TBT: Cape Cod Summer Memories

Summer Memories

I grew in Falmouth on Cape Cod and my summers were always full of sun, sea, and soft, cool, cotton sheets after a long day at the beach. My sister Melodie is in the back on the left. I’m the bold one in the blue bikini!

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I swam almost before I could walk, dreamed of magical kingdoms, built in the sand, and lay on my towel watching the clouds drift by in the afternoon. I remember thinking that time went so slowly as I lay there, that things would always be like that.

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I ran barefoot all summer long through the sweet grass, and the scent of lilacs and roses and the ocean were always there. (Or so it seemed)

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The feel of salt on my skin, the taste of it on my lips, and the laughter in the air, as I climbed the jetties along the Surf Drive Beach.

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Melodie on the left and me at home on Clipper Lane. When I didn’t walk to the beach, I rode my trusty Schwinn Bike all over town.

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Fireflies, cookouts on the grill at Goodwill Park, with marshmallows too. My Uncle George, cousin, Janet, and Aunt Betty with Grandma Honey.

Telling stories in the dark, movies at the drive-in, and ice cream cones at Dairy Queen!

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Pop cycles and root beer floats, fried clams and frozen Milkyway bars. Lobster and butter, and strawberry shortcakes at the church festival.

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At the Clam Shack in Falmouth.

Sunshine and happiness, visiting with relatives who flocked to our house and the beach. Summers are full of some of the best memories in my life!

Benn & the Mugging

This is close to 34 years ago. I was newly married to Jack, who was still piloting for Pan Am. He was flying in and out of Miami and had a hotel room for a week. I stayed in the room during the nights, but during the days I went shopping, visited friends, and on this one night, went to dinner with the best man from our wedding, Benn.

When we got back to his place, I took our car and was driving back to the hotel. There was a convenience store near the hotel, and I stopped to buy beer and chips to have in our room when Jack came in, towards midnight.

I parked my car 20 feet from the store entrance, as there were also gas pumps there, and then I grabbed my purse (a rather large thing I used for traveling back then) and headed for the door. I had gone about 10 feet when a car sped up behind me, three men jumped out, and came over to me quickly.

I was walking as fast as I could, and one man said, “Yo, what you doing tonight, Mama?”

This scared me, and I grasped the bag strap tighter and started to run, but the other man grabbed me and knocked me down. I fell backward onto my bottom. That’s when the beating and the tug of war began.

Since my purse was under my rather plump butt, they tried kicking me, dragging me, punching me, and slapping me. Eleven people stood by watching this happen until one 70-year-old Cuban man came at them with a tire iron. The three men jumped back into the car, and their driver zoomed off and onto the highway.

The worker at the store and the Cuban man helped me into the store, and we went into a lock-down until the police arrived.

I called my friend, who arrived before the police. I was covered in blood, the backs of my legs had road rash badly, and my clothes were torn.

After giving my statement to the police, (who were not too worried about me because the thieves never got my purse!), our friend, Benn, took me to the hotel.

51137040960_de69d9e402_bJack, Me, and Benn in 1988.

He told me to get in a warm bath to try to soak away the pebbles that had become embedded in the backs of my legs. I grabbed my robe and disappeared sobbing into the bathroom.

I soaked and soaked, and it seemed to calm me down, and somehow getting out of those torn clothes helped too.

After a bit, there was a knock on the door. Then Benn knocked on the bathroom door and asked if I had any cash? “Yeah, they didn’t get my purse!”

Well, that got me curious, so I climbed out of the bath, dried, and got on my robe. Then I came out, just in time to see Benn opening a bottle of champagne!

“What is that?” I asked

“Dom Pérignon Champagne. After all, how often do you get mugged?”

He poured it for me, and I drank it down. After the second glass, I felt dizzy and a little sleepy. Benn tucked me into bed, and I started to cry again. So, he sat down on the bed, put his feet up, and wrapped me in his arms, where I eventually fell asleep.

Two hours later, Jack opened the door to find that scene. He says he immediately knew something very bad had happened, because of the look on Benn’s face. They’d been in Vietnam together, shared a flat for commuting in Berlin, Germany together, and had shared many dire situations. Benn, my rescuer.

The next day, Jack wrapped my legs in gauze, and then I prepared for a long flight to Costa Rica. I was still in bad shape, but a wonderful Flight Attendant, named Regi kept me pleasantly buzzed during the entire trip. (Must note here: Pan Am required all female pass riders to wear skirts and hose back then. Thank the good lord for gauze! After wrapping my legs, Jack helped get me into the hose.)

