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The End

This article was the hardest to write. But it had to be written. I enjoy writing and I always hoped that my articles were enjoyed and appreciated, too. In a world where the news is hardly ever good, sometimes finding something pleasant to read can be difficult and can hit hard, especially if you are sensitive and thoughtful.

The mind naturally searches for a respite. I tried to offer that respite. But, like someone once said, “when things get a little hard to take, go outside and listen to the birds sing.” Wait a minute. I said that! But, all good things must come to an end. And this will be my final article. Not that I’ve exhausted every topic or humorous situation. That’s an endless pursuit! But, I need to, finally, find more time to attend to certain situations with more care. Besides! I’d been waiting to win an award of some kind – or something besides sore fingers.

One of my care situations pertains to Billy and Willie. They come frequently to my back yard, sit at the table and wait, faithful to their task, rain, sleet, or storm or unbearable heat – sorta like the postman’s creed. I feed them; I offer them warm milk mixed with water and sympathy. They’re a pair of stray, male cats. One is friendly and pretty and even lets me pet him. The other, not so friendly, hisses at me as he does for another neighbor a few houses down who also feeds him. He likes my husband, however – even follows him to the green house and rolls in the grass by his feet. I figure he has something against women, but, I forgive him because I love all cats. My own cat, Lucy Bella, isn’t very hospitable to the other cats. Billy came into the house one afternoon, rubbed his head against the TV table by the door, and looked around to observe what’s indoors and who is inside. That’s when Lucy Bella approached and hissed at him, loud and clear, as a warning not to think of ever coming into her palace. Besides, she’s not interested in hobos.

Then, there’s the garden that needs more contents besides weeds – more plantings and design. Also, I’d like to continue painting. Not walls, on canvas. I’ve had five art showings with very pleasing results.  I was about fifteen when I learned to paint, watching my father, who painted some really beautiful scenes and animals. He didn’t instruct me much. He only told me to study my object carefully. That’s when I bought a canvas and used his paint tubes until I could buy my own.

Right now, with spring just around the corner, I have to get back to doing things, not only things that need doing but things I want to do. I’m far from young and that means it’s time to look to doing what I like when I like.

And, it’s also a time to reconnect with old friends who have long retired and who could use some friendship renewal, too. One friend, Dottie, I’ve known since she was a baby in a stroller, being five years younger than me. We grew up in Hell’s Kitchen, New York, across the street from the original Madison Square Garden. My mom was born in Pennsylvania and was a great help as interpreter and aid to the newer Greek women in the neighborhood. Dottie’s mom was a kindly person with a good sense of humor. She was an excellent chef, and she and my mom remained the best of friends for many years. And so it is with Dottie.

So, I wish all the readers of the National Herald, and especially Dean Sirigos, my editor – what a guy – who I’m sure learned patience and tolerance from me, a long, happy existence in this problematic world. Lastly, the guys at Dixon’s are waving at you from their table and thanking you all for being such good followers of their adventures and being patient with the frugal Yiannis who, I believe, could have made the American economy the steadiest in the world. My father, who was ‘George’ in the stories, was really understanding of Yiannis, whether he displayed that sentiment or not. So, my sincerest thanks to all my readers. Thank you so – so much!

Editor’s Note: First, we wish to thank ‘Kiki’ Sembos for every sentence of each and every one of her stories, which always brought laughter, wisdom, or both. They were always a joy to work with and present. We too wish her the best, and sincerely hope that at some point, as is her prerogative, she changes her mind and turns on the tap again of her wonderful imagination and compassion to send us more wonderful stories and commentaries.

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