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Category Archives: family

On Second Thought, It Was a Delightful Sunday

Sunday I woke up feeling down.  Regular readers may recall that I partied rather heartily (for my age) with friends on Saturday and may infer that I was hungover.  Since I did not spend Sunday in acute physical misery (or even moderate misery), I feel that I was merely tired and a little let down that I was no longer hanging out on my deck amidst laughter and love.

Fortunately for me, relieve was close at hand with members of my wonderful family, most particularly our newest member.  Steven and I drove into Chadwicks for church with my sister, Cheryl, her daughter Dana, Dana’s husband, Dan; and Dana and Dan’s delightful eight-month-old son, Shepherd.

It was a beautiful, sunny day, perfect for a drive through the country.  We set out up Higby Road, admiring the scenery.  I could not help contrasting the drive with another time I went out Higby Road, and the weather was against me (I believe I wrote a blog post about it).  We found the church with no problem.  Being my usual dithery self, I first pulled into the parking lot then decided to park in the street (point and laugh if you must; it made sense at the time).  As I was walking back up the church’s driveway, a car almost ran me down.

“Get out of the way, old lady!” my sister yelled.

“Oh just run me over,” I said.  “Then you can go in there and pray for forgiveness.”

Dana and Dan were surprised to see Steven and me, because Cheryl had not told them we were coming.  As for Shepherd, he is almost always smiling.

Not surprisingly, Shepherd is a pretty popular guy.  The pastor came over to say hello before mass, confiding that he loves Shepherd to pieces.  I saw two young boys a few rows ahead of us turn around and smile at him, pointing him out to their mother.  As for Shepherd, he smiled at everyone, making unintelligible but friendly remarks.

Church almost always gives me a good feeling, especially when we sing one of my favorite hymns, which we did.  I didn’t know any of the other hymns, but since I vaguely remember how to read music, I managed to sing along.

After church we went to Salvatore’s Italian Bakery and Bagel Shoppe in New Hartford for breakfast.  They offer a wonderful pizza fritta (fried dough, if you are sadly unfamiliar with the delicious Mohawk Valley treat) on Sundays, but I opted for an everything bagel with cream cheese, which turned out to be just what my stomach needed.  Steven got egg, cheese and bacon on a French toast bagel.  I was impressed by the amount of bacon on the sandwich and fascinated by the idea of a French toast bagel, which I had never heard of before. Dana had a bagel with cream cheese while Dan and Cheryl enjoyed sandwiches with ham, egg and cheese.  Shepherd shared a little of the egg from Cheryl’s sandwich, although he did not seem particularly interested (I think he was still hoping to munch down on the beads I was wearing around my neck).

After breakfast (and an unsuccessful attempt to sneak Shepherd into our vehicle), Steven and I headed back over Higby Road.  The views are even better going back towards Frankfort.  When you are at the top of the hill coming down, you can see for miles: farmland, trees, mountains.  Steven was happy I was driving, so he could look his fill.  I managed to enjoy the scenery while still keeping us safe.

I arrived home in very good spirits, although as the day progressed I felt tired, hot and unable to write (see yesterday’s post).  However, it had been a wonderful morning, and I hope to have another one like it soon.

Salvatore’s Italian Bakery and Bagel Shoppe is located at 9270 Kellogg Road, New Hartford, NY, phone number 315-737-5757.  They are open Tuesday through Saturday 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Sunday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.



Yutz Isn’t Even in the Dictionary

I wonder if any faithful readers are waiting to be informed how my tomato salad turned out. If so, I am sorry to disappoint. The tomatoes are still in my refrigerator, the basil and chives are still in their respective gardens, I’m a terrible bum. On the brighter side, I can plug a couple of local businesses by telling you what I did do last night.

My oldest sister’s birthday is Sunday, and I thought I would send her a card. This is an unprecedented and I’m afraid dangerous proceeding for me. You see, I stopped sending out cards to people years ago, because I discovered I could not be consistent. How bad would I look if I remembered to send a card to one sister but not another? There is enough sibling rivalry in my family without adding the competition for Who Cindy Likes Best (then again, do you suppose that is a title my siblings would covet? I fear not).

I used to have the tradition of calling and singing to the birthday boy or girl. That was hard enough to remember. I surprisingly got no complaints about my singing voice. I like Facebook, because they remind you of people’s birthdays. Then you can “write on their wall” (I put it in quotes because it is neither actual writing nor an actual wall). I’ve taken to saying, “Your present is I’m NOT going to sing!”

