's a year later and thank GOODNESS little Johnny graduated to the 3&4 year old program.
My arm needed a break. After all I had a new body part added during the new season of our Two Year Old program. Little "K". She would hang off of my neck throughout the day....yes, I had a teachers aide, but "K" had determination- she wanted her "Miss Wisa". During these years of hanging out with munchkins - I unlike some of my coworkers never had baby fever.
Probably because I wasn't married and I was too young! Remember I had a life to live!
One day a new kid on the block arrived at KC1025. It was an adult kid. A new teacher. Someone I thought I knew from ol' YSH. She was goofy, loud, funny and very pretty, but had the most annoying walk! This newbie would walk down the halls scraping her black heals on the vinyl floor. Annoying because her heals lost that tiny black tip- and the nails were exposed!
Good golly girl, take your first paycheck and go buy yourself a new pair of pumps!
We became soul sisters in less than a year. LeeAnn and Lisa were Lucy & Ethel (I always reminded her I was Lucy). We were Thelma and Louise without the car jump. We eventually became: Hazel&Gracie.
We were chinese food on Monday nights and Fridays lunch was at Conrads. We were long phone conversations about her marriage and my singleness. The only major difference between us - she had a little boy. Drew. We built a solid friendship that nothing could tear us apart. During the weekends LeeAnn of course would spend quality time with her husband and her baby boy. I would spend quality time with my single friends either protesting for animal rights or dancing the night away. (yeah, I was a PeTA head) Sundays were saved for my parents. My dog Bella and I would drive over to their house for a delicious pasta dinner and laughter or craziness with my family. During all this time I started reading more on Buddhism. I liked the idea of reincarnation. I feared death. I liked the idea of coming back as something else. Perhaps a lioness or lady bug? I began my travels following His Holiness the Dali Lama. Reading TriCyle magazine and dipping my feet into meditation. I remember my mother once telling me I always had a passion for the Asian culture. Perhaps my move would now be to China.
Time is flying past, almost way too fast. LeeAnn finds herself filing for divorce. She is picking up the pieces- I'm right there for LeeAnn and Drew. (What's God thinking....LeeAnn didn't deserve this!) ********************
I began dating someone I was introduced to by an acquaintance- a year later I am married. In a nutshell....this marriage was on shaky ground from the beginning. We had similar interest- travel, music,hiking- he liked my dog Bella ( everyone did) but we never had a foundation. After being told I was unable to conceive, I just assumed the only "children" I would ever raise were those with fur and four legs. Adoption? I wouldn't adopt from the US, due to the risk of losing a baby after all that bonding time. If I was going to become a mommy- then I was going to be selfish by not allowing anyone to come back and claim what is mine! After investigating adoption agencies, we had an interview and began the adoption procedure for a baby girl- from China. The time frame for travel was extended due to political issues and then of course China decided to bomb Taiwan. I was anxious, annoyed, excited, happy and falling in love with a baby I have never even seen. I dreamed about her- I spoke to her through the stars at night- and I never, ever wanted anything more in my life than to be her mommy! The day her dossier came in the mail I couldn't see through my tears.....she was beautiful! This was my daughter! It's really happening! Two months later- we are on a plane to bring Fu Xiao Xu, this beautiful China Doll home.
China Doll is home. I'm working at YC school district through LIU #12. I have summers off to enjoy some fun with my baby girl and find time to perhaps take psychology classes. Time is passing by- not flying. My marriage is crumbling. I find myself filing for divorce.
During this time, my support came in great strengths. And once again- I'm blaming God. Why am I going through such pain? What did I do to deserve this? Boy, I sure am glad I collected trinkets and incense and books on Buddhism while traveling in China! I'm so glad I am not a this so called God that I hear others claim is so loving and kind.
Buddha will get me through this......I like to be smiling....and Buddha always has a smile on his face.

