Saturday, July 31, 2021

Harvest for My Dad

Began a beautiful morning with breakfast and Hogan's Heroes. Hogan's saying "Don't Forget to Write" when Klink accidentally volunteers to join a major combat zone. It'll take all of Hogan's persuasive abilities to keep him right where he is, and make sure he and his men don't lose their pushover Kommendant.

Switched to Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood while making the bed and doing the dishes. "Good Morning, Daniel" and "Good Night, Daniel" show us Dan's routines for getting up and starting a new day and going to bed. In both cases, he'd rather be playing than sleeping or getting ready for school, but his parents make sure he remembers what he has to do. 

Headed out after the episode ended, waving to Jodie, Rose, and a few neighbors setting up for the party on the way. I wanted to at least get to the farm market today. I work too early to get there next week. They were busier than ever with people buying produce for their own barbecues and big summer get-togethers. Ducked around people long enough to buy peaches, a lavender striped eggplant, blackberries, blueberries, cherry tomatoes in many colors, red lettuce, and tiny purple plums. 

Rode there and back across Newton Lake Park. I couldn't believe how gorgeous it was. No wonder the park teemed with joggers, dog walkers, people out for strolls, and kids riding bikes. It was as perfect a day in late July as one could wish. Sunshine glittered on the bottle-green waters of the lake, warming but not smothering noses and shoulders. A soft breeze rippled across the lake, and there wasn't a hint of humidity.

Told Rose I'd watch Finley when I got in. She briefly helped me put away my finds while watching DC Super Hero Girls. Diana Prince steals the "#SirensConch" so she can sing in Jessica's charity talent show. She can't handle that there's something she isn't good at - she has a terrible voice. The shell does give her a wonderful voice, but it also attracts a species of cockroach Jessica's trying to protect. Diana uses her real voice to get rid of them and finally admits that there are things she's not good at...yet.

Put on the newest Muppet Babies episode after Finley left with her family to get dressed for the party.  Piggy and Summer hold a royal ball for all the kids. Gonzo wants to go as a princess, but the girls insist that he join the guys and be a knight. Rizzo the Fairy Rat-father helps him become "Gonzo-rella" in a beautiful gown and glass sneakers. Gonzo shows the kids that gender identity isn't set in stone and some traditions are made to be changed. Summer loves the wind-up car she and her grandfather made, until Gonzo arrives in his fancy pickle car. "Summer's Car Trouble" has her embarrassed to admit the car is hers, sending the kids off on a wild chase to find the owner.

Switched to Match Game as I dusted my bedroom, vacuumed, and tidied up around the apartment. Started on YouTube with my favorite PM episode, #17 from 1975. This is the one where Richard Dawson answered the "Admiral __" Audience Match with "Admiral Color Television" and Gene didn't believe it would be up there. There's some great sniping between Brett Somers and Betty White in this episode, too. 

As I finished the second episode (which was one I watched earlier in the week), I heard voices on the front lawn. Changed into a good skirt and my new sandals, grabbed my purse and keys, and headed outside. Tons of people in Army dress uniforms or colorful summer outfits milled around the lawn or the newly-laid driveway. I wandered around, saying "hi" to a few people, but mainly chatting with Reilly and Khai and eating shrimp, bruchetta, and skewers made with fresh basil, grape tomatoes, and tiny marinated mozzarella balls. 

The ceremony for Dad's "celebration of life" began around quarter after 2. Jodie and Rose set up white folding chairs and chairs from the porch in front of the steps earlier. A priest got a little too religious talking about Dad being in another place. I preferred hearing his long-time buddies from as far back as childhood reminisce about his time as Wildwood's youngest lifeguard in the 60's, or how he got Uncle Ken to help him sneak beer to his underage buddies earlier in the decade, or how he and his best friend drove-cross country in an old van during 1968, or him volunteering for scouting duty during Vietnam and earning a Bronze Star. Two Army soldiers even gave Khai a folded flag in honor of his grandfather. (I heard the poor kid say he was so nervous during that!)

I dashed to my apartment after they finished speaking. I couldn't help it. I held my American Girl doll Jess and cried and cried. I cried because the little girl in me wanted her daddies, and her daddies were gone. I miss my daddies. I wish I'd really known them. I just sat there and held her, crying onto her little soft shoulder. 

As soon as the ceremony ended, every kid there changed into bathing suits and jumped into the pool. I wasn't about to show off my body to people I didn't know, but I did eat my lunch out there. The adults had sautéed chicken in lemon sauce, ravioli in vodka sauce, pasta salad, green salad, green beans and almonds, sausage, rolls, and grilled vegetables. (Had a little of everything but the pasta salad - I don't like olives - and the sausage that gives me heartburn.) Someone set up a smaller spread for the kids in the pool area with chicken fingers, juice boxes, and fries. Reilly, Chloe, Mary, Savannah, and I enjoyed a "girl's lunch" and chatted over our meals. (And Chloe was right - those fries were perfect and really addictive!) 

Wandered among the guests for a little while after I ate, but talking to people proved to be difficult. I hadn't seen most of those people since I was a toddler in some cases. I barely remembered their names, much less their faces. Many of them wanted to see me, but I had no idea what to say to them. It was much easier when the desserts came out. I grabbed a mini cannoli, lemon square wedges, three cookies, and a mini carrot cupcake and ate those instead.

Fled to my apartment after I finished dessert. I just couldn't handle all the small talk anymore. Worked on writing instead. Bill (Daily) the White Rabbit brings around strawberry tarts. These are very special tarts, baked by the King of Hearts for the Queen with love. (Betty White couldn't bake in real-life.) They're only for royalty and guests. The Knave (producer and judge Ira Skutch) drools over them, while Sir Richard offers to protect them for Queen Betty so no one will get their hands on them.

Rose called me as I finished up for the day. She, Jodie, and the other neighborhood moms were cleaning up the food and deciding who got what. I was able to slide huge containers of grilled veggies, green beans, chicken in lemon sauce, ravioli, and all of the remaining green salad into my refrigerator. 

Finished the night with Dimples as I had a snack and got organized. I go further into this Shirley Temple melodrama set in pre-Civil War New York at my Musical Dreams Movie Reviews blog. 

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