Be all that as it may, Steven and I went to Hummel’s Office Plus. I found a card that mentions Margaritas, an important part of my sister’s life. Before making it to the cards we were distracted by the singing Halloween toys and decorations. I tore myself away before pushing all the buttons available. I must return and check them out later. Then again, I have no budget for even more Halloween decorations this year (oh yeah, right, like I’m really organized enough to have an annual budget).

From Hummel’s, we walked across the street to Brian’s Roast Beef Deli. Steven had a deluxe cheeseburger. I tried the Greek antipasto. It was an excellent meal for a very reasonable price.

When we got home I wrote a short note to accompany the card. I subsequently discovered I have two cousins with birthdays on Monday. I wondered if I should expand my card sending ambitions but reached no definite decision. It was not until this morning that I remembered I have a niece with the same birthday as my sister (her aunt). How could I forget such a thing? I’m mortified! What a terrible aunt I am.

Now what will I do? I suppose I could just go one generation at a time: cards for siblings this year, nieces and nephews next. That might fly. Only, I’ve already started mid-year with the siblings. In fact, I’ve missed all the other siblings’ birthdays. I guess I really didn’t think this card project through.

All I can say is, stay tuned to see if I am ostracized from the family for being such a dumb yutz (did you ever notice that “y” and “z” look remarkably similar in cursive handwriting? If not, no doubt it’s because cursive handwriting is no longer taught in public schools, but that is way out of the scope of this blog).

Hummel’s Office Plus is located at 114 W. Albany St., Herkimer, NY, phone number 866-5055. Brian’s Roast Beef Deli is at 122 N. Main St., phone 866-3664.

A Little More Christmas

Friday my Mom called up and asked did we want some company. She and Dad had mentioned driving out to Herkimer to see our decorations, but I didn’t think they’d actually make it. So the house was kind of a mess. What a surprise.

It was Steven’s day off, and he was in the midst of washing Thursday’s dishes (I usually let them sit, in case the Dish Fairies want to do them in the night. It could happen). I was comfortably lounged on the couch reading a biography by A. Scott Berg: Max Perkins, Editor of Genius. Excellent book. Highly recommend it.

I jumped up, of course, and began what a friend of mine refers to as Wonder Woman Hour. She used to have Wonder Woman Hour just before her husband came home, when she was a stay at home mom. She has full time a job now (plus a couple of part time), but I like to believe she still indulges in Wonder Woman Hour when the situation calls for it. Come to think of it, with a full time and a couple of part time jobs, Wonder Woman Hour is probably the only way to clean the house. But I digress.

We worked wonders with our house, the downstairs anyways. I am a great advocate of the stuff and cram method of cleaning. I stuffed many things in our second bedroom upstairs and closed the door. Oh, wait, I’m still digressing. Back to our post Christmas visit.

My Mom, Dad and sister Cheryl came over and admired all our decorations: our tree, the Santa Clauses on the buffet and dining room table, the tea pots and toys on the mantle, the Santas and mugs on the window sill in the kitchen. For being a Not As Decorated year, we have a lot of decorations out. Cheryl had brought us a lovely Santa that lights up and moves. We gave Mom and Dad the presents we had for the sisters, nieces and nephew we have not seen this holiday.

We had a nice visit over coffee. During the course of the visit I mentioned the Hallmark singing snowman I had seen for half price at Hummel’s. Perhaps you are familiar with the singing snowmen Hallmark has offered in the last few years. In 2010 Hallmark did a Snoopy, which we found less inspiring, but for a number of years before that, Steven and I had acquired every one. For 2011, Hallmark is back to snowmen, and I liked the one I saw.

When they got ready to go, Cheryl said, “And we’ll go by Hummel’s and buy the snowman.” I had also mentioned the Ilion Farmer’s Market, which I love sharing with others. We knew Tabby was welcome at both places, so we snapped on her leash, jumped in our cars and off we went.

The singing snowmen were on a table right next to the downstairs cash register, so we grabbed them quickly. Then Steven and I led the way to Clapsaddle Farm on Otsego Street in Ilion. It was a fun interlude. My family headed back home, and Steven and I headed back to Herkimer. I felt we had extended our Christmas just a little bit and am wondering what else I can do to continue the holiday spirit.