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THE NOURISH LETTER
OctoberKitchen.com | 860-533-0588 | 309 Green Rd., Manchester, CT 06042
Meet the Team Behind Your Meals
A Tribute to a Few of the Best Men I’ve Ever Known THE 3 PETES
grew to take on all of these qualities, Peter D. also taught her a rare lesson — that she was far more capable than she could’ve ever imagined. He proved to her that she was capable of true grit and determination. Without Peter D.,
In honor of Friendship Week during the third week of August, let me tell you about some of the best men I’ve ever known in my life — who, by coincidence, are all
named Peter and didn’t know each other. Although two of the three have passed away in the last year, I’ll always be grateful for the tremendous legacy of strength and kindness they’ve left behind. The first is Peter D., my next-door neighbor and one of my best friends for many years. We were the type of neighbors that could say to each other, “What do you have? Chicken? Great, I have pork. Let’s put it on a
my whole family (including Audriana) agrees that she wouldn’t be the person she is today.
Sadly, Peter D. came down with brain cancer at the young age of 52. During the weekend of Audriana’s wedding, he had a fall, then an MRI.
I’ll always be grateful for the tremendous legacy of strength and kindness they’ve left behind.”
That’s when they discovered the cancer: an aggressive, rare cancer that was on top of the list
of 50 deadliest cancers. He toughed it out for six more months before he finally passed in the past year. We all miss him very much. The second Pete is Peter P., who is a Mason brother of mine — we were raised in the same Masonic lodge. He was actually an employee of October Kitchen back in the early days. Peter P. was one of the funniest guys you’d ever know. He was a jack-of-all-
grill!” Then, we’d share a few beverages and spend the evening together. Peter D. and his wife were never boring company and we even went camping together. But he wasn’t just a good friend — he was also an excellent mentor to our daughter, Audriana. As a highly trained black belt, he became my daughter’s karate instructor when she was in fourth grade. The three values he taught at his karate studio were simple: self-respect, respect for others and self-discipline. But, even though Audriana
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trades who loved to work on anything mechanical. No matter what I needed, I could always count on him.
His parents owned an Apple Store in the days when Apple was a brand-new invention. I remember staying inside with him during the rainy days and playing computer games with no graphics. We stopped going to the cottage around the time I was 15, and I never saw him again — or so I thought. About 15 years ago, I was at a client’s house when I saw a business card stuck to my client’s refrigerator. It had Peter F.’s name, and I immediately recognized
Peter P. is the only guy I know who’s fallen up a tree. While he was working for a tree company, the crew had just felled a tree when one of the guide ropes looped around Pete’s leg. He flew 10 feet in the air! He turned out just fine from that, I’m happy to say. Unfortunately, he was also one of the hardest people I ever had to fire. Peter P. was wrestling with a lot of demons and liked to drink. I caught him drinking on the job and I had to be very straightforward and harsh with him, even though it was difficult to say such things to my brother. For years after that, he had a couple stints in rehab and became sober. He stayed sober for the rest of his life. He always told me, “You put the fear of God into me. You saved my life, Paul. I love you like a brother.” I had no idea that firing him would become a turning point in his life for him — but now, I’m so glad it was. We were closer than ever.
it since it was such a unique last name. The card was for an IT business and I figured, “His parents owned a computer store, so it’d make sense if he got into computers himself.” I called him and left a message, reminiscing over the old days and telling him to give me a call back if he’s the Peter I knew. Surely enough, Peter called back and we rekindled a friendship after nearly 30 years of no contact
whatsoever. I learned that he got engaged on the same beach we used to spend time at, and his wife and daughters still go down there occasionally. It was a joy reconnecting with him, as we shared a lot of similarities: We were both entrepreneurs and shared similar political beliefs. The only trouble in paradise was that he’s a diehard Red Sox fan and I’m a diehard Yankees fan. At least we certainly enjoy harassing each other over it. Peter F. is still with us today — perhaps by the power of prayer and God’s grace. Last year, Peter had gone to New York to pick up a motorcycle he’d always longed for. Then, he was struck by a car and was extremely injured. With over 19 broken bones, 23 surgeries and facial reconstructions, doctors feared that a traumatic brain injury would disable Peter’s ability to speak or walk for life. But Peter was a smart rider; with an armored leather jacket and helmet on, his life was saved. Now, he’s healed and has nearly fully recovered. It’s one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen in my life. He also had a tremendous amount of people praying for him. I’ll never forget it. The Petes in my life are each incredible people with incredible strength — I hope you enjoyed learning about them. I feel extremely lucky to have had the pleasure of doing so in person.
Life was looking up for Peter P. He’d always been the black sheep of the family because of his behavior, but his sobriety and hardworking attitude allowed him to rejoin the family tree business. Then, at the ripe age of 38, his mother called me last October and said, “Pete has passed.” He was loading and splitting wood and told a buddy he wasn’t feeling so good. Peter went upstairs to his room, laid down for a nap, and never woke up.
