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November 2019

December 2019

Smart Phone; Careless Owner

We were meeting friends for dinner before a concert last Thursday.  They were late so I decided to call them to see where they were, but I couldn't find my phone, probably left at home. 

Alas, when we got home after the concert, it wasn’t there.

I turned on my computer to look for the “find my phone app” and saw an email from a Jack Smith who said he had found my phone near the Harvard Business School (where we had attended the concert) and would I please email him so that he could get it back to me.  It was late, so my email remained unanswered until after he had got out of his Friday morning class.

(Here’s where I have to thank my son Jeremy for suggesting I tape my email address to the back of my phone.)

We arranged a time and place for me to pick it up, and when I got there, I called Jack (using Peter’s phone).  In moments, he appeared at my car, my phone in his hand.  I had intended to take a bottle of wine to him but I forgot, so I apologized for that and thanked him profusely for his kindness.

I loved his response. “My mother would have had it no other way.”


Kids Do the Strangest Things

I’d like to report two recent events directed by our son Jeremy.

1.  A black squirrel with only a half of a tail whom they called “Blackie Half-Tail lived for years in the yard of our kids’ friends. Then one day recently they discovered his run-over body on the street in front of their house.

This was no ordinary squirrel, perhaps best known for somehow getting down the chimney and running through the friends’ house.

So Jeremy master-minded a funeral.  The two families dressed up for the occasion. (Jeremy wore his lilac tuxedo.) They made a printed program. (below)  Several speeches were delivered followed by the burial.

It was a memorable occasion.

2.  Close neighbors of Jeremy and Katrina joined us for Thanksgiving dinner. Their two daughters, Tess and Emily have been role models for our grandsons. Tess, a sophomore at UT-Austin, was celebrating her birthday the next day, and Jeremy decided to make a special cake to celebrate the coming event and as one of our Thanksgiving desserts.  Its architecture:   A bottom layer of brownies, a layer of ice cream, a layer of chopped up Snicker’s candy bars, a layer of peanut butter, a layer of Kashi chocolate cereal, a half-layer of sliced bananas, a layer of Vanilla Wafers, and another layer of brownies, topped off with marshmallows and sprinkles..

I joined everyone in singing Happy Birthday to Tess, but I stuck with the gluten-free apple pie.




The Visit




Sixteen months ago, we returned to Cambridge, MA after living for nine months in a retirement community in Washington, DC.  We came home because we missed our close friends of more than fifty years and our superb doctors.  And we didn’t take to institutional living.

We had moved to Washington to be near our kids and grandkids and because we thought we’d enjoy being taken care of in a retirement community.  But our kids and grandkids  have their own lives and we didn’t enjoy living in a place where everybody was old.

But we did make some friends in our DC community and we arranged to drop in on them during our Thanksgiving visit to our kids in Maryland.

It felt odd to be back in the community I had rejected.  As I walked the long corridor near the apartment we had lived in, I remembered thinking when we moved in, “Am I going to walk down this corridor for the rest of my life?”  Not a good feeling then, and it wasn’t long before I realized that living there wouldn’t work for me.

But visiting there was terrific.  We had lunch with the five people we felt closest to when we lived there. A lot of people recognized us in the café and greeted us warmly.  Three lovely new buildings have been completed on the campus, giving it new apartments, a new gym, and a new auditorium. It’s a terrific place.

But not for us.


The Movable Feast

My reign as the “Queen of Thanksgiving” ended three years ago when the site of our annual ritual moved from our home in Massachusetts to the Maryland home of our son Jeremy and our daughter-in-law Katrina.

This was the third year that I was not in charge, and you know what?  That’s OK.  Much of the menu was the same because it wouldn’t be Thanksgiving without my French Silk Pie or our to-die-for brown and wild rice stuffing. But Katrina has added her own touches, and that’s exactly how it should be. 

The neighbors who joined us last year brought a friend and her two young children who were fun and fit right in.  Our older son Seth, just back from Brazil completed our group of fourteen. The “children” ranged in age from seven to forty-nine.   

The Thankful Jar was full of wonderful words of gratitude and appreciation that were read aloud by everybody at the table before dessert, a tradition that gets more amusing every year as our grandsons develop their own versions of their father’s and grandfather’s sense of humor. 

Each Thanksgiving that we are all together is a gift for which I am very grateful.

The Queen is dead.  Long live the Queen!

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