Showing posts from August, 2022

Vacation Thoughts

  We have taken our first family vacation since my mother died in July.  Our destination was Skytop , which should come as no surprise to anyone who knows me or reads this blog.  It's been our go to vacation spot for many years and seasons.  It feels like home, as most of the staff know us and we are treated as family.  (I'd like to think we treat our gracious hosts with the same friendliness as we always receive.) This trip was fun, but also bittersweet.  As I know it, my maternal grandfather first came to Skytop  in the early 1950s (I'm guessing the date) for some sort of work-related conference (no idea what that might have been.)  During the summers, the family used to vacation at Cape Cod, but in the summer of 1954, my grandmother's mother was ill so there was no vacation.  Sometime after her death in August of that year (or so I'm assuming), my grandfather brought his family here.  It was closer to home than Massachusetts.  And so it was a death that first b


Today should have been my brother's 50th birthday.  It's not because he died ten years ago, 2+ months before his 40th birthday.  When my brother died, my son was just starting elementary school; now he is entering his final year of high school.   Ten years is a long time. I don't remember the day he was born.  I do remember when he and my mom finally came home and I got gifts.  (How cool was that.)  I needed gifts; my mom had been away for a while (how many days I can't recall) and he was a loud baby.  I remember him crying a lot; maybe it was because my mom had to go back to the hospital not too long after that.  Not that it was his fault, but the months after my brother was born were not the best of times.  I was entering first grade and while I don't remember too much about that, I do remember that it was "hard" (well that's how I remember it).  Now that I think of it I about the same age my son was at the time he died; how strange is that?  (Strang

Don't Tell (the office)

  It's a lovely summer morning here in my neighborhood.  Like many mornings this week, when I woke up it felt more like an early autumn day. Which is the time of year I love...that wonderful space at the end of summer/beginning of autumn where it's not too hot and perfect sleeping weather.  This time of year can happen from August - October and when the miraculous day happens, it brings true joy to my life.  The early mornings this week have been darker (because the days are getting shorter and I'm really starting to notice it), but the temperatures have been perfect for walking.  As such I've been doing a lot more miles these day (which is a good thing).  I'm trying to take advantage of the cool morning with low humidity; knowing that soon it will be too cold and that I will leave in the dark in the morning and when I return (even two or more hours later), it will still be dark.  (And that's something I don't like at all!) (Not my photo...freely "bor

Listening to..

  I know I'm old; I've passed the half century mark and I'm not the hip mom (although I desperately want to be which is probably why I am not).  I have always been behind the times.  My Beatles obsession didn't begin until the late 1970s.  I was reluctant to get a cell phone (like the internet you used to only get a set amount of time before they started charging you big bucks).  I have a love/hate relationship with my "smart" phone.  I know what podcasts are but didn't get into them for the longest time.  I'd listen, earbuds in (how I want to say headphones) and I'd either fall asleep or get caught up in something else and not really listen.   To be fair to the podcaster, you need to listen actively; not just use it as background noise.  (At least that's my opinion.)   All this changed last year, when I got wanted to listen to something different while out on my morning walks.  I'd been listening to music/radio for nearly 10 years at that

Jumping Hurdles

  I am NOT a track and field star.  I NEVER was.  However, since my mother's death in July I feel like I have been jumping hurdles non-stop.  Trying to overcome obstacles that have been set in my path.   When you have lost a loved one the last thing you need to do is start jumping hurdles.  It's an emotional time.  For me, it's also been an exhausting time.  I have not been sleeping well.  Just the other night I was exhausted as I had lost a couple of hours of sleep the previous night due to a power outage (thank you  PSEG  for taking care of it relatively quickly).  You'd think I'd fall asleep quickly, but I didn't.  When I finally did I woke up after 30 or so minutes.  Every hour I would wake up.  It made no sense, but... There are so many things that you need to take care of when a person dies.  I am grateful to the places/organizations that made it easier.  You'd expect the funeral home to make it easy, and the one I dealt with it; handing the whole proc

BoA is annoyed with me...

