“MTV, Teen Cribs” ( or I Want To Throw Up)

I actually WATCHED a show on television  (I couldn’t make this up if I tried) where teens show off their, mega, opulent, oversized, disgustingly big rooms/suites. The suites are housed in super big houses, near billiard rooms, bowling alleys and ice skating rinks. Seriously. No joke.  I am both fascinated and nauseated by this show, mostly nauseated. Okay, definitely all nauseated and totally disgusted.

The viewer is welcomed into the homes of these super- rich teenage kids and their ridiculously over indulgent more rich than rich parents. I kid you not. I have never seen anything like this in my life and I hope never to see it again. Once, twice was enough; more than enough. Kids have aquariums based on the movie Finding Nemo; they have home theaters, fully stocked concession stands  arcades, spa rooms,  backyard jacuzzi spa and slide sections so that “even when it’s snowing we can still go in.”  They have their own grotto, in case you were worried. Oh look, how quaint, they are making home-made pizza in their own pizza oven outside situated next to more grills than I could count. We’re not talking English Muffin pizza’s here.

There were hockey rinks, soccer fields, a gym with a working scoreboard. What house is complete without one? They have their own performing studios, and an “every day is a holiday” theme so they can keep the Christmas tree up all year-long. I’ve seen a chair museum in place of a dining room table,  psychedelic, modern, artistic mansions, no MANSIONS. These homes are described by their parents as “having a place where we all feel comfortable.” Give me a break.

This disgusting show of über opulence is so crude that over the top does not quite describe it. Over the top is an understatement. I actually had to text my teenagers to see if this was a real show or if it was made up?  Apparently, it’s real. Real if you live in a fantasy land, on another universe, in another galaxy. After watching this show it seems that Michael Jackson’s Neverland was nothing more than a quaint and cozy little shack.

Is this the standard we want our children to aspire to? Does the plethora of material riches, I mean crap, make them any happier? Don’t even answer that! What are these parents THINKING?  I’d be embarrassed to show off a ridiculous  mega-mansion like any of those shown. I would be ashamed, and I should be. So should they.

Kick these families out of their glamour galaxies, show them the real world, where most of us can barely live, can barely make ends meet. As for the teens? Kick them out of their go carts, scooters, Segueways and disco ball rooms, and hand them a book. A book about the real world, unemployment, financial troubles, poverty. Real people.

After not being able to watch another second of this show, I was grateful to find  a show on NBC about how a community helped a special needs family and their mom. Which show would you want YOUR kids to watch? “MTV Teen Cribs” or “America Now, A Circle of Helping Hands?” You make the decision, you do the math.

After accepting that “MTV Teen Cribs” is going to stay on television, all I can seriously hope for is that these RICH families do a lot for charity. That they give to those less fortunate than themselves (which is probably 99.9 percent of the world), it may sound idealistic but it’s the only hope I’ve got.

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Bimbo in Limbo

I am going to start writing and hopefully the rest will come in a timely fashion. Like a soldier,  a robot, a clear cylinder. I feel too tired to write, too tired to read, television is exhausting and eating is a chore.  Whoa. Stop. Who wrote that?  Not the “me” that has fantasized in the past about orange cupcakes or pink coconut snowballs; not the “me” who has a huge collection of brownies and frosted cupcakes downstairs. Untouched. Some other me. Some patient me. Some released patient from the hospital me.  Some impatient patient me. I am dull, I am lifeless. Boring. Not at my best. I feel nothing; I am too tired to feel.

I need to sit down and concentrate in order to eat something. I need to look at the time and actually say, “it’s been five hours since I have eaten, I should get a bite to eat and something to drink. Who am I and how long will this last?  Did I leave part of myself in the hospital room? When will I come home? I did not eat for an entire two weeks because of my intense throat/ epiglottis pain.  All that suffering and misery and I only lost 3 pounds. There’s got to be something so wrong with that but it is true. Is it my thyroid tired and limping along? Post-menopausal, post 50-something, dead batteries?  Not that I really care. Not that I can do anything about it. It just is the way it is, for me. For now, for a while. Whatever.

I am not sick but I am not well, I am not happy nor am I sad. I am just a blob on the bed surrounded by too many blankets and dirty dishes. There’s a bright strawberry jello snack pack at my side and a cart full of different beverages, the jello is the only color in the room. I’m not thirsty but I’m supposed to drink so I don’t get dehydrated. Is  “dehydrated” the new buzz word used often in the last few years? We didn’t get dehydrated when we were kids, playing in the afternoon soon, in the heat, with no sunscreen or baseball caps. Where was dehydration then? Nothing makes sense to me.

