Wednesday, May 14, 2014

An Outing with Andy

Now that I know I have a new old house, I am aware of all the furniture of my past that I've given away, sold, or scrapped in my downsizing days.

I sold a really nice Danish teak dining table that was bought in Geneva and made a lifelong friend of the buyer--but until this particular house I never had a need (or the space) for that particular item of furniture. I have no idea what the friend did with the table--I never saw it in his domicile.

But the Queen Anne in Kingston has a full-fledged dining room, quite airy and light, perfectly visible from the parlor which is at the entrance of the house. It cries for a special table. I found this candidate on Craigslist, purported to have been created in Italy especially for Bloomingdale's, at a nice price. I couldn't get it out of my head. Its classic design would go well with any decor and would set off that new dining room very well. I contacted the owners and set up a date to look at it, with the proviso that if it was as nice as the picture I would pay for it and arrange to have it picked up when I actually was in the house.

Then I got the idea for a special excursion. The couple live in a nearby community called Germantown, some 34 minutes north of Kingston. As usual I didn't know anything about the town or  how to get there but was game to find out. The bright idea was to enlist my 16-year-old grandson Andy, who has a learner's permit and is eager to drive anywhere he's allowed. Alison said he would be up to the trip; it was a beautiful drive, and that it would be good for both of us.

On the sunny morning designated for the drive, I grabbed a couple of CD's I thought he could tolerate--I know he's not really a Frank Sinatra fan--a little Jimmy Buffett, Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits, and a Crosby, Stills and Nash from the Woodstock days. When he got behind the wheel, Andy said to me, "Do you have any Frank Sinatra?" My heart leapt.

Andy was a good navigator, even though we had the GPS narrating and sometimes getting it wrong. He had never been to Germantown, but he pays attention to the road signs, watches the road carefully, and is a delightful companion for his grandma under all circumstances. He pulled over to the toll booth and I gave him the $1.50 to pay. As he drove on he said, "That was my very first time paying a toll!" and I said, "Is this a milestone?" and he replied, in a crescendo--"It's a MAJOR milestone!"

The table lived up to expectations. The couple selling it were most cooperative, even volunteering to deliver it when I was ready. They recommended a place to eat in Germantown, a little deli-gourmet grocery, and we decided to try it. We looked at the list of sandwiches, and yet Andy said, "That salmon looks good..." With the choice of barbecue, grilled cheese and bacon sandwiches and such,  I was proud of him for selecting the healthful alternative. I got the same thing--except that he got the potato salad and I got cole slaw. He suggested we sit outside and said, "Eating outside makes me think of Italy," while we ate. I hadn't even noticed that it wasn't yet 11 A.M.

Driving home we listened to a little Frank Sinatra, and he even sang "Fly Me To the Moon" ever so softly. Andy is in the high school chorus, but we never hear him sing a note. This was something of a breakthrough.

The closing day on the house will be June and then comes the chaos of the move. I keep reminding myself that not only will I have a major house project, I'll be that much closer to my family. That thought promises more adventures, for sure.


  1. ...but you could stack so many boxes of boxes where you're going to put that table.
    A major regret of my moving from Chicago to the West Coast was the lack of room to bring along the Theatre books. About 500 assorted Burns and Mantle (back to the 20s), a hell of lot of Theatre Arts magazine, and random house play books.
    Left them with a friend who was involved with a local theatre group.

  2. I have cartons and cartons of theatre books and scripts. They've been residing in cartons in my closets for some 10 years--but they'll make the trip with me and be put in a bookcase again at last. Theatre Arts Magazines? I had a subscription for a year. I think the year was 1960. I parted with most of them a few years ago, having looked at them maybe three times over the past 40 years and carted them to Switzerland and back plus shoved them around for a number of moves. I think I may have one or two collectors' items left.

  3. And may you both share many more milestones! A wonderful voyage.

    1. Thanks, Stephen! Maybe I'll get Andy to drive me to Salem.