Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Advice to Dieters and Non-Dieters Alike

"Nothing tastes as good as the first bite!"  . . . Peter Bilezikian

Monday, September 26, 2016

Farewell, Dear Jim Patriquin

Marash Girl sends her condolences to the family of Jim Patriquin.  Jim was a sweet and wonderful father, husband,  and friend.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

WBUR, Bread and Kisses

Marash Girl's friend Bilal was volunteering at WBUR with his little one year old son in tow -- his blonde one-year-old son who signed to me (just as Dylan Marie does) that he wanted more! (Apparently Bilal had just fed him a treat from WBUR's breakfast table!)

Noting the child's sign language reminded Marash Girl of an old expression that her family often used.  Öp de başına koy.  Literally, Kiss (it) and place it on your forehead. Öp (kiss) başına (on your head)  koy (place, put).  An expression that Bilal also remembered from his childhood!

According to both Bilal and Marash Girl's friend Murat, the expression means (in general) to be thankful for what you have -- (and stop complaining!) In other words, be thankful to God (for  the bread or for whatever you may be kvetching about.)

Often, if a member of Marash Girl's family dropped a piece of bread, another member of the family would give the advise, Öp de başına koy.  (Pick it up and) kiss it and put it on your forehead.  Be thankful . . . give a silent prayer of thanksgiving.

If the family member hesitated, Marash Girl's father would add in English, "Don't worry.  You have to eat a pound of dirt before you die!"





Saturday, September 24, 2016

Anatomy on a Piano Bench

Years ago, while Marash Girl was in high school, she would often study with neighbor and classmate Stan Shafran, God rest his soul.  She and Stan, only friends, mind you, would often work together in his finished basement on their latest high school assignment.  They both loved music.  Stan played the piano with a jazz band.  Marash Girl played classical piano.  One day, Stan and Marash Girl were sitting on the piano bench in Stan's finished basement, discussing Stan's latest assignment, when Stan's mother came down the cellar stairs.

"What are you two doing down here?" she asked.

"We're studying," the two young people answered, quite honestly.

To which Stan's mother replied, "What are you studying?  Anatomy?"

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Sweetest Corn In The Town/County/Commonwealth

A  Picture of a picture:  Undated vintage photo of the Wilbraham Village Store
Wilbraham, Massachusetts

If you're anywhere near the center of Wilbraham, Massachusetts, (see above vintage photo of the Wilbraham Village Store in Wilbraham Center), head south on Main Street, (that's towards Connecticut, if you you're not good at geography) but don't drive too fast, because you might miss the Merrick Farm and farm stand on your right, about a half mile from the village center . . .  In the Merrick family for generations, the farm is farmed by Llewellyn Merrick (below).  He gathers his crops proudly and is often heard to say to his customers, "Here -- have an ear of corn. I just picked it. It's so sweet and tender, you don't even have to put the water on to boil!"  . . . the freshest veggies around! Don't miss your chance to visit Lewlleyn Merrick at The Merrick Farm, Wilbraham, Massachusetts.                    
Llewelyn Merrick, our very own local farm hero!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

"Give us this day our daily bread . . . "

Marash Girl asked her father many years ago, "When you were in Marash, did your mother ever tell you what she wanted you to become when you grew up?"

Peter's answer:  "Are you kidding?  We were glad to get a piece of bread!"

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

M.I.T.?

Today Marash Girl received a letter in her mailbox from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology addresssed to her father Peter Bilezikian who passed away a number of years ago.  Ironic, she thought. Looking at the return address on the envelope, she remembered that her father, upon nearing graduation from Watertown High School,  had been offered a scholarship to M.I.T.  Born in Marash, Peter had arrived in the United States knowing no English.  Having no schooling, he entered the first grade as a 9 year old, and graduated to the 6th grade in one year -- he would laugh when he told us that!  Acing his school work, he found himself graduating from Watertown High School in 1932 with a full scholarship to M.I.T.  And he wanted to attend.  But he had been working with his brother as an electrician and repairman while he was in high school.  "Are you going to go to college and leave me to take care of our parents all by myself?" his brother asked him.  Of course, Peter's answer was in the negative, and so he gave up his scholarship to M.I.T. and joined his brother establishing their business -- first on Bowers Street in the corner of a building owned by their uncle, Rev. Vartan Bilezikian, and then on Newtonville Avenue in Newtonville Square:  Newtonville Electrical Company, Inc., Newtonville, Massachusetts.  But Peter actually did attend M.I.T. at night, although he had worked all day with his brother at the shop.

