Showing posts from September, 2013

That Silly, Spooky Time of Year

Although he likes presents more than he likes candy (my son announced today that presents last longer), I think my son's favorite holiday is NOT Christmas, but Halloween.  He loves all things spooky.  (NOT scary, but spooky.  The difference might be hard to discern, but Scooby Do o is spooky;  Halloween  is scary.)  He adores ghosts and ghouls and pumpkins that can be carved into jack-o-lanterns.  For him it is a time of year that transitions from the beginning of a new school year to the "season" of holidays.  (According to him, Halloween ushers in the Holiday Season for after Halloween comes Thanksgiving and then Christmas...after that there isn't much else; at least as far as he can see.) There are rules according to my son, as to how we can decorate and when. For example, did you know that you CAN"T decorate for Halloween INSIDE or OUTSIDE until the official first day of autumn.  Once you've past that day (this year it was September 22nd), you are allow

He Walks Alone...or does he?

School is back in full swing and my boy is growing up! At eight years old, he carries a pretty heavy backpack full of books.  And he's at the age where just about everything seems to be embarrassing (especially when it comes to mom and dad). So I decided that he was old/mature enough to walk to school by himself.  Had this been another decade, he might have been walking to school on his own for years.  I know I was when I was even younger than he is now.  I know that when I was in first grade (which would mean I was only six) I walked back and forth to school twice  a day (back in the dark, unenlightened ages we came home for lunch).  But those were different times. (I'm tempted to say simpler times, but was anything ever simple?) I'll admit that I'm a clingy mom...a helicopter mom (in a good way!).  But I also know that I need my son to grow up and be independent.  (Which is one of the reasons I sent him to sleep away camp for a week this summer).  So I took the le

Lucky Friday the 13th

I know Friday the 13th is supposed to be a day of bad luck.  But I've never believed that.  And so that is why on Friday, September 13th, 1996 I got married. Not quite fall and not quite summer, the weather was a little strange that day.  The temperature was moderate and the sky was overcast.  We had several showers during the day which worried me.  But my Great Uncle Harold (and he was great in all the sense of the word), assured me the sun would shine on my wedding and Uncle Harold was always right.  By the 5 the sun was shining.  (Even if I don't remember that, the evidence is clear by my squinting in most of the pre-wedding photos). The weather did make it a challenge for many of our guests to get to our venue (the Normandy Beach Yacht Club -- I believe we were the first couple that was actually married there).  Although there had been some rain at the shore, there had been torrential downpours further north and the traffic on the parkway was backed up for miles.  (I wa

Where Were You?

Do I need to say more with the today's date? Where was I?  Well for my husband and I, the day was a special one.  We had traveled to Walt Disney World for our 5th anniversary the week before.  Staying at the Wilderness Lodge on the Disney Property I had managed to secure us a spot as the "Flag Family" on the morning of September 11, 2001. So on September 11, we were up early.  We needed to be in the lobby and ready to go by 7:30.  We were there by 7:15.  We were met by a cast member (a woman who's name I don't remember after 12 years) who took us up to the top floor and then we climbed some stairs to the roof. The view was incredible.  It was a beautiful morning. Steve was the one who raised the first flag, the American Flag.  We then raised the state flag, the WDW park flag and the two flags that were for the hotel.  I snapped as many photos as I could.  The cast member was kind enough to take a few as well. It was such a lovely day and we were in no

National Grandparents Day

It's the holiday that sneaks up on me every year.  It's the Sunday after Labor Day and for some reason I can never remember that it's coming until it's too late. Apparently Grandparents Day was initiated in the 1970 and President Carter declared the holiday by signing a proclamation in 1978.  I must have been a bad granddaughter because I don't remember ever doing anything special for Grandparents Day.  (Maybe Hallmark was not making cards for the holiday at the time.)  Which is a shame because I had a good set and a half of grandparents.  I'm proud to say that I, along with my family live in the house that my maternal grandparents purchased back in 1924.  We may have changed many things since my grandparents lived here. (Although not enough, that list I made back in the mid 1990s of renovations that I'd like to do within 10 years has never been touched and I don't know if we'll ever have the financial resources to take care of them.)  At times I c

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

How many of you knew that today's title was a reference to that Staple's Back To School sale from I don't know how many years ago?? Yes, it is the most wonderful time of began another school year in our town.  The weather is perfect; sunny (perfect for the obligatory first day of school photos) and cool (perfect for not sweltering in the classroom).  The school supplies were safely stowed in the backpack.  (Which must have weighed at least 5 pounds and he's only in elementary school!).  Lunch was packed. (The Halloween napkin I had originally put in there was removed as I have been told that it was "embarrassing" to put in a holiday napkin prior to the first of the holiday month.  How could I have not known that etiquette???).  Then it was off for the family walk to school.  (Another annual tradition; all three of us always walk to school on the first and last day of the year.  Unlike the majority of children in the US our son walks to school 9

I Don't Like the Prodigal Son

I adore and admire the pastor who just retired from my church.  He was everything I had hoped for in a church leader; he did some great work with our congregation.  And he gave some really great sermons.  BUT (and you know a but had to be coming), one of his favorite sermon topics was the Prodigal Son. Let me say it straight out, I hate the parable of the Prodigal Son.  While I understand the message behind it (God loves you and is there for you no matter how much you mess up and you are always welcome into God's loving arms no matter what), I just don't "get" it.  Probably because when it comes to the story, I AM the older, reliable child who stays home and does what need to be done.  I understand why the older son pulls a hissy fit when the younger comes back and the father throws a welcome home party complete with the killing of the fatted calf.  If it were me, I would have done the same.  I would have stomped my feet and shouted, "THAT'S NOT FAIR!!!  WH

Summer Mom: Best Intentions That Never Happened

Earlier in the summer, I blogged about being summer mom.  I was (and still am) home for the summer due to unemployment and I was determined to do all sorts of fun things that weren't expensive.  Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans... I'd like to say I got to busy with job interviews and such, but I didn't.  Somehow, the summer just got away from me. That's not to say that my son didn't have a fun time this summer.  Due to good planning PRIOR to the summer, he spent a week and a half at sleep away camp.  (Actually a 1/2 a week and then three weeks later, a full week.)  He spent three weeks at the the Jersey Shore attending Marine Science Camp (a wonderful day camp that rain M-F from 9-2) and staying with my parents.  But there was still plenty of time at home.  Time that I had thought I'd fill with all sorts of good things.  Things that never really happened.  No movie matinees, no trips to the local national landmarks (like the Great Falls

End of SummerTime Blues

It's Labor Day, the unofficial/official end of summer.  If I had my way, I'd still be sitting in a beach chair watching my son rearrange the sand in some fascinating creation or riding a boogie board with a big grin on his face.  But once again the weather gods have denied NJ a sunny end to the season, so here I am in front of a computer again. When I didn't have a child, this used to be my favorite time to head to the beach...when the sun was out at least.  Crowds are down, water is warm and it's calm and peaceful.  It's the time when the days are warm but the night start to cool and the only sounds of the evening are ocean waves and crickets chirping.  (The ever present traffic on Rt. 35 dies down...of course this year it will be different as the "restoration" continues with bulldozers and jackhammers.) From what I have read, it has not been a very successful summer at the shore.  And after all the everyone has been through since October of 2012, tha