Overdue Update

There is so  much that’s happened in the last two months since I posted. I’ll just make a list of what’s been going on around here.


  1. Aunt Mary finally passed away on June 6, 2009. She died here in Florida and was buried outside of Washington, DC. I couldn’t make it to the funeral because I was in Ithaca, NY. More details on that below.
  2. Two of my late father’s first cousins passed away this spring. Canada Sam died in Montreal; he and his wife warmly welcomed me into their seasonal home every winter they spent in Miami Beach. Morrie died in Miami in May 2009. He and his wife were second parents to me when I attended law school and lived in Miami. My mother took all of these losses very hard.
  3. Aunt Mary’s granddaughter, Angel, gave birth to her first child on June 30th. Angel’s baby is positively adorable.
  4. Cousin A gave birth to her third child, another boy, in late May 2009. She’s busy caring for three under 6 while her husband pursues a career in politics.
  5. Wizard turned 13 in June 2009. He received a cake and a  card from us and nothing else. WineGuy and I are officially parents of a teenager. Ug-ly.


  1. The boys all finished school the first week of June. WT’s report card was very good, showing great improvement in Language Arts and Math over the course of the year. Moose’s report card was excellent, as usual. Wizard’s report card was a disgrace, filled with Cs, Ds and Fs because he didn’t turn in much work. Yet, in its infinite wisdom the county public school system promoted him to the next grade. They are inept.
  2. After a quick trip to Ithaca, the boys spent a week hanging out at home before fanning out for summer camps near The Zone. They all attended a basketball camp, held at the Snooty School and run by the sports camp crew. They had a great time.
  3. Wild Thing has enjoyed a week of music and surf camp and a few weeks of sports camp since basketball camp.
  4. Moose has been at sports camp for a few weeks and is growing tired of it. So, we went down to the municipal park last week and signed up for rock climbing camp next week, a beach camp (skimboarding, wakeboarding, etc.) for a week, and a full-day science camp for a week for both Moose and WT. They’ll go back to sports camp on the off-weeks.
  5. Wizard attended a half-day tennis camp two weeks ago at a local park and liked it. He attended a full-day tennis “academy” at the YMCA last week and will return to the Y for more tennis. He’s made some friends there, so that’s good. Wizard will attend two sessions of the local lacrosse camp in between tennis camp.
  6. We officially CANCELLED Wizard’s Bar Mitzvah. There will be no celebration or party. He will be called to the Torah as planned on August 15, 2009, but only his grandparents will be there. We told all our siblings not to come. My brothers are very unhappy about this, but this is the way we want it. Because Wizard refused to devote himself to Bar Mitzvah studies — for the last year — there was no point in making a big family celebration. We are very disappointed for him and are heartbroken ourselves. I ran into a Jewish friend the other day and told her the Bar Mitzvah was cancelled. She was shocked; I know she was looking for an invitation in the mail.


There aren’t any.  The entire family went to Ithaca, New York in early June for me to attend my 25th Cornell reunion. The Zone at CornellThe weather was cool and beautiful, and we enjoyed ourselves. The boys marveled at the verdant hills, icy blue Cayuga Lake, and the majestic Cornell campus. However, Aunt Mary died the day after we arrived. I tried every conceivable mode of transportation to get down to DC for the funeral, but I could not get there. In the end, my mother convinced me that Aunt Mary would have wanted me to be with my friends. WG and MIL reminded me that the right thing is to spend time with people while they’re still alive. I made a special trip to visit Aunt Mary in May. She was failing, but she knew I was there; that gave me peace.

I ran to the East Coast of Florida the third week of June to be with my mother. She had knee replacement surgery on June 15, 2009 and is doing remarkably well. It was a pretty awful week, save for an all-too-brief, with my best girlfriend, MB Walker.

WineGuy is bristling being stuck at home this summer with no vacation plans. He is extremely unhappy and would like to be running off somewhere every weekend. He’s angry with me because I said we had to stick around for Wizard to continue his Bar Mitzvah lessons.

It’s paradoxical, or perhaps ironic, that we’re stuck at home because of Wizard’s lessons for a Bar Mitzvah that’s going to be a non-event.You see, even though there is no party, Wizard is still going to participate in that Sabbath service. He still has to read the Torah and chant a Haftorah. He probably won’t give a speech or a d’var Torah (sermonette about the weekly Torah portion) because neither the rabbi nor his father think it’s necessary — much to my consternation. No invitations, no guests, no gifts, nothing other than a small luncheon after the service and a few pictures by a professional photographer.

I’ve had a couple of outings with my great buds in The Breakfast Club:  Calvin, Belle and a new friend, Doctora. I continue to run my monthly book club and am loving having lots of time to read this summer. I had a wonderful lunch with Sprite last week. We discussed books — a real, meaty discussion with a brilliant women who is  passionate about books and writing — a rare treat. It was Sprite who guilted prompted me into coming back to the blog.

I fear I have lost my voice. I fear my subject matter is redundant. I fear that my tone is whiny. I fear I’m boring. But . . . I think I should just start writing as often as possible. Maybe it will help me come back to myself. She’s been lost for a long time.


5 thoughts on “Overdue Update

  1. I think Sprite is very wise.

    There are times when you need to just be writing for yourself and not to entertain. You need to write to untie the knots that we can get into our brains. You need to have a written conversation with yourself to just BE.

    And often when you undo those knots and let a little light shine in, you start to see pockets of your day in a different way which then inspires you to write from that new angle of sight.

    And hey, no matter what or why you write, there will always been some loyal friends here reading 🙂

  2. I know I don’t know you from Adam, nor you me, but I am always happy to read what you write. Despite the fact that we bloggers write to share, we also write for ourselves. So, whine or cry or beat your chest…it is okay.

  3. I’m inspired. I ran out of things to say for quite awhile but lately have been thinking, “oh, if I had a blog I would write about that….” Maybe its time to start back up.

  4. Sprite just says “WAAAHOOOO!!!!” Glad to have you back, Alto2! No, you have not lost your voice. Never in a gazillion years would that/could that happen. And no, neither I nor anyone else wants to guilt you into doing anything your heart doesn’t want to do. Just know you have boatloads of fans out here who applaud your courage in the dark times, who envy your stamina in the demanding times, and who cherish your friendship in every time. Once again, I say “WAAAAHOOOOO!!!!” 🙂

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