***********9/11. Looking back at that- my messy life wasn't so bad.....people were losing loved ones....our country just experienced something horrible. *******
As I mentioned during my divorce, the support from friends and family couldn't have been stronger. If anything I felt guilty about during this time, was that I was losing a wonderful Mother-in-law. Sharon was also my friend. What will this new life be like without her? No more Disney trips with the only other person-besides myself- that was a 100% true to Walt, a Disney Fanatic. The beach? Tea Rooms? Chats.
I felt confident that my China Doll and I were going to be just fine adapting to our new life.
We were two peas in a pod. As for LeeAnn/Gracie, she and Drew moved to Virginia Beach and later remarried. She and Kevin were living in Maryland working on an extended family. I made no plans to move to Maryland, but I did need to find a new job. LIU #12 was about to make changes, and I for one needed a better income for my new life. I was able to grab the only position available with Bell Socialization. I became one of the homeless shelters caseworkers. My office was literally a closet. My co-worker and I got along pretty well. My boss was nice. But he liked to walk around the shelter quoting bible verses. I would just smile at him....holding my breath that he doesn't ask me to quote mine. *********************
I was settling in at the shelter. China Doll and I were settling in our new apartment with our dog and cat. Perfect little family. I picked up where I left off with friends- I was told I am back to my old self. Happy-go-lucky. And I am feeling comfortable here in this little apartment village. Nice neighbors - dog friendly community {{important}} decent school district- a private pool - close to my family. But, I really missed my Gracie. Something wonderful- I still had Sharon- just a different title. {{smiling}}

My sister lived in a small studio apartment just over the hill from where China Doll and I were living. (my sister was now a widow) We did a lot together. China Doll was spending a lot of time with her Aunt Debbie. During China Dolls scheduled visits with her father, my sister and I would go out for dinner, dancing, socializing with new and old friends.
I called that particular time in my life Plugging In. I became plugged into a scene that on the outside I was enjoying. On the inside I'm thinking- this really isn't making me happy.

Once more my mind begins to travel.... get ready China Doll. Mommy has a plan.

Life Lesson: Eggs....what eggs?


Precious Time

This post is to let my readers know that I feel this urge to get caught up in the here and now of my journey.
I couldn't sleep well last night- pondering do I just take today and copy my old diary, journals and what my memory serves- get it all completed now on this blog- in order to feel the "'s done". ? Or do I simply take my time (it's valuable these days- kids, hubby, dogs, cat, friends & family, my little business....) Or should I just continue at the pace I have been- when I get that perfect down time during my day -in order not to interrupt dancing or reading with my toddler. So my teens have my full attention- even when they don't want my full attention!
Time is so precious. I think I just answered my own question.


Monday, February 22, 2010

So, can Rod Stewart help me?

