Let’s forgive me for not getting to this until what is essentially the second week of September, ok? Seeing that the school year is beginning so late, I’ve kind of been pretending that this past weekend was Labor Day. But, without further ado…
For the third year in a row, I completed the Warrior Dash down at Windham Mountain. Kind of pleased with this year’s results: 62nd of 779 in my age group, 1463 of 7300.
I became obsessed with Orange is the New Black. Have you watched it yet? When does season two start??
My Quinnie became sick while we were on vacation and I reflected on how stressful sick children, far from our pediatrician, can be.
I had a meltdown about needing bangs – STAT!
The movie theater became the perfect babysitter so I could take a run.
Finding the “perfect” Cape Cod house can be a real test of patience and acceptance.
And there are a few things you don’t want to find in your temporary beach home.
There was a little bit of panic as the days of August started growing shorter.
And a lot of discussion about twerking and expressing oneself.
Finally, my piece from the Sept/Oct issue of Women@Work talked about how not to Fear the Fall.
What have you been up to??
Filed under aging, Boys, Cape Cod, Events, Exercise, family, favorites, Martha's Vineyard, Moms@Work, Observations, running, sick, Summer, travel, vacation
After being back and settled in the DelSo for a week, I thought I’d share what I missed this summer while away. Some of the items on the list, I may take for granted when I’m home, while others are always appreciated. The list is not in any order, although alphabetical would naturally be my first impulse. I’m a librarian, remember?
- My pillows. I wish I could bring them along on the vacation, but there just isn’t enough room in the car – and there are only two.
- My coffee bean grinder. What do you mean not everyone grinds their beans freshly each morning?
- My griddle pan. Traditionally, I bring my waffle iron along on the trip, but next year I may need to find some space for my go-to pancake/grilled cheese making surface. Making either of these items individually makes no sense when you can make three at a time.
- Our sweet old lab, Cassidy Bono Lilly, especially when I read stories like this gem from Paul Grondahl.
- Him. Because I like having him around.
What do you find yourself missing the most when away from home?
Filed under Albany, breakfast, Cape Cod, Cooking, DelSo, family, favorites, friends, Martha's Vineyard, Summer, travel, vacation
Some recent topics from my blog over at the Times Union:
Catch up and comment.
Or maybe I should just say “I’m back” seeing as how many meanings that word home can have.
It’s an odd thing sometimes being first generation American, especially with a mother who wants nothing to do with her family and a father you never met. I met my first relative when I was 22, an age when I was living alone in a city I had chosen to reside in, not merely a place I had landed in haphazardly. I had purposefully chosen an apartment, my nicest one ever, and was making a place for myself away from anyone I knew and finally going to college. I was home.
The sense of being wanted by, and belonging, to a family was new to me and very much welcomed. I’d never before heard stories of my father, of his childhood and his many brothers and sisters, and I cherished each word. These kind and thoughtful Uncles and Aunts invited me into their homes and gave me the sense of being a part of something I had never known before. I was home.
I made contact and visited with my Mother’s family in Germany. I first met them when I was nearly the same age my mother had been when she last saw them. I was taken to her childhood home, where my Opa still lived, and embraced by her brothers and sisters. My joy in meeting them was reflected back to me in the warmth and interest I saw in their eyes. I was home.
For only the second time in my life, I’ve had the chance to see both sides of my family in the same year and it has been a powerful experience. We’ve shared meals and stories and memories. During my time in the countries where my parents were born, I’ve felt a connection – to my relatives, of course, but also to the air, the sky and the earth. It was almost organic. I was home.
What does home really mean? For me, it means being in a place where I want to be and knowing that I am loved and wanted. Home is everywhere.
Vacations can be weird. We spend months planning and saving for them only to find them over in what can feel like the blink of an eye. Poof – done. We get home with a suitcase full of dirty laundry, a bunch of photos to upload and a yen for our own pillow.
That being said, there have been some long days on this trip. Arrival day is always a challenge as a body tries to shake off the assault of 12+ hours of travel and a five-hour time difference. Factor in a bit of dehydration, a cranky 14-year-old and a sleeping pill hangover (mine, not the teen’s) and you’ve got yourself a bonafide rough day.
We haven’t been especially up and at ‘em in the mornings because it turns out Griffin isn’t really a morning person. That’s okay, though, because the evenings in Ireland, particularly in the summer months, go on forever with the skies only truly darkening on the far side of 10 pm. Are you familiar with Yeats’ He Wishes for the Cloths of Heaven? In it he talks of “…night and light and the half light.” Visit Ireland and you’ll know exactly what he meant.
I wish I had longer to stay with my family. There are only two remaining siblings of my Father’s, from the original family of 14 children, and each time I leave Ireland I go knowing that I may not meet them again. My time here feels far too short, but I do miss my guys at home and the life we are creating there together. Whether long or short, these days won’t come again. All we can do is live them fully.
I’m not here to talk to you about the likelihood of spotting a leprechaun or the intense greenness of the countryside. No, I’m here to tell you about some things you may not know. For instance, are you familiar with the phrase “going out for a bit of craic?” True confession: the first time I was in Ireland and my cousin suggested we partake in some craic, I was worried. Come to find out that “craic” is a term for fun. This craic isn’t whack – promise.
Another thing that I found confusing are the road signs, particularly one that says “Ramps.” This word refers to neither the entrance or exit to a motorway or those spring onions for which everyone goes crazy. Instead “Ramps” essentially mean speed bumps in the road. You’re welcome.
Most Americans have figured out that chips are fries and crisps are chips, but how about aubergines? Familiar? Well, aubergines are eggplants and they seem to be pretty popular, especially in Asian cuisine and vegetarian dishes. It is a much more elegant word for those purple orbs, don’t you think?
Speaking of colors, it is possible to get a lovely tan in Ireland if you happen to visit during the best summer in years. As a matter of fact, if you neglect to put sunscreen on your feet you just might end up with sunburn on your feet. At least that’s what a leprechaun once told me.
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