Monday, May 28, 2012

We Remember

Anyone in my generation (the so-called Silent Generation) will never forget the sacrifices of our service men and women. We grew up during WWII, remembering the wild ranting speeches of Herr Hitler and the food rationing that affected our daily lives. I actually was going to school in Northern Ireland at the time and had to carry a gas mask. Thankfully, I never had to use it. We sometimes played in the bomb craters where the German planes had dropped stray bombs on their way home. Belfast was full of American soldiers who were stationed there or passing through. My aunt took me to a hospital to visit the troops, where I saw a wounded soldier - I'll never forget how ill he looked. I sometimes wonder if he survived. I was a child under ten  years at the time. Of course, we had blackouts at night and strict food rationing. But all that was nothing to the fact that our soldiers were over in Europe being killed every day and in London, ordinary people were killed by bombing raids. My mother's cousin Sgt. James Quinn, was one of the pilots who participated in the Battle of Britain and his name is on a plaque in Westminster Cathedral. Fortunately, he survived. I never met him, partly because we left for America after the war. It was a wonderful feeling when the war ended - euphoria! But sadly, the wars did not end and there were many more to come. Each time, our armed forces step up and go where they are called to. Thank you to all those who served. I think I might not be here on this Earth if you had not.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mother, May I

Now it is May, maybe the lovliest month of the year in New Jersey. This year we are at least a week ahead of everything with the warm winter. I saw a sign for "Pick Your Own Strawberries". I associate this more with June. The grass is green and thick and the air is mild and warm but not humid. Later we will get a Jersey summer, which is hot, humid and airless for the most part, especially here in the Delaware valley. But now it is perfect weather so we enjoy it.

Today the girls and I went to Teaberrys tearoom for a slightly belated celebration of Mother's Day. Teaberrys is a restaurant done well and tries to present the idea of an English tea. They have very nice sandwiches, meals and desserts and a very wide selection of teas. The location is a beautiful Victorian which has been well preserved inside with tall ceilings, huge windows and everywhere there are cabinets of china, teapots and cups. Today we had tea in what must have been either a parlor or dining room - it had two or maybe three crystal chandeliers. I really like their consideration of details like tea cozies, dishes of sugar cubes with tongs, and the helpful young (and older) waitresses with white aprons. Young girls can get a booster seat for their dolls if they wish who are welcome to have tea also. Stephanie did have her baby doll who mostly stared into space and Allison brought her lamb which seemed to look very interestedly at the lunches.

Walking back to Kelly's house I got to admire the houses across the street which I had never got a good look at before in spite of having lived a block away for eight  years. Riding by in a car gives you only a brief glance.

The "men" batched it at the house with pizza and then put in an air-conditioner. Kelly got a slightly frantic text about a diaper but it was apparently not as horrific as it seemed and the day ended with all the kids on the porch and grandparents taking themselves home.