Mary Panza

I know it has been a while. I hope you had the best summer ever. I can say that this past summer was in my top five. My number one was when I had mono and slept all summer and lost tons of weight. I didn’t sleep much or lose any weight but I had a fantastic time which I will explain with bullets:

  • My middle niece had a baby and I was with her every week. I love babies and really love my great nieces and nephew!!! I was there for her first bath. I made her laugh and when her belly was bad I helped her poop. My niece took her maternity leave and her, me, my sister and Capri had lunch every week along with our friend Helen.
  • Helen is a girl Capri and I have known since we were in St. Joseph’s. Some of the time our other friend Serpico would join is and we would commiserate like war veterans. St. Joseph’s in the 70’s and early 80’s was still stuck in the 50’s. That is to say that beating and berating children was normal. I can honestly say that meeting with this group of my closest friends is the best thing that ever came out of going to Catholic grammar school. I love our lunches and talking about how we lived though our childhoods. We are also so grateful that our children will never know that.
  • Speaking of lunch, I can proudly say that I have eaten at every place in the Troy Kitchen. I freaking love that place!!!! I am so fat on everything from Korean BBQ, lobster rolls, soul food, Mexican, and sweet crepes. It is one of the best things to come outta Troy. I will be eating there as long as I can fit though the doors!
  • One of the big reasons I had a great summer is because my girl had a great summer. I go broke every year sending her to summer camp. It is worth every bit of extra work I have to do. She loves it. She has had the same group of “camp friends” since she was really little. None of them go to school together and they only interact in the summer which is probably why they get on so well. Having these girls to hang out with and just to have kid fun gave her that spark back. She kind of was beat down last year with all the bullshit she went through. She is back to being confident and happy. I am so grateful that she has these experiences and that her “camp friends” were there when she needed them.
  • I got to go to some poetry readings! I made it to a third Thursday reading. I was featured at an Albany Poets Presents at the Restaurant Navona. I got to see a Poets In The Park reading. I was featured for a prose reading at Hudson River Coffee House. I had great features perform at my Poets Speak Loud mic at McGeary’s. I have written some new poems. I ate Indian food with my gay husband before a reading and we caught up on our lives. I also went to the Poetic Vibe reading at the Troy Kitchen. Another reason I love that place!
  • 3b started doing some solo gigs and one of them landed us at the Merry Monk in Saratoga. Normally, I don’t go past Clifton Park from the end of July to the beginning of September but for 3b, the world. He was great and they booked him for a couple more solo shows. I had several friends show up for his gig. The best part of the night was the burger. I had, bar none, the best burger of my life at that place. I don’t know, and I don’t care how they get it to taste that way but it was the one of the reasons I know there is a God.
  • I faced down one of my demons. I even shook her hand. I know this doesn’t seem like much but when faced with it, I decided to give her all the ill will she put upon me and give it back to her. I wasn’t going to hug her, as that is hypocritical. I don’t love her and I won’t betray myself for false politeness. It was very odd but the minute I shook her hand, all of the shit I had been holding in, left me. She heard none of what I was saying but she did acknowledge my girl and what she went through last year and that was enough for me.

I am looking this over and I realize that most of my good summer was based on lunch. It has always been my favorite meal of the day so there you go. I am looking forward to fall. I am looking forward to pumpkin everything. Right now, however, I have to clean my house. I have let it go all summer and it is beginning to show. Truth is, if I had to do this summer all over again, I would.