Category Archives: christening gown

Weekend Updates

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I am excited to tell you that my Filipino friends, Jason and Felda, safely arrived

back from their extended vacation. As she was arriving at work, we all hugged

her and asked how things went. I was pleased that she brought me a couple of

treats. (They are wrapped candies and these layered cookies with cinnamon and

sugar on them.) She told me to meet her outside work, on Monday, because she

was going to give me something no one else was getting! When we left work, she

gave me a pretty, new t-shirt from Hong Kong.

While we ‘got one back,’ we will have to say goodbye Friday, to Mary Jane. She will

leave on Saturday morning heading off to the Philippines. (She is from a different

island from our mutual friend, Felda, she met here in the U.S. In fact they have

different dialects, unique ‘clicking sounds’ that vary from one part of the islands

to another.) It has been three years since M.J. visited her family and she was so

excited to spend time with her family. Unfortunately, James, her husband was not

able to take time off from his government post. M.J. will use the same airlines, also

one that curves around Russia, not entering any of their air space.  By going out of

its way, the plane circumvents any possible dangerous disasters or attacks.

Felda showed me gorgeous photographs of Kridia Dawn, snorkeling in clear blue

water and her hands are outstretched to touch:  sharks! I was curious about the

experience but she said these sharks have little teeth and don’t eat anything but

plankton. The kinds of sharks could be sand tiger sharks, goblin sharks, or whale

sharks that are considered ‘safe’ to swim with. I will have to check which one she

may have allowed her daughter and husband to swim with.

The baby, “Zachie Poo,” was passed around and held constantly. He is toddling

around holding onto hands and surfaces. (I have written about his baby shower,

when Felda was expecting him, along with this precious and affectionate baby’s

christening.) Felda’s mother adored Zachary, which was very nice to have taken

those memorable photographs to show him when he grows up.

I was saddened, when Felda privately told me that her Aunt, her mother’s older

sister, had had a heart attack the day they left. I was very concerned about her

hospitalization. In the long time past, I had posted that Felda’s nephew, Vincent,

had not lived past age 8, since the Philippines’ hospital requires money up front

and he had a serious blood disease. He had some transfusions, provided by our

coworkers’ collections, along with her St. Mary’s Catholic Church donations for

his continued health care. There were many of us, trying and scrambling to figure

out how to ‘beat’ the system and the clock on his life.

Felda told me that her mother had put a ‘lien’ on her house, as collateral for her

sister’s hospitalization and surgery to repair her heart. I wrung my hands, teary-

eyed, wishing I had more that I could do for them. Felda told me that she will

ask at church again, for any helpful donations towards this situation. Felda told

me to explain to my fellow bloggers, that their health system is not like ours. We

need to feel blessed that we have a more open system for admissions at our own

hospitals. You don’t hear too often of little ones being turned away, like her cousin

Vincent was.

Other news, my friend and coworker, Tina, went to court with her case being

reduced to simply one that requires community service for her  “hit and run”

incident with a security guard at her work. They also received, as a family, from

their church a substantial donation towards a much needed vacation.

Tina was able to take her daughter, her husband, (for those who don’t follow

my posts about my coworkers and friends too closely, he has threatening

cancer), her oldest daughter and two of their grandkids to Gatlinburg,

Tennessee last week. She was back, tanned and refreshed from her vacation.

No repercussions other than court costs, so they are not going to have their

budget too stretched by the unfortunate accident or incident.

I think this will set a lot of sympathetic commenters’ minds to rest! I was

relieved that the court did take Tina’s remorse and stressful home situation

into consideration.

My coworker and friend, Mark C., who I admit to having a ‘crush’ on, recently

confided that his mother has not been out of his house, for over 2 years. I had

not pictured her being in such failing health.Mark told me, this is due to her

serious illness and aging process that she is going through.

Although, you know I am an “open book,” Mark is not. I thanked him for this

most recent revelation. It helps explain some of the “why?” he has never called.

I kept his very neat note, which was to recommend the trilogy of Frank McCourt’s

books.

By the way, Mark is the one I gave my cell phone number in November to call me.

I had suggested if he should ever need to talk or wish to eat out with me, “Dutch

Treat,” to let me know. . .  (Do we still say this?!)

I told him recently, “Friends can wait until circumstances allow more time. You

can call me anytime, if you wish to have a someone to lean on.”

This coworker, Mark, is a truly gentle, soft-spoken man; more than a ‘gentleman.’

This is a lot different from my friend, Amy’s situation, since her Roy has taken

advantage of her. That book’s chapter is NOT closed, by the way!

Peggy fell off her ‘center rider’ while attempting to do ‘heavy bulk.’ She is one of

the two ‘aunts’ that I am friends with, who have a niece that is my oldest daughter’s

very best friend. She recently turned 60 and is still happy with her independent

man, Tim. (Almost 15 years of living in separate homes, but still ‘together.’)

Peggy’s sister texted me back and forth, about her progress at the hospital. While

there, she had a CAT-scan and x-rays on her head. Peggy came back after just 2

days’ off, since the doctor didn’t write an excuse for ‘light duty.’ I worry about

her not waiting, since inside her head I am sure it is slowly healing.

And now, the Grand Finale!

My biggest update for the week is after I had long day on Monday. . .

I was very dismayed to see over 20 forces, police, sheriff and helicopters, all over

the place in Delaware. They were on a serious search for a “dangerous”carjacker.

I could not proceed home across the railroad tracks on London Road. There were

three police cars blocking the railroad tracks on either side.  I had to turn left and

head north on crooked Curtis Street. I had my eyes bulge out of my head, my

hands shaking like a leaf and knees nearly knocking, when I saw armed men!

