Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The New York Experience: Day 11 - The Little Light In the Country or Who Cut The Cheese Part 2

Part of the purpose of this New York Experience trip is to do some tasks and chores that just have to be done. With the passing of my Dad last year and my Mom not being so agile and quick as she used to be, today was the day to tackle the big stuff. Mom seems to like the basement now. It's always a pretty constant temperature and is semi-warm in the winter (yes, it's heated) and cool in the summer. She's got a big 32" TV down there, all her snacks right by her side and it's a place where she can kick back and relax. My two brother's and I worry about her safety as the stairs that lead from upstairs to the basement as they are steep and poorly lit. Hence, task number one. Lighting the stairwell.

Mom's the type of person that doesn't want anything done unless she want's it done. If I asked her about what I was going to do I'd never hear the end of it. So, when Mom went out with a friend of hers this morning, out came the tools. I drilled holed, cut the stairway wall for electrical boxes, ran Romex cable to each of the boxes and installed the fixtures. All before she came home. That was, there was no argument. I also added these adhesive stair tread strips on each stair so she doesn't fall. Surprisingly, she liked it all. I said to her, "Look at all the light you've got down here now. You can finally see some things." Her reply, "My eyesight isn't that bad." It's not the eyesight we three boys worry about - but at 81, the thought of Mom negotiating those stairs scares us to death! You can call me the family's Safety Officer!

Besides the big project, I began to tackle my Dad's tool bench. He's got more tools than Home Depot. He never knew where any of them were so he just bought more. He's got antique tools and new tools...never even opened. Besides that there is probably 100 pounds of nuts, bolts, screws and nails in addition to the hardware from various projects he did that was left over. This is not an easy task. There are a lot of memories down here and I began to tackle it slowly. It'll take another day or more to go through. By the way, does anyone need an old Cassette Tape Recorder or a hanging mobile made out of old spoons? We got plenty!

Today was also a day to pack and ship all of the stuff my wife (and I too) bought from the various stores and shops out here. There is stuff here that you can't get anywhere else. Small town type stuff and great gifts for our friends in California. So now there are two boxes totaling 43 pounds headed out to LA...filled with cool stuff. I'll get there before it does so the valuable stuff I'll take with me on the plane as I had to bring an extra suitcase just for that!

For lunch I had the culinary cuisine of a Doby's Submarine. It is a local tradition and their mixed sub (pictured here in as a half sub) has more meat, fresher bread and taste than any Subway's or Quizno's. The other thing about this place is that there is a group of guys who meet every day around noon and have been doing that for over 30 years! In fact, one guy who's now a retired gravel hauler, is still going there. It's well know around town that if you need to see Tom, you can catch him at Doby's around noon. In my hometown, if you want a good sub, you head to Doby's.

This is my "Who Cut The Cheese Part 2" story. Another tradition is going to the city to get grated Romano Cheese. In the Little Italy section of Troy is this small corner Italian Store called DeFazio's which has the best cheese in the world. I've never tasted anything like it anywhere. When I walked in and asked for 20 pounds the guy was shocked. I told him I was shipping it to LA (and some to Florida for my brother) and he said that someone in California had just ordered five pounds and they were going to mail it. So you see, there is no better Italian cheese in the world. It makes any pasta dish taste so much better and it'll make a great gift for some of my more culinary inclined friends.

The time really flew by today. With all the chores and errands that had to be done it was dark before I knew it. Tomorrow's an off day as Mom & I will take the trek to Boston (a three-hour drive) to see friends and family. She's looking forward to the trip and I'm looking forward to a little crustacian with big claws and a nice orange color on a steaming plate. Mmmmmm....Lobster!

Discover Insanity's "The New York Experience" series is a continual recap of the previous day's adventures in the country wilderness of Upstate, New York. We will return with our daily topical blog posts on November 17th