The House on Cliff Street

Cliff Street runs east west on the palisade on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River. The east end faces New York City where the cliff drops off to the Hudson right after a chain link fence. The west looks out over the meadowlands of the Hackensack  and Passaic Rivers, flat and watery until reaches the hills going northwest. I understand that my paternal  grandfather and his friends built the four-family apartment house after living in a Hell’s Kitchen tenement. I lived in the House on Cliff Street until I graduated college and married. I was the first to graduate college in my father’s family. During my childhood the apartments were usually filled with family.

My grandparents, Rocco and Sarina Adamo, came from Sicily. They left the island together without two children, grandfather’s son and grandmother’s daughter to follow later. I assume they left for a better life. However, lurking in my mind is the thought that they ran from something sinister that my writer’s imagine concocts and does not really know. They had two more children together in the United States. My father, Liborio and his sister, Camella.

My grandmother worked as a seamstress of children’s coats in the garment district in New York. I must have been about four when she made my sister and me  green wool winter coats with leopard collars and cuffs and matching Dutch girl hats. My grandfather was a mason in his young life and later made a cleaning fluid which he sold up from a red wagon walking up and down the neighborhood. Both were great gardeners. In the small backyard and the fabulous in soil on the cliff, they grew tomatoes, peaches, cherries, figs, fragrant roses, peppermint, and a cacophony of chickens. At one time, they had a goat who lived in the empty lot of a few doors away. I don’t know if we eventually ate it.

My father lived in the house on Cliff Street until he passed away at 72 years old. He graduated from high school and became a barber. He was lucky enough to be classified 4F after drafted by the Army during World War II. He was honorably discharged due to flat feet which became life long discomfort while standing on his feet all day cutting hair. Lebo, my father was a community treasure. He was a volunteer fireman, a member of the Lions Club and an usher at St. John’s Catholic Church which sits catty-corner to his barber shop. I heard he never needed a car. All he had to do was start walking down Anderson Avenue and someone would offer him a ride. He was popular in our small town. He became Fire Chief and president of the Lions Club. He gave free haircuts and shaves to the GI’s.  He took pictures of toddlers having their first haircuts. His barber shop thrived enough to pay for college for my sister and me. The house on Cliff Street was his stronghold. He never left. He held onto it like a tiger holds its prey. In her later years my mother did too.

We lived in the upstairs from apartment. My father’s widowed brother-in-law and his three sons lived upstairs in the back apartment. Our grandparents lived downstairs in the back looking over their garden, and after a friend moved out, my father’s cousins, Aunt Fanny and Uncle Tony moved in the front downstairs which they say was originally a dry goods store. Aunt Fanny, also a seamstress, fashioned baby hats. Mothers and godmothers, aunts, and friends of little girls begged her for hats.  She always came through. Uncle Tony had a laundry delivery service for bars and restaurants. On New Year’s Eve they would come upstairs and play Bingo with us until midnight. They spoke Italian and English. Sometime when I was kissing my boyfriend goodnight in the vestibule, Uncle Tony would light his cigar in the hallway, I am sure he intended to signal us to cease and desist before he opened the door. I love that thought. I was charmed and really adored them both. I was fortunate enough to have them at my wedding and see some of my children.

Holidays in the House on Cliff Street were big and joyous with my father’s family. My mother would cook a huge family dinner. My uncles and cousins who lived in the back apartment and other cousins from Staten Island happily shared the meal of antipasto, lasagna with meat gravy, roasted turkey or breaded chicken parts, salad, vegetables, Italian bread fresh from Pedota’s bakery, and pastries and coffee for dessert.

The apartments were four rooms square, each only twelve by twelve feet. When company came we often set up tables  from the kitchen into the living room  or took down the bed and set up tables from the living room into the bedroom in our apartment or in the dining room in the back apartment. The cousins from Staten Island were a gregarious family of parents, two boys and two girls. My father enjoyed a close relationship with Uncle Lou and Aunt Mary were close. Uncle Lee as my father was called, was godfather to the oldest boy. I sometimes spent summer days in South Beach, Staten Island with them going to the beach in the daytime and amusement park in the evening. My favorite ride was the carousel and I loved trying to catch the brass ring. The swings that reach out over the sea were not. The youngest cousin was a girl and she was  closest to my age We enjoyed sleepovers together either on Cliff Street or in South Beach. We slept in my parents’ bed. It’s odd, but I don’t remember where my sister and parents slept during those nights..

