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13 May 2008

Much has transpired over the past few days. It's taken me some time to put my thoughts together about what I want to say. Part of the struggle is my life-long battle with depression. I find I get bogged down and feel run-down, then I just slip into doing as little as possible. I want to be functioning at a higher rate and really get a lot done, but I look around and I just can't work up the energy.

Part of this down-cycle may have to do with the natural flow of hormones, those "wonderful" things that make us all feel crazy or lazy from time to time and make me want to pop Ding Dongs into my mouth to stuff down bad feelings. Smart, right? The other facets have to do with having to part with the kittens and another Mother's Day passing without my Mother here.

My Mother died in August of 2006 and the pain is still fresh. Mother's Day is tough for me. I think back on how we spent one of our last Mother's Days. I so wanted to please her. To show her a good time, but she was tricky to hit the right combination of fun with a short drive and not-too-expensive dining. I was determined to get it right.

Me and Mum

As often was the case, we didn't celebrate Mother's Day on the day. It's too nuts trying to get into a restaurant. All those anxious families, screaming babies dressed up in overstartched clothes and new, tight shoes. Paying top dollar for a holiday that was planned by a greeting card company. No. That wasn't for us. My mother's idea of dressing up was wearing a button-down shirt, instead of a t-shirt. Comfort was key and that was just fine with all of us, too.

And no flowers. None. Flowers die. Mother didn't like that, but she didn't mind stealing lilacs from the neighbors yard.

What we'd do is pick the weekend before or after to celebrate the big day. Then we'd go on a day trip somewhere new, avoid the crowds and not feel ripped off.

This particular year, I decided it was time to have lunch with Sam's Mother and my Mother, together at a wonderful place in Woodbury called, The Good News Cafe. I did some research and found out about a rather large nursery, not too far away, where we could go for a stroll after our lunch. I'd never been there before, but they had a nice website and we all enjoy looking at flowers and trinkets.

I never plan too much to do, since Sam's mother had to travel a long way from uptown Manhattan and I didn't want to overtire her. Just a nice, simple day, with us together enjoying each other's company.

And it was great. For once. The restaurant served everyone delicious food. My mother's entree had some sort of red sauce on it. It wasn't a pasta sauce. It was too thin for that. My mother wondered aloud what this sauce was. It was so tasty! We all began to guess what it might be. Sitting next to her I said; "Maybe it's paprika. Let me have a taste."

So I taste the sauce. It's very good.

"Well? Is it paprika?"

"I don't know."

"What do you mean, you don't know?"

"I've never tasted paprika before, but the color looked about right!"

I got "The Look" (this was what we got as kids—not a spanking, just "The Look." We knew we were in deep shit if we got it. Somehow, though, being in my 40's, "The Look" wasn't so bad). Then my mother couldn't help but burst out laughing and we all quickly followed her lead.

So, for the rest of the day, we joked about Paprika. And yes, the sauce DID have tomatoes in it, but sadly, no paprika! I have no idea what was in it.

Then we left for our outing to visit the Nursery. When we got there, my heart sank. There was one other car in the lot. The place looked deserted. We got out of the car and I looked around. The grounds were trampled and most of the plants were gone. There was a gazebo, forlornly bent over at an angle, about to fall to the ground.

Forgotten Garden

A small greenhouse off to the side appeared to be virtually empty, but then I saw it— large banner over the door to an old barn: "Going Out of Business. Everything 50-75% off."

Oh my God!


This was better than I had planned! Sure the place was a wreck, but we bought hand-milled French soap for a buck a bar and my mother got a big jar full of potpourri for about five dollars and all she wanted was the jar, so I got the potpourri. Woo. Deal!

Beyond the silly sale or fabulous lunch, was our conversation. Everyone was in a good mood and chatted easily. It was one of those rare times when everything was just fine as it was. The day was warm and sunny and we all just radiated the joy of being together. I'm so grateful to have that memory of us together. I will always cherish it.

And yes...a kitten update next. First I need to have a good cry, but I'll be back soon.

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