Once again, I have to say that I HATE that they're up on that mountain all summer with no car, dependent on others to get to town to shop and go to doctors and synagogue. And they're bored there.
That said - we helped them do errands the day after we arrived - appointment at the hospital, then a trip to the hardware store and the library and supermarket. We found that our favorite used bookstore up there (Bibliobarn) has an annex right in the town, and we explored that. And Mom bought some very nice flounder, which I rolled with duxelles and shallow poached. Not the most successful of dishes, but not bad, and the duxelles (chopped mushrooms and onions cooked together) were DELICIOUS. I also finished a story.
It's difficult. My father-in-law has no short-term memory. He can forget the beginning of a sentence by the end. And he sounds like an old man - yes, he's 87 (k"a) but until recently his voice was firm and strong. It's not anymore. That and his lack of hearing makes things very hard for my mother-in-law. She HAS gotten cable internet this year, so she does have a connection to the world and that's good. Also she can live on the telephone. :)
We left on Thursday.
Bed and Breakfast
We love B&Bs - even if you keep kosher, b&bs make lovely places to stay. You get a homelike surrounding, attentive innkeepers and if breakfast is cereal and milk, that's fine. In this case, Lathrope House in Springfield, Ma, owned by the delightful and talented Diana Henry (walls filled with her photography), happens to be kosher anyway, but Massachusetts doesn't permit B&Bs to cook anyway. We stayed there nearly three years ago when my brother-in-law got married, and since it was pretty much on the way AND was three blocks from a synagogue (Thursday was a sort of yarzheit for Jonathan as well as a fast day we DID NOT observe, so we needed one), and since she assured us she was down to one mostly outdoor cat, we chose to stay there again.
On the way, we picked up dinner at a kosher caterer (quite lovely - garlic honey chicken, rice and lentils, fresh green beans plus a green salad). We got the room we'd stayed in before, and settled in with sliced of melon and hot tea before Jonathan had to go to synagogue - where he met a friend from our old synagogue in Park Slope. Of course, he brought M in to say hello. And then we had dinner, and then watched an episode of Torchwood series 2 on the laptop. (We also managed to pick up some wifi.) BTW, I am now thoroughly spoiled as to Children of Earth and I'm seriously debating not seeing it.
Breakfast was coffee, cereal and milk, fruit, muffins, these delightful things called bagel slices ( literally bagels sliced around the circumference - slices the width of sandwich bread. They toast beautifully) and various preserves. And we were off by 10:30 for Brookline.
There we got supplies at The Butcherie and lunch at Cafe Eilat, and then went on to the con.
What can we say? Fascinating panels consisting mostly of sf, fantasy and horror professionals (writer, editors, publishers), wonderful consuite conversations, and a Bookshop full of, well, books. I got a lot of Oz. We did spend Friday night in our room. I was tired from all the driving and Jonathan is still adjusting his meds, and there wasn't much programming, and, well, a nice quiet night was what we wanted and needed. And it's not like we could have gone to filking even if it existed. We hold by no live music during the Three Weeks.
Kirk Poland was as hysterical as ever - and featured the audience singing "Do Wah Diddy" at one point.
It all ended with dinner at Taam China with gnomi and mabfan. And, of course, a nice long drive home.