The mail is still in the mailbox I haven’t bothered to go out to the street and get it. That would require putting more clothing on and shoes too. Shoes, why bother? It’s cold and wet and raining and everything is gray, not black or white just way too much gray. Everywhere. Endlessly. All rain, all the time. Rain and more rain.

I am The Wizard of Oz before the color kicks in, I am pre- munchkinland, post dead witch. I am flat, one-dimensional, white bread. I don’t listen to music with joy anymore because it hurts my head. I don’t dance for joy because I do not feel joyful. I lack affect.

I am in a state of in between but I don’t know the parameters of either side. Once I’ve fallen over the edge I will know that I have gone too far but for the time being, limbo is my life. I should care about this but I don’t. I should be surprised or concerned at this plastic shell but I am not. I am not shiny and new, I just don’t have the effort inside me to care right about now.

Eventually, something will happen, either good or bad. Until then, I wait, and I try to care but I don’t.

The Sick Mother

I hate the thought of my children having a mother that is chronically “sick.” I know, we all know, that it is NOT life-threatening but for day-to-day life, my illnesses have brought me nothing but pain, both physical and emotional. I was healthy and fine in all but the last three years but I am not sure if my children, now 15 and 17, remember that. They know what is happening now and they know what they remember from the recent past. It breaks my heart, literally, to have them be the one whose “mom is always sleeping” or “not feeling good.”

They joke sometimes about the things my husband has had to take over that I originated. To me, this is not a joke but it is heartbreaking. What about the years from 1-13 when I  did everything for them? It makes me want to cry. Now they know their Dad makes them lunches at night and greets them in the early morning. Even my “Mommy’s Famous Cheese Sauce” became “Daddy’s Cheese Sauce.”  It is NOT a joke for me, nor will it ever be, I find no humor in my own personal failings.

I want to be the mother that is there for them for everything. I was so greatly looking forward to college visits with my son and daughter and now don’t know if I can make it. We are supposed to go to relatives for Passover and I do not know if my body can physically take the 6 plus car drive down there. I do not know how to prioritize MY health for the emotional well-being of my children. They come first, always and forever. They need to know that NOTHING to me is as important as they are.

Will my absences be excused? There are only so many times that children can forgive and understand reason; at some point we are all children wanting our mothers to be there for us, no matter what. For every mother is a daughter that wants her mom to be there for her without excuses, physical or emotional.

For a woman who wanted nothing more than to be a good wife and mother, I find myself incredibly disappointed in myself. I am trying not to blame myself for my physical illness but I do. I understand that there are much worse things in life, and I am fortunate not to have to deal with them. But for me, my children’s lives come first and if I am not there at full capacity to guide them, to drive them, to go with them, than I feel that I am somehow disappointing them.

I want to be the one to drive my daughter to Payless for new ballet flats. I want to sit by my son’s side as we visit the first potential college he may want to see.  I do not want to be TOLD about these things later, I want to be there in the present.

What to do? There is nothing I can do but feel bad, for them, for my husband and for me; a woman whose only goal in life was to be a good wife, a good mother, not a sick one.

DEDICATED TO TIM AND JILLIAN

What Did I Know About Pain?

I knew nothing about pain, real pain, until  a few days ago. When, for the second time I (presumably) have an ulcerated epiglottis. I CANNOT SPEAK OR SWALLOW !!!  I have had plenty of aches and pain and tiredness from Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and from Fibromyalgia but those pale in comparison to what I am feeling right now. After a night in the hospital, even with painkillers, the pain from below my throat is searing and intense, hot black steak knives through butter and steak combined. I am not a dramatist, what’s worse is that I am also not a pessimist. I have had this pain once before, last year, and thought it was an isolated incidence. Apparently, it wasn’t. Am I supposed to think this is a coincidence? I’ve been told, probably not. Not news I can handle very easily. Has anyone else had this type of pain before?

I go back to the ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat Doctor) this morning, it hurts so much I can’t even cry because crying will make it worse and there doesn’t seem to be anything worse than the pain I have had for a few days. I am on a plethora of drugs, Prednisone, a strong anti-biotic, pain killers that do not touch the pain, and a variety of other medicines. At the moment, I need a miracle, or at least a focused, caring Doctor who will get involved.

