You might think this title doesn’t make sense. It does. Really. This past weekend, well starting Thursday actually, my boyfriend and I took a four-day biking trip in Pennsylvania. It sounded good. We drove to Pittsburgh, a five hour trip, and then parked and started biking to our first destination for that evening. It wasn’t a far ride. It would have been even shorter had we not gone the wrong way at first. This is where the technology part came in. You see, when we arrived in Pittsburgh, it was going on 4:30 PM. The sun was getting low by the time we started off on the trail (The great Allegheny Passage… more on that in my next post) When the sun goes down, it sets in the west. We all learned that in elementary school. Did I remember that? No. We started off enthusiastically with the sun right in our eyes. So we were headed west correct? That’s not the way to get to Maryland though. Did I remember that the sun set in the west? Nope. We spent several long minutes with the GPS on my boyfriend’s phone before I asked a nearby pedestrian, once we realized that something was wrong with our route. Okay, once my boyfriend realized something was wrong. I think technology is definitely addling my brain.
I bet you are wondering about the padded pants now. Simple. After realizing how many miles we were going to be biking (145 or so) and then realizing how even a 20 mile bike ride feels, I got these padded pants for cyclists. Yeah, they definitely work, but after 56 miles, even padded pants, and 3 other layers don’t cut it in the comfort department. (Biking is never very comfortable anyway)
So just keep in mind, when attempting a long bike ride, the sun sets in the west, and several pairs of pants should be worn at once.
I have always been a bit too much of a multi-tasker. Not necessarily a good one however. This time I think I have got it. I finished the last (maybe) edit/proofread of my book and handed it over to my very good friend to read and see if its mildly entertaining to her. That’s always a good sign of course. Even if its not exactly unbiased. In the meantime I have had a nagging idea in my head for some time. Several years I think, but it just wasn’t time to unlock the cage and let it out. I had to deal with my first one. Now that one is safely in a friend’s hands, ( I handed it over a bit like I put my daughter on the bus for the first time), I can relax and and let ideas flow forth. And they have been. I turned up the music which inspired the idea, and let it go. Needless to say, my hand was aching, but it felt very good. It makes me wonder what the next year will bring in my literary world.
It’s that time. How did it get here so quickly?? Summer just started didn’t it? Already I am seeing those ‘first day’ pictures posted by friends on Facebook. We seem to be starting a little later this year so we still have 4 more glorious days of summer vacation left. Not to mention that we plan to squash as much as possible into the remaining September weekends.
My kids are pretty excited. Well, as excited as kids get about school. At least they haven’t attempted to lock themselves in their rooms. I, on the other hand, have been having school dreams. I’ve had at least three in the last week, and I am pretty sure it’s because my oldest is going into MIDDLE SCHOOL. I have to consciously keep my conversation away from school supply lists and school clothes, because the girls just don’t want to hear it.
If my next post includes deep breathing exercises, interspersed with mutterings about 3 ring binders not being big enough, I am sure there will be many parents breathing deeply right along with me.
What has your family been doing, or has already done, to prepare for the influx of papers, emergency contact lists, and lots and lots of uneaten packed lunches?
My youngest redhead, at the age of 7, says she wants to be an actress. She’s getting a pretty good start, I have to say. I should consider myself extremely fortunate to have witnessed one possible award winning performance, not even a week ago. It wasn’t her first and I am sure it won’t be the last. It was one of those moments during which I could barely contain my amusement (as well as a myriad of other emotions) as she ranted and raved. Quite loudly.
We were on the way to an appointment one evening, after a fun day at a friend’s house. Both girls were absorbed in their favorite activity, fighting. My little one decided it might be a good idea to smack her big sister with her car pillow. It didn’t really have the desired effect. After the inevitable warning, the pillow must have slipped out of her hands and onto her sisters head again, so it ended up in the front seat with me. I quickly was made aware of her disappointment Many of you may know that 7-year-old girls have the ability to reach a decibel level that melts glass.
After 5 minutes in the car, which seemed like 5 days with all of the shrieking, we arrived at our destination. My oldest wisely slipped out of the car and made herself scarce while I prepared to enter into battle. It took a good 10 minutes to pry my little one’s hands from the seat and get her out of the car. After that I locked the doors since she was attempting to sneak back in. Another 10 minutes at least passed with her clinging to the side of the car, action movie style, screaming to all the world that her poor pillow was slowly suffocating and would die if left unattended. I’m not very sure where she got this information, but she was adamant that the pillow not be harmed. I tried explaining that the pillow would be fine because there was enough air in the car for a pillow with no lungs. That didn’t sway her; she carried on for several more minutes as I tried to hide my amusement and embarrassment. People started watching, which I guess is good news for a budding actress.
