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From the Archives: Just for Me

Hi ya! Hey ya! Hope all's well with ya. All is well with us. I'm still playing catch up so I'm back to reaching into my archives for a while more. Have fun out there.

Today's post (edited) was first published on April 11, 2015. = = = = = = = = = = = = = Knock, knock.

The Mama opened the kitchen door, which was the back door at our house on 44 Shore Road.  I sat at the kitchen table, keeping her company as she prepared dinner.

Uncle Frank! The Daddy's younger brother. He carried a tree stump in his arms. 

"I cut down a tree in my back yard," said Uncle Frank, putting it down next to the kitchen counter. "I thought it was the right size for Susie."

I was four. Either Uncle Frank or the Mama held my hand as I climbed onto the stump. Yaaay! I had a wonderful view of the counter.

I don't remember much of those very early years. But, I must've been in the kitchen a lot with the Mama. Enough so that Uncle Frank thought I ought to  have so…

The Daddy on the Mainland

This faded photo of the Daddy was taken in 1946. That's all I know about the photo because the Mama had printed the year on the photograph. Technology has finally allowed me to see the image a bit more clearly.

Until today, I thought the Daddy was standing in a desert or someplace in Los Angeles. Now, I think the photo may have been taken somewhere nearby Hollister, soon after he moved here. The Daddy had been living in Hawaii for 18 years or more. He said that after the war, he was homesick for family. He had no idea if the family in the Philippines was alive, but he knew Uncle Frank was in Hollister, so he bought himself an airplane ticket to California. While serving in the Army during the war, he became a U.S. citizen, which I suspect made it easier for him to travel without questions.

In a year, the Daddy would go visit his mom and siblings in the Philippines. He told me that if his girlfriend was still unmarried, he would propose to her. I don't know know if he was kidd…

A Picture for My Thoughts

I'm taking apart the first album of the Mama's. Not her first one ever, but the first in a long line of albums. Sigh.

What's with the so-called "acid-free/archival" pages in this album? The cellophane breaks apart when I take out the photos. So much for trying to use my hands with delicateness and refinement.

For some reason-yet-to-be-identified, I'm saving the 3x5 pieces of paper (with a single punched hole) that were used as dividers between photos. The how-can-I-repurpose-this part of me has prevailed.

I don't know what to do with the photos after I've scanned them. For that matter, what am I going to do with the scanned photos. May be why there are long intervals between scanning sessions. And, for a session to happen, I need to play my era of Rock & Roll and Latin music so I can wiggle and waggle in my chair, as I do this rather sad and joyful exercise of remembering stuff in photos.  For instance: the rainy wedding day of a cousin; our yel…

Feast Day of Santiago

Today is the anniversary of the day that we celebrated the Daddy's birthday. He would've been 112 this year.

The Daddy was born on July 15, 1905, but most of his formal papers show July 25. This is my theory for the discrepancy: His baptismal document, the only legal paper he had about his birth, was in Spanish, the primary language of the Philippines back then. Spanish was not the Daddy's family's first language. And, I suppose nobody cared when the Daddy signed a contract in 1928 to go to Hawaii to work on the sugar plantations, nor when he joined the Army during WWII or he became a naturalized U.S. citizen.

When the Daddy was born, the Philippines was in transition from being a Spanish colony to a United States territory. The Daddy said that when he was a baby his parents ran him up into the mountains to hide during the war. The Daddy was surprised when I told him that it wasn't Spain the Filipinos were fighting, but the United States. I'm not sure if ever …

Crybaby Me.

The Mama used to tell me a story about the time that the Daddy carried me on his back while they picked tomatoes one summer day. I was maybe two years old. "You cried and cried," the Mama said. "You kept saying, 'Go home, Daddy. Go home.'"

The poor Daddy! And, all those other poor workers around us who were forced to listen to a tiny, fat crybaby of a girl piggy-backing on her poor Daddy's back. The poor Daddy!

How did the Parents ever get me to stop crying? Did the Daddy take the Mama and me home and go back to work? Did I eventually calm down, get off the Daddy's back, and find a way to entertain myself so the Parents could work in peace? I don't know. The Mama never told me what happened. She simply laughed after telling me.

Why am I telling you the story? I don't know. I find myself tearful all of a sudden lately.