I called my Guru Dr,  the one in the City who is the only Dr. I have (past tense) believed in and relied on before. I should have known, he is not something special,  just something special in his field. This isn’t his job, his area of expertise and he needs “details” apparently the one’s I described are not good enough. The one’s that my Internist will provide him (she misdiagnosed this for the second time and has no idea about my case) will be the call he will accept. He will not reply to a call from the ENT that I am seeing today at 10:30. Beyond my intense physical pain, only I would feel emotional pain at this Dr. that I thought was also a caring individual. By definition of Dr., I should have known better but I never seem to learn. Ever. When I showed improvement in HIS area of expertise (auto-immune diseases) I was greeted with “you look great!!!”, “you lost weight” and a couple of hand holdings and pats in his office. He was so pleased, but apparently more with himself and his prowess than with me. Or perhaps, that is to them, one and the same thing.

Why can’t I just toughen up and not believe emotionally in people? What is wrong with my character that at my ripe old age of 53 I haven’t learned this lesson yet? It’s one I still keep repeating so obviously it is not ingrained into my character. Is the solution to be cynical and sarcastic with everyone? That doesn’t seem right either. Maybe there is no right or wrong.

I believe in myself, truly, but with this I need help. I thought 2010 was going to be the year of ME, a newly improved, positive me after having had 2 prior years of hell. That was not hell, this is. There is a phrase “I’ve been through Hell and back” I can only add and “Back to Hell again.” Am I feeling sorry for myself? Yes, I am. Do I have the right? I believe so.

Pop Cop: Celebrity Apprentice

I’ve sunk to a new low, although I seem to say that quite a bit. Watched a rerun of The Celebrity Apprentice tonight, a show that we watched when the children were little and loved it, we all used to watch as a family. If someone wasn’t able to be home to see it live we would tape it and then watch it the next day together. Family time. The only thing that was missing was a big bowl of popcorn.

Tonight, however, I have bronchitis, feel miserable and was in bed. Nothing I wanted to watch on TV, my “shows” Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice were repeats last night apparently because of some (stupid) basketball game. The clicker on my TV found its way to a repeat performance of the first Celebrity Apprentice of the season. Famous women vs famous men. It set women’s rights back about 50 years.

I could say that I was watching the show for a Sociology Project but then I would be lying. I would, however, not be lying to say that watching the men and women work and fight together should have been a Sociology 101 course. It was sad. Sad and true. The men when confronted with who was to leave had no problem looking at each other in the face, calling a name and there were no hard feelings. The women? They were pathetic and it was not their fault. It is how women are socialized in this world. No woman could name another woman who should leave, it was too hard, they all worked together, they were a team. What they really were was a pathetic mess and it was hard to watch. Finally, one brave woman, meekly suggested a name after Donald Trump cursed his way to finally get an answer. Then, the women suddenly became more empowered with the exception of Cyndi Lauper who kept shaking her poufy and disheveled blonde hair head from side to side, unable to utter a word.

Buck up women!  There is no time for this in business, in the corporate world. Men/boys will fight with each other and three seconds later they stand up and begin to play basketball together. Women/girls have hurt feelings and will start whispering and attacking the other girl behind her back and act all catty and upset. They don’t shake hands and continue to play together, they side with one girl and pretend the rest of the girls are invisible.

That’s no way to run the world. Show the men up with your independence and strength, dominate the world with your power. I know it’s only The Celebrity Apprentice but it gives us women a bad name. I know it’s not easy but please, for the sake of all women, man up!

I Am A Whore…

A vacation whore that is.  I love going on vacation so much that all I need is an invitation and I RSVP “yes” joyfully and immediately. Vacations, especially family vacations with our two teenagers, are hard to beat. I will be with my loved ones where I don’t have to do the laundry, dishes, cooking, dusting, daily errands to the post office, drugstore, library, and grocery stores…etc.

Generally I worry about the outfits that I don’t have for a cruise.  Those elegant gowns women parade in, with diamond tiaras, so not me! The task of packing ( I am the worst packer in the world) is always tortuous for me. Fashion-wise, my 16-year-old daughter,  will give me her unwavering and brutally honest opinion of what to wear and what I absolutely can’t wear or basically what she won’t allow me to wear. To her, the color black is not elegant, it’s purely for funerals and old ladies (I am in this category), or old lady funerals. Same thing.

