Showing posts from June, 2014

Something About Third

My son just "graduated" from third grade.  Before he entered third, I'd been told that this was THE year.  The transition year when school work becomes more focused and the foundation on which everything else is based.  I have to admit this made me nervous, so I reached out to his teacher early and my husband and I made sure that he if he needed help, he got it.  (And once again we were blessed to have a teacher who was there to work with us so that our son got the best third grade experience he could have.) I  think third grade was special for him.  He's come away with a maturity and new found confidence (which I hope continues to grow).  I know my memories of third grade are still strong after all these years. Those memories were reinforced by the fact that my son was in the same classroom as I was all those years ago.  While my third grade teacher was the stern Mrs. Williams, that same room is now occupied by the nurturing Mrs. R.  Going in for the first time i

Summer's Day Song

Summer came this morning while I was out on my walk.  Although I didn't want to get up quite so early on a weekend, my body told me it was time.  So I got up and out I went.  It was a beautiful morning.  And I chose to take a very peaceful route with views of the NY skyline.  The weather was just right.  The sun was coming up and it was not too hot or too cool.  There weren't many cars or people (at least at the beginning of my walk) and with the Beatles on my iPod, I just walked along and enjoyed:  the sights, the scents, the warm sunshine and the gentle breeze. Summer is finally here.  After the long and hard winter we had, I am grateful. I am not sure if summer is my favorite season or not.  Certainly not the hot, sticky days in the middle of the season, although I'll take those over cold and icy/snowy.  But the beginning of the season when everything is just beginning.  And the end, when the feel of autumn is just starting, and yet the days are warm and the nig

My Grandfather's Bathrobe

I've been looking for a bathrobe for Steve for Father's Day.  No one seems to have the summer robe that I am looking for.  (It is actually a replacement for a summer robe that I bought for him nearly 20 years ago which is starting to fray a bit.)  I've been to several department stores, but nothing.  (As an aside, no one seems to sell men's pajamas either.  Of course I could go on line and to get what I am looking for, but I want to be able to touch and see what I am getting before I get it!) I asked my mother if a store near her might have what I was looking for.  She did her research and came back empty handed, just as I did.  But she did have a possible solution.  She thought that she had my grandfather's (her father's) robe. She did some digging and sure enough she did.  I thought I remembered the robe and when I went over to check it out, I was right. In my mind I can see it (and I KNOW that somewhere there is an actual photo or was one).  In t

Why I Love My Dad

It's my dad's birthday today and I've been trying to think of what I could write about him and for him to show him how much I love him.  (Although I hope that has been obvious over the years.)  My thinking brought me about to some cool "trivia" about my dad that I thought was worth sharing. He picks out the BEST greeting cards.  I know that on my Valentine's Day or my birthday I can rely on my dad to get me a card that "gets me."  He always finds something touching and yet has a sense of humor.  I'm not one for mushy sentimental cards (although my mom is and it took my dad a while to get that).  I like silly humor and even after all these years my dad manages to find a good one every time.  (Although he tells me it's getting harder and harder.) He is a devoted Episcopalian.  He may not attend one particular one regularly (as my parents split their time between North and South Jersey and in


It's my favorite awards show.  Actually it's the only one I really watch from beginning to end. (Even if I was nodding off as the 11 o'clock hour arrived.  That had nothing to do with the show and everything to do with the fact that I'm up before 5 in the morning.  You know I'm tired if I'm falling asleep while Hugh Jackman is on stage.)  To me, it's THE show to watch for it exposes me (and hopefully others) to great theater.  For some it may be their own glimpse into the window of theater.  Hopefully it inspires others.  It always entertains. Even though I live relatively close to NYC, I rarely get to see a Broadway Show (or even an off Broadway one).  I LOVE theater, but it's expensive.  (Not complaining about the price here; shows are expensive to mount and the experience is worth every penny.)  Finances the way they are around here, I don't even go to some of the excellent regional theater we have. I know I can get inexpensive tickets,

Why It Was An Awesome Birthday

Don't get me wrong; I love presents!  You can never get enough; that's my motto.  I loved the presents I got. I could tell that they were truly picked out with me in mind, but that's not what made my birthday awesome. It wasn't the cake either.  There was no cake this year.  The vegetarian (AKA "egg free") bakery in town closed so there was no incredible cake like there was last year.  But then again, how could that be topped? Here's why it was a great birthday: It was a sunny Saturday.  You can't go wrong with that My guys got up and drove with me to the NJ shore.  Again, you can't go wrong with that. We passed a horrific car accident.  We weren't in it.  How grateful am I for that? We passed a caravan of Army jeeps.  How thankful am I for the men and women who serve? We ate breakfast (Wawa coffee and freshly cut mango) in the sunshine on the deck at my parent's house.  Does it get more relaxi

The Struggling Class

Forget the middle class.  It's gone.  There may be an upper class.  There is definitely a lower class.  But the middle class; it no longer exists.  It's been replaced by the struggling class. And much of the struggling class is slowly slipping away to the lower class. The unemployment rate is dropping.  That's what I hear.  The truth, I believe, is that it has dropped.  It has dropped off the radar.  There are way too many people who are no longer considered "unemployed" because they are no longer eligible for unemployment.  Some are still looking; some have given up hope.  Many are working short term contract jobs with no benefits. They are all part of the struggling class. They are the ones who are trying to stay afloat.  The ones who are overqualified and cannot find employment.  The ones who are just starting off and have little or no experience.  The ones who would take just about anything if offered, but there are no offers. The struggling class


Two years ago today was the worst of my life.  It might have started out like an ordinary sunny Saturday in late spring, but it mid-afternoon everything came crashing down when we got the news that my brother had died. It was news that was hard to process and to this day still is.  The days that followed were dark and difficult.  They went by quickly and also slowly and painfully.  My memories of the week are blurry.  There was so much stress and so much that was done in such a short time.  There is still much pain associated with that time and when early June comes each year, I cannot help but reflect on those days. But this year I chose to think about the incredible kindness that surrounded my family when my brother died.  Of all the people who supported us in the dark time. My parents had a long drive from the Jersey Shore to get home that Saturday afternoon.  How could I not worry about them as they headed north?  I remember calling my pastor, who was also a good famil