Archive for February, 2016


Since posting “Endings and Beginnings” on New Year’s Eve I’ve been living my life, counting my blessings, enjoying smooth sailing, and suddenly it’s  February 29th, Leap Day, last chance to post this month.  Am feeling very well — happy, hopeful and grateful — even a routine, uneventful day is delightful after navigating troubled waters. Yesterday, my little dog and I strolled on the boardwalk at Havre de Grace, soaking up the sunshine, Angel attracting many smiles, children asking to pet her.

No physical or emotional ailments worth mentioning now, thank God. A laser procedure has restored somewhat clearer sight to my left eye, though the second trabeculectomy caused more peripheral vision loss. Have been weaned off Effexor/Venlafaxine for over two months — had been on that anti-depressant since my previous hospitalization in 2000.  Am keeping monthly appointments with an empathetic social worker for talk therapy, and eating more healthily, including foods rich in vitamins D and B complex.  But won’t ever give up an occasional Friendly’s Coffee Fribble — each calorie is decadently therapeutic.

Bethany and I had a lovely time at the “Downton Abbey” premiere of this season’s first episode at Baltimore’s The Grand Hotel on January 3rd. As I savored a glass of wine, she sipped water, mindful of the baby girl she’s carrying. And when Carson proposed to Mrs. Hughes at the end, I stood up, cheering and clapping with many others.

On the way there the Uber Driver remarked:  “You look stunning!”  (Of course, I tipped him well.) Dressed in a long black velvet tunic and skirt, my Aunt Betty’s cropped Persian lamb jacket with sable collar, my mom’s strand of crystal beads, and the high-heeled red suede shoes she wore  on her honeymoon in 1929, I felt elegant. Would have welcomed the Dowager Countess’s cane by the end of the evening.  And being with my grandsons afterward topped all that!  Kieran took pictures of me in my  finery for posterity.

Had a disturbing conversation with a niece, one of my late sister-in-law’s daughters, in early February.  I’d called about a possible family get-together in the spring, but when I wondered if her mom may have suffered from sleep apnea, she became angry,  then more so when I sympathized that one of her siblings had been troubled by their dad’s request for the family’s proper behavior at the wake and funeral — no undignified displays of emotion.  Soon after we hung up, my son phoned, delivering a long lecture —   he’d received an email from one of my niece’s brothers, complaining I’d upset his sister.

A few days later, I decided to treat myself to a weekend in Manhattan, driving to The LaQuinta Inn on 32nd Street — not yet pet-friendly — Dominique minding Angel. Arriving too late for the matinee of “Burial at Thebes” at the Irish Repertory Theatre, changed my ticket for the evening performance. Had a chill as I was ushered to the front row, where Peggy and I sat our last time there together. She had fallen asleep during the performance, as she’d done at another play the year before.

On Sunday, missed  noon Mass at St. Francis Church — the bellman wandered off as I waited for him to mind my luggage — so left earlier to visit my friend, Eleanor Glaser, at Sunrise Assisted Living in Lynbrook. Now 93, she’s more frail each time I’m with her, but still good, cheerful company. Never complains, but her aide told me she hardly hears from, let alone sees,  her daughters and grandchildren. Their loss!  And she’s always been  loving and generous to them, troubled by their difficulties, proud of their achievements, showing me pictures, beaming as she shared their milestones.

Took Kieran, Bethany, Nolan and Jack to a pre-Valentine’s dinner at The Dizz, a fun, funky restaurant near their house. John Waters of “Hairspray” fame has been known to patronize the establishment. “We’re all booked up,” said Elaine, the owner, when I phoned  for a reservation, but found a table for five, with two booster seats, when I teased her, saying I’d like to meet the filmmaker someday.  “He’s a good guy,” she laughed.  I savored a Grey Goose martini, straight up, with a lemon peel, waiting for my family to arrive. Much hilarity, in the meantime, as  Elaine sat down on a male diner’s lap.

Next Sunday afternoon, I’ll watch the last chapter of “Downton Abbey” at an English Tea Party  in North Bethesda for MPT patrons, then stay overnight at my son’s home. Can’t wait to get my arms around the boys again  Was disappointed Bethany couldn’t join me, but she’d committed to substituting as a speech therapist at Kieran’s nursing home.  I won’t be wearing the three inch heels, but had a shoemaker shorten them a quarter inch for a future suitable occasion. I’ll bequeath them to my granddaughter when my dress-up days are done.  This time may try for a more Cora look — feeling more spry than Violet.

Coming up:  Stacie and Tim Hogan’s annual St. Patrick’s party on March 12th in Natick, Massachusetts. Dominique again minding little Angel, thus avoiding the possibility of  being injured underfoot during joyous jigging. Will fly Southwest from Baltimore to Boston and return, staying overnight at the hosts’ house — my nephew claimed his three darling daughters, my great nieces,  would be disappointed if I didn’t.  How could I say no?

And am looking forward to another sentimental journey — On June 6th, the anniversary of my dad’s death in 1943, Angel and I will fly Aer Lingus to Ireland, returning  June 13th, St. Anthony’s Feast Day. Will be well protected coming and going.  We’re staying at a pet-friendly hotel in Rathmines, near Dublin City.– there happens to be an “award-winning” musical pub next door — my pet even welcome in the Beer Garden. Five years have flown  since  Honey and I traveled to Erin.  Who knows what adventures await Angel and me this time?



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