Photos, Love, Loss

My cousin Carolynn’s husband Steve Lenhoff passed away unexpectedly, last night.

I’m so sad – for Steve, his wonderful family, and that we’ve lost someone I considered a true cousin since I was a little girl.

I captured this moment at the Belleville Chorus Christmas concert inĀ December.

Turned out to be one of those “didn’t know it was the last time we’d see him” moments.

But of course, you never know that then. My dad (the white-haired gentleman on the right, looking at Steve) was so happy to meet him.

Hug those you love.

Spend time with them.

Take pictures.




DSC_1941Monday afternoon at Dominick’s. Fantastic.

20 years this summer, I’ve been coming to this Ann Arbor classic. And I love it more than ever. Just feels like it never changes. Same sangria, same cracked floor and lack of air conditioning, same scattered and awesome mix-and-match pasta menu. Handwritten on chalkboards, of course.

And hey, as you can appreciate on a 95-degree day: at least there are some squeaky ceiling fans. Makes it feel like an old mafia hangout or something (which is addressed by a joke sign on the wall, saying as much – or maybe it’s not a joke?).

I usually sit in the back garden, but today is blazing hot. Wouldn’t usually stop me, as mosquitoes and a little sweat equity are par for the summer Dominick’s course. But today is not a drinking in the back garden kind of a day. It’s a sandwich, Gardetto’s, and a half-pint of sangria, and duck off to the library kind of day. Time later this week, after Ann Arbor Art Fair starts, to come back and savor a quart of my favorite local summer drink.

This cozy block is legend to me, as I’m sure it is to thousands who’ve passed through Ann Arbor in the last 53 years. 812 Monroe Street (the address even reads like an old Little Italy mafia hangout) sits just across from the Law Quad on the University of Michigan campus. The Quad is arguably the most photographed location in Ann Arbor, and site of one of my favorite, most romantic evenings three summers ago. Second day of Art Fair that year. It’s always felt like a magical season to me, ever since that first post-freshman summer here, back in 1993.

And this season, at least on this small block, is fed by Dominick’s sangria and pizza bread, bocconcini sandwiches and basil pesto penne, year after year.

I’m happy and lucky to be here again, today. Such a treat for a Monday. But my half-pint of sangria is now spent. And it’s time to get to work.

‘Til next time, Dominick’s. Soon.