Whenever folks would ask him if he had gone to M.I.T., he would laugh and answer, "Sure, I went to M.I.T. . . . I walked right past it!"

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Saying Goodbye to the People We Love

Funerals are always difficult, especially if they are for the people you love, and so Marash Girl and Marash Boy were very sad to have to go to a funeral today for a wonderful woman: Linda (Zaroug) Durgarian.  But along with the funeral came a wonderful story about Linda's early life.  Born in upstate New York, when her father died, Zaroug, her mother, and sister moved to Dearborn Street in Springfield, Massachusetts.  According to her cousin Arax, soon after the family arrived at Arax's home in Springfield, Arax, Arppie and Kenar sat down with their cousin Zaroug and help her choose a name . . . a name that would work in Springfield's American community.  "Do you like Linda?" they asked her.  And so, for time immemorial, their cousin Zaroug was  known as Linda . . . even now with the angels in heaven.  May God rest your soul, Linda.

Monday, September 19, 2016

How Do Babies Get Here?

Here in the USA?  The stork brings them, of course!  But not in Uganda.  According to baby Mark's mother Irene, in Uganda, mothers tell their children that they (the children) came from the mouths of the mothers, and if they (the children) don't behave themselves, the mothers will swallow them (the children) right back down again!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

A Note from "Baby" Brother James!

A Note from "Baby" Brother James!

" Big-headed babies are brightest | News | The Times & The Sunday Times"

If you recall, I had the biggest head, remember?  According the stories I heard, my head was so big as a baby that it made me topple over in the high chair, and plop!

So now that we can agree that I have the biggest head, you need to LISTEN UP!  🌅 🤓😇😜😉
Jamesey

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Experience the Vibe with Karoun in Springfield, Massachusetts!






                     On seeing the above, Marash Boy commented, "Your acting career has begun!"

Friday, September 16, 2016

When the car behind you . . .

When the driver of the car behind your car blares the horn at you, and "gives you the finger", have you ever tried giving them five fingers back?  Just a little wave?

Thursday, September 15, 2016

What ever happened to bumper stickers?

Today, as Marash Girl drove her way into Boston along a very clogged Massachusetts Turnpike, she noticed something missing!  Bumper stickers!  There were no bumper stickers proclaiming a favorite candidate for President -- none for Clinton, none for Trump -- there were no bumper stickers proclaiming with pride that the car's owner had climbed Mt. Washington (and survived the climb), there were no bumper stickers stating, "If you can read this message, you're too d.... close!"  No bumper stickers asking her to honk if she loved Jesus.  No bumper stickers whatever!  Where have all the bumper stickers gone?

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Antoine's Bakery - Another Story of Survival

Antoine shows Marash Girl a photo of his grandson which he keeps on his shelves.
There she was at Antoine's Bakery down the Lake (in Nonantum) to buy her friend some pasta chorte.  Antoine was there.  Marash Girl had heard he was Armenian, so she started up a conversation with him . . .  in French, in Armenian, in English.  Yes, he was from Marseille, France, but where were his parents from?  Kharpert?  His father was already in this country when the Armenian Genocide began, but his mother was there.  How did she survive?  She fainted.  She fainted?  The Turkish gendarmes came to her village to root out all the Armenians including his mother, then a girl of twelve.  After the Turkish gendarmes had rounded up all the Armenians in the village, the began shooting them down, all of them, except for his mother, who went into a dead faint when it all began, dead bodies  falling over her, covering her, saving her life.  A Turkish family found the little Armenian girl, still alive, pulled her from under the mass of dead Armenians, and brought her into their home, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

OVERHEARD

"You look lovely today, my dear!"

"You should have seen me 50 years ago!"

Monday, September 12, 2016

"It started with Adam."

"You can't have a relationship with someone if you can't argue with him/her," claimed the priest during his sermon about Moses's relationship with God.

"But was Moses the first person to argue with God?" asked one of the parishioners.

"It started with Adam," answered the priest.

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Bunch of Grapes

Looking at the bunch of grapes on the kitchen table the other day, and picking the firmest reddest grapes off of that bunch reminded Marash Girl of her father and her mother.

First, her mother.

