Since I am at work on a computer all day Saturday, I manage to get some free time to go visiting. In Blogland that is. Don't worry, I am not doing anything unethical.......In our 12 hour shift, we get two free hours to spend however we want. It is one benefit to working when much of the world is off doing fun things like going to Costco and yard sales and picnics in the park.
Growing up, Saturday was a day for visiting. That's what my Mom and I did together. Oftentimes we would visit Mom's friend Rosie. Rosie was a tiny spark of a woman, from a big Sicilian family. Rosie liked flowers and decorating, refinishing her own furniture, and all things feminine. It wasn't easy in a house with a husband and four boys.
Going there was like visiting little Italy in a war zone. I never knew anyone who could be all sweetness and soft voice one minute, and screaming at the top of her lungs at one of her four boys the next. She turned on a dime. She had to with all those boys in the house. They were always doing something to get on her last nerve. But she loved them with all her heart, and they all loved her.
One morning when we stopped by she was making Bisquick pancakes. She had to send Steven to the store twice. Once for milk and once for something else. She made the first one and promptly threw it in the trash.When my Mom asked her why, she said, "Oh, none of them will eat the first one because of the oil." When she had run out of syrup, another son straggled in, miffed that he had missed breakfast. She proceeded to make him waffles, telling my Mom that they didn't use syrup with waffles.
She loved working with figures and hated paying taxes. She did our taxes for years, as well as her brothers and sisters and all their families. She knew the state of California's tax laws backwards and forwards. She would sit at her kitchen table and throw down Italian curses on the Government.
It got really interesting when her brothers and sisters were visiting. None of them agreed on politics and they regularly got into screaming matches over it. Then they would hug and kiss when they got ready to leave like nothing happened. Visiting Rosie's house was better than a movie for me, being raised in a quiet family. My Dad was raised in angry shouts, so we simply didn't shout.
Rosie was the queen of improvisation. They had a family dog who I think was equal parts German shepard and coyote. One day we were there when she had run out of dog food and hadn't been to the store yet. We watched incredulously as she poured ketchup over a bowl filled with chicken bones and leftover stew. Snoopy lapped it up like it was high quality pate. Anyone else would have worried about the bones, not Rosie.
Many times she invited all the pop warner parents and kids out to her house when they lived in the country and she never had all the ingredients for anything. One time she had a huge salad and nothing to put on it but an industrial size can of olive oil.
She was one of the most unique individuals with one of the best hearts, and I miss her.
Rosie never gave much thought to religion or God. She believed in the goodness of humanity. Her youngest son Steven became a born-again Christian. He and His Mom had many talks after that, and he never stopped praying for her. When he got married, his wife prayed too. At one point between all those conversations and the time she died of cancer, Rosie met the Lord.
She has been gone for years now and sometimes I still can't believe it. It's funny.....I didn't set out to do a post about Rosie, but I am glad it turned out that way. Our words and stories about people is what keep them alive in our hearts. Many times I have said a prayer of thanks to God that I will see her again.
I called my Mom this morning to see if she remembered about the pancakes, and she couldn't believe it. On the way home just about two hours ago she had passed some kids in football uniforms and thought about all those dinners at Rosie's house. She said she hadn't thought about her in some time.
One life, twice remembered in one day.
Till we meet again Rosie!