It was not hours, but days before I approached my mother again about my move to NYC. The talk my father had with my mother didn't go as I would have expected it to.
Without having all the specifics- I just remember my father telling me- (in his best soothing voice) "just let her digest this idea you gals have".
I'm far from being a patient person. I've been sitting on pins and needles for hours-days now waiting to give "L" an answer so she can let her friend, of a friend, of a friend know we are coming. And then it happened- I walked up stairs from our family room and caught my mother in the kitchen- boom box blaring, dancing to Rod Stewart! She loved that man (my shoulders are rounding as I can barely type his name) however, if Rod made momma happy this girl was going to join the jam.
We ended up dancing in the kitchen to "If you think I"m sexy"...... (stop laughing) Rod was setting the tone for a New York City moment.
The song ended- we were laughing I'm sure to the point of peeing our pants.
(My mother and I had a lot of those moments)
However, the laughter stopped when I brought up my move. Deadly silence!
**I've been told that I look like my mother.....and then I hear you look like your thing I do know I have A LOT of both of them in me! An Italian temper with a dash of Scottish/German stubbornness: mix well and you have Polished Cockiness**
I know darn well I was trying my best to convince her she is totally over reacting.
I'm going to be turning 21 in less than 2 months and geez, why not? Why not try to move on with my young life....who taught me to be "myself"...don't be a "carbon copy"...."we believe in you" did that....YOU DID! (again, the tilted head, lips slightly pinched)
After being grilled for what felt like a eternity the conclusion came. "Okay". "Fine".
Now I probably had that look my father did- remember the "dad, I'm pregnant" look?
The agenda: wait until I turn 21. "L" was already 21, so we decided that would be the month we head out. Now, if you're thinking any contact to the friend(s) in NYC was made by "L" it wasn't. Oh, was that important?
I'm 21.....I've been christened at a dance club in Maryland. Dancing the night away with Madonna, Banana-Rama and U2. (punk princess) This dance club was in the old Power Plant in Baltimore. My "Punk Princess Posse" splits up at 2pm in the city of Baltimore... and I'm sick...really sick. My friend "LK" drives me home and kindly places me over the banister of my parents front porch- rings the door bell- and pulls away. Can't remember much, but I do remember my fathers voice: "mama mia..*^##@!
Life lesson learned.
Road trip: "L" and I are off to find that friend, of a friend, of a friend.
He's nowhere to be found....but we locate McDonalds. I'm 100% sure this will NOT be my future employer. After hours of using the corner pay phones, "L" finally gets ahold of a "friend". That evening, "L" is getting a tattoo on her shoulder in this guys apartment- as I sat there watching in horror. Too much beer for her and she begins to get sick.....the tattoo expert (not) tells us we need to leave. WHAT? Where's my job locator? Where's this guys apartment index? Where's the welcome wagon?
Doomed and gloomed. After "L" sobers up, we find a place to crash in Lower Manhattan (old YMCA turned motel) and head back to PA the next morning. Now, there were a few other road trips with "L" and we did not track down any more of her so-called "friends". But finding a job that would support us both while trying to take classes was not happening. And to be honest, we were probably not a good *fit* for one another. Friends yes, but not room mates, certainly not future New Yorkers together.
Some time past and our move was put on "hold". I was beginning to think my mother was right..what was I thinking? "L" and I still took our road trips to NYC. Weekends and "sick days" from work-primarily for the social scene. Now working as a part time teacher for Kindercare Learning Centers teaching 2 & 3 year olds. Not exactly what I planned, but it got my foot in the door of this brand new Daycare&Kindergarten that had the highest rates of any center in our area.
But after time, I was beginning to really love my job! I loved these little munchkins. This job came pretty easy to me. Met new friends at KC1025. Life continued- I found myself celebrating my 23rd birthday and my 2 year anniversary at KC1025. Still taking ECE classes and still living with my parents- still no NYC. During my birthday celebration (but calmer than my 21st) my gal pals (note: no longer a punk princesses) and I headed out to try a local dance club- The Golden Bear. While minding my own business- dancing- sipping the one glass of wine that I nursed the entire evening- I was being "stalked" by a Michael Keaton look-a-like. What's with this guy? He's all decked out in a leather motor cycle jacket and those horrible black parachute pants (what was with the 80's?) If it wouldn't have been for his angelic like face- this stalker could have been in a Judas Priest MTV video. What Michael Keaton didn't know was that my best guy pal Mark was along for the night. (Mark and I were friends since high school. I think my father secretly hired Mark to keep guys away. I do remember hearing guys jokingly say: "Lisa's dad will breaka youra facea- don't mess with her".) ************** Michael Keaton decides to ask my friend "JC" to dance. I'm laughing inside because this leather head banger was going to look like an idiot! Insert foot in mouth. He actually had rhythm! After a few dances (urrr) he walked over to the table where we were all sitting- I pretending not to be watching. He introduces himself- asked me if he could buy me a drink (oh, what a typical line) - even after I said no, he sits down beside me and begins this conversation.....doesn't he get it- I'm so not interested in this head banger- I'm going to find myself a respectable man in NYC!
Ten dates later- this head banger and I were inseparable. His love of Motley Crew and my love of not Motley Crew balanced itself pretty well. This motor cycle speed racer was able to tame the heart of this wild spirit. His name: Michael. My father thought he was a gift from God. My mother adored him. My friends and family truly liked him- leather and all. He came from a good family- and he was a respectable man. Our relationship blossomed- NYC was on the back burner on a stove in the Himalayas.
**Catch up: During my early 20's I forgot that I was actually a "christian". I did attend Mass on major holidays- I wouldn't miss Christmas Eve service at midnight. I met some interesting people in these years- Buddhist, Muslims and then some.... I began to read about Buddhism....but didn't actually "follow" it -yet. And this was hush-hush, never even a whisper to my parents.