We are being  treated by the in-laws for a cruise; a cruise to Bermuda and I can barely sit still;  I am smiling even as I am typing. Five glorious days of sun, on the ocean, my most favorite combination in the world, second only to peanut butter and jelly.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the food on a cruise which is totally unbelievable, my mouth is watering as I picture the flaming desserts being carried out by waiters, the incredible amount of different dishes, filet mignon? Lobster? Both? “But, of course.” The quantity and quality of the food is clearly overwhelming.  If I don’t have the midnight buffet, I will just lovingly look at it (oh please, who am I kidding??) I can see the chocolate covered strawberries, the chocolate fondue, platters of cheese and French bread and the European pastries shining up at me. Winking.

Nothing makes me happier than the beach and the water in any combination. Being away with nothing to do except have fun, to me, is absolutely absurdly wonderful.  There are no dishes in the sink, no laundry to wash or fold, the dust can accumulate up to 3 inches….who cares? Everything is done for you and you feel like royalty, for a little while anyway.  Here at home I can be found curled up in bed watching Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice; I’ve even watched  Survivor this season. Television has become my night-time world, my pleasure, my escape.  I don’t venture out of the house once I am in my night-time attire (ok, a ripped T-shirt). On the cruise I imagine sitting royally overlooking the aqua-green waves in their library and at night  I will rush to get good seats for the comedians or silly game shows. New experiences, new people, a new life to live for a few days.

I will be poolside with a Mojito,  happy and appreciative of every minute. At the end of the cruise I will have many new memories and I will be eternally grateful to my in-laws. I wonder if they know how much this really means to us.

Once home I will wait and save up every penny that we have, so that maybe in a year or two we will have the money to go, as a family, somewhere else. It surely will not be a luxurious cruise. These memories are truly treasures to me because our children will soon be off to college.  My husband and I,  our almost 18 year old son and our 16-year-old daughter will have more time together. I hold on to these precious moments before the kids leave us, like little birds, racing, dancing, and singing out of our nest and into the world. On their own.

Honey, Honey?

Friday, 3/19/2010  3:58 PM

I’ve just crawled back into bed, clothes off, night-shirt on, bronchitis as my diagnosis. I have taken the third dose of Arithromyacin but my body feels achy and my throat feels sore. Very sore. Burning- steak -knife- to -the -throat -sore.  There are many types of pain but throat pain, to me, is one of the worst. It must remind me of my childhood when I suffered continuously with sore throats, strep and tonsilitis, all the time.  So much that when I graduated from college I had to have my tonsils taken out.   To say it was not pretty is an extreme understatement.  After the tonsillectomy the pain was the worst pain I had ever experienced; THAT pain was worse than childbirth. I remember living back home at my parents apartment, in my old room,  moaning from pain. My mother fed me too much codeine because it hurt her to see me in so much pain. I remember hallucinating that I was talking to angels. My father literally threatened to go to the Doctor’s house with a baseball bat. The purest form of parental love.

I also have an auto-immune disease whose aches feel different from the ones I am experiencing now. I am 53 but feel older, I am 53 but think I look younger. After much work and determination, I lost 20 pounds and it is nice to see my waist line indentation. I am an hourglass, once again, green eyes dancing, brown hair in a side ponytail, wearing necklaces.

I heard from several people who suggested I should eat a teaspoon of raw honey each morning to improve my auto-immune disease. I started yesterday, somewhat suspiciously, looking at the mayonnaise-like substance. I ate the teaspoon and it did indeed taste much better than the lard it looked like. I am still waiting for the energy to come. Given that I am on antibiotics maybe a little patience would do me good. Actually, patience would always do me good…..

I had a big bowl of juicy blueberries for lunch, some organic honey -lemon soothing drops for my throat, a Nyquil tablet and a nap. For dinner I had comfort food: tomato soup with mashed Saltine crackers and a piece of cheese that melted slowly into long strands of stringy goodness. For dessert I had a brand new favorite, the tropical ice-pops from Trader Joe’s, that had little pieces of frozen fruit inside them, they were amazingly pretty to look at, tasted heavenly and numbed my throat momentarily.

