Continuing with the Gratitude Friday posts started by Diana of Creative Structures, ">Creative Structures,it is nice to spend some time thinking about those things for which I am grateful.
This weekend we will pick up a coffee table and lounge chair from the home of my second mother. Jean Tallarida is the mother of my best friend ,Carol. We have been friends since 7th grade. Jean has been in a Nursing Home for 4 years. At 89 her body is quite frail, but her mind is sharp and she is still quite spirited. She has decided that it is time to sell her house and disperse her treasured belongings.I am touched and delighted that she wants me to have her favorite lounge chair and a very old coffee table that I always admired, along with a serving platter that belonged to her mother. I will think of her often as we enjoy these things in our home.
I have many fond memories of Jean and her tiny,postage stamp house for which I will be eternally grateful. As a teenager I found refuge in that house from my parents turbulent marriage.Our friends usually gathered there before going out on the weekends,since Carol wasn't allowed out until the dishes were finished and she was a very slow dishwasher! Jean was always full of advise, had a great sense of style and a great sense of humor. She also had very strong opinions about the place of women, and for that I am grateful that she was not my mother!
As an adult, I spent many hours in her kitchen. She took great pleasure in feeding me and anyone else who was around. Jean taught me most of what I know about cooking as well as where to buy the best bread,sausage,cheese,produce etc.,etc.Of course her cooking lessons came with advice on being a good wife and mother.Though she never approved of my working after my kids were born, she always tried to be helpful .Every Thanksgiving, she would go to Ted's to buy sausage for my stuffing as well as clean and cook my Escarole for soup "I know you are busy,so I thought I'd do it for you".At 89, Jean is still opinionated and free with unsolicited advice.This drives Carol crazy, but I have always taken it in stride - smiled and did what I pleased. My own mother was the same way! Carol and I often joke that it is "either Jean's way or the wrong way"!.
I am really grateful for the memories of that little house on Winton Street. The table and chair will help keep that memory alive. Most importantly, I am really grateful that Jean is still around voicing her opinions and giving advice!