Tuesday, June 30, 2015


“It looks like a pretty bad storm is coming,” I said to both my boys. We were in our car running errands when I looked up in the Northern sky.
“It probably won't hit us for a while.” Max said. “Can we stop at Taco Bell? I'm starving!”
“I really think we should get home before it starts to pour.” I said.
“Can we pick up my laptop first?” Alex asked. “They finally got rid of the virus and I haven't had it for days.”
“I guess we can squeeze in one last stop.” I knew that not having his laptop was almost painful to him.
“Thanks,” Alex said.
“Hey!” Max cried. “Why can you run another errand for Alex and not for me?”
“Taco Bell isn't an errand,” I told Max. “Besides, we're going to have dinner soon.”
“We'll still eat dinner, right Alex?” Max looked over at his brother. “Taco Bell isn't a meal. It's more like a snack.”
I looked over at Alex as he shrugged his shoulders. “I could always eat.” he said.
“While we waited in the drive-thru line I could hear the rumbling of thunder in the distance.
“I just know we're going to get caught in this storm.” I complained as I got the bag of food and handed it to the boys.
They were both happily munching on tacos as the quick stop for the laptop turned out to be longer than I expected.
Now I felt as if we were racing the storm clouds home. The sky go darker, the thunder got louder, and we could see the lightning strikes. Soon big drops of rain began to hit the windshield.
“I knew we should have gone home earlier.” I complained as I turned on my headlights and put the wipers one.
We pulled up to the house just in time for a true cloudburst to hit. We looked over at our front door, which was only thirty feet away, but you could barely see it through the sheets of rain coming down.
“Maybe we should wait in the car until it lets up a bit.” I suggested.
“That could be hours.” Alex said.
“Let's make a run for it.” Max said.
So we did. Slipping and sliding through the ankle-high water, we made it to the front door looking as if someone had turned a garden hose on us.
“Stay here while I get some towels.” I said, leaving the boys dripping in our foyer.
In the few moemtns it took me to come back with the towels, I could see that the rain had stopped and the sun was peeking through the clouds.
“I guess we could have waited in the car for a few minutes.” Alex said as he reached for the towel and waited for me to start complaining about the wet floors.

I did look down at the huge puddle we were all standing in, all three of us drying ourselves off. “I have to admit I haven't been caught in a downpour like that in a long time.” I said and then began to smile. “That was so much fun!”

Saturday, June 27, 2015


I hadn't been to a concert in years, so I was excited when I found myself sitting in Madison Square Garden last weekend waiting for Billy Joel to start playing.
I leaned over to my sister, Liz sitting next to me. “I don't think there's a song he sings that I don't like.” I gushed.
It was just then that our seat mates for the evening arrived. Several men and women all about our age checking the seat numbers with their tickets. The man who would be sitting right next to me smiled at me, tipped his pork-pie hat, then sat down. I smiled and gave him a quick head nod back. That's when I noticed several guys sitting around us wearing the same kind of hat.
I leaned over to my sister again. “What's with the hats?” I whispered to her, hoping my new seat mate didn't hear me.
Liz shrugged her shoulders. “Didn't Billy Joel wear one in one of his videos?'
I tried to remember but I couldn't so I had to assume they were honoring him in some way.
Just then the house lights dimmed and my seat mate took off his hat, balanced it on his knee and began screaming, “YOU RULE BILLY!!!”
I looked over at Liz, my eyebrows going up in concern. “You want to switch seats?” I asked tipping my head in the direction of Billy's very obvious number one fan sitting next to me.
“Nope.” was all I got from Liz as she smiled and looked down at the stage .
Billy sat down at his piano and began playing his first song. My buddy next to me grabbed his phone and frantically began typing the name of the song being played. “Good choice!” he called. “Good choice!”
I looked over at him and smiled hoping he was going to be a well behaved number one fan. After he was done typing,he put his hat back on his head and began playing a duet with Billy on his newly acquired air piano.
I looked over at Liz again and mouthed “Wow!”
I was just grateful that he seemed to be playing a very small air piano and was keeping it right in front of him.
As the concert went on my seat mate would write down each song and then begin playing a new air instrument. “He can play everything!” I said to Liz as we now watched him play air bass with the emotion of a true musician.
By the forth song he seemed to have really warmed up. He took out his imaginary drumsticks and began tapping them over his head then he began playing, what seemed to be, his favorite air instrument of all. A very large drum kit. How do I know it was a large drum kit? Because he didn't have enough room in front of him and he had to set up his crash cymbal just inches from my face. So while his foot kept a steady beat on his base pedal I'd have to duck back as his hand reached out for that cymbal that had to be hit several times in this particular song.
I looked over at my sister who was staring at me in disbelief, mouthing the words, “I'm sorry.” to me.
But I have to say I wasn't sorry. Out of the thousands of people at this concert what were the odds of me sitting next to someone with so much talent? I could have been annoyed, but watching his speed as he moved around his drum kit was nothing short of amazing. By now my initial shock had worn off. I had to admit he was certainly having fun and I was having fun watching him.

