Friday, July 9, 2010

Going Home

Whenever we make the drive back, the last two hours are the hardest and the longest.  I grew up along the Illinois and  fertile farming grounds.  The view of the south bluff area south of the Illinois River is beautiful and makes my heart skip a beat every time we enter into the valley below it.  My excitement mounts, knowing that I'm "back home".

As we head down the bluff, I always look for the steeple that stands erect on my childhood parish, St. Joseph's Catholic Church.  It is a beautiful site. 

The middle of this week has been spent with my side family.  The days were filled with memory making, loads of swimming, slumber parties, kissing on baby cousins, gatherings, joy, and yes! sometimes chaos.  You cannot have a big family get-together without that little ingredient!

Balls still get swatted into the neighbors yard and the sweet corn is still the best.  I have to brag here, sweet corn is the best in the Midwest.  It is mastered here  and is perfectly juicy and butter or salt is necessary. 

That is my sister, Mary, and her son Billy.  A while back, I wrote a post about how cool it was to watch my oldest sister get ready for Friday night  roller skating....back in the day....well...that is Mary :)  And now, I've probably just totally embarrassed her...but she is a good sport!

My mom is pictured in the next photo...

...and my sister, Sue, is in the picture above with Sally, Ester and a couple of cousins.  She was brave enough to host the slumber party the night before.  Thanks, again, Sue!

For those of you who come from a large family or have a large family of your will appreciate these next few photos.  Helping in the kitchen this afternoon, I told Mom that we need to put her cupboards on the blog. 

Check out the silverware drawer...

....the stack of everyday dishes.... anyone?....

...and the "Queen" of the kitchen is our Kitchen Madonna of course.  Mom painted her many, many years ago.  Each daughter has one in her own kitchen as well....all beautifully hand- painted by Mom.

Mom added that many prayer requests went her way over the years...when all those new recipes were tried and tested. :)

Sadly, our day ...our week with my side...had to come to an end.  But we went out with style.

Mary and her husband, Bill, hosted a cook out/swim party at their beautiful house.   It was such a wonderful evening and to be amongst family was really special.  The only thing that could have made it perfect would have been Dad being present...physically.  Darn!  That pain never ever goes away...

This next photo is of Mom with six of us.  (Three others live out of state and couldn't make it in.)

Because he is such an awesome and generous host...I have to point out my brother in law, Bill, at the grill.

Grandma with the newest grandbaby...she has 26 grandchildren...21 under the age of 10 yrs!!!!

And I have to say, Mary knows me quite well...she had this ready for me...

...I just LOVE a cold margarita every now and then!

And then there are the good-bye's.  Those can be so difficult, especially when you only get "home" about once a year. 

My mom is 100 percent Slovenian.  She is first generation of the best cooks ever to walk this earth...a wonderful inspirational mother!

Our next leg of the trip will take us up to Roscoe, Illinois.   We will be celebrating Grandpa Bill's 80th birthday!  So our noses and tears are all wiped...and the excitement continues to mount.

More to come....


  1. reminds me of my hometown on the banks of the Missouri....I miss it too.

  2. Your mom's cabinets look like my mom's!
    Hmmm...that margarita bottle looks vaguely familiar! Try the strawberry-lime: YUM!

  3. I love the Kitchen Madonna so much. If your mum ever fancies painting an extra one.... ;-)


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