In my younger years my mother, uncle and cousin would have dinner with my grandparents in the basement of the apartment house. The big coal fired furnace warmed the place in the winter and the breeze from open windows and doors cooled the damp air. My cousin would carry me on his shoulder down to dinner.  After my grandmother passed away, my mother cooked for my grandfather, uncle and the one son who stilled lived there. They ate with us every night until they moved to their own house. The youngest son married and moved to another town. Both these guys were my favorites. I often think they were like my big brothers. Sadly over the years we lost contract. A family dispute sharply cut the ties I thought would last forever.

My mother’s family is another story.

To find my novels go to http://amzn.to/2qG59D9 and enjoy more stories.

Three Wise Women

The came to me via Facebook. I just had to add a thought in favor of

Three Wise Men.

Image may contain: text that says 'Three Wise Women Would have asked directions Arrived on time Helped deliver the baby Brought practical gifts Cleaned the stable Made a casserole and there would be Peace on earth!'

***And***

Three

went to the mall

and

brought the most precious gifts

to adorn the Child

Hallelujah!

Merry Christmas, Happy Solstice,

Happy Chanukah, Blessed Kwanzaa

Hugs,

me-at-universal

Sarina Rose

 

 

 

Revisiting an old Term Paper

I have a new project underway. I am re-researching Anne Bradstreet about whom I wrote some nonsense in 10th grade, over fifty years ago. Did I know what I was doing? Heck no. No term paper this time. Just learning for the joy of it and sharing a few notes here.

Who is willing to do a similar project? Re-research a literary figure about whom you had to write a paper 25 or more years ago.  We will read and share our thoughts during the long winter months from January through March 2019. Will you commit to:

1. Sharing your choice of literary figure

2. Reading at least two books by or about her/him

3. Sharing your thoughts at least once a month (that’s a total of three posts)  with me by way of the contact form here on my blog and on any other place you desire.

Who will come aboard with me?

 

Love to hear from you.

Sarina Rose,

 

 

 

 

Christmas Thoughts from Thomas Merton

 

 

Thomas Merton is one of my favorite spiritual writers and I  want to introduce you to him. Enjoy!

Monday, December 03 – Monday, January 07

Christmas is a sacred holiday and a transformation with plenty to offer to Christians and non-Christians alike. It comes during the gap between darkness and sunlight — the perfect time, traditionally, to stop being normal and to begin experimenting with alternative ways.

No one should feel shut out from Christmas. It gives ritual to the awareness that all creatures and the things of the world are worthy of our love and respect. Essentially it reminds us — one of the purposes of ritual — that a new kind of being is possible. We can help create a new world of peace and good will. The familiar picture of the divine child surround by light in the realm of darkness gives an image of this newly born way of being in the world.

Join us this December to take delight in the deeper meanings and wonders of Christmas. In eleven emails, sent to you on Mondays and Thursdays, you will receive:

  • Thomas Moore’s reflections on Christmas from an inclusive and soulful point of view.
  • Ideas for discussion and practice.
  • Access to a Practice Circle, a forum open 24/7 for you to share with and learn from our worldwide e-course community.

This e-course will be guided by Thomas Moore, a psychotherapist, former monk, and bestselling author who writes and lectures in the fields of archetypal psychology, mythology, care of the soul, and creating a religion of your own. His classic Care of the Soul and the books that have followed demonstrate his ability to reinvigorate and inhabit old concepts. He is also a master of everyday spirituality, a lifestyle nurtured during the 12 years he spent as a monk in a Catholic religious order before he became a psychotherapist. He has long been a student of the wisdom to be gleaned from different religious traditions, describing himself as a “Zen Catholic whose spirituality is so baked into life that it is nearly invisible.”

 

Please share your thoughts. Thank you.

