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Mar 15, 2010
Our heartfelt thanks for all the support and love you have given to Noreen and our family during these challenging times. Noreen R. Malone November 18, 1943 – December 10, 2009. The rich and vibrant life of Noreen Malone came to a peaceful end in the morning hours of December 10, 2009. Noreen died as she lived, surrounded by the extraordinary love of her wide circle of friends and family. She was happily married for 44 years to Patrick M. Malone, residents of Naperville since 1977. She was the proud mother of two beautiful and caring daughters, Elizabeth (Betsy) Walsh... Continue reading
Posted Dec 10, 2009 at Beachbooks
As you can imagine, we continue to be impressed and amazed at the constitution my mother exhibits despite the obstacles she faces. She has an amazing spirit! We had to adjust her medications last week so she is in no pain. Her time is spent sleeping, and it is difficult to engage with her most of the time. It was a wonderful Thanksgiving as we were all together, and Mom had a surge of energy on that particular day. She chimed in quite often….. Is the turkey thawed? Get your butts to the Turkey Bowl before it’s over. What time... Continue reading
Posted Dec 3, 2009 at Beachbooks
Much to my amazement, and some of my friend’s and family, I’m still here. Some days are obviously better than others. A few things still taste good to me, music still sounds beautiful and my kids continue to make me laugh. I miss being outside in the fresh air with my dogs, but we can still romp on my bed together. My reading has slowed down, as it is hard to hold up a book and TV seems more stupid every day. Your notes and cards bring back happy memories and getting the mail is a highlight of my day.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2009 at Beachbooks
Back in 1969, Pat and I, along with our friends Bob and Mimi O’Hanlon began throwing a St. Patrick’s Day party, which became an annual event that lasted 25 years! The Malones and O’Hanlons were just two of many, many large Irish families who grew up in La Grange, IL, in the 1960’s. Most were members of St. Francis parish. All seven of my sister-in-Iaws attended Nazareth Academy. Pat & his brother Bill attended LTHS, and his younger brothers attended Benet Academy after his mom was widowed and moved to Downers Grove. But I digress from the history of the... Continue reading
Posted Nov 16, 2009 at Beachbooks
Just fifteen short years ago, we were awaiting the birth of our first grandchild. It is one of the most exciting days in the life of a parent, as many of you well know. I had secretly bought a sweatshirt that proclaimed “Grandma”, across the front in large 6” letters, from one of the kiosk stands at the mall. I kept it well hidden in a dresser drawer for month in glorious anticipation of the happy arrival day. Boy or girl, we didn’t care. When Betsy called me at work I was too choked up to speak at the happy... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2009 at Beachbooks
There is a joy to ever season. My cousin writes that she hates the way the retail stores try to rush the holidays at us, and I agree. If I can look at my situation in a positive light, our family just put away the Halloween decorations. Now it's time to get out the turkeys and my favorite Thanksgiving placements. Christmas will be here without me, so I find no need to be reminded that it's coming every time I turn around. These last few months have been like Christmas for me already with so many cards with nice notes... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2009 at Beachbooks
(Christine) We are celebrating November! The prognosis was 1 to 3 months and Mom made it through the last 90 days with incredible grace. She continues to amaze us, as even in the darkest days, she never complains and maintains her sense of humor. She is sleeping better, but has very low energy. It is often a struggle to keep hydrated and her sense of taste is off kilter. Mom’s dogs Tootsie and Sparky have been moping around the house for months. They follow her everywhere and don’t quite understand why she is sleeping all the time. Below is a... Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2009 at Beachbooks
(Christine) Mom has been a bit nocturnal the last few days. The nights have been painful and sleepless. She is napping with low energy through these cloudy days. I know vampires are very trendy lately, however we hope to reverse this trend by tomorrow. Earlier this year, Mom began writing her memoires and various short stories. We have been sorting through them and she wanted to share one last costume story. Enjoy! The Parrot (Costume) Flew the Coop Michael was a new student in fifth grade at Mill Street School. That spring, the fifth grade classes were putting on a... Continue reading
Posted Oct 27, 2009 at Beachbooks
(Christine) Mom had a very good week. Once we get her adjusted to a new level of medications, her food cravings return. Coconut popsicles and cucumbers –yum! Her strength is up a bit, and when she is not sleeping, she is working on her genealogy. Michael has been working with Mom for months on the family history. Recently he found some priceless information in an obituary from 1906. Meehan’s from Queens County Ireland….who knew?! Last night before bed, she said (tongue and cheek) “I can’t go now. I have research to do!” Continue reading
Posted Oct 24, 2009 at Beachbooks
(Christine) Mom has enjoyed reading all your kind comments. She does not have a lot of energy, so I’m writing on her behalf. The essay below, we uncovered in August while going through a box of old school papers. Mom was 13 years old and about to find out that the sight of blood made her faint. She was not about to go to nursing school any time soon. We all had quite a laugh about her worries of marrying too rich. Enjoy! One Step Beyond After I complete high school, I am planning to go to a college affiliated... Continue reading
Posted Oct 20, 2009 at Beachbooks
There’s a beautiful tree on the corner that is the view out one of my bedroom windows. Right now it’s equally divided into greens, yellows and oranges with hints of red appearing as November approaches and the evenings get cooler. It reminds me of the beautiful colors of each age – the fresh green color of youth – shiny, bright and slow to mature into gold. Gold is the middle color of the growing years; growing in maturity and wisdom and into the responsibility of a full, rich color. Finally, the brilliant red-orange, flaming bright in all it’s glory. Sure... Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2009 at Beachbooks
The summer I was five, my beautiful cousin Vivien, asked me to be the flower girl for her wedding. If that wasn’t thrilling enough, my grandmother, who was a wonderful seamstress, made my dress. It was a replica of the bride’s dress in every detail, down to the sweetheart veil. (No half slip this time!) On a sunny June day, we set off for the church and my excitement was sky high. When we got to the church my mother carefully applied lipstick to my lips. There was no happier girl in the world that day. As we lined up... Continue reading
Posted Oct 15, 2009 at Beachbooks
Halloween was much simpler in the 1950’s, especially in the neighborhood where I grew up. Costumes were almost 100% homemade. Most girls settled on the ever-popular gypsy costume because you got to wear the exotic scarves, jewelry and make-up. Boys seemed to prefer dressing as a hobo with burnt cork whiskers and a bandana tied on a stick over their shoulder. The treats given out by the neighbors were mostly homemade as well. I remember lots of homemade cookies, wrapped in wax paper bags, and homemade popcorn balls and taffy apples. If the neighbors ran out of treats they’d slip... Continue reading
Posted Oct 14, 2009 at Beachbooks
I’ve got Halloween stories on the brain this week. In the summer of 1985, following her divorce, my sister-in-law Jeannine and her two daughters, Suzie and Cristy, moved back to the states from Colombia. They were going to live with us for a few months while Jeannine got a job and the family got on their feet. In the fall, both girls enrolled at Mill St. School and it wasn’t long before all the talk began about Halloween, a holiday not commonly celebrated in Colombia. There was much discussion about costumes, the make-up, and of course all of the candy.... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2009 at Beachbooks
No wonder why you never made it down to our house on Halloween! We just thought you couldn't stay up that late.
