Sunday, January 5, 2020

The Beauty of Having a Sister

What is it about getting older? The older I get the more I appreciate my loved ones. Case in point----my sister. Today is her birthday and I can't be with her as she lives in another state. We do get together once a year for a week of catching up. We are very different in personality, yet, I do believe we complement each other. Lu is the more fun loving one and I am the more serious one. We enjoy being together and laugh a lot. What could be better than that? She looks so much like our Mom, when she was young. And now, people say I look like her when she was older. When our Dad was seriously ill, she and her husband Tom offered to have him live with them until I could arrange for a caregiver. Dad stayed with them for 10 months! My sister, a nurse, took great care of him and helped me set up a protocol when he returned to his home. I am lucky to have a dear sister and today especially, I am thinking of her and miss her.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Old Soul I truly believe that I am an old soul. I am fascinated by anything historical and gravitate toward reading about past times. My three books encouraged me to research this wonderful place in which I live---the oldest English settlement in New York state. I found a lot of information when I was researching. Every place I go in the area, I try to envision what it looked like back then. There are many historical plaques around commemorating specific events, which makes it easier to ponder. The three years, I have been involved in the Historical Society have been exciting to me to be in homes that are in keeping with the historic era of that particular time. The Samuel Langley home was built in the 1700's. It is my favorite because when you walk in, you actually feel part of the times. A small entry way leads into the kitchen, the hearth of the home. Standing there feels so real. Of course, I have studied the home so I could lead a tour through it. One entire wall contains the cooking area which dominates the room. I know what each artifact is used for, so it looks as if the woman of the house just went outside to the herb garden to gather some for dinner. I could stay there all day. There is a workable loom in one of the rooms. A beauty and it works. I will be at the Ann Curry Bell home,circa 1900, later today for a membership party to celebrate Christmas. Another blast from the past. The home harkens me back to the turn of the 20th Century. Decorated in the Victorian mode, it is very festive and beautifully polished and kept. I am comfortable in these surroundings and not in very modern ones. It has to have something to do with my love of history. I must admit that I would miss our modern conveniences, like an indoor bathroom and appliances. Yet, I crave the feel of the quiet beauty that is shown in these homes. No plastic, or extraneous gadgets lying around, as these were not needed. Only items that were useful were kept. A Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night! 101 Glimpses of the North Fork and Islands The Wampum Exchange Captain Henry Green, a whaler www.rosemarymckinley.com

Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Saving the Earth

When I read about all the people who talk about Climate Change and saving out earth, I smile. My husband and I have been working towards this goal since the '70s. Yes, the 1970's.
There was a real push back then to use fewer paper bags to save trees and have meatless days because of the energy crisis. We waited on lines odd and even days to buy gas for our cars and consolidated  trips to save gas.We served meals without meat. We hardly used air conditioning.
In the late '60's the slogan was, "Save water, shower with a friend." This was conjured up by a college student!
We still recycle plastic, metal, and paper, and conserve gasoline by consolidating trips. We hardly use air conditioning and I hang clothes out in the sun to dry. I don't buy water in plastic bottles! That is one of the most ridiculous ways to utilize water! Use a metal container. All those plastic bottles floating around! What about the energy to produce them and where do they end up? We recycle but many states do not. It boggles the mind that we don't use reusable water containers or have mandatory recycling in every state.
There are some simple, common sense ways to cut down on garbage and use less energy. We could do that now without using any grandiose measures.