C is for crybaby me. Not pitiful me though.

C is the letter for this week's ABC Wednesday, a weekly meme that is keeping …

An Adventure, Nevertheless

We are on a new adventure—the Mama, Molly the Cat, the Husband, and I.

The Mama's body is failing. Thank goodness, her spirit is not.

She's stubborn. That's a positive.

Yesterday afternoon, she faced reality. She fell! "You need to use the walker," I exclaimed.

"No! The dead people used it," she said, referring to the walker gathering dust in the garage. She used it once upon a time when she was healing from a broken hip. Somewhere along the line she let a friend borrowed it, which his wife returned after he died.

"We will get you another one," I said. It was 5 o'clock in the afternoon. Fortunately, for us, we found a bare-basic walker, without the sparkles and whistles, at the pharmacy.

Thankfully for us,  the Mama allowed herself to use the walker. I loved that at one point, as she slowly made her way down the hallway, she stamped her feet and scolded her legs for not working with her.

Last night, Molly the Cat gave the Mama an extra do…

In the Pink

Indeed, yes. The Mama, the Husband, and I are in good spirits today. I think Molly the Cat may be, too. She got to eat roast chicken for lunch.

The Mama is so in the pink that she did not complain about going to the doctor's this afternoon to get her shot for her anemia. Yaay!

We had an impromptu visit from the Cousins on the Mama's side of the family. We don't see them often, but when we do, it's loads of happy conversation and laughter over a meal. That, I think, was the best medicine for the Mama today.




It's the letter I on ABC Wednesday, a fun weekly meme started by Denise Nesbitt several years ago, and continued onward by Roger Green and the ABCW team. Check out the other participants, and maybe join in yourself, by clicking here.

I'm also sharing at Warm Heart Wednesday, a meme hosted by Jenny Matlock at Off on my Tangent. Click hereto visit.

Eden Hills' Friday Hunt v1.3

The Friday's Hunt, a photomeme hosted by Teresa of Eden Hills, is a lot fun.  She gives you three items to photograph each week, and you can choose to do one, two, or three of them.  I had a photo last week that would've been perfect for all three items this week. Oh well.

Starts with C


I've decided to use my archives for the alphabet item. I took the photo of this cow in November 2014 during a hike with the Husband. Moooooooo.


Week's Favorite


The Only and Older Brother surprised us with a visit on Sunday. He brought BBQ for lunch, so I'll excuse him for not waving to the camera. I did get him to smile. Just as good. (Yes, that's a smile.)


Inside


One of my goals this year is to reduce the clutter in the house. Everywhere. Everything. So far I've accomplished sorting and organizing the business cards and library cards that I like to collect. Baby steps, but at least they are forward steps.  We're supposed to have rain over the next several days. You know wh…

Watching TV with the Daddy

Yesterday, Georgy, of Jubilee Streetand Remember Freedom, wrote a post on her former blog that sparked a memory bubble. (Thanks, Georgy.) That's watching "Bonanza" with the Daddy on Sunday evenings. It came on after "The Wonderful World of Disney." I can't recall if the Daddy watched that with me. If he did, that was nice of him to let me watch it.

We watched TV nearly every evening together in our favorite spots. The Daddy sat on his recliner while I laid on the floor with my legs on the couch.  I had a good excuse for being near the TV. I was the Daddy's channel changer and fixer of the horizontal line on the TV screen.

P.S. I'm linking up with Art Every Day Month Day at Creative Every Day.

P.P.S. Monica, hostess of the NatureFootstep Digital Art Meme, invited me to link up. So, I shall.  Thanks, Monica.



Cheers!

Is it coincidence that there are dates in both the Husband's and my family that are common? Or, is it synchronicity? I prefer thinking it's the latter. I also prefer not figuring out how it's so.

That said, November 15, for example,  is special for both the Husband and me.

November 15 is the Husband's Dad's birthday. Jim would've been 97 years old today. Happy Birthday, Jim!



November 15 is the Mama's and the Daddy's wedding anniversary. They would've celebrated 68 years together. Happy Anniversary to the Mama and the Daddy!





Ninang Pat's Hollyhock

Pretty pink hollyhock, isn't it? It's part of the second growth from Ninang Pat's hollyhocks. She cut the plants back last month. She was surprised to see more grow. Ninang Pat gave me some seeds for red hollyhocks. Hopefully, they'll grow for us.