Finally, I half convinced and half dragged her into the office, whereupon she took it upon herself to display all of the tactics she had picked up in her seven years to to make the next forty minutes extremely uncomfortable and quite loud (not melting glass level fortunately).
I breathed a sigh of relief when we left the office. The drive back was almost as bad since the pillow was still sharing the front seat, but there was a tender reunion once my daughter finally got it back.
Almost. That’s a good word. Very hopeful. It’s been a good five years at least. But I think it’s almost done. My little novel, that is. It’s a really patient one. I mean, it’s put up with me for a long time, and never bugs me when I have taken months away from it. And sometimes I have done that, although its always in my mind. I have to be in a certain state and have a certain emptiness and calmness in my mind to concentrate. Otherwise the things like kids, work, kids…keep yelling too loud for me to think about it. So it really has had to be patient a good deal. But now it is beginning to stir and to stretch its limbs because we can see the end of the tunnel. Now the question is, what to do with it. Recently a friend’s husband published his own novel on Amazon. That has a certain appeal to me. I just want to share my little ideas with others. And hope that someone else out there finds it as moving/entertaining as I hope. What have you, bloggy friend’s of mine, done with your own achievements?
This Sunday,as I sat in the back of my tiny church with the rest of the small choir, struggling to keep two sleepy red heads from fighting, I strained to hear the sermon, as it was one which I thought could use a little repetition. Our current ‘supply priest’ has a real knack for sermons. He started out quoting one of my favorite childhood shows, Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood, and went on to discuss the state of neighbors and neighborliness. The sermon touched a lot of us, who realize that so much has changed (although much more has stayed the same). People in these suburban mazes don’t know many of their neighbors who live right next door, and forget sometimes that even those you don’t know are neighbors. It’s nice to get a reminder once in a while that people really haven’t forgotten, they just need a nudge.
There was the time that one of my daughters (I forget which now) was crying over a lost helium balloon from Friendly’s on her birthday. I remember commiserating with her and trying to entice my other daughter to share her balloon (it didn’t work),when a young man, probably still a teen, ran into the restaurant and came out with a new balloon for my daughter. That always will stick in my heart. Then just this past week, my oldest decided to bake some sweets and some pasta for an elderly friend of ours who doesn’t get around very well.
This morning I got a text message from out township police department sharing that there had been two burglaries in the area. A few months ago there had been a prowler who was never caught. And that’s just in our very small and safe area. It makes one wonder how many people have forgotten to be neighbors even in a small town. That is, until we see these small acts of kindness. They may seem small but are not small to the recipient. So take an extra 5 minutes and stop by the lemonade stand that those two noisy 8-year-olds put up and buy some super sweet lemonade, or give your grandparents a call. It’s a small price but the reward to both parties is extensive.
As my dear friend said this Sunday morning, make it a beautiful day in the neighborhood.
Recently an old friend of mine sent me a message concerning our hometown. It seemed that she had gotten the chance to visit one of those mysterious places from our childhood that we held in awe. We all had them, be it a ‘haunted house’ or that old cemetery where you frequently dared one another to enter. In this case it was a building we called ‘The Guitar Factory’. I guess it had been at one time, although my mother told me it had been converted into artist’s studios. Since I knew enough artists along with my mom, that sort of put a damper on the romance. However, there was also a character to go along with it. An older man with a long gray beard who rode his bicycle through town. The poor gentleman was probably the nicest of fellows, and had to put up with our giggles. We called him Weird Beard and pretended that he lived in the guitar factory for some reason which probably made sense at age 8. Anyway, along with the astounding news of my friend’s visit to ‘The Guitar Factory’, she also sadly wrote that ‘Weird Beard’ had passed away. Her news awoke some memories of our old town which have probably been forgotten by many.
We lived in a quaint old town with quite a few characters. The kind who seem to inhabit towns small enough and old enough to have a strong personality. There was Walking Bob, Sunoco Tom, and Tiny, the village homeless lady who of course had grown up in a very wealthy family who live in the ‘Castle’. As children we never knew the stories of Sunoco Tom (who drove a huge old car with fins covered with gasoline brand decals) or Walking Bob, probably there were none, but the one about Tiny – well that was mysterious enough to capture anyone’s imagination. Word had it that her family was swindled out of all their money and she was left penniless. (I never knew if the story was really very truthful, but I like to believe it is) The Castle was actually a largish house on the outskirts of town which had since been divided into apartments. I have told my own daughters the story of Tiny, capturing their own imaginations too.
It seem to me that we all should be able to have known a place, our hometown or maybe a summer visit to our Grandparent’s, which contains mystery and romance. I don’t know if many of the kids growing up today have that. I know my own daughters don’t hear of anything like that in our own particular suburban jungle and that saddens me.