J. G. Fabiano

Page 31

328 articles in category J. G. Fabiano / Subscribe

Aactually, I should say shower. My daughter is having her second child in about a week and my wife and I will be blessed with our first grandson.

We already have the most adorable 4-year old granddaughter on the entire planet but a perfect pair would make our lives almost perfect. I say almost because we first have to survive a baby shower, or as my daughter corrects me, sprinkle that is going to take place very soon. This sounds like an easy task but for the past week, hell I would say the last month, my wife has been planning to create remarkable memories on this day from the food to decorating the house to look like Pixie Hallow.

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Tthere are two major purchases we make in life that change what we are or try to represent. The most expensive of these purchases has to do with our home, some of us do this many times while others, like me, do it once or twice.

The second purchase that defines who we are is the purchase of an automobile. A few weeks ago I bought my third Toyota Tacoma. I really didn’t buy it because I leased it. This is a good thing for me because I don’t put on a lot of miles and after the lease time I never have to pay for going over the mileage limit. Plus it allows me to have a new truck every four years and not have to worry about replacement tires or repairs. While I was waiting for the paperwork to be completed I started to think about all the cars I had in my life.

I also related the cars to what I was during that specific time of my existence. The first car I remember owning was a pale yellow 1961, Ford Fairlane. I actually didn’t own it but took it over from my mother during the latter part of my high school career. It was a great car. It had wide fins and chrome that made it look like a space ship. When I started driving it the car was pristine. After a year it degraded into a beat up old manure box of rusting steel.

I guess this is what happens when one is given a car instead of having to pay for it. The inside of the car looked worse than the outside. I remember a time my father had to borrow it to go to the store. I forgot to tell him a 2×4 was holding the seat in place. My father pulled it out and was immediately lying down looking at the ceiling of the car. This would not have been a problem if he wasn’t driving down the road. I am happy to say no one was hurt but for the rest of my life he reminds me of this particular time of my life.

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Mmost people will remember the blizzard of 2005, as being a time of massive amounts of snow, wind, and cold. I will remember this historic moment by being stuck hundreds of miles away from Saturday afternoon until I finally arrived at home at 3:00 am on Tuesday morning.

Okay, so I didn’t have it tough. During the weekend storm my wife and I were vacationing in St. Maartin. Everything was running smooth with the exception of forcing myself to watch television during the week that predicted an historic storm on the east coast. However, these predictions have been made before with the end result being the storm was either too far or near from the coast that the result was a minor storm. This time the predictions were perfect.

So, there we sat, on the Saturday of the storm at the airport in St. Maartin waiting for our plane to arrive from Philadelphia. The airlines told us all was well and on time. Since we arrived a couple of hours earlier we decided to sit and wait at the airport until we were allowed to board. The airport at St. Maartin consisted of one large mall of duty free stores. Since people had nothing to do but wait these stores were quite busy. Also beer is allowed at the airport with many concession stands selling Heineken beer for $1. I assume they did this so the wives and girl-friends of the men waiting at the airport would be allowed to shop. At least it worked for me.

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Iit was one of the most beautiful sights I had ever seen. I was staring through a large sliding glass door at a place I thought I would never visit. Since June of last year my wife and I had been dreaming about our time in paradise as we hadn’t had a vacation of any sort for over six years.

However, this year we promised ourselves that we would put all of the pressures and strains of life aside and visit the beautiful island of St. Maarten. When we arrived at our oceanfront suite the first thing I noticed was the immense sliding glass door that overlooked the Caribbean. It was like looking into a giant post card; a clean, white sand beach, tall palm trees and an ocean of translucent turquoise and indigo in shades that I had never imagined. As I stared at the view a small dark man in a white suit suddenly popped into the foreground and signaled me to open the sliding glass door.

It was as if I had turned a giant valve that allowed all the warm and fragrant perfumes of paradise to flow over me. For a moment I could no nothing except let it all wash over me, spellbound by the seductiveness of the tropic air. The man smiled at my reaction and said something I will remember for the rest of my life. He said: “If you think this is beautiful now you should have seen it before we lost it.”My wife and I did a lot of exploring that week.

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Iidon’t know about anyone else, but I want to go back to a time when all I had to worry about was how to heat my home and feed my family. The other day my wife and I were invited to an engagement party thrown by my daughter’s friends in Medford, just outside of Boston.

