Northwest Indiana

We got back from Chicago (actually stepped inside our condo) at noon today, unpacked, made a grocery list, and went to teach.  I am pretty tired this evening, so will let the photos and captions do the talking.  In short, I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with my family and a nice birthday yesterday.

Adorable (nephew, sister, great nieces and nephew)

And what would an Italian Thanksgiving be like without meatballs? Nora and Toni cooked up a storm! Nora’s cooking is almost identical to my mom’s cooking.

Brynlee really should be cautious around me. I could very easily take a bite out of her red cheeks!

Big sis Nora holding baby Fran. She used to pretend I was her baby. (photo of photo)

On birthdays: I used to think everyone had a birth story that was told to them every year on their birthdays.  When I met Rick, I asked him, “So, what’s your birth story?”  “What do you mean?”  “Well, didn’t your mom tell you a story associated with your birth?”  “No stories. I was just born.”

Well, every year for my birthday, mom told me how she CRAVED watermelon the whole time she was pregnant with me.   She had recently immigrated to the states and has just discovered how impossibly delicious watermelon is in the midwest. All summer long, she gorged on it.   In Sicily, it is bad for a pregnant woman to not give in to her cravings.  By the time fall came, she was sending dad off in search of watermelon to ease her cravings. Back then, fruit was not available off season, so a bit of a panic set in when watermelon season was coming to an end and dad would come back home empty handed.  November was not a happy month for mom as the watermelon supplies were non existent.

As for my actual birth day, mom went into labor on Thanksgiving morning.  She waited for Aunt Lily to arrive to be with my sisters and help out with the the meal. Mom said to Aunt Lily, “By the time the turkey is cooked, this baby will be born.”  And off she went to Mercy Hospital in Gary, Indiana, where she gave birth to me,  her fifth daughter. Aunt Lily and my sisters got news of my birth just as they were about to have their turkey dinner.  My sisters danced around the table!  I weighed 10 lbs 10 oz (kind of like a turkey)!

Is it the angle of the camera, or do I have Licata cheeks? (All of the Licata cousins have this trait) …with Toni and Nora, snuggling up to warm coffee on a cold winter day

On my birthday with my Rickster…note how my mom “sits” on my right shoulder!

Swath of fiery sunset and black oaks. On our way to a Chicago blues concert featuring Tommy Castro and the Painkillers!

Indiana sunset on a cold clear winter evening in November


4 Responses to “Northwest Indiana”

  1. kay Says:

    Happy Birthday Fran!!!! It looks like you were well celebrated. Your birthday gift from me and many of us, is the deep appreciation for this beautiful blog you write, your yoga classes you teach, and your radiant heart you share with all of us. Thank you and Happy Birthday from a grateful friend.


  2. Angie Says:

    Happy Belated Birthday! Need to set a dinner date. Angie


  3. 1gr8 Says:

    Ooops a day late… wishes for birthday blessings & bliss all year thru!…marykay


  4. Nora Brown Says:

    What a treat to have you here to celebrate your birthday, to celebrate the love and beautiful connection of our family together, happy and healthy. So much to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Love you, you big sis, Nora


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