Princess Nellie

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A few weeks ago a baby Prince was born across the pond…

Two days ago a little Princess was born down the street from me.

All these Princes and Princesses…

Every child is born a Prince…a Princess…a very special and unique child of GOD. HE loves them from the moment they are conceived.

With the birth of a child comes many emotions and a blessed cause for wonder…and hope…hope in things eternal, like love.

How beautiful life is now YOU are in the world…

You Prince George and YOU Princess Nellie and YOU thousands of babies born in between their birth days! LIFE is more beautiful because YOU have been born, because YOU are in the world!

And a special message to those thousands of Princes and Princesses torn from their mother’s wombs during this same time period. Your throne is not earthly because darkness and ignorance prevail. Yet you wear a crown in Heaven that was promised you at conception..the crown of life and LOVE eternal.

A Short Story Long or Stealing Is Wrong

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The plate on the right is the average sized dinner plate. The plate on the left, and newly acquired, is bigger…fits today’s oversized portions. But portions and size isn’t what this blurb is all about.

This is about a plate that was intentionally (and rather joyfully!) stolen from the ristorante where it eclectically held PIZZA MARGUERITA in front of me on the table. Oh, the pizza was sooooo good but the plate served more than its function and in a way was more delicious to my senses than the pizza!

The plate is restaurant porcelain china, HOMER LAUGHLIN to be exact. It is very durable and though not FINE china, it is still very pleasing to the eye. Its background is off white with a garland of pink flowers. I’m sure this design reminded Mama of St. Theresa and her love of roses…

The delicate design on this plate is the same one on our restaurant china which my family used while I was growing up. My Uncle Pete used these in a restaurant he used to have and gave my father a service for 10. I still have 6 of the dinner plates, 6 of the bread and butter plates and seven cups and saucers. I am from a family of nine so even having this many after DECADES of use is amazing to me. I have them on my shelves and use them when it is just five or six of us for dinner. I love them!

So, today, on seeing the LARGE dinner plate in front of me, a dozen memories from growing up came back to me. Now I had to have this oversized plate like Mama’s to show my brothers and sisters! I’ll serve them fresh bread and olives on this plate and they will melt from nostalgia!

Being with my daughter and son-in-law made things (like stealing!) a little more uncomfortable than it would have been if I had been alone or with my husband. They kind of understood about the LIFT, and left a bigger tip and a promise to go back for dinner one evening…without me and my sticky fingers.

I’m not a thief. I have never really stolen anything in my life (and I am 64!) except for a few plates. I justified my actions using “LOVE” for the motive and Love for the excuse to do something inexcusable.

No excuses.

I know this is wrong but sometimes it goes beyond right or wrong. (Lax conscience once again kicking in!)

It is not like murder or grand theft or destruction of property…I am not a chronic clepto!

I feel guilty about taking the plate, yet even while writing this I feel so happy for taking the plate.

Am I happier today with the plate than I was yesterday without it?

Why did I take it?

Maybe because it was a reminder, just a simple little reminder from a time and place that I miss…

For a moment I was back on Teppert St. For a moment I was back home in our Italian kitchen (basement) having Mama’s ravioli, Daddy’s Peppers and Pork and Grandma’s special birthday torte on a restaurant white and pink floral designed plate. People I loved served love on these plates to the people they loved.

Not nice to steal…

One day I will return the plate…actually plates. Until then…

They make me smile.

Don’t blink!

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Sometimes I’ll see something inspiring, something beautiful, something I couldn’t explain with even a thousand words…

And in the time it takes to get my camera, the moment is diminished…sometimes lost and soon forgotten…

Like today’s early morning sun on the top of my lilies which grace the patio…it was truly a prayer, a gift given for just a moment or two!

Boom! It was vibrant! Then literally, in a blink, it became more ordinary…still beautiful, but not saying in its reflection what it had told me just seconds before.

Just a couple of weeks ago while at my summer cottage, and while attending Mass at St. Francis De Sales Parish, another such moment as the one with the “sun on my lilies” was given to me. It was during the SIGN OF PEACE.

A very elderly woman shook my hand and then pertly gave me a wink and a smile. Immediately I felt her love and a message.

Oh I could have quickly dispelled it in a SEINFELDIAN way as a twitch I suppose, but I knew it was more than that. Her smile gave the wink credibility and purpose. She wanted to say so many things, but her wisdom (given to her through longevity of years) told her a wink would suffice.

Her smile became young. Her blue eyes though worn and pale from years on this earth, seemed to sparkle after the wink…my heart and soul sparkled after her wink.

All gifts are given.

In a blink some beautiful moments pass…and sometimes through a wink, in the time it takes to blink,
some beautiful things are spoken in volumes and never forgotten.

My Country tis of me, oops, I mean Thee

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WHAT IS GOING ON AMERICA????????

People cheering on a woman who is rambling on and on against Texas abortion limits?

ABORTION LIMITS?

Who would ever have thought there’d be the day when a child could be ripped from its mother’s womb and they’d call it “CHOICE”!

