My new ride is a brand new 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland with all the works. Best car I’ve ever purchased and I love it!
Alex was 25 on the 20th and Barbra was 75 on the 24th.
Spring is almost back and the rainy and relatively cold winter seems to have subsided. With items gifted to me from my friends in Oakland who are getting ready to put their house on the market and other items I plucked from my Mom’s house that is about to go on the market as well, together with clippings from some of her plants, Shando has been helping me to make some dramatic beautification to the backyard. I’m really putting my potting table to use. The pictures are the before and after of one area of the backyard, but the video shows more of the green thumb I’m trying to develop.
From standing on the NYC subway and holding the strap-hang with my left hand for two decades while reading the newspapers (this was mostly before it was practical to read the news on a mobile device), I developed a ganglion cyst (actually two) which was starting to affect my mobility, not to mention being unsightly. At least the subway is my theory on how these developed. So even though I haven’t lived in NYC for ten years now, I had a surgery earlier this month to have them removed because they were getting bigger. “Bible bumps” do not effectively go away if they are hit with a big book or even drained at the doctor’s office. I wanted something that was sure to work, so the surgery required I be put under general anesthesia so they could be removed from a plastic surgeon by the root, which was all the way down to the tendon or bone. I had to wear a splint for two weeks, but fortunately it was not on my dominant hand, or I would have probably never had this done. My daughter visited me right after the surgery and brought me these beautiful flowers.
I remember in one of our family trips back from the Sacramento area I was playing music with my Mom in the front seat. Shando was always a gentleman and sat in the back when she rode with us. I loved it when an old classic that Mom knew would come on, whether it be from Italy or some other place. She loved Nat King Cole, Julio Iglesias, Engelbert Humperdinck and Josh Groban even. Caruso was a classic Italian song I never quite mastered memorizing, but it was a song she obviously knew well. Playing music in the car kept me awake and in some cases minimized her nagging me, although now of course I would take her nagging me about anything I miss her so much.
One time an Italian song came on that I knew the words to, and my mother was floored. I’ll never forget her cackling in laughter, cracking up as I sang Lara Fabian’s Adagio in the original Italian. She could not fathom that I would memorize an Italian song that she never heard of and she just thought it was the funniest thing in the world that I was singing in her mother tongue. It’s an extraordinary song by a singer who is of Italian heritage from Belgium and my Mom just enjoyed the heck out the moment, and I was so proud that I could share this moment with her serendipitously. I think it helped Mom to believe that I would never truly be far removed from our family in Calabria if I could accomplish something like this without her knowing. The odds of that song coming up out of the tens of thousands on my 180GB iPod was kismet, because I never again had a chance to sing that song to my mother. The important thing, though, was that we had a magical musical moment and I got to impress her and show off to her.
Here are the lyrics in English and then Italian: