Joseph SR

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The original Joe the Plumber….Here is a photo of my Father “post” Janice.  Ya see Janice would never allow the Harley and certainly not the pony tail.  Practically children themselves when I was born — they were both 23 — they were thrust into adulthood while still, in many ways they were kids.  I believe my father’s midlife crisis missed all the typical marks. There was no Rogaine, no convertible, and unfortunately for me, no round-the-world family cruise. His path to middle age can be summed up all by the sudden loss of his teenage love Janice Vesloski.

Dad was a hard worker, spending my younger years as a business owner – J and J Heating (Janice and Joe).  A plumber by trade he later worked for Pall Corporation in East Hills.  The business went under sometime in my Elementary school years.  Mostly because or at least I think Dad’s love of Miller beer.

Dad’s drinking got worse and worse and came to a head sometime my freshman year of High School .  I was told many times that “Your father has to want to do it for himself. When he hits rock bottom, he’ll make changes.”  Well Rock bottom hit and Mom sat us all down and said “Daddy’s going away for a little while.”  And she sent him to a rehab program in Upstate New York.  I still have the letters he sent me from there.  He asked me to take care of my Mother and my siblings and that he was getting better for us.  Shortly after he came home his new passion was educating himself on  Employee Assistance programs for those with drug and alcohol addictions in the workplace.  He started a counseling center in Sea Cliff to help those who were trying to become sober and his life’s work after that surrounded the AA program, the 12 steps and taking it one day at a time.

Through the years I watched my dad throw himself (compulsively, I may add) into many passions. Once, he invented a new product he called “the chum buddy” in our basement, a fishing lure that he and my Mother would drive around the Island and sell (I can still smell the plastic being drilled out).   He had tee shirts made and even got some vanity plates for his Chevy van.

Some may call him Cosmo Kramer…though eccentric, Kramer was friendly and kind-hearted and filled with quirkiness – Pretty much sums up Joe M.  Unfortunately what I often saw was his inability to transform those passions into a measurable result.  I always wished my dad given more time to his purpose — why he did what he did, why he wanted what he wanted — his passions may have resulted in a more favorable and desired outcome. There was something he was always looking for… I think he still is still looking…..

Dad always taught us very important lessons here are just a few:

  • How to make a mean clam chowder and english muffin pizzas.
  • A fresh unwashed tomato from the garden is best shared with your Dad.
  • Farting is always funny. Even at the dinner table. Actually, especially at the dinner table.
  • You can be mad at someone and still love them at the same time. This can be very confusing.
  • Marry your best friend.
  • Religion was praying to God the Yankees would get the win.
  • Swiss cheese is to be eaten on wonder bread with mayo and fresh tomato.
  • My father taught me about JUSTICE.  “One day you’ll have to teach someone, and I hope they give you grief, just like you did me.” and I did.
  • When you turn 18 and your eligible to vote – Vote for the vowel.  If the man’s name running for office ends in a vowel its likely he is Italian and he is the one you should pick.  
  • Listen to your Mother.

While my childhood was often filled with anxiety and tension, there were nevertheless some beautiful times with my father. Looking back, what I can be most thankful for are the lessons I’ve carried with me.

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Janice

So as I begin to set off on this new journey I must first like to thank my family.  Joseph, Janice, Laura and Joey.  For they are my first family.  But most specifically Janice the beautiful woman who gave me life and to whom passed away at the age of 50 in 2003.  Only 12 years older then I am now.

Back then I did not have my  Xanax prescription so I needed to find humor in all that I did and all that was happening around me.   Spending each day with my mother– whose favorite activity is counting the calories I consumed,  drinking cawfee, smoking Virginia slims and of course screaming.  Screaming was the normal “talk” in my house.  Dinners were loud and if you talked the loudest maybe you were heard.  Dinner – lets talk about dinners.  My Mother was the worlds worst cook.  She made a mean meatball but other than that  – I thought all meat was grey and all vegetables tasted like butter and they came from a can.  Ham steaks were a weekly regular on the menu and let us never forget the pan fried hamburger on wonder bread with ketchup.  I can still see the blood from the hamburger running through that white bread that was just defrosted from the freezer cause god forbid you ever waste a loaf of bread before it turns green you gotta freeze it.  Mashed potatoes, they were always OK.   But while on my plate they formed the barrier between the blue/grey steak and the buttered  green beans.  Hunger would always win and I had to eat.

House cleaning was an expertise of my mothers.  My Friend Kelli would always say “come to Christina’s house drink a glass of iced tea and Janice will clean the glass and put it away before you were even done.”  Clearly I did not get this trait from my mother.  Today I found a sock stuck under Danny’s dresser to the floor with some gum.  I have three sons  that have trouble figuring out the relationship between socks and sock drawers and my youngest who has a habit of dragging miscellaneous crap underneath the couch and his dresser leaving it there to collect dust. The work of managing a household while caring for three kids a husband and a dog is next to impossible.  My kids are  tidiness-challenged and I know Janice would never have let that happen.

Work- Janice did not work in the outside world till my little brother Joey was in I believe 1st grade.  Her job was to take care of us kids and my Father.  Thinking just the other day when I got an E-vite to my Godson’s  birthday party.  My mother had to call each kid to come to my birthday parties… No Face Book, no texting, no emails.  She had to sit on the phone and call all 47 first cousins, my Aunts and Uncles etc.  No wonder she had no job…. being a housewife was a job back then.  So I’m trying to come to terms with it, I will never be the house wife she was.  I try and come to terms with in the same way that I have been trying to come to terms with my muffin top.  I have that and she did not.

Good House wife – Bad cook.

My mother was a good mother and I was a good daughter.

 

Welcome to my world July 2014

OK so I am taking a shot at this whole blog world.  I know nothing about technology, but a whole hellava lot about raising three boys.  The daily adventures of John Joseph age 12, Daniel Peter AKA Danny Boy age 10 and Christian McKenzie AKA Chrissy Mac age 8 have brought me to use this blog as a new age way of providing them with a baby book.  A way for them to look back and show their kids that all kids are created equally except for them.  Will you join me on this adventure called Motherhood?Mexico