By now, I'm living in an apartment in the city. I had the coolest neighbors. I had a dog. I had the life!! Still working as a teacher for KC1025.
And then it happens.... the worst....the unthinkable....the WHY did GOD allow this to happen? Michael was killed in a motor cycle accident. This expert- professional racer - no way. Michael knew what he was doing at all times....this isn't happening! But it did. Needless to say, this is when I cursed God. He is not a good God to allow this to happen. Why take someone so dear and kind? Why did God take this wonderful person from ME?

It's a year or so after losing Michael. I'm still working at KC1025. Bouncing back in my social world with my friends and enjoying my family as before. My older siblings were married, with children. When a couple from my past that I met in the Bahama's came for a surprise visit- things were about to change-again. We went out to Jo-Jo Ma's for dinner when Elizabeth tells me her grandfather died and left her his home in Napels Florida. She and Alex are going to move before the end of the year. Florida never appealed to me....until Lizzie says: "wanna come along...the house is huge!" YEP! Okay, now I have to find a tenant that is responsible enough to pay my mortgage on the 2 unit apartment building I owned. Easy. I'll transfer from KC1025 to a KinderCare Learning Center in Napels. Easy. I'm so ready I can smell the ocean air and taste the bland Florida crab cakes now! Lizzie informs me that her grandfathers house- our future house is 4 blocks from the beach! I always loved the beach- my family vacationed in Ocean City NJ and Atlantic City (before the casino days) and not to forget my summer in OCM! one mentioned that Napels was primarily retired folks that took early morning laps in the ocean wearing skimpy black speedos.
The good news for me was that my director from the school informed me there was a center that I could transfer to just 25 minutes outside of Napels. GREAT! Lizzie had her job lined up as a cocktail waitress at the Holiday Inn, and she would also be taking Early Childhood Ed. classes during the day. Alex, well...his parents were going to foot the bill until he landed his writing gig with one of the popular news magazines. {{head shaking}
So, I take a train to Philadelphia to meet the odd couple so we can fly down south and check out our future house. We planned on staying for about 2 weeks- just to get a check list of items we would need- call the pool guy out to open the indoor pool- utilities...blah blah blah. We get to our future home by taxi- and from the outside I'm drooling. The house is beautiful! We walk inside......what the what? The house was crawling with roaches the size of my palm. {{Palmetto Bugs}} Cute, but not cute enough to share a home with, were teeny tiny chameleons rushing into the what was once a beautiful indoor pool- now filled with algae and the smell of something nasty. I remember the three of us standing there with our suitcases looking pretty stupid. Did Lizzies grandfather live like this before he died? Did he just walk over the bugs and the other creatures that lurked in the night?
No...he was in a nursing home- and no one took care of the house for months!
Yes, we stayed for the two weeks. We knew this was a loss cause. No money in the bank for we three 20 somethings. Certainly not enough anyway to fix this palace up. And to think- only 4 blocks from the beach! All those senior citizens I missed in their skimpy black speedos, swimming laps with the friendly Florida dolphins.

Life Lesson: My eggs are cracking before I can even count them.


Scrap Book

My dad and friends *that's NYC "L" in the red*
Girls night out
The Disco couple
Me and my daddy..... what's with that 80's hair?
YSH Bandfront *I'm the one looking around at the football players*

Scrap Book

My Mother as a young girl~

Friday, February 19, 2010

So, I'm a teenager....

