The Mahon Estate on West 12th Road has been a bee-hive of activity over the past week, as our two daughters, Amy and Victoria, were busy getting ready to spread their wings and leave the nest. Although the girls are "Irish Twins," having been born less than a year apart, that is where the similarities end. Like the identical cousins Kathy and Patty from the 1960's Patty Duke Show, they are "a pair of matching bookends, different as night and day."
Vicky, our youngest at 20, is a longtime, staunch, vegetarian who yearns to be a vegan but finds it impossible to completely remove eggs and cheese from her diet. Amy, our oldest at 21, is an avid carnivore who would have no problem raising cattle, chickens and pigs out on the back deck just to satisfy her love of meat.
Amy is in the process of moving into her own apartment (shared with her girlfriend) across the bridge in Rockaway above Healy's Pub on Rockaway Beach Boulevard. She told me that with Healy's right downstairs she figured it would not be that painful for me to drop by for the occasional visit with care packages. I had to remind her that I spent more than a year living in a small apartment directly above the Chrystal Palace Cafe over on Russell and Nassau Streets in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, directly across from McGolrick Park back in the late 80's. Not having a stereo set, on quiet nights I use to stomp on the living room floor and yell out "Play B32" and shortly thereafter, the jukebox in the bar downstairs would start playing Patsy Cline's "Crazy." I mean, who had it better than me back then?
I asked if her apartment had laundry facilities and she quickly replied, "Oh no, I'll come home to do my laundry." I found this amusing as her concept of doing laundry at home was simply to drop all her clothes on the floor and await the laundry fairy who would fly about her room gathering up, washing, drying, folding and returning all her items. This is not Amy's first fling with independent living as she has previously spent a cold winter away dorming at Canisius College up in Buffalo, and a year living and working out near the "The Mistake on the Lake," Cleveland, Ohio. Obviously she still has the itch to strike out on her own, but I think her previous adventures left her with a desire to set up her campsite somewhat closer to the safety net of our homebase here in the Channel.
Although she has established herself as an independent young woman, our other bookend, Victoria, is not that interested in completely striking out on her own just yet. Vicky does share one trait with her sister Amy, in that she, too believes in the laundry fairy. But whereas her sister Amy has eschewed the idea of vehicle ownership, ("What for, the bus, train and Uber take me anywhere I want to go!"), Vicky loves to travel and the idea that she can pack up her car and go anywhere on a moment's notice, as long as the GPS system is working, is her idea of heaven on earth.
Working two jobs, she owns her own car and has assumed the responsibilities that come with that - insurance, fuel, maintenance, etc. Vicky and her girlfriend left last week for a two-week trip to Ireland. Landing in Dublin, they visited the St. James Gate Guinness Brewery and Trinity College, and then, staying overnight at various hostels, they worked their way north up the M1 to Belfast where they are taking a ferry across to Scotland. So far so good - no international incidents!
Grace and I are proud of both our girls as they are young, bright, possessed with great work ethics and, most importantly, they are both imbued with a solid dose of common sense sorely lacking in my younger years. Our advice to both of them was simple: go forth and enjoy the adventure of life, keep your cell phone charged at all times and remember our front door and the laundry fairy will always welcome you home!
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