Friday, January 25, 2008


It's only twenty-seven degrees here and I'm cold. What about you?
It seldom snows in the southern part of the state in which I live. It's usually reserved for the northern part. The few times that it has snowed it's been more like a fun thing because it's so rare. Run out play in it for a few minutes and it soon melts.

I suppose I shouldn't complain, we've been blessed for the last few years with some extra mild winters.
Snow is not so bad, but we've been having tiny beads of sleet coming down all day. There's nothing worse then an ice storm. The stairs outside are already covered in ice and there are no railings on the sides of my stairs to hang onto. Big mistake on my part.
The last bad ice storm we had was several years ago and it was treacherous.
It devastated not only our town, it engulfed a huge area.
It was right at Christmas and it brought everything to a stop. I've never seen anything like it in my life, except maybe on the news or in a movie.
That ice storm caused havoc everywhere it went. Some people had no electricity because the ice was so heavy lines were just snapping.

My children couldn't make it for Christmas that year, all of the roads were to dangerous for travel. My son lives next door to me, but at that time he was staying with a girlfriend. Knowing my son like I do I was so afraid he would try to drive back home because he thinks he has to take care of his Mom. Who do children think took care of us before they were born?
He called to ask how bad it was where we lived and asked me to stay at his place because he knew I was having trouble with my heater. I promised that I would, if he would promise to stay where he was.
It was no easy task making my way from my place to his. It's really only a matter of a few feet. A few feet of solid ice that is. And how do I get down the stairs. You know, those stairs with no railings. Well this is how I did it -- very carefully.

You know how some Mothers get all disappointed and upset when their children can't make it home especially if it's a holiday, well I didn't. They were safe and happy and that's what makes me happy. So I just curled up with a good book, that is after slithering back and forth several times to get some of that good holiday food transferred from my place to his before I settled in.

I have to say that even though the storm was very bad it was the most beautiful thing I have ever seen. Everything was encased with a thick layer of crystal clear shimmery shinning ice. Every branch of every tree glowed with beauty.

It's strange the way I felt that week at my sons home. Alone, but not lonely, all toasty and warm, staring through his big glass doors at the beauty of nature.
I found myself staring out there a lot.I somehow fund it soothing. I felt so totally at peace, that kind of inner peace that we all long for. I felt embraced by that home, like there was a loving presence there with me that I can not explain.
Maybe it was the aura of my son in that house or maybe it was God. I don't know,
I only know that I never felt that way before, nor have I ever felt that way since.

Friday, January 11, 2008


I'm not sure how it should be spelled, but everyone has two.
Papoo is a Greek word for Grampa.

I was born in Detroit Michigan, but we moved to California when I was somewhere around the age of four or five. To this day I remember the trip from Detroit to California and how much fun it was.
I remember how hot the desert was and how I made a halter top out of an orange cloth that my Dad had picked up at a gas station. You are probably to young to know about that, but that many years ago (late 40's),almost all of the gas station attendance, had orange colored cloths that usually hung from their back pants pocket. I guess they were for wiping their hands?
Anyway my Dad had gotten a couple of clean ones from someone and my sister and I made tops out of them. I was so small all I had to do was tie a knot in the back of my skinny little self and I had a top.

My sister and I loved this new adventure. We sang songs to pass the time away. My Mom was just about the only one that never joined in, but every time my sister and I would start singing my Dad would always join in. He loved to sing along with us and even though we had to try to refrain from giggling between verses, we loved the fact that he loved singing as much as we did.
My Dad had a terrible voice, completely tone deaf. My Dad was the only male 'Pollyanna' that I have ever known.
For those of you that might not know what a Pollyanna is, it is a person that always looks at the bright side of things, even when things go badly.

As I was growing up I never remembered my relatives. As the years went by all I ever had was stories. My Mother was from Chicago from a huge family, twelve brothers and sisters. My Dad was from Detroit, a small family, three boys one girl.
Growing up all we had in the way of a relative was my Dads sister who made the move to California before we did. She was by the way, an awesome woman, someday I must tell you about her. My idol.

