Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas

Long after the decorations are taken down and stored for another time, the memories of Christmas day linger on in the photograpsh I have treasured all these years.


My first Christmas brought a smile to my face. I'm sure I must have been singing too. It's what I do.
As a young Mother in 1965, I proudly sent out photos of my precious babies. There were more to come.

As the years passed, we grew.


And now we're happy to be with as many as we can on Christmas Day.


Merry Christmas to all

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Seeing RED

Beautiful berries growing wild

A Mailbox festooned with color

A Welcoming front door






Fall leaves decorating my path

The trees decked out in riotous color

Even nature celebrates the Christmas Season with Color

Sunday, November 6, 2011

November 7,1986

They say that true love is made up of passion, commitment and intimacy. On a windy hill, twenty five years ago, standing on the site of our future home, we pledged to spend the rest of our lives together sharing the passion, commitment and intimacy of our lives together. It has been a wonderful, rich journey, one that I never want to end.









 
So many happy memories have been born in that short span of time. We built our dream home on the very ground we stood on while taking our vowels. We shared the joy of each of our children’s wedding days there. Their unions have blessed us with 8 beautiful and unique grandchildren who give us enormous joy every day of our lives. We built a private practice together, spending every day of the last 25 together. So many memories, blessings….too numerous to mention. But the one word that permeates all the years, all the memories and all the blessing is LOVE.


 HAPPY 25TH ANNIVERSARY TO MY WONDERFUL, HUSBAND, VANCE.
YOU HAVE MADE MY DREAMS COME TRUE. I WILL LOVE YOU FOREVER.


 

 
 

Friday, September 16, 2011

College Bound

Over eighteen years ago, still warm from her mother's womb, I held her in my arms for the first time. She opened her eyes, looked straight at me and seemed to say, I have known you all my life. I fell in love instantly and have never stopped ...I never will.



Today she left for College. We miss her already.  We are  so proud of her. She has worked so hard to get where she is, often through adversity. All of our hopes and prayers are with her today and all the days of her life.






Good Luck and Godspeed , Chanel. Papa and I are  always with you.

I Love you,  Ama

Tuesday, August 30, 2011


Fall is my favorite time of year. It could be because I was born on the first day of Fall. I love the feel of the air, the change of the sun position. Shorter days and cooler mornings all herald the arrival of Fall.

This morning, as I lay by the open door doing my deep breathing exercises, I inhaled the most glorious scent. It was the cool, wet, smell of the end of the Summer. I could feel the moisture on my face as I gazed out at the trees in our parkway. There were punches of color sprinkled through the branches. A promise of more to come. The sky was a deep blue frosted with white, frothy clouds.


Fall is on the way. The scent of freshly sharpened pencils and newly opened crayons, in my MInd's Eye ,takes me back to many, many summers long ago.
My grandchildren all embark on new beginnings. My eldest,Chanel, is off to her first year of college, Nina will be a sophomore in high school ,Solomon and Braden each start middle school, Rem goes into fifth grade as Piper begins first grade and Saxon enters kindergarten. All my babies are in transition and so am I.
 
Summer to Fall.....my favorite transition.
Lisa, my eldest daughter, greeted her new students today in her little schoolhouse in Washington. How lucky they are to have her for their teacher for the year. There is no one better equipped to start them off on such a high note. I can just imagine the classroom with all of her touches lovingly and thoughtfully placed. How much fun they will have.


During an unexpected visit last week, Lisa sprinkled touches of Fall throughout my house.  Even though we are still technically in summer, we decided to decorate my home for Fall. We both have a tradition that we change our interiors with each season. It was such a treat to have a chance to do it with her this time. Now, when I walk through the rooms of my home, her spirit is there to cheer me.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011

The Eighteenth of July, 1951

On July 17th, 1951, a tropical storm crept up the Coast of California from the Gulf of Mexico leaving thick, muggy air in its path. I brushed the damp, sticky hair off my shoulder as I finished the last of my chores. The house was quiet except for the muffled laughter coming from somewhere outside. Glancing out the window, I saw my pregnant Mother and little sister, Tina, laughing and giggling in the wading pool on the lawn outside the kitchen window. Mom waddled back and forth cooling her red, swollen feet. My 5 year old sister splashed and pretended to do the breast stroke in the tiny pool. She was doing just as I had taught her when we played make believe together. Esther Williams would have been proud of the rendition.

