Friday, August 31, 2012


The last weekend of summer fun is upon us.
Oh, we will still have warm, sunny days for sure, but, have you noticed? The days are already growing shorter.
  In the mornings when I look out the door, I can see the children standing at the bus stop. I guess they won't be sleeping in late for awhile.
  The sounds of  the kids playing football, soccer, cheer leading and band is what I hear now.There is nothing wrong with this except these are "fall" sports, and I am still in "summer mode." 
  I want to continue to hear the children's laughter while catching lightning bugs, the splashing sounds made as they jump in the pool, the sound of the children's laughter as they run up to the waves crashing in from the ocean. Sleepy hugs I'm really going to miss. I want to recapture the feeling of the beginning of summer, not have it end.
 Where have the days gone? It seems like it is just beginning, and now, I realize it's winding down when I hear the sound of the school bus stopping. 
 I want summer to stay here for just a little while longer,  I still want to smell the flowers while they bloom, I still have plans for projects to do yet this summer. 
  My youngest grandchild will go to school all day this year, I can't believe this little peanut, who has brought such joy in my life, will no longer be spending some babysitting days with me, but be in school instead.
 I guess I have to roll with the flow, ready or not.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Our New Home

   One of the most exciting, material things for me happened back in 1971. We had been married 8 years when we moved into our newly built home.
                                     Through word of mouth I  had heard about a new development being built up in the township. I decided to look into it, even though I was thinking that we would be never be able to do this. We were not financially stable back then, and because of that I thought it could never happen.
But,what could it hurt to look into having our own home? I had to at least try, if it didn't work out, then it didn't, but how would I know that unless we tried?
 One day when the boys were being extra good, I found some time on my hands and got up enough nerve to call the builder. He asked if  he could come out to talk to us. Without asking my husband, I made arrangements for Mr. Builder to come.
  The day before he was to come I told my husband what I had done. He said "you are going to waste our time, and don't get your hopes up."
   When Mr. Builder came to talk to us, I pretty much had talked myself  out of this dream of mine. The three of us sat down at our kitchen table and he talked to us, explaining everything financially. I looked at my husband and we were both smiling and I knew he was thinking what I was. "This just might work! "  
   Mr. Builder rode us up in his fancy car to show us the lots that were still available. I wanted a ranch, but being pregnant with my fourth child, they said we should build a two story with four bedrooms.   
  I wanted a level lot, but Mr. Builder said he could not build a two story house on the lot I wanted. He showed us the lot that would work for us, and I grudgingly gave up my dreams of a ranch home and a level lot. What was important was the fact that we were going to have our own home built.
   We did all the necessary paper work, gave the down payment and went out to celebrate. During the next couple of months, we would drive up to see them building our home, that was exciting times. First we saw them lay the footer, then each week we would watch as the construction
workers would finish one section and go on to another. 
We took pictures of our home being built and when our parents came to visit, we would drive them up to see the progress that had been done.
    Finally on March 13, 1971, we were able to move into our own newly built home. Oh, what a happy day that was for our family. There had been a lot of set backs that happened during the time our home was being built. We question ourselves many times, wondering if we would ever move in or call it our own. That will be a story for another time, the main thing being, we were in.
    The day we  moved in was a cold, snowy, wintry March. The 13th to be exact. We found out that it was cold and not getting warmer in the house.Our third son had a bad cold and needed him to be warm. When my husband came home from work he called the company who put the furnace in and asked if someone could come out and fix it.  That wonderful man, who had not even been paid for his job yet, had to travel an hour to fix our furnace, but did so because of my son, and the fact that I was pregnant.
   Our home seemed so huge to us, we had moved from a small 4 room duplex to a home with 4 bedrooms, bath, kitchen, dining room, living room, powder room, and basement. To us it was a castle.
The boys had so much room to play, my kitchen was state of the art ( what does state of the art mean anyhow?) and my husband had a place for his tools. Even our car fit nicely into the garage.
    Because we built on an empty lot, there was a lot of ground work to be done, We had to hire a construction worker to come in and level the lot.  My husband had to build a retaining wall, order stone for the driveway,and seed the yard. There was nothing but dirt when the weather was dry, and mud when it rained. Once all of that was done, we could enjoy our new home,
       It has been 41 years since that day, and our home has so much history that I can never imagine leaving.
Our sons, and even my husband say that we should down size, but I can't even begin to think of leaving, my husband has put so much work into our home and all the memories are still alive.
 When we walk into the boys one bedroom, we see a hole in the cupboard from one son shooting his B.B. gun inside of it.  The room where my other son tied a string around a fountain pen and twirled it around as it put ink stains into our new ceiling, the traps still hanging in the basement from when our two older sons went trapping for raccoon and fox. The yard where we had 1st, 2nd and 3rd base so embedded into the ground that we thought grass would never grow there. The drums being played so loud that we could not hear ourselves talk, The weekend we went to Harrisburg with the two youngest and left the oldest at home. They had a Woodstock party that lasted the whole weekend.
The year the shed blew off of our property from the snow storm, the year we all went Christmas Caroling on our street and no one opened their doors!
Those are just some of the funny memories I have, the sentimental one are to numerous to mention as they outweigh the funny ones.
Their were tears during the years but mostly we had  happiness.

      To be continued - - - - -


Saturday, August 25, 2012


  The Forget Me Not is a special flower to me. It is a beautiful name given to a beautiful flower.
I try to keep these packets of seeds in my purse at all times. I like to give them as small gifts for no reason.
   Lately they have been hard for me to find. So if anyone knows of a store or seed catalog that has them for sale, could you please let me know?

