Janice Hall Heck

Finding hope in a chaotic world…

Archive for the tag “Janice Kroelinger Hall Heck”

A “Little Bobby” Story from My Childhood in Vineland, NJ

BlogEverday[1]Blog Every Day in May. Prompt Number 18: Tell a story from your childhood.

I posted about Mom, Ellen Mason Carlton Kroelinger, and our life in our big chaotic household with ten kids and two adults for Mother’s Day. We also had one or two dogs, a dozen cats, and a wacky duck to add to the confusion. You can read that background to this story here in “Missing My Mom.”

We kiddos all have funny memories of growing up on Brewster Road in Vineland, New Jersey. One story in particular surfaces at almost every family reunion: The Ten Siblings and The Incredible Disappearing-Sticky-Cinnamon-Bun Story.

With ten children and two adults eating at every meal, Mom had to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Though the kids helped in turn, she still prepared the bulk of the meals. For dinner, Mom had to cook a dozen of everything: twelve ears of corn, twelve potatoes, twelve pork chops, twelve big meatballs, or twelve whatever happened to be on the menu that night.

Mom didn’t have to bake bread though, because our old reliable Palmonari Bakery delivery truck came by every afternoon to dropsticky-buns-lg off giant loaves of crusty Italian bread. We all loved to go out and check out the goodies that Joe, the driver, had tucked in a long pull-out drawer in the back of the Palmonari truck. Sometimes he had crumb buns (yum), and sometimes he had sticky cinnamon buns (double yum).

Joe was always full of news of the neighborhood, and since we were near the end of his run, he often had a few minutes to chat. The problem was that sometimes his goody drawer was empty when he came to our house.

On our luckiest days we got cinnamon buns.

How many cinnamon buns are in a dozen? Twelve?

Nope. Thirteen. Palmonari’s sold a “Baker’s Dozen” which has thirteen delectable sticky cinnamon buns.

Little Bobby, the darling of the family.

Little Bobby, the darling of the family.

Do you get the picture? Twelve family members eat their allotted cinnamon bun, sitting around the twelve-person dining room table. One cinnamon bun remains on Mom’s big, white porcelain platter in the center of the table. Ten children with bottomless pits for stomachs stare at this incredible, delectable bun, their childish minds whirring at the speed of lightning, calculating how best to claim that last mouth-watering, caramelized-brown-sugar-pecan-nut-and-raisin-topped cinnamon bun before anyone else could get it.

There are conflicting reports on how this all came about, but everyone seems to agree that sweet little Bobby, the youngest sibling, Mom’s little darling, grabbed the bun and shoved it in his mouth before anyone could think of a more democratic way to handle the situation. And being the youngest, he was the most capable of getting away with this kind of self-centered assertiveness. First off, he was little, and second, he sat in the coveted, protected spot next to Mom at the end of the big table. Little Bobby could do no wrong in Mom’s eyes. Of course, Bobby was special in our eyes, too. And he was so clever that we all had to laugh at his high jinks. Oh well, who needed that cinnamon bun anyway?

The Last Meow

CAt Swag  cat and cat food bagIs it time to eat yet?   What? All I wanted was a little snack to tide me over until dinner time. No big deal. I can still eat my dinner.

I promise!

Meow for now.  =<^:^>=

One Lovely Blog Award

Jacqui Talbot bestowed this “One Lovely Blog Award” on my blog. Thanks, Jacqui. What a nice thing to do.

Jacqui is a multi-talented blogger friend who speaks six languages, one of which is Choctaw. She retells delightfully spirited and spiritual Choctaw tales as told to her by her grandfather. Visit her blog. I think you will enjoy it as much as I do.

This “One Lovely Blog Award” is a very mysterious award. If you research its background, you will have difficulty finding its roots. But the rules seem to be well established and must be passed from recipient to recipient. Since a few of us… a hundred of us an infinite number of us have received this award, you may be familiar with it.

The purpose, of course, is to encourage bloggers to visit other blogs, then recommend their favorites to others, something like the domino effect, or a virus, or a gathering storm. You get the idea. Pretty soon, we bloggers will take over the world or at least the Internet.

The Rules for One Lovely Blog Award:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you and link back to them in your post.
  2. Share seven possibly unknown things about yourself.
  3. Nominate fifteen or so bloggers you admire. (That’s gonna be hard since there are so many excellent bloggers in the blogosphere.)

Hmmm. Let’s see. Most of you know that I am a farm girl by birth, but I left the farm for the big city (Boston) when I went to college.

Here are a few things you may not know about me.

1. I am the eighth child (out of nine) and the youngest girl to be born to my father, Adam Kroelinger, Sr., and my mother, Ellen Mae Kroelinger. Both parents came from Virginia, but my father’s grandfather came from Alsace-Lorraine (a region of France caught in the turmoil of changing politics between France and Germany). My grandmother, Genevieve, came from France. My mother’s family came from England.

