Saturday, January 31, 2015

Cold? What cold? Oh that cold.

So there's more snow heading this way on Super Bowl Sunday. That's ok. I don't really have to go anywhere until Tuesday. I did have to go to CVS to pick up a prescription. This should not be a big production. There was only one other person there. I was there 2 days before and it was the same scenario, only 1 other person waiting. That day I waited for about 9 minutes and was never acknowledged. Their counter is divided into 3 sections. 1 to place an order, 1 for consultation and 1 for pick-up. The flaw in this set up is that there's nobody at these stations. There were 2 women behind the counter. You could see the tops of their heads, hear chatter and the sound of pills rattling around. I was getting a little testy. I wanted to say something but instead I just walked out. After getting another one of their annoying phone calls about picking up my prescription, I knew I had to go because I don't want to go out tomorrow save for going next door to watch the football game.

So I went in again today. I waited about the same amount of time until someone finally came over. I didn't say anything but I am considering shifting back to Osco. They aren't quite as close by but things always went more smoothly there.

CVS is like Dunkin' Donuts. They are all over the place around here. There are 10 Dunkin' Donuts in my city alone and we are not a big city, about 58,000. Their coffee is fine but the donuts are on a par with supermarket donuts which means the are low on the donometer readings. The small independent shops all offer superior donuts. Donuts are one of the few luxuries I allow myself. I get one when I go to work. A honey dipped cruller. Fortunately I don't work more than 3 days.

It's about 9 degrees, and that's here in my man cave (Insert rim shot here). The wind is gusting to 30-40 mph. Once again I congratulate the public works people for doing a great job on the roads. I was out for about an hour this morning and all the roads I drove on were down to bare pavement. Still there is plenty of snow piled up with more on the way. Maybe even another 12 inches.

Last night Arlene and I talked about our up trip to you know where at the end of May. We also talked about alternatives places to go. New Hampshire has many places all of which are within a 3 hour drive. New Hampshire is a beautiful place. I don't see myself ever boarding a plane again and that's fine with me though in fantasy I would like to back to Washington D.C. and to London.

That wind is howling out there so I go back in my mind, to the beach at Oak Bluffs at sunrise. It could be 65 degrees which sounds tropical compared to today. It's quiet except for the lapping of the waves. That's what we talked about last night, the week of our little trip. That's still about 3 months away.
That's a plastic stool saving a parking space.

That flag has been straight out all day. 


I guess it's time to find something else to do. There's always something to do.

I'm outta here.
     

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Snow done. A collage for Nancy.

January 28, 2014. I don't know if you heard, we got some snow. As is usually the case, when a storm is finished the sun shines brightly and it is beautiful out. Well that was the case during the morning though not as I write this in the early afternoon. All the snow clearing is done. The roads around here are cleared. I am lucky to be able to park in a drive way because street parking is limited. Look for an assortment of chairs, signs, safety cones placed in a spot by a resident to save the space if they have to go out. I have seen old kitchen chairs beach chairs, plastic yard chairs and even charcoal grills used to save a very precious space. Having said all that the area has seems to have bounced back quickly. All main roads are plowed. Traffic around here is not bad to begin with so it's still pretty quiet. Some areas along the coast got beat up by the ocean. Nantucket lost it's power but all in all a vast majority of people retained electric power. All in all I have to say nice job by everybody, though people are still out clearing snow. A good amount of the snow removal had been done by this morning and this is what was left as I stepped out at about 10 this morning. That's Arlene's car with my car in front. The rest has been cleared away.


 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
He's a little video shot out my windows as the snow fell. It was shot through a screen as well. It might be a bit out of focus but then again I could have been a bit out of focus myself.
 
video
 
 
This was inspired by Nancy. She thanked me on my last blog for mentioning things about Boston. The places that everybody read about in their history books are here. For years I ignored most of them. Now I appreciate that I have all these places around me. I went back and looked at some of the pictures I have taken over the last 7 or 8 years. Both sets of pictures were from 2007-2008. I may have used some here on Blogger but these are from the Spaces days, and that's how long I've known Nancy. Nancy is good people. So for you Nancy I put together this little Boston collage.
   