Her mother could not bear to look at a bunch of grapes with grapeless stems sticking out.  Unsightly!  Whenever her mother served a bunch of grapes, she would always cut off sweet little bunches of 4 or 5 grapes and place them in a bowl, thus avoiding the future unsightliness of a bunch of grapes with grapeless stems  . . .  or graceless stems, as this spell correct wishes to state!

Next, her father.

Her father would look at a bunch of grapes and remember the days in Marash when all they had to eat was a bunch of grapes.  He remembered how they would pluck off the most perfect grapes first, and eat those.  Soon they would be eating the grapes that didn't look quite so good.  And finally, when they were really hungry, which often they were, they would eat the rotten grapes.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Blaming the Victim

Overheard telephone conversation (mother to daughter):

It's psychological? My pain is psychological? It's real to me!

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Instructions For Your Wedding Night

At a Congregational Church on the Cape, immediately after church on Sunday, the congregation was invited to visit the church social hall (after the service) to purchase whatever was left from the church flea market that had occurred the day before.  

Dutifully, after the church service, Marash Girl went back to the book sale section to see what she could see and what she saw was hilarious:   two old guys were looking over the books in a back corner, books on sex and sexuality, while the elderly lady managing the book sale looked on.  One old guy said to the other, "Hey, look at this! Instructions on what to do on your wedding night!  And there are pictures, too! . . . But (he said disappointedly) it says for your wedding night."  His friend commented, "It's okay!  You can use the book for any night! Not just your wedding night!"

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

REGULAR SINGING: An American Family Story at the Charles Mosessian Theater

On Saturday evening, Marash Girl and her friend Helene attended REGULAR SINGING: An American Family Story at the Charles Mosessian Theater, Watertown, Massachusetts.

Heard (at the end of the performance) from the the man sitting in the row behind Marash Girl:

"I don't know about singing, but there sure was a lot of talking."

The heroes? There were none. . . simply women who battered their men (though not physically), and men who were silently depressed about the battering.

That about sums it up, folks.

P.S.  On a happier note, we finally got rain here last night!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Lost and Found, Family Style

Marash Girl's good friend Mariam recently assured Marash Girl, "If you can't find something, it doesn't mean that you've lost it . .  only that you haven't found it yet."

Or as Joe Markarian's grandma always assured him, "If it's in the house, it's not lost!"

Monday, September 5, 2016

MANY DAYS LEFT FROM THE OLD DAYS!

Playing Bocce on the mountain in Wilbraham, Massachusetts, on Labor Day!
LOOKING FORWARD TO MANY MORE DAYS FROM THE OLD DAYS!

See Marash Girl's Blog Post for Thursday, October 17, 2013,  
One day left from the old days . . .  "Eski günlerden bir gün kalmush . . ."

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Still no rain!!!!

It's been a long time here in Eastern Massachusetts since we've had rain . . .  The Cambridge Reservoir is down to about 20% of its typical volume of water!

                               Even Marash Girl's garden statuary is drooping from lack or water!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

True Love

Nancy: So how did she ever get him to go out with her?  He's so shy!

Marie:  I guess she just grabbed the bull by the horns!

Friday, September 2, 2016

Fresh herb harvest got you flummoxed?

Overwhelmed with the crop in your herb garden?  Wishing the garden would last all winter? It can!
As with fruit (see previous blogpost), try freezing the herbs by removing leaves from stem, placing leaves in ice cube tray, covering leaves with water, and the next day you'll have herb cubes.  Store in plastic bag, and when you're ready to use them, simply thaw out an ice cube, chop the herb in question, and add to your sauces or soups and simmer for a bit..  (Can't really add frozen herbs to fresh salad, but you could blend them up with your salad dressing and use them on your fresh salad that way!)

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Frozen Fruit for Future Feasting

Fruit ripening faster than you can eat it?  Freeze that ripe fruit -- peel the fruit, slice it up into edible pieces, lay it out on a sheet of wax paper or flat in a plastic bag . . . mangos . . . bananas . . . and after they're frozen, toss them into a plastic bag for future feasting and snacking.  You'll be glad you did!  (By the way, the riper the fruit,  the sweeter.  Like eating mini-popsicles!)

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

One word out of me . . .

Daddy would always joke to his friends about his prowess as a parent:  "One word out of me . . . and they do as they please!"  In reality, not a word, but one steely look at us would stop us kids in our tracks!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Dylan Marie with her First Official Hair Cut!

