Detroit – My Story (book) ~ Marie

Dreams do come true and Fairytales are real! Here is my story of an evening with those Three Italian Sweethearts.

Photo DPTV

Photo DPTV

I Didn’t get much sleep in the days prior. How could I knowing I was soon to see and possibly TOUCH those amazing faces? To even anticipate being in their presence gives me chills and insomnia.  My in-person meetings have always been sweeter than I even hope.  Not better than my embarrassingly wonderful dreams, but better than I hoped. This gathering was no exception.

On Sunday, July 5th, my sister and I drove 5 1/2 hours to Detroit. The 7 hours it took to get home through flooding storms was nothing. I would have pulled over in Toledo, Ohio and fought a dragon to have been with THEM.

After meeting Jana (what a treat to finally meet my “adopted” daughter) and seeing my friends from Minnesota, (meeting Mary 3 years in a row and 2 years for Suzy, Jane and Allene) all of whom I love dearly, we were looking forward to dinner. We were joined by 2 of Jana’s Pals, Ginny and Chris. I knew the Boys had special friends who owned Antonio’s Italian Restaurant, so we thought since the Boys were coming in early

The fibbing manager, Suzy and Mary.  Suzy is uncontrollable!

Antonio’s – The fibbing manager, Suzy and Mary. Suzy is uncontrollable! That’s her hand not Mary’s.

in the afternoon, we might meet them there. No luck. The manager, who fell in love with Ginny, told us the Boys were at the boss’s house for dinner that night. We found out a little later that the Boys were still in New York due to flight delays and didn’t get in until after 10. Don’t go back there Ginny, he lies!  Antonio’s had newspaper articles about Il Volo framed on the wall. Allene even had “Il Volo Pollo” from the menu.

Back at the hotel I was prepared for a Pre-Il Volo Night Party in mine and sister Debbie‘s room! I brought Italian flags, Cardboard cutouts of Pisa’s Leaning Tower, Gondolas, The Coliseum, and a map of Italy.  I also brought a couple bottles of Italian Moscato, Crystal (or was it plastic) wine glasses and my computer which held EVERYTHING Il Volo. Oh…and I brought speakers. I can not tell you how proud I was when someone knocked on the door and complained. I mean the youngest person in the room was 50!  I thought about tearing up the room like a rock star but I didn’t want to scare Jana since I had just met her. The Minnesota Ladies would have forgiven me.  Just like they forgave my stunts at the end of this story. No..don’t peek!   Note:  Only sweet Mary calls me an angel.

My new nightshirt - a gift from Jana

My new nightshirt – a gift from Jana

The back of my new Nightshirt - I'll let you translate it!

The back of our Nightshirt – I’ll let you translate it!

I didn’t do anything much the next morning after breakfast except run from room to room annoying everyone in nervous anticipation of THIS NIGHT! Sorry about your nap Mary, but I was going to see Ignazio and his friends later!

Dinner:

Yummy. Prime Rib and wine for me.

Other friends at dinner

Other friends at dinner

This, not being my first Il Volo Rodeo of extreme fans, I had either met or recognized about half of the 50 people there. Hello to all of you, especially Emilia, (wait until I tell you about Emilia!) from whom I received three hugs. My most proud moment at the dinner table was when one woman pointed my way and said, “That’s Marie Crider.” I turned around to tell Marie how unusual it was that we would have the same name, but no one was there. The other woman looked confused until the first one said, “Flight Crew”. I could see the light go on. She said, “Oh, I’ve read that.” another woman sitting next to the first one, not to be outdone, said, “I get their emails every day.” I politely thanked them all, but on the inside I was trying to decide if the Queen’s wave was the one from just the wrist. I am happy to tell you that there were several people who came up to meet me because I was a member of The Flight Crew! Never forget your Flight Crew Badge!

Michelle Gaisser, Mgr. Member Engagement, Detroit Public TV, (to whom I am forever grateful for my invitation to the event) brought James Lewis over to my table. He asked to join The Flight Crew.  Jim, if you’re reading this I’m sorry I forgot your title with DPTV (marketing?)   I was probably distracted by your good looks. Welcome!

Michell and I

Michelle and I

Everyone was having a nice time and trying to act calm until the first spotting of that Dimpled One and 50 people erupted like there were 500.

