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A Million Little Pieces Of My Mind


By: Paul S. Cilwa Viewed: 5/27/2024
Page Views: 5865
All about the times my extended family has gotten together for some reason.
Everybody gathers for Dottie's wedding.

Family is largely about the wonderful times we've had in verious get-togethers throughout the years. Here are a number of such occasions (with photos, of course!).

Christmas 2022 at the Rizzos'

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 12/25/2022
Posted: 1/26/2023
Page Views: 549
Topics: #Autobiography
I got to spend Christmas Eve and morning with family.

Christmas at my daughter Jenny's lasts a couple of months.

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Littles in the Bahamas

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 3/23/2022
Page Views: 594
Topics: #Bahamas #Dolphin
The grandkids get to swim with an incredibly patient dolphin.

The grandkids and their parents took a few days off in the Bahamas, and along the way they did one of those dolphin adventure things, where you get to meet a real dolphin (the aquatic mammal, not a player for the Miami sports team) and swim with it.

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A Birthday Party in Tumbleweed Park

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 2/16/2020
Page Views: 1571
Topics: #Arizona #Chandler #TumbleweedPark #Dominic #Gianna
Dominic's schoolmate Karena had a birthday party and Dom's sister Gianna, mommy, and myself were invited.

My daughter, Jenny, let me know yesterday that my youngest grandson, Dominic, who at 3 years old is in preschool, had been invited to the birthday party of one of his classmates; his sister Gianna would be there as well and I could meet them at the venue, Tumbleweed Park in Chandler.

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Christmas, 2019

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 12/25/2019
Page Views: 1465
Topics: #Family #Christmas
Another awesome Christmas with the family.

As with Thanksgiving, we had a lovely, low-key Christmas. My son, John, treated us to Christmas dinner, which Papa Michael then cooked. Everything was excellent!

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Thanksgiving, 2019

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 11/18/2019
Page Views: 1441
Topics: #Family #Thanksgiving
Another awesome get-together with the family for which I am most grateful.

We had a lovely, low-key Thanksgiving this year. That was awesome because it meant no one had to knock themselves out entertaining. Instead, we all pitched in, and got to enjoy the time together.

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Seeing Santa

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 11/17/2019
Page Views: 1418
Topics: #Dominic #Gianna #SantaClaus
We bring my two youngest grandkids to see the grand old man.

What would Christmas be, without a visit to a shopping mall Santa? Especially for a 3 and a 5-year-old. And to give it a further sense of occasion, the three papas—myself, Keith, and Michael—showed up, as well as Aunt Dorothy and Uncle John!

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The Toddlers' First Campout

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 9/7/2019
Posted: 9/10/2019
Page Views: 2115
Topics: #Camping
My youngest grandchildren and several other family members head for the woods!

I began taking my kids camping when they were toddlers. So I'm very pleased to see that my daughter, Jennifer, decided to do the same with her kids. This particular trip, their first, was a rather spur-of-the-moment affair—the first I heard of it was a day before we actually left. But, since we camp often and our gear is always ready, that didn't actually stop us from joining the others. We chose a spot my oldest grandson recommended, a spot called Falcon Tank, north of Sedona and south of Flagstaff. It was a beautiful place, miles of forest road with dispersed camping here and there. No toilets so we had to bring our own of those as well. But it was all good!

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Snow Day for Gianna and Dominic

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 1/15/2019
Page Views: 2182
Topics: #Family #Prescott #Snow
A day in the snow with the toddlers.

The northern half of the state got dumped on by record-breaking amounts of snow. While this was bad news for drivers and others, it was great news for the kids!

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Christmas at Jenny's

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 12/25/2018
Page Views: 2024
Topics: #Family #Christmas
A Christmas get-together.

Santa's Workshop at the North Pole can't possibly be a better place to spend Christmas Day than my daughter Jenny's Castle, which each year becomes a Christmas Wonderland.

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Christmas Eve at Jenny's

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 12/24/2018
Page Views: 2021
Topics: #Family #Christmas
A pre-Christmas get-together.

This year, in addition to our planned Christmas visit, we also had a Christmas Eve visit to Jenny's Castle.

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Jimmy's 50th Birthday Surprise Party

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 9/15/2018
Page Views: 2688
Topics: #Family #Jimmy
The theme was a 1920s speakeasy.

My son-in-law, Jimmy Rizzo, is about to celebrate his 50th birthday; and his wife, my daughter, Jenny, threw him a surprise birthday bash none of us will soon forget, including a lounge singer and casino games such as craps and poker.

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Easter, 2018

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 4/1/2018
Page Views: 2453
Pictures from today's Easter Egg hunt.

My daughter, Jenny, and her family hosted Easter this year for the West Coast side of our family. Present were myself and Keith and Michael, Jenny and husband Jimmy and babies Gianna and Dominic, and my son John with a friend and her kids. Unfortunately, you won't see any pics of John on this page because none that I took met with his approval.

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Grandbabies and Grandpuppies

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 1/14/2018
Page Views: 2461
Topics: #Family #Gianna #Dominic
I spend a couple of hours letting my grandbabies play with my granddogs.

I haven't seen much of my grandbabies lately, between their visiting Key West with their mother, and Keith's and my moving into a new place. But I managed to get a visit in yesterday, and took Ella (my grandson Zach's dog) and Lilly (my son John's dog), both of whom are staying with us for the duration, to visit for a doggie/baby playdate.

