Birthday pleasures

A busy week. We hate going out Sunday night. It’s our time to relax and get ready for Monday’s work. But since Dan was returning from almost 2 years in Nova Scotia being treated in an experimental regime to cure the cancer that was killing him and also his HIV and since he was only here for a few days, we went to Paul and Dan’s party. I made Maryland baked chicken – far too much of it as people brought a lot of food. I ate it Monday supper, Monday lunch and Tuesday lunch. It’s delicious, but I got tired of it.


Then Wednesday Dan wanted to see us separately from the crowd. The only evening we were both here was Wednesday but I work with Penny all day Wednesday and had to pack to leave the next morning. Woody solved the problem by getting Chinese take out from South Dennis. it was an early evening because Dan tires very early from the drugs he is still on and all his poor body has gone through and we both had to finish packing and get things in order for the days we would be gone.


Dale and Stephen took care of the cats and the greenhouse while we were gone. The girls went into hiding, but the boys enjoyed the attention Stephen gives them. Everything was fine on our return.


We drove to Salem, not an easy drive. I have wanted to see the Peabody Essex museum for at least a decade. We spent four and a quarter hours there. I was exhausted from all the walking and standing. We were the only people at 1:45 in the Chinese house, so we had all our questions answered and could take our time with every room. it is indeed fascinating, not like anything I’ve ever seen, although the intricate woodwork reminded me of a partially abandoned mansion I explored in Northern Greece with its ballroom and minstrel gallery.


I especially enjoyed the Japanese room. Whoever curates has made a bold decision to include modern art from the same area with the antique art objects, showing how they are related. I also was taken with the Native American Pacific coast art. I’m far more familiar with Eastern woodland, Hopi, Navaho and Lakota work, so this type of beauty and strength was new to me.


We stayed at the Hawthorne and ate across the street in a tiny Italian restaurant with excellent food. The sauces were unusual, subtle and gave me ideas. We shared a fine cannoli for dessert. Then at the hotel, I watched the first new episode of The Amazing Race. It’s a favorite of mine. I spent decades running through airports, trying to make my way in foreign countries, trying to navigate unfamiliar places in languages of which I perhaps knew 20 phrases.


in the morning, we drove in Boston. Salem is hell to get to and from no matter how you try to do it. It took us so long we skipped the MFA this trip. We went straight to where we expected the medical marijuana dispensary to be located. We had a lot of trouble finding it until we realized they had taken over an old bank building. I am hoping to reduce pressure in my eyes. Medical marijuana is expensive, but since I can’t smoke, I’m, willing to spend the money to try it to see if it will help my glaucoma. The people there were very helpful and friendly. A happy place, no surprise.


We were able to check into the Long Wharf Marriott early. A lovely room overlooking one of the harbors. it had been raining since we got up and now it was snowing. We watched the little ferry from Hull/Hingham sail in, dock, load and chug out. it seems to go about every half hour so we saw it numerous times that day and evening. Woody gave me my birthday presents there, three dresses and a nightgown.


We changed into warmer clothes and walked over to the Aquarium. I liked all the undersea life but was most taken with the sea turtles and the three kinds of penguins. When we got to them, they were just being fed so I watched all types taking their fish from the keepers.


I had a birthday lobster at Legal Seafood. The waiter overheard us talking about my birthday and comped us dessert. He recommended the Boston cream pie. I never thought much of that but this was super. We split it and either of us had ever had anything like it, some kind of cake, some kind of creamy filling so rich we had to eat it very slowly and hot judge on top.


in the morning, the wind was up and it was raining hard so we went home to some angry cats who were nonetheless deliriously glad to see us back.

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