Monthly Archives: August 2008
While this blog is not New Jersey themed, I do happen to live here, so I’d like to share this NJ blog I found with you. There is a new movie coming out called, you guessed it, “New Jersey: the movie”, and it’s really interesting if you’re want to find out stuff about NJ. The trailer is composed of lots of short cuts, going from one scene to another; but essentially, they are trying to peg where the dividing line is between North and South Jersey. The journey must have been pretty interesting.
Being a transplant from Brooklyn NY, KENSINGTON, to be exact. I am intrigued by the concept of this movie, to say the least, because I am almost totally unaware of New Jersey culture. The extent of my knowledge stems from browsing those “Images of America” books while trying to keep track of Little Drake in one of those big box book stores. I guess the closest bond I’ve ever had to a place would be there, though, I disliked living there. I wanted to live in the “country” and thought New Jersey was where I had to ultimately go, and so, it eventually happened. Sadly, I ended up in Elizabeth, NJ and while I’m not putting it down, it’s still a city and if I had to live in the a city, I would rather it be in Brooklyn. Don’t get me wrong, Elizabeth is steeped in history, but I really wanted to live in the “country”. We live on a nice dead end street, but outside of my immediate block that “nice” quiet block feel disappears. The sidewalks are narrow, broken and a safety hazard. When LD was first born, I envisioned myself strolling with him in the stroller, getting some exercise, fresh air and UV rays. To my chagrin, I spent my time, much like a mountain climber, trying to navigate the sidewalk, endlessly pausing to lift the stroller over potholes, uplifted slabs of sidewalk and the always disgusting, loads of dog poopie. At every bump I was crossing my fingers that LD would not wake up. Definitely not Littletown, USA. At least a mountain climber can take in gulps of fresh air while spiraling up a mountain peak. Me? I’m just spiraling out of control. What’s so bad about the city, you ask? Two words, “congestion and suffocation”.
Ah, as I write this, I keep trying to get a feel for my own roots. I grew up on Louisa Street in the Kennington section of Brooklyn, that is by Church and McDonald. No, NOT “McDonald’s”, McDonald Avenue. My family had been there since 1964 or there abouts, living in what we called a “railroad” house. It was a two family home, and we were semi connected to another house on one side. The rooms in our first floor apartment were laid out one after the other in a line, and this is probably why it was a railroad house. We had a nice backyard, cemented over. My dad had corn growing in two wooden crates, set on platforms made of two pieces of wood. One year my mom had a watermelon vine growing out of an old refrigerator drawer, with the actual watermelon sitting on the bench of the picnic table and benches my dad made with his own hands out of weather treated wood and pipes (for the frame). It was all connected, benches connected by a pipe frame to the table. Ingenious. Painted brick red. We had… yeah, I say, “had” because after my mom passed away, my father sold the house to renting neighbors, a nice Indian family. He owns a construction company, so I found out that he gutted the place for renovation to accommodate his family, which was just as well because it was basically in it’s original condition.
My dad was great at fixing and renovating himself, but as he got older and my mom got sicker, things were left the way they were, without the yearly fixing up and sprucing up. In those days, you made do with what you had. My dad could make anything. He made our barbecue out of an oil drum from his daytime job. (He worked at Ft. Tilden for the Army. Well, that’s closed now.) He designed and welded the iron frame together himself out of, I believe, a bed frame from a high riser. He cut the drum in half, all the way around, lengthwise, with a blow torch. After it was all done, you could still see the melted metal all along the edge. With that blow torch, he cut out the nooks that would hold the grill in place. The grill was, I believe, old oven racks… but I really do not remember what they were because they looked perfect. He put a shelf into the top half of the thing…. but I think it needed to be empty if he closed the cover. This was one HUGE BBQ. He grilled up steaks, chicken, franks, hamburger, corn, whatever… all at once. But usually, he did the chicken first because it needs to cook longer, but he could make all the chicken at one time. I have great memories of those BBQ’s… and my dad bbq’d outside in any season, in the rain, in the snow. No wonder, my favorite taste is from a CHARCOAL grill. These gas ones do NOT cut it at all, in my eyes… and taste buds.