                                            Dylan Marie with her First Official Hair Cut!

Marash Girl still remembers with some sweet sadness the first "official" hair cuts of Nisha and Lorig on the shores of the Connecticut River at Mt. Tom Greenhouse in Holyoke, Massachusetts!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Parsley and the Armenian

Well, there's plenty to say about parsley and the Armenians . . . they love it, they use it as often as they can, both fresh and in dishes . . .  Uncle George grew parsley in his flower beds! Marash Girl's dad even made smoothies with parsley (his own home-grown) in orange juice!  . . . But what Marash Girl wants to tell you about today is the Armenian lady that she met at Stop & Shop's vegetable counter.  Marash Girl was sorting through the parsley and finally settled on a bunch that looked pretty good when she felt a hand on her arm.  When she looked around, she saw an old lady, (as it turns out, an old Armenian lady), who scolded her in accented English:  "Why are you taking that parsley from the front?.  Don't you know that they put the freshest bunches in the back?" 

Of course . . . what a dolt Marash Girl was!  So, under the watchful gaze of the old Armenian lady, Marash Girl girl placed the bunch of parsley she had had in her hand back onto the front of the counter, and reached way back to get the freshest bunch there was.

"Aferim, aghchig!" said my newfound Armenian advisor . . .

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Protect Yo Heart

The sidewalks of New York City abounded with the message,  "Protect Yo' Heart", a message meant for all of us on many levels -- the physical, emotional, and spiritual, to name a few -- particularly meaningful for the Armenian Community as "Protect Yo Heart" Day occurs on the day before April 24th.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Welcome Mark to a Wonderful World


Join Marash Girl in welcoming Mark (born yesterday) to a wonderful world!
Congratulations to Irene and Paul!

Friday, August 26, 2016

Smile?

Why is it that when you smile, even when you have nothing to smile about, it makes you feel happier?  Try it out and let Marash Girl and her readers know by commenting below.  And thanks!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Celebrating Together

Father and son pose at wedding reception in New Jersey for Aram Demirjian and his bride Caraline!

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Six words?

Yesterday, while Marash Girl was playing catchup with her book orders, she tuned in to National Public Radio where they were discussing Not Quite What I Was Planning, a collection of six-word memoirs by famous and not-so-famous writers, artists and musicians. 

Marash Girl thought about that . . . six words . . . . hmmm . . . . a fun game . . . it would certainly save her readers time, but for Marash Girl?  It would break her heart.  Six words may get to the heart of the matter, but the joy of the matter is the human being to which the heart gives life.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

A photo of Aintab from the old days . . .

Did Marash Girl's Grandma Esther Bosnian Vartanian and Grandpa Garabed Vartanian, newly married, walk under these arches, hand in hand, planning their escape to a  life free of fear?
From



Cesar Jacques Chekijian
August 19 at 5:33pm
's post on Facebook.
An archway in Aintab called "Karpuzatan" on the way to the ancient Zeugma ruins. Karpuz-Atan translates to "Watermelon Thrower"... people who lived above the archway must have been known to throw down watermelon?! The shape of the archway looks Arabic to me.
An archway in Aintab called "Karpuzatan" on the way to the ancient Zeugma ruins. Karpuz-Atan transla...

Monday, August 22, 2016

How Time Flies!

Can't believe that it's August 22nd already and Marash Girl hasn't written a word for ten days!  I guess time flies when you're havin' fun! (See post below on August 11.)  Let's see if Marash Girl ever does catch up on those missed entries.  If not, feel confident that she was having the time of her life!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Pirate's Cove

Pirate's Cove, Route 28, Yarmouth, is the best mini-golf in the Commonwealth, according to the kids attending -- 
Which one is scarier?

                     Kids (and their parents) even learn the history and lore of well-known pirates.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Time Flies!

               Philosophy on the Blackboard of Chatham's Schoolhouse Ice Cream

                               "Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana."
AND above the blackboard  . . .
"If you want to teach your children about taxes, 
take a big bite out of the ice-cream in their ice cream cone!"

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Something there is that doesn't love a wall . . .


                                                              Robert Frost said it all!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

That boy is looking at me!