I only slept seven hours because I was in so much pain that I kept waking up. I am about to eat another teaspoon of honey, watch Fiddler On The Roof and see the sunshine bounce off my bedroom window, while I am inside. Only the cool breeze from the open window reminds me that it really is lovely outside, just about Spring, and that I am missing an amazing day. There’s always tomorrow.

Daffodils, Pink Polish and Methotrexate

March 8, 2010 was the first day that I did not wear my heavy, dirty, dark brown Northface jacket in many, many months. After the horrendous winter we had( 21 inches of snow for just one of the many storms) I was happy to shove my jacket deep into the closet and not look at it again until next winter. I know there is no guarantee that we will not have another snow storm or frozen temperatures but I refuse to bring out that jacket again even if I wear 7 layers of clothing instead. That ugly old jacket represents winter (actually the last 4 winters) , and feeling cold, tired and old, armed with mittens and scarves and boots and being afraid (really, being very afraid) of the slick ice and the black ice and the ice- ice. The forecast said it would be in the mid- 50’s and sunny and I had every intention of taking advantage of the reprieve. It smelled and tasted like the very first hint of Spring. You could see the pre-blush on the trees, the buds not yet out but inching forward, little by little.

It definitely was a day for doing errands outside, smiling; no mittens, no coats, no hats; no need. It was a- happy-to-be-alive-day, that first recognition that spring really, truly, may indeed happen sometime soon. It was the day to go to the nail salon for a special treat and have them put pink polish on my pretty seashell toe nails. The person next to me was having BLACK polish put on her nails, both hands and feet.  Maybe next year at the start of winter, I will do that in PROTEST  but certainly not at the END of winter.   It was fun to sit with other moms and talk, chatting about colleges for our teenagers, harmless gossip in the neighborhood, new restaurant reviews. It was a day to breathe and laugh and enjoy this special day, that came, unexpectedly, like the purple, yellow, blue crocuses that force themselves out from the solid, rock-hard ground.

Even though the weather was perfect, my medical condition was not.  I had quite a bit of  trouble getting in and out of the car;  my body hurt, but my soul was smiling.  When there is a perfect baby- blue sky, 56 degrees and a sunny day, all your aches and pains feel just a tiny bit better. They don’t hurt less, they just feel less awful. It’s a state of mind. The medicine that I have to take every day for the rest of my life, (Synthroid, Methotrexate, Plaquannel etc.) will not change, but these rare effervescent days brighten my mood.

It was not  a day for hearty home-made thick pea soup with smoked ham but rather, a piece of French bread, some Gouda cheese, and glistening, seedless black grapes.  It was wearing a soft, gray, cotton T-shirt to bed, the windows open, pillows plumped, drifting off to sleep, clutching my  pink fuzzy blanket in one curled hand, still smiling.

Dedicated to Dr. GS: Thank you making me feel better and helping me to smile again.

Pop Cop: Tiger Woods, Rehab. Really ?

I thought I could do it; I thought I could ignore the whole Tiger Woods story and not blog about it. I didn’t want to add to all the misguided attention this jerk was getting, but I just couldn’t do it.  I didn’t write until now but the blog welled up inside me, finally exploded and practically wrote itself. You would think I’d be a better person than this and could let things slide, turn the other cheek, forgive and forget, but obviously I can’t and I deeply apologize for that.

Oh, Tiger, WE THOUGHT WE KNEW YE. We knew bupkes, nothing, nada. We heard, and I swear I am NOT using the word allegedly this time, that you (hmm, time to think about nicer words to use than what I am thinking) umm, copulated your way through the United States and all International time zones constantly and for many years.  People marveled at your golfing skills and I am not here to criticize your fabulous putts, shots and driving ranges. But, when you are putting and driving your shots into ranges other than your wife’s?  I have something to say.

I think I could forgive an affair, people make mistakes;  even a one night stand  (I am TRYING to be open-minded) but what you did was purely and utterly disgusting, truly you are an old fashioned pig.  Fame. Using your money, power and status for your own selfish greed, hurting loved ones.   I don’t see the beautiful Oprah doing that or Ellen Degeneres (my new heroine).  Apparently, when celebrities abuse substances, spouses and sex,  they have an addiction problem.   Excuse my language but “addiction, my ass.” Does anyone remember the word, Cheater? Philanderer? Scumbag?  It is not a new concept but apparently it is only used for “regular” people and not “so-called-stars.”Big money and cocky star status will buy you that excuse called “addiction.”   You think you are entitled because of your celebrity status, but really,  you are not.  The women you “played with” were in it willingly, I know. But, just like there are rules in a golf game, there are rules in marriage. You fail.