The Guys did not eat with us. Meet and Greet was next:

Me and those Guys - DPTV Photo

Me and those Guys – DPTV Photo

I watched as Jana was anointed by Ignazio. He is so sweet! I didn’t know if I wanted to pinch his cheek or genuflect. Then it was my turn!!! Being second to last I wasn’t hurried. I told them how happy and proud I was for them for becoming so successful at home. You can only guess which one makes me stutter the most, so I tend to speak to him the least. I hugged him (he hugged back!) then I kissed those dimples. I try to be fair to them both and do really good, yet equal, kisses on each dimple.  Jim Lewis had my camera and got me sneaking DSCN0662 - Mariethis extra one before the photographer took our group picture. Hey, a girls gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. I had heard our Gianluca was ill and had a fever. Sure enough he had to step aside and use a tissue several times. As I was kissing cheeks I lingered on his to see if I could tell if he had a fever. (Well, my mom used to do that!)  I think he did. I also wispered a secret in his ear. He smiled. I was kinda hoping I would catch his cold. Didn’t. They all signed my Sanremo DVD insert. I can’t tell you what else was said, it’s a total blank. Did you ever see a dog rub his back in the grass in ecstasy? That’s pretty much how I felt so, no chance to remember mere words.  I was just trying not to smile like a fool. As you can see in the picture, I failed that goal. When I got to Piero I asked him to sign a picture Mary’s daughter took of he and I in 2013 when he jumped in our cab. He remembered! He told me when and where it was. He signed it, “With Love. Grande Amore, Piero”. Then he looked at me and tilted his head. Was he trying to remember me from our conversation last year? or did he just notice my really bad hair day? Then Security thought I had had enough time.  OK, but not before I get my hug!

DSC N0664 s face - marie

Emilia greeting Gianluca. Look at Ignazio’s face. How do they stay so “normal”?

Now to Emilia. I had met sweet Emilia before. They call her “cupcake” not only because she makes them, but because she is so cute and sweet! She’s around 18. She was immediately behind me at the meet and greet. Emilia went directly to Piero and said, “I wanted you to dance with me at my prom.” That Prince of Princes, that gentle man of gentlemen pulled her to him, started singing and waltzed with Emilia tucked snugly into his chest! I wish all of you could have seen her face. I wish I had taken a picture, but I just stood there reveling in the moment. She has a treasured video of that dance on FB. I hope you get to see it!

I know this is long. It will be here. You can finish later if you like. I’ll mark the spot.
⇐ HERE ⇒

We went back to the dining room for dessert. Dessert? Like Jane said in her story, the “real dessert of the evening” was yet to come!  I had chocolate covered strawberries. The Boys were in hair and makeup.  

The Studio:

DSCN0680 yes copy marie

Shortly, we were ushered into the studio. The Guys also came in. You have to know how astonished and elated I was to realize that we would be spending the next few hours in a small studio with THEM!  Oh, Joy of Joys!  First of all I have to tell you that our Anges did not act like angels all the time off the air! They played like three young brothers. They filmed some. They went live-on-air some. They spent time with us during filming breaks. They played three stooges with each other. Remember the night before last they were singing for 60,000 people at a free concert in Napoli and then spent yesterday waiting for a delayed flight that didn’t get to Detroit until after 10 pm. They were tired and probably a little slap-happy, but they had fun!!! And, OH MY GOSH! So did we! Here are just a few of their antics besides dancing and singing silly songs. Sorry that some are blurry, but they were swift in their play and hard to catch.

Such cards!
  DPTV Photo

Such Cards!

“Not doing anything, might as well flick an ear.”

Ignazio and I both saw this one coming. Piero didn’t!  Ouch!

DSCN0699 shoe  marie

How do you think Piero would react to a dirty tennis shoe? Yeah, that’s what Gianluca thought too!

DSCN0689 hit - marie

Don’t laugh Gianluca.  Piero passed it on!

I missed photo’s of some really funny moments too. Like when Ignazio stuck his little finger up Piero’s nose. Thank God he didn’t try that with Gianluca! 

More Photo’s:

DPTV photo

DPTV photo

These are our Guys.  These are our Guys with Security.  Do you see the really big guy beside Ignazio?  Nice Guy!  He and I had several long conversations.  Went something like this:  Him: “Ma’am, you can’t go in there” Me: “Yes, Sir.”  Him: Ma’am, please move on.”  Me: ” Yes, Sir.”  Him: “Ma’am, Please stop texting.  The sound is being picked-up by the microphones.”  Me: (oops) “Yes, Sir.”  Him:  “Put HIM down!”  Me: “Nope“. Only that last one is a lie.


