Takeway, but Make it Fashion

these two, both in college, not really sure what’s next

While walking early this morning, twenty-one-year-old daughter Elizabeth was quiet, near tears. When asked what the matter was, she said ‘I miss my life, mom’. 

I get it. She, who has a paid fellowship, would have been researching this summer in London, where ‘takeaway’ is the word for food which is ordered and made in a restaurant and is then taken away to be eaten at home or elsewhere.  Instead, she’s researching at home, with her parents and assorted siblings close by, set up at the kitchen table, zooming with her professor once a week for two plus hours at a time. 

For me, having adult children pretty much full time in my life again has been an unexpected bonus. And even though I too might like to be in London (I’m sure we would have visited), or even northern California, I’ve made peace that I’m home, really being a true homebody at heart. 

To help ease the pain of young lost opportunities, of the not knowing if they will be returning to campus or returning and sent home, of not actively moving about and gathering in groups, of missing their eighty-year-old grandmother who steadfastly refuses to visit (fear here, too), I’ve taken to expressing myself through nightly elaborate meals, dressing the table, and dressing for dinner. 

I make dinner, set the table, often put on a dress

Fashion is a way of expression through the clothes, footwear, and accessories we choose to wear, and in my mind the lifestyle we lead. Fashion gives us hope, helps us dream. If we can’t express ourselves with some sense of beauty in mind, even and also absolutely that we might only be among family, we might just lose hope. 

takeaway dinner for four: me, Bill, Lizzie, and Peanut. double cheeseburgers put on a plate.
Yes, we could have grilled at home, there’s something about the ease of takeaway

We order dinner in maybe once a week or so. We think of it as ‘takeaway,’ our nod to lost London, isn’t that romantic? We tip the staff as if we were actually in their restaurant and the meal and the experience was a ten plus. We take the food out of the paper containers and set it on plates. We have simple flowers and light the candles. We might put on a dress. 

For Elizabeth and all young people everywhere, here is the ‘takeway’: let’s make this pause in our lives, this moment where time stands still, a little bit about fashion, and expressing ourselves, for those we hold close. Every day dress, takeaway, but make it fashion.

Peyton Elizabeth dressed for dinner in the countryside, in a dress picked out by her Aunt Elizabeth
purchased local at Pumpkins

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  1. If daughter Elizabeth is at all interested….I am the chair of the International Institute this year. Our main fundraiser is Buffalo without Borders…a grand event with exotic dance and music and great food created by our foreign born local restaurateurs. Because of Covid this year, we have created a great new concept…Buffalo without Borders to Go. There will be 4 local ethnic restaurants who will create meals on 4 different evenings to be picked up at the International Institute on Delaware Ave. In the box along with the meal will be information about celebrations and cooking in those far away places. Our staff is creating playlists to go with the meals. We are planning to make these “to go/takeaways” very special. If Elizabeth is interested in helping in any way, we would love to have her help. it would be great to create table settings and photograph them which might inspire our guests to create special travel moments in their homes for this. I am sure there are other ways in which we would benefit from the creativity of young people who are looking for an outlet for their talent and energy. Please contact me if Elizabeth…or anyone reading this is interested in spicing up our event!

    • Katie, thank you so much for your kind offer to Elizabeth, I will be sure to pass your message along. Best wishes to you and your team for much success with your event Buffalo without Borders to Go! Your concept sounds terrific! I will check out you dates and your website. Wow, playlists too! Bravo. Thinking of you with all best wishes during this unique and challenging time.

  2. Just catching up on your blog! There is one more beautiful picture after next — and that baby!!! So blessed! You create art (and memories) every night and live so authentically — not to mention your extraordinary eye for all things beautiful! …and yes that blue and white dress is beautiful! You wear it well as you do that simple black sheath!

    On another note, what are you feeding your plants — please do tell! I have been battling Japanese beetles… ugh!

    I also want to thank you for sharing your life and family with all of us! So inspiring! I have become a Rebecca wannabe!

    So glad to see you are all well and enjoying this beautiful summer and your beautiful life! xoxo

    • Monica, thank you so very much for your kind notes. I truly enjoy taking the time to cultivate the places around me, including clothes, as you know. 🙂

      As for what I feed my potted plants- I start with really good soil (and fresh every season), water them every other day, and fertilize with Miracle Grow in the water once a week. As for what I plant in the ground, I am now working to improve my soil quality by composting and adding organic materials, keeping the soil covered with a healthy thick covering of mulch, and weeding often.

      I too am having a time with Japanese beetles, they are the worst! My husband hangs those bags around and I always end up moving them because I just don’t like how they look! I have actually been putting on gardening gloves and hand picking them off and either squashing them or putting them in a can of hot, soapy water.

      Thanks again for reading, I hope you are enjoying your summer with your family as well. Sending much love to you and yours.

      • I had to laugh when you said you move the hanging bags. I do the same! I am not seeing the beetles on my plants but have burrowed into the dirt and see them there — most likely laying eggs! 🙁

        Keep your posts coming! Making pizza with arugula tonight! Yum! xo

  3. My 17th year old daughter Laiz is feeling the same as Elisabeth this year she had some challenges planned and changed. At school and scouting she had planned a lot of things. Even our trip to Buffalo to meet you all this Summer as postponed. But we are folloing your tips and making good food and good moments in special tables and clothes. xoxo with Love

  4. Hello from Brazil! My 17th years old daughter Laiz is feeling the same as Elisabeth she wants her life back! She had a lot of challeges at school and her last year as Scout, but all changed for online. Even our planned trip to Buffalo to meet you all as cancelled ou postponed. But we are here following your posts and have ne ideas for our winter ins doors with good food and special moments. Kisses it Love, Miriam

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