Home » Post a Week 2013 » WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE – FRESH!


Talk about a bit of a “fresh” stretch…

I was made in Italy.  My mom and dad, both born there, brought me over to a U.S. hospital  in one of the more unconventional ways.  They arrived on Ellis Island in July and I was born in Newark, N.J. a few months later.  As you might imagine, they spoke little to no English and I spent my formative years listening to and then speaking in Italian.  This may seem like it has nothing to do with this week’s challenge, so a short explanation is due.

Because of the language and custom differences, I learned some things a bit differently than most American kids.  I (and not due to bad parenting) was allowed to sip vino rosso at the age of four.  I’m not saying I pitched a load, but I got a sip here and there.  This probably attributed to my love of ova, both bianco and rosso.  I, to this day say “gravy” instead of sauce.  I have gravy on my pasta and pizza.  Yum!

Here’s where the challenge comes in.  If I ever had the audacity to disrespect my dad or mom, either in words or actions, I was told not to be cativa.  Later, mom learned another word for cativa.  Fresh!  “Don’t be fresh!”  “That’s fresh!”  “I don’t like when you are fresh!”  That one word has stayed with me for 60 plus years, and today I am still using “fresh” to mean cativa (or cativo if I’m referring to a male.) Enter, my grandson.

The adorable, but feisty three year old came up  from Georgia this month with mom and dad, along with his 10 year old brother and 7 year old sister.  Well, feisty got the best of him and he thought he could haul off and slug nona.  Not gonna happen!  So after a few “don’t be fresh”es, and “that was fresh”, someone landed in a fresh load of time out!



When it was all over, we talked a little.  Mom and dad covered a few rules that should NOT be broken, and the consequences that come with disrespect.   I hinted that I’d put him in Rocky’s cage the next time he was fresh.  Apparently, he thought that was a reward and not a consequence.

Not so FRESH!  Just cute.

Not so FRESH! Just cute.

He put himself in the cage and gave me a great big smile.  I think he misunderstood “fresh” and “consequences”.  I’ll have to try again.  Maybe in another language.

Fresh means many things to many people.  Click on the WordPress icon below for more on “Fresh”.




  1. Adorable! Charming! And with an enticing amount of background information. I have a feeling you could tell a lot of good stories from those days, Gem. Not an easy start 🙂

  2. I enjoyed reading your take on fresh. And I relate completely to your childhood experience having been brought up in a country by immigrant parents. And now I am giving the same experience to my own kids 🙂

  3. This is fantastic! You’ll have to return to Italy at least once! My son has just returned from a holiday there in the Cinque Terra on the Mediterranean. He showed me photos – the five towns were colourful and very inviting. If you don’t go, I’ll go for you.

  4. What a delightful post, Gemma. You grandson is so adorable. What a little mischief. 🙂 I loved my trips to Italy. You just need to take some tranquilisers and a few glasses of vino rosso for the flights, and you’ll be right as ninepence. 🙂

    • Now you sound like Jeff. He wants to go and I’m holding him back. I have relatives in Italy and Australia. You could ask me to get on a plane or ask if I want to get poked in the eye with a stick, and I’d pick the stick any day. 😦
      Time will tell. I may have to take your advice or I’ll never get anywhere. We’ll see…

  5. This was great. Such a “fresh” interpration! I’ve been to Italy, mainly Rome. Most awesome place I’ve ever been. I don’t like to fly but unfortunately it’s the only way I can get to some places. Agree with adininparadise. A little vino for the trip.:-)

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