Monthly Archives: June 2011

Memory Monday

I don’t have a good picture for this memory, so bear with me.  I remembered this incident quite suddenly a couple of days ago.  I had gone into Aaron’s room in the morning to open his curtains and make up his bed.  I expected him to be in there, and was surprised when he was nowhere to be seen.  So I went over to his window, which has a big armchair in front of it.  I opened the curtains and started pulling up the shade.  I happened to look down, and there was Aaron, staring right up at me.  I shrieked and just about jumped right out of my skin, which of course made him laugh like a maniac.

And I suddenly remembered an incident that happened with my best friend Jane when we were in maybe the ninth grade.  It must have been summertime, because we were spending the entire day together.  Somehow, we got it into our heads that we wanted to do something – maybe it was getting frozen yogurt, or maybe it was going to Sweet Temptations for chocolate.  I can’t remember what it was we wanted to do, but the important thing was that we had to go get some money from Jane’s room, and Jane knew that if her mom saw her at home, she wouldn’t let her go out again.  She would have to stay home and practice her violin.  So, we sneaked over her back garden wall, down the hallway, and into her room.  So far so good.

Except we heard Jane’s mom coming down the hallway.  Jane and I looked at each other and bolted for the closet.  Jane dived behind the clothes, but there was no room for me.  So I stood really, really still with my back to the door and held my breath.  Wouldn’t you know that Jane’s mom had clothes to hang up in Jane’s closet, so she opened the door.  She grabbed a couple of hangers, just inches from my still-as-death head, and she was humming, and I was not breathing, and thought I was going to pass out.  And then all in an instant, she saw me, and she shrieked and jumped five feet.

I felt so terrible.  I thought I had probably caused a heart attack.  I apologized profusely.  And Jane apologized profusely.  As I recall, Jane’s mom laughed about it, and we didn’t get in any trouble.  How cool is that?  Thanks, Jane’s mom, for not grounding Jane for being 14.

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Baseball Wrap-Up

Another baseball season has come and gone, and this one has been particularly nice.  This year Jacob decided he wanted to play Farm League again.  They don’t keep score, there is a lot less pressure – it’s more about learning the skills and having fun playing.  He just barely made the upper age cut-off (by a matter of days!), so he was by far the oldest kid.  His team came together really well, and he made HUGE leaps in skills.  He got several hits every game, his throwing and catching improved by leaps and bounds.  He was excited for every game and happy to be there.

Lydia also played this year in the Coaches Pitch league.  There are no strikes or balls, nobody gets out.  Every kid gets a turn at bat while the other team fans out in the infield, and there are as many pitches as necessary for the kid to hit the ball and get to run around the bases.  She had so much fun, and was so proud to hit the ball!  Her catching and throwing are awesome for her age and size – I think we have a softball star on our hands!

We signed Aaron up for T-ball this year.  He just barely made the age cut-off on the other end, and was by far the youngest and smallest kid there.  He had absolutely no interest at all in being there.  He just hung onto my leg and refused to participate.  Maybe next year.  Here he is enjoying Lydia’s last game yesterday – at least he’s a good cheerleader!

 

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Garden Watch 2011

It’s gardening time again!!  I think this is our fourth year gardening.  Even though we have a farm share, so we get more vegetables that we can handle anyway, there’s something about watching a garden grow that is nourishing to the soul.  It feels like watching life happen.  I’m not particularly good at it – I often forget to water it, and the lettuce invariably bolts, but I love it.  Here is what we are growing this year:

We have just the one pumpkin growing – Lydia sprouted it at school.  I don’t know if it’ll make it.  Come on, pumpkin, grow!

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Summertime

Here we are – it’s the first day of summer.  This is the first week of my “summer schedule” at work – I am working only three days a week this week through Labor Day in order to have some semblance of a summer with the kids, and also to save money on babysitting.  Five full days a week of babysitting puts a real bite in the wallet.

So here I am, at home with Aaron on a perfect summer day.  Jacob and Lydia are still in school – that’s what happens when you live in New England and you have a freakishly awful winter.  So Aaron and I have had the day together – a very unusual thing.  Of course, we mostly just ran errands this morning, but we had fun doing it, dammit!

So what are our plans this summer?  The pool, the park, 10 days in California, a long weekend in Maine, two weeks of nature camp for Jake and Lydia, a week of Kung Fu camp for Jake.  You know, normal summer stuff.

And…

… we’ll be grilling!!  We picked up this super-cheap grill at The Christmas Tree Shops.  Unbelievably, we assembled it correctly, and it actually works.  So far, we’ve cooked up some burgers and dogs, grilled up some sausages, and tonight we’re having teriyaki chicken kebobs.

