My parents separated early in my life, I was two to three years old at the time. Japan, Germany and Italy came between those two young marrieds. My mother would have a small apartment over my maternal great-grandparents home in New Jersey not far from Philadelphia. My maternal grandparents would live but a block away. I was loved, dotted upon and for accounts and purposes, spoiled. My grandparents would always cart me along with them on any trip or outing.
I’m not sure which was my first trip, in the summer summer or winter,. I will write on both, these were trips with my maternal Grandmother and Grandfather. That would be Harry and Emma Wittman from Audubon, NJ. A trip to New York City prior to November 5th 1951 comes to mind. So, perhaps eight years old. I know prior to that date as the NJ turnpike was not open to Exit 10 from the Delaware Memorial Bridge as yet. We got on our bus in Camden, NJ and traveled old route 130 and crossed into NYC via the Lincoln Tunnel onto W. 36th st. I remember as a youngster, I would often hold my breath in a Tunnel.
We would stay in the Victoria Hotel, 160 Central Park South. It is now a Landmark, Marriott house. We would make this trip several times, always staying in the Victoria. It was quite nice back in the day and continues to remain so.
This particular trip was during cold weather and obviously close to Christmas. I know this as we went to Radio City Music Hall and saw their Christmas production. I shall forever remember the Rockettes.
We also saw some ice skating, it was so long ago I remember not where. Here is a little history on Ice Skating in NYC, should you be interested.
I remember walking about the city, going into Gimbels department store and being awestruck on the toy floor. I remember the elevator and the operator, announcing the floors. Being an effective elevator operator required many skills. Manual elevators were often controlled by a large lever. The elevator operator had to regulate the elevator’s speed, which typically required a good sense of timing to consistently stop the elevator level with each floor. In addition to their training in operation and safety, department stores later combined the role of operator with greeter and tour guide, announcing product departments, floor by floor, and occasionally mentioning special offers. I would always get a special gift on one of these trips. I remember also getting jostled a bit as the operator lined up the lift so as one would not trip exiting.
On the same trip, 6 months prior or 6 months later, warmer weather, anyway, we would have a boat trip. That trip would either be the Circle line around Manhattan or a trip from the Battery out to the Statue of Liberty. I got to do both back in the day.
The Circle Line Trip was a cruise all the way around Manhattan Island on a guided boat tour that takes in every angle of New York City’s iconic waterfront. Traveling by boat means unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline, the Brooklyn Bridge, and the Statue of Liberty—ideal for snapping memorable photographs. With live narration throughout the cruise, learn about the Big Apple while passing all five of New York’s boroughs.
The trip out to the statute of Liberty was special also. Visits to the Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island are musts in the Big Apple. On this guided tour, you get boarding on the ferry from Manhattan to visit the two important historical sites. Visit the grounds of Liberty Island and go inside the Statue of Liberty Museum. Then hop the ferry to Ellis Island and learn about the millions of people who arrived here between 1892 and 1954 in hope of living the American dream.
The highlight of my first trip was the ability to spit out of the window and to watch it travel down however many floors we were up. I also remember hanging out the window to see if I hit anyone down below. My leaning out the window and my grandmother going bezerk is still implanted in my head today. Three steps up a ladder with my vertigo is a high climb today.
We would take several trips to NYC prior to age 13, the age my grandfather died. Those trips were always special. Oh to be able to recall such details. Now, to what do I attribute that gift?
Born in forty-three, yep, that would be me, married in sixty-five. We eloped with two others and never told our mothers. For Dan and Murph with a year gone by, Godparents would become the wife and eye. Three children we would raise, in Jersey, Delaware, and South Caroline. Once out of the Corps we settled in Maryland, the Old Line State. We didn’t stay long, thinking Nutmeg would be great, Connecticut that is.
Kathryn, Sarah, and Matt, the Brat, would make it through school in one town learning the Golden Rule. When the last was gone and I retired, we moved out of state, thinking back to Maryland, would be oh so great. Our children would marry and raise families of their own. The firstborn grandchild to Matt and Beth was was David Lee. Kathryn would have a Samantha, Sam to us. Sarah would bare us an Andrew who would lite up our lives for seven short years.
