September 19, 2018: Porch Time

Day 12 | 30 Days of Writing

In text exchanges with my father-in-law, Larry, I often get this response when I ask what he is doing...
"Porch time!"
I had never heard this phrase before, but totally get it. For him, it means sitting on the porch late afternoons with neighbors. Watching the cars go by, possibly enjoying a libation, and taking in the action of a small town.
This was no different from my days growing up in my small town. Most homes in Remsen had porches, many with porch swings or rocking chairs, either the wood or iron models. And walking through the town meant waving to the occupants of these outdoor posts. The picture above that showed up on my FaceBook feed is a mirror to my childhood memory.
When visiting my Grandma Gib, she had an enclosed porch where we often sat and talked about whatever struck our fancy. At the farm of my other grandparents, we skipped the fancy chairs and just sat on the cement step of the porch. We spent many summer nights with a glass …

September 18, 2018: Moving On

Day 11 | 30 Days of Writing

In August of 2000, I loaded up my car and drove to Lake Zorinsky Park. Lugging the boys (then 7, 4, and 5 months old) we trekked about a quarter of a mile on the trail to a spot I had eyeballed earlier on my run.

Note that in the year 2000, our idea of having a professional picture taken of the kids entailed a trip to the Target Photo Studio. We didn't hire a photography to meet in a field of sunflowers. That option wasn't available. At least, not to my knowledge.

And there was no such thing as a newborn photo shot with snuggly babies in unbelievable sleeping poses with adorning parents. Our newborn picture was taken at the hospital with wrinkled baby in bassinet. We had one choice, would purchase and then cut out of a sheet and mail to our closest relatives and friends. Oh, and this was typically included with a handwritten birth announcement.

Those were the days.

Without knowing it, I was a trendsetter taking my kids picture in a field with the su…

September 17, 2018: Halloween Happy

Day 10 | 30 Days of Writing

I got a call tonight while out to dinner with friends.

"Mom, are you still buying Halloween houses every year? You're putting them up this year, aren't you?"

After figuring out that Grant's random call was in reference to my beloved Department 56 Halloween house display, I was a little befuddled on the call. Being the mother of boys, I don't get a lot of sentimental comments on my annual holiday decor.

"I don't know. Why do you ask, Grant?"

To my shock there was still enthusiasm in his answer.

"Zach and I are at Target and they have Halloween houses out. You should get a new one. And you have to put them out? It's a tradition!"

Just maybe all my years of going over-the-top on my favorite holiday, Halloween, has passed on to my sons? I beamed all the way home at the prospect.

My first request upon arrival home was for Garrett to back his car out of the garage, immediately. I needed to access my holiday st…

September 16, 2018: Road Trip 2009

Day 9 | 30 Days of Writing

In my Day 7 blog September 15, 2018 Blog Post, I promised the play-by-play of our beloved 2009 Road Trip. I have been planning for years to write about this favorite adventure and had asked my mom a few years back to send me her memories as well. Nine years later, here are the tidbits of both my mom and my recollections. I don't remember every detail, but the one thing I do remember is that we laughed, a lot.

Day One - 7/5/2009 - Las Vegas, NV

Mom: <she provided no comment on this day, so assume had nothing of note to contribute>

Me: I flew into the Las Vegas airport and we stayed with brother Mark and his family who were living in Henderson, NV at the time. After a good night's sleep, we started our adventure the next morning.

[Sidebar: I really have no recollection of getting picked up at the airport or getting up the next morning, but assumed it did happen.]

Day Two - 7/6/2009 - Northward through Nevada and Eastern Oregon to final destination o…

September 15, 2018: Road Trip Time

Day 8 | 30 Days of Writing

A week from today, we will be taking off for a two-week road trip. With our dog, Zeke, and my father-in-law, Larry, in tow, we will start a two-week adventure. I couldn't be more excited.

My last true road trips, taking in the beauty of the US for an extended period, was in the summers of 2009 and 2010. And they were glorious. The circumstances were completely different, but I am hopeful that the outcome will be the same; enjoying the company of the ones I love while taking in the precious moments in life that collectively make the best memories.

2009 was a rough year for me. Technically divorced in all ways except the paperwork wasn't completed. There was a parenting plan dictated by the same courts in charge of the pending paperwork that including a month in the summer that the boys stayed with their dad rather than me.

At the time I was devastated at the prospect of being alone. Now I barely remember what the parenting plan read and until looking …

September 14, 2018: #MeToo

Day 7 | 30 Days of Writing

Silence may be golden. It is definitely the easiest route, but I believe the better route is to have the courage to speak up. If voices aren't heard, positive change doesn't happen. I'm all about being an advocate for our new normal in society. A society where women aren't silenced on sexual harassment and assault, the old normal.

My main rationale in the past for not sharing my own #MeToo experience was because a majority of the men in my life have treated me well. Really well. My best advocates and mentors have been men. All perfect gentlemen. They believed in me and gave me the opportunities and advice to succeed.

I haven't wanted a #MeToo blog to cast a negative light on the many great men who are the opposite of #MeToo scum. But tonight I changed my mind. The tipping point was spending time with old friends along with my young niece, who has just begun her professional life.

I have yet to meet a woman my age who doesn't have a #…

September 13, 2018: A Birthday is Always a Good Thing

Day 6 | 30 Days of Writing

51 collective birthdays leaves one with lots of fun memories. Growing up I didn't have oversized yard signs greeting me when I woke up in the morning nor did I have extravagant friend parties that included limos or any type of purchased party favors.

We just had good old-fashioned fun that can't be bought, but is equally priceless.

In my golden years of birthdays through the 70's and 80's, I got to choose the dinner menu and cake variety. That was our family celebration. My choice was typically spaghetti for the meal and either banana bread or angel food for the cake. Mom would also allow me to have a group of friends spend the night. We always had lots of fun but reversely got little to no sleep.

If Rocky was involved, we would set up a seance once it was dark and try to connect with spirits. Beth would come with a yellow Tupperware filled with her mom Kay's chocolate chip cookies. We played truth or dare and would crank call our other c…