Yeah, you. My reader. It’s been more than 7 years, 2 domains and a divorce since DelSo was born. Over the years I’ve shared a lot of my life and self here, in print. You, as a reader, have come to know me on some level from my words. What makes you return here (assuming you’re not new around these parts) and read what I write? Let me remind you of some of what I’ve related to you in the hope that you might feel inclined to share with me – who you are, reader? Why are you here?
There have been so many miles – more plane rides than I could have ever imagined, along with runs and races and road trips. I’ve explored cities with my boys and my girlfriends and solo. My feet have run in a half dozen different countries and probably about the same number of states.
My home has evolved from a house with two full-time parents to one of three part-time children. There have been physical improvements, rooms repurposed and painted, new rugs and furniture rearranged. It feels different. After a refinance or two, I know it’s mine.
I’ve written about books I’ve read and movies and concerts I’ve seen. Increasingly, politics and my dismay with our current leadership have been topics I’ve felt compelled to write about.
My children and the challenges of being a parent frequently provide fodder for posts. While the joys outweigh the frustrations, parenthood remains a roller coaster ride that keeps me on the edge of my seat with a scream threatening to escape. It’s a heart racing ride.
Sometimes I cook or bake and post recipes and photos of the fruits of my labors. Food and wine are a big part of my life and I’ve happily shared my experiences with you. Oh – and there’s that wine bar that I own.
There have been times when I wrote with sadness or anger, but I think I mostly write from a place of understanding and acceptance. Balance and moderation are woven throughout much of what I write.
Health and wellness have been covered and the miracle of menopause has been mentioned. The heartbreak of addiction and the threat of cancer have been present. I’ve learned to ski and have found bliss in pigeon pose in a room heated to 100+ degrees.
It’s all here – my life. Not perfect, not necessarily what I ever imagined it to be, but a life that I feel grateful for in a city that I have come to love.
Will you tell me why you visit my life?
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One, okay two, of the best things I put in my mouth while on vacation this year was pie from the Scottish Bakehouse in Tisbury. I think I’ve mentioned this place before and am happy to report that, like some favorite books from years gone by, this special bakery continues to satisfy.
When I rolled in to their parking lot in the late afternoon midweek, I was worried about what the remaining selection might be. Come to find out that the limited choices available for me were perfect – key lime and blueberry. Naturally, I took both, along with 2 peanut butter cookies, 2 chocolate chip cookies and a hunk of cardamom cinnamon coffee cake. Total: $54.00. We’ll talk more about that in a moment.
While my order was being put together, my attention was attracted by a woman wearing kitchen clothes. Turns out she is the chef (owner?) of the Art Cliff Diner at the Bakehouse to pick up their order of baked goods. See how it works? Good places source from good places, a truism always nice to see.
How were the pies? The blueberry pie with an intriguing hint of cinnamon was a simple pleasure. The fruit was tender and sweet and I thoroughly enjoyed the single slice to which I laid claim. I focused on the key lime, one of my all-time favorite flavors and one which they do a great job. It’s tart and tasty, sitting up tall on a graham cracker crumb crust. I’ve singlehandedly eaten almost the entire thing. I’m not sorry.
Now, let’s talk about the prices. When I first was presented with the total, I was a little taken aback. I don’t really buy a lot of baked goods, but it seemed a little pricey. I’ve been thinking about, though, and have decided that I’m really okay with the expense of my splurge. The quality of the items certainly justified the price and when you consider the brevity of the season, it seems fair. I highly doubt that anyone at the Scottish Bakehouse is getting rich off pie, you know what I mean?
I’ve got one slice of that key lime pie left. I’m calling it breakfast.
…there’s sand. Grains and grains of sand. Because of this condition, this year I committed to taking only paperback books to the beach. I mean, really, when it comes to reading at the beach, something I can finally do now that my boys are older, the paperback is the only way to go.
There are a couple of books which left a big impression upon me when I first read them many years ago. I decided to revisit them to see if they still would move me after so many years had gone past.
