Sunday, December 30, 2012


The end of 2012 is only a day away. Tomorrow at this time most of us will have the traditional Pork and Sauerkraut already in the Crock Pot or in the oven.
Or maybe you will be going to First Night, or a house party? Staying home, just snuggled up, enjoying seeing the activities on TV?
 Whatever your plans, may God bless you and yours, keeping everyone healthy and safe.

I use to think if I was not happy during the holidays there was something wrong with me. I thought that everyone was happy and having fun. I know for a fact that was how it was when I was growing up at home, and while my parents were alive. 
So I tried to achieve this air of happiness, even when I was not feeling so happy. When the kids came along, it was easy to be happy, because I saw the Christmas holidays through their eyes.

The kids grew up and left the nest, my parents passed away, my husband's father, and not to long ago, we lost a very dear friend.

And, once more I was not feeling very happy during the holidays. 
Too much change, big changes to get through and to accept.

My mom and brother always stayed over Christmas Eve, we would make the smelts, apple fritters, Christmas Eve spaghetti, and friends would stop over. Now there is a void. I tried to keep up the tradition for Christmas Eve, even though it was not as much fun as when my mom and brother were there. 
The kids want me to continue to make everything. It would be fun to have everyone pitch in. Now the Christmas Eve spaghetti is made by Erika, and it is delicious, I am so happy that they are doing one of our traditions. In the next few weeks I will have everyone here to show them how to make the pizzells. Then the apricot horns.
I was use to having my kids on Christmas Eve and Christmas, New Years Eve and New Years. But they have family of their own and lives of their own. So there were many changes, I have a hard time with change. But because of our great grandchildren, we have a wonderful Christmas day. They bring such excitement and happiness with them. And it is wonderful to have the whole family together. We are blessed.

 Today, I was thinking of my cousin Anne, who gave such a fight for life, but passed away a few days before Christmas. I was feeling down, because I was not able to attend her funeral on Saturday. I wonder how everthing went, I talked to my brother briefly and he just said the Mass was beautiful. I was glad to hear that

It's tough when I only drive local, it hinders me in many ways. But I woke up that morning with a touch of whatever all of the family was going through, and knew I was in no shape to go anywhere.
 I started thinking today,  you know how you do sometimes? Your mind just wanders. And I realized that I have lost 5 cousins through the years. All young!  
  My cousin Joseph, who had such a great smile, my Uncle Patsy's son, died many years ago, but I can still remember being at his wedding like it was yesterday.
  My cousin Frank, a young husband, father and  policeman, unexpectedly passed when he was on duty, in a bicycle accident. I remember him as fun loving, full of life cousin.  
  Also unexpectedly, my cousin Sandra, who was a bridesmaid in our wedding, and always healthy, passed at the age of 62, in 2010.
  On my dad's side, back in the early seventy's
my dad's young nephew died while trying to swim across the river. 
  And now Anne, who also was a bridesmaid in our wedding. We kept in touch with one another since 1995. I always laughed when I talked with her, she was so fun to talk to and she would tell me how she loved going places. And we would talk about our family history.

It will be tough not being able to talk with her and share things with her. She will be missed by so many, she was the core of the cousins and closest to me in age, I wonder if I will be seeing the others now, they are young and dear to me, even though I am old enough to be their mother. 

I have two dear ones who are out of state, I hope to keep in touch with them. 

And  - - -  - 

This year went by so fast, the months flew. Did it go fast for you too?
 Thinking about this past year, I realized that I did not accomplish my own personal goal that I set for myself. I will just add it on my to do list for this New Year and make sure it is the first one I do.

Finally we have Winter's first snow. And it is here during the Christmas holidays! What a difference the landscape looks, covered with freshly fallen snow, such a beautiful sight to look at, even more so with the roads being clear.

  During times like now, I love riding by our local high-school. There is a hill on the side of the school that is perfect for kids to go sled riding. Every time I drive by, the kids are there with their sleds looking like they are having a fun time. Our sons went sled riding down that same hill when they lived at home.

 I would of loved to stop and try it myself, but didn't have a sled with me. I will have to wait until I go to visit at Doug or Jeff 's home. Then I will use one of my grand children's sled and go down their hill. I won't have to worry about slamming into trees or going into the street at either home.

