the memoirs of grandma and grandpa

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1 Memoirs of Joseph and Theresa Augustine Memoirs of Joseph and Theresa Augustine Memoirs of Joseph and Theresa Augustine Memoirs of Joseph and Theresa Augustine Chapter One Chapter One Chapter One Chapter One Childhood Childhood Childhood Childhood “Bye Mom! Bye Dad! I’m off to the football game!” “Just a second, Joey! Is all the pressing done in the shop?” “I’ll get to it when I get back, Mom! I really need to go to the game! My grades depend on it! If I don’t go, my grades will go down.” Around the corner came little Eddie and ruined my plan! “Nah uh, Mom! Joey’s grades have nothing to do with the football games! He just wants to go!” “Get back in this house! You aren’t going anywhere, Joey!” I couldn’t believe Eddie had ratted me out! It was the kind of day that you read about in books … quiet morning with a hint of sun peaking out from be- hind the clouds, a few motorboats skip- ping across the lake. We were just fin- ishing up the breakfast Grandma had fixed. Scrambled eggs with the bacon mixed in the eggs because it cooked faster. Grandma takes her vitamins and Grandpa is sipping his coffee from his “World’s Greatest Grandpa” mug while working on the annual Christmas letter. I begin to ask them questions while Grandpa continues to look down and Grandma is in the next room cleaning up from breakfast. “You guys ready?”

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    Memoirs of Joseph and Theresa AugustineMemoirs of Joseph and Theresa AugustineMemoirs of Joseph and Theresa AugustineMemoirs of Joseph and Theresa Augustine

    Chapter OneChapter OneChapter OneChapter One ChildhoodChildhoodChildhoodChildhood

    Bye Mom! Bye Dad! Im off to the football game! Just a second, Joey! Is all the pressing done in the shop? Ill get to it when I get back, Mom! I really need to go to the game! My grades depend on it! If I dont go, my grades will go down. Around the corner came little Eddie and ruined my plan! Nah uh, Mom! Joeys grades have nothing to do with the football games! He just wants to go! Get back in this house! You arent going anywhere, Joey! I couldnt believe Eddie had ratted me out!

    It was the kind of day that you read about in books quiet morning with a hint of sun peaking out from be-hind the clouds, a few motorboats skip-ping across the lake. We were just fin-ishing up the breakfast Grandma had fixed. Scrambled eggs with the bacon mixed in the eggs because it cooked faster. Grandma takes her vitamins and Grandpa is sipping his coffee from his Worlds Greatest Grandpa mug while working on the annual Christmas letter. I begin to ask them questions while Grandpa continues to look down and Grandma is in the next room cleaning up from breakfast. You guys ready?

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    Memoirs of Joseph and Theresa AugustineMemoirs of Joseph and Theresa AugustineMemoirs of Joseph and Theresa AugustineMemoirs of Joseph and Theresa Augustine

    Sure, Chelle, go ahead. They never could spell my name right. But it was great because each time it was spelt a different way Chelly, Chelley, Shelley, Shelly, I think I even saw Chellie once. Thats one of my favorites. What was your childhood home like? At first, there was silence. It seemed that neither of them knew that it was a toss up question, and just one of them needed to begin speaking to grab hold of the reigns. Grandpa asks, "Who do you want to go first, Shelly?" "I don't care," I say, "there are a lot of these questions! Why don't you start Grandpa?" I grew up in Bucktown in a bun-galow," he half-blurts out. "The house was on posts that would rot all the time. Me and my brothers used to run on the porch. Once, I ran right into one of the posts. He lets out a little chuckle. I got a huge bump still have it in fact. Grandma chimes in, That explains a lot! And lets out a hearty laugh on Grandpas account. As if nothing was said, he contin-ued. "We moved to Chicago Avenue to a much better place. It was three stories tall. It had five flats and a store under-neath. We rented out four of the flats and lived in one of them. The family opened up a cleaning business in the store. I used to help with the pressing. He went on, For seventh and eighth grade, I went to public school, Co-lumbus it was called. For high school though, I went to Catholic School We-ber High School. I had a sociology teacher named Squigee