Others would follow, nine in all, we had an Abby, a Kevin, a Jill, and Rebecca. Tommy would fit in there and follow cousin Sam, he’s now at USAFA and will defend our land. The grands would give us greats, four from Sam, Abby had one, and Rachael had a great for us at 11;00 AM today. Jack Lee @ 7 lbs. 4 oz. would make his appearance on his due date. We now have a little Mister Rogers. The other greats are Mia, Ana, Dax, and Zoe, Alana was number five and now we have six.
I like to say we have three, nine, and six, (396) I’m thinking I should play that Number for the rest of the week.
I share with you the following, so true.
Welcome to this world, Jack Lee.
© Earline Brasher
Published: June 2007
Sometimes I really do wonder,
Why they are called grand?
Then I know A Loving Grandmother
Can always fully understand.
You get that important phone call
You have waited for so long,
Excitement really kicks in,
As you arrive and rush down the hall.
You see that precious baby,
Gender really doesn’t matter at all.
It brings back many memories
Of when your children were so small.
You congratulate the parents,
As you see mother and baby are o.k.,
You know without a doubt,
This was done in own God’s way.
Many sacrifices made along the way,
Are very much worthwhile,
When you see that sweet little face,
And that bright cheery smile.
Time rocks on as they grow and grow,
Then comes their future, rushing to and fro,
They will always be our babies,
If anyone should ask,
They are all very special,
From the first one to the last!!!!
When I read his blog I immediately thought of Mary Agnes, my wife of fifty seven years come this November and our beginning. I also thought of her and our fifth great grandchild Alana, soon to be six months old. As a side note, grandchild Rachael is due to bring into this world Great # 6 later this month.
In the beginning, that would be late spring of 1964, our first date took place in New Jersey, just across the Tacony/Palmyra bridge from N/E Philadelphia. That bridge would cross the famous Delaware river George Washington once crossed. After attending a movie with another couple, we stopped at a diner for a bite to eat and headed north on Rt. 130 towards Willingboro where the other couple’s parents resided. As we headed north we came upon a cemetary in Cinniminson New Jersey. The entryway was well lit and beutiful aeration fountain was spraying water in the air. I can still to this day shut my eyes and visualize that entryway.
We would pull in, park, and begin a leisurely walk about the grounds. I can still hear ducks quacking and the spray of the aerated water hitting the pond. At some point we found ourselves behind a hedge and with her permission, yes I asked permission, we kissed. “Botta Bing, Botta Boom,” bells, whistles, fireworks. We were a match! Eighteen months later the four of us would elope and marry in Fall River, Massachusetts. (That’s a story for another day.) A young Marine, a Sailor, and two recent grads from Nursing school would take one Giant Step in our young lives. Just as a side note, we played Pinochle on our wedding night.
Cemeteries have always held a special meaning to us over the years. Several years back on a trip to the Canadian Mari tines we must have stopped in a least a dozen and commemorated each with a kiss, “EH.”
When weather permits and the wife is doing child care for Alana she pushes the stroller into a close-by cemetery and tells Alana, this is where it all began. It was also fitting that the first date was on a weekend’s liberty from Marine Barracks, 8’th & I, Washington, DC. During my three years in D.C. I would quite often find myself at funerals in Arlington National Cemetery, including that of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
To so many, a cemetery signifies closure. To me and mine, it was a beginning. To Dan, the Sailor who began that journey with us, “May you rest in peace.”
Much thanks to Stewart Perkins for allowing me to share his Chicken Soup for the soul.
So, January 30 was my last post here on WordPress. I surely am not getting my $$$$ worth. Had some vision issues for a bit, which have been corrected with surgery two weeks ago. Well, mostly corrected, I still have a way to go, but much improved. Enough said on that subject.
To most of you whom I follow, I have tried to acknowledge your posts, for the most part anyway. If I’ve missed you, please forgive me.
This world of ours has flipped a bit upside down of late. Let us not blame the Russian people, there is enough hate out there already.
This past weekend I got to marry my nephew to his new bride.
Come June I’ll get to perform another wedding. This time it will be in Rhode Island and my brother Richard will marry the love of his life, Tina. Joseph and Ashton were married in Lewes, DE. I’ve also done ceremonies in Maryland and Connecticut. Things like this keep an old man out of trouble. So far all have been relatives, I can’t even make a buck on these events, You just can’t charge family.
