The Portugal Years: The Fourth Year – And Home Again…

What had loomed as an interminable furlough abruptly developed into a frenzied stretch of friends claiming our last few weeks before we left the states.  Where I had been anxious about the prospect of spending six to seven months in my in-laws’ home I had wistful thoughts of their love and support. My father-in-love even helped me beat Harry in Parcheesi.  And, Pai Natal’s bells were ringing (Father Christmas).

We had become accustomed to simple holiday celebrations, and this one….  Loving friends and family kept bringing just one more thing. The moment to begin packing hesitated just around the corner.

The tree tickled the ceiling diffusing holiday cheer; the pile of wrapped gifts grew where curious eyes wandered. Harry lobbied to open the gifts first thing in the morning since he wouldn’t be there for Christmas for a long time. His  mother stood firm. Everyone must eat Christmas dinner before even a corner of a piece of wrapping paper could be breached.

Bethy and her cousin Katy got their first Barbie dolls. Toys, clothes, books and odds and ends of gifts of things that we could not find in Portugal littered the floor. It was fun watching the children’s wonder.

Harry had asked me what I wanted for Christmas. Well, I knew what I wanted, but truly doubted he would be able to buy it. I seldom ask for specific gifts, but when I do, it is always practical and unfailingly a big-ticket item. You see, the mixers available in Portugal were kind of flimsy. I had already taken one down. So, I asked for a Kitchenaid mixer with accessories. I cooked a lot  from scratch. Harry (perhaps with some help) got the mixer for me. Or for himself! In 32 years of hard use, I’ve only had to replace the sieve because blackberry seeds are big and tough.

While Harry was still scratching his head trying to figure out how to pack the mixer in a suitcase, the families of some of our colleagues sent some things for us to take back to Portugal for some of the the other team members. It was a tradition. Happily for us, we both got two suitcases each and carry-ons.

We left on January seventh, Harry’s birthday. His mom and I felt sad that we would be traveling on his special day, so we conspired.  In spite of the pastries  in Portugal, his favorite sweet treat is a Tastykake Butterscotch Krimpet. We hid them from him in my carry-on. A quiet word in the flight attendants’ ears sufficed. Right on the dot of 00:01 on January seventh, 1983, the flight attendants cued the other passengers and walked to Harry’s seat singing happy birthday to him.

Courtesy of TastyKake
Courtesy of TastyKake

Some Christmas Photo Memories.

Kitchenaid Mixer
Kitchenaid Mixer
Bethy and her cousin, Katy
Bethy and her cousin, Katy
Aunt Sally reading a book to the girls.
Aunt Sally reading a book to the girls.
Bethy's favorite toy
Bethy’s favorite toy
Aunt Nancy, Bethy and Uncle David Price
Aunt Nancy, Bethy and Uncle David Price
Grandma in the kitchen while Tim and David wash the dishes.
Grandma in the kitchen while Tim and David wash the dishes.

 

 

 

Daddy, Bethy and Aunt Nancy Price Price
Daddy, Bethy and Aunt Nancy Price Price

 

Tim and Harry
Tim and Harry
Cousin James
Cousin James
Little Mary
Little Mary

Blogging Award: Wonderful Team Member Readership Award

blog award

There are some people who come into your life and immediately touch the pulse of who you are. Amy, who blogs over on Petals Unfolding | The Embrace of Love , is one of those people in my life. She speaks truth to me – and what makes her an extraordinary soul – is that she tells me how it is. We have walked the roads both of fun and fancy and the roads of tears together. Thank you, Amy, for this honor which you have offered to me, and I receive it joyfully.

In return, I get to choose 14 bloggers who have been a blessing to me, and nominate them for the award, and notify them. This may take some days, so I will put my list in my Blog Awards page which your can find at the top of the blog.

Throwback Thursday – Deedee and Me

 

Deedee and me
Deedee and me – circa 2000

When we first moved to Florida in 1999, two total strangers took our family into their home while we waited for our house. They gave us a place to sleep, and fed us for at least a month. The kids all slept in curious corners and places in the living room. I still marvel at their hospitality and the love that they demonstrated to us. They are still dear friends though Sally is now teaching biology in the local high school and Donn drives a school bus and we do not see them often.

Sally and Donn had no children of their own except for Max, their rescued dog, and Beeker Bird, a cockatiel. They also had three horses. Deedee, on whose back I am perched in the photo, was a Percheron. I was familiar with the Clydesdale style of large horses, but Deedee introduced me to her breed. We went on a trail ride that day, and before I got back to the barn I was wishing for a cushion upon. I had to climb a stepladder to mount her.

Sally and Donn spend their summers in the UP, and I took care of the horses. The most exciting moment of that summer was the morning I found Deedee lying on the ground; she had colicked. Anyone want to help get a Percheron up on her feet?

Throwback Thursday – Mom and Me

mother's day

Since Sunday is Mother’s Day, I thought this image from the past would be appropriate. I don’t have a date for this photo, but it was around 1993 as far as I can tell (going by my glasses frame). My favorite memory of her is the night we all went skinny dipping in the neighbor’s pool. It makes me realize that my mom spent most of her life doing what she thought was expected of her instead of doing things she loved. She raised four of us kids. We never wanted for food, shelter, clothing. That takes a lot more moxie than I could have imagined as I grew up. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. I love you.