PURGING THE PAST

Growing up in an Italian-American household, I was surrounded by the three Italian Mamas, my mother, my aunt and my grandmother, who were to say the least, clean freaks. There were the proverbial plastic cushion protectors on the sofa and chairs. This was especially rough in the summer, when our skin would just stick to the plastic. OUCH! The smell of bleach always permeated the air. A speck of dust didn’t even have a chance to land on the furniture. My mother was so organized that she had individual jars in the junk draw that were labeled. She even had a jar labeled “string”. My mother vacuumed the carpets twice a day. I thought it was ridiculous. To make my point, I would run across the va

LAYING FAMILY FEUDS TO REST

I grew up in an Italian-American family in Brooklyn, NY. We were ten dysfunctional people all squeezed into three tiny apartments under one roof. This was fertile ground for family feuds to develop and fester. THE LAY OF THE LAND My grandmother, Rose, bought the house I lived in when my mother was 16. She purchased it with her hard-earned savings working as a seamstress in the garment center in New York City. This home was her pride and joy; and it was security for her family. Source: www.Zillow.com She put everything she had into it. So much so that the house had a personality all its own. It was never referred to as home. It was lovingly called by the address - 2118 (twenty-one eight