DSCN0704 n - marieThe Pompeii Concert was on this screen to my front and right.  No one watched this.  We all knew the show happening right in front of us would never be sold on Amazon!  So, I have yet to see the actual concert!


DSCN0697 marie

Piero wandering around us.  I think he was looking at the tv monitor I just showed you.

DSCN0707 yes jana circled cropped
Jana!  Pledge Phone Volunteer Extraordinaire

DSCN0701 - marie

 Its Piero with two young happy ladies in hand just walking around.

DSCN0663 s - Marie

Whatcha doin’ Big Guy?  Checkin’ to see if Little Bro has a fever?  I won’t tell…ya big softie!
♥♥♥

I was able to step back and have a brief conversation with Barb Vitali.  We’re women.  We talked about weight.  We spoke just a few minutes longer then we had to get to our seats and be quiet again for another taping session.  Luckily we were allowed to take pictures the whole time if we didn’t use flash.

If I had half a brain, I would stop my story here by telling you how much I enjoyed our Il Volo Gentlemen and the wonderful men and women with whom I shared the experience.  But no… Some of you may never read this site again….  

While Ignazio was wandering through the audience the people in front of me asked him to take a selfie with them.  So, he bent over directly in front of my face, not a foot away there it was!  What could I do? I poked it!  I looked at Jane and said, “Oh no! I touched his butt!”  When I looked up there he was looking down at me with one eyebrow up to his hairline!  He tried to give me a stern look.  Didn’t last long and he broke out in a gorgeous smile and said “oooo”.  Whew!  I had just traumatized myself and have no idea if he said anything else.  I only know I did not have another conversation with Big Security Guy.  Should have.  It would have kept Allene on my left and Jane on my right from trying to rip off their Flight Crew Badges while crawling under their chairs a few minutes later.  

The people in front of me did not learn their lesson.  I blame them.  So, when Piero came walking by they asked for a selfie with him too.  Only in his compliance he bent over even further than Ignazio had.  To my astonishment I saw two claw-like hands, reach up and… Oh No!…They were my hands!  Of course he jumped!  He turned around and to my great relief said, “Oh, Thank You!”.  I’ll bet you think I sat there in complete humiliation.  I didn’t.  Jane and Allene did.  I was smiling.  I am still smiling.  It was soft, yet muscular and I’m not sorry I know that.

~Marie

63 thoughts on “Detroit – My Story (book) ~ Marie

  1. Oh, Marie, you do paint a nice visual picture! I’ve been told that I have total empathy. ..I feeL what others feel! I’m going to read your story again and again so I can feel it once more (at least)! I would like to say that you acted better than I would have!! I might have shared a few happy tears!! I get pretty giddy in the presence of greatness! LOVE YOUR STORY, YOU LUCKY GAL,!! ….Dot…..

  2. All this hugging and cheek kissing certainly gave one a great opportunity to snip a “little lock”. The boys were pulling pranks all evening I bet if you had asked Piero to do the JOB he would have been delighted.
    So happy for all the ladies that got the chance to have this experience.

  3. Thank you Marie!!!! I enjoyed reading this immensely!!! I laughed so hard at the picture of me greeting Gianluca and IGNAZIO’S expression!!! 😂😂😂😂

  4. Marie, I’ve been waiting for your story. Priceless! It was such a special evening as was the entire time together. In a perfect world (we all know you would be in Italy with Ignazio) we would have these three gentle men in the U.S. on a monthly basis…appearing in every city with a PBS station…inviting only Flight Crew members for “A Night To Remember.” Since the world is not quite up to that level of perfection we will have to embrace what ever we get from them. Your story will be held in these archives as a crown jewel!

    • I also wish all Flight Crew folk could have the experience we did. Boys are young. We ARE young. There’s plenty of time!

      Holding out for that “perfect world.”

  5. Oh, oh, oh, Marie!!! What a heavenly nite!!! Thank you for sharing all the precious moments that you can remember!!! I have read it once & will read it again & again! I am do happy for all of you who were able to attend!!! You touched all three of them!!! I am afraid I am just a teeny bit green!!!

  6. OMG Marie !!! For once I am at a lose for words !!!! I’ll try a few !! Maybe more then a few !!! You painted such a vivid picture with your amazing sense of humor,words and photos that you had me living and and sharing that entire magical experience with you and the other lucky ladies !!! And Marie –You really had your hands full !!( get it !!!). Wish I had been there to catch Gianluca’s cold !!! Thanks for sharing this exceptionally exciting evening !!!! I loved it !!!!