Teenager (noun)
a person aged from 13-19

Life as a teenager. My tween years flew by way too quickly. Of course when I was twelve, I wanted to be thirteen. Finally thirteen came- but I wanted to be sixteen! During my tween years I can remember my parents discussing the biggest mistake of their lives- pulling their teen- to -be out of Catholic School and placing me in PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT! In the beginning of this "discussion" I was begging, pleading, crying....even rebelling as any good young Catholic girl would. DO NOT TAKE ME OUT OF MY ELEMENT! I had friends- best friends- friends for life! I never once complained about my Scottish tailored kilt- of -a -uniform. I never once complained about attending confession every Wednesday evening. I never once complained about anything Catholic!
My mother was involved in the PTA, like most of my friends mothers- but there was one difference. MY MOTHER just had to be the LIBERAL in the clan! Too much of this, and not enough of that in school. Too little taught, and WAY to much focus on "eat your rice because there are starving children....." . I was so confused! Why would my parents pull me out of Catholic school when we were Catholic? Why did they (well, mostly Mom) feel that making this move to public school would "do Lisa some good". Now, after all these years I never really asked that million dollar question. And truthfully I should have been rejoicing. I wouldn't attend confession every Wednesday evening. I wouldn't have to sit in the chapel three mornings a week pretending to listen to Monsignor T. ramble on and on. Okay, so I was wrong.....just because I would be attending public school did not mean I was excused from the rituals of our faith. Okay here is where I leave my "comfort zone". All those years in Catholic school and church I never knew or understood God. All that "formal training" we are given from birth on up, I never understood my religion at all. I knew of course Jesus loved's in the song. I knew that if we disobeyed God I would hang in purgatory or burn in hell! I knew all the rituals and celebrations of Mass and the best part was I celebrated not only my birthday, but the Blessed Mothers Day- May 1st. I never remembered having a closeness that I would hear other "christians" talk about. My parents allowed the church and school to "train" us. My father never took on the role of "spiritual leader" in our home. As much as he forced church every Sunday- he never led the parade. As I mentioned in an earlier post- my parents were very "open"....a little ahead of their time. BUT, this was a horse of a different color. My mother would pretty us up Sunday mornings and drag us to Mass.
She would make sure we were baptized,first holy communized and confirmed. And then you had my fathers parents- my Mamaw & Papaw V. The most well known Roman Catholics in town! (think Brad & Angelina) You never missed a Sunday unless you were dying. You sat across from at least one priest, two nuns (from the local convent) and perhaps even Monsignor T. Sundays during a homemade pasta dinner at my grandparents home.These guest/Gods Private Investigators broke bread with you and drank wine (adults only*) and they looked right into your soul! UGH! Yep, that was my twisted pee-wee teenage mind telling me to not SIN at the table! Don't have a bad thought....don't think about that Elton John poster hanging on my bedroom wall! And do not ever let them know you are lusting after the cutest alter boy in the sanctuary because there are not enough Hale Mary's or Our Fathers to take away that "sin of the world". Now, before I continue- I am not criticizing-degrading and hopefully not offending ANY Catholics who may be reading this.
These words are on my experience only- my memories and experiences of being raised in a Catholic environment. Not to mention a few folks I've met here and there that shared with me their own experiences! Come on can laugh at this.... just think "Nun Sense"!
Are you curious about my transition from Catholic school to Public school....did IT happen? happened. And it was the Hardest- Weirdest- Horrific experience ever! That's exactly what I said to my parents after I got off the WORST bus ride home from my first day in PUBLIC SCHOOL! The students are odd....they wear torn jeans and denim jackets. They smoke cigarettes in the bathroom during class changes and they hook out of class after flipping the teacher "the bird". What the he!! did you guys just do to me????? (did you catch that) That was Monday. By Friday.........WOO-WEE I was in HEAVEN!
I had the coolest hip-hugger jeans. I was wearing my first Levi's denim jacket. I was even wearing Bonnie Bell makeup! I WAS becoming a PUBLIC SCHOOL STUDENT! Making plenty of new friends with a social calendar long enough to take me into the next school year.
Oh, as for the academic part of things- public school wasn't so bad. I took business classes, and even challenged myself in Home Economics. Yeah, well that's one class I failed in.
Here was the major subject that I found myself struggling in: Science. Evolution- What? What happened to Adam & Eve? What happened to God created Heaven & Earth? And us?
