Friday, November 25, 2011

Post Turkey Day Post

Today I loaded my 9 year-old boys and my 89 year-old mother into the old jalopy and drove us out to Long Island, my ancestral stomping ground. We were headed to my aunt and uncle, my mother's brother's home in Port Washington, scene of countless hours of cousinly frolic throughout my childhood.

Cousin Jessie and my Mom
They live in a sweet little house at the end of a dead end block with nothing but fields and gentle woods just beyond. My cousins' old elementary school's ball-fields and playgrounds are kitty-corner to their backyard. In short, the perfect place for a family to enjoy a warm November day.

The house, from the path in the fields
My mother loves Autumn leaves
Ephemeral leaf art
I love Autumn leaves, too
We hugged and talked and sat in the yard and walked in the woods and played in the schoolyard and ate delicious leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner (always better the next day, somehow).

Jake loves basketball
So does Ethan

We played guitar and sang songs and recited poetry and talked in silly character voices and made up stories on the spot to entertain each other. Jessie and Annette and I performed yet another rendition of "We Are Juvenile Delinquents," a song that's been in our repertoire since we were 10 and 12.

Jess, Annette & I in 1973 at their house
We stuffed ourselves to the gills and beyond on the amazing desserts mostly made by Annette's 13 year-old daughter Greta, a fantastic cook and aspiring food blogger. (I'm working to get her set up with a blog soon, my Bat Mitzvah gift to her.)

Annette & the beautiful Greta, who is also an amazing baker
 A table full of amazing, Greta-made desserts

And then, most amazingly, some documents from deep in my mother and uncle's past were found and examined: my uncle's diary from 1941, when he was a boy of fourteen, and their mother, my grandmother's passport from 1920, the year she fled her native Eastern Europe for America.

Grandma Dunia's Polish passport
Uncle Walter's diary
Wow. There is WAY too much story contained in these two amazing little items for this simple "I'm home tired and happy from spending a day with my family" post.

More stories to come; to come soon, I promise. And now? Goodnight. I hope you, too, are all going to sleep with a belly full of leftover pumpkin pie and a heart full of familial love.

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