Marash Martha -- She was 4 years old, almost 5 . . . she  looked like Shirley Temple -- Armenian, albeit blonde and blue eyed growing up  in a dark-haired, dark-eyed Armenian community . . . but no matter what community she was in, she was noticed.  Her first day of kindergarten, upon entering the classroom, she cried out, terrified, "That boy is looking at me!"

Just to note here that the boys have never stopped looking at her!

Monday, August 8, 2016

Are you Mexican?

"Are you Mexican?"  Thus were Marash Girl and her daughter greeted as they sauntered into the Hyannis (Massachusetts) Democratic Headquarters . . .  Go figure!

Friday, August 5, 2016

Child-Proof Bottles?

Medzmama was living with Marash Girl and Marash Boy when she was well into her late eighties.  At the time, she was required to take medicine (in the form of pills) daily.  The only problem was that her pills were all in childproof bottles, bottles the covers of which she could not open.  No problem.  She called her young grandchildren over and asked them for their help  . . . and you guessed it!  The child-proof bottles were no problem for the young grandchildren.  They opened the bottles in a jiffy, much to Medzmama's relief . . . and Marash Girl's dismay!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Farmer's Market, Chatham, Massachusetts

Local farmers gather every Tuesday summer and fall  in Chatham, Massachusetts

Marash Boy tries the "home made" ginger beer at the Farmers' Market; Marash Girl renegged, fearing for her sobriety.




Wednesday, August 3, 2016

"My mother chooses my leg of lamb . . ."

Many years ago, at a meeting of the Harvard Armenian Club --  (it hadn't, as yet, become the Harvard-Radcliffe Armenian Club -- did it ever become that. . .? not that it matters as Radcliffe is now a misty memory from the past . . . ) -- young Armenian undergraduate women were fluttering around a young Armenian Harvard graduate student when, grinning, he commented, "My mother chooses my leg of lamb; my mother will choose my wife!"  

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Happy Birthday, Marash Boy!

               You are the LION of Marash Girl's life (even though you don't read her blog!)

    "Do I have to read a blog to find out what my wife thinks?" asked Marash Boy not so long ago.
Before the tornado took all:   Marash Boy adds wood to the fire in the ancient fireplace
that once graced the back of the cottage in Wilbraham.

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Sign Points The Way

Marash Girl's friend, Lorig Gelenian, just informed here that the California State Assembly passed a bill directing the Department of Transportation to place informational signs on the 60 freeway directing motorists to the "Armenian Genocide Martyrs Monument" at Bicknell Park, Montebello, California . . . no small achievement!!!

Sunday, July 31, 2016

NOT NATIVE?

The police answered the call re. the black panther (see yesterday's post below).  When Newton's finest drove up to the fire station in response to the call, he commented, "Hmm. . . Not native . . "; Marash Girl:  "Not native? Yes, I am!  I'm a native of Newton -- born and brought up here!"  The officer grinned,  "Not you!  The black panther!"

Saturday, July 30, 2016

BLACK PANTHER IN NEWTON CORNER

Black cat crossed your path recently? A big black cat?

Marash Girl was walking toward the YMCA on Church Street this very morning, round about 8 AM, when what should she see running from the "hills to the south" (Newtonville Avenue) across Church Street and behind the Fire Station -- what should she see?  A full-sized black panther loping towards the Massachusetts Turnpike. (Sorry!  No photo!)

After reporting the sighting to the fire station and the police (the police who were particularly concerned that the black panther would decide to travel along the Massachusetts Turnpike), Marash Girl was regaling her daughter Lorig with the tale -- (her daughter was driving North heading for Newton Corner) when a truck with BLACK PANTHER written across its side  passed Lorig's car traveling South between DC and Baltimore.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is no old cats' tale!

Friday, July 29, 2016

Look what's going on in Armenia!

When Marash Girl asked yesterday about the situation in Armenia, Marash Girl's Hayastantsi Armenian friend wrote the following:

"I don't know what to say.... The videos and posts are so disturbing... I can't believe a great nation like we Armenians who survived so many centuries fighting against various enemies, today in the 21-st century have a corrupt government that thinks only about collecting wealth, properties in other countries, creating an unacceptable living environment for their own people, making them migrate for a better life. What can I say.... My heart is aching for my people.... I am asking we Armenians overseas to get together and stand up against the government and everything that is going on in our Yerevan today, stand up for our brothers and sisters, for our mothers and grandmothers, for our kids that are on the streets of Yerevan and are being treated like animals.  This is more than unacceptable.. Please copy and paste the links below and watch . . . . "


http://m.mamul.am/am/video/26649065


https://themoscowtimes.com/articles/armenia-revolts-forget-social-protest-people-demand-regime-change-54745


http://sputnik.co.am/society/20160728/4528541.html


The links will NOT connect; simply copy and paste the above links into your web browser . . . and cry.  You don't have to understand the language; your eyes will tell you all you need to know.