So all in all things are fine here. Yes it will be one pain in the ass to go back to work tomorrow, but I can't get too spoiled with the time off. Snow is a monkey wrench to everything but it's not the first nor will it be the last storm. We've had them before. Despite all the shoveling I feel good. Arlene even invited me to dinner tonight. Easy on the vino though. I do have to work tomorrow.
Arrivederci,
I'm outta here.  
 
 




Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A holiday at home

I begin this cement mixer blog at approximately 10:50 A.M. e.s.t. The storm is still going strong, but all is well. Everyone is accounted for. Yes it is a snowstorm/blizzard, and it is nasty outside. It's also completely quiet except for the wind. At this point plows have been down my street twice. This was Monday morning, before all this got started. We had a bit of snow then, we have a lot of snow right now.
 
This was Monday Jan. 26 around 4:30 P.M.
 
This is about 7 A.M. Tuesday morning.
 



  
It's now about 1:45 P.M. It's still snowing. Some people are out trying clean up a bit. I hear a snow blower and see a guy across the street shoveling as it snows and the wind blows. I think they're out of their minds. From this point on as I write, it will continue to snow until midnight.

So far, despite the guy out there with his snow blower going, It's snowing and it is quiet...except for the guy with his snow blower.
Some people just don't know how to relax. I wish he would relax. He won't be able to go anywhere until Wed. or Thurs. anyway. It could keep snowing until midnight.

' video
 

I'm having a fine time. I'm not lifting a finger clearing snow away until it's finally over. The wind is swirling. Some cars are covered some cars don't have much snow on them at all.

This is a shot of the house next door. Where Arlene lives. Taken about noon on Tues.

 I find this as a little holiday. Nobody can overrule the weather except if you work for the city or state dpw. I've taken a few pictures, mostly through the windows. I haven't been outside and don't plan to until tomorrow. At this point, 2:40 in the afternoon we have approximately 8-20 inches of snow with many hours to go. People along certain parts of the coast are having a much worse time than we are having.

So I'm having a lovely day. This all hinges on retaining power. So far there aren't many people without power around here. Nantucket has lost all their power. Parts of the coast are really getting battered. It's quite a storm.

Last night I was next door at Arlene's. Her Twin daughters were home. I brought over a bottle of wine. A bottle I bought on a whim. It wasn't real expensive at $12.99. It was from film director Francis Ford Coppola's vineyard. I like wine but I am not very knowledgeable. Arlene knows much more than I. We sat on her coach watching brainless, but at times, amusing collection of Super Bowl commercials. One of her twin daughters was showering after work the other was working on the cities web site from the kitchen.
The wine was quite tasty. I actually tasted the blueberry notes it mentioned on the label. It's a California wine. Of Course at this point in the evening, about 10 P.M., I was quite relaxed and very grateful that all I had to do was walk next door. 

On my short trip home the wind was blowing. There were swirls and divot's in the snow as wind blew snow around some cars and things and piled it up on other cars and things.

Today I am just sitting around watching the show. No need to get worked up. This is Boston, well real close. It's winter. This has happened before. You take it seriously because you should. Prior storms have taught us things. We have learned. Though it's been around 21 hours of snow we still have six to nine hours left as of this writing. For the rest of today I am staying in enjoying the ability to do something or nothing.

I've eaten,
I've drunk,
and I do feel a bit merry.
I'm outta here.

    

Sunday, January 25, 2015

I'm apreciating things..the blizzard not so much.

I have a habit, among many habits, of starting a blog one day just because I like to write. I'm no writer but I do like to do it. Well all that has nothing to do with what I may or may not write. What first got me to fire up the old laptop was while I was checking out some information on Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge in Boston. I live in the area. I remember when they were talking about "The Big Dig" around 1980. In retrospect what happened over those years from the early 80's to the mid 2000's was pretty spectacular.