We did have a couple of visits from an uncle or two over the years on my Mothers side. On my Dads side we had many visits from one of my Dads bothers. He was crazy and fun and had a new Cadillac every year.

Anyway back to Papoo. Mom and Dad finally saved up enough money to take a trip and visit all of our relatives in Detroit and Chicago. My sister and I were both ecstatic. It was probably the only thing in our childhood years that we agreed upon as we were so far apart in age we didn't get along. I was ten and she was fifteen.

Detroit was nice. No Grampa there, he past away long ago. Grandma was something else. It was plain to see she wouldn't have had any trouble raising boys. When she talked they better jump.

I have to say for myself Chicago was the most fun for me. Some of my Mothers brothers were still living at home. Or maybe had left and come back home. Who knows? Greek people love their sons. I had a ball, most of them had boxed or wrestled at one time or another. My Uncle Louise pulled out a trunk and opened it to show me treasures from his Wrestling days.
I was in awe, he wrestled in the Navy and had all kinds of winning memorabilia trophies and 'the belt', that trunk was filled to the top.

But the one person that I will never forget was Papoo. He traumatized my sister and I still laugh when I think about the look on her face, Priceless.

Papoo was ill and he never came into the living room to visit, if you wanted to see Papoo you had to go to his room. I really think that is why so many of my Uncles were living there. It was probably to help Grandma (Yaya) more then for themselves. She was the total opposite of my Dads Mother. She was tiny, humble and soft spoken.

There was a room just off of the Kitchen about the size of a small bedroom that is where Papoo stayed and slept. But he would occasionally go from his bedroom to the kitchen and back again. He liked to cook a little, as long as his legs would permit him to stand.

He was a very distinguished looking man much better looking in his elder years then he looked in the old pictures my Mom had of him when he was young.
Tall slender, medium dark skin, with white hair and a mustache that seemed to complement his tan looking skin tone.

The kitchen, a crucial part of this story.

May sister had been outside and there was a pigeon that seemed to be in distress and she was able to catch it unharmed. She carried it to Papoo and showed him. He was laying in his room.
I remember it well, she said "look Papoo I caught a pigeon".
I remember what he said too. "Oh wonderful. Good Girl, give it to me and I will take good care of it".

The next day the three of us. Momma, me and my sister Georgia, went to visit Papoo in his room, Georgia was a couple of steps ahead of us, but when we entered the kitchen Papoo was up and he was in the kitchen. He had just opened the refrigerator door and was looking down into it When my sisters mouth fell open and Momma was nudging me not to laugh. She turned her head towards Momma and poor Mom just put her finger to her mouth to sign to her to hush and she kept saying but Mom. Papoo closed the door and turned to greet us.

My sister is trying hold back the tear, Moms face is bright red in fear that she might say something and I'm dieing here, I can hardly hold back the giggles as we all see this plate in the fridge with this fully plucked dressed to cook little tiny bird that my sister once called pigeon.

Apparently, pigeons are a delicacy in Greece, so Papoo took care of it the best way
he knew how.

Taken from an old News Paper Photo.

My Uncle Louise (Pronounced Louie)

If you like this story about my Grampa, you will love the one that I wrote only about Grampa , when he made wine
in the basement during prohibition days and got busted. He was much younger then.
It's called 'SWIMMING IN WINE'

Click the title

Tuesday, January 01, 2008


If my body were a car, this is the time I would be thinking about trading it in for a newer model. I've got bumps and dents and scratches in my finish and my paint job is getting a little dull ... but that's not the worst of it. My headlights are out of focus and it's especially hard to see things up close.

My traction is not as graceful as it once was. I slip and slide and skid and bump into things even in the best of weather. My whitewalls are stained with varicose veins.

It takes me hours to reach my maximum speed. My fuel rate burns inefficiently.

But here's the worst of it --

Almost every time I sneeze, cough or sputter.....either my radiator leaks or my exhaust backfires!
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