Category Archives: Vermilion

Lighthouses and Sailing Away: July, 2015

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I arrived up on Lake Erie last Friday. It has been a marvelous week with my

“Mamacita,” who is such a dear one and a blessing.

I enjoyed the anticipation, the way I looked more closely at the scenery

and have enjoyed relaxing and being lazy, once I got here. We went

grocery shopping shortly upon my arrival.

We always have plenty to eat with my Mom insisting on buying cookies,

chips, dip, wine (Sangria) and ice cream in at least 3 flavors.

We have plans today to visit my niece and her husband, living in my

parents’ retirement home. They were married Summer of 2014, with a

tent on the side yard and all the family present.

The family picnic (Saturday, July 3rd) will include newly arrived guests,

Skyler, Micah and my oldest daughter, Carrie. They drove up last night

and we had fun visiting and hearing about their week, since Mommy was

on vacation..

Other ‘picnickers’ will be both brothers, Mom, niece, her husband, baby

Jackson, older junior high daughter, Vaya, and my sister in law.

Mom’s and my  ‘food assignment’ was being in charge of bringing dessert.

After carefully looking over the bakery, rows of frozen desserts while

debating which ones would like our choices, we bought our offerings-

frosted red, white and blue cookies, (an instant hit with the children),

strawberries we cut up last night and added sugar to make a syrup

overnight, can of real whipped cream, angel food cake and a package

of “short cakes” which each person can choose their cake base, take

a scoop of strawberries, add vanilla bean ice cream and whipped cream.

My brother is bringing corn, watermelon and sister in law made a potato

salad. My niece and her husband are making hamburgers and hot dogs.

My other brother bought free range chickens to barbecue on the grill.

We have our bag of sunscreen, sunglasses, Mom’s special necessities,

two towels, my bathing suit and sundries packed and ready to go.

Tonight, there will be fireworks all along the lake. We will see the boats

go towards the East, then will see them head back West.

The Lake makes me think of the 12 lighthouses, bordering the Northern

edge of Ohio.

Here is a list, not in any particular order of their locations along the coast,

of a dozen scattered lighthouses along Lake Erie. . . some with memories

attached:

1. Vermilion Lighthouse.

This town is where my parents chose to live from the late 80’s until 2011,

when my Mom moved into her Senior Living Apartments. Now my niece

and her husband live on an appropriately named, “Edgewater Drive.”

2. Fairport Harbor West Lighthouse.

I have been to Fairport Harbor Beach, as a child swimming with my family.

3. Port Clinton Lighthouse.

I have toured and seen this beautiful memorial and museum on the island.

4. Huron Harbor Lighthouse.

We used to go to a little Episcopalian Church there, while growing up in

Sandusky.

The church was along the waterfront, across from the lake side of the

street.

5. Toledo Harbor Lighthouse.

While I attended Bowling Green State University, in B.G., Ohio, I visited the

Toledo Zoo and was invited to eat in a restaurant along the Toledo Harbor.

On another occasion, I enjoyed a second  harbor visit. A boyfriend and I first

spent time wandering around the art collections and gardens at the Toledo Art

Museum.

Then, having completed this fantastic day, escape from studying and  school

projects, we spent a luxurious dining experience in a waterfront restaurant.

Memories of such beautiful sea- or lake- side evenings, wherever you may

have visited, include so many senses touched or ignited. Anytime when you

can look out upon the vast, dark sky, while spying distant ships, stars and a

shining beacon of light, blinking off and on, rotating to protect the harbor, you

will be moved.

I hope sometime in your life you have been to a lake, an ocean or spent an

evening on an island.

I hope the beauty and majesty of lighthouses is part of your memories. . .

6. Ashtabula Lighthouse.

7. Marblehead Lighthouse.

Another childhood memory, where I was with my parents and my father’s

coworkers.

It has a funny sense of my mother’s annoyance and slight jealousy of one

of his secretaries. I have written this in a post about jealousy ‘at any age.’

8. Old Fairport Harbor Lighthouse.

9. Cleveland Harbor Lighthouse.

It is strange, but I know I have seen this lighthouse many times, but there is

no ‘imprint’ upon my memory bank. I have seen fireworks from a park nearby

here.

