Tag Archives: Rehoboth Beach

Card shark

What’s your shopping obsession?

After shoes and accessories, I’d have to say my greatest shopping pleasure is picking out greeting cards. I’ve spent upwards of $60 at a whack at places where they offer good cards. I buy hundreds every year.

What are good cards? I lean toward humor, so I go for the cards that have me laughing out loud right there at the rack. I’ve been a spectacle at the airport news stand, where they often carry my favorite line of cards, Avanti.

I think the reason so many people no longer send greeting cards is that they’re under the impression it takes a separate trip to the card store for each acknowledgement.

In fact, like the airport gift shops, the best cards can be found at places where we already are. I often buy cards at FedEx Kinko’s, where I browse the racks while waiting for a print job. If you like cards and live near where I do, Bertram’s Inkwell at White Flint Mall and Knowles Apothecary in Kensington will hook you up.

When I’m traveling and have a little time, I seek out the local card shops. I found Boulder, Colorado, to be a greeting card Mecca, and Gidget’s Gadgets in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware, can’t be beat.

I wish I could be like my friend Sheree, who makes her own cards, or my friend Jeuli, who had her own line in stores some years ago, or my friend Carla, who wrote for Hallmark’s humor lines. I just don’t have that kind of talent.

I am good, though, at buying and sending. And I have a kind of a system for managing my habit.

I buy all year long because, after all, I enjoy the hunt. Most cards remind me of friends and family members, so I select cards with specific people in mind, rather than just stocking up. Even if you’ve just had a birthday or anniversary, chances are I’ve already bought your next year’s card, affixed a Post-it with your name on it, made a note on my calendar a week before your occasion that there’s a card for you in my pile and then put it in the pile.

I do stock up on things like graduation cards, so that I’m ready when those announcements starting rolling in, and I keep other cards on hand just in case.

Recently, my pile became so unruly that I extended the system. I now have a box with purchased, assigned cards sorted by occasion, sitting by my stock of notecards and personalized stationery. If you stepped into my office, you might mistake it for the Hallmark store.

When people see my various “systems,” they often tell me I have too much time on my hands. Perhaps that’s because I’m so organized.


Filed under Beauty and Fashion, Family and Friends, Holidays, Travel

In Memoriam: Darrin Beachy

Of the special things we could truly count on in life, one was going to Rehoboth Beach, Delaware–and to Espuma restaurant–and having the great pleasure of being served by Darrin Beachy.  Every year for the last 10 years, my husband, friends and I have made a point of having dinner there.  The creative fare was about 40 percent of the reason.  Darrin was the other 60 percent.

Yesterday, when I told you about Darrin in my blog post, I had no idea he had passed away suddenly in June, at the age of 42.  Darrin might have been part owner at one time, or the business partner of chef Jay Caputo, but he was a big part of what Espuma does well–taking the highest quality raw ingredients, treating them with love and respect, and creating culinary masterpieces unlike any other.  The restaurant is tiny, so he also served patrons in the dining room.

As I said yesterday, while the printed menu is simple, listing only the ingredients, Darrin made the menu come alive.  Slowly and quietly, he took you through every delicious detail of how the food was prepared, in such a personal story that you were on that boat with the fishermen or in the fields picking the produce at its ripest moment.  When you ate at Espuma, you didn’t take leftovers, because you never left a morsel on your plate, but you always took a bit of Darrin with you.

When we went last summer, we were disappointed to learn that, because Darrin had won a series of bartending awards, he had moved behind the bar to serve his famous homemade cocktails.  We sat at the bar before dinner that night. Darrin’s Italian Mojito, made with his homemade limoncello and fresh basil, was the best drink I’ve ever had.  In fact, ever since last summer, I have tried unsuccessfully to replicate it and was planning to stop by in August and ask him to give me a lesson.

I cannot imagine Rehoboth without Darrin.  I just know when we go in August, it will feel a lot less Beachy.

Here’s to you, Darrin, my friend.  Thanks for giving us good times, good food and a bit of yourself.  If I could, I’d toast you with an Italian Mojito.


Filed under Family and Friends, Food, In Memoriam, Travel