Sunday, September 27, 2009

A stop in East Aurora


At Charlie and Joanna's Holland, NY house, Cousin Kathy harvests elderberries for pie


Priscilla demonstrates her efficient harvesting technique


Priscilla checks the pH of her elderberries


Back in East Aurora, Kathy cooks up some steaks and dogs, while Charlie hides in the shadows


Awoke around 9:45 this morning, thinking it much earlier. The room was darkened, the sky overcast and a light rain still falling. This place is QUIET (especially compared to Waterbury.)

Went downstairs and found Kathy and Priscilla drinking coffee at the kitchen table and browsing through packages of photos from our 1999 Europe Trip. It's hard to believe it has been ten years since I played "Rick Steves", leading a group of family and friends through Europe! They seemed to have such vivid memories, compared to my rather vague or non-existent memories of that adventure. (Fortunately, I kept a journal.)

Kathy remarked that Priscilla had cleaned the house so much, that I should periodically call to warn her I’ll be passing through in a few days.

In the rainy afternoon, we took a ride in Priscilla’s new car out to Holland to visit Charlie and Joanna’s house and pick elderberries for pie. I am amazed at the work Charlie has done restoring an ancient house they purchased out of foreclosure. Charlie and Joanna seem to be leading an enviable lifestyle, working hard, enjoying a variety of experiences, appreciating all they have. Very solid “kids”. Out back, besides the elderberry thickets, they have a prolific pear tree which Charlie says produces great tasting fruit. For some reason, I declined to sample the pears.

After touring the house, we stayed on for a while, watching the Buffalo Bills-Patriots game.

Returning to East Aurora, we enjoyed leftovers for dinner. Not just any leftovers. Sautéing sliced steak with mushrooms, Kathy made excellent Philly-style sandwiches.

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