The ships are large, looming in this busy harbor, there are more restaurants

along the “Flats” than on Cleveland’s downtown lake’s edge.

10. Conneaut Lighthouse.

11. South Bass Island Lighthouse.

This is one of several islands, from Sandusky Bay to Kelley’s Island,

South Bass, Port Clinton and others… A wonderful and worthy scenic trip,

reasonably priced.

12. Lorain Harbor Lighthouse.

This one is a large lighthouse that has been one where we have sat along

the beach to watch at night. The area is well kept, has a refreshment stand

where Mom and I bought ice cream and heard first a reggae band, then a

Hispanic group sang and played. My Mom and I danced to the Spanish

music, while she tried to sing the lyrics.

On Maine Historical Society Website, I found a book by Henry Wadsworth

Longfellow. It has a collection of poems,”The Seaside and the Fireside.”

This anthology includes 8 poems about the Sea with 12 about sitting and

dreaming by the Fire.

One of Longfellow’s famous and beloved poems,

with just three passages shared in this post,

the opening, middle and closing one, below:

“The Lighthouse

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

(1850)

The rocky ledge runs far into the sea,

And on its outer point, some miles away

The Lighthouse lifts its massive masonry,

A pillar of fire by night, of cloud by day.”

. . .

“And as the evening darkens, lo! how bright,

Through the deep purple of the twilight air,

Beams forth the sudden radiance of its light,

With strange, unearthly splendor in the glare!”

. . .

(After the middle, there is a sea bird that crashes into

the glare of the lighthouse, dying and the dramatic

poet, H.W.L., mentions Prometheus chained to a rock.)

. . .

“Sail on!” it says,

Sail on, ye stately ships!

And with your floating bridge the ocean span.

Be mine to guard this light from all eclipse,

Be yours to bring man nearer unto man!”

The End.

(You may view this, in its entirety, but I chose the most

beautiful passages, in my mind’s eye.)

Last year’s music news of 2014, spoke of a ‘comeback album,’ for one of

my all-time summer favorites: Christopher Cross.  It is hard to believe his

album, titled,” Sailing,” has been out and sailing along into the sunset,

since 1979.

Did anyone listen to this album, since this post originally was published

in 2014? I have missed any of the singles on this, while listening to the

radio, daily and on longer trips to Mom’s.

I am quite content with his older one, which features lovely lyrics.

In “Sailing,” there are poetic words of paradise, tranquility, miracles

along with innocence, with canvas dreams.

“And if the wind is right, you can sail away to find serenity.”

Another passage near the end…

“Dream and wind carry me and soon I will be free.”

The Arthur movie, with the song, “The Best that You Can Be,” won Chris

Cross, an Oscar in 1981, he has been often in Germany performing, along

with on stage with country groups, like with “Alabama.” A couple years’ back,

“Lemon’s Theme” was written for the discontinued comedy television show,

“30 Rock.”

I am excited by the 2014, “The Secret Ladder,” album but have not heard

any newer songs attached to this. On Wikipedia, it lists a 2013 album by

Christopher Cross.

All I wish to express here is a combination of expectant excitement and

pleasant feeling of being swept away, if not on a sailboat, possibly an inner

tube, down a cool and easy river.

Christopher Cross singing his upbeat songs, using his fantastic, smooth

voice will be something  I still have to look forward to, someday getting to

hear the newer songs.

If only in my dreams…

I hope this spurred on memories of sandy beaches, water experiences by

a body of water; stream, river, lake or ocean.

If not, a pool is a nice cooling off place to suggest. . .

Did you ever have an emotional experience, almost magical or spiritual,

while you were by some form of water?

If you would like to list something you did or plan to do to celebrate the

holiday, please know I may not respond until July 5th or 6th, once I get

back home. . .

If you have already liked this post, written last year and then edited to

include new baby boy, Jackson, my grandsons Micah and Skyler, their

Mommy having a 2015 vacation all week, then don’t feel bad not pushing

“Like” button once again. I am thankful for this re-blogging, since some

of the details remained intact. Others, I updated. . .

Have a fantastic Fourth of July, if you are in the U.S.