I just wanted some information for my own knowledge because, hey I live here. Well as I read about how long it took to build, when it opened, I clicked on a link for Yelp. It's a website I have never used but it's a place where you can give your opinion on just about anything and apparently the Zakim Bridge was a topic. I clicked on it and read what people thought of it. What I found interesting is what people who weren't from around here had to say. But this blog, or at least this part of the blog, isn't about the bridge.
After I read the various opinions I came to a link for the Old North Church. Well I clicked on it, curious to see what people would say about it. Once again I was interested in what people who weren't from around here had to say. Most people who weren't from Ma. or New England, talked about how this was the spot where the lanterns were set in the steeple that set Paul Revere off on his ride. They felt the sense of history as to what happened here and how it set off the Revolutionary War and the birth of the United States.  I went there for the first time around 2006-2007 and I've lived in the area all my life. Shame on me. People from California talking about how this was the place that they read about in their history books. 

I've never walked the Freedom Trail. I've been to various spots along it. There's Paul Revere's House in the North End. And I do recommend highly that if anybody who reads this, comes to Boston, do set aside one meal for a meal in the North End. Any restaurant, bakery, cafĂ© or pastry shop will be wonderful. If you like Italian food, all varieties, you won't go wrong. Every city has it's locales known for certain kinds of food and if it's Italian, it's the North End when in Boston. My uncle used to have a store there so I went there a few times when I was young but I never went to Paul Revere's House. It was literally around the corner. Revere's ride was re-enacted every year when I was young. We lived on Main St. at the time and that was part of Revere's route to Lexington and Concord. Big deal. Well it is because people who visit and see the places where things happened, appreciate it. I took it for granted. 

I know the history, but when I was younger I just thought, "Yeah the Constitution is 5 miles that way, so what." The upshot of all this historical blather is it's that it's only been in the last 10 years that I've come to appreciate what I have around me. If you are from out of town there is a lot appreciate here. I also admit to enjoying reading all the nice things people had to say about the city.  

I guess this applies to more than just to where you live, it applies to family, friends, even animals. Appreciate while you can. I am learning this at this stage of my life but better late than never.

Now for some serious stuff. As I write this we around here are waiting for a blizzard. 24-30 inches of snow. Uh oh! Maybe I won't be going to work on Tuesday Morning or Wednesday for that matter. And the word blizzard implies lots of wind. Blizzards are not one of the Boston area's more endearing qualities, but it's not the first one and it won't be the last one. In some respects I am looking forward to it. As long as the electricity doesn't go out. You stay indoors. Watch nature bringing everything to a stop outside. Perhaps indulge in a favorite beverage possibly an adult beverage. There's not much else to do except relax and watch the show. You do have to eventually deal with it and I'm not looking forward to the snow removal and driving around in the stuff but you gotta do what you gotta do. 

Getting back to my previous topic, I do admit that I love Boston. More now than before. It's a nice place to live despite the usual problems of a densely populated area and sometimes dodgy weather. And I appreciate my sisters and my wonderful relationship with Arlene. I appreciate that though I didn't retire completely, I have been able to cut down on my work load and sort things out a bit. It's a time that I have done more reflecting back. Mainly because I now have some back to reflect upon. 

Ok I think I'm going to wrap this sucker up. I have a dentist appointment at 8 A.M. I will have to contact work and inform them that they probably won't see me on Tuesday or Wednesday. Snow is part of the winter and there is fun to had despite all that wretched shoveling. I think back to when I was a kid and how a snowstorm or blizzard was a good and fun thing. Not so much now but it's not that bad. It's a time you really can't do much and watch nature just do what it wants.

Perhaps some popcorn.
I'm outta here.




                

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Yup, it's snowing.

I have to say that even though we knew the snow was coming, there wasn't much panic buying while I was at work yesterday. That's a good thing. Not for the store, but for peoples attitudes when it snows. For the first time I did not see people buying like crazy people. I still think it's all remnants from 1978. We already had about 21 inches of snow on the ground from a very recent storm. The next storm lasted about 30 hours. and left another 38 inches of snow. The wind was gusting up to 70 mph in the Boston area. The entire coast was battered.
 
 
 
 This house was cut in half by the ocean.

The ocean dumped tons of rock, sand and debris onto the streets.



