Friday, February 20, 2015

Mt. Monadnock.

I don't know what Aimee thought about it.  I do have hints from one of her sisters that after she climbed it twice every summer for a number of years, she would collapse, privately, in her room from exhaustion.  But I do know what she enjoyed the most about the trek.

If you've ever done the climb, you know that about half way up, you are rewarded.  The trees, which have been surrounding and protecting you, part, and the ground rises, and the whole world seems to be revealed to you.  You sit there -- you can't stand -- like you are on a mini-mountain top.  You know it's only going to get more beautiful when you reach the summit.  But Aimee knew something more important about this particular spot.  There were wild blueberries.

This was her summit.  This was where she wanted to be.  We spent most of our time culling the bushes and brambles around that almost sacred spot for whatever tiny blue fruits we could find.  For her, this alone made it completely worth it.  And she was always surprised that it seemed to be such a secret.  We never had a problem finding berries even just a couple feet away.  Monadnock is supposed to be the most-climbed mountain in the whole world.  "How can they miss the blueberries?" Aimee always wondered. I know I responded at least once, "Well, because no one scales a mountain for a couple handful of berries." But she did.

Monday, July 21, 2014


There was a point, near the end of Aimee's stint at NIH, where she got to go shopping for wigs.  She was given a voucher to get two wigs because it was fairly certain that her hair would fall out.  We had to schedule an appointment with a taxi driver to take us there and pick us up. He arrived, and we rode quietly and patiently to the depot.

We spent a long time at that wig store.  Although nothing, of course, matched her hair, so there had to be some sort of change.  I think Aimee had a little fun with it, trying on different personas. Aimee mentioned Alias. She treated it like she was outfitting herself to be a spy, so there was an air of playfulness to the whole outing.  But she increasingly tired, and we had to go back.

Once she had chosen two of them, we called the cabbie.   He arrived, and he started driving us back to the institute.  By then we had already forgotten about the wigs. But, as it turned out, this was the exact time that the chemotherapy took its full effect.  It was in the evening, near dusk. And the taxi had no air conditioning, so the windows were rolled down in the front seats.

Suddenly, Aimee's hair started flying.  The blast from the open windows was enough to detach her hair from its roots.  She ran her fingers over the top of her head, and each strand of hair leapt into the air.  She kept rubbing her head and giggling.  But the sunset reflected off of every piece of hair.  It was like the chaotic production of Rumpelstiltskin's industrious fury. (I suppose on this reading, Rumpelstiltkin would be cancer) Then she sat there, smiling, looking at me like this was one of those rare sights to see, one which we just needed to observe and take in.  The cab driver was unfazed when laces of her hair landed on his face, as if this were some sort of ritual he had been through before.  He just draped them on his hand and shook them off, releasing them out the window.

It was a very strange moment, but a moment where Aimee was clearly very happy.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Veronica's Wedding

I must be the worst photographer ever. I took a ton of pictures at Veronica's wedding, but 99% of them came out blurry. It was a fantastic wedding, but I just wish I had some sort of proof of that. Xavier got to be the ring bearer, and Tilly was the flower girl. She had a parasol full of petals that she walked down the aisle with. After the mass, she promptly dumped them en masse into the foyer, and she and her cousins tossed and retossed them into the air. (but, again, no good pictures of it)

Instead I have a nice picture of Xavier spying and of Papa B being very stoic.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, November 19, 2010