If not, hope you are having a wonderful weekend!


Raising the Bar

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Happy 40th Anniversary to you, Dear Bar Code! Can you believe there is even

a day of celebration for this invention? I am laughing at this!  I just saw this on

a poster at Advance Auto, where I was clocking out from work.

I used my picture badge, with my bar code, to ‘wave’ in front of the time clock.

I was trying to fathom how bar codes have made our everyday  lives ‘easier.’

I can think of how it has made my shopping experiences ‘easier.’

Besides, bar codes do help me at work, due to making accuracy much easier to

check.

Grocery bar codes, first known as GSI linear coding, were initiated in 1973

in Troy, Ohio. A year later, the UPC codes became literally a universal way

of coding products.

On June 26, 1974, the first bar codes were ‘stuck’ on Wrigley’s gum packages!

If you are the type who wishes to toast an anniversary, you may wish to try

something with Crème de menthe, since their first brand of gum was mint!

I am one who would rather have mint chocolate chip ice cream or if it were

available 12 months a year: Peppermint Stick ice cream! It has a creamy,

more vanilla-mint flavor than the strong peppermint flavor of those iconic

light green Wrigley’s packages of gum.

Or you may indulge in a cupcake with green food dye and mint flavored

frosting. A chocolate one would be my good friend, Jenny’s flavor to choose.

Mine would be to make a vanilla cake with cream cheese frosting with just a

smidge of peppermint flavoring added. Yummy!

Last, but not least, while in Cleveland this weekend, my grandchildren asked

to have McDonald’s milk shakes. Micah loves chocolate, my daughter got one

of those also. My oldest grandson, Skyler, asked for a strawberry one. While

we were ordering, we weren’t sure why they are again offering their green

minty “Shamrock” milkshakes?

We wondered what got this back on the menu, long past St. Patrick’s Day?

Do you know why McDonald’s around Cleveland, (I have not checked out

locally, so don’t want to generalize this phenomenon!) are offering these at

this time of year?

Are there some Irish festivals in the summertime inspiring the company?

Do people complain loudly, after St. Patrick’s Day, about their short term

offering of this delightful shake?

Have I gone far enough ‘left field’ that I may venture back on the path to

finding reasons to celebrate UPC bar codes?

I came up with a short list, no references need. No website that I went off

and looked this up on…

Robin’s Short List of “Why Bar Codes Have Improved Our Lives:”

1.  Self service lines in “box stores” and grocery markets alleviate long lines.

Thanks for those UPC bar code digits, we are able to scan our own products

and “go on our merry way!”

2.  Scanning codes sometimes may ‘catch’ sale items much better than using

‘human-applied sales labels.’ This is a pet peeve of mine, when I find something

that is ‘supposedly on sale’ and the clerk ringing it in, sometimes doesn’t seem

to catch the sale. But, with the ability of scanning bar codes, there have been

less ‘errors’ at some of the places that used to just stick a colored dot on products.

3. When products that are on sale ‘run out,’ I like to ask for “Rain Checks.” This

UPC bar code helps make the rain check ‘more valid’ and ‘usable’ due to its

accuracy. Also, handwritten out, most people can copy numbers from a label.

4.  A problem with our bar codes at work is, that sometimes we are needing to

check the last 2 digits and sometimes even the last 3 digits, since Receiving and

Away departments have ‘dyslexic’ workers, or so it seems to the Bin Order

Fillers who find lots of errors where we are supposed to have ‘Pick Ready’ bins.

5.  When I am up in the Mezzanine area, I am able to wear an armband held

small computer. It is called an “RF” which has a Blue Tooth scanner attached to

my pointer finger. I use my thumb to press the side button to shoot a laser at

the product’s bar code label. (Most people like it on their middle finger and

simply press their pointer finger on the scanner button.)

This is a much better device, than the one I used to have to use in Heavy Bulk.

That contraption involved listening to a operated ‘order’ where it would

give you a five numbered area to go to.