My street looked pretty much like this.

Now I am in no way comparing this storm with that one. It's just a snowstorm. If you live around here your going to have snow in the winter.

This is a shot out a front window around 7 this morning... I have no desire to go out and shovel my car out but I must. At least I'm in a drive way. There may have been an inch of snow on the ground.


Two hours have passed since I wrote the above. There isn't all that much snow in the ground and it's freezing rain right now which is supposed to turn back into snow later on. I have already been out and it's not bad. Not too many cars on the street, not that much snow. I have been to the store and purchased a bottle of wine. I am either going to Arlene's house or she's coming here. We conveniently live next door to each other. We may even go out to dinner tonight.

 Still at 7 A.M.

It's been 10 months since I "retired". I still work 2 or 3 days a week. I'm still in the adjustment phase. I have a lot of free time compared to before and it's nice but it becomes a challenge to change your lifestyle. Filling the new found free time in. I have been working since 1968. Fulltime in 1969 and with my present day employer since 1971. I am lucky. I have survived the slow downs in the economy and kept my job. It wasn't and still isn't a very glamorous job but it did provide me with a good life. I mentioned to Arlene if she would like to retire to Martha's Vineyard. Now I know it's a stupid question and unless I hit the lottery, it's a pipe dream, but she was quite receptive to the idea. In reality we could never afford it. Still it's close enough to get there in 3 hours, drive and ferry included and we can't wait for the end of May beginning of June. It's the same state yet we're on an island. It's like home but it's a slower pace of life. There's no big city but there is an ocean. And the ability to take private walks on the beach at almost any time. We only go in the off seasons.

Ok enough daydreaming. It's time to get spiffed up as Arlene is coming over.

I'm outta here.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Went to the auto show

Sunday was a nice day. Warm for the time of year but a bit windy. The Auto Show was in town and my friend Dave and I went. We are both car guys but in different ways. He was more interested under the hood than I was, though I have a passing interest in horsepower and the like. I like them as styling statements. Design, innovation and blah blah blah. I just like cars. I made a slideshow of the pictures I took. I put fragments of tunes I recorded  on my own. It was a bit of a hobby. A hobby I haven't participated in since 1999. My little 4 track tape recorder broke and that was that. I ended up buying a more modern digital recorder but it was more complicated and I just let it go. I'm trying to do it again. I'm out of practice. I listened to some of the old stuff for some inspiration. I'm giving it another shot with the extra free time I now have. Besides, it's fun. What I put on the slide show are just snippets. Some I wouldn't play completely because only a few people would know who I was talking about and there could be, and I'm just saying could be, some offensive language. A snippet from the beginning of one, a guitar solo from another. Something that I made up as I went along, and a song about this guy who worked in the bakery dept. which was right next to my dept. Leonardo was from some Latin country, I can't remember which one. He was a good guy and a good worker, unfortunately he neither spoke or understood English very well.

A lady went up to him and asked if he could write on a cake. He replied, having totally misunderstanding her, "I do."
She was clearly suspicious of this and asked again making a writing gesture above the cake. He suddenly realizes what she said and replied, "I don't do."

This inspired the Latin flavored tune "I do, I don't do." Those are the lyrics. They are badly recorded and it's just a bit from the beginning, that's all.

I make no great claims as a musician. I just did it and am trying to do again. Besides it's fun.

The two pictures below were taken as we drove home over the Zakim Bridge. They are also in the slideshow. I just like them.