Remembering the Small Things

  • For breakfast, Aimee loved her orange juice. But no pulp allowed, no calcium.
  • She loved turkey sandwiches with extra pickles. She also loved the thanksgiving special, also known as the pilgrim.
  • She loved to make meatballs and lasagna and brownies with extra chocolate.
  • She had wild untamed hair-- but she was amazing in her ability to just pin it up with a thousand bobby pins and make it look really good.
  • She would always read the obituaries every morning. Death stories always fascinated her.
  • She loved the sunshine. But also covered herself in SPF 100 sun block. Always loaded X and T with sunblock and made them wear hats in the sun.
  • She loved taking walks. Would take Tilly and Xavier to different parks in the Somerville neighborhood: Capen Street park, which had a sprinkler, and Dillboy park.
  • She gave a whole bunch of kisses at once-- would completely smother you in kisses.
  • She liked only toothpaste, not tooth gel. Would go through toothbrushes monthly.
  • She always promised me she would make me a Spanish fried potato dish, but she never did.
  • Snickers was her favorite candy bar.
  • She loved Orange sesame chicken. We had it almost every Sunday night.
  • She was quite the coca-cola addict.
  • She loved strawberries.
  • Loved making sangria, but wasn't a real fan of alcohol. Although she did like taking the first sip from my beers. After we'd go to the Haymarket, we'd have bags and bags of fresh produce. Then we'd make a batch of sangria and sip it the rest of the day.
  • Loved the beach, especially Cape Cod. We had our own vacation, though, in 2008 where we went to Cape Ann-- and she loved that too. The hotel we stayed at was the Blue Shutters Inn in Gloucester. And the name of the beach was Good Harbor Beach. We also went to Plum Island too.
  • Couldn't really dance or sing. She loved to try singing, but she would switch keys 4 or 5 times in the middle of a song. I would tease her about it, and she'd get upset.
  • Loved Victorian things.
  • Loved staying up late and sleeping in. (Opposite of me.)
  • Loved reading in general. She would read a whole slew of junk lit.-- suspense, mystery, whatever she could get her hands on.
  • Horrible speller. :)
  • Loved Hawaiian pizza (ham and pineapple.)
  • Loved every one of the holidays, anything that was festive, but especially Christmas.
  • Played hide and seek with Xavier and Tilly all the time in our apartment in Somerville. Xavier could never find her, even though she would hide in the same spot.
  • She could speak Spanish pretty well and would always translate the Spanish channels for us.
  • Loved going to the Haymarket in Boston.
  • Loved robes and slippers. Had tons of them.
  • Had tea everyday, no silly flavors though.
  • Loved special Christmas socks and would wear them all year long. Some with pictures of Santa, some with pictures of Frosty, or the reindeer. Otherwise, she rarely wore matching socks.
  • Hated PBS show Calliou because he whined too much.
  • Did not like all the Disney Princess stuff. Felt it was a trap for little girls to keep them stupid and vain.
  • Loved the author Louis L'Amour, but just as entertainment.
  • Loved reading Tolkein and could do the whole trilogy in a weekend. Once she started, she couldn't stop until she was finished.
  • Didn't get her ears pierced until she was 33-- as a birthday present from me.
  • Always wore her ruby necklace that I had got her for our first Christmas when we were married.
  • Wasn't a fan of makeup, but looked absolutely gorgeous when she put it on.
  • Hated our red 96 Nissan Sentra-- it always broke down on her. One time, while she was pregnant with Tilly, she was driving in downtown Boston when it stalled out on her. It was dark out, and she was pretty freaked out. She tried starting the car, but it didn't work. Turned out, she didn't have it in "Park." Once she fixed the gear, it drove fine.
  • Never smoked a cigarette.
  • I was her first kiss.
  • Loved looking up at the stars. When we were dating, we used to lie on a blanket at Thomas More and gaze at the stars. We were getting really good at identifying constellations. (Couldn't really see the stars in Somerville, though.)
  • She was a champion diaper changer-- faster than anyone I knew.
  • Didn't believe in tough love. She would get really upset when I would try to put Xavier down and let him cry. She never wanted X or T to "cry it out."
  • Always signed her letters "God Bless" or GB
  • She had more than morning sickness-- she had all day sickness that lasted for 9 months for both pregnancies.
  • Always wanted to go to Egypt.
  • She loved watching Wheel of Fortune (was good at it), Jeopardy, and Lost (a show on ABC).
  • When we were engaged, we used to watch Joe Millionaire together over the phone.
  • Had a green winter vest that she wore everywhere.
  • Hated fried chicken, but ate it anyway because it was my favorite.
  • Loved setting up the nativity set, at home and at her parents. Always hoped she would get her parents' set.
  • Put butter on everything.
  • Wanted to have 12 kids.
  • Loved taking naps-- long ones. Loved sleeping in too.
  • Always recycled. (unlike me, who didn't care so much)
  • Would make grilled cheese sandwiches with slices of Granny Smith Apples in them. Tuna Melts too. Another one of her favorite dishes to cook was stuffed chicken breast. She'd slice them and put feta cheese and spinach-- sometimes other things too. Brown them on the stove, then bake until complete.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Wednesday, August 18, 2010