“So, you doing anything special for Easter?” P asks to break the Utopian Ice.
Sandy snorts, then sighs shaking her head. “No, not really. G is giving up ice cream for Lent, but other than that.....”

“Ice cream!” P exclaims. Talk about sacrifice! She could never give up ice cream. It was right up there with swimming of the things she could not live without.

“I know, I know,” Sandy laughs softly. “I feel the same way you do. I usually try to support him by giving up the same thing too. Last year it was meat and I didn’t have a problem with that. But ice cream?” Sandy shakes her head, “I have to say he’s pretty good about it. He lets me eat it in front of him and such.”

“I would hope so!” P cries, thinking to herself how if he wanted to give up the most delicious food substance known to mankind that was his business. Sandy could be a supportive partner and all, but really. There were limits!

“I do try to just eat it on the weekends though,” Sandy continues, “so I’m not flaunting it in his face daily!” She chuckles, the mirth bouncing off the walls of Utopia.

P has missed this. She’d already had the “Long time no see” exchange with Sandy before heading to the pool. “Hope it’s not too crowded, see you in Utopia as you call it,” Sandy had fallen right back into the old patterns. Not asked P why she’d been gone and so P hadn’t volunteered the reason.

“You celebrate Lent, don’t you D?” P asks now in Utopia, noting how DL had been more than unusually quiet during the Lent Sacrifice discussion.

“I used to....” DL murmurs, her voice quavering ever so slightly. Immediately P knows. Easter must have been a big deal for DL’s mother, Martha Ann. Italians love the Resurrection, don’t they?

And now, with Martha’s passing so fresh, DL must be missing her so much. This is why P and DL have been out of the Utopia Loop the last few months. It was just too much for DL to venture out into the world after her mother passed.

P can’t imagine. Losing her mother. It would be devastating on so many levels. And with DL, there were these days, these rituals around holidays that all families have, but with DL, well, they were Grand Events. Now, this year, it will be so sad to have Easter, which had been filled with tradition and ritual and the spiritual without Martha to lead the celebration.

P doesn’t mention any of this while chatting with Sandy in Utopia. Though she suspects that Sandy knows something major has happened with DL. But being Sandy, she has way too much decorum and class to ask.

Now, DL rises and quietly floats out of Utopia, followed by Sandy’s nod and P’s usual comment about how it’s too hot in here for her.

Sandy doesn’t miss a beat but continues the ice cream narrative thread as soon as DL shuts the door: “I have this friend, she loves ice cream, and I remember one time I went over to her house and she offered me some. I asked her what kind and she opened her freezer and showed me 14, I swear, 14 different kinds of Hagen Dazs ice cream, all lined up in alphabetical order.”

“You’re kidding!” P grins. 14 pints of Hagen Dazs. What a vision!
“Nope, I kid you not. She only ate a little bit at a time. Just took a couple of spoonfuls. She liked to have a choice. Can’t knock her for that.”

P nods—choice. She gets this intellectually. That some people want variety. They want many opportunities to choose from. Not P. She just wants chocolate and vanilla. Preferably in one container. What the hell ever happened to Hagen Dazs Vanilla Fudge? That was her favorite. She misses it so.

“I’m completely addicted to Klondike bars now,” P offers to Sandy.
“I’ve not had one of those in decades,” Sandy muses.
“I know. They’re from a gone by era, but I can still pick them up right in my own freezer.”
Sandy laughs, “You have a Happy Easter.”
“You too,” P responds. “Eat some Ice Cream Eggs.”
Sandy grins, giving P a last look before heading out to the showers, “Good to see you again,” she says softly.
“Yes, you too,” P answers.

Buona Pasqua to all! But, especially to DL and the memory of her dear mother, Martha Ann Colone Leto, November 11, 1926 – January 22, 2013.


Anonymous said…
I have missed your wonderful stories, but this one was definitely worth the wait. I have also wondered about the demise of vanilla fudge--heaven in a carton.

So sorry to hear about Denise's mom, I will send her a note to let her know I am thinking of her.

Cj said…
Hi Laurie Cat
Thanks for the sweet note about the story. I wanted to write something for denise and her mom, but it wasn't till this story presented itself that wrote itself! And Vanilla Fudge---can we start a campaign to get it back?

Meow and thanks again for being my most loyal and supportive reader!

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