Y'ever wonder why nobody names their kids Ichabod anymore?
I'm outta here

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Just some words

There are times I am compelled to write for no other reason other than I have been compelled to write. This is one of those times. There's not a whole lot going on except a friend of ours from the past popped up unexpectedly and wonderfully out of nowhere. A stab from the past. By a friend of ours I am referring to my sister and I, not Arlene and I. This was years before I knew Arlene. No this friend did not call me but her daughter in law did. The funny thing about it was just the night before I thought about her and checked her out on the web and I found out where she was living. Not that far away from here. Maybe 20 miles. The next day I got a call from her daughter in law. I have not seen these people in over 20 years. They were having a birthday party for her, and they found my number and called inviting me and my sisters to the birthday party. It was this past Saturday. I told them I couldn't make it because I worked until 4 and I really didn't want to drive through Boston to get to what they call the south shore. It's the part of the state that's just before Cape Cod. The idea of getting on the highway driving about 20 miles and then looking for an address in a town I'm not familiar with in the dark just didn't appeal to me. We ended up making plans for a different day, more than likely a Sunday and during the day. But it was wonderful to hear from those folks. I remember when her kids were little and of course they are all married with children of their own. It will also be be wonderful to see all those folks again. The upshot of all this is really me accepting the fact that I am aging. I never really thought about this until about almost a year ago , just before I began to think about semi-retiring. As I have said before, I have been blessed with good health all my adult life. It has been about 8 months since I have semi-retired and I still am adjusting to it. It is a change after working 43 years (soon to be 44) for the same company in a fulltime capacity. I am finding myself trying to find things to do. You can only fool around with the computer so much. I'm not much of a television watcher, except for news and news related programs. I used to like the history channel except there's very little "history" programming on it. It's a bunch of reality shows. What catching alligators has to do with history is beyond me. If you want to see any history programs you have to watch during the day when they re-run actual history related programs that might be 10 years old. The Discovery channel is very similar. Those are the 2 most interesting channels that I get that I would want to watch apart from occasional viewing of network television or PBS. The irony is, I have 4 televisions. One has been hanging in there since the 80's the other from the 90's. The other 2 were purchased in the last 15 years.

One thing that I have started tinkering with again was playing and recording on my own. I did it in the past and it was time consuming but a lot of fun. Making up your own tunes. I don't sing but these recordings are a way of practice. I get to play the guitar, bass and keyboards. I'm not a keyboard player but I can figure out how to bang out a few chords and play the Marines Hymn. Then there's the digital drums. I can't play drums. I have been working on a little tune for about 2 weeks now. I don't know if I can finish this. Sometimes what you want to play and what you can are two different thing, besides I am really out of practice. The last time I did this was around 2000 or 2001.

Let's see what else is going on, oh yeah! I was so grateful I didn't have to work on Friday. There was a protest event that was held on the main highway from the north into Boston. They stopped traffic coming in from the north and approaching from the south. This highway runs through my city and they chose to block traffic by an exit that leads to the road that I use to go to work (and buy my coffee). people were getting off the highway at the previous exit and snarling traffic everywhere around here and several miles south of Boston. They chained themselves to these large barrels right across the road. The picture below is about a half mile from where I live.
     
It was a human rights protest. They had one here a few weeks back but it was better organized and it didn't stop thousands of people from getting to work or whatever their destination was.
     
This has nothing to do with the above but I found this picture while looking for the above pictures. At least we have a sense of humor about our awful accent. I found this highway sign reminding people to use their turn signals. This actually is the same area where the protest was held. I recognize the landmarks,

Apart from all that. All is well around here. In a while I will be going to, conveniently next door, Arlene's to watch the Patriots game later today. We are so spoiled rotten with our sports teams the last 13 or 14 years. The Patriots alone have been to the Super Bowl 
5 times and won 3 of them. Someday this will all end and we will go back to the times before 2001when things sports-wise were not so wonderful, save for the Celtics. Ok enough sports blather. I'm behind in my blogger reading and there is the vacuum cleaner that is staring at me from the living room.

I'm outta here.   

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

...we know return to our regularly scheduled program.

So it's last Saturday. I had to work a 6 hour shift. No big deal. There's a lull in the business, which was a bit unusual considering the looming New England Patriots playoff game. Anyway two customers come to the counter. I took one and my co-worker took the other. The gentleman asked for some roast beef to be cut fairly thick. I held up a slice and offered it to him. He took it and I continued to cut his order. He starts to cough and says he's choking. We all went into a mild panic. I offered him some water. He refused saying he couldn't breathe. I thought, "I have to try the Heimlich Maneuver." I had never done this and I didn't want to watch somebody die right in front of our eyes over a piece of roast beef. He came behind the counter. I got behind him hoping I that I would do it correctly. I put my arms around his upper waist grasp my fist and squeezed right under his rib cage, twice. He coughed it up. After all was said and done, my co-worker and I spent the next hour just vibrating. This store mana... oh wait, they're not managers any more, they're Directors. Anyway by the time the store director got there it was over. The other customer said to me something like, "Another angel went to heaven because of what you did."

