Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Reflections - with my binders

For each holiday, I have created binders for my Family....when I am gone, if they so choose, they can replicate the holiday as we have for many years as a Family....

Since Easter is approaching, I have pulled that binder and I have noted each year what our menu is (which is a bit redundant since we always have the same menu!), who has attended the holiday and Family Dinner (sometimes we are not all together) and what activities were enjoyed.  (One year we all went kayaking! which was great fun!)

I noted  that in 2020 Bob and I were alone.  My entry page for that year reflected the Pandemic, which kept so many families apart.  I wrote:


This was the most unusual Easter ever.

It was the year of the Pandemic, world-wide.  Everyone had to stay home, in their houses, away from others as the Coronavirus was highly contagious.

Matango's Candies (where we the get the most wonderful jelly beans every year!) called me in February to tell me they were going to be short jelly beans this year due to a malfunction with a machine but they would put aside several bags for me so I would have them.

Easter presents were bought for everyone, the house was ready, the ham was in Nanny Barb's (my Mother) freezer.  All we needed was our beloved Family to be here.

That was not to be........the whole country was in lockdown.  No schools, no businesses (except for essential such as drug stores and food stores were open and we were not allowed out except for a bit of exercise and fresh air).  We also had to wear masks to protect ourselves and others.

THEN, the world moved on, albeit with many, many losses, and Easter, 2021 arrived and I wrote two entries:

EASTER, 2021

Finally, we are going to be able to be with our Family!!!  The New Yorkers will arrive Thursday, April 1st.  This is also the day I will be taking Nan (My Mother) for her second vaccination.

I have prepared foods that I can ahead of time so I can be with the Family and just hug and stare at them!!!  

I am beyond excited!

It is so hard to believe that we have "lost" one year of our lives....of our Grand's lives.....they will be so much taller, smarter and more adorable!!!!

And, then the "official" entry in my binder:

EASTER, 2021

The gang arrived Thursday night and we had a Pasta, Meatball, Sausage dinner.  It was so very wonderful to see the New Yorkers!  Tina came for dinner also but Brandon, Gary and Madeleine did not make it.

The New Yorkers stayed at a Hampton Inn in Hershey the accommodated dogs as "Louie" Kelly and "Chewie"  Giordano also came.

On Friday, Nanny, Katie, Mia and James decorated a "bunny cake for Barby Bunny!  Then we colored tons and tons of eggs!!!! We ordered subs, Pizza, Arrancini and salad from CD Pizza.  Nick and Berni visited in the afternoon.

On Saturday, the New Yorkers spent a lovely day outside and then dropped Kate, Mia and James off so Nanny and Bob could spend the evening with them.  They had macaroni and cheese for dinner.  We started to play Sorry and then Nanny taught them all how to play Chinese Checkers.  They loved it!  They all wanted to sleep overnight so we messaged their mothers and they brought their clothes up.  However, James decided at the last minute that he wanted to go with his Mother.  So, just Katie and Mia slept overnight.

Easter Sunday Nanny put the ham in the oven early and the girls showered and dressed and we did Mass on the internet. The girls spent the morning creating beautiful, intricate Easter cards for everyone.

We had Bob, Trish, Nanny Barb, Pudgie, Tina, Brandon, Katie, James, Barby, Sean, Katie and Mia for our Easter dinner.  We had ham, macaroni and cheese, potatoes au gratin, mashed sweet potatoes, baked corn, asparagus, green beans, pickled eggs, Victoria sponge cake with fresh whipped cream and fresh raspberries, Lemon Mousse Pie, Matangos Jelly Beans, and Chocolate Egg from Ann D'Amico.

Tina organized the BEST EVER egg hunt/obstacle course for the kids, which we held on the side lawn.  It was so much fun!  Even the neighbors enjoyed watching the activities.

Our evening ended with Easter Pie and Charades in the courtyard.

How perfect!

Sunday, March 20, 2022

"Second Chance"

 We were recently on our way to visit our two daughters and Grands in New York when we were struck from behind on 78 near Bethlehem by a Ford 150 Truck.  We were in the passing lane, cruising at about 70 mph when there was the most unbelievable crash, thunder, impact ever!  My husband was able to keep the car under control and get into the right lane (thankfully, there were no cars at that moment) and then pull onto the berm.....which was a very small berm.  

My hair, which is long and thick and always in a bun....was knocked out of the pins!  My husband, who wears glasses and hearing aids......found his glasses and hearing aids in the back seat after the crash!!!!  Such was the impact!!!

The young man who hit us did own up and pulled over and waited for the State Police.  We called the insurance company and the whole process  (getting a rental, getting our car towed) took about five (5) hours.....which was way too long for me!  There were extraordinary  kindnesses throughout and in my muddle, I did not get names at the Raceway Chevrolet, where we pulled our car into off  of 78....I will correct that when we return the rental to Bethlehem.....Two men in particular gave us access to a clean bathroom, gave us bottles of cold water and taped our back window (which was shattered) in anticipation of a rain storm!

We were quite shaken and after grabbing a bite to eat, ventured home.  We arrived home around 7:00 p.m. and I was fast asleep by 8:00 pm. from sheer exhaustion over the whole ordeal.

I had trouble walking because of a pain in my lower back area and my husband had a pain in his chest, probably from the seat belt.  So, we rested Saturday and just laid low.  By Sunday, we were feeling a bit better and getting our "land legs".  

What impacted me most was the feeling that we were so blessed to be alive.  I was actually overcome by this feeling.  I felt the need to let my loved ones know this feeling.  

And, then, I thought, why should a dire experience like this make me feel this way?  I should be ever so cognizant at all times of my loved ones!    So, I leave you with this:  Let your loved ones know how much you appreciate them NOW....do not wait, like me, til a terrible, life-threatening experience!

We are all so fortunate to have our beloved family and friends .

Saturday, March 5, 2022

The World Has Gone Mad!

I was having a belated Christmas/Birthday Luncheon  the other day with a dear friend of many, many years and I was complaining about the daily increase  of gas prices and she said to me, "You have to keep it in perspective"......and I thought, "Oh my God, she is sooooo right!"

 I am sleeping in my own warm bed and preparing whatever foods I want and being in touch with my loved ones!......when the people of the Ukraine are fleeing for their lives, leaving their homes and  all belongings, not knowing how many of their loved ones will survive!.........how dare I complain about a price increase!!!! 

At Mass tonight we prayed for the people of the Ukraine. 

Where will this all end?  

WE all have to face reality.....our world has been one of bliss til now.....however, this may affect us more than we can now realize.  The nuclear equation is one of great concern.  

Recently I wrote about the Pandemic and how it made us all realize the importance of Family and Friends and how we should cherish them every moment........

It would seem now, more than ever, this thought is paramount!  We can take nothing for granted!  While going about our daily lives may seem trivial, we have to keep going with our daily routines to shore up our stamina and reserves if needed.