Kroey sisters. Back row L to R: Joyce, Joanne, Shirley.
Front row L to R: Beverley, Judie, Janice

2. I went to a two-room schoolhouse for my primary grades and was probably the quietest child in my class. I still remember the day that…well, never mind.

Spring Road School, Vineland, NJ

When that school was torn down years later, my mom bought one of the old-fashioned desks that had been in the school. That desk still sits in my garage taking up space. (My car is in the driveway.)

3. Although I was the first one in my family to attend college, several other siblings finished college as adults. For some unknown reason, I majored in history in college, so I went back to school and got a teaching certificate and a master’s degree in special education at Boston University. My background in history comes into play now as I research the history of areas I visit on my travels.

4. After my mom passed away in 2000, I bought out my siblings’ shares of the old family house (circa 1900) in Vineland, NJ, and began to renovate it. I scraped layers and layers (years and years) of wallpaper from the walls, tore down walls and built up walls, added rooms and changed rooms, painted walls and stained cabinets, enclosed a side porch and replaced a front porch that was once removed because it was old-fashioned, and more. Of course, I had help from an excellent builder, and my siblings helped with the wallpaper scraping.  After four years in the house, I moved again for another job and sold that childhood home.

5. Although I have traveled to many places in the world, my favorite place is still the South Jersey shore. I just love beach sand, waves, shells, ocean mists, sea gulls, boardwalk pizza, and exquisite sunsets.

Sunset Beach, Cape May, NJ

6. Travel, photo, food, and writers’ blogs are among my favorites. One day I will do a post on some of these.

7. In 2004, I married a man that I dated in 1963. That’s a whole ‘nother story. Maybe I’ll tell it one day. I sent a special wedding invitation just to him, announcing the upcoming marriage of the beautiful, charming, witty princess (me) to a toad named O’Heck-O-Lebster. (He claimed his name was O’Heck-O-Lobster, but he was just trying to resurrect some dignity.) Anyway, he does have a good sense of humor. Thank goodness for that.

Now for my blogger nominees for the “One Lovely Blog Award.”

1. Emaginette‘s advice is “Live Life, and Shout About It!” That sounds good to me. And congrats to her: she won the NaNoWriMo in 2011.

2. Anna at Spectacles, 22-year-old blogger, writes gives sprightly advice with her writing: paint your nails, cut your hair, get a tatoo….  Her writing makes me chuckle. She quotes T.S. Eliot (one of my favorites): “Not all those who wander are lost.”

3. Madison Johns, witty and outrageous writer of Armed and Outrageous, newly released book about two granny-sized detectives who give the local sheriff a run for his money on an unsolved case. Read it and laugh. Or cry a few times, too.

4. 2 Girls Lost in a Book written by a mother-daughter duo about kids’ books. Summer reading list now up. Good blog.

5. Gail M. Baugniet, Sister-in-Crime, writes about Pepper Bibeau, insurance investigator who sometimes ends up with a murder on her hands.

6. Elaine Smothers and her froggie friend Forrest. (Elaine knows I have a crush on Forrest…no secret.)

7. Tami Clayton loves to travel as much as I do. Her photographs entice you to visit places where she has been. She entertains her friends for “Tea in the Kasbah.”

8. Julie Farrar writes about traveling through life and (right now) France. (Yes, that is jealousy sneaking into my writing.)

9. Karen Rose Smith loves cats, roses, and books. Can’t beat that combo. Cat lovers bond! Good writing, too.

10. Jodi Lea Stewart, an Arizona girl, recently published Silki: The Girl of Many Scarves, a lovely YA book about a young girl growing up on a Navaho reservation. A sequel is in the works.

11. Holly Michael‘s blog Writing Straight is  about “connecting and inspiring along life’s crooked lines.” She also writes inspiration messages at http://baaaaa.com.

12. Laird Sapir is at the center of a whirlwind of activity. Check her blog for technical advice on blogging as well as an octopus story that is gathering chapters as it slithers and slides through the blogosphere.

13. Sonia G. Madeiros writes fantasy, science fiction, and horror. Her two cats fight each other to see which one will dominate the world. Tune in.

14. Katy Manck, BooksYALove, is a librarian-at-large and a book reviewer who looks for good books beyond the best-seller list.  Go there for recommendations for good reads for your kids.

15. Teachers Donalyn Miller, Colby Sharp, and Cindy Minich write reviews for the NerdyBookClub. More good books reviews!

And now, dear friends, I deserve a break. I’m gonna head out and play a little hopscotch with my senior friends. Don’t be jealous.

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