Monday, September 04, 2006


The Labor Day weekend rings in the end of the summer. It’s a weekend that this household enjoys with lots of reasons to celebrate.

Saturday was the most awful weather we have experienced in a long time. I had to go to the mall for a haircut and manicure and I said to Dan Dan in the car, these were about the only two things I would ever venture out in this kind of weather for. The rain and wind were the result of the tail end of hurricane Ernesto. Of course it was nothing compared to the horrors that people in the thick of it experience, but my goodness, for the first time I REALLY stopped to think about what they must have gone through. As I stood waiting outside the mall for Dan to pick me up – I thought I was going to start crying. I was so nervous that I was going to get blown over and I am not kidding when I say that the rain was pelting down horizontally. It was freaky. I couldn’t wait to get off the road and out of the car. When I got into bed on Saturday night, I said a deeper prayer for all and anyone subjected to these hurricanes.

In spite of the forecast for Sunday being good, we decided it was probably a better idea to set up inside for our annual Labor Day BBQ. We always have it on the Sunday so that we still have a day off after the party before going back to the routine of the week. Marti got back from her trip home to Slovakia earlier in the week so she was on hand to help us on Saturday afternoon. We were expecting 17 people and the kitchen was pumping in preparation all of Saturday night. We had a really yummy menu of steak, lamb chops, chicken wings. There was smoked salmon for the people who didn’t eat meat, marinated veggie and pasta salad, corn on the cob, potato salad, and green salad. There was also garlic bread which is a recipe that Tammy gave me and I have decided to share it here because it is always so popular. I will list it right at the end of this post.

Our table looked gorgeous, the company was wonderful and the weather was fantastic, for our indoor BBQ! I was rather safe than sorry though and given that the weather can change at a moment’s notice everyone agreed it was not a problem eating indoors.

One of our friends is the dearest man who is a life member of the firehouse. Nick is in his late 70’s and recently underwent knee replacement surgery. He unfortunately suffered a stroke as a result of the surgery and is having difficulty regaining use of the right side of his body. Dan Dan went to get him and his lady friend Betty. They are the most adorable couple and I refer to them as my friends who have been happily unmarried for over 20 years. They were both divorced in their younger years. Nick gained custody of his three sons and Betty has children of her own. They met at a ‘Parents without Partners’ dance and the rest is history. We love having them over and what I find really interesting is that when they came over for lunch the first time, Betty commented how in all these years of their association with the firehouse, ours was the first home they had ever been invited into. As they got here well ahead of the other guests, Dan Dan and I were still busy putting the last minute finishing touches to the table and meal. Nick asked if he could watch the tennis and as we were all keen to see how Agassi would do, we were happy to turn the TV on.

As it was nearing the end of the match, we decided to leave it on even though we had taken our seats to eat. We weren’t distracted by it and we wanted to see the outcome of the game. One of the other guests is our friend Merle. She is also from South Africa, married to Richard who is American, and has lived here for well over 20 years. Her sister is the life partner of Billie Jean King so they were particularly interested in watching the outcome of the game as they know all the tennis players personally. It was most unfortunate that he lost as it would have been wonderful for him to retire on a win. The farewell he gave the crowd was something to behold. Merle, myself and even Dan Dan had tears rolling down our cheeks. It was the most moving thing to see him standing in the middle of the court SOBBING. I had goose bumps watching the crowd applaud this man and as I said to Merle, you could feel the love between Andre and his audience. I am so pleased we got to see it as it was history in the making.

Dan Dan served an ace with his dessert. He added his own finishing touches to a recipe for Peach Melba and plated a poached peach with raspberry and blackberry coulis and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. I couldn't help saying how this peach looked like a perky little tochas/bum that you felt you just had to bite.

My lovely neighbor Alyson is known as the Cupcake Queen and for good reason. I challenge anyone to produce a more delicious cupcake than her. We have become totally spoilt by her generosity and we know that a tray of these little pieces of heaven is a given at our parties.

At one point during the afternoon I realized that all my friends, aside from the neighbors and Betty and Nick are people I had met through Ross. It was either through school, gymnastics or setting up car pools that we had made our connections. I thought to myself as I watched Ross and Jodi and Denise’s kids playing together that it is getting to a point where we are soon going to be able to look back on our time as friends and feel like we have a history. I was happy to have all my friends together at one time and the room was filled with warmth and togetherness.

Monday ushered in Pingy’s 12th birthday. We treated her to a ride in the car when we went with my Mom to get ice creams in the afternoon and after taking my Mom home, we stopped off to get Ross a new school bag for 4th grade. Pingy is the love of all our lives and our household would not be the same without her. She is a constant source of adoration, fun, affection and cuddles. When my late friend Pam from South Africa once visited us in London, she gave Pingy her African name of Pingele – pronounced Ping-geh-le. So with that in mind, we wish you many more birthdays Pingele and we hope you will be with us for many years to come.


Finally, September 5th is our 13th wedding anniversary. I dedicate thissong, which is one of my favorite love songs to my husband who knows exactly how much I love him. The only difference between this song and our lives, is that not only when I awake, but when ever I look to my side, he is there. That is exactly where I want him to be. Not ahead of me and not behind me, but right by my side. I renew my commitment every single day to being right by his side too. I love you Daniel.

Firefly ~ Uriah Heep

My love lives at
The end of a rainbow
One day I'm gonna
Fly there on a firefly
High above white angry water
With a love song in my heart

Some day, somehow
I know I'm gonna get there
I've been patient for so long
All my daydreams
Seem so much nearer now
And I beg you hear my song

On your glowing wings I'll ride
Till I sit beside
This dream of mine
Firefly, high on a risin' tide
Only wanna touch
The things I've seen

Steppin' lightly from star to star
Cross a wilderness of blue
Wonderin' how much
In love with me you are
'Cause I'm so much in love with you

Firefly, can you take me
I aint had no lovin' laterly
Firefly bring me love

To my new horizon
The one that I've still
Got my eyes on, my my Firefly
Firefly, Firefly, Firefly

In my deams you come to me
The answer to my prayer
As I begin to feel
You warm my heart
I awake and you're not there

Now and then I see your eyes
As the starts begin to shine
No rain to cool my passion
No! Not now! No now you're mine

The Rabbi has to ask the groom's permission to carry out the wedding ceremony. Prior to doing this, the Rabbi was jokingly telling Daniel that this would be his last moment to run and was checking with him that he was sure he wasn't going to. (To read about our very special wedding ceremony, please refer to the Archives column and click on September 2005 - once there, scroll down to post entitled 'VOWS'.)

At this point in the ceremony the Rabbi reminded me that this was serious and I needed to stop laughing. Perhaps it was nerves, but I got the giggles, then Daniel started laughing at me laughing and soon it was bordering on being out of control.

All smiles and happiness as a married couple, signing the marriage certificate.

That was then ... and this is now!

13 Years later preparing Sunday's meal.

Still smiling, and in spite of a lot less hair, even happier!

Garlic Bread Recipe

Mix softened butter, finely diced parsely, finely diced onions, crushed garlic, grated sharp cheddar cheese. Spread between thick slices of Italian bread. Wrap in foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 mins to half hour.

Have a delicious week everyone.