When talk of first concerts comes up, I always sit quietly, smugly waiting for my chance. Then, as casually as possible I say, “My very first concert was a Beatles concert at Cleveland Stadium in 1966.” People’s jaws usually drop. They are amazed, either at how wretchedly old I must be, or that I really got to see the Beatles in person. Continue reading
I was at work last week, fighting a nasty bout of bronchitis and kept nodding off at my desk. I thought I was being very sly, but someone walked past, noticed and mentioned it to me. He said it looked like I was in deep thought, but I think he was just being kind.
I know what I look like when I’m nodding off and it is definitely neither thoughtful looking nor attractive. I never think I’ll do it, but learned years ago that nothing can stop a determined Tunno sleep gene. Continue reading
I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas. I love it. I love the decorating — filling the house with all my favorite things from Christmases past, laughing and remembering as we put up our ridiculous ornaments, baking, and being with family and friends. But I hate the rushing to try to get everything done and most of all, I hate taking it all down, packing it up and putting it away.
I hate it for a few reasons. Mostly, because it takes time. I’m anal enough to try to wrap each ornament in the same box it came in, if I still have it. I wish I could just be like normal people — throw it all in a box and not worry about it — but I make sure everything is wrapped securely to survive a summer in the heat of a California attic. I also make sure it’s organized so I can easily find things. I sometimes even label the boxes, but not always, because I kind of like the thrill of opening boxes and being surprised at what’s inside. Continue reading
I have been torturing myself with Duolingo lately. It’s a website where you can learn another language. For the past 40 years I have been trying (clearly not hard) to learn Italian.
This week possession has been making me miserable because I can’t tell the difference between him and her. I’m learning handy phrases like: “Il gatto beve il suo latte,”
which means the cat drinks his/or her milk. This is very confusing to the cat and me. I am also learning things like, “Lo squalo mangia pesce,” which means the shark eats fish. These phrases will both come in handy when I cat sit for Italians or visit Sea World with my relatives.
Tonight I was learning, “Io mangio i tuoi panini,” which means, I eat your sandwiches. That got me thinking about sandwiches. Then I was talking to my brother, Bernie and we started reminiscing about the sandwiches my mom used to make for our school lunches. (No Tunnos can ever have a conversation without the subject turning to food – a scientific fact.) Continue reading
Today, my mother would have been 103. She’s been gone since 1992 and we still get “Mary” stories. Just today my sister forwarded me a note from our cousin’s daughter, Nannette.
The note said, “One of my favorite memories of your mom is when my mom took us to the old Beaver Falls movie theater to see, “Ammityville Horror,” and she busted out the rosary and started praying out loud , right there in her seat. At the time I wasn’t sure what to do, but now, just thinking about it makes me laugh.”
I love Nannette’s story because it corroborates my, “Raider’s of the Lost Ark,”story. My mom didn’t know how to be quiet in a movie theatre (or anywhere) and I remember shushing her — a lot, the day I took her to see, “Raiders.” Then, at the part where all hell breaks loose, the Nazi melts and the wind blows, my mother started crossing herself and yelling out loud, “Ooooh Jesus, Godda forbid, Ooooohhhh Jesus Godda forbid!”
I’m with Nannette, just thinking about it makes me laugh too, which is what I love about all my memories of her.
However you choose to celebrate today, do it with gusto, like my mom. Leave people talking about you, or with their mouths hanging open, because, “Life is a daring adventure or nothing,”as Helen Keller wisely said.
Happy Birthday Mom and the USA!
P.S. If you have a funny Mary memory, please send it my way. I love hearing them!
I think a 93-year-old is inhabiting my nephew Patrick’s body. He sings Italian songs to his newborn son, plays Italian folksongs on his phone, makes homemade pasta, and goes out of his way to stay in touch with relatives, both here and in Italy, because he values family more than anything. Call me crazy, but this doesn’t seem like a typical 36-year-old. Continue reading
Groundhog Day and sex are not a natural pairing in anyone’s mind, except mine. This story starts with my sex education, which can be summed up in six words: “DON’T EVER LET ANYONE TOUCH YOU!”
My son told me this morning how helpless he feels. His father (my ex) has to have have triple bypass surgery. My son is worried and I wish I could tell him something that would make him feel better. But I can’t, except that most people come through the surgery with no problem. I even know a few.
I felt the same way when my mom had her first heart attack at 76. She was a woman who unrepentantly ate salami, cheese, bacon and eggs for years. Continue reading
One of the toughest assignments I ever had was in seventh grade religion class.
Our teacher, Sister Generosa told us our assignment was to do something nice for someone we didn’t know — every day during Lent. And here’s the kicker, we couldn’t tell anyone. Continue reading