Salad – Tortellini Salad

lucy

“A photograph is the biography of a moment.” ~ Art Shay

This photo of Lucy brings back that day on the shores of Lake Michigan like the freshness of the summer breeze across the water. This was the happiest I’d ever seen her, swimming in the lake, running around, catching tennis balls. We had the beach mostly to ourselves, and she relished the time off leash. We stayed at the Lakeside Inn on the Michigan side of Lake Michigan.  They–surprisingly–allowed us to bring our big dog. She’d needed a haircut, and the sand she tracked into our room was everywhere. Those poor housekeepers.

This photo captures for me all of the joy she has brought into our lives. She’s almost 13 now, still happy but struggling as her back legs hardly function. I have to carry her hind end up the stairs–and we live in a split level, so there are always stairs to be going up or down.

I read recently about elder care and baby boomers caring for teens or college age kids as well as their elderly parents. The pamphlet referred to the “slow loss” of grief when caring for someone whose faculties are fading. That slow loss is what we’ve been feeling for awhile with Lucy. She’s a shadow of her former self–still there, still Lucy, but not so vibrant as she once was.

The day will come when we’ll have to put her down. With every fall, every stumble, every bark from the basement when she can’t get up the stairs, I steel myself for that day. In the meantime, I’ll enjoy her comforting presence, her face in the window as I drive away, and even her doggy breath.

Tortellini Salad

This would be a great dish (p. 18) to take to a picnic or potluck. I served it at my book club, and it worked as the main “dish” for the evening (we usually serve appetizers).

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESIt was a little tricky to find this cheese, but we looked in the special cheese section near the deli and there it was: Stella Fontinella! Here’s what the package looks like.

The recipe also calls for pepperoni stick, but I found these beef sticks, which seemed to work well too.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESI threw it all in my giant pasta dish, and I was ready for book club!

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESKaren O. contributed this recipe. She said it was actually her sister’s recipe, but I am so glad she shared it with her. Karen is a school nurse and I’m sure a fabulous one as she always seems to be figuring out people’s illnesses, even when the doctors aren’t sure. She’s also wonderful with our Sunday school kids. So glad to have her in my life!

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One response

  1. Your comments about Lucy’s aging remind me of Libby, my Labrador, who died about 1981. She too was the love of our lives and can never be forgotten. Every time I see the pond where she fetched “targets” from the water, I miss her all over again.

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