Sunday, December 08, 2019
Reminiscing in December
Yesterday was the day to start getting the decorations out to put up around my little house. In the past, it was a weeklong escapade. Now it will take this afternoon for a couple of hours. Life changes.
We always started putting our decorations up at this time of December in the past. Right around the
Feast of the Immaculate Conception. Having been raised Catholic, now a former Catholic, I never
forget this date.
You see, not only was it a Holy Day in the Catholic church and a day off from school, but it was my
Mother's birthday. She was a "converted" Catholic. This happened after she married my Dad. "Converted" Catholics are very strict about following the teachings of the church. Hence, we said the Rosary every night, on our knees, to pray for people we knew but mostly for those we didn't. I often thought as a child that surely some day this would not be needed anymore. Oh, the innocence of youth.
Growing up in Chicago until I was 10, we would always, on this school holiday, go on the L train into downtown Chicago to see the Christmas decorations at Marshall Fields. When I say "we", I mean me, my cousins Carol, Jack, Jimmy, Sandy and Bonnie, who wasn't a cousin. We would go to Marshall Fields and ride the escalator up all the floors to see all the beautiful things. Can you imagine six kids around like that? Often it was my grandmother, who, of course, I thought was ancient, but was probably in her fifties! A lot younger then I am now.......
Then we would have lunch in the restaurant in Marshall Field's. It was a BIG deal because back in those days people did not go to restaurants very often. Especially kids.
One time my grandmother even made arrangements to take us to the Don McNeil Breakfast Hour show. What a surprise! I don't know what we expected, probably a big table with people eating pancakes and drinking coffee. But, in fact, it was a small studio with three people and then an audience of about 25 or so. We did march around at one point when Don McNeil said it was time to "march around the breakfast table". Even though it was non-existent. I remember it like it was yesterday. And, yet, it was well over sixty years ago. Amazing.
My Mom was with us that day and Don McNeil made a big deal about the fact that it was my Mother's birthday! Today she would be 107 if she were still alive.
This morning at 6AM the fireworks began in San Miguel in honor of the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. I lay in bed with a grin on my face thinking how my Mom would have loved the way
saints and feast days are honored here in Mexico. Our buses are now decorated for the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe later this week and of course, there will be festivals, fireworks and heaven only knows what else. Hardly a day goes by that someone or something isn't being honored.
Happy Birthday MOM!