Sunday, August 26, 2007

Summer Break in Maine

I left New York and drove north to Maine to stay at my parents' house and see my family and help out with the many wedding preparations. Amy sewed her own amazing dress and I helped her sew silk tulle ruffles for a few days. My parents were putting up a gazebo in their back yard for the wedding. My grandfather built the gazebo himself in the nineteen-fifties, and my parents were married in the gazebo in the sixties. In the seventies a Virginia Slims ad was filmed in the gazebo, in my grandparents' back yard. The gazebo has been in storage, in pieces under a blue tarp since the eighties. All the pieces had to be stripped and sanded and re-painted and put back together. It was a great collective effort, and in the weeks before the wedding dozens of family and friends came to the house to help sand and paint and build.

On Wednesday night my mother sent me to the bus station to pick up an out-of-town wedding guest. When I got there the surprise guest was MIKE! He wasn't supposed to be coming to the wedding but he had found a cheap ticket at the last minute, and for weeks he had been emailing with Judy and secretly plotting with my family to come to the wedding and surprise me! Everyone except for me knew about it! I had no idea my whole family could keep such a secret. As soon as Mike arrived he was drafted into service to help with cleaning and preparations. Amy and I baked and assembled and frosted a four-tier wedding cake with orange custard filling and caramel butter frosting. It used sixty eggs, all collected from my mother's hen-house.

After two weeks of craziness and hard work from dusk to dawn, the wedding turned out completely perfect and fun. Every single thing was just as lovely and enjoyable as it possibly could be. The sky was blue and the weather was pleasantly warm, the ceremony was sweet and succinct, the hors d'oeuvres (made by my sister Alicia) were most delicious, my parents' yard was filled with well-loved family and friends and good people. Everyone was in a fine mood.

George made lobster salad, asparagus, and roasted vegetables for dinner. The cake did not fall over on the way to the table, as I had feared it might, and it tasted wonderful. Amy had made Italian cream limoncello to drink with dessert. Many toasts were offered by friends and family. After everyone else went home, the last of us sat late into the night at one table and finished the limoncello, in the giant tent glowing with candles in the dark yard.

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Summer Break in New York

I haven't posted in a long time because I was busy traveling to los Estados Unidos for a summer break. I made the trip because my sister Amy was getting married to George! It was my first trip back to the North since moving to Argentina 9 months ago. During the overnight flight, the pilot came on the loudspeaker and woke us all up to tell us that Argentina had beat Mexico in a World Cup match, and everyone cheered.
In the morning I woke up for my transfer in Atlanta. I walked off the plane sleepy and confused and found myself surrounded by huge fat people speaking English everywhere. At first I felt a little revolted but actually every single person in the Atlanta airport was disarmingly friendly and sweet. I had a hard time remembering which language to speak for the first few days.
First I went to New York for a few weeks and had so much fun working back in the office at Oshkosh and seeing all my friends. The first few days in New York I felt completely happy and high on summertime and so excited to see all my friends. I stayed at Sara's house in Greenpoint and I realized, walking down a silent tree-filled street on a warm Friday morning with sunshine sparkling on the East River, thinking about the friends I would see that evening, an ice cream shop on one side of me and a shady cafe on the other side, that Greenpoint is the most beautiful place in the whole city.

Other highlights were making dinner with Andrew and Vickie and Angie just like old times! and going to see Band of Horses at the McCarren Pool. It felt like summer camp. It was great to be back in my old city with nothing to do but see the people I love and have a good time. And work. In truth, by the end of two weeks I was so totally completely exhausted from working all day every day and going out to meet friends every night.

Then Emily and I left town and drove upstate to spend a few days at a house on Somerset lake in the Catskills. I didn't know the other people there but they turned out to be great company and great cooks. We spent a few days napping and reading on the dock by the lake, jumping in for a swim, buying corn at the farmers market, making delicious meals, going for evening paddles in the canoe, falling asleep listening to frogs and crickets.

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