About Me

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I am a retired English teacher and department head, the mother of three, grand mother of three, and have been married to the same man for 42 years. I subscribe to Dr. PM Forni's concept of Civility. I was born in South Philadelphia and grew up in the 'burbs. I love soft pretzels and cheesesteaks, the Phillies, the Eagles, and San Diego. I love being Mom, Aunt Kathy, Nona Kathy, and Teacher. I spend a lot of time in my gardens in the spring and summer, and in the winter I plan what I'm going to plant. I also am an avid reader and photographer.

Translator!

Friday, November 12, 2010

I really enjoyed reading the comments about why we all blog.  Lots of different opinions and one strong commonality:  we all like to write and that writing fills a need.  And if going private is part of that,  I respect that decision.

Today is "Girls' Day".  No parties; just the yearly mammogram - something all of us women do to take care of ourselves and something to celebrate nonetheless.  We rock.

On Sunday, Richard and I drove up to Maris Grove to visit my mom.  My brothers and I bought her a small table and chairs for her kitchen and Richard assembled it for her.  It's really lovely and fits perfectly -- replacing a marble-topped sewing machine that was my grandmother's.   My mom gave that to me and it's now on our sunporch.

I'm not sure of the age of either the sewing machine treadle or the marble (the sewing machine itself is long gone), but I'm glad to have it in my home.

My grandmother came to this country, arriving in Ellis Island in 1920.  Eighteen years old at the time she, her mother, and younger brother were almost sent back to Italy because Nona, her mother, had an eye infection.  Luckily, the infection cleared within a day or so and they were met by her two brothers who were already here and working.  Mom Mom, as we called her, was an excellent seamstress and found work immediately as a button hole maker. 

I marvel at the facility of some to find their ancestry.  We've had a modicum of success on my mother's side and have been able to trace our family several generations back in Abruzzi, Italy.  My father's father's side is a different matter, however.  They came over around the same time from Foggia, Italy, but there are no records we can find of their living there.  Everything just seems to stop. A veritable mystery...

12 comments:

Linda Reeder said...

Tracing ancesrty is much harder when the family has more recent immigrants, and the home country didn't keep very careful records. I would guess that most record keeping was done in the parrish, so it would be church records you would be seeking.
Love your "girls' day" title for mamogram day.

Purple Flowers said...

Well, it's no surprise that my Father gave to me my Grandmother's sewing machine with table before he passed away. Unfortunately, it is not our home at this time. When I have it in my possession, I will utilize it as a table for plants and candles. I can picture it in my minds' eye. The plants will represent the always growing love I have for my Grandmother, and the candles will be lit for her in prayer and love.
You and I have much in common, only you write better-Mrs. English Teacher! :)

Happyone :-) said...

Love the sewing machine table. How nice that it was your grandmothers.
I have one too and my step dad made an oak top for mine. I keep books on it.

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi Kathy, I have done alot of Family History ---but only wish I had been more interested in it when I was younger and when my parents were alive... I have alot of info on Mom's side of the family --but not too much on Dad's. I have met cousins through my blogging about family members. That is just amazing!!! I would probably do more Genealogy IF I were to give up my blogging... ha ha

I had my mammogram recently --and am glad that is OVER.... NOT FUN!!!!!!

Love the sewing machine table.. How special is that.
Hugs,
Betsy

Snappy Di said...

I used to be very much into my family history and genealogy. But as I hit a few brick walls I just said to heck with it. I still try every once in a while to search for someone but after about 30 minutes become frustrated and that's that for another few years.

DI

Sweet Virginia Breeze said...

I love your sewing machine table. My sister got my grandmother's old Singer machine.
My mother did a lot of research on our family. She traced our family back to William Bradford and the Plymouth Colony in the 1600s on one branch and to early English settlers in Virginia on another branch.

Maggie said...

My grandmother had one of those too. What a wonderful world they opened if you couldn't afford to go shopping for clothes or other fabrics.

George said...

Your sewing machine table is really nice. I haven't done much family history -- it's one of those things that is on my 'to do' list that I haven't gotten to yet. Fortunately my daughter has gotten interested.

Lena said...

I love the sewing machine table.

We have a table made with the sewing machine legs.

My grandparents came through Ellis Island as well. We are in the process of working on the family tree with all of our relatives.

A Slice of My Life said...

I love that table...and the history that goes with it. What a treasure.

We've had several family historians...they view it as a puzzle or something. I'm one who likes to hear the stories and just gets frustrated by all the roadblocks of who came from where and win.

I totally agree with Becky about wishing I had asked more questions and paid better attention when to those who are now gone.

Kimberly said...

What a beautiful treasure to have! I love family history, but like it even more when someone else does all the research. :)

Gilly said...

I'm still around, just don't post much, reading blogs is hard enough without trying to see what I'm typing!!

My great-grandfather is a huge mystery. He just appears, married and with a family, but we cannot trace any mention of him, not in censuses, anything. and this is in the UK! - not difficult places like Italy!!