These are the years where I struggled the most. My parents would continue to assure me that God did create us....and heaven and earth. So...was I not to listen to my new PUBLIC SCHOOL teachers? Those cool teachers who also wore their best Levi jeans? Uh, yes....don't worry honey- learn, listen and pass the course is what I was instructed to do. HUH? But don't believe it? Okay, now that went well. {{super sarcasm}} I was able to talk about sex, drugs and rock& roll with my parents....but evolution was taboo? You're kidding right? It turns out, my parents did not want to think about evolution. Now, were they in denial of their faith?
Were they afraid to face the truth about evolution? Another one of the million dollar questions I did not ask. My four years in high school I did just what I was instructed to do.
I past Earth Science, Biology and Chemistry with ease. AND my confessional Wednesdays came to a halt. Never asked why.....I wasn't going to complain or even whimper about not having to sit in the confession box repeating the same confession week after week. "Bless me Father for I have sinned...I disobeyed my mother and father....." ! My mother was invested in her career, and my social calendar needed to take a back seat to swim team, band front, dance, and any other school activity I became involved in. My Catholic friends began to notice a difference in me. I was becoming a different being. Rebellious? Independent? A girl with a new life?
I for one never noticed any difference in myself. Besides having an entire new wardrobe, I was still the silly,happy-go-lucky, friendly person I was before. But they did. I lost some very good friends. But it took me a long time to realize that. A very long time.
Jumping ahead to graduation day. It poured during our graduation ceremony, but that didn't bother me at all. My mind was on the BEACH! My friends and I packed our cars and headed south to OCM. We were ready to apply for jobs....look for apartments to live in......we were the Girls of Summer! Yes,if you are wondering- during my junior& senior years, my mother talked about colleges. I didn't really want to travel too far from home (this is funny to me now) and to be honest- I wasn't sure what I wanted to do for my one and only career.
I wanted to see it the world....Go-Go-Go! *But not go TOO far away from home to attend college?!
(Remember when I mentioned that having my parents pull me out of Catholic school and placing me in Public school would be the biggest mistake of their lives? Well....funny thing is, I totally forgot about that "mistake" my parents made). Now, summer has ended....I'm home from the beach. I'm taking classes at PSY for Early Childhood Education. It's close to home, my best party-pal "L" lived only blocks from the college and not to mention my classmates from YSH that I promised to stay in touch with. Life was great....I was still living with my parents, attending my classes, attending parties, working part-time for my mother, attending more parties until one day "L" comes up with this fantastic idea. We move to NYC! She had a friend, of a friend, of a friend who could help us locate jobs, possibly get into school and live life to its fullest! No sooner did "L" get to the end of her suggestion, my bags were packed and in my canary yellow 1967 Mustang! (oh, it was my mothers car) This idea really went over well with my parents! REALLY?! I'm so excited while telling my parents this new adventure in MY life that I can barely's NYC mom and dad! NEW YORK CITY!!!!!! My dad had this look on his face - the look as if I just announced "dad, I'm pregnant". My mother sat at the kitchen table sipping her coffee - head slightly tilted to the side- and says NOTHING- ZILCH-NADA. So I take that "nothing" as a "something". My mother was thinking about what to buy her daughter for an apartment warming gift?! Or perhaps giving up her canary yellow 1967 Mustang?! Or what about $$$?! Or.....not!
Her silence was killing was the deadliest thing she could do to me when there was disappointment. Um...Mom? Your baby girl is moving to the Big Apple! Be happy for crying out loud! Now is when the inside of my body was twitching- my mothers finger nails were tapping the kitchen father still had the "dad I'm pregnant" look on his face.
And then she says it...."what are you thinking, young lady"? I'M thinking I'M done with this lost town! I want adventure! I want to LIVE MY LIFE TO THE FULLEST! Again, I receive her deadly silence. I continue to babble on about how "safe" I would be...we have family in New Jersey! My fathers cousin- the model lives in NYC! It's not like I'm asking to move to Philadelphia. ***********************
I'm not exactly sure how many hours past until my mother and I talked about my move again. My father sat at the kitchen table and he talked to me. He wasn't showing "excitement" but he was giving me support. He knew all to well what being young and traveling for adventure was about. He too experienced that lifestyle. But he also knew that getting an education and focusing on a career was just as important. Then he said it....."I'll talk with your mother". I KNEW it! My daddy did it again for me! He is going to make this all happen- AND behind curtain #1 is the canary yellow 1967 Mustang!

