Showing posts from 2015

The end of summer, thankfully

My kids and I, we spend a lot of time in the car.  And because I live half of my life there, even the tiny Jeep that I drive around has become a second home on wheels.  I’m prepared with water, entertainment books and movies, songs, games, seasonal tools, bug spray, extra napkins and straws, and a first aid kit that sadly doesn’t contain an ice pack. This past summer I taught my kids one of the many subtle differences between growing up in the Cleveland ‘burbs and in Wayne County.   There are obvious dialect differences, odor differences (“that’s just the pig farm down the road, no biggie”), and dozens of colloquial variances that always keep me on my toes. The one that had the most attention this summer during our hours in the car was the infamous game of Punch Bug.   Or Slug Bug.   Or whatever you want to call it when you’re driving in the car and someone spots a Volkswagen Beetle and yells something and wallops you in the arm. The thing is that I grew up saying “punch buggy

The schmurrt-free sleepover

My children are of age, and I’m still of age enough to remember my days as a child who longed to sleepover at someone’s house, or to have someone sleep over mine.  I hear my own kids pleading with me, “can I have so-and-so sleep over?” or “can I please sleep at so-and-so’s house?” and I have sudden flashbacks to my youth. It was all pretty fuzzy back then, when my actions where influenced not by my brain and general mature reasoning.   Instead, they were governed by my desire for things I didn’t have at home.   Some would call it gluttony, some would call it greed.   I would call it the ability to mix up a bunch of different pop and not get in trouble. Also, boys. My parents raised me in a house of loosely enforced rules, where they would encourage me with the following, “do whatever you want as long as you don’t hurt yourself, anyone else, or anyone’s property.”   And then, as a side note one of my parents would add, “don't make no schmurrrt.”     (That last word is obvio

Bringing back the dead

Believe it or not, I have never had a dead battery in all my 21+ years of driving a car.   So when I stepped outside after a workout with friends, my exact words were, “Tina!   My car won’t start!   Help!!!”   Tina is a rather resourceful woman, a lovely friend, and was also quick to respond with jumper cables.   She turned her car around so that our vehicles were nose to nose, pulled the cables from her trunk, and handed them to me. As it turned out, neither one of us knew exactly what we were doing which must have been quite a sight—two sweaty women in brightly colored clothes standing there in a parking lot, trying to look confident but entirely afraid of blowing ourselves into smithereens.   “Why isn’t there a poem or something to remember how to hook up these cables?” I asked.   I felt like a complete moron. With the wonderment of the smart phone comes unlimited answers, and while sifting through the various pages, each claiming that they offered “the only safe way to jum

The pink couch

Like most couples that married young, we accepted anything and everything anyone offered us.  Have an old bed frame?  We’ll take it.  A set of dishes?  Yes, please.  A four-thousand pound pink couch with a pull out bed?  Gladly. For nearly fifteen years I have cherished every single gift we have received, from our wedding shower on.   I can’t use my hand mixer without thinking of a curly-haired lady named Kathy, or bake a cake in a Bundt pan without remembering Jenny signing her name to the card.   I’m a sentimental goober to the nth degree, and parting with any of these things is extremely difficult. But now, we’re getting closer to letting one of them go. This must be one of the most sturdy couches built in all of recorded history.   It survived the raising of three teenage boys and a giant dog and still looked practically new when it arrived from my in-law’s house.   They were upgrading to a more modern style that didn’t have a mattress or the need for a moving crew to swee

Shopping Spree

In my life, I would not consider myself a lucky person.  I once won a coloring contest at the corner store which came with an oversized stuffed bear named “Tubby” and once, on a scratch off lottery ticket, I scored fifty smackeroos.  But even if I was a frequent winner, I would still appreciate each and every fortuitous victory as if it were a million dollars.  I would interrupt any moment with my jumping and screaming and smiling until someone calmed me down because they would think something was horribly wrong, when in fact was horribly right. A raffle fundraiser at our local YMCA found me, an employee, asked to purchase or sell a ticket.   Not wanting to convince my family or friends to buy one before the season of school and activity campaigns begin, I shelled out the money and wrote my name and phone number on the ticket.   And because I’m often forgetful, I left it in my car and spilled coffee all over it and turned it in in the nick of time. The call came in, on my birthd