The five numbers were usually double digits, this took a lot of my brain power

Often, I had a headache at the end of the day! It did ‘like’ my voice, usually more

than my fellow coworkers who had made their template in an unnatural voice,

then using their ordinary, regular toned voice they would try to ‘confirm’ their

orders… The voice in their earpiece would say, “The number you are trying to

confirm doesn’t exist” or “Please say the number again.” I cannot even remember

the irritating repetitive words, sometimes my coworkers would give me their

headpiece, which definitely ‘would not recognize my voice commands.’

So bar codes were originally a ‘pain in the patooty’ at  my work! I did not like

the way they would tell me to go to “49-13-22-6-2” which meant row 49, look

on the 13th rack, go over 22 bins and go up to the top shelf (6th shelf) and

pick two products.

Now, when I use the Blue Tooth ‘finger scanner’ or the ‘gun scanner’ on the

tablet sized “RF” I can simply point, press and if the product is wrong, I

will ‘back order’ it. This is much to the chagrin of the Cycle Count people

who have to come and find out why someone stocked the wrong product

or put the right product in Timbuctoo! I checked the spelling on that one,

folks!

How does the bar code effect your area of work?

Do you feel it improves your shopping experience?

Is there some other area of your life this happens to help you out?

As I leave the library, I will be signing off my computer, taking my bar coded

library card to check out some movies for the week…

Happy Monday to you all!

P.S. The wedding event of my year was one of my top 3 favorite weddings I have

ever been to! I loved seeing all the grandchildren in their new and nicely colorful

‘dress up’ clothes.

I enjoyed how much fun my Mom had, with many special moments where little

ones gave her hugs, along with her being allowed to reminisce to her content.

The weather was absolutely lovely and there was a time, after bubbles were

blown, food and delicious cake from Fragapan Bakery, were eaten, faces painted

and the smallest ones allowed to dip in a baby pool, while the older ones were

escorted by my brother, designated “Life Guard” to Showse Park Beach, only

two houses down from the wedding.

Time spent with the lovely bride, my niece, and her sweet and terrific husband

was wonderful. So many memories of times where we were mentioning our

fireworks off the beach below my parents’ cottage, sparklers lit off the deck

and just so many more memories.

I am blessed that my youngest brother chose a woman with children with

ages close to those of my own. Holidays and gatherings, they could pair up

in play.

Innumerable activities since they became part of our family.

Thus, my niece was only 6 and my youngest only 4, when my little brother

married my only ‘sister’ in law.

Everyone reveled in the casual atmosphere, showing such playfulness at the

lake cottage. The ‘Tent wedding,’ otherwise labeled on our invitations as

“Come to a BBQ Wedding and Reception!”

 

 

Handwritten Love Letters

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Collections of notes and love letters carry such important

messages. Sometimes connecting the world with the past,

sometimes bringing hope and love across the miles and

through dangerous times. Bill Shapiro went around the world

to collect his findings of such varied subjects, but mostly

he wanted Love Letters. (Check out his book, “Other People’s

Love Letters: 150 Letters You Were Never Meant to See, October,

2007.)

Bill Shapiro’s book can be studied to help you write a moving

and poignant love letter. His collection of letters range from

the very serious subject matter, includes the humorous to the

sublime.

Bill gathered notes and cards, too, that were sent from the

youngest age of kindergarten to the oldest age of beyond

ninety was a fantastic project for him to undertake. I would

have enjoyed this project and cherished the memories of the

faces on the people sharing them and who I would have met along

my journey.

I think that finding letters in an attic is such a wonderful

way to connect to your family’s heritage and see into the

way their thoughts and feelings were during the period the

messages were sent. The subjects of history, war, Depression

and the Holocaust have given us fascinating missives.

My Dad’s love letters, sent from Cleveland to Middletown,

Ohio were beseeching and searching for the way to capture my

Mom’s heart. They ‘cinched the deal’ while my Mom dated a

few men after college, living at home with her parents and

teaching high school. Their love life was always passionate,

filled with the continued promise that it would last forever.

The packet of shoestring tied cards with each personally

filled out, by my Dad to my Mom, found after his death has

been on my mind, especially as their 59th anniversary is

fast approaching.

You see, four years before my Dad’s death he suffered a

life-changing stroke. It was debilitating in a devastating

way. He was not able to read nor write for months. Once he

‘passed’ the occupational and physical therapists’ time

limit, my mother had helped to find the interesting twist of

fate that had switched his right and left sides of his brain.

