Monday, July 11, 2011

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Dominic Time

Feeling a bit low - and, spending time with my grandson, Dominic, is a time proven pick me up. It has been a while since Dom and I spent alone time together. I invited Dominic for a ride and a picnic in the park.

Dom and I have spent a lot of time driving and doing various activities on Hines Drive - part of the Wayne County Park system. We have done this since he was a baby.

First the food - Dom ordered pizza and salad (antipasto)with Italian bread from DeLuca's. They make the best! Picked up a bottle of Cherry Coke and a few plums at Kroger's; then picked up the take out.

Dom insisted on paying for the pop - something he learned from his Dad Mike - "to always offer to pay and do your part." Excellent lesson to learn!!!

We entered Hines Drive through the Inkster Road entrance. Proceeded to scout for picnic location - we didn't want to be around a lot of people.
We continued driving until we arrived at one of our favorite spots in Plymouth. Dom literally played in this area as a young child.

We shared stories - Dom is into cars and anxious to drive, except that Dad Mike has not been encouraging so far. Dom is fascinated by car speed and car make. Dom would like to learn how to fly. He is thinking of becoming a policeman or a lawyer or a computer hacker??? He talked about a concert he attended with friends at Comerica Park - saw some jets flying very close to the buildings in Detroit??? He wants to get a job!!! His parents are hypocrites - everyone his age thought that about parents including myself -Dom looked at me with surprise.

I talked about Mommy Flor - he asked lots of questions about her. Sometimes it is difficult for the children and the younger folks to understand,that I had this whole other life, peopled with folks that they never knew and will never get to know, except from my sharing of memories.

Shared with him the influence and significance Mommy Flor played in my formative years. The lessons of inclusiveness and never giving up (persistence)- she taught me lot more. She is one of the wonderful folks in Catmon who parented me when my parents were not around - with lots of acceptance, affirmations and encouragement. Told him a couple of stories about her. I am very blessed and very grateful to have known her when I did.

We talked about family - the good and the bad; dignity and hypocrisy! Explained to him that families are made up of human beings who makes mistakes then we forgive and love anyway.

Dom and I,love Northville and miss living there. When I win the lotto, that is where I will live. After driving through downtown Northville, we proceeded to our favorite ice cream place for dessert - Guernsey's in Novi. One scoop of Swiss Chocolate Almond for me in a plain cone and Moose Tracks for Dom in a waffle cone. We ate our ice cream by the rocks surrounding an huge oak tree on Novi Road.

It occured to me that something is needed to make Catmon a destination place, like Guernsey's - cars with families, boy friends and girl friends, young and old - coming and going, eating ice cream among the huge boulders, outdoors - laughing and talking. Families from Novi and Northville apartment complexes and subdivisions walking to get ice cream, bakery and dairy products.

Watched Dom - marveled on how he towers over the rocks,not so long ago I had to lift him to get on top. Where did the time go?

"It was hard work to get on top of those rocks but the feeling was so good when I finally made it on top of each of them by myself, Grandma." That's the feeling of success -it always takes hard work and lots of effort.

How did he get so grown up? Always on his cell phone, texting his girlfriend.

Leaning against one of the rocks, we watched a blue heron heading home and the half moon high in the darkening sky. Time to head for home!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Sunday, December 28, 2008

"Holy Family Day - Holy Innocents Day" - December 28, 2008

"All families are dysfunctional," said Father Tom Belczak in his homily today. His point is that if we truly believe that Jesus is God became man, then, we also believe that "The Holy Family" was fashioned and behaved like all families do. Like all families, there were good times as well as bad times, failures and successes, always bound with love.

All my life, I have longed for family. Family became an obsession as well as a compulsion - always with my eye on the ideal! I feel rather foolish but I continue to connect and search as well as love.

