CharlieMC (charliemc) wrote,

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Summer Days...

Lovely, lovely weather! Blue skies and sunshine and warm. But cool at night. (So it's easy to sleep.) Could it be more perfect than that? Just love the summer...

The neighbors across the street are having a small yard sale. I was invited to join them, but declined. (June -- who lives next door -- and I are planning a sale for a few weeks from now.)

Still, when I see them all out there -- two sets of neighbors, I think -- I wish I was taking part. (It always ends up like something of a 'party' -- well, in a very limited sense -- as far as interacting with each other. There haven't been many chances to even talk to most of our neighbors recently.)

Lost two houses full of neighbors this past year. Both of the 'dueling lawn' houses, too! (Both had immaculate grass that they kept 'just so.') Jim and Pat -- well, Jim passed very suddenly back in November. I didn't find out 'til taking round the Christmas gifts in December!

Jim was such a sweet old man. Kept that yard perfect! I feel so funny when we drive by or I ride my bike by and see the lovely climbing roses on the telephone in front of the house. He was actually out working in the yard right before he came in, sat down and passed away. (Perfect. Ended his life doing something he loved.)

Pat was the one who'd had bad health for several years. Imagine her outliving him. She ended up moving to a 'retirement village' not far from here. She couldn't manage the stairs down to the basement where the utilities are.

Hope we get another nice family there! I didn't always see them that much, but they were such nice people -- and kept that house up so well, inside and out.

Interestingly enough, their 'dueling lawn' friends who lived across the street from both them and us are also moved into the same retirement facility, John and Millie. (Millie was a bit of a pain, but John is a dear.) John is taking the move bad. He loves that house and this neighborhood and his neighbors here. The move was Millie's idea, and she's apparently happy as a clam. I haven't seen her at all since they moved -- but John is around quite a bit. Just can't give it all up...

They plan to put the house up for sale, but no sign out there so far. Again, hope we get good neighbors there.

The 'retirement village' that they all moved to used to be the Catholic parish for our immediate neighborhood when we lived in our last house. Actually, our last house was directly bordering the Catholic church property!

They kept the church building standing thankfully, as it's beautiful, but moved both the house that had served as the convent -- I still miss all the nuns, who were friends -- and the rectory. And tore down the Catholic school, which hadn't been used as a school in some years.

That rectory is a fabulous old building -- built very well and with lovely features! The pantry alone was amazing, an actual separate pantry room off the kitchen. The priest I knew the best, Father Gothe, was very proud of the house. He used to always show people around when they went by to see him. (As I did several times.)

The convent I knew less about, but it was a wonderful old house, too. The huge parlor and big kitchen. I'm so glad they didn't just tear it down.

The 'village' they built is very lovely. A nice addition to the old neighborhood. Still, not to ever hear the church bells ring again? What a shame. (They're supposedly using the church as a 'chapel' for the village, as some of the people there are going to be retired nuns and priests, I guess.)

All my cousins went to school there. My favorite Aunt (Aunt Dorothy) used to come across the river every Sunday to attend church there. (And her funeral mass was held there.) I used to be a lay reader there for around a year, I guess. Mom joined the church there. She had previously been brought up Lutheran -- then became a Methodist before we were born -- which is the church both Marilyn and I were raised in.

I'll never forget sitting in the front pews -- very hard wood, I had to go to the car and get a pillow for Dad, who in later years really had no butt at all -- and holding Dad's hand when we attended funeral mass for his last remaining sibling, his brother Butch (Albert).

Dad was the oldest child in his family -- and they all died before him. (He was so crushed by that...)

Marilyn and I used to attend church picnics and dinners there. I'd help out at the Senior Citizen lunches they held every month and then we'd have wonderful sing-alongs.

The old school building was turned into a hall for dinners and so on. They used to have Bingo there every week -- and Mom must have played there hundreds of times. We 'girls' -- my sisters Sue, Marilyn and I -- also held our parents' 50th Anniversary Celebration in that hall.

I miss it, but I'm not depressed by the passing of those places. Progress and change are good things. And they don't erase my memories. And pictures are a wonderful memory aid, I've found. (smile)

Just like all those people. I sometimes miss Dad and Mom -- but I have wonderful memories to look back on. Mom was always pretty game! She took Marilyn and me to our first concert ever, to see the Monkees -- and drug along friends, as well. (I remember she took cotton balls to plug her ears as we had good seats -- in the front row of the second section on the floor facing the stage. She handed these out to several security guards and ushers.)

And Dad helped Marilyn and I with the fixing and painting in our first house. We used to sing along with records and tapes of old musicals. Or he'd tell us family stories. I'd ask about someone and he'd often sigh and say he couldn't recall -- but that Dorothy, his sister and our favorite Aunt, would have known the answer. Then he'd make a joke about her going and dying on him. That's where Marilyn and I got our warped sense of humor -- from Dad.

Okay, that's enough nostalgia for one day! (smile)

It's funny -- but as you go through life you might lose some friends and much of your family -- yet you're always gaining new friends and new family. So it all works out! I count our online friends as a big part of our extended family.

Well, off to clean house. I'm on a mission to get rid of more things around here! God, we have so much stuff. (sigh)

I'd like to maybe try scanning in a bunch of Dad's art and putting it up at our website, that I haven't even started yet! I wonder if that would work? (Some of it is pretty big for the scanner...)

Have to share my nice Justin/JC icon I made in honor of JC's bday yesterday. (grin) I'm still a JC/Justin slash girl...)

Tags: 2002, august-2002, aunt-dorothy, mom, nostalgia, summer

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