Out to lunch with Tami.
I've been busy having lunch this week.
And tea and crumpets. Or rather, coffee and pastries.
On Wednesday, I met Tami, one of my friend/sisters from high school. It's part of our summer routine when she spends two weeks at her family lake house in Connecticut.
I feel very normal when I get in the car to go anyplace other than Dana-Farber, even if it's just a little bit out of my "zone."
Tami lives outside Philadelphia, and we used to take turns going to each other's houses over the summer when she's closer in Connecticut, about a two-and-a-half-hour drive. Then we decided to meet somewhere in between. On one of the sweltering days that we've been having, we sat outside a restaurant at an outdoor shopping mall. She got a sandwich and brought it out; I ate a sandwich that I brought along. It would have been nice to sit inside in the air-conditioning, but I'm still being careful about germs and I don't think I should go in.
As usual, it was great getting together. The sisters and I don't live close to each other, but we see each other as often as possible. When we talk, it feels so natural, just like we're continuing a conversation that we started when we were teen-agers.
When I neared home (a Starbucks in hand, also making me feel normal), I headed for my favorite farmstand, Breezy Acres, run by a wonderful woman named Evelyn, who greets you by name as soon as you come in the door, even if she's in the kitchen in the other room and she's seen you through the window. (She once talked me over the phone through making a blueberry pie, an adventure for a non-cook, but that's another story.) Anyway, on the way there, just a few blocks from Evelyn's, I saw my friend Mike with his adorable 2-year-old-daughter, Maeve, and I shouted through the window that I was coming over with snacks to enjoy their central air.
So I bought blueberry coffee cake and cookies - my latest favorite dinner-spoilers - and had a good visit with Mike, his wife, Ellen, and their baby, Mairead. We actually ended up outside on the deck, but it had cooled down enough that I didn't miss the air conditioning.
On Friday I had lunch with my tennis-friend/sisters, Deb, Donna and Debbie. (Yes, they all have "D" names. Kind of funny when we're taking a group lesson.) We were going to hit some tennis balls, but it was about 95 degrees out. I kind of wanted to do it anyway, but I didn't put up much of a protest when they wouldn't allow it. Debbie modeled her elegant mother-of-the-bride dress - her daughter's wedding is over Labor Day weekend - and tried on different necklaces. We all agreed on the "winner," a beautiful piece which I won't describe in case she wants it to be a surprise. It was an honor to be part of a decision-making committee. We had some laughs and a nice relaxing couple of hours.
Today my cousin Betsy and her husband Michael stopped by for lunch on their way from their apartment in Queens to a sojourn in the Berkshires. We don't see each other that much, but it's very fulfilling to keep the family connection going. Katie joined us and we shared funny stories about our dogs and caught up on family members' comings and goings. After I cleaned up, I went to see Deb, one of my neighborhood sister/friends, for coffee, Evelyn's blueberry bread and Deb's daughter Charlotte's lemon squares. The dogs played outside, giving each other a good workout. Back home, the kids went out and I had dinner European-style, around 9:30.
Sorry if I'm blathering about food. I'm so glad that the nausea and my fear of food have passed and I have a good appetite. And I'm glad that I'm getting out and about more.
One piece of bad news: "The Daily Show" and "The Colbert Report" are each taking three weeks off! How dare they? We need them to make fun of our crazy politicians and our whacky world.