This year will be a big one for Ron and myself.

  God willing and the creek don't rise. (My dad's favorite quote.)

  2013 will be a huge year for The Clarks',

  Ron and I both turn (70) Seventy, this year, and it will also be our Fifty (50) year wedding anniversary. God willing we will be able to celebrate it in good health.

First of all, I can't even believe I will be 70, even though my body tells me in so many different ways, my mind won't accept it. I am thankful that I am still here, and looking forward to celebrate 50ty years of marrage with my soul mate, who I could not imagine life without.  

A very Healthy, Peaceful & Happy New Year my dear friends. 

Saturday, December 22, 2012



 My cousin Anne and I were very close as children. I am the oldest,  then Monica, and then Anne.

 I remember staying at their home for the weekend and  her dad, Uncle Lou would take bread and us to the park. Uncle Lou would break up the bread and give it to us so we could feed it to the ducks. 
He was a very good carpenter and made Anne beautiful children's kitchen furniture. I loved it when we would play house together.
Uncle Lou also made me a beautiful children's table with two chairs that lasted me forever, I still had one of the chairs when I married, but now, years later I don't know what happened to it, for all I know it could be up in the attic as a treasure to be found.

 Anne was a bridesmaid in my wedding. She looked beautiful and represented the Mianzo side. I was the flower girl in her parents wedding and now years later she was one of my bridesmaids.

As the years past, our parents, uncles and aunts grew old, and in time passed away.  When my dad passed away the visits with his family were few and far between. When my mom passed away in 1995 , I was reunited with my Aunt Carm, Uncle Lou and my cousin Anne.

They came everyday to the funeral home, afternoon and evening, and coming down to my mom and brothers house. For not seeing them for years, but coming each day to the funeral made me feel so good and they were so comforting.  I felt connected in a way I can't explain.

I started to call my Aunt Carm every week, once a week and in calling her I was able to talk to Ann many times. Uncle Lou, Aunt Carm and Anne would meet us for breakfast, we would visit with them, and one time they came to our house where we took them to Glenn's custard, a very popular place and well known. They loved it and even took a quart home with them. Once we met them at my son, Brian's home in Freedom, and we went to a George Jones concert in Ohio, we all loved country music and had such a good time
We had a close relationship, and I loved being with Aunt Carm and Anne. Aunt Carm would tell all about my dad growing up, She told me how she wrote to her brothers weekly when they were in the service. We would go through photo albums together, and they would tell me all about different people who were relatives, but I did not retain it.

When Aunt Carm passed away, I was devastated, I felt a keen loss, I still kept in touch with Anne, but not as often as I did with Aunt Carm. It was hard to catch Anne at home, because Anne was a social butterfly. She loved going to see antiques, going out for a good dinner, running estate sales, working at the church baking, or frying fish. She was a hard worker, She was also a popular hair stylist for years downtown. 

She loved meeting up with her friends, going to house sales, and just spending time with them, and she was a avid reader when she was home.  She had a beautiful singing voice and knew all of the Italian recipe's from our family.

How she found the time to do all this is beyond me, but she did, even with all of her ailments, and she had plenty, she pushed herself to go to work, where she loved her clients and they loved her, she was very popular hair stylist.

She suffered with arthritis's, fibromialga, lupus, and many other painful ailments, but it never kept her down, she just keep moving like the energized bunny. I admired her spirit and her spunk.

I don't know when it started, but I was missing "family", not immediate family, but my cousins. After all, on my dad's side, only cousins were left. How would we ever know each other and keep tradition alive if we didn't see each or keep in touch with each other? I thought I would try to start the 1st Mianzo Cousin reunion. Once I started to plan it. I got really involved and excited. I called my cousin Anne, and Carmie.  
They both gave me addresses to get in touch with our other cousins who we really had not seen for quite a while, except that Anne kept in touch with Aunt Marge, and Carm kept in touch with Aunt Gerri and Wayne. Our Uncle Tony's son.

I asked Carmie to help me out and she and her family did. They looked for and rented the grove, Anne sent me information and I sent out the invitations, and got in touch with our cousin Frank from Kentucky, who found our long lost cousin Monica.
Frank found her while working on our family history. He has a lot of information on our family, but Anne is the one who knew everything in her head. Aunt Carm would tell her in some of their talks. She was a walking encyclopedia for the Mianzo history. I am so sorry that I never wrote down all she told me.

