Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Life is a Beach

While I am writing, I am receiving my Vitamin C infusion at Jefferson Hospital. It is Wednesday afternoon – still hot and sticky outside – but like a freezer in here. Thierry and I spent the last few days in Rehoboth Beach DE at our friends' house (Susie and Susan kindly offered us their lovely retreat). It was great to have a change of scenery, and to feel normal once again. We ate out the entire time (B, L & D), walked the beach, visited Lewes and took a trolley tour, and shopped at a few of the outlets. We had two great dinners, at Lupo de Mare and Blue Moon and I ate gelato for the first time (and then had it again the next night), it was wonderful! Thierry and I wandered into a candy store that advertized liquorice from different countries – and he found an incredible variety of Dutch drop or liquorice – and of a different variety than they have here at the Reading Terminal Market. He was very happy.

When last I wrote I mentioned that we were having dinner at Lauren and Mike's new house. There were 22, counting the kids – their house can handle the crowd. We had spaghetti and meatballs (that Lauren made), and sausage and peppers that Ed, Mike's brother, made. Joan made garlic bread, Jean made the salad, Ann brought snacks, I made guacamole using habanero's from Ed's garden, mom and I brought dessert – it was quite a party. We decided we'd let Ed into the Taraborelli kitchen – he is a good and adventurous cook!

For years it seemed our home in Gulph Mills was the center of family functions. We were centrally located; had good party space; we invited both sides of the family so no one felt left out; and both Doug and I loved to cook – especially for big crowds. Christmas was always at our house – Christmas Eve for friends and family; Christmas dinner for family. We often had 14 people around the dining room table with more in the kitchen. When we weren't supping with family, we had friends over. We held our annual Hill House party for over 100 people; gourmet New Year's Eve dinners; Memorial Day lobster and seafood party, and father's day barbecues.

When I moved from Gulph Mills and into Philly, I held onto part of the Christmas tradition. Since we moved to Philly, the family seems less interested in coming to our house for dinners, hence Sunday dinner at mom's. Entertaining in general has become less frequent, although Thierry and I love to entertain and share our view of the fireworks on New Year's Eve and around the 4th of July.

At first I was glad to shed some of the entertaining duties, especially when Ann had Christmas Eve at her house. But I have to say you also have to shed some of your pride to be able to step down and pass the baton! I guess it's Lauren and Mike's turn to start new family traditions. I marvel at Lauren's ability to take on a houseful of guests the same weekend she moved to her new home. I know family is extremely important to both her and Mike. I know that they will be able to keep our families together and build a loving community around their home. I hope I can can make a smooth transition into the role of a supporter and cheerleader for Lauren and gracefully take a step back as she takes on her role of keeper of the family traditions.

Today the wigs came in, I think I'll keep both. They are much lighter than the wigs of old, and feel extremely soft considering they are not made with real hair. They should look pretty good once the hairdresser takes a whack at 'em.

Tomorrow is chemo day. I am hoping it will be less toxic than the last, since the dosage will be less (we are starting the weekly treatment regimen). I am prepared – I think; I went to Jean's for healing touch this evening. My friend Ann and Lauren will stop by for a bit – which will give Thierry a break. And, I am taking my own personal chemo bag with me. Ed's wife Patty is a truly talented, creative woman. I understand she paints, but she also sews. She made us all aprons around the holidays – made from patches of different fabrics – they are terrific. When I saw her on Sunday she presented me with a fabric bag (with draw-string shoulder straps). Inside was a coverlet and a head rest. I can't wait until others at the infusion center see this! Patty, you must market these – I'll help.

It has been a good week – I'm looking forward to a good weekend. Keep your fingers crossed!

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