I started with Hemingway’s A Moveable Feast. When I first read it, I was an undergraduate infatuated with the romance of Europe and expatriates. Two of those three have not changed. Reading it last week, I was once again transported to Paris, witnessing the cafe life of some of America’s finest writers during the 1920s. Hemingway’s observations, recounted from memory decades later, are remarkable as he paints such vivid scenes with an almost miserly number of words. It still works for me.
A couple of favorite passages:
“We’ll come home and eat here and we’ll have a lovely meal and drink Beaune from the co-operative you can see right out of the window there with the price of the Beaune on the window. And afterwards we’ll read and then go to bed and make love.”
“In Europe then we thought of wine as something as healthy and normal as food and also as a great giver of happiness and well being and delight. Drinking wine was not a snobbism not a sign of sophistication nor a cult; it was as natural as eating and to me as necessary, and I would not have thought of eating a meal without drinking either wine or cider or beer.”
The other title I picked up for the first time in years was Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate. I remember being absolutely charmed by this wonderful novel when I initially encountered it. The passion! The deftly handled magical realism! I loved it then and I love it now. I could almost taste the words.
Here are a few morsels to savor.
“To the table or to bed
You must come when you are bid.”
“A man equal to loving someone who needed love as much as she did, a man like him.”
“…within our bodies each of us has the elements needed to produce phosphorus… each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can’t strike them by ourselves…each person has to discover what will set off those explosions in order to live, since the combustion that occurs when one of them is ignited is what nourishes the soul.”
What are your favorites? Have you revisited any recently?
Is it me or have the cherries this year been terrific? I’ve really been enjoying them with plain Greek yogurt and granola as a light lunch or pre-run snack in recent weeks and will be sad to see the season end. Especially since I just bought a new kitchen gadget to make eating even easier. Meet my new favorite kitchen toy – the cherry pitter!
You may be familiar with my resistance to buying one-trick wonder items. I’m more into multitasking, you know. When I hit up Utilities in Provincetown for my annual shopping spree, though, I was willing to take a break from my usual state of efficiency to simplify my life by buying a cherry pitter. Of course, as always, when I go to a store seeking a specific item they were sold out. Boo.
Fortunately, I didn’t have to reside in the pits for long because Vineyard Haven has an awesome home store, Le Roux, that had exactly what I was seeking – in three different versions! I went with the Cadillac version in the hopes that I will never have to make this purchase again. At least that’s what the salesman promised.
So? How does it work? It’s pretty damn amazing! Stem the cherries and place them in the pitter and press. Bam! The pit drops out and you’re left with a nearly intact cherry. Easy-peasy, as they say. As a matter of fact, I just may pick up a couple of more to have on hand for gifts for friends who are tired of living in the pits.
During the two weeks we spend at the beach each summer, we eat dinner out maybe a handful of times. Part of that decision is based upon practicalities – kids, expense, day drinking and driving, but the fact that we’ve been disappointed with pricy meals in restaurants with menus that attempt to satisfy adults and children, is the biggest factor in choosing either take out (less expensive than dining in with tip/adult beverages) or cooking at home.
All that said, there’s a place in Vineyard Haven I’d been wanting to try for a few years – the Art Cliff Diner. Sunday the stars aligned and the guys and I finally got there and we couldn’t have been happier. The Art Cliff is both a food truck and a stationary restaurant. We pulled into their shared parking lot at what seemed to be the ideal time, about 5:15. The restaurant wasn’t open for business, but the truck’s menu more than sufficed for us.
There were maybe a dozen options and we were able to find something for each of us – Liam chose the cheesesteak sandwich ($14?) which was as fine an example of that item as I’ve ever enjoyed. The meat was thinly sliced, maybe even shaved, with sweet onions and the perfect amount of cheese. The portion was more than generous.
For Griffin it was the pig on a roll ($8?), a moist pulled pork sandwich with cole slaw. He declined the chipotle mayo, but I’m sure it would have added a terrific kick to the tender and overstuffed sandwich. I also went with pork in the form of spicy pork taco. The soft flour tortilla ($8?) was complete with juicy pork, greens, a sour cream based sauce and green salsa. It was really, really delicious.
