We went to Staten Island, New York recently to celebrate the 85th birthday of my favorite uncle, my Uncle Fred. My mother and her sister married brothers and we all lived together in a big two-family house with a full basement in Brooklyn. We were up and they were down but we were really just one big family. Not to mention all the times any one of the other brothers and their families came to visit! The dining room tables in both apartments were huge and could seat a crowd! (my father had 5 brothers and two sisters and all had at least two kids!) Although my father died when I was just 9 years old, I have many happy memories of those days in Brooklyn. My Mom passed away 11 years ago and my sweet Aunt Celeste died 7 years ago this month and we all miss them both very much.
It was so much fun to gather in a terrific Italian restaurant (the calimari was to die for!) on Staten Island and see some of my family I hadn't seen since before we left for Italy. He didn't know we were all coming and it was such a surprise for him, it brought tears to his eyes!
Here's Uncle Fred with his cassata cream filled birthday cake.