      • GG had a cold when we were with him in Roseto and a few days later I came down with a humdinger of a cold !!! I think I had a GG cold so I hung onto his lovely germs for as long as I could !!!!

  7. You gals are the greatest ever. I especially liked the part about grabbing Piero’s but. OMG! I would be in heaven also. Joanie G

  8. Marie, many thanks for bringing back that Night to Remember. As I read your “book” , it brought back those wonderful memories I have for an exciting and hilarious two days being with the Flight Crew gang, and for actually seeing and hugging Our Boys. And I’m sure that both Jane and I will be more than happy to sit next to you at the next concert. Please, please let it be soon.

  9. YES, YES, YES, I knew it. finally the truth comes out Marie !!! YOU ARE BUTT PERSON ( but only certain butts, or course ). It sounds like those “claw-like hands” were totally out of control. I am afraid there is no cure for this. It is terminal. You will have to have one of those guys sit on your lap in rotation – one after the other after the other after the other, etc. etc.

    All that aside, I am so happy for you and your crew to have had this experience.
    Sure wish I could have been there with you guys.
    A more relaxed time was had by all. fun, Fun, FUN.

  10. Marie, excellently and entertainingly written story :-),pleasant reading ! I am glad for you that you have experienced a nice and funny evening, that your dream come true….It is always nice to meet people with whom unites us something. Your meetings with another Il Volo American fans are very nice and it is beautiful that this common passion for music and gentle singers put together a lot of good people with beautiful hearts. 🙂 Always I say that similar people will always find common journey. Just continue in mutual meetings, I believe that in this way you get a lot of new friends. 🙂
    I saw a video on Youtube with Emilia and Il Volo,it was very nice and cute . 🙂 The guys just have fun as the little boys, we have to not forget on our inner child, this is important and necessary in every age know how to enjoy the simple things again like a child . 🙂
    I must say that you ladies have courage 🙂 ,I’m a shy introvert,very polite girl 🙂 and I would not dare to touch the boys. I think that I would be happy if I can shake hands with them. 🙂 I would not have the courage to embrace them (one does not know whether they liked it) ,because in my country there is usually no such habit of hugging strangers. Our people are mainly, hm…restrained and tourists said we are “cold” in our behavior. Simply different country, different habits. 😀
    What is important is that you enjoyed it ! 🙂 Congratulations to your unique and unforgettable experience with Flight Crew and singing angels. 🙂 I wish you, let it will also repeat in the future ! 🙂

      • Marie,
        the best combination is connection extroverts + introverts (good example are my parents, father introvert and mom is completely different) . 🙂 They can nicely complement and enrich each other ! 🙂 The world is beautiful because it is colorful and full of different smells, tastes, feelings,melodies, people….Every color of the rainbow has its own charm and substantiation. Tolerance and understanding is one of the cornerstones of any good relationship. 🙂 I am glad that I can be a guest on your site and share my feeling about Il Volo here. 🙂

      • 😀 I thought also that I am the only one here, who is introvert O:-) and shy person ,because Italians and Americans are very lively, extroverted, straightforward, simple-hearted, spontaneous people who have the courage to various personal manifestations. 🙂
        So welcome to our little club :-), rather, let say, quiet, peaceful, romantic and dreamy fans of Il Volovers. ^_^
        I greet you, sincerely.
        P.S. On your profile you have nice pictures. 🙂

      • Thank you, Lydka! I am part Italian-American myself, so I know what you mean about that.

        I like them too! 🙂 If you would like to see more, the artists are Edmund Dulac, Leonora Carrington and John William Godward. 🙂

      • Random and Lydka. I am not introverted nor shy. I am so happy to have all types of people and all kinds of opinions on this site! It is what we dreamed of when we began.

