CONNIE’S MEMORIES-VALENTINE’S DAY

Hi all, Happy Valentine’s Day.  It’s interesting how all these different holidays and special days bring back good and I guess bad memories.  I tend to forget the bad ones, because I have so many good ones. And since I have married my sole mate and man of my dreams, I have had one great Valentine’s Day after another.  You should see the beautiful card he gave me today. And I must say, the one I bought him really made him happy also.

Now to memories.  I had a wonderful childhood. For some reason God gave me to terrific parents. They loved me and all their children. They were there for us and we knew it. They brought us up as Catholic Christians, taught us to know the Lord, and for me at least, helped me to have a very personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Which certainly gave me someone to count on during some of the very tough times.

Now, to VALENTINE’S DAY.  For as long as I was living as home, 18 years, my father came home from work for Dinner (at noon). On Valentine’s Day, he would come home with these nice big Valentine Cards for each one of us kids. They were always cute, big ones, that he could buy at Woolworth’s 5 & 10 cent store.  We used to love getting them and looked forward to them every year.  I don’t know how long he did this since I was the oldest of 7 kids, but he was doing it when I moved out and went to college and work.

He used to give my mother her Valentine Card in the morning before he went to work and they were always beautiful and sentimental. That was no big deal for us kids since he used to kiss her every morning before he went to work anyway.  I remember one year when I was older, he made her a card.  I don’t know if he forgot to buy one or if he just decided to do something different. Once he retired from working 50 hours or more a week working at the store we owned, he started working with wood, building things and carving birds from scratch.  The VALENTINE CARD he made was made from a square piece of wood. He had carved on it a heart and some nice words and painted it.  She was so pleased, she showed it to everyone who came in the house.  He did do a very nice job, it was very pretty, and she was so happy.  By then they had been married at least 50 plus years and were still very much in love.

I have to tell you that when my husband and I got married, my Dad must have been around 80 years old.  When he thought no one was looking, he would run his hand tenderly by his wife’s rear, and smile.  When we got married he told my husband to stop by any time except Thursday afternoon. He said, “don’t come knocking, the house will be rocking.”

I do wish you all that kind of love and marriage, and with God’s grace, you can have that.

HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY

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CONNIE’S MEMORIES-NEW YEAR’S EVE

THIS IS ONE OF MY BEST AND FUN MEMORIES, WHICH I THINK OF EVERY NEW YEAR’S EVE.

When I got divorced and came back to Maine, I had 4 children ages 7 to 15.  I was never much for going to New Year’s Eve parties and leaving my children at home, so we decided to hold our own New Year’s Eve Party, usually it was just us 5 but sometime one of my children’s friend and mother came over, sometime other friends of theirs.

We put away dinner, cleaned up and made dip, chips, desert and whatever along with soda, which we very seldom bought. We played board games and fun and harmless party games.  We laughed a lot.

At one point, two of my children were altar boys, so they went to serve Mass and then came home and we continued or started the party then.

We did stay up until midnight. At midnight my crowd of youngsters took pans, horns, and whatever made noise and went out and up and down the street (we lived in the middle of town) making as much noise as possible and yelling HAPPY NEW YEAR. I watched the ball come down in Times Square, then we all went to bed.

Sounds like something very simple doesn’t it?  That’s what makes memories, simple things that families do together.  And this is one of my favorites.

 

IN MEMORY OF OUR FIRST GRANDDOGGIE

INDY, OUR FIRST GRAND DOGGIE WAS 15 YEARS OLD, 105 IN PEOPLE YEARS WHEN SHE GOT TO THE POINT IN HER JOURNEY OF LIFE WHERE SHE WAS SUFFERING TO MUCH TO CONTINUE. SO HER FAMILY DECIDED IT WAS TIME FOR HER TO MOVE ON TO HER NEXT JOURNEY.

As many of her family as possible accompanied  her to her vets including her pal and other family doggie, Bunny.  Bunny was allowed to say good by to her friend Indy when the rest of the family said good by.

INDY WAS A VERY SPECIAL PORTUGUESE WATER DOG. She was a puppy when she came to her family.  We met her shortly after she arrived.  As soon as she checked out the house and figured out the dynamics of her family, she took charge.  She began mothering everyone. The children in the family were young and they became her children.  She figured out what time they went to bed and what time they got up, and from then on, she started pushing them to go up stairs when it was time and made sure they got up on time to go to school.  Unfortunately, Indy did not understand about weekends and days off so she tried hard to make them keep to the schedule, no mater what day.

We have had other dogs in the family, but none that we considered our Grand Doggies or part of our family. Indy was different.

When we, her grandparents came to visit, she greeted us with enthusiasm and a wagging tail.  No one came into her house without a friendly greeting.  She especially fell in love with Grampy Red.  Since we lived 4 hours away, we would talk to her on the phone, and when her human parents told her who we were she would talk back to her Grammy Connie and Grampy Red.  When we visited, she checked on us along with everyone else when she made her rounds of the household after everyone was in bed.  You could always count on Indy to stop by to be sure we were in bed. Then she would check the house to make sure all was well.

