Boston, August 31, Again

A year ago I was in Boston moving Carter into her on campus apartment. I swore I would not come back to Boston and do this moving in thing on August 31 and September 1 again. Boston is full of every college student moving from one apartment to a new one and they all have to be out by noon on August 31 and can’t move into the new one until noon on September 1. It’s a mess.

Well, here we are again. Carter is moving off campus. Thankfully she does not have to move out of a place, but we can’t move her in until noon tomorrow. We flew up this afternoon. Checked into a hotel that is a ten minute walk to her apartment. We went over to look at the building and the front door was open with people moving. We were able to at least see the lobby and the hallway which is more than I had seen before. It was clean and cute and the people we met were nice. One young man was moving from one apartment in the building to a new one and said, “It’s a great building.”

After that we walked to HoJoko our favorite sushi in the old Howard Johnson’s. Carter new exactly what we should eat so she ordered for us and it was fantastic. Durham’s sushi scene has been waining so this was welcome, especially to Russ.

After dinner we did a small Target run for some cleaning supplies so we can clean first thing tomorrow. Carter’s IKEA delivery called and said they were coming between 9-1:00. Pray for 1:00 since we won’t have the keys until noon. I had called the delivery service and asked for an afternoon delivery, but there are some things you can’t control. I would rather have it earlier tomorrow than later the next day. Now we sleep because we are going to have our hands full tomorrow.

More Rhoda Than Mary

In the seventies a Saturday did not go by without my watching The Mary Tyler Moore Show. Most of the time I was babysitting for my sisters. Margaret and Janet always wanted to watch Emergency, so I had to watch MTM alone. Thankfully we had two color TV’s with one tuned to each show in different rooms.

Mary Tyler Moore was everything girls my age wanted to be. A single working women with her own apartment, perfect figure and a beautiful wardrobe. Unfortunately I related much more to Rhoda, the funnier, quirkier friend who always was a few pounds heavier than the perfect Mary. In reality I look back at the photos of Mary and Rhoda together and Rhoda had a perfect body. It was kind of like Lucy and Ethel. They portrayed Ethel as fat, when she was anything but.

Rhoda was creative and artistic as a window dresser and had a strained relationship with her “Ma.” Mary avoided any mother drama by appearing not to have a mother. Mary had dates with gorgeous men, none who could ever be good enough for her. Rhoda had dates with losers, but in the end Rhoda found love and married Joe and got her own show.

Valerie Harper was a great Rhoda. I loved everything about her. Sadly now she is gone as are half the cast. Mary, Georgia Engle, Ted Knight, now Valerie Harper. Thankfully Betty White, Cloris Leachman, Ed Asher and Gavin Mac Leod are still around.

Thanks Rhoda for showing me that the less perfect one can succeed and be happy. I always thought it was so sad for Mary that Rhoda moved back to NYC and got married, leaving Mary alone in Minneapolis. In the end Rhoda seemed to have it all.

Rest In Peace Valerie Harper. You were a winner.

(No copywriter infringement intended)

Who Was More Proud?

In March Carter put together a PowerPoint presentation which she used to illustrate her request to go traveling to Stockholm and Copenhagen by herself after she finished school in London this summer. The presentation was well researched and thought out. She had figured out flights, hostels, museums and sights she wanted to see and the cost for the whole trip.

It was a big deal to plan a trip by herself and travel alone. Her hope was we might pay for half of it. Russ and I thought the opportunity to travel on her own was great, but even better if she paid for the whole thing herself. So that is what we gave her permission for.

She came home from college and went to work earning more than she needed for the trip. She left for London on July 1 knowing she was all set for her post study trip.

London was fantastic and she had the best time and getting two credits with perfect marks helped a lot. She loved her Prof and her whole group is looking forward to a Boston reunion. As good as that was I think that the vacation after was even better. She packed in seeing as much as anyone possibly could. Met some cool people and had the time of her life.

Carter kept a journal of every cent she spent on her credit card and came home excited to give me the money she owed for her trip. Today we went to the bank and she withdrew all that she owed and game me a big wad of cash. She documented it in this photo. I don’t know who is happier, Carter for achieving this milestone of paying for her own trip or me getting money back from her.


Yesterday I boiled eight Jumbo eggs all from the same carton I picked up at Trader Joe’s. I was making deviled eggs for Mah Jongg lunch today. The eggs were big, as jumbo’s should be, but not out of the ordinary. After boiling and cooling the eggs I started peeling and cutting them in half to remove the yolks. The first one I cut was a double yolk. I showed Carter and we thought it was so cute the way the yolks made double circles in the white.

I peeled and cut the next one, also double yolk. And again…! Five of the eight eggs I had boiled were double yolks. This was not the first time that has happened to me. More than once when I have bought Jumbo eggs at Harris Teeter and if I had one double yolk in the dozen many have.

I wonder if the egg sorters know which ones have doubles and group them all together in the same carton? It can’t possibly be random that there are so many doubles in one, when usually there are only single yolks, even in the jumbo cartons.

I wonder if getting the “Double Bonus Carton” is intended to make the purchaser feel like a winner, because that is how it makes me feel. I am thankful that I was not buying eggs to make meringue because all those extra yolks wold not be welcome. Too bad I was not making hollandaise sauce as it is an all yolk recipe.

I probably should have gone out and bought a lottery ticket as it clearly was my lucky day.

Celebrating Mary Lloyd

I always feel sorry for people who have their birthday in the middle of the summer. Seems like it is a hard time to get people together to celebrate appropriately. As a kid, my friends with summer birthdays never had a proper birthday party or worse, if their birthday came right at the start of school, they had to invite the kids in their new class, who they might not have known or worse liked.