He was walking in the winter, through the Sandusky, Ohio mall,

where he kept bumping into people. My mother quietly and gently

would move him back by her side.

When he would reach for his silverware or cup of coffee, she

would note, he would be reaching in the opposite direction

from where he wanted. He would look at my mother, with a

somewhat confused and childlike look on his face. She said it

reminded her of a wounded puppy.

She started by telling him to place his left hand on the table

and remember that was his left side. When he would physically

do this, it helped. It placed him more in the realm of awareness

and also, this became quite helpful for him to read again.

One of my parent’s favorite activity, as they drank their coffee

on retirement days, they would combine their brains and complete

the crossword puzzle in two newspapers daily. What he knew in

science and technology balanced her knowledge of the world,

history and of course, her favorite subject, English and

languages.

My mom found the squares in the crossword puzzle to be rather

helpful for Dad’s orientation and re-introduction to writing

left to right. Why do I think this is significant to love letters?

The way he was childlike had concerned my mother’s mind and their

budget. Her ‘last straw’ was when he chose to buy six ‘expensive’

Vermilion, Ohio beach towels from one of the souvenir stores in

their retirement village of choice. The total came to $120!! my

Mom yelled! My Mom took his credit card away, even though the

thought of his six grandchildren, my three plus Rich and Susan’s

three, were not worth the extraordinary cost! She returned the

towels to wait until a local store (now closed) called Alco’s

had their beach towels on sale, at the end of summer clearance.

So, my Dad was sadly commissioned an ‘allowance’ of only twenty

dollars a week.

Four wonderful years passed. He had been given a new lease on

life, his heart had stopped in the hospital while recuperating

from the stroke. He had gone, he believed ‘to Heaven and back.’

Pulled back to life, by the resuscitation process with those

handheld electric shock pumps on his chest.

Of course, if you have read this before, it never hurts to hear

these encouraging words that my Dad exclaimed, once ‘back from

his spaceship trip to Heaven:’

“If I can make it to Heaven, anyone can!”

My Dad found out he had cancer in late Summer, 2000. He was

told it may be a year or less, he took the chemo and the other

treatments. He was ‘chipper’ but nauseous. He continued to find

wonders in each day, since that stroke had made him a big kid

again. Mom and he had some special and romantic moments, despite

his knowing he was not going to live long.

The fact that he bought, over the short period of September, 2000

when he found out he had cancer and not long to live, until the

beginning of January, a total of 42 cards is outstanding! He used

his budget to buy a few each time that my parents were out, my

Mom swears she never even noticed him wandering around the stores

towards the card department. She also said when she was buying

candy at the local Hallmark Shoppe, she did not notice him looking

and searching for ‘just the right one.’ None of us knew until my

Dad had died on January 27, 2001, that my Mom’s treasure trove of

cards and messages was still waiting for her to find.

It took my Mom past February to even think of going into Dad’s

clothing drawers. She found a few things in the laundry and

was not even wishing to wash them. They had my Dad’s scent on

them. She wore one of his sweatshirts for a month of nights

to bed. She finally got herself ‘geared up’ for the heavy task

of cleaning out the drawers.

Three stacks were made on the bed she no longer slept in. The

day that my Dad passed, she chose to start sleeping on the sofa

with the back of it, like his own back, pressed up against her.

One stack of clothes was for my brothers to search through,

one was for the grandkids, my own three children choosing to

pick a t-shirt and a tie, with my son and oldest daughter

wanting a leather belt each. The third stack of clothing went

to the Vermilion Goodwill Store.

When she opened the socks drawer, she was digging through

it, transferring the great number of tube socks directly

across the room, into her own sock drawer. She, to this

day, wears men’s socks that are leftover from Dad or buys

new ones to remind her of him.

At the bottom of the drawer a pile of cards over 12″ tall,

about 8″ wide, was tied with a brown shoe string. It had

a note at the top. It said (the gist of it):

“Rosalie, I hope that you will find comfort in these cards

that I searched for you to open. Please read only on the

dates that are given on them, so they will last quite

awhile. I hope to make it to our 46th anniversary, but if

not, that will be your first card to open. Now, you know

I love you and will be with you always. Don’t be sad when

the last card is opened. Maybe you can have a party and

celebrate then, on our 50th Golden Anniversary.