Our first reunion was wonderful. It was so great to see everyone, Monica along with her one daughter and family came up from North Carolina, Frank came with his wife and daughter from Kentucky. Aunt Marge was there with her family, Carmie and her family, my brother, all of my family and Anne and Te with her daughter Stephanie. It was a great time. I truly felt  the love among us. We were thirsty for family and we were able to quench it at our reunion. 

After I did  the first reunion with Carm, Anna Marie planned the 2nd and 3rd. Anne did not make it to the 3rd one though. So it has been a little over a year since I saw her last, though I talked to her on the phone many times.

Not to long ago Anne called me one day full of excitement about Stephanie, her neice. Stephanie was getting married, and Anne told me the dates to save. The date for the Bridal Shower and the Wedding.
 She was so excited for her and told me she went with them while Stephanie picked out her wedding gown. She wouldn't say what the gown looked like, only that Stephanie looked beautiful. 
Anne did not have children, so her sister's Te's children were like her own. There was nothing she would not do for them and she loved them with all her heart.

I was not able to go to the Bridal shower, but heard that Anne had a wonderful time and was so proud of her neice. The last time I talked to Anne, she was getting ready to go shopping with her good friend, Barb to get something else for the shower. She said she hoped I could make it and was looking forward to seeing me.
  Less than two weeks later she was in intensive care with a infection she was not able to pull out of. But she was a fighter and fought long and hard.

She is the new star I see in the sky tonight,  I will think of her when I hear a country western song, when I look at jewlery( that she loved), when I go to read a new book or when I forget and go to call her and then remember I can't.

My heart goes out to her only sister and her family. My prayers and thoughts are with them. 
 I feel bad for myself, because I have lost a dear cousin who made me laugh, talked with me for what seemed like hours on the phone, taught me to endure pain, and told me about our family, along with many other things.
  I will truly miss her, her smile and her laughter. 
Her spirit will be at the wedding she was so looking forward to. But she is free of pain now,  reunited with her family in God's heaven.

My cousin Anne (Ann), who loved her family with her whole being.

Monday, December 17, 2012


Christmas,  the time of year when everyone feels good will toward their fellow man. The time to celebrate our Lord's birth. A time for snow, mistletoe, secrets, and delicious aromas fillling the home.

As a child my Christmas was filled with all of this plus traveling to Grandma's.

For as long as I can remember we have traveled to Grandma's for the holiday. On Christmas morning my brother and I would wake up  early and run downstairs to the beautiful wrapped gifts that we could hardly believe were ours.

After opening our gifts, we would get ready for church, after church we would travel the hour's trip to Grandma's.After a few hours there we would be off to visit with our other Grandmother.

The years flew by and soon I had my own family.We lived close to our childhood homes then and our family was four, since our traveling time was short, there was no hesitation on our part to travel. More years went by, we moved farther away, and our family increased to six.

Our Christmases now seemed so hectic- getting up early, opening gifts, going to church and then traveling the hour's drive home.

Always at our destination there would be my Dad standing at the door looking for us. The smile on his face and that of my Mother always made the hustle and traveling worthwhile.

Our boys, now growing older, wanted to start spending Christmas at home, to have time to enjoy their gifts. They were tired of spending Christmas traveling.  

Last year we almost gave in and stayed home. It was very tempting to be able to have a leisurely Christmas day, but thinking of how our parents looked forward to having us spend the holiday with them, my dad putting up the train platform for his grandchildren. Making sure Santa Claus was there for the little ones, we dismissed the idea and went.

What a wonderful Christmas we had, starting with the traditional dinner and exchanging of gifts. With my Dad's rich baritone voice, my husband playing the guitar, we would close the day by singing  Christmas carols.  

This Christmas will be a lot different. No longer will my dad be waiting at the door, for he truly has traveled home.

 We will have beautiful memories this year and always, because we always traveled home for the holidays. 

Written about my dad and puplished in 1976.

my mom passed away in 1995, since then Christmas has never been the same. I always thought my parents would be around, I could never imagine a day with out them. I still miss them terribly.

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