Saturday, June 28, 2014

Garage Sales

I don't much like them.  Never go to them.  Fight my way up and down crowded streets trying to get to where I am going. 
Guess who is having a garage sale????  Yes, the second one ever.  Dragging things from the attic, from the closets, from the basement.  Ginger's husband helping to price them.  A neighbor joining in the event.  Ahhh, yes, a garage sale. 
I have no idea of what things are worth.  To me, they are worth nothing, which is why I am getting rid of them.  There was an offer put in for the bookshelves.  Again, for me, I just wanted to be rid of them, but everyone at Matt's game said "nooooo, way too low".  So, I said a different price and never heard back.  Go with your gut, that's what I say.  Now I will probably have to pay to have them taken!
Alyssa had basketball camp this week.  I was able to transport.  Now, I am amazed that someone can go into a setting as large as this one was and just join in the group.  I have a very difficult time walking into a place that is new and assimilating myself, whether it be a work situation or a social situation.  Alyssa carried herself with such poise.  She confided to me that she knew no one and yet she stood up straight (something I have a hard time doing in the best of times), and seemed to have a great time learning techniques.
I am having a difficult time realizing that Tuesday is July1.  I know, as we get older, time goes quickly.  Katie will be leaving for Marymount next month, Matt has already had hockey stuff, road trip is rapidly approaching.  Iowa, here we come, squished into my little car, singing, poking, laughing, screaming out state names as we cross borders.  Crossing the mighty Mississippi and cheering wildly as we enter Iowa...only 60 more miles!!!!  And so looking forward to the farm.  A peaceful final (well, almost final) stop.  Nine days on the road.  Hmmm.  In that small car.  Hmmm. 
I wonder if leaving home is harder on the leaver or the left behinds.  As I recall, it was an adventure.  New horizons, new life.  I remember the first time I came home and realized that my mother looked older.  I wonder if I had anything to do with that? 
With Katie off to school, the separation has already begun for everyone.  I remember learning in social work that when someone leaves a unit, whether it be family or friends, a void is left and there is a scramble to regroup and assume new roles.  It's exciting to see one grow and mature, but hard too.  Matt is already taking over her bedroom and making plans on putting his own touch on it.  He also has agreed to take the mega bus to NYC to pick her up from breaks.  This give me an excuse to take long weekends and visit NYC.  And Katie gets to fulfill a dream that she has had for many years, to go to school in the Big Apple.  At her choral concert I bawled like a baby during the last number as the group said goodbye to the school.  Mary Rose leaned over and said "It's okay, we'll get you a megabus pass to go visit".  And she isn't even my kid!  Love Mary Rose!
Well, back to the darn garage sale.  If you have a need for giant wine glasses, or perhaps a bean bag chair.  How about a VCR that won't play DVD's, only tapes?  Make an offer.  This time I will go with my gut, baseball fans be damned.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


As I drove up the street yesterday, there was a small girl.  She was about 5 or 6 years old and cute as a button.  She waved at me as I drove past and I waved back.  She put her hand over her mouth and giggled.
As a child, I went to visit my grandmother and aunt and uncle for a week each summer.  They lived on a busy boulevard.  The girl (whose name I cannot remember) who lived behind them and I would play frequently.  One of the games that we played was to play in the front yard and when we saw a certain color of car we would stand and wave furiously to see if they would wave back.  Many did, much to our delight.  We would giggle, turn cartwheels, roll down the grassy front yard and do it all over again.  Such a simple pleasure.  I can remember the smell of the grass, I can see the cars driving by and hear the giggles.  At night we would catch lightening bugs in a jar, much to the chagrin of my aunt, who said it was cruel.  We would put leaves in the jar, a stick or two and punch holes in the lid so they could live forever.  They never did, of course.  But her early admonishments stay with me yet today.  I don't catch them anymore and anything in a confined area bothers me.
Yesterday with camera in hand I went to the zoo.  Never again!  I always thought it was small when I visited as a child.  It isn't.  It is a lot of walking on asphalt, up hills with screaming kids all around.  But I wanted to get a picture for my 2015 calendar, so camera in hand, I wandered through.  I was watching the tiger and realized he was pacing.  Just back and forth.  Pacing.  We have what is considered to be a "good" zoo.  Natural habitat as much as possible.  Gone are the cages.  But you know, as I looked at the tiger I thought about the lightening bugs in a jar.  
Last year on the road trip we went to a wild animal park.  You drove through it and the animals had a lot more space to run around.  That seemed different somehow.  I guess the thing that bothered me was the tiger pacing.  In a small area.  No more zoo for me.
I did notice as I left that the parents and kids arriving were full of energy, laughing, riding the carouselThe further they got into the zoo, the crankier they became.  Children wanting to be carried (I did also want to be carried), wanting food and drink along the way, parents cajoling them, promises of food at home that costs much less. 
One time when visiting an amusement park a father could be heard to say "You WILL have a good time, damn it, now quit crying".  Yup, memories!
As adults, we attempt to create happy memories for children in our lives.  I certainly do with the road trip every summer.  I wonder what memory will stand out for the three kids I drag along?  Please kids, I do hope it will be something other than me backing into the hot tub with my camera. 
What are your memories of childhood?  I hope you have some really good ones.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Saturday afternoon

We have been having some wonderful weather on the weekends here in the 'burgh.  Today there are clear blue skies, warm sun and a few fluffy while clouds.  Sitting by my window reading my book as the street takes on a carnival atmosphere with a street sale.  There will be one here at this house in July with one of the neighbors.  I just couldn't get things together yet.
Odd how when you mention a garage sale to people they become interested in what you have to sell.  Lots.  And lots.  Dishes, linens, odds and ends, bookcases, clocks, radios, cd players (does anyone even use cd players anymore?), exercise tapes (does anyone even have a tape player besides me?) and various other "junk".  Oh, yes, tires and a lawnmower.  I haven't even begun in the attic or basement. 
Interesting people come to shop at Macy's.  There are the older women with all their coupons.  And I do mean all.  They sift through them, looking for the best bargain, wait for all the sales.  I like these women.  They are interesting, as they talk about their "bargains".  There are the women who drag their husbands or young children.  The husbands lie and say they look wonderful, just so they can get home to their ballgames/beer/golf games or whatever interests them, which shopping does not.
Babies are cute.  I love making them laugh.  Their chubby faces and toothless grins.  Mom can shop till she drops and these kids are so much fun for me.
I recently had a man come in with his wife and 20 something daughter.  HE enjoyed shopping.  They all had armloads of clothes and after the mom and daughter went in to try things on, he continued picking things up for them to try.  They ended up spending over $500, and he made use of every single coupon he had.  And they still spent that much.  His name was Mark and he was a delight to help.
I spilled the secret of the road trip to the kids and they are delighted.  Matt, who has never been big on amusement parks, is tremendously excited about Cedar Point.  And all are looking forward to the farm and seeing the Millers again.  Such a peaceful place to be, even with the scary pictures in the bedrooms.  The gathering of eggs, the daily hay ride, the goat on the slide.  Ahhh, good times with wonderful food.  The breakfast is prepared in part the night before and the rest in the wee hours of the morning.  Everyone gathers around two large tables and plans for the day.  People from all over the country.  And many from Canada also.  At night we all sit on the porch and talk about our day past and day coming.  It's a wonderful tradition and everyone at the farm is amazed that Katie, Matt and Alyssa still enjoy it.
Well, back to my book and the sounds of a Saturday afternoon with children playing, lawnmowers going and the aroma of freshly cut grass.  Life is good.