My friend Mary Lloyd has an August birthday and she is always a good sport about celebrating it days and days after the actual event. Today was the day. We planned it well in advance and it turns it it might have been a good thing we waited.

Recently, Jack, Mary Lloyd’s oldest son went to Washington for his first semester of Junior year. It is just a semester and then her will come home and finish high school, but it is first child to leave home and that is a big adjustment. There also has been the loss of child at school and that has been a sad and hard thing for people to deal with.

It seems like a celebration was needed just to change the tenor of the air. So Christy and I took Mary Lloyd to the WaDu to have a long and leisurely lunch. During that time we decided that it is time to start celebrating our half birthdays this way because we don’t spend enough time enjoying each other’s company.

I for one think that half birthdays are not even enough. We really need to move to a monthly lunch bunch like I do with my friend Hannah. If we don’t make an effort to get together regularly it is easy to get involved in our own mundane day-to-day stuff and not see each other at all.

So today I am thankful for the birth and life of Mary Lloyd. I would be willing to celebrate her life and the life of my other other friends once a month, or twice a month or once a week. We just don’t know how many birthdays we each are going to get so celebrate an extra amount.

Another Dog Day

I awoke this morning to the news that it is National Dog Day! In our house everyday dog day. I felt like we just had a dog celebration day. So I looked up when was the last dog day we had. It was August 10, Spoil your dog day. Talk about redundant. Then I continued looking at the list of designated days or months that celebrate dogs.

January is Walk your Pet month. I don’t know about you, but every month is walk your pet month in our neighborhood. January is also Train your dog month and Unchain your dog month. I guess that a well trained dog who is walked often has no need to ever be chained, so lets lump them all in the same month. Although, every month should be unchain your dog month as it is inhumane to chain up dogs.

January 2 is National Pet Travel Safety day and January 14 is National Dress up your Pet day. Who is traveling on January 2? That is back to work day and why don’t they make dress up your let day on October 31 when they are dressed up with us?

February is National Dog Education Training Month. Really? Didn’t we just have Training in January? February is also responsible Pet owners month. You lugs of pet owners, did you not train in January or get educated about training in February?

February 3-9 is Have a Heart for chained Dogs Week. We just unchained them in January. Shouldn’t we have a heart for them first and then unchain them?

February 20: Love your Pet day.

I won’t go on for every month, but I was not surprised to see at least a dozen days a month that celebrate our dogs or all pets. Hug your Dog Day, or the oh so different Hug your Hound day, Mutt Day, Prue Bred Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Dogs deserve Pensions Day, Dogs In Politics Day. I only made one of those up, good luck figuring out which one.

Needless to say, Dogs are important to us and why not? They never watch Fox News and tell us stuff that is clearly not true as if it were the gospel, they are always happy to see us, no matter how long it has been since we left their sight and they loves us when we don’t love ourselves.

So go on and celebrate National Dog Day, today, tomorrow and the one after that. You won’t be wrong and your dog deserves it.

A Celebration for Clee

The first time I ever went to the Baltimore Country Club was as the Maid of Honor for my dearest college friend Suzanne. I was the only non-blood relative in the wedding party with her next sister up, Gussy as Matron of Honor and her nieces, Laura, Caroline, Emily and Kristin as brides maids. Suzanne’s parents, Mary and Clee had welcomed me into their family as the sixth daughter years before, even if I was like Kristen Whig in the Lawrence Welk skit on SNL of the Maharelle Sister of the finger Lakes. Suzanne and her four older sister are still the most stunning family. And then there was me, with perhaps awkwardly short arms, making inappropriate comments. I was defiantly there for comic relief.

That first visit at BCC we danced the night away in the wood paneled ballroom and enjoyed a delicious dinner in the adjoining dining room with all the many Wordens and their giant extend family.

The second time I was in that same dining room it was for the lunch following the funeral of Suzanne’s mother Mary in 2006. I loved Mary and she loved me too. She always gave me the benefit of the doubt and loved to talk about finding antique treasures.

Today, my third visit to BCC was for the brunch to celebrate the long life of Clee Worden, Suzanne’s father who lived to 98 and some change. The rooms look the same, although Steve, Suzanne’s husband asked me if I thought they looked smaller than at their wedding. The people gathered in the room were as familiar to me as my own family. All of beautiful Worden girls, Nancy, Carol, Mary Jo, Gussy and Suzanne. Their husbands, and children and now their children’s children. All there to bid farewell to “Opa” as he was called by grand and great-grand children.

Friends had come, Steve’s sister Stacey and her husband Peter. Rose, our dear college friend. Meg, Suzanne’s best high school friend and each sister had their close friends. So many to toast the life of Clee. After Carol spoke and the Suzanne we watched a wonderful video of Clee and his clan. Steven made a wonderful speech about Clee, my favorite part was about the two subjects he always talked to everyone about, Metallurgy and Politics. That got a big howl from the crowd who each at one time or another had those conversations, or more like listening sessions with Clee.

One difference in the people in the room from that first visit in 1991 were perhaps my favorites, Suzanne and Steve’s kids, Grace, Jack and Oliver, whom I love like my own children. Grace admitted to me today that she was at least ten before she realized I wasn’t a real Aunt to her as she had always called me “Aunt Dana,” but couldn’t quite work out the math when her mom said she was one of five girls. Grace thought she meant she had five sisters, counting me in with her other Aunts and Suzanne made six girls in total.

The visit was too short, as it always is, especially to celebrate such a long and fruitful life. What a wonderful family that I am lucky to know and love for all these many years. Cheers to Clee and Mary Worden who started it all and I am sure are smiling down on us all.