“Orphans” wait all year – 1st Day of Advent!

Advent is the four weeks before “CHRISTMAS” – a time to reflect and give some thought about the “BIG” event about to take place. This is the four weeks to think  seriously –  as to what you will do – something that  will  put you in the correct and right frame of mind – since you will be receiving a  most important person – the new born babe,  “Baby Jesus!”

This was a time for us “KIDS” – to start doing acts of kindness – even if we might think – “Being nice to the NUNS and the other children would kill us – but to be extra nice – was going to be our “GIFT” to “JESUS” – and even if nobody noticed – we really were trying to be the best child – but – just for the sake of “JESUS!”

Some of the older “KIDS” – who were in the Orphanage – for quite awhile – and were more set into their own way of doing things – just for themselves – had another solution to this time of ADVENT!  Here is their special plan – they would “FAST” – do without the candy and sweet treats – that they were offered.  To start this special “FAST” – they knew that “TODAY” would be the best day to start.

On the 1st Sunday of Advent – the GREYHOUND BUSES would be in the entry drive of the ORPHANAGE – and all of us children would be dressed in our “SUNDAY” clothes – as well as the “TEACHING NUNS” – all these buses took us to the downtown, Saint Louis “FAMOUS BARR STORE” – and were we ever “HAPPY!” We would sing all the new songs that we had recently learned and we would behave – so that we would be invited the next year, too!

As soon as the bus was in the right location – we left the bus and entered into the “FAMOUS BARR” entrance area for us as well as some of the other ORPHANAGES and HOMES for children – getting on the escalators – floor by floor – till we arrived on the 9th floor, where they have an auditorium – and we were guided into a section for ST. Vincent’s Children – to be seated. A most wonderful “SHOW” and “LIVE PERFORMANCE” – just for all of us kids was presented.  For the seven years that I was at the Orphanage – we were always invited – but letters were sent out – and of course –  we were told about – the unsatisfactory behavior of some children – which meant that they would not be invited  – in the following years. My guess is that the children at St.Vincent’s heard that message and knew that the “NUNS” meant business – who likes losing the very few privileges one gets – anyway???

Over and above this – extra special trip to the downtown – SAINT LOUIS – the part of this trip that meant so much to us “poor” Orphans – was the “GIFTS” we each received! There were some of us who never ever had any “VISITS” from “Parents – Relatives or Friends of the Family” – so this must have meant even more to them! I was one of the “LUCKY” kids – my parents came every SUNDAY and even any other time that they felt like coming out – just to see us – no matter the trouble some of the NUNS would give them???

As we exited the Auditorium – we were directed – boy or girl and by age to a line and you would follow though – there were volunteer store employees dressed as “SANTA’S” helpers – and from a small area in the wall you would receive a “CHRISTMAS” wrapped gift – and you were directed where to follow for your “GROUP” to stay together – and then down the escalators – to the main entrance.

And the best part – you waited for – as you were ready to leave the “STORE” you were handed a “STOCKING FULL of CANDY” – out the door of the best store in town “FAMOUS BARR” – follow through to your bus and your seat – behave – sing songs and start to day dream – “CHRISTMAS” is coming!



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“3 Cheers – for the COOKS!”



“HIP- HIP!  HOORAY!”  “3 CHEERS  – for the COOKS!”

Sure hope that you remembered to say  “THANKS” for whoever made the best of meals this year – and you were there to enjoy and have lots of “FUN!”

This picture was taken several years ago and this senior chef with her very helpful assistant – the two of us pulled off another big feast – for everyone to enjoy???

In this picture you can see    –        that – it does not   pay to wear  something  ” all white” –  and then –  stand near the refrigerator???   This  is not  the best of pictures, since it is a copy   and  I will have to locate the original – just to see who’s  – who and what’s – what???    This is a quick item – since we are still doing things with the last of the turkey!

Sometimes “Turkeys” can last longer – than you want – but they do make good sandwiches – in a hurry!  Hope that you are also – enjoying the last of your “Turkey! – TOO???



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“Did – You – get too much – TURKEY?”

T-Day 001

The day after “THANKSGIVING”  –  are you asking yourself – “Did we get too much Turkey   – since we had to go to several homes for dinner  –  and we were expected to eat as if  – we were really  –  ready for a full- course   feast???”