For those who remember Aunt Barb, well she treated the wedding party to a grand meal of one’s choice at Baywood Golf Course. The Mrs. and I have eaten there on numerous occasions and have never been disappointed. Thanks, Aunt Barb! If you’re ever near the Delaware Beaches, it’s a great dining experience.
I leave you for this day, and feel good a blog is out. To all of you who know of the Rooster, Hello Again!
I look upon the counter and what do I see, three homemade baked items are facing me. Oh, and I must say, they turned out deliciously on this winter’s day..
The wife’s been in a baking mood, and It’s brought about some delicious food. Perhaps it’s the cold and frequent snow, I do not know. Something for sure has inspired her to kneading some dough.
Between things in the oven baking away, up to her office she would often stray, to work on a quilt this cold winter’s day. Quilts are her passion while listening to books, right now the “Third Reich” is into what she looks.
The buzzer goes off in the kitchen, it’s a break from her time to sew. Corn Bread and muffins have risen from the dough. A Blue berry Lemon Bread with a glaze brings sparkles to this writer’s eye. It’s something new she just wants to try.
Outside on the ground, some gathering snow, along with the flavors of the rising dough. The temperature falls close to the teens, but who really cares when you live with a baking queen.
Between the baking and sewing of a quilt, the aroma of a pot of hamburger soup wafts through the air. The carrots and potatoes get a gentle stir whenever one passes by the pot.
Quote the Rooster, “Ever more,” sweet bread that is, and not from the store.
Don’t forget to check on the Elderly
My daughter Kathryn shares with me often a reading list of worthy books. Her most recent list consisted of seven books to read. Here are two I thought worthy of a share. Shares were permitted in the article and here are all seven should you care to be interested.
I shall also share with you another Blog site. This Blogger does a great job of book revues. We,my wife, daughter, and the Rooster, constantly cackle back and forth as to who these Bloggers I refer to are. Are they friends or acquaintances? Sometimes I even say my Blogging Buddy. So now, just what constitutes a Friend, Acquaintance or Buddy in the Blogging World? Should you have any thoughts in this area please feel free to comment.
Here goes the two I selected from Kathryn’s list of seven but first, here are two Santa brought me this year. They were:
My Two of Seven Pics from Kathryn were:
1: “Deep Country” is Neil Ansell’s account of five years spent alone in a hillside cottage in Wales.
‘I lived alone in this cottage for five years, summer and winter, with no transport, no phone. This is the story of those five years, where I lived and how I lived. It is the story of what it means to live in a place so remote that you may not see another soul for weeks on end. And it is the story of the hidden places that I came to call my own, and the wild creatures that became my society.’
Neil Ansell immerses himself in the rugged British landscape, exploring nature’s unspoilt wilderness and man’s relationship with it. Deep Country is a celebration of rural life and the perfect read for fans of Robert Macfarlane’s Landmarks, Helen Macdonald’s H is for Hawk orJames Rebanks’ A Shepherd’s Life.
‘A beautiful, translucent portrayal of mid-Wales’ Jay Griffiths
‘Touching. Through Ansell’s charming and thoroughly detailed stories of run-ins with red kites, curlews, sparrowhawks, jays and ravens, we see him lose himself . . . in the rhythms and rituals of life in the British wilderness’ Financial Times
‘Remarkable, fascinating’ Time Out
‘A gem of a book, an extraordinary tale. Ansell’s rich prose will transport you to a real life Narnian world that CS Lewis would have envied. Find your deepest, most-comfortable armchair and get away from it all’ Countryfile
Neil Ansell spent five years living on a remote hillside in Wales, and wrote his first book, Deep Country, about the experience. Since that time, he has become an award-winning television journalist with the BBC. He has travelled in over fifty countries and has written for the Guardian, the New Statesman and the Big Issue.
2: “This, Becoming Free” by Michael Gungor
Ben Palmer, Associate Editor, News Division
I absolutely love memoirs, and this is one of the best memoirs I’ve ever read. Michael Gungor was a worship leader at a large church and a Grammy-nominated Christian musician who eventually left his faith entirely and embarked on a journey to really figure out what he believed. In the process, Gungor learned to let go of the stories that were defining who he was, working his way through various belief systems, including atheism and mysticism.