And it's getting worse!  http://civilnet.am/
ARMENIAN POLICE CLASH WITH DEMONSTRATORS AS HOSTAGE STAND-OFF CONTINUES

Anti-government forces remain in control of a police station in Yerevan as 50 injured when authorities try to clear out protest camp. Eurasianet.org

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Canadian Geese visit Cedar Pond in Sturbridge, Massachusetts

 Canadian Geese at Cedar Pond, Sturbridge: "We lost our room key."            Photo by Marash Girl

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

May God Rest Your Soul, Cousin Charlie

The Lord is our Shepherd. We shall not want . . .
Stained glass window - Newton Presbyterian Church.
This is a difficult piece to write.  There is so much to say that Marash Girl cannot put into words, but she will try her best, through a veil of tears.

Yesterday, Marash Girl's dear cousin Charlie Bilezikian (better known these days as Chuck, and to  outer members of his circle of friends, as the successful founder of the Christmas Tree Shops), Marash Girl's dear cousin Charlie passed away.

Marash Girl would like to tell you about the Charlie she knew way back when they were kids growing up together in Newton. 

Her earliest memories of Charlie begin when he lived downstairs (Auntie Bea, Uncle Kay, Charlie and his older sister Nancy) and Marash Girl and her family (Peter and Jennie and Martha [before James was born], Paul and Zabelle and Pauline [before Johnnie was born], and Grandma Yepros and Grandpa Moses] lived upstairs in the white clapboard house at 474/476 Lowell Avenue, Newtonville.  She remembers playing on those steep stairs with Charlie, going from the first floor to the second and back down to the first floor again -- a game that her parents would never allow her to play, but Charlie and Nancy and the Kasparian cousins loved to play and always included Marash Girl!

Marash Girl got a train set one Christmas that she didn't know how to work -- it was set up on the third floor  (where Grandma and Grandpa lived) in her father's former bedroom  -- she was too young -- but Charlie knew now to work the train; he loved to watch that Lionel streamliner travel in circles around it's little track, and she loved to watch Charlie watch the train . . .

Charlie attended Claflin (Elementary) School as did Marash Girl.
When Marash Girl entered first grade, Charlie was in fourth grade.  Marash Girl always felt confident in school . . . Why?  Because she knew that all she had to do was reach out to her cousin Charlie if she ever needed help and he would be there for her.  

When Marash Girl entered Newton High School, Charlie, of course, was there ahead of her.  He was the most popular boy in high school, and as such had been elected the President of his class.
Everyone loved Charlie; he had a kind word for anyone he spoke with; he always reached out to those around him. . . 

When he became a man, he married wonderful Doreen, and had two children of his own; he set up shop on Cape Cod (the very first Christmas Tree Shop) and became as popular on Cape Cod as he had been in high school.  But being Charlie, he always shared that success with family, and Charlie and Doreen soon began the tradition of sponsoring huge family gatherings every summer at his home in Yarmouth.

The Christmas Tree Shops became wildly popular, and soon Charlie and Doreen set up the Bilezikian Family Foundation, Inc., which reaches out to fund worthy causes on Cape Cod and in Armenia.

To this day, folks (often strangers she meets for the first time on the Cape and in Newton) will say to Marash Girl, "You're Charlie Bilezikian's cousin? What a wonderful guy!"

Now Charlie has gone ahead of us to join his mother Bea, his father Kay, Marash Girl's mother Jennie and father Peter, and Charlie will be there when we join them all one day.  Marash Girl is confident of that.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Fossil that Marash Girl Kicked Home

Marash Girl was so excited. There she was, in the dell, at the spring on the corner of Lowell Avenue and Hull Streets, and she found . . . was it?  yes, it was1  A fossil!  Afraid to pick it up with her hands, for fear that it had ancient germs still attached, she kicked it all the way up from the mouth of the spring to the sidewalk, and then all the way up the sidewalk bordering Lowell Avenue to her home at the top of the hill.  Arriving breathless, she called to her father to show him her "find" (she had left the "fossil" at the bottom of their steep flight of stairs). Her father descended the stairs.   Upon spying the item, her father chortled, "That's not a fossil . . .that's just an old bone that an old dog forgot at the spring when he was getting a drink. . . but look at how you've destroyed your new shoes, kicking this bone all the way home!"