Although this was a bad experience, memories of my friend, Benn coming to my rescue, buying me champagne, and holding me while I sobbed, meant more to me than words can ever say.

That night, Benn was my hero.

Rest in Peace, Benn

I was feeling like I wanted to reach out to a few people on Friday night, so I sat down with my Cell Phone and dialed away. The first person wasn’t home, and so I dialed up the second person.

There was no answer, but although unusual I had thought perhaps he was getting dinner at a restaurant or something. So I left a quickie message and was just hanging up when the phone began to ring.

It showed me that it was my friend, Benn. I said hello to my friend, but it turned out it was his nephew. Who painfully told me that Benn had passed away.

Now Benn was 83. And I had known him for almost 35 years. He was the Best Man at our wedding, and we stayed with him in Miami whenever Jack was in training with Pan Am. Benn also flew for them.

Over the years the memories were good ones, and I will smile and recall my friend as my life goes on.

Rest in peace, dearest Benn. I will remember you always, and I will be forever thankful for the friendship that we shared.

Happy 33rd Anniversary to Us

Today, Jack and I celebrate 33 years of marriage. It doesn’t seem possible that it has been that long. In the grand scheme of things, 33 years is like forever in a Hollywood marriage. And at my age (62) it certainly is a large chunk of time.

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In our thirty-three years of marriage, we have had 4 White German Shepherds, Rex, Max, Fritz, and Lili. Four Wire-haired Dackels, Shubi, Greta, Arnie, and Anneliese, and lived in four homes. One was a farm in Lyndeborough, NH; a very beautiful ranch home in Punta Gorda, FL; in a motorcoach here in Meredith, NH for 9 long months; while we built our current home, and lastly, this beautiful house, that Jack and I designed.

We had four children, between us. Three are living, and they have grown up to be really good people. We also have two of the most beautiful, and wonderful grandchildren on the face of the earth!

Marriage is never easy, even if you are married to your best friend. There are days you want to murder each other, but lucky for us, those days were few and far between.

Forgiveness is so important when you live with someone this long. People do stupid things, and if you can’t forgive them, then you are with the wrong person. I am the Queen of stupid things and I am married to the King of stupid things. So it’s a good thing we forgive and forget.

You will also find during a long-term marriage (or relationship) that there will be those days when your significant other just makes you crazy. Whether it’s how they are chewing their food, or even sipping their soup, you will sit there and wonder how you never noticed this before!

But then, there are those times when a little look, the warmth of a hug, or a gentle squeeze of your hand, will make you feel loved and safe. During my illness in 2017, when I felt like I was dying, I was so scared, and Jack just kept the home fires burning, cooked my meals, did the laundry, and did not allow me to believe that I was leaving this earth.

Likewise, not even six months after that, when he got the infection in his foot that led to the amputation of his toe, I made sure I was at the hospital each day. I brought him goodies to eat, stayed to speak with each doctor, and informed Jack, he wasn’t leaving me yet.

No, marriage isn’t easy, but the pros far outweigh the cons, and life would be, so lonely, without my Jack.

Even after all these years, Jack is still the first person I want to speak to in the morning, and the last person I want to speak to at night.

I made up a short montage of our life together using one of our favorite songs. I hope you enjoy it!

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Happy Anniversary Jack!

“No Reservations”

On Valentine’s Day, I gave myself a present. One Year’s subscription to Discovery Plus. I can watch all kinds of shows from cooking to veterinary care, I can watch it all. And best of all? It’s commercial-free!

I’ve been enjoying so many shows, and once I finish binge-watching one show I move on.

A few days ago I held my breath and put on Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations”. I wasn’t sure I could deal with it.

You see, Tony died a few years back, by his own hand. In the end, his great depression, which was masked by a quick wit, got the best of him.

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In Tony’s show, he went all over the world telling us about the local foods and customs. His humor made us laugh and it also helped us think about how we might fit-in in these various places.

But since that day, in 2018, when Tony died, I haven’t been able to watch a show of his. However, there they were. All of his shows, commercial-free.

So I pulled myself up by my boot-straps and put on the first episode. Before I knew it, I was giggling and smiling and remembering how Tony made us all feel like we were a part of everything.

Oh, Tony. How very much you were cared about and how much you are missed.

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I’m watching the long series of shows he left us. And for a moment, Tony is back once again.

Rest in peace, dear friend.