While Gungor’s story on its own is fascinating, what makes this such a great memoir is how different it is from other memoirs. Personally, I would’ve been happy with just his story of losing almost everything he knew to find who he is. But on top of that, Gungor adds in poems, artwork, musings on spirituality and philosophy, a little bit of everything, all in what amounts to a fairly quick read.
If you enjoy spirituality or dabble in the world of mysticism or philosophy or just like to talk about whatever is going on here in this world where a whole bunch of embodied awareness are floating around on a rock spinning in infinity, “This: Becoming Free” is a book you’ll love.
I’ve heard, as I’m sure many out there have heard also, Never look Back, only forward. Well I’m here to tell you there is a lot to look back on that brings us all joy. That bodes well in these times where our going forward is stymied much of the time by the current Pandemic that affects us all in one way or another. So my friends I’m just going to share some remembrances with you.
Just last week for instance I get a text from the Mrs., “stop at Food Lion and get me some Heavy Cream.” Fortunately this is a frequent request and I know right where to look for it, as well as what I’m looking for. However the Heavy Cream is not really what I’m looking back at.
All of us, yes even you who have eyes on this blog have observed the following. You go to a mall, grocery store, or if your a miser like us a “Dollar Tree” from time to time. As you look for a parking place, way in the back this time of the year you see the following. Shopping carts are strewn everywhere. Many carts block parking spots, some are coming at you at 15 -20 MPH, blown by December winds. I could use some Expletive Deleateds here but I wont.
There are cart Parking Stations conveniently located throughout most parking lots. Who uses them and who does not? Do you ever wonder, or, are you a culprit? Has that new Ford Bronco you see with the the dent in it’s door experienced a wind blown cart you wonder. How about the cart in the middle of the lane you’re traveling in, do you have to get out and move it to get by? Are the carts in the collection stacked inside one-another? They do fit inside one-another you know.
How about this one. You observe a shopper take his or her cart, which they have just emptied and from twenty five yards away send it flying towards the storage area. “Long pass towards the end zone, OH! incomplete,” as it Rick-O-Shays off that Toyota Van. Had a beer with Rick just the other day at a pub in Kilkenny.
What you do with your cart says a lot about you. Check it out.
There are a host of posts on this question on TWITTER also.
So OK, there are most likely reasons of significant value as to why a person doesn’t take the cart back. Disabilities, sudden downpours, dog or child locked inside for an hour on 100 degree day and passed out, so many reasons, so little time.
As you shop these last few day prior to Christmas, take a moment and take the cart back.
Merry Christmas to all from the Rooster and the Mrs.
Just yesterday we were in the Piano room at daughter Kathryn’s house. Gathered about listening to Christmas music from the family Steinway were Granddaughter Rachael and husband Drew, Granddaughter Abigail, and husband Antwain and their daughter, one month old Alana Bea, our great, #5. Kathryn and husband Jeff, Mary Agnes and the Rooster, dogs, Libby and Phoebe and lurking around the corner, Cat Friday, were there also.. I’ve since renamed the Piano room the gathering room. Must get a picture out some day soon.
Earlier in the day the local fire department was out in force escorting Santa Clause about town. Alana was given the opportunity to tell Santa what was on her wish list, apparently she slept though the event. Here’s Alana with mom and dad.
Kathryn was playing Christmas music on the recently tuned piano. Several of us were enjoying a glass of wine, the atmosphere was festive and the setting was Grand. At one point Rachael turns to me and says, “Pop-Pop, I never got a shout out in a blog when I got married in August.” Yep, the Rooster had been remiss.
Well folks out there in reader land, Granddaughter Rachael was married to Andrew Rodgers on sixteen August of this year. The two young’ns had been dating for some time and the 16’th had been the anniversary of their first date. Rachael is an elementary school teacher, Drew served in the Navy Submarine Service for six years. He listened to Whales chatting while submerged at Davey Jones Locker Andrew still has his ups and downs, he now works for an elevator company.
A proud little tidbit concerning the wedding, yours truly served as the officiant for the ceremony and the event took place in our backyard with a flock of nine hens as witnesses. This was my third family wedding to have conducted and I have two more coming up next year. I’ll marry a nephew in February and my brother in June. These are proud moments all.
So there you have it, Rachael is married, I’m off the Fecal Roster and one last thing. We found out recently that Rachael and Andrews family will increase in size in 2022. Congratulations to the two of you.