I thanked him but am still puzzled over what he said. I know he meant well but maybe he said it wrong. If an angel goes to heaven doesn't that mean somebody died?

So that was that. I noticed over at Nookworm's blog, she likes to play with photo's. Enhance and change them in some way. They are like little works of art. I messed around with my photo/art program in the past. I mainly use it to clean up photo's. It's an and old out of date, Microsoft Digital Image. It's about 12 years old but it serves my purpose. I'm no techno geek. So after exchanging a couple of emails with her, I started to fool around with some of my own photos.

This is the original photo taken out in western Mass.

  I fooled around, added a bit of another photo and ended up with this.

   
Then there was this down at the local lakes.

It became this.

Then things got a little weird. I couldn't find the original, but this one went through several versions.

This picture became...

 ...became this...  
... then this... 

.
...then this.


This tranquil scene got silly. It became something that could be titled "Tragedy at the Swan Races". 


See what you started Nookworm!
Well it's getting late and we old folks need our rest. Nurse....nurse!

I'm outta here.
Go Patriots!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Out of my mind. Back in 5 minutes.

Well I might end up going out of my mind if the Olympics come here. Boston was chosen as the U.S. city to compete against some real heavyweights like Paris, Rome and Budapest. On the one hand it's a feather in the cities cap. It could be exciting It'll be on the world stage. On the other hand for a densely populated city it's quite small. Where are you going to put all these people? The traffic is impossible to begin with, Big Dig or no Big Did. It was originally estimated to cost 2.5 billion and ended up costing 15 billion. That's a billion a mile. At least it was all federal money. Thanks America! But I digress.  My city will be affected because we have a hotel and it's only 5 miles into town. Of course all my ranting and raving won't affect what the outcome will be.

The final city won't be selected until 2017 and the actual Olympics won't be until 2024. By then if it does happen, I'm pretty sure I won't be working and I will just stay home.

It's funny (not in the ha ha sense) Arlene and I were just talking about readjusting to this life of part time work. The extra free time. We talked about traveling more besides just going to the island. We're not talking about flitting off to the west coast or the Bahamas or Europe. Local trips around New England. The absolute farthest distance would be a days drive. We could hit Upstate New York in a little over 3 hours. New Hampshire is the most appealing because it is close and we could be in the mountains in 3 hours. I don't ski but if I did it would be convenient. So maybe when the weather begins to warm we make spend a weekend or take day trips here or there. We did that until 3 years ago. After that we both just took two weeks off a year. Now there's a little more time. 
 
Someday I would like to go back to Washington D.C.  I went for a week back in the 80's and there is so much more that I didn't see. I did get to tour the White House. I don't think they do that anymore. 

All this talk about traveling is really just a way to pass the time on a cold winter night. It's about 15 degrees as I write this. The entire country is experiencing this cold weather. I do have to work 6 hours tomorrow but I will be out at 2 pm and home in plenty of time to watch the Patriots and the Ravens play. We will eat simply with some pizza and beer or wine. Arlene asked me what I would like to eat, knowing full well that what I would like and what I might get are two different things, and I suggested pizza. Home made pizza. I suggested green pepper and pepperoni. I might get that. 

So that's for now. I gotta go do...ah...something.
I'm outta here.
Oh wait. GO PATRIOTS!
Now I'm really outta here.    

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Wonderful holiday. Glad it's over. Italy.

