Memories of My Grandparent’s House… ~ by Gabby Angel

Driving by the place where my paternal grandparent’s house once stood…So many memories came flooding back. I was used to seeing the huge empty space where the house stood for so many years. The house had been sold, both grandparents are gone and in  Heaven now. The beautiful house and land was sold to a seemingly normal couple, until they decided to separate. Then, unfortunately the husband decided to torch the house. Rather than haggle over ownership, that was his not too wise and drunken decision.It was truly heartbreaking to see the empty shell of what was left of the house.

So, for several years the land has been vacant. But driving by today, I noticed a foundation was laid and a house was being built! I hope it’s a nice family and that they are happy, loving people. The land itself is just so welcoming and holds wonderful memories…It calls for people who love life and each other. I remember so many times when Autumn and I walked the greenhouses, hotbeds and all with our Grandpa.

He had such a magic touch with plants of any kind and also flowers. He was well known in our area for the best of produce, he just growing things and it was how he made his living. Nobody ever knew what he did to grow such things…He had a secret ingedient and he never divulged what it was! We twinnies loved hanging out with him, he was just very special and such fun. We were his bambinos and of course we could do no wrong in his eyes.

Our grandparents were both Italian, they were our Dad’s parents…Oh my goodness did they love lots of family around, a good party and happy times had by all.Our Grandma loved to cook up a storm, creating her own magic and sharing her food made with love. So many memories of outside parties and picnics, good food, great music and just an awesome time. The whole area surrounding the house was filled some relatives lived and neighbors who were like family, too. I just know Autumn and I have happy fun-filled memories and we will be watching.

The family who is taking ownership, they need to treat it with the love and care it calls for. I don’t know why… But I have a good feeling they will be. Something just tells me those Grandparents of ours are watching closely from Heaven and approved this family!


Twins, A Party and a Polka! By Gabby Angel

This is such a fond memory. In looking through old family pictures, this special day and this memory was so crystal clear in my mind. It was just too good not to share. Great times with our Grandparents, Dad and Mom and the tons of Italian relatives. It was a fun time for the young little almost 7 year old twinnies! The relatives on Dad’s side of the family loved a good,  quite loud and always very happy time. Not that’s Mom side didn’t, because of course they did! I just never saw them get quite as rowdy as the Italian side. It was our Grandparent’s Anniversary and a good time would be had by all, you got no choice! 😉

Our Grandma simply loved to dance and those polkas were her favorite. Many, many weeks went into planning these parties trust me! 🙂 The decorations, the food and drink, the music, the flowers…Just guaranteeing a wonderful time for each and everyone attending. This party was held on a Sunday afternoon, at a huge hall. It had to be to hold all the friends and relatives! Autumn and I had already help choose our party dress and were so looking forward to this. A party and dancing..Maybe some singing? The big day finally arrived and we all got decked out and off to the party! Off we went in the station wagon, arriving in no time flat.

Barely anytime for a complaint out of the twinnies, Mom and Dad were no doubt relieved. We were warned to behave and Autumn and I sure were going to try! 😉 The place was hopping as we walked in…Yay! Music and it made our little feet just itching to dance. We greeted our Grandparents first and Mom and Dad let us take to the dance floor with our cousins. They set down for a chat with friends and relatives, as 2 little sisters were in tow.

Autumn and I having a good old time dancing like crazy, laughing with the cousins! We returned to the table for a quick drink, “We are just parched” said Autumn! Everyone just cracked up laughing, the way she said it was so grown up sounding. Oh my, people admiring Autumn and remarking on us cute little twinnies. You guessed it, we were loving the attention..We proceeded to show off a dance move and oops! Autumn and I had jostled Uncle Louie’s glass and it splashed his shirt and jacket. Luckily he was drinking a clear beverage, not that this was a great thing. He was smiling, but we were in some minor trouble.

Dad made us sit down, gave us a lecture and said time out now, chat quietly. Well, wanting to make Mom and Dad proud we did until…We heard the Polka music! We just had to dance, Dad gave permission and with 2 of our cousins in tow off we went. The older boy cousins David and Joey twirled us both off to the dance floor! Joey and I were doing fine, we had learned to do all learned to do a presentable 😉 Polka after all.

Oh no, Autumn was at it and encouraged  David dance a bit too fast and…Oops they both toppled! Both avoided getting stepped on, but Autumn (*please forgive me for telling this part twinnie) started crying. How embarassing her dress had a puffy skirt (same as mine) and it flew over her head the way she tumbled. David tried to help her and hide the show, for real he did! Everyone had kind of stopped the Polkaing, Joey and I had stopped since I was on my way over to comfort Autumn. What chaos..Mom also racing to the dance floor to fetch Autumn! Mom and I reached her at the same time, by then she was sobbing in embarassment..You guessed it, so did I!

Mom took us both off to the ladies room holding on to each of our hands. What a lecture after she got the tears stopped and Autumn was strangely 😉 enough very subdues. So was I, I shared the embarassment of it all with her,after all TF <3=Twins Forever and all that! We promised to behave for real the rest of the time and shudders, Mom said No more dancing for us.! 😦

Back to our table we went, dinner had been served in our absence. Autumn and I ate slowly and very carefully, we weren’t chancing any spills by mistake. Our Grandpa snuck over to our table and gave us big hugs and kisses and told us little bambinos not to fret. Oh Grandpa…We loved him so! He had us calm, forgetting our sadness. Do you wonder where Dad got his patience?  Mom and Dad looked at him both of them laughing, getting everyone laughing at all the tables, too! Yay…We were once again in good graces by all! 🙂

Grandpa had that theory of “Nothing my bambinos do is wrong”. 🙂 The rest of the party was normal with loads of fun and no twinnie troubles or mishaps. It is one I will never forget for many reasons! 😉 🙂

The Magic of the Secret Relish and More~BY Gabby Angel

The relish Dad and Mom made for years is still considered magic. I kid you not, this relish is very special. Mom, Autumn and I along with our youngest sister were talking about it recently.

