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Archive for July 5th, 2004

Eric’s Birthday

Monday, July 5th, 2004

Today Mom and I drove down to Brighton to meet my Brother, Eric and his wife, Diana. It will be Eric’s birthday on the 7th, but his weekend is Monday/Tuesday so we met up today.

Mom made quite a feast for us, and we took it down in my car, some of it hot out of the oven and wrapped in an old down coat to stay warm… some of it cold and in a cooler. All of us have foods we can not eat, so it is a challenge to make a meal for us all. Mom did it with grace and style!

She even figured out how to make Eric’s favorite cake: four layers stuffed with chocolate whipped cream and drizzled chocolate glaze on the top. She found an organic chocolate cake mix with no problem ingredients, and then she substituted a few things for the eggs and milk. She found “Hip Whip” which is nondairy and non-corn syrup, and she even figured out that “Quik Syrup” has no corn syrup so we used that for our chocolate glaze. She loves us a lot, to pay this much attention to detail. I have not had a taste of a layer cake in 2.5 years, and it was a major treat! Thanks, Mom!

We had a bit of a “hiccup” trying to find the park where we were going to eat. Mom and Eric had met there once before and remembered it well. Yet we drove and drove, and found a sort of park near where they remembered it, but the park looked all different. We figure they did some renovations, as the walkways, etc, looked new. And we did not see a single picnic table there, so we moved on.

We found ourselves not too far away at the Kensington Metropark. This is a fine and beautiful outdoor space! None of us had been there before, though we drive by all the time. It is spectacular. There are bike paths, so there were many bicyclists. There is a boat ramp and a lake or two, so there were boaters. There was a golf course we passed on the way to the park. There were many picnic tables and grills ready to go… spots to sit by the water, either in the sun or the shade. It was wonderful, and we were grateful the other park didn’t work out. We plan to meet there again. It’s the perfect distance for us all, less than 45 minutes from either direction.

The first picture here today is a picture of Eric, my brother and best friend… with his artful and loving wife, Diana. Eric was widowed when he was 30 years old, and was single for over 10 years. I never understood that, he’s such a good partner and good listener. But Diana really understands what she’s got, she loves my brother well. And she is good for him. They have been married maybe 4 years this summer, if I remember right.

Diana does quilting and dollmaking and other fiber art… and also cooks and gardens, as other artforms. And no doubt several other artful endeavors I don’t know about. She made me a wonderful lap blanket by embroidering shrunken (fulled/felted) wool yard goods with some beautiful Noro Kureyon yarn, a few years ago for Christmas. I use that thing all the time, even in summer. I get cold so easily, I need wool year-round.

Eric is actually very talented at sewing, and he is extremely good at embroidery although he doesn’t do that very often. I have some pillowcases he and his first/late wife Kelly made for me one Christmas, and they are precious to me. (By the way, Kelly admitted that Eric was much better at the embroidery than she was… he is very good at detail. And he made her dress for my first wedding… ruffles and lace and the whole works. He’s good, I told you that already.)

Oh, the last two photos today are a Plymouth Valiant car that was in the parking lot at the Kensington Metropark. The license plates made me believe it was a 1964 model. When I first met Brian, he had a Valiant… not as pretty, a later model, and it was brown but it had LOTS of chrome. I think it was the last year they made the Valiant, perhaps 1978.

Brian had no idea how much that stylin’ chrome car made me understand he could be the one for me. Not everyone sees the style in semi-old things, and both of us really do, especially if it involves some chrome! He finally had to get rid of his Valiant and I cried… it never wanted to start in the rain, and then finally rust got to the suspension. But I still was sad to see it go.

The last picture here is the medallion on the very back center of the trunk of the car. Very stylish, don’t you agree?