He seemed to be a very accomplished drummer. Well, his form was good. I can't be sure if he was really good because air instruments can be tricky that way.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Beautiful Bunnies

It was a beautiful morning and I was enjoying it by sitting on my back deck. While I was sipping my tea I noticed four bunnies munching away on the clover flowers.
“Steven, you have to come see this!” I called to him through the kitchen window.
Before Steven could come outside another little bunny came hopping over from the yard next door to have breakfast in our yard.
“Is it me, or are you noticing that there are more bunnies this year than years before?” I asked him.
“There does seem to be more around this year,” Steven agreed. “But it could also be that our lawn needs to be cut and we have more for them to eat right now.”
I looked at our neighbors' yards and could see that our lawn was a few inches taller.”I'm glad you're keeping it a little longer for them.” I said.
Steven started to laugh.”I'm not keeping it longer for the rabbits,” he said. “I just don't have the time or the energy to keep after Max or Alex to cut it!”
“Well, I like looking at a yard full of happy bunnies.” I seasoned. “Maybe we should keep the lawn a little longer for them.”
“The boys will be happy to hear that.” Steven said as he went back to getting ready for work. “But I'm sure the neighbors won't be very happy.”
By mid-afternoon I heard the familiar sound of the lawnmower starting up. I headed for the front door and saw my son Alex had already cut a big portion of the clover patch in front. I raced out the door, waving my arms for him to stop.
“What are you doing?” I called.
He stopped the mower and took the ear buds out of his ears. “What's the matter?” he asked.
“Why are you cutting the lawn?”
Alex looked confused. “I promised Dad a few days ago that I'd do it and I never got around to it until now.” he said.
“We've decided to keep the lawn a little longer for the bunnies, so they have something to eat.” I informed him.
“Dad said that?” Alex asked looking even more confused.
“Okay.” I admitted. “It wasn't your Dad's decision. It was mine.”
“So you don't want me to cut the lawn?”
I looked at how tall the grass had gotten. Then I looked over at the neighbor's yard and felt a bit guilty. “Maybe you could just cut the grass around the clover patches and leave the clover flowers alone.” I suggested.
Alex just stared at me.
I have to admit, at times like these I do get tired of the boys looking at me as if I were losing my mind.
“All right, I guess that would look ridiculous.” I admitted. “Why don't you cut the front lawn and skip the back yard. They can eat the clover back there.”
“Fine by me.” Alex put his ear buds back into place and restarted the mower.
I walked back to the front door, wondering how I was going to explain this to Steven when it had already taken him days to get the boys to mow.
I went out on my back deck and looked at the half a dozen bunnies munching away. “You guys are going to have to eat a little quicker.” I said. “I don't know how long I can hold out on the mowing for you.” I hadn't noticed my other son, Max sitting in one of the chairs.
“Who are you talking to?” he asked.
“The bunnies.” I said pointing to our clover patch.

Max looked at the bunnies and then back at me. “Do they talk back to you?” he asked.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

I'm Grateful For...