I love sweet things, soft sugar cookies with green sprinkles on top, a glazed raspberry jelly doughnut, rich milk chocolate, honey-laden baklava,  maple creme cookies…  This does not, however, give me the excuse to rob various bakeries and when caught, say via a PR person “I  have a sugar addiction.” Actually, I really have to try to NOT be a sugar addict or a food addict, it isn’t easy, believe me. If  I eat one jelly doughnut one night, I give it UP the next night and I try as hard as I can. Tiger Woods didn’t try, he got caught, he had celebrity status and big money; he morphed into a sex addict.  How convenient!

You made mistakes; a boat load,  a cruise ship line full of mistakes.  You still want your stardom, celebrity status, forgiveness  and your wife and children too. So far Elin Wood has been the first woman, and I thank her deeply, not to stand by her man, at least not in the beginning. She made a statement and I applaud her.  If she forgives you and you promise to be a good boy, if I were her I would still require you to have a chip implanted in your “VEPEEPEE” to keep track of you. Seriously.

Children are important!  Kids need a family and I, for one, am all for protecting the children and the family.  Work it out if you can. But don’t ever think that people will think of you the same way, they won’t. Maybe you will be a star again, a golf star,  people can be very forgiving. This time, however, another mistake will not get you the recovering sex addict get- out- of- jail- card.  Redeem yourself if you can and to put it in easily understandable albeit crude terms:  keep it zipped, no matter what.

The Homestead (A Foodie Blog)

In the town I grew up in there was an amazing European deli (now it would be called a gourmet shop) that had the most wonderful things. For my birthday every year my parents would buy me an Americanized version of Sacher Torte, a Viennese chocolate cake separated by layers of apricot jam ( or raspberry jam in my case). There was only one place this special cake could be found and that was in The Homestead Gourmet Shop in Kew Gardens.

If you mention The Homestead to people who grew up in and around Queens ( esp. Kew Gardens and Forest Hills), you will hear  audible groans, sighs of pleasure and individual memories sprouting up like wild daffodils. Some remember the two different kinds of potato salad (one German, the other with mayo), others the enormous pieces of Polish Rye bread, thickly sliced and a bit sour. For our family we usually ordered different taste sensations: chicken and shrimp salad (1/4 lb. each) the tiny mini-gherkins, sweet and tart in one bite and of course, roast beef and freshly baked turkey sandwiches..  They had home-made apple, cherry  and cheese strudels, the delicate, buttery flakes of crust, the fruit oozing out. There were imported cheeses, breads of all kind, and imaginative sandwich combinations which were unheard of 45 years ago. A favorite of my sister’s was turkey, ham, cheddar cheese, coleslaw and Russian dressing. It became a family favorite. Going to the Homestead was practically a religious experience, and it never disappointed us. You could practically meet half the town there on Sunday afternoons, neighbors talked and we stood in line like good soldiers eagerly awaiting our turn. When you first opened the door to the Homestead, you would smell wonderful, different smells and then your salivary glands would start in over-time.

These sandwiches were so important to us that when friends visited my sister and I from the city once, we hid the sandwich. We would not share our Homestead sandwich, we would not part with even a bite. That’s how good they were and how embarrassingly shameful and selfish we were. Let them eat packaged cookies, we thought. No one is having this sandwich except us!  I remember it was a Roast Beef sandwich on Rye with Russian dressing, or in our code, an R with R  on R. Apparently sharing was not in our vocabulary at the time. They also had small individual aluminum cups of chocolate pudding and egg custard. How the egg custard shimmied, the chocolate pudding with its cooked skin draping over the cup. There were bins of imported cookies and candies, and delicacies from far away.

The Homestead was run by a man named Teddy who really was a superstar in our town. When he acknowledged us we felt special. The best deal my sister had was when she became friends with Teddy’s daughter, Barbara. They went behind to the back and made the glorious sandwiches themselves which they took to the beach. We were all jealous of her and she knew it.

To this day, if we visit our old neighborhood, a stop at the Homestead is required.  German potato salad, famous at the Homestead has been known to have been brought to others by car, train and plane. We still talk about this amazing deli and sometimes when the longing is too great, we head for Kew Gardens for a trip back to the old days. And we eat. A lot.