Sarina Rose, author of vintage romances. For more info click here:

http://amzn.to/2qG59D9

Molly’s 8 Reasons not to become a Writer!

woman wearing grey long sleeved top photography
Photo by Artem Bali on Pexels.com

  1. You still have to do the housework. Unless you sell millions of book and can hire someone to do it.
  2. You become addicted to your computer, worse than getting hooked on opioids.
  3. You can’t sleep comfortably every night because your characters don’t sleep. They just keep making chatter while waiting for the next scene.
  4. You never can predict your paycheck. It’s a given, you cannot predict how much it will be whether you are self-published or not.
  5. Number 6 is actually not correct. Amazon and Smashwords keep a running number of sales and royalties. It is my understanding that with traditional publishers, you will not know until the check actually appears.
  6. You become obsessed with marketing giving it more time than your writing.
  7. You cannot live in your pajamas all day. You still have to go out for groceries.
  8. You cannot go without a shower. You will still reek after a few days, So will the garbage pail.

Sarina doesn’t really care about any of this stuff. She just keep writing because I love it.

AND she would love you to add to my list or write a more positive one?

By the way, do you like my picture. Cool, right!

 

Great Reviews for Loving Nick

Loving Nick has been hailed as “life changing” by #amauthor on tweeter.

Here are two from Amazon. Go to http://bit.ly/2Ows4ti to read more and leave your own.
Babs

September 22, 2018

Format: Kindle Edition
The first book in the Chance Encounters series is a well-written story of a second chance between Nick and his ex-wife Karen. This is a new Author for me, I enjoyed reading this book and hope there is more to come in this series. I received a copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
Helpful
Not Helpful

Comment Report abuse

Pat W
4.0 out of 5 stars fantastic read!

September 20, 2018

Format: Kindle Edition
I was totally hooked with the storyline that was well written and characters that were strongly written from the very first page! I couldn’t put this book down until I finished reading the very last page! This was the first book that I have read from this author and it definitely will not be the last!

 

Love you to join my email list. It’s easy. Just fill-in and submit the for below. I will never give it to anyone else.

Sarina
website: www.sarinaroseauthor.com
Facebook.com/sarinaroseauthor
Twitter:@sarinarose2010
Blog: http://www.sarinarose.com

Molly Muse Came to Visit Me

Do you ever struggle with your characters because you can’t see them or talk to them? Molly says it is because you have not met them yet. You have not yet come face to face with your protagonists. You can’t see them, because so far they are not real to you.

That is the space where I had been since I started my newest manuscript. I had the idea for the internal conflict, but not the external. I knew how old each character would be and the decade in which they lived. I even wrote and revised the first three chapters several times trying to find them and my voice for the book. Molly came to visit me yesterday. She tapped me on the shoulder and said what I said to another writer. She said, “Sweetie, you have no idea who these people are. You never met them and you have to meet them to understand them.

Molly, in a secret method I will never understand, she instantly introduced them to me. All I will tell you is that their names are Mary and Dante and as I reread what I had already written and tweaked it a bit, they came to life. My voice came out of the shadows as clear and bright as the morning breeze on the beach. What a surprise! They are perfect for my new story.

Now to get down to business..

Molly says to tell you, she work very hard on The Relentless American, so you should trust her judgement that enjoy meeting Hannah, Sal and Daniel in The Relentless American. They lived through the Vietnam war and its aftermath to discover there really is such a thing as second chance love.

http://bit.ly/TheRelentlessAmerican
Click the link for a perfect week-end book.

sarinarostek-72dpi-1500x2000

Fill lin the form below to tell Sarina what you think of her books, website, or blog. She loves to hear  from you.

Eleanor Roosevelt

I have finished reading a biography of Eleanor Roosevelt as eye-opening for me as she grew in independence and became a person in her own right against the odds of being raised in a society that relegated women to the home. Now I am reading an autobiography and am astonished at how intelligent she was and yet she notes often about not knowing how to be a wife and mother. Yet, I admire her sense of public service in the face of marital circumstances and unfortunate. Two books worth reading for enjoyment and knowledge.

Eleanor Roosevelt - Unleashed: A Life of Soul Searching and Self Discovery by [Atkins, Ann]
Biography: Eleanor Roosevelt-Unleashed by Ann Atkins

The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt by [Roosevelt, Eleanor]
The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt

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