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    Memoirs of Joseph and Theresa AugustineMemoirs of Joseph and Theresa AugustineMemoirs of Joseph and Theresa AugustineMemoirs of Joseph and Theresa Augustine

    Bring it back, Grandpa. Ill get those questions later. Grandma, its your turn, how about you? What was the question again? Grandpa talked too long. Grandpa laughs at himself and says, Childhood home. Oh, I lived in Wisconsin. We rented a farm. We had to share beds and didnt have any heat. Looking back on it, I guess it was good that we shared beds with no heat! We were able to stay warm! I remember this one window up-stairs that had a terrible draft snow would even find its way in. We would all help out on the farm cleaned gutters, pulled utters! She lets out an addicting chuckle and continues. I went to Catholic school for one year only. We couldnt afford Catholic school but we would help out after school to offset the cost of tuition. One day after school while I was cleaning, I overheard one of the nuns telling someone that we were poor and that is why we helped out after school. I was so mad! After that, I purposely failed out. I was going to show them! Kinda stupid looking back on it. We moved around a lot to better our-selves with the farm. I continued with the questions, "How about your parents? Was your par-ents relationship a strong one? Which parent were you closest to?" I was happy to see that after only one question, they had grasped the concept of the up-in-the-air question and answer routine. Grandma began, Yes. They were married for over 60 years. I was closer to my mother. I was a mommas girl. After I moved down to Chicago it

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    was really hard to be away from my mom. I would come back up every week-end that I could to see her. Grandpa says, Yes, but it was a rough one, very tough for them to bal-ance, referring to the relationship his parents had, both had a heart of gold, so while they were always looking out for us kids and other people, they didnt focus on each other. I was closer to my mother as well. What were your siblings like back then and how did you get along with them? Grandpa separates his coffee cup from his lips and begins first. We were no different than any other kids of our day. My brother Eddie kinda kept to himself most times. Mostly we got along good, we would play together, eat to-gether, sometimes rough each other up a little, and we loved to play tricks on one another! He added, My sister Anna was always looking out the window, staring at either something or nothing, it didnt matter. It upset Terry so much that one day she asked Anna what she was looking at, he grins as he remi-nisces, and she told Terry that there was a double funeral that day, so she was looking outside for the double-decker hearse that was being used for the service. A double-decker hearse? I ques-tioned the old man. Do they have those? The grin turns into a laugh as he says, No! But Terry was fascinated enough to sit by the window and look for it for the next few hours! Anna was al-ways funny like that, tricking people and all. His eyes glaze over remembering

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    the story and he continues to sip his cof-fee. Grandma is finishing up the washing of the dishes and is taking in what is said by her life partner. After he had finished, Grandma retorts, Oh! Yah, I still remember that, but she got me good with that she did! She laughs about the age-old trickery and begins her tale, For me, I was the youngest girl and had 12 siblings total. I had one sib-ling who was five years younger, Larry. Larry was a lot like Anna, but he was more direct. After Id finish washing the sheets, he would step on em with his dirty shoes! And not on accident like, no-no, he did it on purpose! That got me so mad when hed do that! My sisters were good to me though. Since they had all moved to the city, it was tradition when theyd come back that theyd bring us nice things, and often times I would get a nice dress or something like that. At school, what were you like? Grandma answers first. I was a leader. There were fourteen kids total in the school. I had the biggest class of three. I was also kind of a trouble maker. I used to excuse myself from class to go to the restroom and distract the teacher while I took the answer sheet from her desk. Then I would come back and give it to my classmates. Opposites must attract because Grandpa answers, I was quiet, never got in trouble. When I was at Weber, there were 222 kids in my freshman class. But only 87 kids graduated. The rest dropped out. Other than family, who were the most important people in your life when you were growing up?

