In my hometown, Greenwood Lake, N.Y., there was a guy we called Noah. He was reputed to be building an ark and was quite a legendary character in our small town. He was the first person I ever knew to wear garbage bags as outerwear, predating Bradley Cooper’s Silver Lining Playbook character by nearly four decades. On his feet, he wore sneakers that flapped and were tied to his feet, and together, by dirty string which was wrapped around and around. He left quite an impression on me and I’m sure many of my oldest friends could chime in with their own recollections of that very eccentric old man.
With the rain we’ve been having, enough rain that Quinn is convinced that April and June traded places this year, I’ve been wondering if Noah’s Ark might still be viable and, if so, what I should pack if the deluge continues. I came up with a couple of things…
- The four males whose faces my day is incomplete without seeing, would definitely make the cut.
- As would my girl, Cassidy Bono Lilly
- A couple of books which I never tire of reading, namely The Book Thief, Bridge of Sighs, A Moveable Feast and Love Story. Quite the mixed bag, huh?
- My trusty Nikon D60 which fits perfectly in my hands.
- My iPod with all my music, including the desert island albums I wouldn’t want to be without.
- My posse of Lakers – they know exactly who they are, along with some honorary additions to the original crew.
- Wine, lots of wine.
- Something to write with.
- My sense of adventure and spirit of discovery.
How about you? What are you packing?
During my run the other night, it occurred to me that I was 2/3 of the way through my 46th year. The realization prompted a few thoughts…
I find myself with increasing frequency wondering if an article of clothing is “too young” or “too short.” This is not a bid for compliments, just the reality of my desire to grow older with grace. Does one just know when to put away those short shorts or that skirt that could reasonably be defined as “mini?”
My runs feel challenging, almost every single time. If I remind myself to run from the strength of my core, I forget how much my hips and glutes hurt. And another thing – why must people drive so fast in residential areas? This is Albany. Where are they rushing to be?
My children can be wildly inappropriate. Case in point: #2 was concerned about his older brother traveling to NYC unaccompanied. He suggested a t-shirt with a handwritten message, something offensively defensive, like, “Ask me about my raging case of syphilis.” That is funny as hell, to me.
I love a thunderstorm! Being in bed, feeling the wind blow and watching the sky light up, is an awesome sedative. I just wish Cassidy, my 12 y/o black lab, had a bit more tolerance for the thunder – maybe doggy ears make the claps too intense?
I am getting so excited for summer and the promise of adventures and travel! The only thing reining in my enthusiasm is my awareness that two summer holidays make the 10-week break go crazy fast. Before the mockingly sympathetic comments come in, yes, I do know how fortunate I am to have such an extended summer vacation. What I can’t understand is how people live a full life with only a couple of weeks of vacation a year.
No matter how high the number goes, I still feel the same as I did when I was half my present age – open for adventure, enthusiastic about the future and blessed by the presence of people I love and who love me in return. It’s just a number.
Filed under aging, Albany, birthdays, Boys, Exercise, musings, Observations, Random, running, Spring, Summer, travel, vacation
1. Birthing you was one of the most satisfying experiences of my life.
2. Acknowledging, and acting upon, the fact that you’re not the only person in the universe will only make you a better man.
3. You can do anything. Anything.
4. Being able to do anything doesn’t eliminate the reality of life that you will still have to make choices because you really can’t do
everything. At least not simultaneously.
5. Cool hair and charm will only take you so far. Maybe it will be far enough, but that’s a big maybe.
6. Your braces should be considered a very expensive gift – not a punishment.
7. You remind me of me, which is why I am watching you ever so closely.
8. I can’t wait to go to Ireland with you this summer.
9. When you finally get a j o b, you don’t have to pay me back for things I’ve bought for you. Those were gifts. You do, however, owe me
$14 for those library books you lost.
10. Speaking of books, I am so proud that you are a reader and love talking about books with you.
11. Your (nearly) lifelong concern with your clothing and what you’re wearing makes you fun to shop with.
12. Watching you play with little kids – and enjoy it, makes me smile.
13. You’re growing up too fast.
14. You’ll always be the little boy who liked to whisper “hi” in my ear.
Happy birthday, Griffin Hudson Lilly.
They scare me.
I’ve always considered the pressure cooker to be the most menacing piece of kitchen equipment. I understand the appeal of cooking something super fast, rather than leaving it to braise for hours upon hours, but I was always intimidated by their mystery. This past week has only confirmed my fears.
They continue to make a contribution to contemporary life.
