Monday, December 31, 2012

Our bungalow is our home.

....and so we have arrived - in our adorable, cozy, comfortable bungalow.  We are very happy and feel so blessed to be here.  The actual move was fast and orderly.  We had lots of help and we had a lot done and set up before the final moving day.
We fed everyone well - subways and donuts at noon time and five large assorted topping pizzas at 4:00.  By 5:00 our home quieted down as folks left - we made our bed and organized and took a much needed rest.  Saturday while the powerful snow storm raged on we unpacked and put our stuff out and hung pictures and wall decor - those precious items that are "us". Oh we are SO here! :-)

Sunday was another day of unpacking and getting rid of trash and empty boxes as well as shoveling out the ten inches of snow that arrived with us!  Today, a few finishing touches and it is all done. Friends have been so kind by bringing over meals all prepared.

And tonight, since  my guy returns to work after 10+ days off :-(   my Sis and I are going to spend New Years Eve together -   some appetizers and wine, left over lasagna and we have a big can  of flavored popcorn to munch while we watch a movie together.  Sisters - our Mom is SO happy we are close - and right next door to one another.
 And our bungalow that was our Mom's place that she and my Dad paid for with  their hard earned money is such a gift to us - my Mom used to say that Dad was still taking care of her when she had this place built since she used the money from the sale of their home they paid for and lived in together.  It truly is all so bittersweet.  And like I have said - the financial freedom is such a gift to us.
Here are some pictures - welcome to our home - our bungalow of  love and blessings -  and Happy New Year to you all :-)

 Living room
 Living room windows etc
Another view of LR
 Corner of LR
 Kitchen area
 another kitchen view
 entrance to master suite
 another view of kitchen table
 our bedroom
 more of bedroom
more of BR
 our bed and that is the picture of Chatfield Hollow  over it where we gather greens every year for the graves -
 my lovely vanity area - the paint is sand paint and has gold sparkles
 bathroom vanity
shower area

view from our door

so, what do you think?  We have arrived - hallelujah!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Time to go

Hello all my blogger friends/.

Well, the time has come - we have a date to move - Friday and Saturday December 28th & 29th.  Lots will be moved over before those dates but the big move with the big pieces requiring help will take place as mentioned above.  We will pick up the U-Haul on Friday and some young strong guys will come over around 4:00 and load up the truck - everything but our box spring & mattress and a few essentials for morning coffee and clean up.  On Saturday morning more young men will help us load the bed and then we will head on over to our new place and unload it all.

This is the plan barring any glitches...none are expected but even if there is a glitch in a closing date etc. we are still moving since it is freaking time and I/we cannot do this limbo here and there life any longer.  Nope, Enough!  Ya know?

We call our new home "The Bungalow"  - it is cozy and quaint and homey and easy to manage and maintain.  I promise pictures once we are settled in.

Also, we are shutting down my computer, internet, phones and cable on Wednesday the 26th of December so we can have all the components at our new place for the Cable guy to set us all up on Thursday. I probably wont be back on line until New Years Day or so.

We are taking time to gather for Christmas Eve as a family - honoring our Mom and carrying on time honored traditions - specialty food items and activities - and Christmas Day we will have our lovely traditional brunch of "everything bagels-smoked salmon- cream cheese - fresh fruit and poppy seed rolls ( a sweet delight my Mom made every year) and orange juice too.

  And then, come Tuesday - the final laps begin - it is both the ending and the beginning of the road - we are holding on tight and stepping off together - in love, in truth, in earnest, in kindness, in simplicity, in peace, in gratitude, in blessings, in hope, and faith and surrender,  Amen......

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The Trail



Our last Thanksgiving here - 2012

Looking back, I become quite overwhelmed - mostly in a good way. I am filled with memories and gratitude of our life here on the Trail for over 20 years......

We knew this was going to be ‘home’ when we first saw it, and so it has been just that, home for us and for many. This home has served us well and owes us nothing.
We weren’t here long when Kristie, pregnant w/her second child came back from upstate NY  to live here with her daughter Leanna when she was just one.  Four kids all in one big room.  We managed.

It wasn’t too long after that, that Skipps’ Mom couldn’t live alone and we moved her in here so she would have round the clock care and eventually went to a nursing home because she  needed skilled nursing care.

Dolan and Jen shared the big room. We divided it by the furniture.  When Jen left home we moved in to the big room and Dolan had the back room - which has the best view in the house.  We built him a sleep loft.

