We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...

We Climbed before the Klimb 4 Kim...
1997's Climb

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

   Christmas Eve has always been a magical time for Kim and I.  We'd often bake cookies, make cioppino (sea food soup) and go to church.  When we lived back east, if it had snowed, we'd like to go out late and walk in the snow, make snow angels and throw a couple of snow balls.  Out here, we would walk and see all of the beautiful lights and be so happy we were not freezing!
    We've passed these traditions on to our children, adding the making of home made raviolis for Christmas Day...so this morning, the bambini's and I got to work.  We made pizzelles...it took us three times to find the right recipe!  The first that I found, was one ripped from a page of the pizzelle iron's manual - I told the kids, first, we get out all of the ingredients that we need.  Next, we read the directions all the way through, then we make them...they came out very thick and crunchy.  I looked back over the recipe and found that at the very bottom, in fine print, it said 'this recipe will make an extra thick and crunchy style pizzelle'...so much for me reading the whole thing through!  But, the kids had fun helping with another batch.Then, we made the cioppino - this year adding scallops, Kim's favorite, to the shrimp, clams, mussels and white fish.  Next, we made the marinara sauce, painstakingly remembering Kim's best recipe, which, like any really good Italian recipe, is not written down!  And we nailed it on the first try!  Then, we set to work on making the pasta for the raviolis.  We've had a busy morning, but it is so fun teaching the bambini's how to make these family traditions...
    So the best Christmas Eve that I can remember, was 1993.  It was a dreadful winter in Pennsylvania, mostly ice storms and frigid temps, often going below zero with high winds.  I had about a 45 minute commute to the Toys R Us that I was working at in Montgomeryville and there were several times that I was the only one to make it to work, as I had a 4 wheel drive Toyota truck.  I'd pick up my front end supervisor, Deb, and we'd brave the conditions to get to the store to take care of the deposit from the previous day's business and await permission to not open for the day.
    I was awaiting word on a possible transfer to Arizona.  I had been assigned to help 'clean up' the Montgomeryville location and my store manager, Bruce Feagins (who is now a D.M. with Barnes & Noble!! Small world.) had told me that all of the hours we had put in to make the store successful were being rewarded - he was going to be transferred to the Florida Keys, a dream of his...I asked, hey, can I go somewhere?  He asked where I wanted to go and I said Arizona!  I wanted to live in Phoenix, to be close to concerts and pro sports, but Kim reasoned that if we were moving all the way across the country, we should move to Tucson, a smaller, cozier community - instead of another hustle/bustle area.
   Anyway, on Christmas Eve, 1993, we had gone to church, went to our family's homes to visit and were back at our apartment enjoying each other's company and getting ready to exchange gifts...I remember it was getting close to midnight...
   Well, I gave her a new, fuzzy, warm bathrobe from Victoria's Secret...she loved it and put it right on, sitting down on the couch to watch t.v.  I went over to her, got down on one knee, and asked her if the robe was comfortable...she gushed that it was.  I asked if she had checked out how deep that the pockets were...she said that she hadn't, so she reached in to see and found a small box...without opening it, she burst into tears (sound like Kimmy?)...slowly, she unwrapped the box, opened it up and found the engagement ring that I was giving to her...she sat there crying and staring out the ring...finally, she took it out and I slipped it on her finger...and asked her if she would marry me...she could not speak, and I must say, I had a moment of apprehension...then, she said of course she would!  Well, that was it for me, I cried too and we just held each other for a long time...
      Well, that's may best Christmas Eve memory, of course, we made so many more great ones, especially once the kids came around...and us 'four musketeers' will undoubtly make some great memories too.  We will eat our cioppino this afternoon and then got to our neighbor's, Betsey and Brian, to make pizzas.  Betsey's parents, Ursula and Sam are visiting from Sedona and Grammie and Grandpa Jim will come with us too.
       We all prayed this morning over breakfast, the kids helped me make bacon, eggs and hash browns, that mama was safe in Heaven and wished her a happy Christmas Eve...
       Wishing you all the same,


  1. I'm sure it was Kim's favorite Christmas eve too! I love hearing all the traditions of your family. I have thought about Kim a lot today as many of us have and although there have been some tears, I am inspired more and more to live each day as Kim would have. I've never met anyone like her, and I know how lucky I am to have been a part of her life. I know Emilio would love it if I attempted to become the cook she was : ) I think there is hope for me after hearing the hard boiled egg story!!

    Merry Christmas Dave, Cody, Autumn, & Antonio!!! (Or I should say
    Feliz Navidad from El Paso )

  2. Beautiful! Merry Christmas Conca Family!

  3. Merry Christmas Dave to u and those wonderful Bambini's we are always thinking of u!!

    love the Breedens
    Ralph, Kelly, Elaine, Dewayne, Ashley, Katie, Nick & John!!

  4. Like Mary, I thought of Kim so much this weekend...I truly believe there is no better way to honor someone than to pass on the traditions they helped create! And quite frankly, I'M proud of all of you for all your baking and cooking, so just IMAGINE how much she must've been beaming watching you all! I will be thinking of you tonight and tomorrow and hoping Kim's presence brings you peace and happiness. Merry Christmas...

  5. I didn't get to read your post until today...I thought of you and the kids as we drove to our family's house yesterday. The sky was filled with such shades of pink, I know that Kim was watching over you as you passed on these traditions to your bambinis. It was breathtaking and beautiful!

    Merry Christmas!