When we rented a house in Italy near Sorento [in 2002], every time we went out to eat, they gave us each a shot of limoncello. One night none of us wanted our shots and I bet Sheila she couldn’t drink all six shots and make it through the windy drive back home without throwing up. She downed them all and didn’t bat an eye.
Since the mid-1990s, Sheila has led us on multiple summer trips to Cape Breton Island, in Nova Scotia, Canada.
We first rented a house in the Margaree valley in the 1990s, and then found our way to the Ross house, located on a bluff between Margaree Harbor and Whale Cove, looking out onto the Gulf of St. Lawrence.
We returned there for several years in a row, most recently in July and August of 2012.
In both 2008 and 2012, Sheila and George went on road trips to nearby swing states in an effort to get out the vote for Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Her first signs of weakness emerged while she was doing campaign field work near Philadelphia the weekend before the election — although we didn’t know that the weakness was due to cancer for several weeks after that.
As she grew sicker, she continued to take pride in a sense that she and George were responsible for some infinitesimal fraction of Obama’s electoral college votes for Pennsylvania and Virginia.
She had worked as a short-order cook in a roadside restaurant near the Bourne bridge as a summer job while she was a teenager, but most of her cooking skills seemed to be self-taught, through books and experimentation .