Monday, August 04, 2008

You Can't Go Home Again -- Or Can You?

Growing up, I couldn't wait to get out of Delaware. Now that I've been gone 15 years, I can appreciate its charm, the memories I built and the friends I made there long ago.

It's been about two weeks since I returned from visiting my sister, with whom I had a heck of a time. For many people, this would mean partying, drinking and ill-advised hijinks (which otherwise I highly condone), but we Haven sisters have our own style of fun. We're total dorks.

One of the high points (I'm still awaiting video to post, ahem) is when we discovered that the mercurial calico cat my sister inherited from my father not only loves hanging out in cardboard boxes, but being pulled around the house's hardwood floors in them. This led my sister to create a sled ("sanki" in Polish, which in our dorky manner we studied as well), complete with cloth placemat affixed to the bottom so as to smooth the ride. Marcella would hunker down and lift her head to feel the breeze as I raced through the house with her, much like a dog sticking its head out of a car window.

"I Love Lucy" was watched and pored over, with such lines as, "As soon as I'm feeling up to it, I'm going to kill myself" and (when she and Ethel are stranded on the roof of their building), "I know, one of us can jump and tell the crowd I'm up here" oft repeated.

We had Bing's cookies and chocolate-covered pretzel-shaped shortbreads (OK, well I didn't get a taste of them. Ahem.), subs, cheesesteaks, iced tea (with a straw) and Friendly's peanut butter cup ice cream (the proper number of hard pretzels to include in the bowl was debated).

We hid the Noah's ark Christmas ornament I gifted my sister years ago and which I won't let her get rid of in various places -- most notably, I like to think, at the bottom of the peanut can. But then, it was pretty funny I didn't feel it when I unwittingly slept with it in my pillow case.

We became addicted to Dexter, and watched all episodes using the divine "on-demand" cable feature.

And we sought out places our parents used to take us: most notably the National Polish Shrine of Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown, Pa., and Hollywood Beach on Maryland's Elk River.

I leave you with these pictures taken at the same spot outside the church, one at age 10, one at age 40. Guess which is which:

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