Judge Not Lest Ye be Judged

Yesterday we left campus.

We packed up the three dogs and our lunch and breakfast and snacks and water and coffee and drove my little Lola to the doctor. We filled up in Maine, stretched in the rest stop in Maine. We drove to my brother’s veterinary hospital so that he could tell me what was going on with my little girl.

Lola is typically around 9 pounds. Today she was just over 7. That’s a lot of weight loss for a little dog. She’s not been eating well, despite my urging, for months. Now that I have been home in isolation, I have been able to focus on her food and water intake and have been very worried. I’ve cried more than once with her in my arms believing that she was going to die. I was concerned enough to call my brother, a veterinarian in Massachusetts, to ask what I should do. His advice was to bring her in. Yesterday we did.

She was poked and prodded, x-rayed, sonogrammed, given a shot of antibiotics and an anti-inflamatory steroid shot. She was sent home with a couple of medicines. Nothing is visibly wrong, per se, but the x-rays will be read by a specialist. She has a dark spot on her spleen but my brother doesn’t think it’s a problem. I feel better but not yet settled. We will see what happens over the next couple of days. Lasts night, she ate her dinner. This morning she ate breakfast AND drank out of the water dish … she hasn’t done that for sure for at least ten days!

I was very afraid to go out. I have been in isolation for two weeks. I know I don’t have Corona virus. I was concerned about filling up my gas tank, where I would go to use a rest room, crossing paths with people. I needn’t have been worried because we didn’t cross any paths! I didn’t even hug my brother. We ate our picnic lunch in the car in the vet hospital parking lot and when Lola was done, we got in the car and drove home. We were all happy to get home and have a drink: The two-leggers among us in particular.

There’s no place like home!

Gone knitting!

Another Adventure …

What kind of crazy people are we?

We left Florida on December 20. Three dogs in the back seat and the truck loaded up with presents and a Honey Baked Ham … New York City and Christmas with two of my three children. We planned to spend one night in Richmond, VA on our way and then a night just shy of the city. Only one wrong turn which sent us into Washington, DC … at least we weren’t towing the boat! Smooth sailing!

Almost There!

Almost There!

With my daughter’s help, and having made good time, we ended up in Washington Heights and our little sub-let one night early.

The little apartment we rented was about mid-way between my son’s and my daughter’s apartments. Allowing for adjustments for all the dogs and super convenient for us – not to mention really reasonable rates!

Lobster Feast!

Lobster Feast!

Christmas eve was spent eating (mimosas started off our day) and baking cookies. Our family tradition is Spritz cookies. It’s still more fun to make them when you have someone else to decorate them. I love that my kids all value that tradition – started by my mother – it’s simply not Christmas without Spritz! A lobster feast for dinner, with thanks to my brother the lobsterman, had us all a mess and very happy. Christmas movies and lots of laughs … or was it the wine? I almost forgot to have the kids open their Christmas Eve gifts from Santa.

Christmas Day was low key – relaxing over coffee and muffins, Skyped with the missing daughter and her father in Chicago. The NY kids had to work but we hung with my boy and all the dogs. Ditto on Boxing Day.

IMG_2636Our big outing into mid-town was dinner and going to Kate’s show. We went to Qi for dinner and I love their food. Seeing my girl one more time as the star of Rock of Ages was a special treat for me – and my boy went with his old mom. N decided to skip the show and visited the Strand Bookstore at Union Square which he adored despite a couple of wrong turns and perhaps a wrong address (hence the wrong turn!)

On the 27th we packed up the dogs and presents and tearfully kissed the kids goodbye. Heading north in our truck to our “camp” in Maine.

camp /kamp/ n. A place usually away from urban places where tents or simple buildings (as cabins) are erected for shelter or temporary residence.

Camp Warner

Camp Warner

Think primitive. No running water. No plumbing. Think outhouse with a very (VERY) cold seat. And melting snow on the wood stove to wash dishes. Our mattress on the floor in the living room. Windows frozen with condensation. We carried all of our stuff in from the street with our Christmas snowshoes! A simple dinner in front of the wood stove and I was ready for bed. Too many late nights and I was ready for bed … probably long before I actually climbed in. Despite the “camping” and the cold, I wasn’t ready to leave when we heard that there was a Nor’ Easter coming in! I can’t wait until we are there for all the winter storms!

Next to Marblehead and a visit with my youngest brother and his family. We’ve loved getting to know their friends and love any chance to visit this charming town full of friends and family. So much so that I forgot to take any photos of the visit!

New Year’s Eve day we headed to Connecticut … a trip down memory lane for me at Shady Glen in Manchester and then a visit to the cemetery to check on the headstone for my parents. Then on to Westport to my college roommate’s new apartment … had to check on my “roomie” since we were so close!

What a wonderful trip! I am so grateful that my N loves my family as much as I do and that he’s willing to drive all the way to Maine and back so I can knit!

Gone knitting … Happy New Year!

Family Values – Valuing Family

Most of the Family in Marblehead 2009

I know I’ve said this before … but I love my family!

N. and I have spent the last few days and nights visiting my youngest brother and his family in Marblehead, Massachusetts. If you have never visited Marblehead, it’s well worth a visit and I love being there all the time but the fall is a great time. Our visit was precipitated by my Aunt and Uncle from Lake Tahoe, NV who were in town for a couple of days on their annual New England “jaunt” and we decided to join the fun – and it was fun!

Happy Bee-day Aunt Judy!

We ate lobster (fresh-caught from my brother’s boat) and birthday cake – in  honor of said aunt – did a lot of laughing, a lot of walking around town, and experienced a first – a school district RAIN delay on Monday morning. I woke up at 5 a.m. because of an odd flashing of light which I had attributed to my cell phone but it was lightning … and then turned into a frog-strangling rain with thunder and lightning. Roads were flooded and school was delayed for 2 hours! Although my youngest nephew wanted to remember another such delay (much to his parents’ chagrin), I don’t think there has ever been such an event. We even watched (from a waterside restaurant) a sailboat being hoisted out of the harbor for the winter.

Sailboat being lifted out of Marblehead Harbor

In Salem, MA there is the most wonderful museum called the Peabody Essex which we’ve visited on numerous occasions but a cold, formerly rainy Tuesday was good enough reason for another visit. I think I like this museum because it has something for everyone – and who would ever believe that Salem would be home to such a magnificent place. We visited only a couple of the galleries but I liked the Man Ray/ Lee Miller exhibit

My nephew, who was gifted by his mother with a “learning with Auntie Linda” day, said that all the eyes gave him the creeps. I appreciated being able to see and learn about a love story (though not necessarily a healthy or happy one) and the art that was created from it. I’d heard of Man Ray in a French History class that I took which included all sorts of wonderful media references to the period – what a great class and teacher that was!

Nephew at the end of the line ("Red Line" in Salem is the Heritage Trail)

We spent a lot of time in the interactive and child-friendly Ripple Effect exhibit which, considering the weather at the start of the day, seemed timely and appropriate. The kids were particularly at home in this exhibit and I hope they learned a couple of things. They also enjoyed an tiny area in the maritime history/nautical history section nearby where there was a display of ship’s journals … we tried to read the old script handwriting and then tried to interpret what the authors were talking about. It was great – and I could share with them that their grandfather, my father, also journaled about his experience on the seas in WWII. (One day I will scan and post his journals on my family history blog chronicling the Rockwell and Dow genealogy.)

It was a great few days and I always love being with my family!

(Don’t forget to plan your trip to Salem and Marblehead!)

Gone (to do the laundry and then) knitting!