They had flak vests on, looking into dumpsters, into the unused warehouses and

the ones that still have windows in them, along this curvy road.

They were looking for a fugitive from Franklin County, who had stolen someone’s

car.  The owner had enlisted someone close by where the car was taken, to chase

their own car! There was a kind of ‘chip’ that would determine the car’s location,

then once the police were called in, it became a cross country and across-county-

lines car chase.

When I arrived at the library, the librarian looked up the television news to show

me the progress the whole search was managing. We had a discussion about the

way the one helicopter was diving down and then up again. We wondered what

possible reason they would have SWAT teams included.

There literally were men with rifles out, going around the corner within yards of

the cars that were being sent this direction! There were black dogs, also German

Shepherd dogs, with their harnesses leading them into and out of warehouses

along this stretch.

When I got around the curves, I saw a nice, local man who walks around town with

a Panama hat and a Hawaiian shirt strolling along by the Re-Store Shop.

I wanted to stop him, tell him to, “Watch out!” But I thought better of it. He was in

his own little ‘time warp’ and didn’t want to give him a ‘buzz kill.’

 

Did any of this remind you of the distorted headlines that those crazy “Saturday Night

Live” comedic newscasters give? I did not make any of these many exciting things

happening around here, enough to make a zany comedy show…

Hope this leads all of us into a Normal, Usual, yet Fun Weekend!

Hope Chest Story

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Opening the lid on my mother’s hope chest, I always breathed deeply

of the cedar smell and would close my eyes to really take the breath

in, feeling the memories coming. I used to love to make my parents’

bed and dust in their bedroom. I would go to the foot of the bed and

take the crocheted coverlet off the chest. I would kneel upon my knees,

stretching my arms wide to be ready to support the lid once I opened

it. There are new hope chests that have the protective hinge that won’t

shut a child’s fingers in them. This was an older, almost antique looking

chest, its sides shiny and showing the grain of the wood. The top had a

swirling pattern carved into it. It may have been engraved by an artisan

or may have been produced by a factory. I loved the way it smelled then.

Also, I loved the way the ten different items that I am focusing on, in my

thoughts, meant something. These demonstrated love and sentimental

value in their being kept in this special location, so close to where my

parents slept and held each other through good times and bad.

Beginning from the delicate top layer to the bottom “foundation” layer,

each piece piled upon the next, neatly stacked with white tissue paper

between the layers this contained a lifetime of memories.

1. Pearl seeded cap to hold the veil upon my mother’s head. She sewed

each pearl on the cap and made her veil and dress. She used a pattern

that had Elizabethan cap sleeves, with the point at the wrist and its

length ending at her ankles.

2. Irish lace tablecloth, cream colored. She toured Europe after she

graduated from college, buying exquisite purchases that lasted. She

kept carefully until a fancy dinner would be served. She used her own

money for this trip and her parents gave her a small amount of spending

money.

3. White Christening gown. Tiny flowers with x’s and o’s, lovingly

stitched into the puckers along the neckline. This was worn by my

brothers and I when we were baptized as babies.

4. Hand sewn aprons. The multicolored aprons have primary colors in

them, red, yellow, green and blue. Each one of them has a pocket (or 2)

and my daughters now each have one to use or preserve, as they wish.

5. Lacy crocheted doilies. My grandmother was very good at making

these, along with hand painting cards for Gibson card company.

6. Large English tapestry. There is a shield with a crest on it, from years

gone by. It is burgundy, deep blue and has some golden threads woven

into it.

7. Bright silk sari. Turquoise, tangerine and gold threads are woven into

this silken sari, worn as a dress by my ex-husband’s friend, Kim’s wife,

Sunny. (I wrote about her in a post and brought this home from college

in the 70’s to add to the layers.) It has an intricately designed pattern on

the edges of it.

8. Cross-stitched Alphabet Sampler. This reminds me of those old primers,

but this once had been framed but my mother took it out, saying it was

starting to get ‘sun-damaged’ and was yellowing. She gently washed it in

cold water, re-stretched it out and then ironed it on the unpatterned side.

9. Handkerchiefs. These were from my grandmothers’ (both sides of family)

purses. When I would hold them to my nose, even though they were kept

in the hope chest with cedar wood interior, they held the perfumed scents

of those dear ones. Each had a fine edge rolled up and most had a floral

design, my favorite being, while young, the violets. Now, I have to admit

I think the embroidered roses make me smile since my mother loves them.

10. And, under them all… A West Virginian homemade patchwork quilt.

My parents first trip together was to Tennessee to see a classmate of my

father’s who graduated in engineering at U. of C. While traveling the

back roads down, they got turned around and while “lost” they found

a small local store hidden in the hills of West Virginia. There was more

of a story about the way the people stared at my parents and how they

chuckled when they heard how far off the beaten path they had gone.

The elaborately chosen patchwork quilt had  the wedding rings pattern

carefully sewn into it. The forever entwined, never ending rings would

embody a marriage of almost 44 years.

The quilt became an emblem of their love, never to be unstitched as love

would have it. It held the everlasting meaning or impression upon this

young girl when I would take each layer out of the hope chest, to examine

and sometimes to be found by my mother. She would tell me the meaning

of each layer, reminding me of the time when we were small and how in

the middle of the night we would wake up because of a nightmare.

Mom told me that in our first house together in Sandusky, Ohio, they

had used this as their blanket. She would lift a corner of her sheet with

the blanket on top, allowing us to climb in with Dad and her. We would

eventually calm down, be led back to bed (or carried.)

Tracing my fingers along the stitches in time, I held my breath in awe.

Even while young, I knew there was mysticism and magic in love.

What memories can be found within your family steamer trunk, hope

chest, or Army trunk? If you don’t have those, is there a special drawer

that holds your “valuables that hold memories?”