Toggle Commented Oct 14, 2009 on TRICKS OR TREAT OR TRICKS at Beachbooks
1 reply
It feels as if winter will be making an early appearance this year. The frost this weekend nipped my flowerbeds, and those traditional blue October skies seemed to have disappeared with September. Kelly is all excited about Homecoming this year vs. what she is going to be for Halloween. So we have turned a big corner towards the end of her childhood years. Although the stores have been stocked with Halloween candy for months already, I didn’t really start thinking of Halloween until one of my favorite Grandma Ruth stories came to me in a memory over the weekend. After... Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2009 at Beachbooks
One of the interesting things about keeping a diary is the ability to look back and see what you were doing just one year ago. Last October, I flew out to Scottsdale, AZ for a visit with my nephews and their families. They have a fall break built into their school district calendar. October is a beautiful time to visit Arizona. The big heat waves of summer have subsided, and the sunny blue Arizona skies are so uplifting. If circumstances were different, I’m sure I’d be back in Arizona again this weekend. I just happened to discover during that visit... Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2009 at Beachbooks
Back in 2001, when I received the invitation to my 40th high school reunion for the Downers Grove class of ’61, I was hesitant to reply. I had faithfully attended previous reunions, but at each reunion I was disappointed to find that some of the friends I most wanted to see again were not present. This time, I vowed to personally get in touch and invite them to attend. My plan was to host a slumber party at the reunion hotel. Back in 1960, my friend Genie had thrown a slumber party at her house that included a bunch of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2009 at Beachbooks
Leigh, this is on my favorite John Irving book and will definitely be on my final list.
Toggle Commented Oct 9, 2009 on MY READING BIOGRAPHY at Beachbooks
1 reply
Back in 2001, when I received the invitation to my 40th high school reunion for the Downers Grove class of ’61, I was hesitant to reply. I had faithfully attended previous reunions, but at each reunion I was disappointed to find that some of the friends I most wanted to see again were not present. This time, I vowed to personally get in touch and invite them to attend. My plan was to host a slumber party at the reunion hotel. Back in 1960, my friend Genie had thrown a slumber party at her house that included a bunch of... Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2009 at Beachbooks
My great grandmother, Antoinette, taught the village children to read and speak Lithuanian at a secret school she ran in her home. Lithuania was under the subjugation of the Russians. If she had been caught, she could have been sent to Siberia. A series of these small, individual underground schools across the country is what kept the Lithuanian language alive for decades. Meanwhile, my maternal grandfather Charlie was listening to his village priest lecture from his pulpit on Sundays that no one should read the Bible except the priests. He actually preached that, “Only the priests were smart enough to... Continue reading
Posted Oct 7, 2009 at Beachbooks
During the kids teenage years, Pat and I couldn’t wait for them all to be out on their own and completely self-sufficient. One day at lunch with my friend Sandy, also a mother of teenage kids, we started a riff on all the things we were going to do when we went to visit our grown-up kids at their houses. Pat and I continued to build on the riff over the years. We’re going to borrow the car, drive around all night and return it with no gas, only fumes left in the tank. We’re going to stand outside, in... Continue reading
Posted Oct 5, 2009 at Beachbooks
My friends and family are like a bouquet of flowers. Each flower adds it’s own bright spot of color and scent to the bouquet. I spend some time now each day in quiet reflection. A face or a memory will come into view in my mind’s eye and I smile at each happy thought. I’ll be floating in the pool with my Library Ladies, and listening to their feisty, passionate conversations. We would discuss everything from the Catholic Church to world travels, and how the kids were all doing. I’ll be back at Glenbard South, during my lunch period, listening... Continue reading
Posted Oct 2, 2009 at Beachbooks
Our first house had a wonderful little golden delicious apple tree in the backyard. Every fall it would yield bushels of apples. With Betsy’s birthday mid-September and Pat’s the fist of October, it just seemed like a good idea to turn some of those apples into apple birthday pies. I got the recipe for a Dutch apple pie from the red and white plaid B&H garden cookbook that every bride in the 1960’s got as a bridal shower gift. Soon, everyone in the family wanted a birthday pie, whether their birthday was in January or July. The apple pie became... Continue reading
Posted Oct 1, 2009 at Beachbooks