I Remember Mama so many years ago, I often watched it, it was a TV show. It was in the early 50’s, at the most I was ten years old, after the show it was to bed I was told.
Why does this show stick out in my head, it certainly wasn’t because of the bed. I had been reminiscing of Thanksgivings past, and so many memories that still do last
I’m off to the grocer in these late years of my life, with three things to remember to pick up for the wife. I walk the aisles, and get the first two, but item number three just won’t come through.
I’m sure you’ve been there experiencing the same, if you’re close to eighty and play the alphabet game. It wasn’t an A or a B this time, it was the C for cranberries that came to my mind.
For what ever reason that fore mentioned TV show, had a Thanksgiving episode that I remember and know. In just a few days the table shall be set, and the Turkey served. Oh my dear, that poor ugly bird.
So many memories over the years. We’ve been in Jersey, Delaware, and Connecticut, there were so many thanksgiving scenes. Now we’re in Maryland these past thirty years, to savor our meal and create lasting dreams.
I remember one year the turkey was raw, the old electric oven wasn’t working, that’s all. I can still hear the words brother Bobby would say, “well, the cranberries were good, anyway.”
The family all gathered, it was what made the day. It brings us together wherever we are. Little Tommy Palmer away off far. In Colorado Springs at USAFA you are. Mama Sarah will fly to be with you this day, but the old traditions in our heads will stay.
New baby Alana not yet a week old, will be part of the memories come later to be told. It’s daughter Kathryn’s house now to host this tradition, we are all so blessed to behold this new addition.
So wherever you are on this Thanksgiving day, take a moment and look to the past, there are so many good memories that surely do last.
Yes, I remember Mama, she’s gone today, but the memories of Thanksgiving in my head will stay.
To all my friends on this festive day, have a Blessed Thanksgiving and good memories I pray.
At 100 years, Philly hosts nation’s oldest Thanksgiving Day Parade
I find it hard to believe I started blogging way back in 2008, February 2008 actually. I used Blogspot by Google back then. I’ll still copy and paste on that venue from time to time. For today however, I shall share with you my first blog. A few things are different however, like I was up at 0400 this morning with the Mrs having coffee. She is gone, having walked to the eldest daughter’s home a mile away. The Mrs usually has 10,000 steps in prior to 0800. The daughters, now that’s a busy house, at the moment. husband Jeff (where in the world is Jeff ?) he’s still working from home for the government. Youngest daughter Abby and husband Antwan are living in the Frog, (Finished room over the garage). Their cat, Friday and dog Phoebe are there also. Oh, on Friday the young’ns are expecting their first child. Kathryn & Jeff have Libby, 14 YO Yellow Lab and their cat Bolt. That’s what the cat does when he she sees a stranger, BOLTS. On this morning daughter Kathryn will be out the door early for a Salvation Army breakfast.
So here you go folks, should anyone be interested, my first BLOG.
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 2008
Blog, kind of sounds like a cold, or a zit or some kind of an affliction. My first day with a blog, now what do I do with it?
Well to start off I’ll let the world know how I start my day on the Internet.
My start up page is http//refdesk.com
Having spent twenty years in Connecticut I next go to http://www.courant.com/ to check on the local news and how the UCONN Huskies are doing in any given season. I’m a forty year Huskie fan. http://www.uconnhuskies.com/
Next up, but sometimes #1 is the weather. While in the Marine Corps, way back when, I was in Weather as an occupation with Rawinsonde as a sub specialty. http://usmilitary.about.com/library/milinfo/marineenjobs/bl68.htm
During the Hurricane season I live by the National Hurricane Center. www.nhc.noaa.gov/
I have friends and family in CT, FL, CA, and affections to Key West, FL, Pagosa Springs, CO, Flagstaff, AZ and Ireland and Germany. So, I usually check on the weather in those places.
After the two DC papers I go to Google News, which I have preference settings in and glance over that. Next is onto my mail servers.
From then on I usually have a Memo Pad with notes on things to look up and it’s off I go. This all starts shortly after I get up, usually around 0500. Once downstairs it’s a hot cup of tea to start the day.
Here, I’ve given the world the start of my day for the start of a BLOG. I shall end this bantering with saying Cead Mile Failte