I was an overly responsible child for someone so young. I felt very protective of my sister and Mother. It had been a rough year for us all but we were eagerly anticipating the arrival of a new life. Perhaps it would be a boy to carry on the Cevola name. Maybe everything would change and peace would reign in our household. It made me happy to see them so light hearted.
 
I had spent all of my summer vacation so far trying to relieve my Mother of some of the burdens of household chores. Taking it upon myself, I washed down the kitchen walls that I had heard her say she would like to have cleaned but couldn’t do herself.
 Very early the next morning, my Dad woke me to tell me that it was time to take Mom to the hospital. He kissed me softly and told me to go back to sleep and he would call when the baby was born. It was still dark out and I couldn’t get back to sleep. I could hardly wait to hear about the new baby. Hours later, I got my wish.. My brother, Alfonso Mario Cevola, his grandfather’s namesake, was born. Everyone was elated.

A week later, Mom and Dad presented my sister and me with the new bundle of joy. Our family was complete and the family name would survive for another generation.

   
Al, as we called him, was a lively curious boy. He was a handsome child with beautiful curly hair and enviably long double eyelashes. I lamented the fact that he was so perfect. It really didn’t seem fair. He was a BOY, after all. Because of our almost 13 year age span, I was more of a surrogate Mother than a sister. Over the years, that has changed somewhat. Nevertheless, I still think of Al as my baby brother.

As he grew, Alfonso would take a keen interest in a certain subject or activity and then learn everything he could about it. His interests varied over the years, from baseball in the early years to cameras, cars, travel, wine.... they all became his passion.


 The years have had their challenges for Alfonso and the rest of us as well. He has weathered the storms and come out a stronger, wiser man. I am proud of the man he has become. Time has defined him well. As a young man, he honored the world with his only child, Rafael. Two kindred souls sharing Planet Earth.

 His focus was on his son, making sure that he knew he was loved and cared for and accepted for himself. There was never any doubt in my mind that Rafael was always Alfonso's top priority.

Sixty years have passed in the flutter of an eyelash. Years of memories, experiences, friendships, joy, laughter, love, heartaches, passion, travel, disappointments, elation, success, fulfillment.

There is so much more to come…..everyday is the beginning of a new adventure. Enjoy your life! It’s yours to live!

Happy 60th Birthday, Alfonso.


I Love You, Sis
















Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Islands are Calling

I like to track weather patterns around the world. On my desktop, I have a long list of places that I follow on a daily basis. The list includes our home in Newport Coast; Lisa and Tabb’s home in Maple Valley, WA; Santa Cruz, Ca where Chanel will soon be living.; Pebble Beach, where we love to stay and relax.; New Castle, PA, where our friends Mike and Anita, our son-in-laws parents live.; Rome, Palermo, Radicondoli and Bucita in Italy, places that I love filled with personal family history. There are others as well. Every morning when I open my desktop, I am transported magically to these places and to the people that I love or who have touched my life there.
Today, the allure of the islands is calling me. My desktop tells me that it is 85 degrees in Honolulu today, sunny and warm. I can smell the Plumeria blossoms and feel the warm blanket of calm that comes over me the minute I step off the plane. I walk, in my mindseye, through the airport, taking in all the familiar sights and sounds. There will be people greeting us with fresh orchid leis.  My favorite music will be playing in the background. IZ, the darling of Hawaiian music,  greets me with his deep, rich tones, ukulele and slack key guitar. Very soon we will walk across the outdoor bridge that takes us into the main part of the airport. I can hardly wait to feel that soft, sensual air embracing me. Then I will know for sure that I am here. I love this place. It is the only place in the world that makes me feel like I am on vacation. I enjoy traveling and seeing different places around the world, but Hawaii is extra special. It meets all of my needs. The beauty of each island is breathtaking. The people are always warm and friendly. The sound of their language is soothing, a language I would like to learn. The culture is interesting and tragic, as so many cultures are. They are a proud people who share this paradise with us, not always so willingly, but graciously.  I fell protective of the islands and their people. I want to honor and respect them as they deserve.

We have come here many times, sometimes just the two of us, sometimes with other loved ones. Some of my happiest memories are here.

Out first visit.

The year we took most of the family with us to Kaua’i

Mom’s 90th birthday trip with my sister, Tina

Ko O’lina with Lisa and Tabb


Kaua'i with Piper, Pat and Gretchen


No matter when or where or with whom, it never loses it’s allure.


Mahalo, Hawaii
I will return soon.........Aloha