This is a family picture taken 1931. I believe this might have been my first picture taken in N.J. in house we lived in for a short while until dad got established with the bank. Remember we were the only Greeks in the town of all Italians. This was a rental house.
Later Dad bought a house on Pleasant Street. I have no idea how dad was able move us a few streets over and buy the big grey house we lived in growing up.
It had three floors and three bedrooms and a bath on the second floor. There was a small dormer over the entrance hall that we always referred to as the “icebox”. We all took our turns claiming it as a bedroom just to have our own room. It was big enough for a single bed and a very small chest of drawers. The only heat upstairs was one large register in the hallway from a coal furnace in the basement. In the downstairs there were registers in every room and that kept it nice and warm. I can remember standing on the register to get warm before jumping off to get dressed. My dad and my uncle George made two rooms up in the attic using cardboard boxes that bicycles came in for sidewalls. Then they wallpapered over it. One thing good about it the rooms stayed warm and none of us minded the additional steps to go to bed. That old house holds many stories of our family and at times I will reveal some of the more humorous ones.
My sisters’ recent trip came to an end last week, and I am having, to make the adjustment of being alone again. I now realize what an adjustment she had to make just to come visit. I feel like I must tell you something about changes in life that happen that we have no control over. Age does take its toil.
I remember when as a child I was wishing to be older before time and after I was it turned out not to be at all like I imagined it would be. When we are younger we think we are invincible and can do anything. I am going to tell you my thoughts about coming to this age.
I better understand what a feat my sister accomplished coming out for a visit. I know it won’t sound so profound to you but to me it was. Getting older has its’ stages that have many milestones we have to pass through that we don’t even think about until we actually do. Having just reached and starting to pass through the eighties I can only use me, and my sisters about what I am talking about.
We do not have any control over our physical bodies. Oh we think we do and to a point I will agree but we alone control our own actions and choices to what goes into our mouth and what we say. But just stop and look back at, your own family and you will see what I am trying to say. At this age I find myself looking back to when I was able to do more than what I can do now.
We were a family of six growing up and each one of our personalities that are so different that it makes you wonder how could this be. Each one has a mind that develops differently under the same set of rules. One child is smart and eager to learn and another not as smart and could care less, and still another wondering why do I have to learn all of this. We realize sometimes too late that it was for our own good.
When we were younger we all wished we were older at different ages. At eight I can remember wishing I were 12. Little did I know that at 12, I would have to finish growing up without my mothers’ love. When I became, as they say, sweet sixteen, I found out there is nothing sweet about growing older. It meant you had to live up to more responsibility. The one thing about being the youngest you had many bosses ahead of you and you found out that the only thing you could boss around were the pets. I know that my personality today is one you would classify as being a very bossy person. It is not intentional it is just that if I see an easier way to do the job I will speak up. In doing so I have been put down many times but that’s okay I chalk it up to a learning experience. God is always teaching me and sometimes I try to get ahead and have to be held back.
My sister and I had many conversations about my childhood. All I can tell you I must have given my sisters fits. It is no wonder I was an outdoorsy person I was always shooed out to go play. On the outside then I had my two brothers boss me and but I always like to follow them and got in trouble many times for doing what they did because I always got caught. Isn’t it fun to remember family happenings of years back? My sister and I laughed so much remembering people and incidents that we hadn’t thought of in years.
Here is a picture when I was 18 and she was 25 years old. We talked about our working in the restaurant together and how we dressed alike and confused people because they couldn’t tell us apart. Some of the customers that didn’t know us to well use to remark boy you sure put in long hours, thinking my dad was an old ogre. After a while dad sort of joined it because we had morning, noon and night covered while the restaurant was open and he was there all the time.
We both agreed that the years we were married were the best and most memorable for us. Even with the repeating and repeating of stories it didn’t deaden our memories.
When we played pinochle my sister had so much trouble keeping her cards in order and many times in the midst of the same hand she would change trump on me depending what high cards she had in her hand. I made her laugh by kidding her. Short-term memory was a problem for her.
One of the problems of living along is not having any one to talk or discuss things with. I encouraged her to listen to the radio more because if she puts the TV on she will sit down to watch. I put Rush Limbaugh on the radio to learn what is going on in the world. He talks fast and she had problems understanding what he said. I tried to tell her not to keep herself so sheltered from what is going on around her. I believe she is doing quite well for 87. Stickhorse Cowgirl in a blog back called “Pampered to Death” did a great job to mentioning somewhat of how we get in this stage that my sister is in.
Here we are recently celebrating our birthdays! I guess by now you can imagine getting old is a stage we must go through like it or not. But there again we have a choice to either, count our blessings and thank God or just become a grumpy old lady never to enjoy the sunshine He brings in my life. Until next time I am, Immigrant Daughter
I live in the country and am recovering from a broken hip. It keeps me inside too much. I rely on "stick Horse" which isn"t bad to get me to busy places. I find I am getting impatient with getting my balance back. My healing is fine but the process of getting back to normal and its putting me back some. I didn't expect to spent so much time inside when I moved down here. Am beginning some more physical therapy, which should help. I am thankful stickhorse started me blogging. I getting to meet some nice people.