“I wish somebody would have told me then, these are the good ole days” Macklemore sang to me on the radio as I raced to the airport a few weeks ago. Didn’t really think too much about it until I was flying home a couple of days later.
I had gone to visit my parents to look through old photos and I found this one of my Nona with her sister-in-law Norina and daughter Anita. They’re all standing around Nona’s stove. Anita is pouring something into a strainer and Norina is smiling, with her cigarette, (yup, this was the early 70’s, folks), with her back to the wall where Nona’s phone with the long curly tail hung on the wall that was covered with mustardy gold striped wallpaper.
This photo is screenplay stuff. Nice screenplay stuff, like, my family really didn’t seem too controversial?!? We weren’t oil tycoons or mobsters. In this photo we were just the pazzo Italian family where the women did the cooking and talked about the kids and the latest around town. The men stood nearby shooting the breeze as loudly as they possibly could. This was back when the grown ups sat at their table and us kids sat at the kids table (you know, my sisters, myself and all the cugina’s). That’s the way it was and it was good!
After the meal and into the night, the grown-ups would sit around at the kitchen table drinking Nono’s homemade wine. No formal dining room, no need to impress; just being ourselves and enjoying the times. This was Family! The conversation would eventually erupt into some shouting match with arms and hands flailing to make the point. The evening always ended at the back door to say our goodbyes with hugs, our cheeks being cupped in hands so they were plump for kisses – 1, 2, 3 – like Italians love to do and laughter once again.
Have you ever considered that everything we do is a flash of time? A flash of time in our lives that we choose to enjoy – or not. Thinking about nothing particular as I sat at the gate waiting for my flight, I started hearing those few words from the Macklemore song I’d heard only a few days earlier. I smiled as I realized that my family filled weekend should now be considered the good ole days, and I was happy I’d chosen to enjoy.