Feb 23rd, 2004

Blast From the Past

Tonight I bring you a letter written by my mother in 1970, to my aunt and uncle who were abroad. She tells the story of the day my cousin and I decided to cook dinner. I give it to you in its entirety.

"Dear I** and E******,

As I write this, you have been gone from Stuart only five days. I know it seems to you like five months, and you'll be surprised when you get back at how little has happened here. B****** (ed. note: my cousin) wrote you a letter yesterday, and sent it to Stockholm, so I'm sending mine to the next place. You needn't worry about her - we are getting along fine. L**** (ed. note: that's me) loves to have her here, and maybe I won't give her back to you when you return. Saturday, when she was dressing to go out, she saw L's old games (Candyland, etc.) in the closet. She told L to wait up for her and they would play them when she got home from her date. Is this a college girl? She's just as young and childish as L.

M** and L***** (ed. note: my father and brother) are getting along pretty good in the store. He's (L) working in fine -- selling shoes, etc. At home it is still pretty grainy. He is such a slob -- and of course runs to Ft. Pierce every night -- and doesn't get home until everyone's asleep.

G***** and A** (ed. note: aunt and uncle) were up yesterday, with W***** (ed. note: another cousin). L**** (ed. note: yet another cousin) is not going to school or working. All he does is play bridge. (ed. note: he's now a professional bridge player). He has a couple of old ladies from Palm Beach that take him and pay his losses. If he wins, they let him keep the money. Some life -- a bridge bum. W***** is going to PBJC in the fall.

They finally opened the exercise studio this week. I am going in to talk to them this morning.

(Tuesday) I didn't finish this yesterday, because I thought there'd be something else to tell you. I joined the Sauna Club -- but haven't started yet -- don't have time now. B****** worked this morning and decided to stay home this afternoon. When I went to the store at noon I told them to think of something for dinner. M** told me they had the kitchen full of limes when he went home for lunch. I got home at 4PM. "Don't ask!" Up to then they had made a souffle for dessert. They were throwing beaten egg whites at each other and at 4:30 they decided to go to the grocery store to get something to go with or before the souffle. They left me to wash -- 2 pots, 5 bowls, 2 dishes and 12 assorted items. There was dried egg yolk on all the counters and stove -- and they have worked themselves to death. It is 5:15 and they aren't back yet. I pity the man that had to eat what they make.

Just now in the store a Jewish woman came in. She is moving from Titusville and Ira the butcher told her to look us up. They are building in Sherwood Forest here. Anyway, when she told me her name -- I recognized her. We were in college together 34 years ago. She has a daughter, 18 going to Gainesville in the fall, and twins 15. I'm going to introduce them to our girls.

Incidentally, maybe I'll let you have B****** back, plus L***** when you come home.

Haven't heard from the folks. They only write when written to.

Hope you are having a wonderful time. I'll see you in West Palm on the 21st."

Now, my cousin and I don't remember throwing the egg whites at each other, and we have each become the hostess for family gatherings on either side. We are both known to be a dab hand in the kitchen, and have never had a man complain about our cooking.

I bring this up because as soon as I end this entry, I am off to prep a Beef Wellington for tomorrow night's movie night. We're doing Our Man Flint and so a 60's revival menu is called for. Martinis to start. Caesar salad at the table and a Grand Marnier cake to finish.

And, no, my mother neither kept my cousin, nor gave me away.