The Loop Newspaper - Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

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By Cathie Sibley
Owner of La Bella Amore Italian Bistro 

Happy 4th of July

Taste of Italian


The year was 1976 and it was the bicentennial celebration, the United States of America was 200 years old. The young girl, only twelve, was fascinated by the big celebration in her small Oregon town.

Sitting along the grass strip between the sidewalk and the street in front of the local grade school, she turned to her mother and announced with absolute confidence “I’m going to live to see the tricentennial”.

Her mother laughed at her, saying “you know you will have to live to be 112 to see that?” “I know” proclaimed the young girl. “I’m going to live to be 112.”

Since that day, thirty eight more Independence Day celebrations have come and gone, as have children, husbands, cars, homes, and towns. Most of those thirty eight years have passed with startling speed, but a few of them have felt as though they would never end.

Some have been good, some not so much. There has been joy and pain and happiness and disappointment and every emotion in between.

As I write this I can still see that day clearly in my mind, I can smell the fireworks and the hot dogs. I can taste Mama’s potato salad and feel the cool watermelon juice running down my chin. I can see the glow of the sparklers twirling around and around in the hands of excited children. I can hear the sirens as the fire trucks head up the hill to douse the fire set by the fireworks, an annual occurrence in our little town.

I can hear the laughter and feel the grass as it makes my bare legs itch.

Yes, you guessed it, that young girl was me. Even today I tell people that I’m going to live to be 112, though I’m not quite as confident about it as I used to be. Time, as it always does, has taken my youth and innocence and replaced it with middle age and experience and twenty pounds that I can’t seem to get rid of, but I wouldn’t trade any of it, except the twenty pounds of course.

I have a good life in this little town of Tehachapi. I have a wonderful restaurant downtown with the most incredibly dedicated customers, a miraculous church family in the Tehachapi Mountain Vineyard, the finest friends anyone could ask for, children that I am proud of, and a full glass of wine. I have the American dream.

God continues to bless me in ways that overwhelm me, even when I don’t deserve it. My greatest hope is that He blesses you also.

Peace and blessings to all!


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