Life lesson: Don't count those eggs...not just yet.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Scrap Book

With my first puppy "Heidi"
*my brother/coachman & my big sister/limo driver*
An Italian-American family moment.....
Me at 6 mother insisted on the
cupie doll look!
Baptism with my Godparents
Parents- Joseph & Doris

Introduction? Here it goes? The beginning?

When I think back on my childhood, I smile. A big smile.
Perhaps it was due to the overload of love and affection I received. I was the youngest of three. Twelve year difference from my sister and ten years from my brother. I can remember my brother taking me for long bike rides. I don't think I was any older than 5 or 6 years old.
He would take our Mother's decorative pillow, tie it onto the middle of the bicycle bar with string, and there I sat in all my glory! I was the Princess and he was my Coachman. We would venture off to Mr. Papavich's for homemade snowballs which were sold out of this kind Polish neighbors garage. Then as we arrived home, my Coachman....Michael would get an earful from our Mother who was wondering why her favorite decorative pillow vanished from the couch- once again. Finally I did receive an "upgrade" on my transportation. My sister Deborah, owner of the classiest black Falcon would take me for car rides. Now of course the view from the back seat of a little black Falcon was not the easiest when your head just barely reached the window. However, back then I would sit on my knees and look out the window while passing through our neighborhood. (of course I was in a lap style seat belt)
The neighborhood where I grew up in Pennsylvania, was primarily Italian-American and Polish-American.
On warm summer evenings the "elders of the block" sat on their front stoops. These elders, knew whose children belonged to whom as we played throughout the neighborhood until sunset.
Barbers and funeral home directors were on each corner. Drug stores and malt shops. A busy but quiet city.
Wow, I miss those days.

My parents, they too showered me with love and affection. They were a popular couple. My father strong. My mother beautiful. Looking at them you would think they should be sitting with the rest of the Rat Pack in Atlantic City. Instead, they were raising three children. Working, setting rules and boundaries. Attending family picnics and planning holiday parties. PTA meetings and First Holy Communions.
Having "opened minded" parents while growing up in the 70's certainly didn't hurt. My friends idolized me for having such "cool" parents. My mother and father always had an open dialogue. There was no topic we couldn't discuss. Except one- you will later hear about.
What was taboo in most of my friends was easily explained and talked over with ease in my home.
And I thank God for that today. As a mother of three, I now have the tools I need to guide and teach my own children. When I long for the days when my canvas was nothing but pink & glitter......I take a deep breath, then eat some chocolate. Oh, yeah...thank goodness for chocolate! {wink}

I am on a journey- which I would like to invite you to come along...... I've always wanted to write a book.
I do not have any formal training {duh, right} and I have never done anything like this before. In some way, I'm feeling a driving force pushing me to do this. Or perhaps I should say- I'm feeling gently guided.
So, grab a cup of tea and come with me on my journey........