I have my blood families - my mother's side: Rivera, Montecillo, de la Cruz (Lola Bette is a de la Cruz from Kalibo, Aklan), Menchavez, Elliott, etc., my father's side: Rojo, Oro, Loyola, etc., my children's side: Rankine, Ouellette, Fitch, etc.

I have my family of choice. Folks I care for very much; folks I felt cared for me very much; folks I came to know and love through the years from Catmon to Vallejo to Naha to Paducah to Long Beach to Christchurch to Ejido Rancho Nuevo and Ejido Santa Maria to Garden City, Plymouth, Livonia and Northville, to San Francisco and the Bay Area; folks who allowed me the privilege of sharing joys and tears, struggles and successes.

Most of all, folks who have accepted me and allowed me to be - no apologies, no conditions, no judgment,no punishment, no regrets, no retributions.

I am very blessed. May you be blessed also. I thank you all for being my family!

I wish you all a "Happy, Healthy and Prosperous New Year!"

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Prayer for a New President and a New America

by Shane Claiborne

God of Abraham, Miriam, Hannah, Rizpah, and David...
God of Elijah, Amos, Ruth, Isaiah, Deborah...
God of Mary, John the Baptizer, Peter, Paul, Philemon and Onesimus...
God of Anthony, Ambrose, Dirk Willems, Teresa of Avila, and Francis of
God of Dorothy Day, Martin Luther King, Mother Teresa, William
Wilberforce, and Oscar Romero
and God of love, grace, and hope...

Thank you for creating a perfect world.
Forgive us for the mess we have made of it.
Thank you for creating Jubilee, gleaning, and Sabbath as patterns to
ensure that the poor are cared for, the earth rests, and inequality is
Forgive us for choosing the patterns of empire.
Thank you for using the weak things to shame the strong and the
foolish things to confound the wise.
Protect us from becoming too strong or too wise.
Protect us from ourselves.

Forgive us...
for the groaning of creation
for the millions who die of hunger and curable diseases
for warehousing people in prisons and using them for labor
for the scandal of billions wasted in war
for worrying about tomorrow and storing up more than this day our
daily bread
for an economy that mirrors the seven deadly sins
for our Caesars and our Herods
for the violence and greed in our own hearts
Save us from ourselves.

Deliver us...
from the arrogance of power
from the myth of redemptive violence
from the tyranny of greed
from the ugliness of racism
from false hope and counterfeit change
from the cancer of hatred
from the seduction of wealth
from the idolatry of nationalism
from the paralysis of cynicism
from the ghettoes of poverty
from the ghettoes of wealth
from the blood-stained pages of history
and from the legacy of slavery.
Deliver us oh God.

Give us the courage...
to bless the poor in a world that blesses the middle class.
to bless the meek in a world that admires aggression.
to bless the hungry in a world that feeds the already fed.
to bless the merciful in a world that shows no mercy on evildoers.
to bless the pure in heart in a world of clutter and noise.
to bless the peacemakers in a world that baptizes bombs.

Give us imagination...
that we might not conform to the patterns of this world.
that we might shatter indifference and interrupt injustice with grace
that we might choose the cross over the sword
that we might be as shrewd as serpents and as innocent as doves
that we might consider the lillies and sparrows as they shame Wall
Street's splendor
that we might choose the dream of God over the dreams of nations
that we might cling to the God that so loved the world, not just America
that we might allow our Jesus to change America rather than America to
change our Jesus.

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

To My Family

" I believe that to meet the challenges of our times, human beings will have to develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. Each of us must learn to work not just for oneself, one's own family or nation, but for the benefit of all humankind. Universal responsibility is the key to human survival. It is the best foundation for world peace". Dalai Lama

My sentiments exactly. I lifted this quote from a new friend I acquired in "Facebook". It is great that I am able to connect to a lot of my relatives in this great social network, the added freindships are a bonus.

I have not posted for a long, long time. I continue to be very, very busy; mostly doing things to meet the challenges the Dalai Lama spoke about. I want to set a good example to the young ones, I want the elders to be proud of me.

