Monday, January 23, 2012

Mom's Birthday Dinner

So - Here it is January 2012 and I am still prattling on about my trip to New York and Vermont. I just wanted to finish up my scrapbook today and let you know that Mom's Birthday dinner was a huge success. There was a little bit of a panic as Orlando had to deal with a flat tire on our rental, in what felt like a very humid sticky Indian Summer. Aerial Restaurant was a hit with the family. Everyone was all smiles! She did indeed have a very Happy Birthday.


Remember when she asked me to think of all the things she did well? I did. In my Birthday toast I mentioned them. Family members all nodded in agreement with me. All agreed she is indeed an accomplished cook -noted for her fantastic raspberry pies and lasagnas. Everyone also agreed she is a talented actress with excellent comic timing. (She retired from the amateur stage in her 60s). Most of all, she is a good mother. As her sons, we all felt loved and cherished and important growing up. I could have gone on and on about her being a brilliant Art teacher, a great story teller and a wonderful hostess but the Mother part seemed to be the natural conclusion.      



My father and my eldest brother had some terrible issues allowing me to grow up would not let Orlando and I pay for this dinner.  Orlando and I had budgeted for this trip. Albeit it was pricy-it was possible that the whole thing would be paid off with a couple of months. I was unsuccessful in fighting off my brother's fistful of cash he shoved at me , and poor Orlando was cornered by Dad. My father -not known for histrionics of ANY sort-gave an impassioned teary plea to accept a check- worthy of Sarah Bernhardt that left Orlando quaking in his shoes. I was angry for about 10 minutes but I thought about what Dan-my brother had said. " You did a good thing here tonight." He wanted to be a part of it. Dad - still wants to be my Dad. My brother still wants to be my big brother Okay Family - you can be  still be my family. I decided to accept my brother's judgement of the evening.                                              



Sunday, January 8, 2012

Evening Visit to Burlington Vermont Sept 2011

The night before Mom's big soiree dinner, I was fretting to Orlando about us not having a place to put our heads to rest before the early flight back on Sunday Morning. The flight back to the West Coast was leaving at 5:45AM . Leaving from the Inn didn't seem feasible since it was an hour and a half from the airport. I had twiddled my thumbs and not scheduled a motel in Burlington -the city of our departure-in a timely manner. So now we were looking at dozing in the Airport until it was time to go. I hate REDEYEs  and I hate having to give up my zzzzzs. Orlando casually suggested we could call Syndi and Bones. Syndi was an actress friend from College who had -in my 20+ year abscence, -become the Queen of local community theater scene. Her husband Bones is a local musician. It would've made sense to call her because she and Bones had a relatively new beautiful house and plenty of room. I just didn't want to be an imposition-yet again. Through the years Syndi & Bones have always been there for me as I traveled across the country to visit friends and family. They always had the house for me to crash in.

I didn't think I would have time to visit any of my Burlington friends due to all the family obligations I had arranged-so I didn't. I was too embarrassed to call Syndi now that I was in Vermont, but my fretting was all for naught. I called Syndi and she secretly helped arrange a surprise visit with Bob Bolyard -our other mutual cronie. Orlando and I were going to surprise Bob at his weekly stint as Karaoke master at the St John's Club. Syndi had readily and enthusiastically agreed to help us out hosting us for the overnight the next Saturday. We had fun watching Bob (aka Mr. Burlington) host his show. We even met some cute homosexual youth! Syndi joined us later from her annual Theater Company meeting awards dinner. She brought her entourage with her and I was delighted to see quite a few old friends in the group. An amusing exchange took place between my college friend Kelly Kendall and myself. She had no recollection of being my roommate for 3 months and I had no recollection of attending her wedding!  It was fantastic to see Bob in his element and looking so happy. I thought for just a moment, how much I missed Bob and Syndi. I envisioned hanging out with Kelly again, and Mike and everyone else. I thought how nice it would be to move back to Burlington. My life in the Bay Area had hit that snag and well ...did I want to go home again? Could I ever convince Orlando? Given Orlando's feelings of cold weather, it was doubtful.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Our Stay in Brookfield Vermont Sept 2011

As I said, We needed some respite from Mom's smoking.  She actually understood that we needed some more vacation time. I booked us a couple of nights at the Green Trails Inn in Brookfield Vermont. Brookfield is basically the Inn and a Church and a very good restaurant. There used to be TWO very good restaurants - now there is one: Ariels Restaurant. Never been? GO !  
 The Food was amazing there. The town's biggest claim to fame is The floating bridge-which cars can no longer go over but people may. The Green Trails was also low frills homey and lovely as well. Internet is sketchy and there is no TV but InnKeeper Jane knows her way around the kitchen as evidenced by our delicious breakfasts.  I even didn't mind that I was dining with Republican Texans in the morning -that's how yummy the coffee cake was! Does it justify the hefty price? Maybe. I think the exciting part of the trip was learning that Jane was good friends with one of the ladies that my Dad dated after he divorced my Mom. It was clear that she had an opinion about my old man, but she didn't  hold it against me. Jane liked the Gays. Would I go back? I would. Would Orlando? No...He needs a TV at those prices. I'm okay with a good book and my Ipod. 

I've included a set of pictures of us picking apples at a nearby Orchard -Cool huh? 

Jane the Innkeeper. Heluva Baker! 

The Rest of Vermont cont...

Cousin Sara Tucker has always been a bit of an inspiration to me. She -like myself -is a recovering thespian. However she is a now successful writer who has editors and everything. These days she is also a caretaker to her very spunky mother- and another favorite Aunt of mine-Idora. (Sister to  Ruth and Charles )  Sara has inspired her Mother to take up writing too. Idora has written several smaller books about various periods of her life. Sara very generously invited us up to their house in Randolph for a delicious Fish Chowder lunch. A lovely one-on-one moment of catching up washing dishes together and then we all went down to a gallery where her husband Patrick was keeping shop and we had apple pie. The whole afternoon left me with the feeling of the importance of family and how fortunate I was. 

 Mom actually held up that day. Idora and Ruth are fans of hers, so...that helped. : ) 

The Rest of Vermont

So the remainder of our trip to Vermont held quite a few highlights. I do not take notes but I do take photographs. I thought I would share with you the rest of our vacation in a photo style. If there was something controversial or interesting to tell you believe me - I would've written it down.
Other than Orlando's rental getting a flat and a fellow guest at the Green Trails Inn locking us out in the rain, the rest of our visit with my family and friends was really quite lovely. Well here. Why don't you take a look?

My accomplished Aunt Ruth has just published a book. She had invited us to her home for lunch. She is one of the extraordinary cooks in the family and served us a delicious beef stew. In all the decades she has lived in one of the more rural parts of Randolph Center Vermont, this marks my first visit to her home. She and my father now live together. 

Dad hard at work waiting for dinner