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Mark (Allen) Vreeland Home Page

My Family
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The Typical American Family.... 

My Family: My Father

My Father grew up in San Francisco. His father was a carpenter after owning a "mom and pop" grocery store in Idaho. My Father dropped out of college and went to work as a Carpenter which he did until he hurt his back when I was about 12. He went into Real estate sales and did very well for about 15 years.  My father's 2nd wife and companion of about 20 years had a brain hemorrhage and died early Sept 2002.  He was dating a woman that lives close by and was doing well.  She is very nice.  Dad was diagnosed with cancer 11-20-05 and died 2-16-06.  I miss him. 
My Mother:

I didn't know to much about her upbringing. She would never tell stories of when she was young. I finally found out that she had an emotional scar that never went away. When she was about 8, her father was an alcoholic and depressed from getting his legs crushed in a farming accident. Grandmother was doing the "24 hour watch" over Grandfather when she was so tired that she asked my mother to watch her dad to make certain he didn't leave the house.
Well, my grandfather convinced my mother that he just needed to go out for a moment and get some air and not to wake Grandmother. Grandfather went to his local bar, went into the men's room with his gun and blew his head off. My Mother loved her father very much and this devastated her for her entire life. She was a joyless soul after that. We had some very fun times and she was a genuine quality person.  There was just a lack of an overall joyful spirit in her life.

I had a very tight relationship with my Mother. I would lay on her bed for hours while she was ironing or some other chore talking to her about just things. My Mother was very non judgmental if not demonstratively loving to her kids or husband. This turned me into a sensitive little kid and, as an adult, move me a bit from "Mars" towards "Venus".

When I was 18 my Mother came down with MS. She withered away for 13 years down to 70 lbs and finally death. For the last 8 years she just laid in the convalescent home staring at the ceiling not responding to any stimulus. She didn't move at all when I or My Father walked into the room.
I really admire my father in his dedication to my mother when she was stricken he showed incredible patience and fortitude. It really showed how much he loved her. I only wish he did it when my Mother was well. The only time I saw them being physically close was when I was 18 and I came home and saw mother sitting on Dad's lap in his recliner with him holding each other and watching TV. This was about 6 months before she came down with MS and she was unable to speak or move again.

At first, I would visit her at her home and dad would have a housekeeper/assistant take care of her. I would lay on the bed with her and listen to Italian opera. Streams of tears would run down my mother's cheeks. Well, this was a moment that I couldn't leave, so I stayed for the opera. I still like Opera, Bocelli is fantastic! There are many good, up an coming Italian Opera stars in the works.  There is just nothing like Italian opera on a Sunday summer morning with the windows open and a gentle breeze flowing by.  Sounds like Tuscany.
On the lighter side:  I had great times with my mother.  She loved Lucille Ball. She had her hair died orange to match and watched the Lucy show every day (reruns) when I was a small kid.  She would emulate Lucy (but not get into so much trouble).  It was like living with Lucy every day.  My Mother had great sense of humor and loved to laugh.  We had many times of great joy  She was also a master at physical comedy.  My mother could swim well and was on the swim team at school according to her mother.  However, when we went to a swim party, she would have the whole place in a uproar over her 10 minutes worth of clumsily getting into the pool. She was hilarious!  We often laughed until our lungs and faces hurt.

My Sister:

She is 2 years older than I am and lives in North Carolina with her Hubby of 25+ years (a great guy) and her two teen age sons (great kids). The oldest is going to college this year.
We have a different outlooks on life in as much as she lives to make others impressed with her even those she doesn't know. I am just the opposite. I could care less what other people that don't know me well, think of me. I'm certainly not going to put on some fake front in hopes that someone will like me. In my opinion, if much over 50% of the people you meet REALLY like you, you are selling yourself short. I have several very close friends and people I love in my life but I won't put on a show for them and I hope they wouldn't do the same for me.
My sister and I are getting to see more alike lately.  I think it's because she started taking Omega 3 oils in her diet.  She is less worrisome and much more apt in getting thing done. 

My Dogs:
Blackie Smackie Wack

This was one of the best dogs on the planet. I got her out of the pound 15 years ago when she was a puppy. I was at the pound, not thinking of getting a dog, just going along with someone else that was looking for a little dog to take to the convalescent hospital she visited. I walked by Blackie and I looked at her and had to stagger out of the building, just standing outside of the building crying. Now, I have cried hard very few times in my adult life. So I got the dog and hoped that my wife (at that time) would understand. I had her put down after a bout with cancer on 9-12-03. 
April Chalupa: 
I just got this dog after reading the Humane society's web page stating that an older dog can teach a younger dog how to live at your house. (You know, the rules of the house) Well, it seems to work.  April is a fantastic dog.  She begs to please and learns fast.  She has a delightful personality and is completely house trained.  After over 3 years of survival, I think she'll make it.  What a loving dog!
I call her "April Chalupa" because, like me, she loves Mexican food. :)
My dog has the BEST life!  I live in an area where there are no fences and many neighbor dogs to play with.  Blackie used to go wherever she wants as long as she is home by dark.  April is just a bit afraid to travel too far from home by herself.  She loves people and likes to hang out with me and my friends.  

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