Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Camp Bubbie and Saba 2009 Begins

Considering where I am this moment, I can’t believe what Saul and I accomplished this week. I was getting really nervous and upset because I was feeling so terrible between the infection in my mouth and the antibiotic I was taking to get rid of it. On Tuesday, Saul drove me the hour-long ride to the dentist after I had been on Clindamycin for 24 hours so that he could work on me. I was not up to making the drive myself. Luckily, the pain turned out to be from an infection under the root of my back-most lower molar and did not involve the tooth itself. After a very painful, but thankfully, 10 minute procedure, we were back on the road home with minimal residual suffering. The dentist reminded me that I was to finish the antibiotic no matter how good I might feel. By Wednesday afternoon, however, as I was trying to put the final touches on a publication, I felt as though I had been kicked in the stomach from the antibiotic. Thursday morning, the dentist gave me permission to discontinue it. The infection seems to be gone. He said we would try a different one if the infection returned. So far, so good.

All this made me worry that I would not be up to preparing dinner for 14 on Friday or fetching my granddaughters from Baltimore for the start of Camp Bubbie and Saba on Father’s Day, not to mention the energy required to entertain two little girls.

Our new aide in caring for Mom, Debbie, started work on Wednesday to cover for Stacey, who was away for several days. Luckily, Mom liked her very much and she was incredibly good and experienced at handling aged and bedridden patients from her nursing home experience. On her first day here, Ken came over for lunch with her son, Steve, who works for Ken, and we all got to know each other over good food at the kitchen table. Adele joined us also and Saul and I got back from a Costco grocery run just in time to put lunch on the table and get Ken and Steve back to work on time. Saul left even before Ken and Steve to keep an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon, who gave him a cortisone injection in the shoulder to finally eliminate the sleep-disturbing pain that Saul has been experiencing for at least six weeks. While the painful right shoulder was responsive to the physical therapy, the left shoulder pain had remained despite all the physical therapist’s efforts. It was finally determined from x-rays and an MRI, that the problem is from a rotator-cuff injury. After a few days, Saul’s pain has finally dissipated.

By Friday morning, I was feeling much better and full of energy. I had finished my publication, begun work on a calendar, and was happy to be puttering around the kitchen with Saul, and towards afternoon, Adele, who had come to help us prepare Shabbat dinner. Saul set up the dining room table beautifully with crisply-folded embroidered napkins for a somewhat crowded 14. Our guests, in addition to the three of us, were Adele, Larry, Irv, Fran, my cousin Ellen, who had come to visit Mom after many years, her daughter, Amanda, Ellen’s significant other, Paul, Larry Shipper, Debbie, Ken and Randi. Beth joined us a bit later in the evening. The menu included warm homemade challah; chilled strawberry soup; cod lamaize; caesar salad; vegetable lasagna; cedar-planked, charcoal grilled, filet of salmon with mustard marinade; homemade potato salad; gezer chai; lemon-verbena iced tea; leftover coconut cake from Yona’s naming, leftover gingerbread doves from Yona’s naming, Presley Bella cake with icing decorated for three birthdays—Randi’s, Irv’s and Fran’s; and sliced fresh peaches, cherries, strawberries, blueberries and bananas with vanilla custard sauce.

Debbie came early on Saturday so that we could attend services on my father’s yahrzeit. Because it had been pouring for days, and Saturday was no exception, services were very sparsely attended. We napped for a few hours in the afternoon. Finally, on Saturday night, Saul’s pain disappeared and he was able to get a good night’s sleep.

Sunday morning, we joined Larry and Adele, Irv and Fran, Erica, Danny, Brenna, Ava, Beth and her friend, Paul, for a delicious buffet brunch at The William Penn Inn. By coincidence, our waiter was the son of Ian, one of three English-born brothers with whom we had worked for many years at both The William Penn Inn and Bentley’s nearby. Ian and his wife were working the brunch also in another area of the restaurant, and Ian stopped over to see us and catch us up with his brothers’ lives.

As soon as we returned, we hit the road for Baltimore. We decided to drive all the way down to pick up the girls for the summer because Jessica had persuaded Ari to join us as well so that we could all have dinner together for Father’s Day. In addition, we were bringing a set of vintage dishes called “Dixie Dogwood” that Saul sold on eBay after our garage sale, to a woman who just happened to live just a few minutes away. We dined at our kids’ favorite Japanese restaurant, Sushi Ya, where they had named a special roll for Izzy when she graduated from preschool. We arrived back home by 10 p.m. to tuck the girls and ourselves into bed.

Monday morning was spent unpacking the girls’ summer clothes and loading everything into their drawers. Their drawers had filled with a number of toys during the winter, so after we emptied the drawers of toys, and loaded them with clothing, we reorganized all the toys in the toy box and closet. From 6 to 7 a.m. in the morning, because I was up early and so were the girls, I answered Sami’s questions about the action figure, Teela, from the old Masters of the Universe series of cartoons. We had found Teela and Prince Adam still in their original packages while preparing for the garage sale. Checking on eBay, I discovered that they were only worth about $9, so I gave them to the girls to open and add to the other characters and related toys we had found. Since I remembered very little about the 1980s series, I Googled Teela and discovered that many Masters of the Universe episodes were available for viewing free on the Internet. They were both rapt sitting together in my office chair watching one of the half-hour episodes that involved Teela. We went to Beachcomber Swim Club after lunch because the sun kept peeking out of the dark clouds and teasing us every couple of minutes. The girls went to a painting class after an hour of swimming. After showers and dinner, we curled up in our pajamas in my bed together to watch the Tinker Bell movie that I had recorded on TiVo.

This morning after breakfast, we cleaned out some areas of the basement because the remaining garage sale stuff was being picked up by an organization called “Impact!” which supports the local senior center. We found some real “treasures” from their mother’s and uncle’s days, such as a pogo stick, a book that we had been missing for years, Bonhomme and the Huge Beast, a favorite Minnie Mouse doll, some dollhouse furniture I had made 35 years ago, a few Shel Silverstein books and many other cool books and games. Saul and I spent an hour in the garage after our leftovers had been donated and were finally able to make space for our SUV again. We made it to the swim club by 3:30 p.m., but only stayed for a little over an hour because the sun was even scarcer than yesterday, and we were being eaten by pesky flies and mosquitoes. After dinner this evening, the girls watched another movie in my bed that I had recorded for them on TiVo, The Pagemaster. While I was blogging, I was hearing so many delighted giggles that I interrupted my writing to watch the end of the movie with them. I hope that, as they sing in Annie, “the sun will come out tomorrow,” but we have been having a great time anyway.


Anonymous said...

whew! I am tired just from reading this! :)

Stacey said...

I always love reading the blog, specially when I was away when most of this happened, so I feel like i was here. I couldn't get the video to load, so I'll have to try it again later.