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    Grandma opens with her re-sponse, Father Kanner from St. Pat-ricks. Grandpa agreed with her about the selection. Fr. Schultz was a heavy set priest at St. Hedwicks that I could always talk with. When were the happiest times of your childhood? Well, one specific time was when my dad asked me to drive the car around the corner to re-park it, my Grandfa-ther began. Why is that such a happy mem-ory for you? I ask curiously. I was still in grade school! Imag-ine this little boy behind the wheel of a car trying to drive it! I apparently still had my confused look on my face while he continued, The car was a manual, a stick shift, and while my confused look ceased to fade, he clarified by saying, I didnt know how to drive stick! I had burst into laugher at the conclusion of that statement! There I was trying to park this big car, me being a tiny boy in-side, working three pedals on the floor that I can barely reach, and the car that Im operating is going, Ka- KLUNK ka-KLUNK as I try and understand how manual transmission works! Oh but it was funny, and it was a good time, abso-lutely! The man was clearly nothing short of smiles at this point. Grandma also smiles and says, When my brothers would come home from the service, those were my happy times. They would help with homework and take me to the movies! She begins her contagious laughing and smiling once again. When you were a kid, what did

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    you imagine your adult life would be like? Grandma answers first because Grandpa needed a moment to think. I thought I would always live on a farm and possibly be a teacher. Grandpa has an answer. I thought I would become a dentist or an undertaker, but we couldnt afford it. An undertaker? I challenged. Yeah, thats what I said! After being an altar boy for many funerals, I became fascinated with seeing the dead bodies and the priests blessing them so I didnt mind it much and I knew it would be a good job, so I said to myself why not!

    Chapter TwoChapter TwoChapter TwoChapter Two

    WorkWorkWorkWork I heard lots of whispering, Get in her line! Shes good! I was so proud of myself. Everyone wanted to have me ring them up! I was working at Goldblats, my sister Vicki had gotten me a job there. I worked as a cashier. No one understood why my line was so long and other cashiers did not have nearly the line that I did. Now we know why. I came from Wisconsin who, at the time, didnt have any sales tax. Illinois did, but no one told me! So when I would ring people up, I didnt charge them any tax! I lasted for 3 days and then quit.

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    They were really nice there, gave me a second chance and all, but I just couldnt cut it. We took a break for lunch which was more of a dinner as Grandma brings out freshly cooked steaks, potatoes and this new pumpkin bread. Just try it, youll like it, she comforts us with. Lately Grandma has gotten back into cooking and experimenting. Some-times they are great successes; others you wish they still had a dog. But Grandma was able to own up to her not so successful recipes. Let the record show that the pumpkin bread was a suc-cess. And of course, it was sent home with us when we left. What was your first job and how did you get it? Grandma was standing above us, making sure everything was placed on the table, her hands trembling just a bit. My first job was at Forum Cafeteria in downtown Chicago. I became a waitress at 15. Were you any good at it? I ask sheepishly as she places additional sil-verware and napkins on the table. Got good tips, so I must have been! she replies with nothing more than a smile and a rub of the hands. I quit that place though. After awhile I began to miss home in Wisconsin. Since I didnt get no weekends or holidays off because I lacked any seniority at the place, I could never see my parents or

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    my brothers and sisters! I started at 14 at Ideal Screw Company as a floor worker. Grandpa smiles and adds simply. It was on the West Side of Chicago. Is there anything you think is ab-solutely crucial to success at work? Oh yes! Grandma says. You need to be dedicated to what you are do-ing. But you need to have a sense of hu-mor and have a little fun. I remember this one time at Scholles. It was around Christmas time and we didnt have any decorations in our department. I thought it was my responsibility to change that. We had red and green rags that we used to clean up the machines. So I took them and turned them into flags and put them on the top of everyones machines! I thought I was so clever, but my boss did-nt really like it too much. Grandpa shakes his head at Grandma. You need to be tough at work. Get the job done. What was the best job you ever had? The worst? Oh I know Grandpas! Grandma exclaims! Oh yeah? What are they? Grandpa challenges. Your best was Portes and your worst was Jaydon. Grandma says, nearly yelling with her excitement of as-suredness. Okay, you got me. I worked at Portes Drugs for 23 years. I started as a stock boy but only part time as I was working at the machine shop. Was a great way to earn a little extra money. Well then I got laid off from the machine shop not too long afterwards. I got moved up into sales at Portes fulltime. I