It was an afternoon affair because the Patriot’s first play-off game was at 8 p.m. that evening. Things being what they are here in Patriot Nation, I sincerely believe that nothing short of a nuclear holocaust would have stopped the party from being anything other than an afternoon affair. My wife and I were picked up by our friends; a.k.a. future in-laws. This is an interesting story in itself because my wife and Ruth were friends long before my daughter met her future husband.

Some say they had something to do about it. Whatever the case, it’s very clear I have absolutely nothing to say about it. Our conversation, while we were driving to the party, concerned politics and how our nation is going through difficult times. We talked about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, governmental scandals, and how our freedoms are being eroded because of what has become a perpetual war on terror. I don’t know about anyone else, but I want to go back to a time when all I had to worry about was how to heat my home and feed my family.

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Tthere I stood looking up at a white mountain of snow that seemed to reach the sky. The snow was packed tight with pale blue facets in the crevices and the wind whipped a fine spray from the summit like Everest.

I was absolutely awestruck by its size and beauty and I wished like hell it wasn’t in the middle of my driveway!

The day after our first major snowstorm began with me trying to open my garage door. It took about half an hour, in sub zero temperatures, of me chipping away at the ice between the bottom of the door and the pavement that had sealed it shut like cement. When the door finally opened to reveal the spectacular winter vista before me my first thought was how beautiful it all was. It was like that scene in The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy’s world turns from black and white to color – except in reverse.

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Tthe summer is now in its last weeks. My garden is exploding out of its confines. Normally this would be a big problem because the concept of throwing food out or letting it rot on the vine is not something any Italian can live with. I am fortunate enough to be married to a beautiful and talented wife.

As to how I managed to end up with here is beyond my comprehension but I am forever grateful for the miracles she can perform with fresh garden produce in the kitchen. For the past couple of months I have been enjoying some of the most remarkable meals ever produced by my garden. One of my favorites is called, ‘chombought.’

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Iiabsolutely adore waking up early in the morning because the spring air is always fresh and filled with the sounds of life. The birds fill the trees with their song and the bulbs of summer have sprouted long green shoots, promising imminent vistas of color and beauty. Even my lawn has bounced back from its glacial overcoat and turned from a freezer-burnt brown to a fresh new green.

Except for a little round patch that seems to be a hold out from the big chill of the winter just passed. I’m sure I can fix this with just a little fertilizer, I thought to myself. Then, a funny thing happened when I went out to get in my truck to go and got the fertilizer. As I walked past the brown circle on my lawn I thought I heard the sound of chewing. Since it was early in the morning and I was the only one around I thought my imagination must have been getting the better of me. When I returned home I noticed that the little circle of brown had doubled in size. Now I was worried.

I walked over to the growing brown spot on my lawn to see if I could figure out what the problem was. At first I thought it must be a favorite spot for the neighborhood dogs to do their business. But, why would it grow? Were the dogs bringing friends from other neighborhoods to have a round table discussion in order to figure out the problems of the canine world? As I contemplated this scenario I once again thought I heard the sound of chewing. Looking around I saw nothing that could have produced the sound.

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Iiknew every one of those people. I didn’t know their faces or their names but I knew them all. They were husbands and wives working hard to make their families comfortable. They were children whose hard work and perseverance made their parents.

They were also grandparents who were just about ready to enter a new stage of their lives doing something they had worked hard all their lives to be able to do. I still know them. I actually hated Paul Mann, the publisher of the Independent, when he called and asked me to revisit that day. I hated the concept of having to write about a time in my life when my soul was forced to change. Psychologists say many of us have changed because of that day. How the hell couldn’t you be?

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“I wonder what dirt tastes like?”
That was how I opened my first conversation with a cousin in my parent’s backyard over 50 years ago. My cousin and I had never said much to each other before that because we’d always been in the company of grown-ups but they had put us out in the backyard to play while they tried to have some kid-free time inside.

My cousin stared back at me blankly. Then he smiled, picked up a handful of dirt and shoved it in his mouth. From the instant look of horror on his face, the spitting and retching and the explosion of tears I realized that dirt was probably not something one should eat. The grown-ups all spilled out of the house to see what the problem was and I told them we were just talking.

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