Pumpkin Cottage

Pumpkin Cottage
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Monday, January 4, 2016

Happy Birthday, Joe

I've been watching the Golden Girls all morning.
It reminds me of the days when Joe and I were still
living with our parents.  Joe is like an onion,
he has many layers, and remembers better than I do.

He recalls the good and bad in vivid detail while my memories
are fuzzy.  He remembers what places looked
like, where we bought things, and how people made him feel. 
There is a great distance between where we live but
no distance in our hearts. We try to comunicate daily.

I remember some things, like we used
to shop at the Safeway in Pacifica, I always remind
Mr. Lee when we have the
occasion to drive by during our road trips.
The shopping center across the street
from the former Safeway, had a Grant City, and a Ross. 
In those days, Grant City was the only variety store and
Ross was a fancy store, not the messy
discount store of today.

Even then in the early 70s, Joe and I loved magazines,
we would beg our mother to buy the kid's magazines.
We'd promise to never ever ask for anything ever again.
As I recall, Mother also bought the family
sewing machine at Grant City.

In the early 80s, there were winter evenings laced
with Rum Raisin Hagan Daz ice cream,
popcorn popped in a covered pot with oil and salt,
and citrusy 7-up to drink. Before the worries of climate
change, fog sheltered the coastside,
there were great thunder and lightening storms
and sunshine was rare.

As kids, we weren't thrilled with the 
practice of birthday gifts of pajamas, foundation garments
(underwear) or socks but would give our
eye teeth to have someone buy those things
for us now. Of our five kids, four were born between
December  6th and the end of January with
Christmas sandwiched in between. We understood 
our parents worked hard and there was no money
to waste or as Ricky Richardo would say: extravagances.

We felt safe in the warm as toast duplex
on Mill Street. We weren't allowed to eat
in the living room but would pull two
dinette chairs to the doorway of the kitchen
to watch TV.

Innocent memories.  Learning to speak
English with I Love Lucy, dancing, behind the
the brown plaid sofa from Levitz, with the
Lawrence Welk show, and
watching the Mary Tyler Moore Show.
Good times. 

On MTM, Betty White played the slut and Georgia Engel
played the ditzy blonde. 

It wasn't like today, with a TVin nearly every room,
we shared one TV, a Zenith, with
the entire family and no remote control.  

That's me, posing with the TV in the family room of
424 Purisima.  Notice the "footballer".  He must have
been lost when we moved to Mill Street.

Below, our niece, Christine, celebrates her birthday at
the kitchen dinette table. Those are the chairs Joe and I
would jam into the kitchen doorway when we wanted
to eat and watch TV. 

Growing up, we always had some kind of white curtains
in the kitchen.  I really like the ones shown here: sheer
with dingle balls. Mother make sure the windows
sparkled like diamonds and no one had brighter whites.
Our fondness for variety stores and thrifting
was sparked during this period. Mother didn't
buy second hand initially, she had enough
of it growing up, but later, in her golden years
she shared the hunt with us. 

Happy Birthday, Joe, here's to making many
many more. To chocolate, books, magazines,
old and new TV series, thrift stores, and cups
of soul strengthening tea.

Thank you for remembering for the two of

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