In memory of the life, love and wit of Carol Versandi
Just a Quick Note....
October 8, 2014
My mom's birthday is coming up soon.
Her friend Michelle, sent me a screen capture of a
Facebook conversation the two of them had the day after her birthday last year.
Before I share that with you, I think a little backstory is in order....
For years, my mom and I always did the same thing on her birthday.
She would drive out to my house and the two of us would get in my car and drive out east to the "farmlands" of Long Island.
Since her birthday is so close to Halloween (a holiday she loved),
the east end would be an explosion of fall colors and activities.
Hayrides, pick-your-own-pumpkins, corn mazes, scarecrows, apple picking, Jack-O-Lantern carving exhibits, etc. etc.
Miles and miles of restaurants, snack bars and farm stands all trying to outdo one another and lay claim to the best fall festival on Long Island.
And for as much as I dislike living in New York, the autumn season
on the east end is truly spectatcular.
So anyway, last year we decided to do something different.
I asked my mom if she wanted to go for brunch.
"Brunch"?, she asked. "I don't know. I don't think I like brunch".
I said, "What's not to like"? "They have eggs and pancakes and bacon and literaly dozens of other things to choose from. Plus they usually have somebody playing the piano or something like that. It's nice. Let's go to brunch".
"I don't know", she hemmed.
"I think there's a lot of fish at brunch", she hawed.
* My mother was notoriously picky and tame when it came to eating.
For more on this, check out any of my "Dining with Carol" stories or just click here.
But with a fair amount of prodding, I finally got her to agree to go.
And since this was going to be her first foray into these strange new culinary waters, I wanted to make sure we went somewhere nice.
So I choose a place called Lombardi's on the Sound.
A beautiful catering hall located at the very top of a hill
overlooking the Long Island Sound
My mother, who was already very apprehensive about this whole "brunch thing",
started in with her Carol shenanigans the second we sat down.
*If you knew Carol, you knew her Carol Shenanigans.
"Oh Mikey, this looks too expensive."
"Mikey, I smell fish. I can't eat here. They have fish."
"Mikey, ask that man what he's eating."
"I think I'll just have bread."
"I wish you didn't spend so much money. I would have been happy at Pancake House."
"Ooh, they have roast beef! I can eat that."
"Mikey don't order a mimosa!"
"Ecchh...what are you eating? Shrimp?"
"Did you see all the desserts? Cool! I can't wait to get some ice cream"
"Mikey, don't order another mimosa!"
This went on through the entire meal.
Comment after comment. Question after question. Statement after statement.
My mom was not a complainer, she just liked filling empty air with conversation.
And for the most part, she was just being silly.
.....for the most part.
Afterwards, on the way home, I said "So? What did you think?"
She said, "I like brunch. How come we don't do that more often?"
The next day her friend Michelle asked her what she did for her birthday
and this was her response.
After that, my mom became a crusader for brunch.
She researched the good places, made a list of the bad ones, memorized online menus and told anyone within earshot that her and her son Michael were getting
together on Sunday to go out for brunch.
"We always go", she would say. "It's like our little tradition".
I miss you mom.
I can't even begin to tell you how much.
I would give up everything to take you out one last time.