Tag Archives: plumbing

Time to Cry Tuesday – Want and Need


This might be the first post ever to combine Dave Matthews and the Jewish Holidays; but that seems fitting since this is a post about firsts.

Here we are – playing holiday dominoes – with those of the tribe watching Labor Day cascade into Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

This particular holiday is a tough one for our family. We are still stumbling through the ‘firsts’… the things we are doing for the first time without my mom. Although three and half months have passed, it seems like both a moment and a lifetime. Just when I think I have found my footing, my new normal, my ability to feel sad but somewhat whole, it hits me. I have avoided sharing here but somehow this seems the right thing to do, so here goes.

Although no one can stop me from starting to circle the drain, there is always someone there to grab my hand and pull me out. I have my army of grief guides; my friends who have been there and let me know with their steely strength that I will, in fact, make it through. In spite of myself and because of them.

I am beyond fortunate.

Yesterday I had just finished the massive guerrilla food shop. I was cleaning chickens to make my soup and as I was doing it I thought of how when I was first married I could not bear to clean a chicken and my mom used to laugh with me on the phone as I did it to talk me through. And it hit me. Hard. The drain, she was a- calling me to circle to the left.

And then the phone rang. My Rabbi! Seriously, do they learn this in rabbinic school? Do they become hyper-trained to sense the drain circling? Or was it a coincidence? I think not. He also called on her birthday without knowing it. Both times to check on me; to make me try to find the sweet in all the bitter. To hold my hand so I would not succumb to that proverbial plumbing.

I am beyond fortunate.

And then I had a nice long phone visit with my mom’s best friend since childhood – Aunt Arlene (who is not my aunt), as we called her. Her laugh, her stories, her way… all a piece of my mom. As we talked about how much we missed her I felt another hand reach through the phone to keep me from slipping down those pesky pipes.

What I want, is what I’ve not got. But what I need, is all around me.

Wishing all who celebrate a sweet new year. And all who are grieving the strength to stay away from the plumbing during the holidays.


Filed under aging parents, friendship, holidays, loss

Top Ten Ways to be a Perfect House Guest

1. Bring steamed lobsters for dinner (over 2 lbs) check

2. Buy clever lobster forks and citrus slicer from Crate and Barrel. check

3. Empty the dishwasher when you wake up. check

4. Bring 3 Stooges DVD for husbands to watch (with hands down their pants). check

5. Ride to the market to get supplies. check

6. Take ferries at convenient times. check

7. Bring a dog that does not shed. uhhhhh, sorry. thought the grooming would handle that! (labs have a tendency to shed full puppies in the heat.)

8. Bring dog that does not bark incessantly. really, she never barks like this at home. honest.

9. Don’t break the rod when you go fishing. hmmm… jews are not great fisherman. we prefer the fish market, “i’ll take a pound and a half of salmon…”

10. Don’t break the plumbing when taking a shower…

Yeh, well, that one didn’t work out all that well. My poor husband. Everyone else was using the outdoor shower (who wouldn’t). But no, he thought he would just jump into the seldom used indoor one before dinner. Seems when he turned the faucet… it kept turning. And turning. And would not shut off!

Ok, so now we have dinner ready in 20 minutes, a ferry to catch in an hour and a half and the scene in the bathroom would be:

My husband in a towel, the homeowner and his Sharper Image toolkit (only Jews own these – and they might be a collector’s item these days. honestly, would an Irish or Italian guy be caught dead with these metrosexual tools?), the homeowner’s brother-in-law, the neighbor and HIS brother-in-law (why so many in-laws?) inside the shower TOGETHER (calling this the beginning of a porn film) and of course both of the dogs trying to get in on the action. (mine finally not barking, thank goodness).

Needless to say the only solution was to shut all the water in the house and only turn it on (and the shower of course) when needed. And a plumber on a barrier island on the Saturday night of a holiday weekend? Non-existent.

Thanks, Sam and Katie, for being such good sports during our Annual Fourth of July Visit. Only dear old friends like yourselves would be so cool about all this. I promise by July 4, 2012, when you decide to invite us back again we will be sure to work on items 7-10 above. 

Then again, as Sam said, “What makes you think you will be invited back so soon…”

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Filed under friendship, humor, travel