Daily Archives: December 29, 2009

The Chill is On

An early dinner again. 3:30 or so. Have to get ready to head up to Larchmont NY for my uncle Joseph’s wake. I’ve written about my uncle. He was irrepressible if that’s the proper word. He was the youngest of my mother’s family, 6 years younger than my mom. 30 years older than me.

My brothers and sister always enjoyed having him stop by for a visit. His ribald humor was just what we needed to hear. I don’t think my father liked him very much. I just got back from his wake.

As most wakes go, once the big ones are out of the way, it’s a social event. Maybe that is how it gets when you get older. You spend more time conversing with the living rather than sitting and bemoaning. Sometimes it’s a lump in the throat, sometimes it’s a chuckle.

I spent most of the time with my South Jersey cousins, Rosie, Eileen and Madelyn. Just reminiscing, talking about the boards of photographs. A photo of my mother and her brothers with their father from 1968.

I have to get a copy of that. Madelyn said she had a copy so I should contact her or her brother Neil. I did have pictures that I brought up to Hillsdale on Christmas Eve. I was going to take them with me, but Frank was looking at them. I figured he’d do a good job, at least a better job that what I did when I had the photos.

The only picture that I could remember that would have been something to show the girls was a picture of Annemarie with Eileen in Wildwood Crest sometime around 1970. Anne and Eileen both looking like they’d rather kill the photographer than stand there. You can almost hear their exasperated sighs over the sound of the ocean.

I took the train up to Larchmont, after a bus ride driven by a driver who didn’t know what to do once he was diverted out of the tunnel. I was going to say something, but I was in no rush at all. I knew there would be 3 trains that I could catch so I was in a comfort zone of time.

The driver wound up driving up Eighth Avenue towards the bus terminal and most of the passengers getting off the bus a block away. The temperature was in the low 20’s and with the wind chill coming in off the water and amplified by the canyons of buildings, the wind cut like a knife.

All one could do was keep moving, no matter how many layers of clothes you might have had on.

I rode the train to Larchmont with all the other commuters and was able to finish off 2 copies of the New Yorker. Still in November on that front. One was the Food issue and I didn’t read most of those articles. I had a brisk walk to the funeral home from the train station.

The old Irish proverb came true, the wind was at my back and the road rose to meet me.

I came in and hung up my coat and hat and as I was about to sign the book, my cousin Joe spotted me and gave me a great big hug. He was glad to see me albeit under such circumstances. He was quite busy greeting various people and introduced me to a few of them.

Then he walked me over to his and my cousins and I sat with them for almost all of the time I was there. They asked how Bill was which was nice. And of course they asked about Frank, Annemarie and Brian.

No one ever brings up the Long Island Powers cousins, since no one has seen them in decades. I wouldn’t know them if I fell over them. But that’s how some families are. There’s no book, no template. It’s all how you deal with what and who you got.

I’m glad I have Rosie, Eileen and Madelyn and their other sisters Ginger and Theresa and of course their brother Neil. Some plans should be made for a reunion, preferably when Annemarie is in town.

Right now it’s 18 degrees and I can still feel the cold from being outside an hour ago.

Eileen, Me, Rosie, Joe and Madelyn- The Powers cousins

Eileen, Me, Rosie, Joe and Madelyn- The Powers cousins