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    didnt like it so much, so I then moved over into the buying area of the com-pany, yknow, for ordering supplies and stuff. Jaydon was tough because I was already over 50 years old and the job was sales. I couldnt work sales. If some-one didnt need what I was selling, I couldnt make them buy it. I would tell them they didnt need it and move on to my next customer. I worked strictly off of commission, so that wasnt too good. My best job was probably Scholles since I was there the longest, Grandma announced. My worst was a store called Goldblats that my sister Vicki had gotten me a job at.

    Chapter ThreeChapter ThreeChapter ThreeChapter Three Love and FamilyLove and FamilyLove and FamilyLove and Family

    Would you like more Tea, Ronald? Shirley asked her brother. Most days this was normal behav-ior for a 5 year old girl and a 3 year old boy. Shirley and Ronald wanted to have a tea party with their friends in the backyard. Grandma used to sleep during the day because she worked nights. The backyard was encased in a chain-link fence so as to keep it a private affair. I found a neat pitcher and I brought sandwiches for everyone! ex-claimed Shirley. Not too long into their party, Grandma awoke and went to her chil-dren. She noted they were awfully som-

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    ber for their age. Soon afterwards, the tea party was over, and Grandma began cleaning up. She noticed a strange smell. Grandmas eyes fell upon the pitcher that Shirley had found. It was Grandpas beer jug! This explained the calmness of the children, and she made it her task to call the parents and inform them their child was drunk! All of the parents took it well. Shirley had thrown a fine Beer Tea Party behind the garage!

    We stop the questions for the day because its time to head to church. We lose track of the time and race around to get ready in time to leave to drive to mass. We make it to Immaculate Heart of Mary in Galesburg with more than enough time to spare, but the focus is off of Grandma and Grandpa and turned to God. Ive learned in my years with my grandparents that this is truly the way they prefer it. They know how to give it all to God. Its admirable. We come back from church. I waste no time changing out of my church garments and into my more comfortable sleeping clothes, consisting of a sweat shirt and night pants. Nor do I waste time picking up where wed left off Tell me about your first date, I announce, paper laid flat, pen at the ready. Grandma smiles and gives more details then I could probably recollect of

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    my first date. It was December 2nd. My sister, Anne, had set me up to go with this other guy the same night that Joe asked me out. So, when Joe showed up at the door and Anne answered it, she said, What are you doing here? Yeah, that was a great way to be greeted! Grandpa piped up. So we went to a show and then we had to go straight to work, Grandma continued. Which one of you had to go to work? I asked. Both of us, we worked together! burst out Grandma. Interesting, was my next word. Howd that work? I asked as I delved deeper for information. Grandpa fields that one. I worked as an Inspector. Terry was working as a Machine Operator. There were all sorts of rumors saying that she wanted to go out with me. Finally, one week, I was handing out the paychecks and I held Terrys for last. When I got to her, I handed her the check and said, Well, there are rumors saying you want to go out with me. So if you want to go out, thats ok by me. And if you dont, you know, thats ok too, no hard feelings. That was sweet, huh? chimes in my grandmother. I was so afraid of Joe. He had a reputation of being a real stick-ler for things. When we would take our breaks, it was 15 minutes, no more. When did you know this was the one? Grandma answers right away. It was Valentines Day, that next year. He bought me a rosary as a gift. I knew I had found my guy.