Maribeth Dackel

Missing My Friend, Candy

On Thanksgiving 2018, my friend Candy was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. I will never forget the night she called me. She had just gone to a walk-in clinic for her cough. They x-rayed her lungs and found the masses.

She called me as she sat in her car in the parking lot. She knew. I kept trying to explain away what the doctors had found, but Candy being a nurse knew.

July 15 13 005How lucky I was to have been her friend all of those years. We could go for a while not talking on the phone and then one of us would call the other and it was like we just talked yesterday. It was always easy to talk to Candy. She understood me in so many ways, that no one else did.

1471833_10152064816746499_671583404_nWhen Candy and her husband visited us back in 2013, they both fell in love with our Greta. So much so that a few months later they got their very own wire-haired dachshund. Aurora went everywhere with Candy and she was the real joy in her life.

FB_IMG_1548898268358Candy was an identical twin. I speak to her sister Mary when I can. Needless to say, she is feeling an unimaginable loss. I knew this would be very hard for her.

I was not only blessed to have been Candy’s friend all these years but during her last days on this earth, I was able to give back to my friend all that she had given me, by caring for her.

My darling friend Candy passed away on February 7th, 2019. She was one of the finest women I have ever known. She gave of herself constantly and never asked for anything in return. She was one of my constants in life. One of those people that I depended on just to be there.

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Candy and her darling Aurora.

I’m not sure I will ever “get over” losing this wonderful friend, who was more like a sister to me. I think perhaps I will not. I will learn to live with it.

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Oh, how I miss this wonderful woman. But as I told her the last time I saw her, “Love never dies, Candy. I will see you next in God’s Garden”.

Happy Birthday, Candy

Today would have been my dearest friend, Candy’s birthday. Two years ago I sent her a 3 lb wheel of Vermont Cheddar Cheese and New Hampshire Maple Syrup. The year before I sent her a Red Velvet Cake, her favorite.

I sang her happy birthday and all was well. Neither one of us knew that birthday would be her very last birthday on this earth.

Just over a month later, Candy was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. I will never forget the night she called me. She had just gone to a walk-in clinic for her cough. They x-rayed her lungs and found the masses.

She called me sitting in her car in the parking lot. She knew. I kept trying to explain away what the doctors had found, but Candy being a nurse knew.

July 15 13 005How lucky I was to have been her friend all of these years. We could go for a while not talking on the phone and then one of us would call the other and it was like we just talked yesterday. It was always easy to talk to Candy. She understood me in so many ways, that no one else did.

1471833_10152064816746499_671583404_nWhen Candy and her husband visited us back in 2013, they both fell in love with our Greta. So much so that a few months later they got their very own wire-haired dachshund. Aurora went everywhere with Candy and she was the real joy in her life.

FB_IMG_1548898268358Candy was an identical twin. I wrote to her sister Mary and spoke to her last week. Needless to say, she is feeling an unimaginable loss. I knew this would be very hard for her. It never gets easier.

I was not only blessed to have been Candy’s friend all these years but during her last days on this earth, I was able to give back to my friend all that she had given me, by caring for her.

Oh, how I miss this wonderful woman. But as I told her the last time I saw her, “Love never dies, Candy. I will see you next in God’s Garden”.

Happy Heavenly Birthday!

Anneliese & The Wild Boar

Back in February of 2009, I took Anneliese to Berlin, Germany for her first breeding, with a handsome German dackel, named Isagrim. In Boston, the airport workers thought Anneliese was very cute, in her little panties as I carried her through Logan Airport Security. (For those that do not know, when a dog is in heat they wear little panties, so they don’t get messy or make your home messy.) I spent a little over a week with my friend Uschi and her husband, and I was able to breed Anneliese twice before it was time to go home.

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Now Anneliese is a very good little traveler. She remained very calm in the airports during transport, and on the aircraft, she was amazing, as she settled herself inside her little bag and fell asleep. She had no accidents in her bag, and when we reached Berlin and cleared customs, We went right outside and she did her business right where she should.

It amazed me how she knew just what to do with Isagrim, in fact, I admonished her to play a little hard to get with him, lest he thinks she was a loose woman! But the breeding went well, and then she had a few days to rest before we made our trip back to the states.

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We left Berlin and headed back home on a direct flight from Berlin to JFK in New York. As we descended into New York, I was filling out the Customs Declaration Form for the USA.

The form asks: Are you are traveling with any animal?

Yes.

What color is the animal?

On all of Anneliese’s papers, it states quite clearly…”Wild Boar“. So, I wrote that down.