Last Monday’s events at the Boston Marathon added the verbalized request from my youngest child of “Please don’t get killed at your race on Sunday” to the terrorism dialogue I have had with my children over the years. The opening statement in this conversation came in the form of question in September of 2001: “Why do the buildings keep falling down?” I don’t like having to revisit these acts of violence with my boys, and I am resentfully heartbroken about the necessity of these talks. It sucks.
They boggle me with their capabilities.
I don’t understand a lot of what happened last week. I can’t grasp that so much carnage can come from ball bearings, nails and other bits of metal. I will never accept that an elected official could make a statement like this, and while I’m not beyond a bit of suspicion when it comes to my government (weapons of mass destruction, anyone?), I really don’t believe there is any type of conspiracy theory worthy activity here, either.
They work quickly, but not necessarily reliably.
The media coverage was at least as explosive as an overheated pressure cooker. The unsubstantiated information circulated was alarming and it was difficult to look away from my Twitter feed. When those pictures of the two suspects were “broadcast,” it became impossible to ignore the immediacy of current news technology. It was breathtaking.
I don’t ever want one in my home.
Quinn asked me to load some Beatles on his iPad recently and I finally had a moment to do it this morning. He has been really into Here Comes the Sun and chose this song as our first tune of the day. Not a bad way to start a Sunday, I’d say.
As the music was playing sweetly, Quinn mentioned that every day he thinks about George Harrison and John Lennon being dead and he gets angry. Well, as he said, not really about George because it wasn’t his fault that he got sick, but the thing about John? That made him really upset. Why did that guy have to shoot him?
Quinn asked me when John was killed – what year? I’m sure that 1980 sounded like a million years ago to my boy, but I continued my remembrances of that time (freshman year of high school) by telling him that the man who shot Lennon was still in prison for committing that crime. He was outraged – “Why wasn’t he executed, Mom? How could he have done that to John Lennon?”
How do I respond to that? How does one explain the precarious relationship between the emergence of sunshine, the death of an idol and a life spent behind bars? Oh, Beautiful Boy, where would I begin?
Filed under Boys, Music, musings
- Taking the bus from economy parking became a sobering experience when the driver explained that we would have to get off the bus and wait for the State Police to inspect the bus with their dog, because a previous passenger had left a piece of luggage behind.
- I’ve flown to Europe many times but don’t recall ever seeing people sleeping with their heads face down on their tray tables. On pillows, of course.
- Like childbirth, the painfulness of traveling with small children is so quickly forgotten only to be brought back instantly with a witnessed tantrum thrown by an exhausted child.
- Carry-on luggage is out of hand! I wish the airlines would abide by the rules they claim to have because allowing fellow passengers to cram their huge backpacks into the entire overhead bin is just plain wrong. And obnoxious.
- The wifi isn’t as impressive as I had imagined, but the dusting of snow we received last night in the Black Forest sure is pretty.
It seems like a long time since I’ve kicked back with my neighbors and enjoyed a bottle
or two of wine. It must be our crazy schedules with multiple jobs and obligations because it certainly isn’t a lack of interest. I find myself looking longingly out the window hoping to see their cars in the driveway when I have an hour to spare, but I know that spring is here now and summer with its long evenings, will be here soon. Time to start shopping for rose’!
I need to start packing for the upcoming trip. Quick joke: I actually thought I was going to visit friends in New Paltz this weekend. No, really. Of course, anyone who truly knows me would have been well aware that was never going to happen when I obviously need to be preparing for a holiday. I’ve actually started my preliminary stack of selected clothing and intend to begin visualizing outfits and accessories. I promise to limit myself to 2 pairs of running shoes.
I’ve been hemming and hawing about upgrading my iPhone 4 to an iPhone 5. I don’t have any issues with my 4, but it would be kind of complicated to set it up to use in Europe and the price of the 5 was fair enough as an upgrade. I had already forfeited my unlimited data deal when I upgraded Griffin’s phone last month, and Best Buy was offering some decent incentives via this week’s circular, so I went for it.
You know how you generally feel at least slightly screwed when you get a new phone? Perhaps groped at a minimum? Well, let me tell you, I think I got an awesome deal! The phone was $199 and I bought the 3 for $50 accessory package which was a case, screen protector and car charger. I was given $125 for my iPhone 4, a $25 special weekly promotion and a $50 reward for having registered my phone number a few weeks back via Twitter. I used the $50 to pay for the accessories, so my receipt total walking out was about $230. I also have a gift card worth close to $150. So, basically for less than $80 I got myself a new phone – and I put it on my Best Buy account for a month so I could earn rewards. Winning!
So, there you have it – I miss my neighbors, yet am leaving them for a vacation but can stay in touch with my new phone. What have you been up to?