That’s  the way is goes each year   –  Sometimes   – you are invited for a “SUNDAY Thanksgiving Dinner”   – and  then on   “Thursday – Thanksgiving Day”  – you are expected to be at three (3) more homes !   You have to put on  your “HAPPY”  ready to eat lots of “TURKEY” face    – and you are feeling so “STUFFED”  – You just don’t know  –  ” where do I put”    another dinner???

Here’s the solution  — the month before start doing without  “LUNCH” – and see if  you  lose a pound or two – and if you  are not losing   – try a few liquid meals! – Need to do something faster   –  just eat an “APPLE” cut in very thin slices for one meal !  Next day  make  it two  apple meals  – your cut-up   and  very thin slices of apple!    An “APPLE” a day keeps the “DOCTOR” away and you will be regular, too !!!   It will be for a couple of weeks  – and you will start looking so good and   fit – –  –  that you may want to do the “APPLE” a meal thing   –  even  after   “Thanksgiving”  just so you can look and really begin to feel  – like the active person you know you can be – only if you want???  The main idea – is  to be the “LIFE” of the party at each dinner –  enjoy  what you are doing  –  take part in everything  – everyone will love your company  —  guess what  –  they will ask to come back  –  next year!

“The name of the  – GAME  – is  to  have  “FUN” and share – it   is  also  –  called making “MEMORIES!”

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“Giving – Thanks for – Family – Friends – Kindness with Love”


The greatest “GIFTS” that we have – can not be bought with money!  These most wonderful “GIFTS” are given freely to us from Almighty Yahweh!  And I’m betting that we do not see these GIFTS – and forget to give “THANKS”  – and the true way to really give your “THANKS”  – is to give your “LOVE” with your utmost “KINDNESS!”

The above photo is “ME” with the greatest “GIFTS” that I could have ever received –  there was never  – a way for me to have even thought to ask  – because – what I received  – is  abundantly   –  more than I could  have dream possible for me to have received. Thanks  – Almighty Yahweh – for the “GIFTS” of Grand-children –  Alyssa – Alan – Jaime  … surrounding  me –  – –   like… shinning “STARS!” 

In the above picture – you can see that I am looking a lot better than yesterday’s picture – which  was taken shortly after being in the hospital  The difference is having received lots of “LOVE” with the greatest  “KINDNESS” that an old Grandma – could ever hope to receive!!!

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“The Smiles … say Thank-You!”


When you are in your  “70’s”   and have  – just had  two major surgeries  – within a month’s time – – you can see how terrible I look –  – I’m guessing that I’m here and on borrowed time – but all the big  “SMILES” – are so encouraging – they are giving me strength – to carry on with whatever the Almighty  wants for me to do  – before I get my “CALL” to come home!

This is the “TIME”  of year – to remember to give “THANKS”  – for all of  your “BLESSINGS”  – especially if you are not  in the habit of giving Thanks – daily???  I feel that for all of the Thanks – that I remember to give – that – that is why I feel  that I am continually “Blessed”  – way far and beyond – what I could really  – even think that I should receive? It is   in the “BIBLE” –  You will receive way more than you give – so that is one reason to be extra generous!

Since this   –  the above picture – has been  taken with my son, Al’s  family – over-looking –  SUNSET PARK   –   an at  SUNSET time – my health has improved and I feel  – that I also look better.    “With the Almighty   – all tings are   –  possible!”

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Thanks for my “Wonderful Family!”


Thank You – Almighty Yahweh” –  for putting me with  this earthly family – that You knew – that I would be very satisfied with – for all of my “LIFE” here  –  and for me to be a part of  Your Family – for all eternity!  

I do not know  nor understand how all  our living  – working here on earth – it is a “Mystery”  – not ours to reason why – but to learn and –  to obey Your Commandments and follow Your word in the bible …

Your Manuel  – which has so many nuggets of information  – for us – if we but decide early in “LIFE” to seek You!

This picture is taken in front of the “German St. Vincent Orphan Home” in the 1940s – I am taking this picture – I feel that this is a very good picture  of “MY FAMILY” – and I have always been very proud to be a part  of the “McClarren Family!”   (L to R)   – Tom, brother – Denny, Sr.,  my Father –  Denny Jr., brother – Marie, My Mother.

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