We landed and I walked through to the Customs Area where I was stopped and directed over to the Animal Import area. The Agent took my card and read it.

“Madam, I will need you to open this bag and show me the animal you are bringing in!” he commanded

And as I reached to unzip the bag, the Agent took three giant steps back! I wish you could have seen his face! He was terrified! Anneliese’s little head popped out and I could actually see the man start to breathe again.

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You see the agent thought that “Wild Boar” was what was in the bag, not the actual color of the dog!

This is probably my favorite story about Anneliese, and possibly my best traveling dog story.

Maribeth Dackel

Me & Tea

Growing up in my family, a cup of tea was probably the most important thing we shared. For me, our afternoon teas started almost before any of my actual memories do.

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When I was not quite four years old, my appendix ruptured and after the surgery, my mother got a call from the nurses in the Pediatric Ward. Oh goodness, Maribeth is not drinking. They’d tried to offer me everything, and I refused.

“Offer her a cup of tea with two sugars and a little milk,” my mother told them. So the nurse did and apparently I perked right up. Yes, I and my tea go back a long way.

All through my youth, we drank tea in the afternoons. When I got home from school, while watching “Dark Shadows”, I would have a cup of tea and a few cookies. I sort of thought everyone did, right?

When I was in 6th grade I moved in with my grandparents, and that’s when the real ritual began. I would go to school each day, and when I came home after grandma’s soap opera was over, we would have our tea, some cookies, and talk. I would tell them all about my day, school, what was happening, and what I thought. And Grandma, Papa, and my Mom, always listened. When my sister was there, she joined us too.

When my grandmother got too old to leave her bed, and we knew her time was drawing near, we gathered our children together and had a tea party. Right there in her bedroom. It was the last time I saw her before she passed.

I continued the tradition of tea, with my Mom, my sister, my cousin, Janet, and my own children. And when my Mom died, my sister had a tea party after her Memorial Service. Complete with beautiful teacups and cookies. Mom would have loved it!

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The other day I was watching Pioneer Woman on the Food Channel. Ree and her daughter, Paige were having tea during the show. They had so much fun making up the treats to serve with it too. Eventually, Ree asks her daughter how often she thinks they should do this? And her daughter smiles and says “Every day!”.

And that was when I started to cry. I suddenly missed all those afternoon teas we shared. I missed my Grandma, my Mom, Papa. Those moments, those sweet days have gone by. Aside from my sister, daughter, Mandy, and cousin Janet, the people I shared those days with have gone too.

My love of tea goes on. It’s my link to my past. I’m so very grateful to have it.

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The Beginnings

Looking back, May 2005 was when I started writing Dackel Princess. Sometimes I like to go back and read my thoughts. It’s been a lot of fun. We all have my cousin, Janet to blame, as she got me into writing, 15 years ago! And even though I have not been as diligent in the last year, I am going to try to be better about keeping my blog up and running. So, here is what I wrote that first day.

As this is the opening day of The Dackel Princess, I would like to welcome everyone to my site! As I write, spring is upon us here in the mountains of New Hampshire. With temperatures in the high 70’s, my apple trees are starting to blossom and the trees on the hill are starting to leaf out. It is so beautiful!

All three dogs have been running around in the yard this morning. Currently, the two dachsies are taking their second nap of the day, (more like one long, long nap) and Fritz is outside asleep on the patio. His favorite spot to be. Me? I’m sitting in front of my computer trying to figure out a new bit of software. So here’s to the first entry! With many more to come!!!

This is Shubi!

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Baby Greta!

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Fritz

Oct 14 004Shubi was my very first wire-haired dachshund. She was the love of my life, and I was so grateful for each day we shared. She was with me for ten years before going to Rainbow Bridge. Far too short a time here on earth.

Yes, that is Greta as a baby. Greta grew to “marry” her “husband” Bernie and give us 10 beautiful pups. Two of which are my Arnie and Anneliese. But there she is, just two months old. I still miss that girl.

And Fritz. The most wonderful white shepherd that we have ever had. Gentle, kind, and fiercely loyal, who was with us twelve years and left so very quickly to go to Rainbow Bridge. Our Lili is his niece. She looks a lot like her uncle, but there is a somewhat wild side to Lili that Fritz did not have. Both were/are as gentle as you could hope to find in a German Shepherd.

Anyway, the part in Blue was the original entry. This is the rest of the story. Imagine, 15 years writing their stories and my own? It’s been fun!