Yes my holiday was wonderful. We were reunited with a cousin who we haven't seen in about 12 years. When we were kids we spent Thanksgiving at our house and Christmas at theirs. Now my cousin has three sisters, One who is now living in England, three are living all right here in my very city but one turned out to be the outcast of the family. It's a long story. The other has, for reason unbeknownst to me, just doesn't participate in family gatherings, and the one who came to my sisters house. Long story short, we had a wonderful time. There were a million laughs. Stories about when we spent summers down Cape Cod at my aunt and uncles place. Gathering crabs at the beach and having my aunt boil them for us. We had a ball eating them. They were wonderful memories. This got me to run home, well drive home,  it's not far at all, and get some photo albums. One that goes back about 70 years. Pictures of my families trip back to Italy in 1956.
Here's my dad (on right) around 1939 back in Italy.
I don't have a picture of my mom around the same time. Here's a picture of my parents on one of my grandfathers farms, back in 1956 when we went there. I was four and a half.
 
Some of the pictures are fading as the one above, some weren't so bad. Here's a shot of me with a group of kids in front of my grandfathers (dads father) house. I'm on the left in the back row.
 
Though it was 49 years ago I still have memories of many things. One not very good memory was of me catching scarlet fever. Now I couldn't tell you how long it lasted but I do remember being in a darkened room with people sitting around the bed. As I look back on it now it looked like a death watch. I also remember getting a shot from the local doctor every day and pretending to be asleep so I wouldn't get the shot but of course after a period they would just "wake me". I apparently survived, and have other memories of riding on my grandfathers donkey cart when he came home from his farm. A few doors down the street there were a few stalls, one in which he kept the donkey and the cart. It doesn't look all that much different today except I'm sure those stalls have been  converted to garages. I checked it out on Google street view. It really is amazing. I found the house and saw the very spot where I sat with all those kids in the picture above 49 years ago.
 
 
That's me with my favorite aunt Lucy, picking either a lemon or an orange on one of the farms. Aunt Lucy and Uncle Sam, my mothers brother, came with us. We stayed almost 3 months.
A group shot. Left to right, back row, my cousin held by my grandfather (dad's), my mother, my aunt (dads brother's wife, who is taking the picture, aunt Lucy and uncle Sam (moms brother), my grand mother (dad's mother), dads sister and my dad. In the front, my cousin and me.
 On my other grandfather's farm, uncle Sam and I on a donkey with my other grandfather (my mother's father) holding the reins. Although I remember it being very hot in Sicily it was apparently chilly that day.
 My other grand parents (my mother's, duh!) on their farm.
My cousins and I, with possibly the Grim Reaper in the background.
My Uncle Paul, (dad's brother) and my cousin caught picking her nose.
 The only people I recognize in this picture are my grandfather holding me, my grandmother to his left seated and my mother to his right.
I know it's backwards but this is in New York getting ready to leave for Rome. There was a snowstorm in Boston so we had to take a train to New York to depart.


 Aunt Lucy getting off the flight from Rome to Sicily.

Ok I know I haven't been around for a bit. I actually have been quite busy. There was work. I worked more than I would have liked to but I think that will balance out now that the holidays are done and things will slow down a bit. I thought I had partially retired. Anyway, I have been going through all my "stuff" and throwing things out. This led me to the photo albums. One of them was falling apart and some of the photos were fading. I decided to try and save them. This has taken quite a bit of time. Between scanning and trying to liven them up a bit this took up my computer time. At this point I've worked on about 300 pictures and printed them out. I plan to make copies for my sisters and me. I've gone through two photo albums with one left. There are more photo albums that are not here but at my sisters house. This will take me some time as I still have to make two more copies of what I've done so far then buy new photo albums. Then there is all the money for photo paper and printer cartridges. Still I have taken this task on and I intend to finish.

Back to Italy. My father and my middle sister and I went back to Italy in 1966. I may post some of those in the future but for now I still have to print out two more sets of photos and move on to the next group of albums.

At this point I will take a break from all the scanning and printing and resume a more normal social life and think about our next trip to Martha's Vineyard. This will be our tenth trip since 2010 and neither Arlene or I have tired of that place. I don't know how long this will go on. It's a reasonably cheap vacation for us. Traveling to an island and yet being only 7 miles from the mainland. We are very fortunate.

So that's it for now. It's close to supper time.
I'm outta here.