Friday, August 19, 2016

A Visit with Cousin Mary

This time of year the sound of summer changes with the hatching of summer cicadas. I always could tell just by listening when summer was winding down. One day all is quiet and the next day you hear this loud chorus of sound. On a hot, lazy summer day the sound whispers, Autumn is coming.

On Thursday we went to the Jersey shore to visit Bob's Cousin Mary (they have always called each other "Cousin Mary" and "Cousin Robert." How sweet is that!) Mary is a very interesting person. She is a nurse with her Ph.D. who does research for neonatal issues. She still resides in the house in which she grew up. In fact, she was the first person to notice the correlation between the prescription acne medication Accutane and horrific birth defects. Because of her study, which brought national attention to this problem, this drug is now much more carefully controlled and is no longer given to teenage girls without being closely monitored. Currently, Mary is part of a team that is following all women with possible Zika virus infection in the U.S. and U.S. Territories. A remarkable woman.
Mary was kind enough to take us out for seafood for lunch, and for ice cream afterwards. We had a great meal and loads of fun catching up. Mary also showed us around her beautiful home which is filled with personal touches, like this door, faux-painted by her friend, Martha.
Any time you speak with someone who lives by the Jersey shore, you will hear Hurricane Sandy stories. While we rode out the 2012 storm pretty easily in our home in Pemberton, NJ, this was not the case for those by the sea. Mary told us of theives who arrived by jet-skis to break into homes and loot. She woke up on the second day after she returned from the evacuation to the glad sight of National Guard troops setting up a perimeter. She couldn't say enough about these men and women who helped the community stay safe and start to get back on its feet. 

We had such a wonderful visit!

Today (Friday,) Bob has been out fishin' with his friend Tim all day while I finished weaving my white Tencel scarf, baked bread, cooked up some pressure-cooker boneless pork ribs, did all the laundry, and kept myself busy. It has been a very nice day but I do miss Bob. We are so rarely apart these days and it feels strange to be alone.

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