Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Weekend of Memories at Flo and Francois'

Today was my first day back from a short vacation, a road trip to Virginia to ride roller coasters, but it turned out to be somewhat of a trip down memory lane, taken vicariously through my buddy's parents.  I went with one of my two BFF's, Rich, a fellow coaster enthusiast, to King's Dominion and Busch Gardens, with a side to trip to see his parents in Virginia Beach.

chocolates on my pillow left by Flo

The roller coasters were great!  I'm sure I'll be banging out a few articles in the next few days about those, but the topic of this particular post is our time with Francois and Flossie, Rich's parents. Now like anyone else, Rich is very 'eh' about his parents.  I know that he appreciates them, but he's had a lifetime around them so...

As for me, I've always liked Francois and Flossie, otherwise known as Frank and Flo (Florence). They come up to Long Island every summer to visit Rich (and a host of other people!), and I've gotten to know them well during their visits these past few years.  Frank and Flo are in their 80's and have been married for 60 years.  They are truly the nicest people, he with a wit that'll have you cracking up hours after the one-liner's been delivered and she, well, she's just that kind of woman who's so loving and nurturing you just can't help but love her back.

We got to their house late Friday night, after a day at Busch Gardens.  We didn't leave the park until almost eleven, and it was more than an hour drive to their house.  We wouldn't get there until at least midnight.  "Are they gonna be sleeping?' I asked.

"Oh, they'll be up!  At least Flo will."  Apparently, this is what she does...

Sure enough, we got there at around 12:15 and there was Flo, watching television in what they call their 'chit-chat room.'  We were greeted with big hugs and a smile before Flo offered up "Are you hungry?  I made potato and macaroni salad," she shared.  Sure enough, within just a few minutes of arriving, Rich and I were eating the two salads at Flo's kitchen table.

The next morning, I awoke to the smell of bacon permeating the condo, and got to see Francois for the first time, sitting at the table reading the paper as Flossie cooked up a big breakfast.

"You want juice?...What kind of juice do you like?"

"I bought a melon.  Want to help me cut it up?"

"How do you want your eggs?"

Oh, within the first 8 hours of being there I couldn't help but think of my nana.  It was like she had been reincarnated.  Back when I had first gone to college in 1982 I moved in with my grandparents for a little over a year and that's how it was all the time.  My nana was a great cook and happiness to her was being able to give whatever she made to satisfy those in her stead.

Ha ha, I always remember her handing me a big dish of whatever and saying, as if to acknowledge that she already gave me too much, "eat what you can!"  Nana's cooking was always made with love, and whether or not you were too full to eat another bite, sometimes you did just because of that.  This is how it was with Flo.

All weekend long, we ate.  We feasted on cherries and cold cut sandwiches, a hearty breakfast every morning, and of course, plenty of potato and macaroni salad.  And all the way through, we laughed at Frank's one-liners and listened to Flo's stories and answered her thoughtful questions. It was nice! I really felt at home and got to think of my nana all weekend long!  I still miss you Nana! And a very special thank you to Francois and Flossie for making me feel so!



My Nana

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