Hope Wissel

Happy 4th of July


According to Wickapedia “Independence Day, commonly known as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States commemorating the adoption of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776, declaring independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain”.

For me, the 4th brings up all kinds of memories that are bittersweet…

Life in Ocean Grove over the 4th of July was a whirlwind of fun and excitement. I can remember many 4th of July parades and bar-b-ques with the family. Belinda was always in the parade in an array of costumes. Costumes were made by me – Ariel (The Little Mermaid), Pocahontas, Peter Pan… are you getting the Disney theme? Yes, we were obsessed with Disney and we wore out many VHS tapes before DVDs came around. Then as Belinda got older, it was decorating her bicycle. Cards in the spokes to make the flipping sounds – okay, am I really showing my age now? Red, white and blue shirts, shorts, hats…

Sitting on the side of the parade route on Main Street waiting for the parade and the barrage of candy that was thrown by the floats as they traveled down the street. Grams worried that Belinda would get too close to the trucks. Belinda hiding and covering her ears as the fire trucks came by – her sensitive ears were always a concern for Grams.

Life in Ocean Grove was fun and has lot of memories for us. I mean there was a time when ALL of us lived in Ocean Grove on Broadway – Edythe, then Grams, Pop-pop & Elsie then closest to the beach was mom and I. Okay, so that was BEFORE Belinda but it was always a lot of fun. Believe it or not, I miss living in Ocean Grove… this is so off topic. Yes, I squirreled!

Best wishes for a ThirtyOne-derful day with friends and family celebrating today…

Hope Wissel

Happy Birthday E!


I know that there is a party going on in heaven today, well probably for most of the month!!

Growing up, I always liked October because it was birthday month. No, not for me but for family members. It seems like it was one big party. Let’s see there was:

  • Edythe
  • Pop Pop
  • Dad
  • Mom mom Lane

I know, you are saying 4 so what is the big deal, right? Well they all fell within about 1 week of each other. When mom-mom wasn’t cooking a big Sunday dinner to celebrate, we went out to eat. I can remember going to The Squires Pub where the family seemed to know everyone. I mean, I was young so it seemed that way. Two years in a row stand out for the record books. We were all sitting at dinner when my Grandmother said she wasn’t feeling well. She got up to go to the Ladies Room and passed out. Mom got up to help her and she passed out. Okay can you picture this – about 9 of us around the table and now two are passed out on the floor. The manager comes rushing over and the next thing I know the ambulance is there taking care of them. I am not sure that we even finished dinner. It was crazy. No, it wasn’t food poisoning, just a bug or something. Yes, it happened TWO years in a row! Talk about embarrassing. I mean, I couldn’t make this stuff up, right?

Actually, fainting seems to be a family trait that used to happen quite frequently when a room was hot or we felt too closed in. Yes, I would later fall into that family trait. Oh and did I mention that if someone else passed out, we sometimes did as well. It made for some interesting adventures.

As the years went on, things changed. Mom-mom Lane passed away. Mom and Dad divorced. Pop-pop passed away and then sadly 4 years ago so did Edythe. Family celebrations have changed to smaller gatherings. Dad is getting up there in age so we usually just do dinner or something small.

Oh yea this started out as Birthday wishes for Edythe…. so I digressed but that happens when I start thinking about the past. So there is no one to call and sing Happy Birthday to this morning before the sun even rises. No silly balloons or cards to send. No attempts at cake baking by Belinda. Just a day to remember a life lived and memories cherished.

Happy Birthday Edythe! You are missed more than you will ever know. Sending hugs and kisses to the Weston clan in heaven as they celebrate your special day. Love you!

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!