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    Lets skip ahead a little: Chil-dren. What was the most rewarding thing about raising children? Grandpa laughs and gives a sar-castic (though potentially half serious) answer, Disciplining them! He gives out another great giggle of a laugh and collects himself before going on to say, No, Im kidding. I really enjoyed camp-ing with them in the Army tent, wed be freezing our butts off, but we still had a lot of fun. I do miss camping with them, he finishes and trails off, the smile on his face weakening just a tad. Grandma interjects the silence with, meal time and prayers. I remem-ber when the kids used to pretend to take communion at home. What was the toughest thing about raising kids? Grandma starts off, solemnly, I worked the night shift at the time, so it was really hard to leave them to go to work. Grandpa followed with, I felt like I was always tired at holidays because I overworked. I couldnt completely enjoy the time with the kids and the family. What do you remember as the best times you had as a family? They both answered the same way and almost at the same time: Saturday night camping at Lake Holiday with the trailer. What are the secrets to a good relationship or marriage? I think you have to have a lot in common. Grandma says. Grandpa adds on, You have to understand one another. Grandma nearly buckles over in laugher! Youve never understood me,

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    Father! Do you have any advice about be-ing a good parent? Grandma swiftly states, without hesitation, You have to keep God in the family. Grandpa nods in agreement then adds, You have to love and understand your children. Is there anything you would do differently as a mother or father now? Grandma responds immediately. Oh yes! I wish Id taken more time with my kids. Grandpa echoes. Id be home with the kids more often. Would you try to do anything dif-ferently as a spouse? Grandma said shed be more affec-tionate and Grandpa would be more ro-mantic. Now that you are all adults, what are your relationships like with your sib-lings? My siblings and I always got along. We still do, Grandpa replies firmly. Id say you get along well with your siblings, Grandpa! I cry out. You spend the winter months living across the way from your brother, Eddie, and his wife, Marge, in Mission, Texas, at Chimney Park! Yeah, we are snowbirds to-gether! Grandpa exclaims. My relationships are still strong with my siblings, Grandma mirrors. How are you like your parents? How are you different? Grandma takes first crack at this one. Im like my mother in that she loved to give. Im like my father in his

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    faith and religion. But Im not like my father because I dont have as big a tem-per as he had. My mom loved to garden and I dont like it at all! Grandpa pauses and then comes in with, Im like my dad because we both would give you the shirt off of our backs. We are also both kind of standoff-ish when you first meet us. Im like my mom because we both take life seriously. Its not just a game. I wasnt my father in the way he was back then. He was very sociable and I was very quiet and shy. My mother was very reserved and held herself back from things, but that wasnt like me. I tried things. Who in your family is most like you? Grandma smiles, and then de-clares, probably my sister, Marge. Grandpa responds with, Either my sister, Francis or my daughter, Shirley. What would you say love is? Have your ideas about it changed over time? Love is a process of giving and taking, Grandma began in a matter-of-fact tone. Its also about being sincere. I dont think that has changed at all. For better or for worse, Grandpa adds quickly, Thats unchanged too. It was at this moment that I realized that no matter how complicated you make things, ultimately it was so simple. Grandma and Grandpa have been together for over 50 years and they could sum up what was important to keep it all together in one simple line. Grandpas answer is the commit-ment we all make when we say I do. Grandmas answer reminded me of a

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    quote from one of my favorite books, Tuesdays with Morrie: Life is a series of pulls back and forth. You want to do one thing, but you are bound to do something else. Some-thing hurts you, yet you know it should-nt. You take certain things for granted, even when you know you should never take anything for granted. A tension of opposites, like a pull on a rubber band. And most of us live somewhere in the middle. Sounds like a wrestling match, I say. A wrestling match. He laughs. Yes, you could describe life that way. So which side wins, I ask? Which sides wins? He smiles at me Love wins. Love always wins.

