Tuesday, January 3, 2012

It Took Two Days

My last post I talked about the TV bought back in June, but not opened until two days ago.  That left the huge TV box, which we will need when we move, and the old TV sitting in the living room.  Well yesterday I managed to get the box up the steps to be stored on the main level of the house.  That left the old TV sitting on the floor in the living room.

This morning I said to Bill I want to move that TV so the cat's don't ruin it.  (Where the TV was sitting on the floor it was in their running path from the back of the basement, around the corner, into the living room and up the steps to the main level of the house.  We have two cats and it is a real ritual for them to get their daily exercise by running up and down the stairs and all over the main floor up to the second or is that the third level of the house.)  He said we would do that before supper. 

We went into town for a bit this morning.  When we arrived home Bill ate and I could tell he was tired, so he fell asleep in his chair, but not for long.  Shortly after that he went to the couch for a proper nap.  When he got up I mentioned the TV again.  We both decided we could manage the TV.  It is a slim TV, but 42".  When it was sitting on the floor it didn't look big, in fact I thought about carrying it up myself.  I am glad I didn't try, because that would not have worked.  Since Bill can not walk backwards, I went up the stairs first.  My balance isn't as good as it used to be and going up stairs backwards was difficult for me.  The TV barely made it around the corner of the landing since these steps are enclosed. I had previously cleaned the area where the TV was to sit.  Much to my surprise the surface area was large enough for the TV base, but the TV did not fit into the corner.  Finally we got it set up. but the cord to attach the TV to the cable on the wall is a bit short, but I got it to work.  Then I could not find the cable remote.  Now for the rest of the story.........

The room we put the TV in has had all the end tables removed, loose item sorted and much of it removed, so I could not find the cable remote.  So Bill returned to the basement, but I stayed upstairs for a while looking for the remote. I first looked through the things  in and around the TV stand.  NO LUCK.  So I moved to the fireplace mantel, NO LUCK.  So I decided to check the hearth, NO LUCK.  While checking the hearth I found two metal boxes.  I decided to go through one of the metal boxes and it was pictures.

Most of the pictures were from the 70's.  Many of the pictures were of my nephew, because he was born in July of '76.  This was also the time frame when we were building the house Bill and I are living in now, so there were many pictures of the two story garage and the basement of the house.  A few pictures of other relatives and people I did not know.  One picture of my first house, which was in the backyard of another house in Muncie, IN.  There was pictures of our house in Griffith, IN and a couple of floods both in IN and KY.  A few pictures of my first brand new vehicle bought in Feb of '79.  

None of those pictures bothered me.  Even the pictures of my maternal Grandfather's funeral. (He died in Yugoslavia, so they took pictures so my Mom could have some type of closure) Then a picture came up of this same Grandfather standing the in kitchen of his home. It was such a good clear picture of him smiling that sly smile of his I just started to cry.  He died more then 20 years ago, but a few days ago I was chatting with someone who grew up in the area of Cleveland, OH where my Grandfather lived.   My Grandfather out lived 3 wives.  I only knew his last wife and she was very dear to me.  When we went to Cleveland we would usually leave after school and work.  This started because my brother and I would sleep most of the trip.  The trip for the most part was on a toll way and my Dad would drive all night.  When we arrived at my Grandparents house it always smelled soooooo good.  My grandparents had been busy preparing for us.  All kinds of baked goods, but most of them were not the type we usually had at home.  Mary, as I called this Grandmother, was a great baker.  She made strudel from scratch.  Usually she made cheese, my favorite, and apple.  She made nut roll with white raisins in the nut filling and a really light fried cookie of some type.  She kept that all in the basement.  On the main level was home made noodles that were cut so thin they were like slivers.  The home made bread had a coarse texture that held the butter.  My Grandfather would make sure to go to Santa's.....a local store that made it's own sausage, smoked  hams and had specialty luncheon meats depending on the season.  They were all good.  The best part of the food was the home made soups.  I have Mary's soup pot.  It is a porcelain cover iron pot.  Very heavy.

I learned a lot from Mary and my Grandfather.  They always had a large garden. My Grandfather taught us how  to take slips from roses to start new plants.  He also knew how to graft fruit trees, divide clumps of flowers and grew so many grapes he would make wine after all the jellies were stored.  He had asparagus, rhubarb and mild green onions.  Sometimes my grandfather would take us to the river.  We may go just to play, sometimes we would go fishing and other times we just went there to wash his "machine" as they both called the car.  Mary liked to sew and she would usually send an apron or two home with us.  I think she made her own clothes and maybe some of my grandfather's clothes.

At least once while we were visiting my Grandparents would have an argument of some type.  We never knew what the arguments were about, because they were speaking a foreign language, most likely Croatian.  After my Grandparents sold their nice brick home they rented an upstairs apartment from family friends.  The friends lived in the lower apartment.  I remember it was near an elementary school and had an old wooden garage in the far back of the lot.  One day my grandfather was in the garage and my father and I walked into the garage to greet him.  My grandfather was always gracious to us and would greet us warmly.  This day he acted funny immediately putting his hand in his pocket instead of hugging us.  My Dad and him started exchanging greetings and just doing some general chatting when all of a sudden smoke started coming from my grandfather's jacket pocket.  He had been hiding in the garage smoking a cigarette.  Mary thought he had stopped smoking!!!!   He also never stopped drinking.

My last memory of my Grandfather was at Mary's funeral.  They were catholic, but I am not sure how much they attended church.  Mary's daughter was not catholic and she "took care of the funeral".  I remember during the service my Grandfather crying and yelling out "That is not right!" and then he yelled out what Catholics believed.  I cried then also, because my Grandfather's heart was broken. 

Shortly after the funeral my Grandfather left for the "old" country to visit his family.  When his brother died we were notified to go clean out his apartment.  He decided to stay and take care of his Sister-in-law.  When he died several years later we received a telegraph message.  The only time I ever saw a telegraph message.  It was written in broken English, but it was clear that my Grandfather had died.  He is buried in what was then Yugoslavia, but may now be part of Croatia.  Later we received pictures of his funeral.  The one I remember the most was not in the pictures I saw today.  It was of a beautiful wooden casket being carried through town by a horse drawn carriage.  It was so old world. Today was the first time I saw the other pictures.  The grave yard was nothing like ones we see here in the states.  It also looked like some military or official uniformed men lead the processional.

One more thing about my Grandfather.  He used to tell us he came over to the United States on a boat in a potato sack.  I knew he was just pulling my leg, but it is a fond memory I have of my Grandfather.  When I first started using the computer about 11 years ago I found a record of my Grandfather passing through Ellis Island.  It recorded his name, age, destination, job status, who sponsored him and how much money he had.