Autumn and I have both helped her make it since Dad’s been gone, but neither of us has attempted it ourselves. For anyone reading about our Dad for the first time, we sadly lost him to cancer eight years ago. Our one sister and her husband did make a batch of this relish , but quite honestly…Not  quite as good as Mom and Dad‘s. I would not hurt their feelings and say this, but I feel it was my parents own touch together that made it so unique.

Please be forwarned I will not be sharing the receipe, so don’t ask. 😉 Dad must have made sure Mom had enough of the magic to pull it off so it remains the same. So many times they cooked together, which was so sweet. They worked so well together with such joy! Not everyone has their husband helping in the kitchen after all. I was blessed my husband Dave thought it great fun whenever we teamed up in the kitchen.

Dad, he was forever fooling around and inventing some fabulous dish that had everyone talking. Always pulling off the unexpected with many different food combinations. I treasure the recipes he passed along to me, in his own handwriting. Please don’t misunderstand Mom is a fantastic cook herself. She admits  she’s not quite as creative as Dad was.

Back to the relish, it is seriously so good. If you get used to it you are ruined for all store bought relish because it pales in comparison. It takes good on hot dogs, hamburger, sandwiches and so much more. Even the younger of my nieces and nephews adore it, they refer to it as Grandpa’s secret , magic relish. I love these types of family traditions so very much, does your family have these special secret, magic recipes? I hope so, we all need these in our lives. Dad used to say in cooking you put in a lot of love and some good wishes, too.I love that memory and can still hear him saying along with that joyous and contageous laugh of his.He was the Italian one and used to joke around saying he taught Mom the Italian dishes from the beginning. I imagine this as so much fun for them at the beginning of their marriage.

This year again I will be, along with Autumn I hope be helping Mom make a big old batch of this delicious relish. I am praying for a touch of the magic to be tossed our way and maybe one of us will be able to pull off the special, unquie relish for ourselves.

With enough love and wishes it will perhaps turn out like our wonderful Dad’s. I want to keep these traditions going and always, forever more keep Dad’s loving memory alive. 🙂

Helping Mom at the Bake Sale~by Gabrielle Angel

This one is a passing thought that popped into my head while working in my own kitchen. Making a couple loaves of zucchini bread, something I do for relaxation is cooking and baking. Usually to share with family and friends or even to freeze, but I do love to putter in the kitchen.

Anyway, as often happens I get these random thoughts and this brought me memories of a bake sale. I was laughing to myself just  thinking about this one. And it wasn’t just any bake sale, I need to say.  This was one when Autumn and I got to help our Mom at at a church bake sale. It was being held in the church basement, which was a good spot . Come rain or shine, the bake sale would go on.

We were about 6 years old and Mom (for whatever crazy reason) let herself be talked into the twinnies helping her out. It was going to be an all day long bake sale, so some of the ladies were taking turns. After all, it was only one short hour and what could possibly go wrong? 😉

OK, sometimes Autumn and I could be a handful but lots of time we were quite well behaved. Poor Mom, she thought this was going to be one of the well behaved times. We tried and it all started out so well…It really, really did. The first 45 minutes was great fun, busy helping Mom and chatting with all and any who stopped by.

We twinnies were far from shy, we enjoyed chatting to people from an early age. So, we were an asset of sorts to our Mom. Autumn and I were happy to talk everyone into buying something, after all it was for a good cause. 🙂

Mom was pretty calm, things had been gliding right along and going quite smoothly. Selling cookies, cupcakes, brownies, doughnuts and all that good stuff.

Everything was prewrapped for many reasons, so far Autumn and I hadn’t been tempted to tamper with or open anything. Well, that all went out the window when one of our favorite people stopped by…our Grandpa! Well, Grandpa was all smiles and greeted us with hugs and kisses. Our Grandma was off in the church kitchen chatting to some of her friends and helping out behind the scene, so to speak. Later Mom would reflect on that, why didn’t she herself stay in the kitchen? Autumn and I were so thrilled to have Grandpa as a customer, he was scooping up a few things that he was going to buy and getting ready to pay Mom.

He was catching on to the fact we twinnies were getting ready to act up. Oops, too late Autumn had torn open a nicely sealed bag of cookies! Each of us twinnies quickly had a cookie in our hand and trying to offer Grandpa a bite. I was getting huffy at Autumn because she had gotten to him first, so I started to howl. Before everyone knew it we twinnies had gotten quite loud and things turned ugly.

Poor Grandpa, poor Mom…They each grabbed up a twinnie. The half dozen cookies in a bag had gotten stomped on (by mistake) and we had created a small mess. Not to mention caused a small ruckus…In swooped Mrs L. to the rescue. She took over for Mom and another few ladies came to help tidy our mess. Those ladies were so fast, my could they all move quickly! Autumn and I were quickly helped into our coats and told to give Grandpa hugs and off to the car we went.

As usual a lecture and quite the talking to we got on our 5 minute ride home. Autumn and I very subdued and quiet as we walked with Mom to the door of our house. We were in trouble again, when we were really trying to be good, too. 😦  Dad greeted us with a big smile asking, “How was the bake sale girls?” We never got to answer, Mom sent us to our room! 😦