Against human nature. Abortion is a crime. Evil incarnate.

Red, white and blue…some have made a mockery of you.

Amazing grace…one nation under God. What have we become.

THE LETTER

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One of those wonderful things a person usually just reads about in books or sees on the motion picture screen happened to me the other day.

A letter, a thick yellow enveloped letter, arrived at my home a few days ago.

It came all the way from California!

My eyes went immediately to the return address label. It was from Frank, a very good childhood friend of my father’s.

I wrote to Frank seventeen years ago after Daddy died and never heard from him. I thought that maybe he had moved and my letter got lost. A million things were passing through my mind as curiosity soared. With the fat letter in my hands, a good feeling passed through me. I went inside my house and carefully tore open the top of the envelope. I felt like it was Christmas and I had saved opening the best gift for last. But it was June. It was a letter, not a package. Yet, a feeling of blessing came over me. I was holding something very special in my hands…a present, a presence.

Handwritten! 14 pages! Beautiful penmanship.

DEAR TERRY,

I’M SORRY TO BE SO LATE IN REPLYING TO YOUR LETTER.

Wait a minute, I thought as I immediately looked up to the date on the right hand corner of the letter. It read, JULY 30, 1996.

Wow. Frank did receive my letter! He and Daddy were best friends since their childhood. As nice as it would have been to get a reply back from Frank, I just figured he knew that I knew how he felt and that sometimes we can’t just put into words some of the things we hold so dearly in our hearts.

Page one, two, three, four, five and six…and seven and eight…pages nine and ten and eleven! With every sentence my heart overflowed with joy! Frank’s anecdotes, the confessions, his eloquent yet earthy choice of words describing and painting pictures in my mind from a time that had long since passed…not forgotten…moments now put into words so dearly from his heart!

Page twelve…

BABE TOOK ME EVERYWHERE, ANY PLACE HE PLAYED OR WANTED TO HEAR SOMEONE ELSE. (Started again May 22, 2013) !!!!!!!!!!!

Had I read this correctly? In the middle of page twelve and at the beginning of paragraph three, end of sentence one, Frank, using parentheses, let’s me know he has picked up where he left off from over 17 years ago!

Frank explicitly recounts a few more incidents from the old days and then gives a quick update filling me in on his life and what he is doing now.

Toni, Franks wife, must have chided Frank, in a loving manner, to close the once misplaced letter. Here’s how the letter ends:

TONI SAID, “ARE YOU WRITING A THESIS?” I’M SORRY IF THIS BORES YOU BUT WHAT I START I MUST FINISH.
I MISS BABE BUT IT IS NICE TO REMEMBER.”

FRANK

P.S. AGAIN, COULDN’T FIND YOUR ADDRESS. JUST FOUND IT 6/3/13. WHO SAID THE GOLDEN YEARS ARE GREAT?

Frank’s letter included his new address and his cell#. I called him the morning after I read his magnificent letter…had to hear his voice…

Frank’s voice was sturdy and spry for his 87 years. I told him there were photos in the mail heading to California. He told me he’d be back in Michigan soon. I left him my phone number along with an invitation to call me as soon as he and Toni arrive in town. We have a Sunday afternoon dinner date planned. The menu will be simple: Spaghetti and meatballs, good bread, good wine and even more delicious conversation. If it’s sunny and warm we’ll eat outside under the trees…just like in the old days on Elmdale he wrote so much about.

Seventeen years since Daddy passed on. A letter delivered. Time melts. Only love remains.

“I JUST COULDN’T WRITE BEFORE WITHOUT CRYING.
EVERYTHING ABOUT YOUR FATHER HAS COME BACK TO ME.
AND IF YOU DON’T MIND I WILL JOT DOWN SOME OF THOSE MEMORIES.”

Frank “jotted” down sweet sweet recollections from a sweet past. MIND? No…only wished it could have been longer!

My Dad’s (Babe) band played for he and Frank’s 50th. High School reunion on September 05, 1995. Frank had flown in for this event! Frank writes:

“BACK TO THE REUNION. I ARRIVED A LITTLE LATE AND BABE WAS PLAYING SO AT THE NEXT BREAK, BABE WAS STANDING AT THE BAR TALKING WITH A COUPLE OF GUYS.
I WALKED UP TO HIM AND TAPPED HIM ON THE SHOULDER. HE TURNED AROUND AND SHOUTED, “FRANK, MY BEST BUDDY.” WE EMBRACED. I HAD TEARS IN MY EYES. AND I SAID, ‘BABE, YOU ARE MY BEST BUDDY’.”

With every reading, the LETTER fills my eyes with tears. Frank didn’t simply finish something he started seventeen years ago. Frank created, through his memory and using words, a PRESENCE of the most spectacular kind! The postman didn’t simply deliver a long overdue letter. He delivered a written embrace from a buddy. The letter, like the hug shared at Dad and Frank’s High School reunion, embraced me and refreshed my memory of the power and the beauty and the undying goodness of a LOVE we all share.