Of course my section of these memories wouldn't be complete without the mention of the lack of photographs taken of me during my early childhood, so I will mention them now and get it out of the way.
First, now that I am the mother of three kids who manage to spread me in more direction than I care to think about, I have to publicly apologize for my years of griping. Poor Michael B. doesn't have nearly as many pictures as Christopher and Marisa, so I know why being the seventh child I was not photographed very often (and hardly ever alone!) as the other kids.
Funny thing... Marisa needed a wallet size picture of her mother for a Christmas project and there were none to be found. Still I don't have any pictures of myself....is someone trying to tell me somethings?
Some of My Early Memories include ~
~ The time Jerry entered a cow's head into a science fair at St. Pius. He didn't win anything but it attracted a lot of flies and got his picture in the newspaper.
~ All the strange colored socks Don used to wear (bright orange, green, red). Mom probably still has some in the sock drawer.
~ Going to the World Series in Baltimore with Mom and Don. We stayed with Mary Ann while we were there.
~ When Jean was young she used to go hysterical whenever she saw a nun, so when we went to St. Pius to go to the playground we had to make sure there were no nuns around.
~ Going to Yankee Stadium with Dad, Uncle Ed McCaffery and Don. We stopped for breakfast at one of Dad's "greasy spoon" restaurants. I remember loosing my breakfast on the sidewalk outside Yankee Stadium.
~ The "potty chair" that was left under the front seat in the car
~ The nuns playing baseball on t he front lawn
~ The noise Don's guinea pigs made whenever someone open the refrigerator.
~ When Tom used to hide in the attic on Saturday afternoon when Mom was giving haircuts.
~ Sundays at Brookview. Dad saved me from drowning there once. I remember how we put the soda bottles in the water to keep them cold and one day some kids grabbed them and shouted to their parents "Hey, look what we just caught". Dad had to go and straighten them out.
~ Coming home after school and finding Gram at the house(most of the time with curlers in her hair after Mom gave her a perm). She always sat at the kitchen table mending some of our clothes or cleaning out our hair brushes.
~ How we were never allowed to say "shut up" or "brat"
~ The time Dad got caught fishing without a license at Washington Park by the Game Warden after he threw in the line for one of the kids.
~ The Strawberry Festivals with Gram and Pop
~ The time Dad stopped to let us feed apples to the horses down on Shaker Road and one of the horses thought Dad's shiny red car looked good enough to heat.
~ The time Mr. Cross fell off the organ bench downstairs at one of our parties.
~ Mom and Dad's 25th Wedding Anniversary party when they drove in the driveway and Gram started the parade of people walking out to see them ringing our "dinner bell".
~ Playing Frisbee with Dad on t he front lawn.
~ Going to ceramic class with Mom and coming home with all those "unique" ashtrays.
~ How Pop used to pass us money
~ When Dad brought me for a driving less one Sunday morning we decided to drive over in the general area of the driving test. I needed some practice doing my 3 point turns.. second point I hit a fire hydrant (it was quite low). Monday morning I called a driving school, I didn't think Dad wanted to go out with me anymore.
~ Our trips to New Jersey and how Chrissy Buchakjian came with us many times. Catching the crabs, swimming in the indoor pool at night, the trips to Asbury Park and dropping Dad off at the track.
~ Going to Dick's plays when he was in the Seminary... Little Mary Sunshine. The monthly Family Visits to Mater Christi, the time I dropped cake all over the floor, the time Mom lost her teeth and told Dick that we should sit in the corner where no one would see her.
~ Testing the lights at Christmas. All the blue lights outside made our house look so calm and peaceful...little did people know the real atmosphere inside!
~ The train sets the older kids had downstairs.
~ The time Mary Ann and I ate dinner at Dot & Charlie's house.. We had hamburgers and it wasn't until we were finished that Dot told us it was not real hamburger, bu venison. That was my first and last Bambi-burger.
~ Our Sunday drives in the station wagon. Everyone fought to be in the way back. Ten minutes into the drive someone always had to go to the bathroom, wanted to know when we were going to be where ever we were going or asked if we could stop for ice cream.
~ How Mom used to pull off the road and wait for us to stop "bickering" when she was driving. "If you don't stop that fighting I am going to drive this car up a telephone pole". I tried that line on my kids and it didn't work.
~ How Jean and Joan used to try to confuse people by not telling their right names.
~ The cupcake letters Brother John used to send to Jean and Joan
Bye Bye Birdie III
I remember the time Jerry and I both had parakeets sharing the same cage. One day Jerry decided to bring them outside to hang the cage on a tree to air them out. The bottom of the cage fell off and our birds were never seen again.
Wedding Memories -
It was the night before my wedding. Mary Ann had just come home and was to be in the wedding party. I had made her gown and she decided to try it on to make sure it fit. She picked up the gown that was on the bed, put it on and it looked awful. It was too big, too long and looked about 5 sizes larger than it should have been. I picked up my scissors and was about to start cutting the gown when Debbie walked in and asked where her gown was. We came so close to destroying her gown it wasn't funny. Luckily, Mary Ann's gown (which was hanging in the closet) fit her perfectly and I didn't have to do any repairs to Debbie's.
Other Wedding Memories
~ When Jerry showed Mrs. Sano how to "chew Beer" at my wedding.
~ When pat paid the driver of the limo at Jerry and Nan's wedding to move the limo so he could park his old pick up truck in front of the church with the special "Bride and Groom" seat in the back. Jerry was not amused by it at all. He can give it, but he can't take it!
Isn't It Amazing Department
I often wonder how Mom did it, fitting 10 kids, her and Dad and any number of animals in the house and kept it in order. Why is it then, that with only Joan still living at home that there isn't any empty closet space in the house?