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Salvatore

This April 21, 2019 would be my father's Centennial birthday. A flood of memories come into my  mind every day that I think of him.
One of the greatest generation, his childhood was formed during the Great Depression. He couldn't play baseball often enough because he became a shoe shine boy to help earn some money for the family to buy food. Apparently these boys were territorial about their corners and he would be beaten many times. Undeterred, he would find a new corner. He never complained about any of the hardships he and his sisters endured.
 My grandmother, Rosina, my namesake, always had an entrepreneurial eye out to earn money to keep the family afloat. She opened a grocery store and sold produce until the competition from other businesses choked hers. When my grandfather was laid off and they couldn't pay their rent, they would use the seed money from the city to move to another place, always hoping that they would have income again. That happened a few times and they would have a place to live for a while.
Just when the Depression was ending and jobs were opening up, my Dad won the only lottery he would ever enter. He was drafted into the army in March of 1941. My grandmother who liked FDR because he helped the common person, hated him after that. He took her only son. Salvatore, Sammy to his family, was drafted into the army for four and a half years and fought in the Pacific. The boy from Brooklyn, was in the Calvary and traveled cross country by horse, until he was sent overseas. Honestly, I don't know how he managed to keep his sense of humor, but he did. Like many others of his generation, he didn't speak much about his war experiences. He landed in the field hospital a few times. In the Pacific islands, the GIs had to fake an airfield by playing golf and drinking warm beer. That was one thing he joked about, as if his tour was fun and games. From what he did say, his unit went in after the fighting to make sure no enemies were left. Not so much fun.
When he returned, he, like other vets, was supposed to get preferential treatment in the hiring of jobs. Somehow, that wasn't the case. He worked for a few businesses before he was laid off. Eventually, he got a job with Long Island Lighting Co. He earned his electrician's license in the town and started his own business---Sea Cliff Electric, with the motto, "Watts My Line."
He and my mother took a leap of faith to do this as he had three children and were saving to buy a home. Together, they were successful as small business people. He didn't earn a fortune but he sent all of his five children to college or technical school and kept his home.My father estimated and did the electrical work while my mother took care of payroll and keeping the books.
Dad was quiet but uttered some funny sayings that we all remembered. I think his sense of humor kept him centered.
When his 90th birthday was approaching, we said we wanted to give him a party. He said he really didn't want one. I said," Anyone who has lived to 90 deserves a celebration."
We promised we would only invite family so he did agree. He actually had two parties. When he was visiting my sister in South Carolina, both my brother and sister's families took him out to dinner.
At our celebration, I mentioned to his sister, Vicky, that my aunts always treated us so well despite that fact that my grandmother doted on my father, her only son. She set me straight and said that the family were always appreciative of my Dad.
She said,"We had no food many days and Sammy would come back from shoe shining with nickels so they could eat."
For that day, my sister-in-law suggested "roasting" Dad. He loved every minute of this as it elicited so much good-natured ribbing. He smiled the entire day!


Friday, January 11, 2019

Christmas and Good Times

I was speaking to one of my friends in December and she was lamenting about the fact that we don't celebrate holidays that way we did when we were young. That's true but life does change. Our parents are not here anymore and neither are most of our relatives. They live in different states, not around the corner. All those family gatherings, with so many aunts, uncles and cousins, are part of the past.
I remember and cherish those days and realize that we can't recreate the past. Our children grow up and we now include others in our family circle. The grandchildren add to the mix and that is the best part.
So here we are at the end of 2018. Life is good and we are happy to celebrate with our children and grandchildren. I recently heard a reporter say something so true. When we are young we anticipate getting gifts and as we get older, we enjoy seeing the faces of others as they open the gifts!
So true and good to keep in mind.   Celebrations are about sharing with the people you love!

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Birthdays

Today I am flooded with nostalgic memories, so clear and happy yet tinged with a little sadness. I wish my parents were here to remember with me. My mother planned my parties around Columbus Day because we were off from school on the 12th of October. The chocolate cake had a special place next to the gifts!
It was always an exciting time for me. Anticipating my special day and then off from school the next one added to the event. Even later when I grew up, my mother always made an effort to see me and celebrate.
She would call and ask me to come over. The pictures would come out in those marked albums that she lovingly put together. The first year she took them out, I didn't even know she had organized one for each one of her five children. Because I am the oldest, I had the most photos. We always laughed about that. It seems to happen in most families as the parents get busier and busier the more activities their children are involved in. I know I fall into that category with my own children.
I suppose my friends and family fit into the old school mentality as pretty, colorful and meaningful cards were in my mailbox this afternoon. I keep looking at them and remembering the good times.
As I get older I cherish those memories and keep them close. I hope I always will.
Now I am in the process of making new memories with my grandchildren and sharing our birthdays together.

Monday, July 30, 2018


​News: Former History Teacher, Rosemary McKinley, Brings Long Island History to Life.  Writers' Dream

Just thought I would share an interview of my me and my books.
Linda Maria Frank is a writer and host of writers' dream. Her Y/A Ann Tillery mysteries are good reading for young and older alike.