      • Thank you for the names of artists. 🙂 I like Jena DellaGrottaglia. 🙂 She also has nice pictures,which have mysteriously dreamy mood. 🙂

  11. Oh my gosh!!!!! You guys had such a wonderful time. Thank you for sharing it with the rest of us. And the.pictures are wonderful. I can most believe I was there with you.
    Now, a question. When you picked him up why didn’t you just run? I’m sure motivation would have added to your escape!
    I am amazed the guys can stay so grounded with such adoring fans and screaming girls surrounding them. I wonder if they have to move around in public with security or are they still able to just be themselves.
    Barb in AZ

    • My goodness Marie, you are fearless! The funniest part of the story is at the end when Ignazio turns and says “oooo” when you touched him, yet Piero, when you touched him said “Oh thank you” in appreciation! You should go become a masseuse! You must have the right touch! Glad you ladies all had a good time! Loved seeing all the photos here! Thanks for your story, I know it was written as a labor of love! It’s unreal how much we love these young guys!

  12. Dear Marie what a night for you and the other Flight Crew ladies and Emilia getting to dance with Piero. Oh my god talk about heaven Oh me. I don’t know if I am making any sense when you read this but all I can say is Wow. I know I’ll be reading this blog a lot. All I can say is I’m so happy for the night you had thank you for sharing it with us What a dream come true.

  13. Many, many thanks to all you beautify ladies for sharing your precious moments of this special evening. I thoroughly enjoyed every story!
    Marie, blame it on all that Italian Culture info that we all read on this site! (You know, men pinching a woman’s bottom. Only in your case it was the other way around LOL) I am convinced that if I was sitting there and had your dilemma/opportunity, I could not have withstand the temptation either! These guys are irresistible, good for you!

  14. Okay, I am dead. Marie, you need to go to Vegas and clean up at the casinos because I swear you have the best of luck of anyone when it comes to IL VOLO past and present. Lets recount shall we?
    You got Piero in a taxi
    Numerous concerts and M&G’s
    Numerous dimple kisses and tall hugs
    Piero to yourself in a hotel gym
    Got to watch the entire interview complete with antics and mayhem
    POKED Ignazio’s butt, I think that “Oooo” was because it was YOU & he liked it!
    GRABBED Piero’s butt and he says “OOOo Thank you!”

    Not once have you been carted off to the boobyhatch or to jail. You are still alive, well and on the loose! How is this possible? You got some mad crazy skills my dear! If I ever meet you and IL Volo is anywhere near, I am going to stick to you like clue so I can grab Piero’s sweet ass too. Oh and if there is a dragon to be fought, I promise I will kill that dragon along with you because it was stupid beast to get in the way!
    In the meantime….I am dead. Must. Have. Rum.

    • Pirate, I think I am morphing into a clandestine pirate as I agree with everything you have said not only on this post but on a bunch of previous posts!
      Grab her and stick like glue, that is the secret!
      Are you sure she’s Italian? She seems to have the luck of the Irish…

      • Ahh thats the right of it! Follow your inner pirate!. Now I am thinking we must band together and glue ourselves to this wily Marie and conspire together to grab one of them Italian guys.You know I bet she will be working on distracting Ignazio so you and I can grab Gianluca and Piero! Yay for the Pirates of the Flight Crew!

  15. That’s quite a list! I am so fortunate to have been with them that many times (7 concerts, 6 M&G’S). The part about not currently residing in the bobbyhatch or jail I’m still trying to figure out myself. And as long as you’re counting…9 separate cheeks!

  16. Oh, Marie… you are something else! I loved, loved, loved your version of the night and while I was reading I was picturing everything that occurred. I’m so glad you were able to touch a little bootie; I think I would have done the same thing because… well, because! You have given us all a “night to remember” with your story. Thanks a million!!!

  17. Just read your experience with our beloved guys and let me tell you Marie, I was laughing so hard that my grand daughter came into my room to see what TV program I was watching. I told her what you did to Ignazio and piero and she said you were awesome. I loved everything you guys did. I saw a little bit of the interview with the guys and it was pretty funny. The interviewer asked if she was going to have some trouble with them like last time (she was laughing) and Ignazio asked “what problem”? I could almost feel Piero’s and ignazio’s butts. You are fearless my dear. So ” YELLOS” of you (as Ricky Ricardo would say). Thanks Marie. I hope to meet you ladies some day but I’m all the way in California. Not giving up. Love my Flight Crew Sisters.

    • Thank you Prese. If I wasn’t there I would be “Yellos” too! They are so fun and real. Im happy my “Flight Crew Sisters” have chosen such amazing and deserving young men to idolize. And Prese…we have been all over the world with them. That makes California just down the road. Hope to meet you soon neighbor.

