|What I wore to the airport|
I came home on Thursday after leaving the previous Wednesday. That’s right! I was out of town from the 21st through the 29th. Did you miss me?
Last year in April I went up north to visit my family and the timing was horrid. Romanov had justdied, and I was still grieving his loss, feeling it every moment of every day. Although I’m always grateful to see my family, it was nonetheless, a difficult visit.
It was also the visit where I came up with the idea that Rob and I should visit New York and my mother and her husband gleefully offered to send us on our honeymoon.
This year everything went more smoothly than I could have hoped, especially when one considers that we were told we might have to put Holly to sleep merely a few weeks earlier. Seriously, think about how scary that must have been, knowing I was getting ready for a trip and learning that a beloved dog (that just so happens to look like another much beloved dog) might have to be put to sleep . . .
It wasn’t good.
But this year the stories all have happy endings and there’s another tri p on our horizon. (More on that later.)
I left on 21 May and arrived at my mother’s where we were alone, just the two of us because her husband was out of town. Well, just the two of us if you don’t count Lizzie, my mother’s Shih Tzu, and Beauty, her parrot. And one mustn’t discount them!
I settled in quickly and my mother and I went out to dinner. We were naughty and had waffles a la mode with stewed apples. It was sooooo good. We also went to Hot Jewelry Box in Ridgewood. We call it the bling store and I wish they had a website so I could show you some of the sparkly wonderfulness contained within. We found a couple of things for Bibi, including a precious bracelet. My mother looked at a pin which I sneaked in with my one other item and had to surreptitiously purchase with her standing practically at my shoulder the entire time.
Once we were home, we watched Tangled because I wanted my mother to enjoy the song “Mother Knows Best” which I knew she would love. I didn’t expect we’d watch the whole movie but we did. And I was right; she loved the song. She enjoyed the whole movie, actually. So we ended our first night on a good (but I was so exhausted) note.
The next day, I went into the city (by which I mean New York City) to meet with Love. Our mothers were pregnant together and Love was born 14 February while I was born a month late on 4 April. (In other words, we should have been born only a couple of weeks apart but six weeks had to go by before I finally came out into the real world.) I gave Love two gifts—a photograph and a bracelet. My mother had bought me one and I bought one for Love (while I was buying the pin for my mother).
|Strike a pose|
They do. Really.
Once I was back in New Jersey and with my mother, we decided to have some real food and headed to her favorite Italian place. I ordered linguini Bolognese. We didn’t have dessert because we had macarons awaiting us at home. (In case you don’t remember, when Rob and I had the macarons on our honeymoon, he decided they were so delicious that he went back to Sugar & Plumm’s to get more the very next day. You know it’s something deliciously special when you want more the very next day.)
|Macarons from Sugar & Plumm's|
Friday we headed to Harmony Tea Room with my mother’s friend Barbara. Rob and I have made cookies for Barbara because she had pancreatic cancer and we make delicious no-sugar added confections (like oatmeal and chocolate chip using bittersweet chocolate and almond biscotti and . . . well, you get the idea). Barbara is frail but we were able to enjoy some tea, finger sandwiches, scones, and other deliciousness. My favorite sandwich was a roll made with brown bread that had a curried filling. It was my mother’s favorite too. And the scone was wonderful, served with lemon curd and clotted cream and just the right amount of raspberry preserves. There was no pretending, however, that Barbara is in a great deal of pain and holding onto life by a slender thread. My mother thinks that she is determined to live to see her daughter married. Sadly, she wouldn’t be the first person who lived long enough to see something important happen and then lose the strength to fight any longer.
|Love and I are|
wearing the bracelets
Is it any wonder that when I got home I had gained 8 lbs? I don’t even know how much my mother gained. I don’t want to know. I just have to recommit to my exercise (I’ll post about that on Tuesday) and get back to eating better. Certainly, I don’t need to eat half a cake by myself. Ugh.
Oh but it was delicious!
|One of my favorite spots|
to read in my mother's home
That evening we ate leftovers and more lemon cake while watching Her. My step-father doesn’t like Spike Jonze films and my mother was happy to see this one. Visually she loved it. In fact, she loved it right up until the end. She wanted a different ending. Frankly, I was content with the ending in the film but I know why she was disappointed even if I found the film more fulfilling than she did. I went to bed late, yet again, way past my bedtime.
|Look how pretty. Oh so pretty.|
My cousin Maureen arrived after we had finished out desserts so I felt less like a pig because there were fewer witnesses. Hey! It works for me. Don’t judge.
|Sometimes my mother's driving|
scares me a little
We had a lovely time catching up and only left when it came time to leave to avoid the traffic. Larry was coming back home but wouldn’t be home until after midnight. My mother and I had another quiet evening, with her ironing and my watching The Mentalist. We were enjoying the simplicity of simply being together.
It was the perfect way to begin what turned out to be nearly a perfect visit. More to come, obviously. But you have to agree: this post is long enough already.