30 January 2010

For Pete's sake,

I know, I should apologize for the bad pun, but I am not going to. It will make Pete smile. His birthday is coming up and this is for him. Some of you may remember a while back I wrote about my oldest brother Jimmy. Pete is my other brother. Jimmy was 20 years older than me and was seldom around so it was easy to put him on a pedestal and I did. Jimmy was my hero when I was growing up. Pete is seven years older than me and was always around. I did not know how lucky I was to have him.
When I was being born, Pete got to go stay with Uncle Jack and Aunt Jo. Uncle Jack had five daughters so Pete was probably a little spoiled. Uncle Jack also had horses (need I say more). Mom told me later that Pete refused to come home when he found out I was a girl (he already had two sisters at home, he wanted a brother). I suspect if I had been a boy, he probably still would not have wanted to come home.
I believe the girl on the left is one of my cousins but I am not sure, this is a bit before my time. Margaret is in the middle and Pete on the right. Got to love the bow tie and that smile.
Pete did not waste time worrying about me being a girl. He decided it didn't matter. I remember playing "Cowboys and Indians"(self explanatory if you consider the times) or "War" (roughly based on old World War II movies). We raced hot wheels and played cards. In other words, Pete made sure I was quite the little Tom Boy and I did not mind a bit.
Paula is half way between I and Pete, Margaret is one year older than him. They were involved in most of these games too and we had a lot of fun, but this one is for Pete. I'll get to Margaret and Paula later. This one is Pete, Margaret, Paula and me down in front. Probably after church.
Pete also did not worry about how old I was, he never talked down to me or treated me like I was any younger than him. If I wanted to do something, he assumed I was smart enough to do it. He taught me how to play chess when I was in first grade so he would have someone to practice with. I haven't played in years but I am still pretty good. We played scrabble and he tried to help me with my spelling.
Left to right again, I think that is my nephew Jerry in Margaret's arms, then me, Pete, my niece Becky, Paula, and one of the older sisters, Mary (Becky and Jerry were hers).
Pete has always been a hard worker. He had a double newspaper delivery route until he was old enough to get a regular job. I think he used money from that to by me the first bike that was mine alone. I had been riding a little red bike that had belonged to who knows how many older siblings and I left it too close to the driveway. My Dad came home from work and ran over it. I was heart broken.
On my next birthday, I got a brand new purple Schwinn with a flowered Banana seat. It was beautiful. On it was a skunk shaped balloon that said "from one little stinker to another". As a kid, I thought the bike was from my parents and the balloon from Pete. As a grown up, I think the whole thing was from Pete.
This is Pete with his Wife Lila and their son Parley.
I remember Pete babysitting us. His favorite thing to cook for dinner was zucchini in tomato sauce. He was pretty good at it too. Back then he took his eating seriously. One day in particular I remember, he ate dinner at home with us, then went to his job at Dipoma's Market. Mrs. Dipoma, who was an amazing cook, had made eggplant spaghetti and knew it was his favorite so she saved him a bowl. He ate that too. A few hours later, my Mom sent me over to the store to pick something up, and Pete with his buddy Shawn were just polishing off a whole chicken between them. Mom used to say that he ate so much, he burned it off just carrying it around.
We picked on him and he picked on us. He used to be terribly ticklish. I am not. Self defense, when you are the youngest in a big family, you have to have some way to get the big kids.
This is Pete's pride and joy, he and his wife Lila have been working on and living in this lovely old Victorian for several years now. Pete has always been good at carpentry. In his high school shop class he made a beautiful stereo cabinet and an inlaid chess table that still make me jealous. He also loves gardening. When we were kids, he used to grow "Cherry" and "Pear" tomatoes. Those were good. I remember his first little garden it was marked out with string in the back yard, up against Wind's fence. I got to help him thin the carrots.
Pete in his garden, he has carefully laid out raised beds. I can't remember what was in this one, but it was pretty impressive.
This is Pete in his kitchen. Do you see the point of this posting yet?
Jimmy might have been my hero, but Pete has had a lot more to do with who I actually am. He was there, always, and he still is if I need him. We have had our moments when we did not agree, but I am very lucky to have him for a big brother. Me, Paula, Margaret and Pete last summer. I have the best family!
Happy Birthday Pete!


  1. Great walk down the memory lane, I thoroughly enjoyed the pictures and the story.;)
    There is nothing like the love and proximity of a family.;)

  2. Oh wow, I totally loved looking at the pictures! Happy Birthday Pete!!!

  3. What a beautiful tribute to your brother Pete! Happy Birthday Pete!!!! Loved looking through the photos and memories. Have a peaceful and beautiful Sunday :)

  4. Hi Kat... to answer your question about the Happy 101 award, that's just the title of it. Thanks for dropping in to visit me ;)

  5. Hullo You,

    Lovely post. Its great to have different points of view and a solid relationship at the same time.

    Big brothers ARE the best!


  6. What a lovely post, Kat. Your love for your family shines through. Happy birthday Pete.

  7. Pete has seen the post now and is very happy with it. He called. I am a lucky girl to have the family I do and friends like you.

  8. What a lovely tribute to your family. A wonderful trip down your memory lane!

  9. A beautiful tribute to your family - and your brothers! Family is important, and support from them as well.

    Thank you for your nice visit at my blog! Wish you a great week!

  10. Kat,
    This is so cool. Thank you for sharing your wonderful family memories with us. You are so fortunate to have the loving care of siblings. Life was good back then growing up. We seemed to not have a care in the world. You have a great week and I'll be back. :)
    The Bach

  11. what a wonderful brithday tribute...family is so cool!

  12. It is lovely angels.
    Thank you for happiness.


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