Monday, July 12, 2021



Good Morning!

How was your weekend?  Mine was nice…a bit quieter than usual due to the eye – wasn’t driving (until Sunday) and vision was still not the best, but steadily improving each day.  Much of my weekend was spent in contemplation.  Thinking about my Mom mainly.  And mothers in general. 

Madeline Jalongo Falciglia Aronson (how’s that for a name?) passed away on July 6th.  She was my 2nd Mom.  My friend Leslie’s birth mom.  When Leslie and I became friends at the age of 12 (just about 56 years ago!!), Madeline became my second Mom.  She always had a pot of coffee on the stove and made the best home made pizza, lobstah rolls, chowder, squash & eggs.  When we were older, there was always wine to share.  When we were bad she would chase us around the house wielding a wooden spoon!  She taught me how to crochet (my Mom – birth mom – taught me how to knit).  She was 91 when she passed.  Leslie’s Dad (my 2nd Dad) passed away a number of years ago.  So now I feel like a double orphan!

Also, on June 1st, Jean Beyerle passed away.  Jean was a very close friend of my Mom’s.  She was 96 when she passed.  She and her family went to the same church we went to when I was growing up.  Jean was the organist and played a mean piano.  She and my Mom became close friends in the mid-60’s.  They did SO MUCH together – played tennis, hiked, traveled (they would often go to Sanibel Island in February to beach comb and look for gators…my Dad was not much of a beach person and Jean’s husband was a teacher and didn’t take vacation in February).  They would drive up to Vermont and stay with my Aunt or with Jennie – my Mom’s friend with whom she bicycled from Vermont to California.  At Christmas they would bake cookies together, and Christmas Eve, Jean always came over to play carols on our piano.  She made the BEST apple dumplings.

I spent so many afternoons drinking coffee and playing Scrabble with them.  Or going for walks, or out to lunch…occasionally shopping, but that was not a favorite pastime for either of them.

Those two also knew the BEST places to pick wild strawberries, blackberries, etc.

My Mom is on the right in the plaid shirt and Jean is on the left – look at those wild berries!!!  This picture is most likely from the mid-70's.

 Last week in the mail I received an envelope from one of Jean’s daughters with pages from one of Jean’s journals where she listed out the many, many things she and my Mom did together and the beauty they found in the world – whether it was a stunning sunset, or bears at their campsite in Maine, shells at the beach in Sanibel, etc.  They were amazed and delighted by Nature.

Jean’s Celebration of Life was this past Saturday.  I did not attend (was still not driving).  In addition, the service was held at the church I grew up attending and I am not fond of the church or – particularly – the current minister (also why my Dad requested that his Memorial Service be held elsewhere).

The mail also brought the 2nd issue of The Shetland Journal.  A feast for the eyes:

I’ve been able to stitch some which surprised me with the eye surgery, and I’ve read some.  I finally picked up some knitting on Sunday and it felt good to get back to that, though it was a little hard to focus and see the stitches on the needles.  Still without an oven, Fletch grilled burgers on Saturday.  I made both potato salad and a broccoli salad to go with the burgers.  YUM!!

I’m sorry to say that Fletch found yet another deer tick on his leg.  That makes 3 this summer…and 3 doses of the antibiotics.  YIKES!!!  That guy is a tick magnet!  But he spends a bunch of time in the garden and I’m sure that is where he is picking them up.  He is vigilant (thank God) about checking himself…but still…

Speaking of the garden…we have eggplants forming:

These plants are in a cast iron pot on our patio. 

We have a trumpet vine growing up a tree in our backyard.  In fact, the tree is actually dead and Fletch says the trumpet vine is what is holding it up!!  Anyway, I have never seen trumpet flowers like this – on the end of a long, long stalk:

I always see clusters of them at the top of the tree and on the sides.  These particular blooms are lower down.  A hummingbird comes to the flowers occasionally, but it is more interested in our Rose of Sharon which is covered with white blooms.

This afternoon I go back to the dermatologist for another biopsy on the tip of my nose (some years ago I lost just about half my nose to skin cancer…I’m hoping to not lose more of it!!).  And tomorrow is another follow up with my eye surgeon.  This summer is just filled with FUN - LOL

Meanwhile, I’ve got some conference calls today – I think the BIG TOP SECRET news from work is being released today…more to follow.

Have a great week!!


  1. I'm so sorry that you've lost two very special people in your life, Vera. I'm sending you my good juju -- and virtual hugs. XOXO I'm glad your vision is sharpening up again, and hope for continued (and quick!) improvement. I've seen some glorious trumpet vines blooming in my neighborhood this year! Yours sounds just lovely.

  2. What beautiful memories of some incredible women, Vera! (and all those berries!) Good luck at the dermatologist! And I hope your conference calls are short and sweet! :)

  3. You've been fortunate to have some truly good and role model-worthy women in your life. They've left behind some very fond memories and had a positive, lasting impact.

    It sounds as if your recovery is going well. That's great news. Trumpet vines are getting lush and thick around here with all the rain, heat, and tropical humidity. Actually, pretty much everything is (especially the weeds).

  4. I'm so sorry for your losses. Sounds like you have some wonderful memories of your Mom and Jean's mom though. Love the photo of your mom.

    Good luck with the biopsy today.

  5. It is tough when those who made our childhood special pass on. Our parents and their generation really knew how to live. I used to love to talk about the old days with Dad's little lady friend who passed in June. She had been a family friend for as long as I can remember. Now there is no one left who remembers those happy days.

  6. May we all have a friendship like your Mom and Jean in our life! Good to hear you’ve been able to knit and stitch a little. My vision hasn’t completely settled yet, but I think it’s getting closer.

  7. How lovely to have 2 moms! They certainly got along if they did all that together. Im sorry for your losses. It hurts no matter how old they are.
    I hope your derm appt goes well. Seems we are all catching up now that we are vaccinated. I am glad to be having a procedure done in Chicago suburbs where the vaccine rate is higher than here In Wisconsin . My niece in Arizona got the pfizer vaccine, but travels for work. She has the variant now. She is sick sick, but able to stay at home. At 28, she should be able to fight it. The whole variant thing makes me mask again

  8. What wonderful memories of two special women. And those berries - wow. I am sorry for your losses. It is always hard to say goodbye. Take good care.

  9. Oh, thank you for sharing the Mom memories; I'm sorry you are feeling the double loss right now! Keep healing that eye and soon you will be stitching up a storm again!

  10. I am so sorry for the loss of these two special women. I like the photo of your Mom and Jean and those berries. The trumpet vine flowers are pretty, it is a invasive plant. My hubby is chopping it down all around our yard. I hope your eye is back to normal soon. Take care, enjoy your day and week ahead!

  11. I'm sorry about your losses -- how lucky you were to have extra mother figures in your life!

  12. Oh wow, those sound like some amazing adventures!! And how lucky you are to have had people in your life special enough to be "2nd" parents.