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#SundaySnippet 12.23.18 The last of 2018!

I couldn’t let this year end without a final bit of CHRISTMAS & CANNOLIS life, now could I?  This scene epitomizes the family love Regina has for her parents, and they her.

Ten days before Christmas and my regular customers were starting to purchase all their treats for holiday visiting and house parties.

I glanced around the crowded storefront when I came up the stairs. The display cabinets were being restocked, the line was snaked around the bakery’s interior and out the door, and the cash registers were making beautiful Christmas music with all the chiming as each sale was rung up. I didn’t see my mother in her usual spot behind the counter, so I did a quick eye roll through the place and found her. She was seated at one of the customer tables with my father, a cup of coffee in front of each of them. Pop was holding one of her hands as he was speaking.

After fifty-plus years of marriage, my mother stared at my father as if he hung the moon for her. I simply adore this. Who, in this day and age, can boast that their parents still love and honor each other after decades of family strife, deaths, crises, and war, and can gaze at one another as if they were teenagers finding first love?

This is what fantasies are made of.

“Hey, Pop.” I kissed the top of his head and pulled out the empty chair at their table. “What are you doing here?”

“I was out making the rounds and I missed your mama, so I figured I’d come in and steal her away for a few minutes.”

See? I love this.

“You need me for somethin’, Regina Maria?” Ma asked.

“Nope. Just checking on how everything’s going on up here before I have to leave for a delivery.”

Her lips pressed together into a line, and she lowered her head to stare at me from under her eyelashes. Why I tend to forget she knows everything that goes on inside my shop, despite only working at the counter, never ceases to surprise me. Of course she knew what cake I was delivering today. She’d probably circled the date on her internal calendar as a reminder.

Pop frowned when he noticed the look Ma was throwing my way. Fifty-plus years of staring across the breakfast table at your spouse every day can make you pretty attuned to the other’s expressions, and Pop had a black belt in reading Ma’s face.

“This the big-ass Pearl’s Place order?” he asked me.

And of course Ma had told him about it. Why would I ever think she wouldn’t share that?

“Not specifically there. It’s for a fundraiser that will benefit it.”

“So you don’t gotta actually deliver it to the hospice?”

“No.”

“Good. You should never even have to think about that place, much less go there, again. Gave you enough sad memories for a lifetime, bellissima figlia.”

He reached over and grabbed my hand, squeezed it twice, and then glanced over at my mother.

“I know, Pop. But it’s been six years. I’m—well, not over it. But I can handle the sadness now. Much better than I could when Angie…died.”

At the word, my mother made the sign of the cross, kissed her palm, and then leaned over to kiss my cheek. Unexpected tears stung. I tried to blink them away before my parents could notice them, but that’s the thing about my parents: they’re both acutely tuned in to their children, despite the fact all five of us are adults.

“You don’t have to deliver it, you know, Regina,” Ma said. “Nunzie and Alby are responsible. They can be counted on to do a good job.”

“I know, Ma. But I’m okay to do this, I really am. Besides—” I stood and took a quick swipe at my eyes. “—it’s my bakery, and I’m the one who worked on the cake for the past five days. I want to see the expression on Con—uh, everyone’s faces, when I bring the cake in. The girls think it’s my best one yet, and I kinda agree.”

“Every cake you do is a masterpiece,” Pop said, no small amount of pride in his voice. “If youse was around in the olden days, you woulda been one of them old-world masters, only not a master ’cause you’re a girl. But you know what I’m saying.”

“I do, Pop, and thanks.” I kissed his cheek this time, then bent to do the same to my mother. “You two finish your visit. Drink your coffee. I’ve gotta get ready.”

“You’re coming for supper after Mass tomorrow, si?”

“Yeah, Ma. I’ll be there. I’ll bring some cookies for dessert.”

“Bring a couple-a boxes,” Ma ordered. “And nothing special for your brothers this time. Let their wives bake for them if they want pies and stuff. They don’t do much of anything else aside from get their nails painted and shop. It’ll do them good to do something other than spend money.”

Remember I told you that no one was ever going to be good enough for my mother? Proof of that, right here.

I want to wish you all the Merriest of Christmas’s, the Happiest of Holidays, and all the joy, love, and laughter you can garner in the New Year. Spend time with the people who mean the most to you – it’s time well spent!

Love you all ~ Peg

 

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The Great American Read

Piggybacking off of Saturday’s post, I love books.

But you know that… hee hee.

This year on PBS  a documentary about books is playing that is near and dear to my heart. It started last May with a two part episode of the 100 favorite books in America as voted upon by hundreds of thousands of people. The show is hosted by the wonderful, smart, and wickedly witty Meredith Vieira .

The premise is easy. From these 100 books listed, PBS watchers will vote on the #1 favorite book to read.

I have several favorites in the list, including, but not limited to,  these:

 

 

 

 

 

          

 

Then there a few books that I question. I won’t list all of those but I will tell you my least favorite book of all time, THE CATCHER IN THE RYE, is also on this list. Don’t judge me. I just think this book was a waste of my sophomore year in English in high school. And why in the name of all that’s holy is 50 Shades of Gray on the list???

Okay, enough ranting about the ones I don’t like.

You should view the list and see if your favs ( and not favs) made the list. Then, I recommend you watch the show and on your favorite!!! I’ve even been toying with the idea to start reading the 100 books ( even the ones I hated!) in 2019. Many of the books I’ve never read before and I think – at this advanced age (heehee) – I should broaden my reading horizons.

Just a thought for now, but I’m giving it thoughtful consideration.

 

Seriously, though…if you like to read, this is a great show to watch. Each episode digs deep into the category of books they are doing. For instance, there’s a show about debut books from first time authors like Margaret Mitchell’s Gone With The WindDid you know that was her first and only book ever published?

There’s a show all about the romance genre ( a personal fav for me!) titled WHAT WE DO FOR LOVE. It includes books like  Jane Eyre   and Pride and Prejudice.  

There’s an episode  even about the human condition that highlights books such as thePilgrim’s Progress and Siddhartha.

One of my favorite episodes is the one on friendship. It features The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,  A Separate Peace and  Charlotte’s Web,

Again, this is a great series to watch if you love books, love to read, or are just trying find out a little more about the authors and why they wrote the books they did.

So, if you’re looking for a change from all the negative stuff on commercial television nowadays, this is a really nice way to spend a few hours. You won’t only be entertained, but you’ll learn something along the way as well. Make it a family watch and gather up the kids, grab some popcorn, watch and DISCUSS the books with one another!

Reading and the Great America Read. They’re good things.

When I’m not watching TV or reading you can find me here:Tweet Me//Read Me// Visit Me//Picture Me//Pin Me//Friend Me//Google+Me// Triber// BookMe

 

 

 

 

 

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