    Chapter FourChapter FourChapter FourChapter Four You as YouYou as YouYou as YouYou as You

    It was my 35th birthday and tem-peratures were as cold as they could get in January and Terry was off having fun with her sister, Annie. Meanwhile, the kids were at home alone. I was so mad! What kind of person leaves kids at home alone in this weather? Its Chi-cago, after all I was still at work. Terry called asking me to pick her up from Annies house because her car was stuck. I got in the car and drove to An-nies house to get her. As I walked in the door, I was greeted by Annie. Surprise! Annie said. Turns out, Terry had thrown a

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    surprise party for me. I couldnt even go into the base-ment where the party was being held. I needed to go upstairs to their living room to calm down a bit before I could truly enjoy the festivities! I was so mad! Its a brand new weekend. Seems time continues to fly! This morning be-gan the same as all mornings do when visiting these two wonderful people. No alarm clocks. No pressure to get out of bed. Comfortably tossing in the sheets, fighting the need to awake and arise. Alas, we are forced to begin by our rum-bling bellies. As we approach the table, expecting the usual bacon cooked in eggs, we are offered a choice. Kiska. To make a comparison, its a lot like corned beef hashbut needs ketchup. Grandma prepares the kieska, which only Grandpa and Brian seem to enjoy. While Grandpa is doing his nor-mal job of making toast, I begin the questions once more. Who makes you laugh the hard-est? Grandma says, Lee Gusterson, hes Chris Augustines father. Grandpa says, My brother-in-law, Al. We would always hang around and go fishing. What was the best trip you ever took? Both answered, Cancun! Cancun was a free trip that Grandpa had won through Jaydon. The trip was a contest that the company was

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    holding, winner to be chosen by raffle. To earn tickets in the raffle, you needed to sell a certain product. Since Grandpa didnt much like to sell as it was, he had managed to sell just one. He cast in his raffle ticket, and a few days later he was called up and notified he was the win-ner. Dumb luck? Grandpa said he wasnt inter-ested, said to give it to someone else, but Grandma stepped in at this point and told him to take it. To this day, both are still glad they went. Where is the most amazing place you have seen? Grandma says, Arizona. There was this church on the hill with moun-tains in the background. Monterey, Mexico, Grandpa smiles, then says through a chuckle, The scenery was beautiful! There were a lot of beautiful young senoritas, which is why the scenery was so amazing! If you could go somewhere youve never been where would it be? Grandma would go to Europe, spe-cifically Poland and shes always wanted to go to Australia. Grandpa wants to travel all the states. When asked, Would you rather be living somewhere else? Both an-swered, No. I then asked them to list the five things they couldnt live without. Grandma said, Religion, Hus-band, Children, Grandkids, Great Grandkids, and, of course, food! We then had a long discussion on the fact that Grandma had listed six things and that was cheating. She laughed and said, "Okay, Joe. Then you are off my

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    list!" Grandpa immediately gave an ex-ception and allowed Grandma to elect for six things. In turn, he elected for six things as well but was sure to point out that his wife would come first on his list! Grandpa counts off his five, I mean, six things as, Wife, Religion, Im-mediate Family, Grandkids, Great Grandkids and my brother-in-law Al. "What is your most beloved per-sonal possession?" They both struggled with this but Grandma looked around and finally laid her eyes on her Blessed Mary statue. Jerry Dudasik, Grandmas Godchild, made it for her. The Blessed Mother is close to Grandma. Grandpa talks about his rosary. It was his communion rosary. He would use it all the time. No other earthly pos-session of his was as cherished. When his son Ronald passed away, he placed it in his casket, because the one that was there was falling apart. After the fu-neral, it was given back to him. He smiles broadly and says, I still got it! "What's the bravest thing you have ever done?" Grandma lets out a hearty laugh and says, "Getting married!" Grandpa said, "Supporting a fam-ily." "What's the scariest thing you've ever done? The dumbest?" Grandma says, "Just one, huh? Scariest was when I rode in an airplane for the first time. The dumbest was when I cheated in school." Grandpa says, "The scariest thing was speeding down Chicago Avenue. This was during the time I was dating

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    Terry. I would try to spend as much time as I could with her before having to go home. Of course, at that time, there was a curfew, so I would be racing home to beat it, and that race was speeding down Chicago Avenue! The dumbest thing was marrying my wife! he jokes. I dont know, Ive done a lot of dumb things! Grandma vouches in the background. "Is there anything you always wanted to do but never did?" Grandma always wanted to take a trip to Europe. Grandpa wished he had played sports in high school. His family was in the cleaning business. There was a pressing machine that he operated and all the pressing had to be completed by 4:30pm. But Grandpa played football and practice went until 6:00pm. This left his father with the workload of doing the pressing machine. He began to feel guilty, so after only 2 weeks of sports, he quit to run the pressing machine to help the family business.

