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A Million Little Pieces Of My Mind


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Search the site by date and time.

Many (although not all) pages on this site include a date and possibly time at which the event described occurred, the page was posted, or the page was updated. Here you can narrow a search down to as narrow a period as you like; or, alternatively, broaden it to all of time, set the Maximum Retrievals Per Page to 1000 and browse every page here!


By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 5/23/2022
Topics: #Coronavirus #Maui Page Views: 102
Sleep: I'm in favor of it.

A few weeks ago, my daughter Jennifer got me one of those smart watches. And it may have already saved my life.

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Peter & Barbara's Concert

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 4/9/2022
Topics: #Consert #NorthValleyChorale Page Views: 133
If you must have a requiem, make it a Brahms'!

My dear friends Barbara and Peter Lafford, lived in the Phoenix Valley for many years, before they retired to Virginia. While here, they performed regularly with the North Valley Chorale, a non-profit organization devoted to giving its members the oportunity to sing large-scale pieces to the public. This week, Barbara and Peter returned to the Valley to perform Brahm's Requiem; and I got to attend.

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Mom's Immediate Ancestors (1880-1910)

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 1/1/1890
Posted: 3/25/2022
Topics: #EdnaMaeBrown #EdnaMaeCilwa #PhotoColorization #PhotoRestoration Page Views: 209
Photos and narrative of my mom, Edna Mae Brown Cilwa's, parentage, from 1890 up to her birth in 1912.

Rarely, one gets to look at a photo taken in past decades and marvel at how contemporary someone looks. Grandpa's hair and outfit are too 19th Century to mistake him for a modern-day youth. But his expression of youthful optimism, unsuppressed even by the necessity of keeping still for a long exposure time, shines through the years.

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Got It!

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 2/28/2022
Updated: 3/24/2022
Topics: #Arizona #Coronavirus Page Views: 292
After one month in Arizona, I thought I caught COVID.

Well, it happened. I spent two years on Maui during the worst of the pandemic, without getting so much as a cold. (I do tend to get repeat bouts of cellulitis, due to my illness of a decade ago, but nothing from an external contagion.) Now, after just six weeks in Arizona, I caught it. Well, that's what happens when you leave a Blue State for a Red State, I guess.

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Mom's Photo Album

By: Paul S. Cilwa Updated: 3/23/2022
Topics: #EdnaMaeBrown #EdnaMaeCilwa #PhotoColorization #PhotoRestoration #WalterCilwa Page Views: 5956
Photos and narrative of my mom, Edna Mae Brown Cilwa, and her life up through her marriage to my dad.

A couple of years before my Mom passed away, she and I spent some time rummaging through her old photographs. She'd lost a lot of them when we lived in Florida; despite the fact that she'd wintered there as a girl, she was unaware of the voracious and wide-ranging appetite of Florida cockroaches—especially as regards to paper. They literally ate hundreds of her precious photos before she discovered the damage. We were able to preserve some.

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Looking for Love (1937-1948)

By: Paul S. Cilwa Updated: 3/23/2022
Topics: #Colorization #DorothyWeemsBrown #EdnaMaeBrown #EdnaMaeCilwa #PhotoRestoration #VernonBrown #WalterCilwa Page Views: 205
Photos and narrative of my mom, Edna Mae Brown Cilwa, and her life up to her marriage to my dad.

By the end of the 1930s, the Depression was easing but the clouds of war were looming on the horizon. In 1938, the Browns sold the house in Pawlet and Mom and her mother used the money to spend the winter in Florida. The following year they returned. That would be Mom's last vacation with her mother. Mary Virginia died of complications from diabetes in 1940.

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Mom's Childhood (1912-1937)

By: Paul S. Cilwa Updated: 3/23/2022
Topics: #Colorization #DorothyWeemsBrown #EdnaMaeBrown #EdnaMaeCilwa #MaryViriginaArmstrongBrown #PhotoRestoration #VernonBrown Page Views: 215
Photos and narrative of my mom, Edna Mae Brown Cilwa, as a young adult.

In the first years of the twentieth century, cameras were still too bulky—and babies too wriggly—to make infant photography practical. Mom's first portrait was taken when she was about 1½ years old.

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Easter Eggs at Nags Head

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 4/22/1984
Posted: 3/22/2022
Topics: #EasterEggHunt #NagsHead Page Views: 165
Our yearly Easter celebration consists only and entirely of an Easter Egg hunt, in pretty clothes, for the photo op.

Each Easter since the kids were little, I've taken them someplace visually interesting to stage an Easter Egg hunt. Mary and I would dress them in their new Easter outfits, which would serve as their "good" outfits (for birthday parties, for example) for the next year. This year, with things going pretty well for us financially, we decided to take a vacation in North Carolina's Outer Banks, specifically near Kitty Hawk, so I could show the kids where the first airplane flew.

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Medals for Gymnastics

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 3/12/2022
Topics: #Family #Gianna Page Views: 257
Spoiler Alert: Gianna won a medal in every event, including a 1st Place for Beam, and overall 2nd Place for the entire meet.

While I miss living on Maui, I do not miss missing out on my grandkids' milestones. Take today, for example: My youngest granddaughter, Gianna, who is still in first grade, has been taking gymnastics for awhile, now; and today I not only got to see her perform, I got to see her win medals!

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Aging Gratefully

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 3/6/2022
Topics: #AgingGratefully Page Views: 142
One man's experience of hitting his seventies.

Starting with my coming out of the closet, I've made my life an open book on these pages. It may seem self-serving, but that's not actually the reason I keep it up. The first reason is to give my grandkids an insight into how it was to live and grow up in the 20th Century and the opening decades of the 21st. The second is to reach out to folks who may be going through some of the things I have, and who could benefit from reading that they aren't in this all alone, after all. So, now that I've started into my seventies, and since I have concluded my Coronavirus blog, I've created this new section of web site, where I plan to complain about aches and pains but also about my triumphs and overcomings of my age-related health.

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