Jen moved back home too with her son when he was 8 months old.  They stayed 2 years. Oh my...... :-)

Skipp’s brother stayed for a week or so while he sorted out his life’s transition.

We celebrated every holiday here and honored family tradition.  We survived storms of nature and those of life.  We loved with passion and compassion. We created a home where we and others could find solace, music, laughter, hope, guidance, food, shelter and warmth.  

We were married here - in our back yard - surrounded by family and friends. A beautiful event that celebrated us and those we love.

SKIPPSTOCK - the music event of the decade! People still believe Mick Jagger was here.

Jacob’s baptism - his life, a miracle.

SO many birthday celebrations, Mother’s Day and Easter dinners, table adorned with flowers and lilacs from our beautiful garden.  We grew vegetables too.

Thousands of songs have been sung on our back deck and glasses of wine enjoyed.  So many cozy fires enjoyed in our wood stove, so many wood deliveries and gatherings to stack it all.

Christmas trees beautifully decorated, white lights strung out front, meals prepared and shared, dreams realized and some lost, births, graduations, deaths, friends anew and friends gone, family missed and far away, millions of laughs and millions of tears - our love grew stronger every day. Candles remained lit in every window to guide the way home for those who lost their way.......

In sickness and in health - a life changing diagnosis, - our love and family support sustain us...still to this day.

Mom would ask, “So, what’s new on the trail?”.......I can hear her words.......pretty soon Mom all that is new on the trail will be a memory as we move on to Old Nod Road - to your home - which is such a gift to us as we begin a new adventure.....”thank you”.......

And although I did not write letters to all of you here today, I will add a line or two.

SIS - for your strength and love and support during this and so many transitions in our life I am so thankful.  And for your sense of hunor - we h ave a gazillion laughs to look forward to. :-)

JOSH - I love your mind and detail about all of your creative projects.  I love how you interact w/kids and your sense of humor is amazing.  I love that I ma your favorite Aunt!.

ETHAN - I admire how you have forged on to meet your dreams and goals and pursue a career path that you believe in.  I love how kind and sensitive you are and you too have a delightful sense of humor.

DOLAN - I so believe in you and your commitment to your writing pursuits, no matter what!  I am so thankful you call me every day and that you include me in your joys and concerns. I am thankful for our relationship, it and you mean the world to me.

SKIPP - where do I begin?  You have made my, - our, life possible.  I love you more than words can express.  I love your musical abilities, your voice, and guitar playing and song writing all bring me such joy.  I love and appreciate deeply how you tend to me and never complain.   I love every moment with you.  “Thank you” for 20+ year of a beautiful, loving life here on the Trail.  It is very hard to leave here, I know, and yet, moving forward with you makes it all okay, YOU make everything okay just by being you. I LOVE YOU......

and there it is - our last loving Thanksgiving on 'The Trail'...........

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Last letter......

"HAPPY THANKSGIVING - this is the last "why I am thankful for you" letter I wrote to my Mom - a time honored tradition to all who sit at our Thanksgiving table....Mom was too weak to be here for Thanksgiving 2011 and then she passed on July 13th 2012......I am thankful for her every day and her love is HUGE.....

Thanksgiving 2010

Dear Mom-

My, my, my...............where do I begin?   First, I am SO grateful that you are here, this day of Thanksgiving to share and celebrate our family and all the love that abounds.  I feel I am living a miracle.

This year certainly has had it’s share of life’s challenges, I am in awe of how brave and strong you are as you faced each one.  Your faith continues to inspire me and give me hope as you turned to your God in moments of total despair and in moments of pure joy.  As you surrendered to harsh realities you found beauty and understanding and gratitude to balance your world.  So often your faith was tested and each and every time, your faith won.

I was privileged to watch you literally come back to life - with laughter and song and appetite and mobility and self care and hopes and dreams - they all re-surfaced like gifts waiting to be opened and appreciated.  You unwrapped each one and began to live fully again.  Oh Mom - like the moth to the butterfly you have emerged - more beautiful than ever - and that sparkle of blue still shining in your eyes.  I truly have witnessed and lived this life-giving miracle that together,  you and God created.  Hallelujah!

I am forever grateful for your seasoned wisdom, unyielding faith, empowering love, and gentle humor.  I love how you love me.  I love and enjoy our daily talks and that somehow, being so close  to you, completes me.  I am forever thankful that you are MY Mom - and that our lives are so lovingly blended in the very best of ways.