Quinn went with a
ho-hum hotdog ($4) which he thoroughly enjoyed and we rounded out things with two generous orders of fries – one plain and one dusted with grated Parmesan. The fries were fantastic and would make an awesome and satisfying snack solo at only $6.
Our total for a really high quality and nicely presented meal, with soft drinks was a fair and reasonable $57 before tip. I imagine their offerings change regularly, but can’t imagine ever being disappointed by their food. Have you been there? Tell me about it! If you haven’t yet, try it and let me know.
Allow me to share a recent occurrence with you, both to clarify that my life isn’t perfect and to, hopefully, garner some opinions. Last month, I had a little “incident” while on the ferry traveling to Martha’s Vineyard. We arrived at the terminal, approximately 35 minutes prior to our departure and were directed into a specific lane (I believe it was 13) to wait to board the ship for which we had a reservation. A short time later, we were instructed to follow the vehicle(s) in front of us to board the ferry. We drove onto the boat, parked on the far left and turned the engine off. Next stop: Vineyard Haven!
During our ever-so-smooth sail, I gleefully ordered take out from our favorite VH spot, The Net Result, patting myself on the back for being über-organized. By the time the boat docked, I could practically taste those fried scallops. When I got the order to start my engine, I did so happily. The cars ahead of us started to move forward and I followed…
But, wait!! What was that horrible noise? As I crept forward to the sound of something metallic, I looked around and couldn’t help but see the looks of horror on the faces of the neighboring car’s occupants. They pointed to my roof. I stopped my car and looked up to see my trusty Trek no longer neatly horizontal in my roof rack. No, instead it was decidedly vertical, wedged tightly between the roof of my wagon and an upper deck of the ferry. Really?
I put my car in park and waited for an employee (a deckhand?) to address the situation. He slowly approached and looked at my car and at me. He started to shrug his shoulders, as if it was my fault that my bicycle was now more an abstract piece of street art than the vehicle which has gotten me from Point A to Point B for 17 years. Uh, uh, buddy. No way.
Once I was able to speak in a reasonable tone of voice, I had a conversation with a couple of employees and we filled out an accident report. My bicycle was zip tied to my roof and off we drove, really needing those delectable scallops more than ever. I spoke with a representative of the Steamship Authority and upon my return to Albany, I gathered estimates (Bike: totaled, replacement approximately $700, roof repair/paint $850, bike rack $340) and sent an email statement of what transpired. That was a few weeks ago and I have yet to hear back. I plan to follow through with a phone call in a week or two.
So – what do you think? Who’s responsible for the damages/loss? Am I culpable because I didn’t look above and in front of my car when I parked in the spot where I was directed? Curious to hear some opinions…
Let’s forgive me for not getting to this until what is essentially the second week of September, ok? Seeing that the school year is beginning so late, I’ve kind of been pretending that this past weekend was Labor Day. But, without further ado…
For the third year in a row, I completed the Warrior Dash down at Windham Mountain. Kind of pleased with this year’s results: 62nd of 779 in my age group, 1463 of 7300.
I became obsessed with Orange is the New Black. Have you watched it yet? When does season two start??
My Quinnie became sick while we were on vacation and I reflected on how stressful sick children, far from our pediatrician, can be.
I had a meltdown about needing bangs – STAT!
The movie theater became the perfect babysitter so I could take a run.
Finding the “perfect” Cape Cod house can be a real test of patience and acceptance.
And there are a few things you don’t want to find in your temporary beach home.
There was a little bit of panic as the days of August started growing shorter.
And a lot of discussion about twerking and expressing oneself.
Finally, my piece from the Sept/Oct issue of Women@Work talked about how not to Fear the Fall.
What have you been up to??
Filed under aging, Boys, Cape Cod, Events, Exercise, family, favorites, Martha's Vineyard, Moms@Work, Observations, running, sick, Summer, travel, vacation