When she came to Maine with her family to visit us, she would sit up and start woofing when the car turned into our street.  She always knew when she arrived, where she was, and couldn’t wait to greet us and get patted and played with by Grampy Red.  I have a photo of Indy and Grampy Red, and both of them have a big smile.  As soon as I can copy it, I will post it with this Blog.

Indy was great at unwrapping her Christmas presents, and she left all the other ones alone.  Since she loved the rattle or bell best of all, she would tear apart the toy to get to the bell with great joy.

She kept her family safe.  When the kids swam in the pool, she didn’t jump in like other dogs would, she spend her time walking around the outside of the pool and watching over the swimmers to be sure they were OK.   Nothing got by Indy, she made sure we were all safe.

We have so many wonderful memories of Indy.  She was a wonderful loving mother dog for our whole family.  Where is she now?

It’s interesting that the Catholic Digest just had an article about dogs in this issue. A young boy didn’t want the family’s 15 year old dog put to sleep and someone wrote in and asked what to do. The title: BELOVED DOG TEACHES LESSONS IN LIFE AND DEATH.  

The article pointed out that: “One reason it’s hard to let a beloved pet go is that we’re not entirely certain what happens to them after they die. Some say they cannot possibly go to heaven because they have no eternal soul, while other argue that God draws all of creation to Himself. The Catholic Church says this is an open issue, and that’s a lucky thing for those of us whose brains light up at the mere mention of our pets. WE CAN’T IMAGINE ETERNITY WITHOUT THEM!”

SO I EXPECT THAT INDY IS IN HEAVEN HELPING GOD KEEP ALL THE NEW BABY ANGELS SAFE AND WE WILL SEE HER WHEN WE GET THERE. INDY WAS A WONDERFUL GRAND DOGGIE.

CONNIE’S MEMORIES- EASTER

REMEMBER, WE WERE NOT RICH, WE THOUGHT WE WERE MIDDLE CLASS BUT BY TODAY’S STANDARDS, WE WERE POOR, ACTUALLY, MY PARENTS WERE VERY SMART WITH THEIR MONEY, AND WE NEVER WENT WITHOUT THE THINGS THAT WE REALLY NEEDED.  SO THIS WAS OUR EASTER:

First we observed Lent and from my earliest memories, we did not eat meat on Fridays, we gave up something, usually candy, and definitely movies and entertainment, and we said our Rosary every night during Lent.  That may sound like a real drag to some, and, of course as kids we really didn’t want to kneel down after supper for 20 minutes every night, but my parents said: “We will say our Rosary together as a family every night during Lent, to prepare ourselves for Easter, so make your plans around the Rosary.” And so we did every Lent until I left home to go to college.

We ate supper at 5PM, and cleaned up the kitchen, my father got home at 6PM and had his supper, we cleared the table, and knelt down around the kitchen table, using the chairs for support and said the Rosary.  Looking back, it made us feel like we were all an important part of the family.  We are talking all age kids, the really young got to sit on the chair, and if they were to young to say their prayers, they had to be quiet, but we were a FAMILY.

On Thursday, during Holy Week, there was a special Mass at night which we all went to if we were old enough.  Friday afternoon, Good Friday, was The Way of the Cross at 3PM which is the time that Jesus Christ died.  Believe it or not, we used to go to school until 3PM even in high school, and the public schools let the Catholic kids and Protestant kids out early to go to church services.  WE called it respect for Religious Freedom.

Saturday noon when my father came home for dinner, he always brought us Easter Cards.  They were big, like a foot tall and 6″ wide.  We looked forward to getting them from him every year.

Saturday night was another long Mass that began with one candle being lit and the candle light spreading all over the church.  There was a lot going on Sat. night and everyone old enough went.

Easter Sunday we came down stairs to find Easter Baskets, not big ones, but medium sized ones, nicely decorated with some really good candy.  And since we had given up candy for Lent, it didn’t take us long to dive in.  Then we ate breakfast and headed to Easter Mass as a family, all aged kids go to go as a FAMILY.  (When I got older, in high school, I used to sneak down and add some candy to the collection and leave some for my mother and father. I imagine they knew, but they  always acted surprised).

WHEN I was growing up, it was always about Family, and Easter was about Jesus Christ rising from the dead, beautiful music in church, everyone dressed in their best clothes to celebrate Easter, and then when we came home, my mother began fixing dinner.  We always had company for dinner, so Easter was an all day celebration.  I also think, we were allowed to go to the movies on Easter afternoon, and because lots of people gave up movies for Lent (after all, we were preparing for the Resurrection and did not celebrate during Lent) and going to the movies was a privilege and a celebration, the movies on Easter usually were very special.

THAT’S MY MEMORIES OF EASTER, MY MOTHER AND FATHER AND FAMILY.