I love you Mom, forever, and “thank you”



Sunday, November 11, 2012

Hit hard

Hi, I was hit hard last night with a flu-virus.  Spiked a fever of 101.2, had the chills so bad and I shivered so hard I thought my teeth might crack.  The muscle aches were/are awful AND the MS took a hit.  My weaker side (right-leg) is really struggling to move. It is a bit better today than last night but I have a ways to go to get back to my "abnormal-normal"...

 I am overwhelmed by all the transitions and emotions that go along with such changes, as well as my Mom's birthday yesterday and the 10 year anniversary of my Sister's son passing away.  It is time to slow down, take stock and really respect my limits.  I feel so badly for Skipp because he picks up the slack on everything.  He is so generous, kind, and understanding.  I am SO blessed.

Please send prayers and good thoughts.  Please.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


 Earlier this afternoon
 A bit later
 Half hour ago
 Athena intensifies

I have the fire going in the wood stove. I have flashlights, candles and water (for flushing) all set - separate from what we use to drink I have chicken noodle soup I can heat up on the wood stove and other non-perishable items.  Fingers crossed we don't lose power again. Seems we just got up and running!  Nature doesn't really care much about the timing of such things - no bargains to be made or negotiations of any kind - rather, once again, an opportunity to be resourceful, brave, patient and hopeful - knowing, this too shall pass......but baby, "It's Cold Outside........."

Saturday, November 3, 2012

A storm passed

 Above is a tree in our complex uprooted.

 This is our town Green -
This is the calm after the storm.

We have power back after surviving five days with out.  We managed pretty well and feel very blessed considering all the devastation and loss at our shore and the HUGE losses along the Jersey shore and the burroughs of NY.  Staten Island is heart wrenching and Manhattan is overwhelmed with challenge.  You all know the tragic details so I wont go on about it.
We took a ride down to our shoreline yesterday and after viewing houses destroyed and landscape torn apart we made our way to the waters edge of Long Island Sound about 15 miles from our home - and there we found a calm image of a storm passed with hope for recovery and some normalcy once again.
With hope for us all

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The "Storm"

Hi all - looks like hurricane Sandy is headed our way - BIG TIME!! We will most likely, definitely lose power by tomorrow night and will be out for days - predictions say 7 to 10 days.  We got all of our supplies yesterday and secured our home as best we could.  The rest is up to "Sandy" and "God".  Both, forces to be reckoned with  :-).....
I am going to shut down my computer tonight before going to bed because the high winds are expected to come in over night and I don't want my computer to "crash".  I hope you will all be safe and secure during 'Sandys' wrath and that we meet again on the other side of the storm....'the perfect storm - or so they are calling it.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Quite a song,huh?  This transition-adventure we are on is powerful, on so many levels.  There is so much I will miss about living here and so much I look forward to about living 'there'.  There is also much I/we have no control over and at the same time so much we are managing and doing'.

I like the above song - perhaps less intense, since I am quite ready and willing to relax in to our truth, our reality and revel in the freedom of our even simpler life - certainly less expensive and within our means given the financial losses over the past few years.
I/we have no quest or change or new anything we are hoping for beyond the adventure of change we have chosen.  Rather, we are settling in lovingly, humbly, gratefully and simply to our truth.  To a life of love, giving, family, song, celebration, much like we always have minus the financial burden and fears.

As we complete the renovations and make the move I will take pictures so you can "see" in to our new world - while already knowing what we bring to 'the table', the same table, by the way that has served us and many for years  and will continue to do so, Amen.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Closer to freedom.....

