Monday, July 28, 2008


Yesterday was my brother Tony's 50th birthday so we had Tonyfest out at my sister's house in East Aurora. I had the best time. Number one, Tony's adorable friend Peter showed up with the cutest Volkswagen convertible and he took me and my nieces, Rosie and Millie, for a spin. With Fritz Wunderlich singing Viennese songs. Fritz Wunderlich is a tenor whom Peter and I both love. Peter wore a straw hat and as we drove through Emery Park I felt as if I were in "Enchanted April."

Also I went swimming in a pond with my nieces, Rosie and Millie. They are 12 and 9, something like that -- still young enough to be babies but old enough to be fun. Their little brother Georgie dog-paddled around grinning, wearing a life-preserver laced up around his neck and another blow-up life preserver around his waist.

My other niece and nephew, Barbara and Georgie (too many Georgies in our family so I call this one Junior) are babies so they just took all their clothes off. The dog-paddling Georgie loved that. "Naked!" he yelled, and he paddled grinning toward them.

On the way home it was fun with all the kids sitting on towels in the back seat of my car. Rosie is an accomplished baker. She made an exquisite cake lastnight. And as we were driving home from the pond she asked me, "Aunt Mary, are you going to be here for Christmas?"

"Yes," I told her. I missed last Christmas because of being in California with Leonard Pennario.

"Let's bake together," she said.

"I would love to!" I said.

What Rosie said next killed me. Eyes shining, she said: "Let's work our way through all the Christmas classics!"

So we decided we would do that. Then we began discussing what would be our ultimate challenge, the dessert we served for Christmas dinner.

"Let's do a gingerbread house!" I said. I have never made a gingerbread house and always wanted to.

"A brilliant idea!" Millie shouted.

Don't kids kill you? All of a sudden I felt as if I were in a Rumer Godden novel. I love the idea of working our way through the Christmas classics.

I will need something to do once I have finished my book!


Budd Bailey said...

For the record, I have never felt like I was in a Rumer Godden novel.

I did watch Dwight Gooden pitch for the Mets, but that's probably different.

Sarah Bear said...

You are writing one book?

Maggie Kunz Mills said...

Sorry I missed Tonyfest! When I moved to NJ, giving up such family events was part of what I did in the name of true love. Even though I spoke to Mom late last night and she updated me on Tony's birthday festivities, reading this account of it, made me feel in a small way, that I was there. I can imagine the conversations that took place, the laughter that ensued and the smiles the kids' faces.

Thanks, Mary, for still making me feel like part of the family, even though I am not in Buffalo.

Although, it does make me feel quite homesick reading about Tonyfest.