At the beginning of a new romance, everything’s dreamy until reality sets in and you start noticing things. You know, like the noise he makes when he eats, or the dishes he never does, or the make up she gets on the steering wheel, or her incessant talking on the phone…need I go on?
Western Pennsylvania is beautiful and would be perfect if it wasn’t for the humidity. This box-filled apartment with only one of eight windows screened, plus temps and humidity in the 80’s and 90’s, and no AC, has been good for perspiration, bad for comfort. Bringing my favorite fan was absolute genius. It’s been running for a solid week. My hair has found new life as a cotton ball, so it may be time to go red and start bellowing, “It’s a Hard Knock Life.”
I’m still taking photos and am constantly astounded by the breathtaking light and the green. I’ve had a great week of visiting, reading, hanging out with family and friends, and sweating together, so it’s not all bad. I also got to watch locals weave clothing out of sheeps wool, which was very cool.
And the other night, as my cousin and I were sweatily walking past her daughter’s, in-laws’ home, the door flew open, and we were greeted with a hearty, “Come on in, we’re making Mudslides!” by Joan and her friend Deneen. I love that kind of spontaneity, especially when combined with cocktails.
Mudslides are frosty drinks made with Kahlua, Bailey’s Irish Cream, vodka, ice cream, and a drizzle of chocolate syrup. Joan topped hers with whipped cream. A sane person never says no to that. The night was so much fun, we gave up caring that we didn’t get much exercise.
I also learned that Joan’s life was saved by my longtime friend, Carolyn. She apparently plucked five-year-old Joan out of the family pool when she got in over her head in the deep end. Carolyn doesn’t even remember.
This is the second time (I know of) that Carolyn’s saved a life. We were at a restaurant once when she noticed a boy, about nine-years-old, choking. His family was slapping him on the back, when Carolyn strode over, bursting with years of restaurant knowledge on how to save someone. She grabbed the boy from behind, gave him the Heimlich and was rewarded with vomit all over her arm, a breathing boy and grateful parents. If It’s Wonderful Life ever does a re-make, I suggest they use Carolyn.
That she’s only five minutes away, and could save me if I’m ever choking, almost makes up for the humidity. And God bless Topper, he’s been a trooper through this heat, finding the coolest spot on the floor to make his bed. Add to that the amazing Pretzel Bread I discovered at the Two Frau’s Bakery and I almost say, “What humidity?” Almost.
Pretzel bread is like eating my favorite soft pretzel, only bigger. Drizzled with butter, it’s impossible to resist. So, I bought a warm loaf and couldn’t even make it through my morning walk without ripping into the top of it. I have my mother’s impatience when it comes to food.
Also, I start a job on Monday. It’s mostly remote to start and should be interesting. I’ll tell you more soon, but I know I wouldn’t have it if it wasn’t for my iHeart friend, Kari Carbone. God makes some people extra wonderful, and Kari is definitely one of them. She’s as sweet and selfless as they come. As my father always said, “Friends are better than money.” I feel lucky to have so many friends who have proven him so right.
Matilda NovakJune 20, 2021 at 11:33 pm
Hello my sweet Fran!
i so Love your writing….i’m miles behind on email and This just makes my heart Happy.
Glad you are finding the wonderful in your next chapter.
And i’m going to have to try a version of Mudslide — which will most assuredly include fresh made whipped cream.
Fran TunnoJune 25, 2021 at 12:29 pm
Matilda! Yes to the Mudslide! It was absolutely delicious! Thank you for the kind words. I am making my way through, slowly but surely. Just trying to do what feels correct. Thanks so much for taking the time to sit and write! I appreciate you!
BurseJune 11, 2021 at 5:18 pm
Congrats on your new job! Mudslides sound delicious and they could be a great desert. I would just pour it over chocolate cake. With of course lots of whip cream on top. Many good things are ahead for you. Have a wonderful journey!
Fran TunnoJune 14, 2021 at 11:08 pm
That is a brillliant idea, a mudslide covered chocolate cake. You are definitely on to something. Stay cool in LA! Thanks for reading and taking the time to write. Give my best to Ruby and Darren!
margaz2013June 11, 2021 at 4:36 pm
Love this! The hair description with a song from Annie:Priceless! Mudslides: Yummy! Congratulations on your new job!
Fran TunnoJune 14, 2021 at 11:07 pm
I need the Mudslides just to be able to look in the mirror! xoxo
Bruce BarkerJune 11, 2021 at 10:16 am
Fran TunnoJune 14, 2021 at 11:06 pm
Oh Bruce, they combine all the best things!