In my life - so much to recall, hold dear, celebrate, mourn, rage over, laugh over, cry about, scream loud, sigh gently, love and on and on......   Below are some random pictures of our world here in North Guilford , CT.  Oh, the memories.... first is a view from the front window in Winter, second a view from the back and side in Autumn, third - one Mother's Day out back, me, Mom and Sis,  fourth is our Christmas tree and lastly, the Winter we first got our rescue dog, Gracie Blue.
. As we transition from our home the adventure is bittersweet.  Life has made it clear that our time here is coming to an end and our golden years will be lived out in Clinton - in my Mom's place.  Divine intervention I believe. We are redoing the kitchen and bathroom and putting in new floors and carpeting.  Meanwhile we are downsizing and sorting through all our stuff.  Quite an overwhelming task.  We cry and remember every day some facet of our blessed years here.  So many were celebrated, enjoyed, helped, fed, clothed, given warmth and a place to rest and find solace and love, music and laughter, wine and peace. We loved deeply and honorably and cared for one another during the best and worst of life's challenges.  Holidays were wonderful and bountiful and delicious and full of love, hope was alive no matter what, even when I was diagnosed with MS, - The miracle of forgiveness graced us from years ago, and relationships were healed and renewed.  Storms were survived and times of smooth sailing bestowed and enjoyed and never taken for granted.  This home has served us and many so well.  Leaving is difficult and heart wrenching and yet our new world, life, adventure is one of freedoms on many levels.  Freedom to live within our means comfortably and humbly, freedom from worry about bill collectors and banks interfering with out peace of mind and security, freedom from long hours at work creating the freedom to "be" together more which is all we really want - our time together.  My sister wont be lonely and I will never be alone.  And, in time, as years go by, when either one of us passes on the other will be fine in our home - affordable and manageable.  So now is the time to make this transition when we are able and in charge of outcomes, for the most part, and knowing there are no guarantees.
Every day there are "Changes" which brings us one step closer to freedom, yes, one step closer.    

Friday, August 3, 2012


Hidden safely amongst my Mom's cherished treasures were the above pictured medals.  The first one is my Dad's.  It is his 'SERVICE MEDAL OF HONOR"  for his serving in WW11.

The second two are my Uncle Joe's. My Dad's youngest brother.  It is "THE PURPLE HEART MEDAL OF HONOR"  Joe served in the navy in WW11 and he died at sea - he went down with the ship.  The last picture is the back of the Purple Heart Medal with his name inscribed -  "Joseph Eichinger".

I am proud to display these Medals of Honor and service in our glass case with other treasures and memories we hold proudly and dear. My Mom kept these safe all these years and now they are in our home.  I am humbled.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Wondering why -

I am struggling with some negative thoughts.  I am unsettled about some things, people actually.  SO many wonderful, loving and kind people that knew and loved my Mom came forward to celebrate her life, acknowledge the loss of her passing and provide support and understanding in a variety of ways to all of us who feel her passing so strongly. So why am I feeling upset and hurt and focused on  people that I thought would have come forward and did not!  Or, the menial way they did acknowledge in no way honored the huge loss or the abundance of my Mom's life.  People I really thought cared and would offer some support and somehow share in this life changing event in my/our life and did not.  I am stunned by these people's lack of compassion and support. Stunned!  I need to shake these feeling off because they are not easy to feel and certainly have no place in my loving memories of my Mom and my grief journey, or do they?  And there lies my confusion.

Monday, July 23, 2012

A letter to Angel-care givers!

This is a copy of the letter we sent to the skilled nursing facility that cared for our Mom with such dignity, kindness and skill in her final days.  we are forever in their debt.

Gail Eichinger/Nancy Kelly
56 Saginaw Trail
Guilford, CT 06437  
203-457-9394 (Gail) or 860-669-6932 (Nancy)

Watrous Nursing Facility
9 Neck Rd
Madison, CT

We are  writing to you all today to express our gratitude.  We want to mention some of our experiences - were we to mention them all we would need a novel. Please understand that every one of you that cared for our Mom is a “10" and more - and if we forgot a name, please don’t take offense - your kind faces are etched in our hearts forever.

Joanna - Marie - Harsity - Laneese - Craig - Rebecca - Tom - Kerry - Sean - Chickie - Heather - Ferdinand and all

Sean - you were there to welcome us and our Mom on the day she arrived - there was a dark scrape on the floor and you stayed until every last bit of that mark was cleaned.  And then, so too you were there, cleaning our Mom’s sink on her final day - in her final moment and as she took her last breath.  Your purpose and presence was exactly as our Mom would have liked.  We so appreciate all that you do to make your patients “home” beautiful and sparkling.

Lanese - oh my - your loving approach was amazing and our Mom adored you, so much so that she wanted to adopt you. Your beautiful spirit touched her and us profoundly.

Tom - you carried and transferred our Mom like she was a fragile bird - with such care and kindness - we heard that you came back just to say ‘goodbye’ to her that Friday - “thank you” Tom for all you do to make your patients feel so safe and important.