 It's no surprise that  Bank of America  is a little miffed.  Over the past week I've mentioned them in 3 blog posts and none of those mentions were particularly complimentary.  (If you don't know what I'm talking about you can quickly read: ,  and the small mention in yesterday's post: ).  I've tagged them on social media when I post my blogs, which I'm guessing is a small thorn in their side.  I am annoying gnat that won't get out of their face, even though they keep swatting me away.  After yesterday's post I had this messaging exchange through  Twitter .  (Setup...I tagged them when I posted my blog with this:  "And  @BankofAmerica  it's been nearly a week....any word on when you might release my mom's funds and

August 9: A Month Ago

One month ago today (4 weeks ago on Saturday), my mother died.  I was there when she died, but I haven't written all that much about that day.  I want to try and preserve some of my memories from that day (is that weird?) so I'm going to ramble on here and just let the words fill the screen. I stayed the night at the shore, sleeping in what was my mother's bed.  I got up, got coffee and tried to pick out more phone numbers that my mother might want to call.  I wanted to get to the hospital around 9 or so.  I talked to my dad and made sure he and the caregiver were okay and off I went.  I had no real plans.  I didn't know that this would be the last day.  (I thought for sure it would be Monday or Tuesday while I was back home and at work.)  It all depended on mom.  I thought I wouldn't stay that late in the afternoon and that perhaps I would take a detour to Walmart on my way back to the shore house.  I wanted to buy myself something cheap and stupid (perhaps a t-s


 If you haven't already read this: , you might want to give it a one over before you continue on.  Gives you some background on what I'm about to delve (rant?) into... So...on July 29th (that would be the last work day of the month), the school schedules were finally released in the afternoon.  So the "promise" that schedules would be available in July so that summer assignments could be viewed was kept.  (Over a month after school had been let out for the summer.)  Sure enough my son DID get into AP Lit & Composition.  He is listed in the classroom, although he is NOT listed in the classroom for the summer assignment.  However, because I pushed him, he had gotten a passcode to get into the summer classroom and see what he needed to do.  (Don't ask me if he has done it yet...)   I reviewed his schedule and was pretty okay with what I saw. (It seemed to jib with what we had re

The Update

 Thank you all who read yesterday's post ( ) and shared your comments and suggestions. It seems like the ONE thing BoA does work quickly on is social media.  When I @BankofAmerica on twitter, suddenly their social media wanted to offer my condolences and escalate my case.  (Something they clearly couldn't do in an actual BoA location?)  Here was the chatter that flew pretty fast (at least in BoA time) last night: "We're very sorry for your loss and offer our deepest condolences. We can connect with you to see how we can help regarding this urgent matter. Please share your name and phone number, along with the zip code associated with the account. Thank you! ^joseph" My response (I have edited personal information here that I did include to them) " Bfth (for the Estate of ***). You should have my phone number on file as I spent over an hour at your ** office, but it i

If You Like Aggravation You'll LOVE this Bank...

  I know, ALL banks are aggravating.  But in my experience (and sadly I've had a lot of experience lately),  Bank of America  is the one that wins the prize.  Kudos to  Bank of America  for making my life and my father's life so much more difficult.  Thank you for adding extra hoops to jump through just to get MY money from one place to another.  When it comes to (NO) quality customer service, (LONG) waiting times and (LACK OF) compassion; turn to BoA. My mother and father have accounts there.  I am the executor of her estate; and just got the paperwork from the court on Monday to prove it.  I had signed her up for on line banking last fall so that I could help take care of bills from my end.  Thank goodness I did and I'd been paying as many bills on line as I could.  (Some she got could not be paid on line which is a whole other ball of wax.)  At some point, they put a hold on the account; which makes sense as she is deceased.  I knew that I had to take her death certifi

Ruining August 4th

 August 4th has always been a very special day for me.  It's the day my son was born and there's just something about that; I feel like it has to be special for not just my son but for my husband and myself.  It marks the most important day of our lives; the day when our family truly began.  I don't say that lightly and I know my husband feels the same.  We began on August 4th. One of the last things my mother feared before she died was that she would ruin my son's birthday.  I told her she wouldn't.  In all honesty, her death did put a damper on things.  What also put a damper on things was the looming driver's test that was scheduled for 8 this morning.  I have long thought that it was a bad practice to have the test on your birthday because if you don't pass it ruins the day.  It beyond ruins the day and I can say that with conviction. His appointment was at 8, but there were at least six cars that went before him.  He is a pretty good driver, but nob