Ninang is the Ilocano word for Godmother.

When I was baptized as a baby a long time ago, I had the good fortune of having six godparents—three ninangs and three ninongs (godfathers)—formally sponsor me. Informally, I had twelve godparents because the spouse of each godparent is also considered a godparent. But, actually, I had 9 or 10 godparents, because one or two of the ninongs were bachelors. Have I told you this before?

With all those godparents, I was not spoiled with lots of gifts, although one bachelor ninong was very generous with candy when he came  to visit. Ah, the fattening of Susie.

Ninang Pat is the last of my godparents. She married Ninong Pablo when I was three. For the longest time, I was confused as to what …

The Good. The Random. The Fun.

Hello. I'm participating in a new weekly meme today.


The Good. The Random. The Fun.  It's a Monday meme hosted by Random-osity. You blog about a good, random, and fun thing that happened in the past week. Yes, I know today is Tuesday. What can I say.

THE GOOD 


My high school graduating class—San Benito High School (aka Hollister High School) Class of 1971—established a scholarship about nine years ago. We have the distinction of being the only alumni class at the local high school to sponsor a scholarship, thanks to Rudy, Debbie, and Debbie who had the vision, heart, and diligence to make it happen. In the last eight years, we've given $14,000 in scholarships to 10 Baler graduates. (Baler, or Haybaler, is the high school mascot.) Whooo-hooo!

On Saturday we held our annual Class of 1971 Scholarshipfundraiser in town. It was another successful luncheon, silent auction, and raffle. Each year, we get a bigger turnout with newer faces showing up. It felt great seeing old a…

Sunday in the Backyard

The Mama was playing in the mud this morning. Her favorite thing to do. Okay, she was replanting  Filipino onions, which she does every several weeks.

The Mama likes to say, "You cannot fool me." And that's what I say. The Mama cannot fool me. She's playing in the mud and she's having lots of fun out there. Yup, she's still out there as I'm writing this post.


While the Mama was playing with her onions, Molly the Cat did her rounds of the backyard. She was late this morning. She sat on the chair, which was once the Mama's favorite chair, for the longest time after breakfast. The Mama asked her, "Are you sick, Molly?  Do you have a headache?"

The Mama opened the back door and Molly the Cat jumped off the chair in no time. "Don't go far," said the Mama.

I think Molly wanted her photo taken because she kept close to me while I was clicking away by the lemon tree. But, would she look prettily at the camera? Of course, not.  "F…

P is for Sunday Picnics at the Beach

Going to the beach was always an all-of-a-sudden decision that the Mama and the Daddy made at some point between the moment they woke up and finished breakfast on a Sunday morning. Then, they would wake up the Older Brother and me.

The Mama and Daddy got everything together. The Mama cooked a pot of rice and gathered plates, napkins, utensils, cups, cutting board, knives, blankets, towels, and so forth. The Daddy collected firewood (and later charcoal), grills, and buckets. The older I got, the more tasks I did, from gathering my own change of clothes to getting the picnic basket together and helping haul everything out to the car.

We usually made two stops before we got to our favorite picnic spot on the rocky shoreline in Monterey. The first was at a mom-and-pop store on the way out of town to buy the Daddy's bottle of whiskey, Seven-Up, soda, and hot dogs. The second was at the Fisherman's Wharf where the parents bought American mackerel, squid, and other fish for lunch.…

J is for Just for Me

Knock, knock.

Someone was at the kitchen door, which was the back door at our house on 44 Shore Road.  The Mama opened the door. I was sitting at the kitchen table, keeping her company as she prepared dinner.

It was Uncle Frank, the Daddy's younger brother. He carried a tree stump in his arms. 

"I cut down a tree in my back yard," said Uncle Frank, putting it down on the floor, next to the kitchen counter. "I thought it was the right size for Susie."

I was four. I don't recall much of what happened other than being helped up on the stump and being able to see over the kitchen sink.

I don't remember much of those very early years. But, I must've been in the kitchen a lot with the Mama. Enough so that Uncle Frank thought I should have something just for me to stand on when I was there.







F is for Foul, Fowl!