Craig - you beautiful man.  You went above and beyond to ensure our Mom had the foods she would and could eat.  You never gave up and you did it with true patience and understanding of just how delicate her appetite was.  She enjoyed her last meals because of you.

Ferdinand - always so helpful wanting to please.  Your smile is beautiful.

Marie - you were always so concerned about just the right medication, dosage, timing and were so eager to call and adjust and tweak to ensure her comfort.  Your kindness and skill made such a difference in her comfort and peace of mind.

Harsity - your voice in advocating for our Mom was steady and unyielding.  You too made sure her medication orders were followed up in a timely manner.  Also, you always informed us of our Mom’s condition in great detail which meant so much to us.

Chickie-Heather-Kerry -Jennifer - you all were so attentive to our Mom’s needs, bathroom runs, bathing, making sure she was dressed and looking lovely, getting her ready for bed and on and on.  Your passion for caring for those in such need was evident in every caring deed you performed with patience, love and dignity.  I am humbled by your life’s work and filled with gratitude that our Mom was being cared for by each and everyone of you. And Jennifer - you found her green nightie.

Rebecca - and it was you who cared for our Mom after she passed.  I am in awe of your ministry to care for those that have passed.  My sister said she looked beautiful and comfy and angelic after you cared for her.  There are no words to effectively express our heartfelt thanks.

Joanna, oh Joanna - you always took your time - your voice so calming and gentle.  Our Mom adored you.  We would watch in awe, delight and gratitude every time you attended to her with such skill, kindness, care and a touch of humor which our Mom so enjoyed. We loved how you spoke softly and always leaned in to her - your comforting presence surrounding her.  YOU are an angel.  We are so grateful for you and honored to have been blessed with your caring ministry of service to our Mom and so many.

If we could we would read this on bended knee - that is the depth of our gratitude, honor, and respect for all of you at Watrous.   For our Mom Louise we thank you.
With highest regard and gratitude
Gail Eichinger                   Nancy Kelly

Friday, July 13, 2012

Louise "Liberata" Eichinger- Marranzino

.......and so today is a day of great sorrow and of great relief and of honor for a full life, well lived with faith and love and purpose.

My Mom passed away today - she went peacefully-  and passed over with dignity and calm surrender.  A spiritual pastor came by yesterday - prayed with her, over her and tears rolled down this woman's a face because she felt my Mom's faith and said she could see her bright halo -  it was a beautiful moment.  There were many beautiful moments of the purest of intention, of love, family and faith  that I will cherish for all of my days. She taught us about faith right until the final moment.  Amen.

two Mother's Days ago................

Sunday, June 24, 2012


 Our first eggplant is growing so nicely.  It is a Japanese eggplant.
 Our zucchini plant is huge with many flowers and tiny zucchinis
 Our pepper plant is thriving as well - that is the first to appear
And our strawberry plant is flowery and full of strawberries.

I thought it good to write of the natural goodness of fresh grown fruits and vegetables as a theme.  We also have two tomato plants that are loaded with green tomatoes beginning to ripen.  I liken gardens or in this case potted fruits and vegetables but a garden all the same - to friendships/relationships which require time and attention and weeding and caring for and light and love, some times protection.  Left unattended, the garden and the friendship/relationship will die.

There are times the garden needs some extra help due to an attack or a force or plague and if we want it to thrive and be part of our life we must step up and 'do and 'be' and help it thrive. While toiling some may lose sight of the value and purpose and gifts this garden will bring because in its delicate state some think it requires more than they are able to give or so it seems -  and other gardens that are thriving seem more appealing, easier to be with - so folks leave the garden that needs some time and they go to where the gardens are more stable and offers what they think they need, totally forgetting the beauty and life and years the perhaps weakened garden provided - and will again with just a little love and time.  Oh the value of time.

 Some times the garden thrives on its own, -  but the best - is that a well attended garden gives back so much - the fruits of its vines are delicious and beautiful and life-giving. The ole "we reap what we sow applies in gardens and friendships.

Another twist on this whole garden analogy?  Sometimes the garden is doing just fine and really just requires the basic care to thrive and be life-giving - and people leave it to die anyway saying they like the look and feel of the other gardens better -  So sad......

But meanwhile, our garden is thriving - our love garden and our fruits and vegetables garden - and we get back way more than we give.  Guaranteed.  I feel kinda sorry for the people who think otherwise.