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Visiting My Key West Grandbabies

By: Paul S. Cilwa Page Views: 2412
Topics: #Places #KeyWest #Florida #FamilyGet-Togethers #Gianna #Dominic #Zach #Jenny
My daughter, Jenny, flew me down to Key West to spend time with her 3 children, ranging in age from 18 years to 10 months.

When my daughter, Jenny, is living in her home in nearby Chandler, I come by to visit each week to play with my grandbabies and visit with my older grandson, as well as with her, of course. But she spends summers in Key West (which is hot in summer to be sure, but 40°F less than it gets in Phoenix). And so she generously sends me to visit then as well. This section documents and displays the adventures we had in the Conch Republic.

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Thanksgiving With The Rizzos

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 11/24/2016
Page Views: 2845
Topics: #Thanksgiving
My daughter, Jennifer, and her family host this year's Thanksgiving celebration.

We spent a wonderful Thanksgiving with my daughter, Jennifer, and her family. My son, John, was there, as well as Papa Michael, and Jimmy's sister, Dawn.

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Christmas 2009

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 12/25/2009
Page Views: 5982
Topics: #Christmas #NatalAvenue
Zachary awakens us at 7am on a non-workday.

So here it is, December 25, and I don't have to work. I could sleep in…except for the periodic knocks on the door from our resident ten-year-old asking if it's too early to get up yet?

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Christmas Tree 2008

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 12/23/2008
Page Views: 6197
Topics: #Christmas
A tree that can be seen from space.

People who know both me and my husband, Michael, know we are opposites in many ways. Anything he does, Michael does with precision and intention. If it doesn't come out the way he wanted, he'll do it again. I'm a lot more relaxed. Michael thinks I "settle" for less than perfect, but that's not it. Rather, I hold a looser view of the outcome and enjoy being surprised by whatever it turns out to be.

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Astro: RIP

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 4/29/2008 6:00:00 PM

Milestone: #Death
Page Views: 6129
Topics: #Obituary
We say goodbye to a beloved dog.

We lost one of our three dogs today. Astro, the runt of his litter, passed on after a couple of days of being "under the weather". He was over 10 years old.

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How We Celebrated Christmas

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 12/26/2007
Page Views: 6616
Topics: #Christmas
Photos of our 2007 Christmas celebration.

Our house looks like a mall exploded in it, and our family has eaten itself into a stupor. That's right, it's the day after Christmas and all through the house we've all overeaten, including my spouse.

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The New Pool

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 6/20/2006
Page Views: 6214
We put in a new, above-ground swimming pool.

My spouse, Michael, first started talking about getting an above-ground pool when we moved into the new house in April. Actually, he first started talking about an in-ground pool; but after I repeatedly pointed out how that wasn't practical when one rents one's home, he relented and began pricing above-ground units at Costco and Sam's Club.

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Zach's First Christmas

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 12/25/1999
Page Views: 1456
As much of the family as possible, gets together to celebrate Christmas.

Dorothy was on the East Coast and Jennifer was unavoidably absent. But we had a terrific Christmas, and Zach was properly impressed!

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Easter Egg Hunt

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 4/19/1981
Posted: 4/7/2007
Page Views: 6233
An Easter Egg Hunt at Rhoades Park playground near Blair, Nebraska.

Back when the kids were little, each Easter I would find some hopefully-photogenic place to take them on Easter, where they could hunt Easter eggs in their spiffy, new Easter outfits and I could take their pictures.

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Our First Pool

By: Paul S. Cilwa Posted: 5/18/1978
Page Views: 4698
Topics: #Family
I reminisce about the plastic pool and how cute my kids were playing in it!

In 1978, I had quit my job at the Florida State Division of Forestry to attend school full-time, at the University of West Florida at Pensacola. That meant that, for the first time in years, I had to rent a place for us to live. I found a single-wide, 3-bedroom mobile home not far from the school with a good-sized yard for the kids to play in. Since we had little money, they didn't have a lot of store-bought toys but nevertheless found creative ways to enjoy themselves.

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Septermber 12: Kevin's Baptism

By: Paul S. Cilwa Page Views: 960
Topics: #KevinMikan
Photos of the baptism of my nephew, Keven Roy Carter Mikan.

A week after the birth of the first of his generation, we took baby Kevin in for his baptism.

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1971: Kevin's Birth

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 9/5/1971

Milestone: #Birth
Page Views: 1022
Topics: #KevinMikan
Photos of my nephew, Kevin Mikan (formerly Carter) the day he was born.

Among my two sisters and I, the first baby of the next generation was born September 5, 1971. That was Kevin Roy Carter (later adopted by Elzie "Mikey" Mikan), born to my younger sister, Louise.

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1971: Mary Joan's First Wedding

By: Paul S. Cilwa Occurred: 6/11/1971
Posted: 1/13/2016
Page Views: 4175
Topics: #Wedding #MaryJoan
All the photos from my sister's first wedding.

In 1971, my best friend was Mike Parry, who was dating my sister, Mary Joan. In January he and I made a trip to Canandaigua, New York; by the time we returned, Joanie had already agreed to marry Greg Bonnell, whom neither Mike nor I had ever met or even heard of.

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