As the Countess Bedelia I travel the world, meeting new friends, working for gay rights and marriage equality, and having a good time each and every day.
The Countess is now on MySpace:
I could say 'Happy Birthday' to The Countess but The Countess wasn't born until September of 2005. She emerged from the ashes of widowhood and became an entity all by herself. But she actually started way back on 12/28/1942....born in a snowstorm, delivered from a firestorm....let's start with that story! The Cocoanut Grove in Boston.....one month before she was born.....11/28/1942...
My mother went into Boston that fateful night to have some fun before she became a mother. She had gotten pregnant with a boyfriend from high school who had abandoned her. Back in those days I might have become just another abortion statistic but my grandmother would not have any of that. When my father's mother and family came to her house to say that my mother was a whore and that they wanted nothing to do with her, my grandmother got the gun from under the bed (a holdover from when they made gin during prohibition...another story!) and shot over their heads....."I will take care of my daughter and her child...you are not welcome here!"...so says the family legend.
And so my mother decided to have one great night out with her friends before she became a mother. The Cocoanut Grove was the hottest nightclub in Boston at the time. What better place to get that final rush of fun. Of course this was long before our health system decreed that drinking and smoking and sex were all bad if you were pregnant!!! Anyway, my grandmother was listening to the radio when the news broke in and declared: "Fire in the Cocoanut Grove nightclub!" From that moment on she was glued to the coverage and praying for her daughter.....and of course, for me too. The stuff that family legends are built on. You can google the Cocoanut Grove Fire today and read about the tragedy.
My mother finally made her way home the next day with a fantastic story of being pulled through the kitchen and saved from a fiery death. One month later, on a snowy New England night, I was born.
Family legend has it that it was a major snowstorm that night. The doctor was on his rounds at the New England Sanitarium and, after many telephone calls, my mother was brought to the Sanitarium. I was told that they had to park the car at the bottom of a hill and climb the driveway through the snow. And so I was born....in a snowstorm after surviving a firestorm....such a beginning to life! Is it any wonder that I am a fantastical creature?
Why does Christmas make you feel so nostalgic when you get older? Maybe because you remember those Christmas mornings when you were a little kid and woke up to find that special thing you had been wishing for under the tree. Or maybe because you remember being a parent and making sure that those special things were under the tree for your kids. Or maybe you remember being in love and having the one person who could make your Christmas special surprise you with that perfect token of love. Yes, many decades of life gives you lots of perspectives.
So it was kind of funny that I was listening to the radio tonight and the Hawaiian Christmas song came on and made me tear up a bit. Because many years ago at a company party, I sang this song with my girlfriends as my backup chorus....swinging and swaying in a sequin dress....everyone at the company cheering and clapping. That was the party that a handsome young man drank champagne out of my high-heeled slipper. When the most handsome man in the company danced with me and told me that if he wasn't married, he would be trying so hard to win my affection. When I felt beautiful and desirable and just wonderful!
If I could go back to that night, I would transport myself immediately. Not only did I have a fantastic time but waiting at home was my wonderful husband Bob, waiting with all the joy of Christmas radiating from his being. Bob loved Christmas and planned for it all year. He made each Christmas with him a special event, an event that no one in my family will ever forget.
So I wish you all a Mele Kalikimaka and a 'Bob' that you can celebrate with....that one person who makes you feel special, and by doing that, gives you the wonderful Christmas that you all deserve. xoxo
The big storm of 2009 put a crimp in my weekend plans. As you can see, I won't be leaving the Palace until the wonderful people who man the plows and shovels have done their job. The servants haven't been able to make it up the mountain so I am forced to fend for myself.....Yes, you guessed it! The Countess is Cooking! I'm surprised that I still remember how.
But yesterday afternoon I ventured forth to the local market and procured the makings for one of my favorite cold weather dishes....American Chop Suey!! The blend of peppers, mushrooms, and onions with seasoned ground beef, simmered in tomato sauce, and poured over macaroni, letting it sit awhile to absorb the sauce, sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese.......decant a bottle of Rosemount Cabernet Merlot....heat up a loaf of French bread sprinkled with butter and herbs! Just describing it is intoxicating!
It's days like this that I do miss the pitter patter of little feet, the sounds of my young children filling the house with noise and mess. But then I slap myself upside the head and say, "Countess, get a grip!" So I'll content myself with enjoying a quiet day at the Castle Bedelia with a delicious meal that I have prepared myself.....in just a few days I'll be with the granddaughters....those delightful Baby Countesses....and just a few hours of noise and mess will make me once again happy to return to the peace and quiet of my beautiful Castle Bedelia.
Every so often I do a little post about my departed angel, Mai-Ling. She has been gone for almost 10 years now but I still miss her sweet face.
Recently a Facebook friend's dog had to have an operation and I waited with trepidation to hear that the dog...and his parent, were OK. Mai-Ling had 3 operations and each time I was a wreck; so I could just imagine the stress that this adorable young person was going through. And it served to remind me once again of the special bond between parent and pet that develops.
Mai-Ling was the child of my heart and the one that fate brought into my life.When The Count and I were about to enter into cohabitation, he mentioned that he would like to have a dog. "A DOG ! ", I HYSTERICALLY SHRIEKED. After all, here we were.....kids grown up, financially secure, travel on the horizon, in love, and ready for a new adventure. A dog would keep us tethered to our house and I was ready to fly. "NO DOG," says The Countess.
Soooo, he called one day and asked me to meet him at the mall. He took me over to the pet store and introduced me to this shaggy haired little ball of white fluff who promptly took the biggest shit that a little dog could possibly take. The smell was so bad that I had to leave the area.
But the damage was done. I had looked into her eyes and a connection was made. Brain paths were remapped and she was mine and more importantly, I was hers. The strange thing was that the night before I met her, I had a dream about a white, fluffy, dog named Mai-Ling and suddenly....there she was. Karma, Fate...give it any name you want....Mai-Ling was meant to come and live with me.
She lived with me for 14 years and a lot of things went down over those years but her beautiful eyes and her steadfast devotion never wavered. We shared a connection in a mystical way that I could never explain or comprehend.
My husband passed away one year before Mai-Ling. She used to sniff the bed skirt to try to bring him back. In that last year she had so many illnesses and problems but she kept me going and gave me so much love. When she finally left me, my heart was broken all over again. But then I was given this poem and I had hope. So I do believe that some day Mai-Ling and I will be reunited over The Rainbow Bridge.