noodle and lou

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Nana and PopPop

November 17, 2008

Today would have been my Grandpa's 100th Birthday!

He passed away a couple weeks ago on Halloween night.
He just missed his big day.

As young girls, my sister Ali and I spent tons
of time with my Nana and Grandpa. My Nana
passed away before I had this blog, so I want
to take this opportunity to share some photos
of them both.

Atlantic City




(that's my grandpa on the far right)





my nana and grandpa
at home in Miami, Florida
with my Mom and Aunt Judi






above...my Mom, little me, Grandpa and his mother

below...Grandpa and his brother Al





that's me above:)
that's when Grandpa was Cowpa and after
that he was PopPop for many years...
then I got too cool and started calling him
Grandpop or Grandpa.

In almost 100 years, you can imagine the many
experiences he had...living through the depression,
a veteran of WWII,
he raced motorcycles, he owned a gas station
and he painted airplanes for Pan Am.

My PopPop
loved to fish and make things with
his hands

like this doll house and cradle for me.

He loved to bowl and play cards and watch
game shows and snack on pretzels and nap in his chair.
He always looked the same...
with his handsome full head of white hair
and face that defied age.

There were no strangers to my PopPop...
he would talk to anyone and everyone.
And every time you went to a restaurant with him,
he'd walk out saying the same thing to a passerby...

"wanna know the bad thing about this place?
it kills your appetite!"


We would stay with Nana and PopPop
every summer. They would take us to
Circus World and Weeki Wachee and Disney.








They had a huge garden where we would
pick things for our salad each night.
They would treat us to dinner out at Pizza Hut
and take us bowling. They would let us wind
the cuckoo clock and look through old pictures
and go for bike rides. We would attend Mass
with them on Sundays.

My Nana would always
pick her jewelry out of her jewelry box and put
on her red lipstick and perfume and
I would love the way she smelled.
My sister and I would hide their cigarettes
and tell them to stop smoking...
my Nana finally did...
PopPop was sneaking them until
the very end:)

Nana taught me how to iron and cook.

She loved owls and gardening and sewing



and doing crosswords. She and my PopPop would
fight like cats and dogs but always loved each
other in the end.

They loved to travel...

and go on cruises and visit with their friends
at the clubhouse in their retirement community.

Nana saved every piece of mail we ever sent them.
All the cute little drawings and funny misspelled words
on Holly Hobby stationery.



I loved my Grandparents very much and while
I miss them...I will always cherish these memories
and moments.

Happy 100th PopPop!!
xoxoxo...jenn

35 comments:

Jackie said...

Oh what a beautiful post. What a amazing memories too. Your grandparents adored you guys and to have all those childhood memories, what gifts. With the loss of my grandpa too, it puts perspective on how short our lives are...and that song that says 100 years goes by so quicky...so true.....p.s henry looks like you so much!!! Take care and sorry for your loss honey, hugs, jackie

Susan said...

What wonderful, wonderful memories. Take care and know that we are thinking of you and your PopPop and Nanna today.

Mimi-n-Moe's Mom said...

what a tribute to them! i am sure they are quite proud of you.
have a great week!

The Vintage Sister Studio said...

Awwww Jenn! You look just like your Nanna. I definitely see a likeness in the picture where you're on her lap...you have the same smile! I see a little Jake too. Thanks for sharing all of your wonderful memories!!
Tracy

Susan Cone said...

what a beautiful tribute to your grandparents. you have a beautiful way with words -- very touching and heartfelt. I can see they loved you as much as you loved them. Have a wonderful day, Jenn.

CourtneyP said...

How nice to honor them. Your oldest looks just like you!!

elmaelsiena said...

Wow Jenn what a beautiful tribute to you wonderful grandparents. This was such a wonderful post as I sat here and read it I cry for my daddy that passed away nine mths ago. Life sure is short and to have such wonderful memories is so wonderful. I AM SOO SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS. Please take care. Love Elma

Queen Bean said...

oh jenn, that was a beautiful post.you totally look like your nanna. deana

The Cog said...

my grandmum:
*she was a riot
*worked in the pottery
tended bar to the "boys"(local workers)
*raised 8 kids on her own
*swore more than a sailor
*a petite little lady that could drink anybody under the table
*always smelled like a combination of beer, coffee, cigarettes, and lily of the valley
*grocery shopped in her house slippers
*had a lazy left eye
*was an amateur roller skate dancer in her youth
*had a cat named Neil Diamond
*gave sloppy wet good-bye grandkid kisses
*told me I was pretty
*and that my hair always smelled nice
*She had very little education
*but a very big loyal heart
*I miss her
*thank you for reminding me of the wonder and magic of our grandparents
*thank you for inspiring me to think of her today...

Diane Duda said...

I love this post, Jenn, with all of the wonderful photos and sweet memories.
How lucky you are to have had your Grandpa for such a long time. I lost both of mine while still in grade school, but have the best memories of them both.

The photo with you and your grandma making the same face made me smile, too.:)

xo
Di

lori vliegen said...

my grandfather lived to be 100 also. after hearing about your PopPop, they would have gotten along great! i'm so glad that you have such wonderful photos and memories...your nanna and PopPop will always be in your heart. thanks so much for introducing them to us. :)

denversavage said...

Jenn,
That was such a beautiful post. My own memories of my maternal grandparents are just as magical and special as yours. The picture shots are similar too-such wonderful memories we share. I cherish those flashbacks so much. The way smells can transport you in the blink of an eye...to cooking in the kitchen, special trips, cetain holidays..Thank you for sharing that wonderful story Jenn. It seems your PopPop lived a full and glorious life! One full of spice and color, laughter and sass, and with a wonderful companion at his side. That's the way it should be in life. How grand it is!

~dani~ said...