This summer is going to fly by – I can tell already just by looking at the calendar.  In some ways I feel like this is the *last* summer for us.  I don’t think I’ll be able to pull off a three day a week schedule once I’m actually getting paid to work.  So we’re going to do this summer, and we’re going to do it right.  Look out, Summer – here we come!

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Memory Monday

This is one of the guest rooms at The Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia.  The Greenbrier is a beautiful hotel tucked away in the Alleghany Mountains.  Why would I have any reason to be there?  Well, my mother grew up in West Virginia, and The Greenbrier has been an important place for her family.  She and my dad honeymooned there, one of my uncles was married there, and there have been numerous family gatherings there over the years.  I think I’ve probably stayed there four or five times, each time with my parents and brother, my grandparents, and my aunts, uncles, and cousins. The last time was when I was pregnant with Jake, so early 2001.

The Greenbrier has a very distinct look about it.  It was decorated by someone famous in her signature style.  Can’t remember who.  Anyway, it’s a huge, sprawling building that looks like an old plantation house, with it’s own Olympic-sized pool, outdoor skating rink, movie theater, a bowling alley, and various other diversions*.  As a kid it was like being at summer camp.  There was a list of daily activities on your pillow each night, and you could just choose what you wanted to do each day.  There were movies, dance lessons, performances.  And if you didn’t want to do any of those things, you could go bowling!  The first year we went, I think I was 14.  All of the 5 cousins were so excited there was a bowling alley, that we just bowled all day, every day.  When we would go get the bowling shoes, the attendants would ask us for our room number, and we’d tell them and then bowl and bowl and bowl like there was no tomorrow.  We had no idea that it actually cost money to bowl, and they were billing all those games to the rooms.  When my grandfather (who was very graciously hosting this fabulous reunion) got the bills for the rooms, he just about blew a gasket.  I didn’t hear exactly what went down, but I believe the upshot was that the various parents paid all the bowling costs.  Oops.

The next year that we went (maybe I was in my late teens?) we very carefully portioned out a little bowling each day so as not to break the bank, and spent much more time exploring the various hallways and sitting rooms.  We were there for several days and kept finding new places.  To this day I have dreams about wandering around The Greenbrier, and meeting various people in various parlors.

* Not many people know that the Greenbrier used to be the evacuation site for the government.  There is a huge bunker underneath it with auditoriums and dormitories for all the senators and representatives – you know, in case WWIII happens and there’s a nuclear holocaust.  There is an infirmary, a weapons depot, the whole shebang.  They moved it once people got wind that it was there (why exactly does White Sulphur Springs, WV need a runway that can land a 747, hmmm?  The capitol city Charleston can only land commuter jets!).  Anyway, you can tour it now, which is really fun.

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Love Letter

Lydia wrote me and Nate a love letter this week.  When she gave it to me, she said, “I wrote in rainbow writing.”  Lovely.

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The Last Exam

This morning I took the last exam I will ever take in my entire life.  In order to become certified as an audiologist, I have to get my degree (working on it!), and pass the Praxis exam.  I figured since I just finished studying everything for my Comprehensive Exams, I should just go ahead and get it over with.  So this morning at 7:30, I reported the Keene State College in Keene, New Hampshire, and spent two hours answering 120 multiple-choice questions about audiology.  Some of them were comically easy, some of them were bizarre, and some were puzzling.  There were many questions for which more than one of the answers could have been correct, so I just tried to select the best one.  Who knows if I succeeded or not.  Lucky for me, I only have to pass the exam, not ace it!

The whole exam experience was very interesting – it’s run by ETS, the same people who bring you the SAT and the GRE and pretty much every other standardized test you can imagine.  They were very specific and by the book.  We had to wait until we were told to begin, and then we all had to wait until the end of the testing time for our tests to be collected.  It has been SOOOO long since I took a test like that on paper – when I took the GREs it was computerized, so you could start when you were ready and when you were finished, you were finished and you could leave.  I had some flashbacks to taking the SATs about a billion years ago, with my sharpened number 2 pencils and the exam proctor reading the instructions from a piece of paper.

One big difference – no cell phones allowed in the testing room, and they wouldn’t hold them for you.  Luckily, I knew this ahead of time and left mine in the car.  Surprisingly, this made me feel a little panicked.  What if something happened and I desperately needed to check my email?! What if I had to update my Facebook status very suddenly?!  Ridiculous, I know, but my brain was kept just a tiny bit preoccupied by the absence of my phone.

Another hurdle hurdled.  Onward and upward!

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