You know, I would be remiss if I didn’t thank someone tonight. While trolling the net for cool old tyme Kensington photos to better illustrate this post, I came across Kensington (Brooklyn). A treasure trove of stories from growing up in my old neighborhood. Seeing pictures, listening to stories of the old neighborhood, and in my time there, I was transported back. What a trip and looks like there are well over a thousand posts, so I’ll need to get a jump on that. The blog is a private, team blog. Did I get that right? You must be a team member to comment… and I guess, write articles. I’m definitely going to email the link to a family and friends. I’ve really enjoyed Ron Lopez’s stories, too… thanks so much!
I must say that this evening (really started this afternoon) I had the feeling that I did not belong anywhere. I never thought much about a possible bond that I might have with a “place” that I called home. I’ve spent so much of my adulthood, moving around from place to place, too. I never felt as if I belonged anywhere. Even here. I’ve been here since approximately 2003 and it’s hard for me to feel planted… you know what I mean? I still have that transient feeling about me. I don’t really decorate, though I do little things, but mostly the things that are supposed to be finishing touches, not my whole decoration deal. Sigh. Well, I came across this blog and realized that I am bonded to the place where I grew up. I can now see why my childhood friend still lives in the same house as her parents, only on the top floor. She, CAMILLE, must really have that old neighborhood in her blood. My problem is that I’ve spent so many years not recognizing it in my own. Oh, well. I need to be here. The Drake is here and his job of 30+ years is here, so for sure, he never would’ve come to Brooklyn, and by extension, we never would have conceived our Little Drake… so, God works in mysterious ways… as they say.
Today I had to write about something that happens all too frequently around here. Have you ever been in a social situation with your partner, when you glance at them and a “feeling” comes over you too suddenly? I mean in a certain place and situation where there is no chance in hell of doing more than look longingly at them?
This happens to me when we are attending MASS of all things! We are R.Catholic. We go to church, attend mass, receive the Eucharist. It’s supposed to be just you and God, that’s it. Somehow unbidden, I desire to connect with My hubby, the Drake, as all my old readers know him as. So, this post will be my attempt at poking and prodding at this phenomenon and see where it leads…. probably nowhere special because I just can’t seem to concentrate and the moment is over, at least for today. I really should attempt this earlier in the day and not late at night, or sleep deprived.
May I first say that at these times, I feel more tenderness towards my love-guy than at any other time… I mean, ANY other time! So, this wave washes over me right in the middle and when we give the sign of peace, we usually give each other a peck on the lips… which I was really temped, but we were pretty much sitting up front, so wasn’t going to go there… sigh… I felt a rush of longing as if I was watching him from 1000 miles away; yet I was sitting right next to him. I sat there, gazing at him feeling so proud to be his wife. So grateful for him in my life. I know that sounds corny, especially to the young, but I don’t care. Humph… the young. What do they know? They experience feelings, allow themselves to experiment with their bodies, then believe they are experts, “worldly” beings. Let me tell you something. A-G-E has a LOT to do with it. I don’t care if you think you’re an expert by the time you’re twenty-one because of whatever you have done…. you are not. You still have a young, innocent, naive, heart and mind. Age gives you the objectivity to examine your feelings and emotions without getting crazy (in the subjective). Age allows you that third party advantage… well heck, I’m 47, but figure when you get to 50 you’re already the age of two 25 year olds combined.
But you know, there are other times I unexpectedly feel the same way. Almost always when I observe him playing, interacting with our 3 year old boy. I melt all over… I just get the urge to make more of his children. ha… I’m 47 now, so I am trying not to go there while I’m still ovulating. I often wonder when this “change” that women are always talking about will come over ME. For the longest time I believed that I could not have children, now I’m hoping that I won’t get pregnant again. That’s so selfish of me. I really do wish that my little guy could have a brother or sister, but then it always comes back to the age thing… I really don’t want to be an older mother than I already am.
Getting back to getting the hots in church…. wow. If there is a place that discourages that sort of thing with only the air within, I’d like to know about it. But what was that wave really? Was it really the urge to commit a cardinal sin… but it would be with my lawfully wedded husband, so would that make it a cardinal sin… or any sin? I suppose so…. Man, don’t let me lead you to believe that I would actually have sex in church… geez, NO… Don’t forget you are entrapped in my brain, and these are my musings just at the moment.
So. Was it lust, love, tenderness…. bliss? All of the above because that overwhelming feeling of tenderness can definitely lead to lust… and of course, enhances the love… at least for the moment. I sort of get transported into the air… definitely a floating, blissful feeling. I’ll just float on in to lay next to my hubby… wonderful things might happen!