Oh sweetie, what a wonderful post. Made me teary. For those of us lucky enough to know our Grandparents and have spent such wonderful time with them...is such a gift. I miss My Gram everyday of my life but find peace in her peace.

hugs & squeezes~

A Fanciful Twist said...

I don't know why I am weepy and lip trembly looking at all of these, but I am. Beloved grandparents make my heart skip ten beats. So sorry for your loss, but wow, he lived a superbly long life!!

I can see a tiny resemblance between you and your grandmother. Has anyone told you that before?? I can't pinpoint exactly what, but I see it a little...

These photos are a precious treasure trove!!

On the post below about the mad tea Party... Miss Jenn, I am so beyond tickled you skipped around like a school girl, I did too!! I am just sad we didn't get to skip around together in person, haha!!

I am glad you are narrowing down the details on your pain. You poor darling!! You are so positive, I love that about you!! Your attitude is awesome!!

Lots of loves a bunches, V

jennlui said...

oh so beautiful! thank you so very much for sharing this tribute of your grandparents! they look so very happy in all of the pictures, and i love your nanna's owl collection!

i am so sorry for your loss, but i believe that we can let our loved ones live on by remembering them. and honoring their lives.

glade to hear that you are getting some answers regarding your health, hopefully things will get cleared up and fast! keep positive and sending you healing vibes!!!

rest well and take good care!
peace

Pocket Full of Prettys said...

What sweet photos & memories! Sorry that Your Grandpop didn't make it to his 100th birthday. I'm sure he & your Grandma were sweeties. And what great memories they made with you. Thank you for your sweet thoughts for my son. Hugs***Renea

tascha said...

Beautiful post! I cried while reading it.
My grandpa died two years ago at the age of 91. Your story was very similar to mine.
You resemble your grandma so much. So lovely, thank you for sharing the story and pictures.

Artfulife said...

What an amazing post. My girls call their grandpa PopPop too! Do you still have that beautiful doll house he made for you? You look like you have an amazing family.

calicodaisy said...

That's such a sweet post. All my grandparents lived in Miami and Hollywood, FL, too. Several worked for the airlines at Miami International. We probably have a lot of the same stomping grounds.

Sarah said...

What a sweet post about your grandparents. I would love to blink my eyes and be able to spend just one day with my grandparents again! Thanks for sharing!
Sarah
Vintage Lily
www.vintagelily.typepad.com

Fantastic Figments said...

Amazing post absoultely loved it. My grandfather died 2 months ago (my Pop) haha.. we all have our pet names.

I am glad you have so many fond memories together and shared such a wonderfully loving relationship.

Happy b-day PopPop

As a said note I can't get over how much you look like your Grandmother!

Smooches!

Steph

Geisslein said...

What a wonderful, wonderful post and beautiful photos! ok - I´ve cried while reading it, but thanks for sharing it with us...
autumnally greetings from germany
geisslein

Jennifer DeDonato said...

Great pictures and memories...by the way the music on your blog makes me happy.

Jen

aliceinparis said...

What terrific pictures and such happy memories! I love your Nanna's owl "wall of fame"
Cheers, Shelagh

carissa... brown eyed fox said...

what treasures you have... all these beautiful pictures AND all the fond memories you carry with you!

a very special post Jenn... i loved being able to share in it!

love to you!

btw... how are you feeling?

Debbie Egizio said...

Hi Jen, So sorry to hear about your recent loss. It's so beautiful that you shared these sweet memories of your grandparents here!

I can see that your dear Pop Pop and sweet grandmother were very loved. You look very much like your grandma. I see such a likeness in the two of you. It's amazing!

Well, I'm just catching up and read some of your older posts. So sorry to hear about all of your discomfort and physical troubles. I hope the doctors can give you some relief from the ulcer. Well, feel better soon you poor sweet girl. Take care, Deb

Jody said...

Jenn,
That is the sweetest post! What a great tribute! You are so blessed to have shared so much with your grandparents!!
Jody

Funky Art Queen said...

what a lovely couple they were and how wonderful that you shared this with us. Thanks Jenn

Krissysart said...

What a wonderful post, jenn. You really do favor your Grandmother. She was absolutely beautiful. My Granny is 96. I get to see her on Thanksgiving. She is the most wonderful person alive! How lucky are we to have our sweet grandparents for so long. So few people ever love us as purely as they do.
So sorry for your loss. Warm thoughts coming your way from me.
Love,
Krissy

Du Buh Du Designs said...

A very nice tribute to your grandparents:) Hope you and your family, especially your mom are doing okay in spite of your grief. Sending positive thought your way:)
~Christine

nollyposh said...

i ~love~ poppy stories...
There's no-one else like a pop or Pa as i called mine, who died recently at 90yrs after a long and ~beautiful~ life to be proud of... Just like yours <3 Hope your health is getting better now x

Heather said...

Aw! I LOVE these photos! What a journey! And I was so shocked when i saw that pic of you and your grandparents on the couch--- do you realize you and your grandmother have the EXACT SAME expression on your face??? So sweet!

julie king said...

what a very nice tribute to your grandpa, jenn! these photos are heart-waring!

Lori McDonough said...

I just stumbled upon your blog and read this post which made me weepy. I have a Nana & Poppop, too. My Nana is in heaven now, but my Poppop is 94 and still with us. They were madly in love, but fought like cats and dogs, too. My sisters and i spent countless days with them at their house and they spoiled us with so much love, too. The similarities between our grandparents is amazing. Thank you for sharing your memories and bringing mine back to me today. I'm sorry for your recent loss and will say a prayer for your Nanna & PopPop today as I pray for mine. Love your work and your blog...i'll be back. :-)

Leslie said...

Love your photos and memories! You look just like your Nanna. What a beautiful big smile you both have!