The Daddy bought several live chickens at a time from a local chicken farmer, and he and the Mama would slaughter them in the backyard.  I was 11 or 12 when the parents decided it was time for me to help with the slaughtering. Like I really wanted the experience. I suppose they figured a day would come when I would need to slaughter a chicken for survival. Yes, it would definitely be an asset if I were to be chosen for Survivor, the reality show. But, that's if I didn't get kicked off before my team won a challenge that rewarded us with chickens. I digress.

My part in the slaughter was simple.  I only needed to hold a chicken firmly down on a block of wood while the Daddy slit its neck. On the day of my rite of passage, I watched the parents do the process a couple of times. Then it was my turn. I kneeled behind the wood, and the Daddy put a chicken beneath my hands, face towards him. He did not let go of the chicken until he was sure the bird could not get away from me.

The Dude, The Husband -- A Very Thoughtful Being

The Husband is the reason that he and I, the Mama, and Molly the Cat are living together today.

About 12 years ago, it became very clear to me that the Mama's health was failing. Her nutrition was poor. Her body was tiring out. Worse of all, living alone, she was lonely.  The Mama moving into a nursing home or a residential care facility was out of the question. She had a horrible time living in a skilled nursing facility for six weeks after she broke her hip. A permanent move to a residential care facility would've killed her spirit, straight and simple.

At the time, the Husband and I lived about a two-and-a-half hour drive away in an urban environment. City living was not for the Mama. We were tiring of the mayhem, so we were open to moving to the rural area where I was born and raised.  The tough question was this: Could the Mama and us live in the same house? The Mama is a unique character who can be difficult to live with, as are the Husband and me.

But, here we are, n…

Inang Mo. . .Emeteria

In the Mama's language of Ilocano, the word inang means mother. This photo is the Inang of the Mama when she was 70 years old or so. The last time the Mama saw her Inang was in October 1949, just before she sailed with the one-year old Only and Older Bionic Brother from the Philippines for the United States. The two were heading onward to their new lives with the Daddy, who was already living in their new home. 
I think it's fascinating that the Inang of the Mama signed that photo in 1971 to her daughter not as Inang Mo (your mother) but by her first name Emeteria. That to me is very forward thinking for a woman of the Filipino culture of her generation, which makes me very proud. Having never met the Inang of the Mama, I do not think of her as lola (the Ilocano word for grandmother), but as the bright, beautiful, and bold woman Emeteria.  
To know a little something about Emeteria, is know a bit more about the Mama and her authentic green thumbs. . .and fingers.
Emeteria mar…

Lola Julia

Lola Julia was my grand aunt. And, a grand aunt she most definitely was. (Lola means grandmother in Ilokano, the Mama's language.) Lola Julia was a one-of-a-kind woman. Once, the Mama said that I was like Lola Julia.  That's one of the best compliments I have ever received.

Unlike most Filipino women of her generation, Lola Julia had a career. Her father encouraged her to get an education. She became a nurse. During World War II, she worked at a hospital for mentally ill patients. When the Japanese solders took over the hospital, she and the other nurses pretended to be patients.  By the 1950s, she was in the United States working as a nurse, first on the East Coast and then on the opposite side of the country. In the 1970s, Lola Julia retired from a supervisory nursing position for a San Francisco hospital.

Lola Julia married late in life. She was in her late 40s or early 50s when she married Uncle Sam. She knew him when they were youngsters in the Philippines. They were s…

Mama Was Up the Ladder. Again.

Sawing. Clipping. Raking. Sweeping. Pushing dried limbs, branches, vines, leaves, and seed pods into plastic bags. That's how I spent most of my afternoon.

It wasn't what I had planned. When the Husband and I left this morning to do the errands, the Mama was reading the newspaper in the living room. Ninety minutes later, I looked out the back door to see a high limb on the miracle tree precariously hanging above the Mama, who sat beside the tall ladder, stripping dried leaves from skinny branches into her bucket.

I was furious. One, the Mama had been up the ladder. And, two, I had asked her the other day, after cutting back her banana trees, if she'd like me to prune the rest of the miracle tree. "No," she said. "The green (recycle) can is already full." Good, I thought, I'd prune the tree next Thursday.  Ha!

"You know we don't like you on the ladder," I growled, throwing my purse on the ground, and hurriedly climbing the ladder to s…