  Thank you kindly in advance.


Saturday, August 11, 2012


Sometimes I wonder if my children have special memories of ordinary moments from the past that creep up on them unexpectedly. Perhaps hot summer afternoons sitting on a blanket at Springdale pool; or summer lunches of corn on the cob, and fresh fruit; maybe listening to music played by their dad on the piano or guitar, or nights when we didn't have air conditioning and it was too hot to sleep.
  I’ll have to ask them. I’d like to know what ordinary moments live on in their minds like the afternoon memories of my childhood do in mine. 
  I remember waking up on summer mornings and feeling a slight breeze on my body, Walking to the pool and the closer I got, the more excitement I felt from hearing all of the kids squealing, and, of course, the four o'clock steel mill whistle ending the daylight shift and my signal to go home for supper. 
 I know that my two older sons still look for radio stations that play polka's on Sunday. It brings back ordinary moments they have of my parents playing them on their radio,
Also the Christmas album from the Partridge family would be a  Christmas moment, and the smell of freshly cut grass.
  My husband would say watching Happy Days and Lavern & Shirley with our whole family gathered in the living room.
Maybe they will read this and answer what ordinary moments they remember.
  What are your ordinary moments?

Saturday, August 4, 2012



From my own experience, I can tell you that being a waitress is the hardest job ever.  At least it was back in the 1970’s.  Tips were not big back then and the work was hard.

  My first job was as a server at Choo Choo Pancake. It was located where Fun Fest is down in Harmarville.  The employer and owner was a retired Navy officer. Mary, she was a tough broad who ran a tight ship. She was mean looking with a loud, harsh voice and always had a cigarette hanging out of her mouth. For some reason, she liked me. We hit it off, and I actually liked her, I even felt bad for her at times.

  Since Ron worked during the day, I would work the night shift and weekends. We did not see each other often. To use the old cliché’, “We were like ships passing through the night.”

 At Choo Choo, I worked with a great crew around my age. Once the restaurant closed for the night, it was our time to do the side cleanup work, off the clock!  (Without pay)   A closer had the worse job of all. We had to fill and wipe the salt and pepper shakers,plus fill the sugar jars, fill the ketchup bottles up and wipe them off, and then wipe all of the syrup bottles off, they were always so sticky,that was such a yucky job. We also had to take everything out of the freezer and wipe it down and then put everything back in again. The last job was to run the sweeper.  Everything had to be ready to go for the morning crew.

  It would have been an unbearable job, but once the restaurant closed, the fun would begin; the guys who worked as cooks would try to see if they could throw raw eggs up to the ceiling. They didn’t care that they would have a mess to clean up. We would clean while dancing to music. Sometimes we would just hang out and talk on a Saturday night after work until 5 o’clock am, and then we would all go to Mass.

 If you can, visualize how long Fun Fest parking lot is. Then picture me on the back of a motorcycle without a helmet, in my waitress dress, riding up and down the parking lot. You will laugh aloud, but it was a lot of fun and we had no fear.

 Ron & I liked to go out on Saturday nights. We were members of the Tarentum Moose and knew many people there. All of us would close the place down and then go out for breakfast. If I had to work a Sunday morning, I would come home, take a shower and go straight to work without any sleep!  Those were the good ole days that we took for granted our energy and our youth.

   I had some medical issues while pregnant with my fourth son, and had to have bed rest, so I had to quit my job. Once I had my baby and we were both okay, I got a job at a restaurant right in Springdale.  It was a bar/restaurant owned by two Italian brothers. I loved the place because people were so happy and cheerful. The name of it was West Penn Inn, it burned down years ago and both brothers have passed on.

   The only drawback was that the bar and small restaurant were downstairs, and the main restaurant and kitchen were upstairs. That made it hard on the servers. We had to make the salads downstairs in the walk in freezer, then pour the beer and collect the stiff drinks from the bar. We also had to brown the garlic bread ourselves. When the dinner was done, we had to go pick it up and take it to our table. It was not bad if the patrons were sitting at a table downstairs, but it was horrid if they were sitting upstairs, because you had to keep running up and down the steps. Especially to refills their drinks.

  One Saturday night we were super busy, I was waiting on many tables at once, (which isn’t unusual for a waitress or waiter) one was a table of 10 in the main dining room upstairs, and one of the guys happened to be my one son’s schoolteacher. They placed their salad and drink order and I went downstairs to prepare the salads, get the rolls, pour the beer, and pick up the drinks, I placed everything on a large tray and balanced it on my shoulder with my hand holding the tray up, my other hand was holding two baskets of rolls. I walked out of the bar area and started up the stairs sort of fast, when all of a sudden I TRIPPED!  The salad bowls went flying, the rolls went tumbling and the drinks spilled everywhere. I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.  I looked down at the other waitress who was at the bottom of the steps and she started laughing, so I started to laugh, which released a flood of tears and more laughter.

  Everyone was so nice to me, the other waitresses helped me to refill and the bartenders got the drinks, but most of all, the ten sitting at the table were very nice and left me a large tip.

   I won’t even go into the story's of when I fell off the barstool while working there; or the time someone ordered a 7 & 7 and I didn't know what it was! I will save them for another time.

Dee's shared items


This time of year makes me think of all of those things I have to be thankful for - - - -
my husband
my children
my grandchildren
my health
my freedom
always thankful for friends made