I love what I am doing! I hope to continue "doing" after I retire - I am getting there soon, if I ever retire. I have joined the "Lion's Club". I will be inducted in two weeks and received my first pin from another club yesterday.

On the downside, the doing leaves very little time for "being" - for taking care of Ethna Maria (yes, in my heart I am Ethna Maria Montecillo). Case in point, I was sooo busy last week, that my car is sitting at the Madonna University parking lot. My friend Larry told me that it was on empty last Wednesday.

Because it is the first week of the semester, I have not been able to make it home until at least 8:00 PM. No cash in my pocket and have not been able to make it to the bank. So when I left last night at 6:00 PM - the car stopped and the banks were closed. My friend Ray Gulley brought me home. Thank God, I have some wonderful friends.

I walked to church today - I could use the exercise for sure! Northville is a great walking town - unusual for suburban Detroit. After church, I decided to stop at the library - half way between my house and church - gave me a chance to rest and check Facebook and post.

That is how I found this quote that I lifted from the page of a new friend, based in Washington DC.

I love you family - take of each other as well as the other folks around you! May God Bless You Always!

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Ilaya - Illahee (Il-ah-ha-he-ye)

Titi Bebeng gave me this photo the last time I was in Catmon. I am sure that almost all of the young ones have grown up. Hope some members of the family have a chance to read my posts and send me family updates with updated photos.

Lola Sayong was always in charge of dishing out the rice at "family gatherings" in Catmon; Tata Batyong was the "Cucinero" or "Chief Cook!" Pity, I can not find my pictures of Tata.

Ilaya is one of my favorite hang outs when I was growing up. The English translation of illahee (Il-ah-ha-he-ye) is "land that gives comfort." It is a word used by one of the indigenous First Nations tribe in the Pacific northwest, around Vancouver, British Columbia. The word struck a chord because of the close pronunciation to ilaya as well as the approximate meaning of the word.

When I think of ilaya - I think of cool comforting afternoon breeze, the soothing sound of the river and lots of "fun stuff" to do! An added attraction for me was playing with Lucia and the other Molde girls at the house of Tata Batyong and Lola Sayong.

Going to Ilaya was very comforting for Lola and me. Comforting to her because of her promise to Lolo Milong to take care of the "Kalubihan" and his children. I was very disappointed on my last trip that the property have lost it's soul - very derelict and empty. It broke my heart! I spent a lot of time in the summer planting bananas, coconuts and smoking the tambis trees, clearing around the "sabana" trees and just clearing, clearing, clearing!

The first house was close to the river, not far from the Talisay tree at "labangon" in Lolo Teyoy's property. The house use to have this lime tree (suwa) that we used to pick when we washed our hair in the river. That house was destroyed by a typhoon; so Tata Batyong and Lola Sayong moved to Lola Elyang's house at the other end of the property.

The hair washing routine included grating the coconut (Kudkud) to get the milk out. The coconut milk is then used to wash our hair with the lime juice. Sometimes Lola Sayong would pound some kind of root from a tall grass (tangad???) and mix it in. I had very long hair. Talking about fragrant, well conditioned hair - all organic, too!

Finding this picture of Lola Sayong made me think of the house and the "snug fit" it had against the hill side. We used to go out in the back and try to find guavas or just to climb up the hill. At night some of our covers were made of "saguran."

Comforting because the food was always great - fresh utan, fresh fish when Tata was able to catch them - especially the red ones. Lola Sayong always had a variety of foods that I would otherwise not have tasted or have known the origin - like "landang", a salad made of banana hearts with coconut milk dressing and "atsal."

Uy, I was in San Francisco a couple of years ago and Nanay served "atsal" - I said this is Lola Sayong's recipe - where did you get it? Sure enough, the "atsal" was made by Juliana Molde. I think I can identify Lola Sayong's "templa" of that "atsal" anywhere.