Love you, pardner! Bob.”

My Mom called each of us to share the news. We had had a

meal on their 46th anniversary with Mom, my oldest daughter,

both brothers, myself, my sister in law and my ex-husband.

We had eaten at one of their favorite restaurants by the

Sandusky Mall. She had not yet found the hidden cards.

When Valentine’s Day came she had not yet discovered the pile.

But by the rowdy holiday of St. Patrick’s Day and the rest of

the years leading up to 2005, she had several to open on important

dates, along with some silly ones thrown in to fill in gaps in time.

There were six non-holiday ones, that tickled his ‘fancy,’ and had

some nonsensical reference to a memory that they shared. All major

holidays we celebrated, including Thanksgiving, Christmas and New

Year’s. Each had some quick thoughts jotted down after the printed

message. My Dad utilized some of his clever and sarcastic wit. Her

birthday ones and the anniversary ones seemed to my eyes to respect

their serious nature and therefore were very elaborate and ornate.

These were the ‘special’ ones, that if you were there, you would

note a tear shed by Mom. The Halloween ones had silly things like

witches and one time, as if she were a child, one had a ghost that

opened up into three dimensional and whispered, “Boo!”

We had that celebratory party, in a fancy hotel restaurant

halfway to my aunt and uncle’s house in Chardon, Ohio. It was

a lovely feast, where each had put their thirty dollars in to

pay the total bill and include a grand tip for the servers.

It included cousins and three female grandchildren, one great

grandchild, Skyler, (age 4 months), we three siblings, two

spouses, my Aunt Amy and Uncle Orrin and Mom, in all her glory,

at the head of the table.

Gifts were humorous or simple, no expense was stressed when we

planned this celebratory occasion.

Mom ‘kept the card’ but I practically memorized Dad’s message

written here are the words on my Parent’s 50th Anniversary card,

which was absolutely gorgeous,

written five years prior:

“Dear Rosalie,

You were my help mate, my editor, my best friend, my anchor,

my co-pilot, and the mother of my children. You were the love

of my life.

And to Robin, Randy and Rich, our 3 R’s (reading, writing and

‘rithmetic!)

And to Carrie, Jamie, Felicia, Katherine, Jonathan and Libby~~

And to All the Possibilities!

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

(he included 9 ?’s)

I LOVE YOU!

I wish to have you understand what an impact this has been

on my years since. It is hard not to compare the love between

my parents, one raised in the ghetto, working nights at age 11.

My Mom says, “He was such a punk!” While the other half of the

pair (dynamic duo!), my Mom, was raised well. To the long list

of men who have been my suitors (husbands, friends and boyfriends)

I have been disappointed. They “did not hold a candle” to him!

My optimism mixes with some dashes of cynicism, then I get

a little nudge or message in a dream from my Dad:

“Don’t give up the search!

Protect your heart.

He is waiting for you to find him!”

Lovingly sent.

Fun in the Sun!

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Memorial Day is meaningful for remembering those who have given

their lives for our country. For parades and gravesites decorated with

wreathes of red, white and blue. For waving flags and remembering

to take them down at dusk. For the trumpet which sounds, “Day is done,

gone the sun…” that etches a memory for me of my Dad. His sensitive eyes

would fill up when he heard the mournful first notes.

Along with the serious side of Memorial Day, there are the wondrous

buffets of picnics, fishing and playing games with family. I am always

thankful for the sight of my Dad rounding the corner of their little

retirement cottage on the cliff of Vermilion on Lake Erie. He would

have a life preserver over his shoulder, a handful of those styrofoam

multi-colored “noodles” my kids loved, along side of him would be

the croquet set up or a badminton net all for my three children who

didn’t realize every grandpa was not so playful and fun loving.

I am excited about staying up in Cleveland to see my mother in her

senior apartment. Last year, it was the “Attack of the Flies” story that

made my blog. This year, who knows what mischief, malaprops said,

or other adventures Mom and I will get into? We usually sit in our p.j’s

and have wine, we enjoy Hallmark or the Clue channels! Always there

are memories and a midnight walk with her little dog, Nicki.