His family was devastated. The last thing I was able to do for Pete was give him a Masonic funeral. A dozen of us came out to support him, and it made a big difference for the family. I remember saying that Pete was one of those guys who always had a story to tell — and there was a good chance that some of them were even true. That’s the mischievous and hilarious Pete who will always live on in my mind. He left us far too soon. The last, but certainly not least, is Peter F. He’s among one of my oldest friends, as our friendship goes back to boyhood. When we were 10 years old, our parents would rent cottages that were across the street from each other, and we became as thick as thieves. For about 10 weeks every single summer, we’d go out to the lake on canoes, harass and get harassed back by swans, find secret springs in a tunnel beneath railroad tracks, explore little beaches, ride bikes, put off fireworks ... The list of shenanigans and adventures goes on and on.
A NEWNORMALWITH OCTOBER KITCHEN
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Meet Irene! Hello, everyone! This article was submitted by Irene, a very kind woman who wanted to share her positive experiences with October Kitchen. We were very touched and hope you enjoy it! –The October Kitchen Team
Since I’ve retired, I keep busy. Meetings, gardening and reading take up most of my days, and crochet and other fiber crafts take up my TV-watching hours. I also travel and do some volunteer work. My friends and I gather for dinners out and some lunches. It seems my life revolves around meals, food and where that next meal will be from. Friends tease me that I haven’t used my oven since I bought it. (I have, but not often.) One of the burners on the stove gets used often, and I have lots of microwave time. I normally cook for myself, and I do a lot of direct from the freezer-to- plate-to-microwave. I can cook, but I don’t feel like bothering to cook for just one. About two years ago, a friend told me about October Kitchen. I’m pretty sure she even drove me there. So, I started driving there on my own after visiting the Manchester Senior Center. I was shopping from the cases and going at least once a month. Then COVID-19 and the quarantine happened. Luckily, October Kitchen could deliver to my door. But even better, they would bring bags out to my car. I put in an order about every other week. I order from the weekly special, freezer specials and the freezer favorites. I always order a salad and add to it so it lasts several days. I gave up on grocery delivery — too many problems — and started to do early-bird shopping (6:30–7:30 a.m.) for the things like milk, yogurt, cheese and fruit that I need beyond October Kitchen’s offerings. Now that the quarantine is mostly over, I can now step into the store for the “surprise” items on the chalkboard and in the refrigerator case. I often pick up a second salad. I do October Kitchen dinners for 10–14 nights, lunches of salad, plus whatever is in the fridge. I still do everything else except travel, but that will be coming back soon. I’ve even heard that Manchester Senior Center will be reopening soon. October Kitchen is my new normal.
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INSIDE Meet the 3 Pete’s
Menu: Week of August 3rd
Irene’s New Normal
A Wedding She’ll Never Forget — Even if He Does
A Connecticut Couple Marries Twice AN EMOTIONAL STORY OF LOVE WINNING OVER ALZHEIMER’S
unique, special moment: Peter fell in love with his wife all over again and chose her to be his partner forever — for the second time.
Would you marry your spouse twice, even if they’ll never remember it? Recently, a Connecticut couple did just that after the husband was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Lisa and Peter Marshall have been married for over 12 years. The couple has continued strong through all challenges, including Peter being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s at just 53 years old. Then, three years later, he began to forget their wedding day and even Lisa’s name.
With a heavy sparkle in her eye, Lisa told NBC, “I’m the luckiest girl in the world. I get to do it twice.” Lisa’s daughter was the wedding and event planner, who began to share their story with others. The community rose up in massive support for them, and many vendors volunteered their services for free. “It was so perfect. I couldn’t have dreamt for a better day. It was so magical,” Lisa said. “I can’t remember seeing him so happy for so long. He was so happy.” Peter’s illness has progressed rapidly to the point that he doesn’t remember the vow renewal ceremony they had just a few months ago. Thankfully, he’ll always remember that there’s a woman who loves him and will cherish him forever. In another rare moment of clarity, during the wedding, “Peter leaned over to me and whispered, ‘Thank you for staying,’” Lisa shared in tears. Even in the late stages of Peter’s condition, renewing their vows gave Peter such profound joy, and it’s certainly a ceremony the bride will never forget.
Despite that, there is one thing he’s never forgotten: how much he loves his wife.
Last December, the couple was watching a wedding on TV when Peter had a moment of clarity. He turned to Lisa and said, “Let’s do it.” Lisa stared for a moment, speechless. “Do what?” Peter pointed at the TV, and Lisa asked, “Do you wanna get married?” Peter wore a huge grin on his face as he said yes. Lisa later explained the moment to NBC, saying, “He doesn’t know that I’m his wife. I’m just his favorite person.” It gave the couple a
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