    Chapter FiveChapter FiveChapter FiveChapter Five The Kind of Life You've LivedThe Kind of Life You've LivedThe Kind of Life You've LivedThe Kind of Life You've Lived

    Heres one for Missy and one for JoEllen and one for Adam and one for Chelle. Yippee! Presents! I always loved Christmas! It felt a little cold on the bot-tom, which I found strange. I anxiously tore open my present! Inside I find only a heavy bread pan, filled. With ice.

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    My grandfather and I had a standing joke that he deserved coal in his stocking for all the tricks he would play on people. He decided that he would get me back by giving me a lump of ice instead of a lump of coal. Ha, Ha, very funny Grandpa, I think to myself as I toss my block of ice to the side. We go through the rest of the pre-sents and I eagerly wait for my real present to be given to me. But it had already come All the presents are passed out and I take my present and get ready to toss it in the garbage bag. Grandma stops me and informs me that Grandpa has frozen my present inside that block of ice! That little sneak!!! I think to myself as I contemplate my revenge.

    "What were the best years of your life?" Grandma said, "1998 until the present. Now we are able to travel and really get to know each other." Grandpa said, "1999 until now be-cause we are able to travel." We all laughed at the fact that Grandma seemed to sneak in an extra good year. "What was the hardest decision you've made?" They both agreed that putting Grandpa's mom in a home in 1989 was the toughest decision theyve had to

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    make. We all had a little moment of si-lence remembering all the good memo-ries of Great Grandma. We talked a lit-tle bit about St. Patrick's, the home that Great Grandma was in and how wonder-ful of a home it truly was. "What would you consider to be your strongest character traits?" Grandma said, "I tend to be social and talkative." We all gave her a look of disbelief. You Grandma? Talkative? NO! Then we all started laughing. Grandpa said, "I'm pretty good at acting like an idiot lately. I'm also a bit of a prankster." I testified to that after we remi-nisced on all the pranks Grandpa had played on me. "What traits or habits do you wish you didn't have?" Grandma states solemnly, "I wish I didn't read into things so much or in-terrupt people when they are talking." Grandpa pours from the heart, "I wish I wasn't so serious. I'm such a worry-wart and paranoid." "Do you believe that people can change?" They both agreed that people can try to change. But to make the change is very difficult. "Do you think life is harder or eas-ier than when you were young?" Grandma says, Much harder." Grandpa agrees and adds in that inflation is part of the difficulty. "If you could do anything over in your life, what would it be and what would you do differently?" Grandmas eyes glaze over a little and she replies, "I would have gone on to

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    Memoirs of Joseph and Theresa AugustineMemoirs of Joseph and Theresa AugustineMemoirs of Joseph and Theresa AugustineMemoirs of Joseph and Theresa Augustine

    high school and became a teacher." Grandpa answers honestly, "I would have gone into the priesthood. Sorry Terry!" "What are you most proud of?" "My children, Grandma says with a big smile. Grandpa comes back with, "My family, all of them." "What do you hope to be remem-bered for?" "For me, I want to be remembered for being loving and forgiving," Grandma says. "Id like to be known for giving the shirt off my back," Grandpa says. I recalled my favorite book again, Tuesdays with Morrie. I experience similar emotions now, as I write these final pages, that I did when I read the following paragraph of the book: Have you ever really had a teacher? One who you saw as a raw but precious thing, a jewel that, with wis-dom, could be polished to a proud shine? To me, Grandma and Grandpa are these teachers. Their lessons fill these pages with a history that we can be proud to be a part of.