I will be traveling with her to the grocery store, we go to the bank and

often she wants to drive past our home in Bay Village. We may go over

to Huntington Beach and stop in for an Italian meal at Vento’s which

I mentioned last summer. It is a restaurant that Patricia Heaton and her

sister own. Patty is known for “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “The Middle”

comedy shows’ fame.

She was a resident of Bay Village and would have been grade wise between

my youngest brother and my other brother who is only 18 months younger

than I am.

Her brother, Michael Heaton, was in my graduating class of 1974. He

writes in the Cleveland newspaper, The Plain Dealer. His column’s title

and his famous persona is “The Minister of Culture.”

I wrote last year around Christmas that he wrote a true story that was made

into a Hallmark movie (Dec. 21, 2012.) This touching movie is about a

heart transplant that transforms several peoples’ lives. It is called “The Christmas

Heart.”

Vento’s has a black board listing the specials along with the choices available

On the patio are tables with umbrellas where the view is a beautiful setting

where the Huntington Playhouse currently have live theatre productions. The

Huntington Arts used to hold outdoor watercolor classes, for example.

Vento’s serves light fare along with a delicious variety of the Italian pasta

dishes you would love to eat. The desserts are also varied and includes

cheesecake and a fresh fruit salad. I am not sure what else would be served

since it has been a year.

My mother likes to look around this neighborhood that was the one

I lived in from my 7th grade until my senior year of high school. From

BGSU, I would come home from college on breaks, got married and then,

my parents retired. They spent the rest of their time together traveling

around in their RV. They went from Maine to Florida and then from Ohio

across the West to California to a NACA reunion (what NASA was called

when it first began.) Then they would follow their travels by stopping to see

their grandchildren, my kids, in Delaware, Ohio. At last starting summer

in their Vermilion home with their Memorial Day weekend extravaganza!

We won’t go to Vermilion with Mom because that is where she remembers

Dad the most and she cries and wants to stay there. It is not a safe place

anymore for her. Last Spring, we made a family decision that is difficult.

I want to take her there but I remember it is for the best not to.

Thus, I will venture there while Mom is sleeping in on either Saturday

or Sunday mornings. I will visit her neighbors, let the air into the house

and wander around the cottage. I will walk the beach looking for the blue

glass and special little rocks that we always loved to bring back and drop in

the rock garden.

I may weed a little and hope that it won’t take too long. Our man who mows

will have weed whacked and hopefully, there will be potential buyers this

Spring and Summer! Neighbors may wave and cross the street to talk.

They usually ask about my mother who was there on her own for 11 years

with a lot of neighborly love and friendship going both directions.

My brothers will have a barbecue with Susan and I doing a minimum

of preparation and sitting with my mother on their sun porch. They are

fortunate to have a place across the street from where they placed Mom.

My sister in law and younger brother have a beautiful “century home” that

is a pretty yellow with black shutters. Adorning my  brother’s large yard is

a Randall Oldrieve (other brother) sculpture that brings cars to a halt or

slowing down at least to see!

I will bask in the sun at some point in time, be it on a walk at the beach,

sitting on a large rock or on the pier at Showse Beach in Vermilion. I may

choose one of the benches at Huntington Beach in Bay.

My favorite place to perch is on the steps my Dad built down the cliff. This

was a place that no matter how high the water was, we could count on them

to be able to survey the lake. I can look out and almost see Canada on a clear day!

The sun setting or the sun rising are gorgeous to view there. From this perch, the

clear, ‘no city lights’ deep, dark night sky is heavenly!

This Memorial Day I will think of my father who really loved retiring from

what was a challenging career. He worked hard at NASA as a rocket scientist

or an engineer in the lab working with the mechanical arms testing the metal

that would produce a part on the space shuttle.

What we remember is sitting in a simple rowboat looking at the stars and casting

out a fishing line.

Those times were filled with the great expanse of water and sky filled with stars

and we didn’t have to talk to know we were loved.

Happy Memorial Day to everyone!  Feel free to share your favorite memories, too!