Needless to say, Marash Girl was crushed, so crushed that she remembers the incident to this day!

(For more on  the Spring on Lowell Avenue, see Marash Girl's blog for Monday, August 3, 2015: Grandpa Moses and the Spring on Lowell Avenue.)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Butternut Squash for 8

A while back, in late autumn, Marash Girl had friends over for dinner and served roast chicken with veggies (the veggies washed and peeled surrounding the chicken. (The easiest meal you'll ever make!)  Included in the oven in a separate pan was unpeeled butternut squash with an inch of water at the bottom of the pan.

"I love butternut squash but I never make it.  It takes forever to peel and cut up!" said one of my guests. . .  "Yours is absolutely delicious!"

In fact, Marash Girl remembers her mother struggling to hold and peel the butternut squash before she boiled it to serve to her family.

Doesn't everyone know that all you have to do is rinse off the butternut squash, throw it in the oven with whatever else you're roasting -- whether it be chicken or roast beef or anything else -- and once the butternut squash is soft to the touch, remove it from the oven, cut it in half lengthwise, remove and toss the innards (the dark stringy stuff holding the seeds . . . and the seeds, of course), spoon out the flesh of the squash, separating it from the skin, mash that lovely, orange, now softened squash with a fork or potato masher, add butter, salt, pepper, and, if you like, cinnamon or clove or nutmeg or all three -- but very sparingly -- and there you have it!  Easy and delicious!

So why is Marash Girl writing this on the hottest, most humid summer's day that we have had so far?  Wishful thinking, I guess.  Wishing for the cool days of autumn!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Looking for Yard Sale Signs?

If you're in Kittery, Maine, and it's a Saturday, try looking for Free Signs!  Apparently, most of the yard sales in Kittery, Maine, occur on Friday, so by Saturday, anything that hasn't sold is free. . . or was it just a fluke that weekend when we were there at the end of June?  Fluke or not, it was lots of fun for Marash Girl and lots of grief for Marash Boy . . . needless to say, he hates yard sales, and hates free stuff even more!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

WBUR On Tap: The 2016 Presidential Election

This past Thursday, a beautiful summer's evening, WBUR political enthusiasts gathered on  'BUR's outdoor deck to enjoy a light repast preceding a talk by Mark Singer, author of Trump and Me, and Ellen Fitzpatrick, author of The Highest Glass Ceiling: Women’s Quest for the American Presidencythe talks  moderated by WBUR Executive Director of News Content, Richard Chacón.  Although the festivities preceding the talks were upbeat, the talks themselves left the audience  asking the question, "What can we do?"
Game show on the deck!
Mark Singer offers his book, TRUMP AND ME, for sale.



Friday, July 22, 2016

Yard Sale, Boston Style!

Photo by Marash Girl

A yard sale on Newtonville Avenue in Newtonville, just down the street from where her father had built Newtonville Electrical Co., Inc. --  This yard sale got Marash Girl to stop and actually buy something -- for two reasons -- the yard sale sign made her laugh -- the first time she had ever seen such a sign in all her years of yardsaling --  and the fact that a man was running the yard sale -- another first in all her years of yardsaling!



Thursday, July 21, 2016

Leave It There!

Take your burden to the Lord and leave it there!  That hymn contained the message that Grandpa Moses conveyed to his granddaughter Marash Girl all those many years ago. . . It wasn't enough to pray.  It was a must to pray, but after praying, to leave it to the Lord, to leave the burden in the Lord's hands.  NOT continue to carry it around.

A cartoon that Marash Girl saw years later reminded her of her grandfather and this hymn -- a cartoon  that she remembers to this day . . . a cartoon that showed a fellow asking for help with his burden, but refusing to give that heavy pack over to the person who had offered to help; the burdened man continued with his burden on his back, although his friend was at his side, packless, burdenless, ready and willing to help.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Trouble With A Good Book

The trouble with reading a good book is that you can never drag yourself away from it!  All else falls by the wayside, even the book, after you fall asleep reading it!