Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Clowns and Toast

Most people are afraid of clowns. Not so with my great-grandma. She had an entire floor-to-ceiling shelf dedicated to clown figurines. Strangely, the twisted little porcelain clowns didn't scare me as a kid.
She had many different characters around her house. On her dresser in her bedroom sat three glassy figures of women. The first was tall and slender with short brown hair, and her rosy dress lengthened to her feet. The second was slightly shorter then the latter, but equally as slender. I gave them the persona of the evil step-sisters. Then, the blond beauty with a full floral dress, a blue laced-up bodice, and a white apron was Cinderella. Every single time Cinderella attended the ball, made the sisters jealous, and fell in love with the prince (who, consequently, was a clown).
Grandma made the best toast. No, really. I still can't get my toast to imitate that golden brown, buttery goodness. She used Italian bread that she bought from Barney's Bakery, not Wonder bread. And, oh. Her eggs were amazing. We would run over from my Nonna's (pronounced "nunna") house and ask Grandma for a "dippy egg". Nonna, my mom's mom, and my grandma lived next to each other for over 30 years. Italians never seem to go far from home. Anyway, a dippy egg is an egg cooked so that the white is fully cooked, but the yolk is runny. Then you "dip" your toast in the yolk and eat it. Tastes better than it sounds.
After breakfast we all went out on Grandma's porch. Across from her porch was an elevated patio attached to a stone garage. My oldest cousin and I used the patio as a stage from as far back as I can remember. In the middle of the stone wall of the garage was a small statue of the Virgin Mary. Well, my cousin Matthew accidentally hit poor Mary with a baseball one day. Grandma ran outside hollering and scolding, and a few days later Mary was surrounded by a miniature white fence, and she looked as if she had a bad nose job. Still, Mary sat faithfully in Grandma's backyard for years after.

To be continued...

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Where I Went Wrong Raising My Mother

[my mom has always told me that she wants me to write a book about her. I told her I'd have to wait until she was gone. She didn't like that too much, so here's a tidbit of what I've already written.]

Mom, for as long as I can remember, has periodically changed her hobbies/interests. There was the knitting phase, the home improvement phase, the improve the home improvement phase, the gardening phase, the Pilates-guru phase, the scrapbooking phase, the can't-put-it-down novel phase -- the list goes on. She would pour her time and effort into becoming an aficionado of her pastimes. She can tell you the stories behind each photo, the best paint (and paint remover) for just about any project, the most difficult yarn to work with, and how each Christian author taught her something new about spirituality. With each little obsession Mom worked at it a fire and passion that almost made me want to try my hand at the various activities. I suppose that's where I get my love for trying new things.

I will be adding to this in upcoming posts. :]