  18. Loved reading everyone’s experience with Il Volo at the Wine and Dine. I couldn’t stop laughing reading this one. I can’t believe you did what you did but to tell you the truth I don’t know what I would do or how I would behave if I had the opportunity to meet them. I either wouldn’t say anything or would make a fool of myself I am sure. It’s great to hear that they are still the same fun loving, caring young men and are so kind to their fans. Piero remembering you and dancing with Emilia was amazing. What a great opportunity to be able to be with them and for such a long time. I am so happy for all of you!

  19. I love Marie and her funny stories. But it looks like (from the comments posted) I am the only person that thinks touching someone’s backside is wrong. Sorry but that bothered me. I would never want someone to do it to my young family member or anyone else.

    • Dear Lou Ann,
      you’re not the only one, I totally agree with you ! The touch of someone’s backside ,personally, I don’t like and I’d never done it to anyone. When I was younger, sometimes jokingly did it my father, he knew with this make me very angry. Then with that fortunately stopped. 🙂 I think that this gesture is not very polite and respectful and it is quite sexist,especially if men do it towards women ! But are people that do not mind it them , so as it says a hundred people , hundred tastes. 🙂
      I sincerely greet you. 🙂

  20. Thank you all for reading my story as well as my dinner companions.
    I appreciate both the positive and negative remarks about my touching touchie. I was waiting for the negative. That’s why I said, “some of you may never read this site again.” I admit I was quite nervous about telling that part of my story. Before I published my story, I sat with that stupid grin still on my face, while my sister explained to me the legalities of what I had done. Saying that it was indeed sexual harassment and she didn’t think it was very respectful. She said, ” It was only because you were female and they were male that you got away with it. Imagine if the situation was reversed.” So… my smile got even goofier as I imagined the reverse situation and I never heard another word my sister said.

    If I had been 20 or 30 or even 40, I probably would have thought differently. I’m a harmless 67. Give me a break. What am I gonna do carry Ignazio off the stage someday? Hummm….

      • You? My partner? Us together? I’m not real sure that would be legal. Scares even me to think about the trouble we would get into.

        “Now and then we had a hope that if we lived and were good, God would permit us to be pirates.” – Mark Twain, Life on the Mississippi

      • Marie, I love that Twain quote, it’s a keeper. As for us being partners wellllll, it probably is illegal in 49 states. I’ll let you figure out which one its legal in.

    • Oh please, Marie. Don’t fib. You would have done the same thing when you were 20, 30, 40 and any age in between. When opportunity knocked, you answered it with open “poke”. Brava! At my age, I would welcome a handsome man pinching my butt. There’s plenty of it to go around. HAH (But that’s just me)

  21. Marie you are very nifty and brave girl,you story is magical – as if I was there with you.Please write again soon about his experiences vith dimples,I look forward and thank you very,very much ! ! !

  22. Marie, I have to say that sitting next to you during these two “incidents” was a hoot! In fact, I am making a note to myself to be sure and sit next to you again if the occasion should arise!

  23. Oh, Marie, I’m still laughing . . . I would have done the same thing!! Thank you for sharing your story. You’re in my heart – always!

  24. Well, Marie, you know my summer was insane with 5 trips to Calif. to help family. So I *just now* got to read this!

    You are such a good Bad Girl! 😉

    Wow!

    Can’t wait for Las Vegas and your antics.

    Personally, I’d like to be dancing with the Guys! 😉

    Love ya and your amazing *true* stories!
    Jeanine

    • Hey there traveler, Thanks Jeanine.  Can not wait to share “antics” with you!  We are both “free spirits” who may not be allowed to hang together with the Guys.  I have a feeling you’re a good/bad girl too! So happy you enjoyed my “book”. I am still whispering your families name in God’s ear for peace and health. Always nice to hear from you, my friend! ~M

      • Ahhh… free spirit (Dad actually picked a card that described me as that, along with strong mind and good heart. Made me turn all to mush!)

        Good… bad… I like how a friend described me: the psychedelic sheep of the family! (That’s as in wild colors. Black sheep just didn’t capture the energy!) Seems this may work for you, too, Marie!

        Maybe it’s like the guys said. They do everything together but go for the girls alone. (In our case, go for the guys alone!)

        Keep on whispering your mouth to God’s ear for my family, Marie. My sister may have had a stroke, and Mom has been in the hospital twice this month. Mom’s OK. Extra prayers for my sister!

        Lookin’ like days before I can read the next installment. So looking forward to it!

        Stoking the fire of your summer memories 😉

        Anticipating March!
        Jeanine

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