I walked into the living room carrying a small leather bound book and my favorite pen. I settled onto the couch next to my husband Steven and opened the book to the next blank page.
“What's that?” Steven asked as he looked at the book I was holding in my hands.
“My Grateful Book.” I said as propped my feet up on the coffee table, tapped the pen against my teeth and stared at the blank page in front of me. “I try to think of at least one thing I'm grateful for each day and write it down.”
“So it's a diary.” Steven said with a shrug.
“It's nothing like a diary.” I said shaking my head at his total lack of knowledge on grateful journaling. “A diary has all your thoughts, good and bad.” I said. “I don't want to dwell on the negatives of my day. I thought if I only wrote what I was grateful for it would stop me from thinking about the things that annoy me.”
“So it's a happy diary.” he corrected himself.
“Stop calling it a diary!” Now I was getting annoyed. At the rate he was going he sure wasn't going to be mentioned in my grateful book that day.
“I'm sorry.” he said. “But don't you think you're being a little touchy about the name of a book?”
“No.” I said. “Because when you call it a diary I feel like I'm fourteen years old complaining about my parents and how unfair it was growing up in a house with seven kids in it!”
“You kept a diary when you were little?” Steven asked. “How come I've never seen it?”
I shrugged my shoulders. “I threw them out years ago.”
“Seriously?” Now Steven seemed surprised. “I thought those were things you were suppose to keep forever.”
“I would have but when I reread them I had no idea what I was talking about.” Seeing Steven's look of confusion I felt the need to explain myself further. “ I was always afraid my Mom would find my diary and read it, so I abbreviated everything to trick her.” I had to laugh just thinking about it.
“Did it work?” he asked.
“It worked so well I tricked myself. With sentences like, I met up today with RK and PC.”
“Who were they?” Steven asked.
“I have no idea. I even went through my middle school yearbook and couldn't find anyone with those initials.” I cried. “Then I had a lot of days that all I'd say was I'll-never-forget-this day, with either a smiley face or frowny face next to it.”I had to laugh again. “I'm sure at the time I was writing it I was sure I'd never forget.” I looked at Steven and shrugged my shoulders. “But I did. So I threw them out.”
“That's too bad, they would have been fun to read.” He looked back at the book in my hand. “I assume what you're writing about today won't be in code.”
“Nope. I've learned my lesson with that! Now everything is completely spelled out. I'll be able to go back and look at these, years from now, and remember all the little things I was grateful for.”
Steven laughed. “So what are you grateful for today?”
I smiled. “I was thinking about how grateful I was that the boys finally found where the dishwasher was instead of stacking their dirty dishes in the sink.” I thought about that one for a moment, “Or I could write down that I'm grateful the newspaper delivery person didn't throw the morning paper under my car today!” I looked over at Steven to see which one he liked.
“That doesn't sound like your grateful.” Steven said. “It sounds like your complaining!”
“What are you talking about?”
“Just because you start a sentence with, I'm grateful for... and then add something you'd normally complain about doesn’t make it a happy event.” he said.
“Of course it does!” I said.
But then the more I thought about it I realized he was right. I got up from the couch and began walking to our bedroom.
“Where are you going?” he asked.
“Because of you I now have a lot of pages to rip out of this book and a ton of rewriting to do if I'm going to make this grateful book work.”

I could hear Steven call, “You're welcome.” as I closed the bedroom door.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Juice Diet

“OH COME ON!” I cried as I looked down at the scale. “YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING!”
My husband, Steven has heard me and came to the bathroom door. “Are you okay in there?” he asked.
By now I'd dragged the scale to me favorite light spot, close to the sink so I can 'accidentally' lean on the vanity while I try one more time to get the stupid thing to say what I wanted it to say. “I hate you.” I hissed as I looked down again. I thought I had said it so only me and the scale could hear but, poor Steven heard it to.
“What did I do?” he sounded confused and hurt. “Everything was fine when we had breakfast together.”
“Not you.” I called slipping on my robe and opening the bathroom door to see Steven standing there looking dejected. “The scale is broken again.” I said. “I think we need a new one.”
Steven came into the bathroom and stood on the scale. “Wow, I dropped another pound.” he said as he smiled at me.
I pushed him off the scale and moved it from the skinny-weighing-area back to our usual spot. “Try it again.” I said.
He climbed back on. “Nope, still a pound down and that's with my clothes on! I guess my diet is finally kicking in!” he patted his stomach as he stepped off and looked at me.
“Okay, now I really do hate you.” I pouted.
“Maybe we can both be on my diet.” he suggested. “It's working for me.”
“Yours is nothing but meat!” I said. “I can't eat that.” I thought for a minute. “A friend of mine was telling me about the juice diet she was on. She lost ten pounds!”
“Just drinking juice?” he seemed suspicious. “She doesn’t exercise?”
“Well, she's a runner.” I admitted.
“I keep telling you to try my treadmill. You need to get more exercise.” he said.
“I walk almost every day!” I argued. “Besides I'm more of a sprinter than a runner.” I added.
“You sprint on your walks?” Steven seemed doubtful.
“Every time I'm in an intersection and a car is coming.” I smiled at him. “I've been known to sprint to the other side.”
“That's not a sprinter.” he shook his head.
I ignored his remark and continued on about the juicing. “She said it's really a cleanse but the weight just fell off!”
“Of course it did, she wasn't eating anything!”
“I'd get rid of all the toxins in my body and feel more energetic!”
“You'd be hungry.” he countered.
“My mind would be clearer and I'd be more focused.” I continued.
“You'd be hungry.” Steven said again.
“Why aren't you backing me on this?” I asked. “I've been very supportive on your all-you-can- eat-meat diet.”
“No, you weren't.” he said. “You kept telling me how unhealthy it was.”
“Well, it is.” I said. “But the juice diet is just fruit and vegetables. Now that's healthy!”
“I know you.” Steven said.
“What's that suppose to mean?”
“It means if you go on this juice diet you'll be hungry and when you're hungry you’re not very nice to be around.” he quickly continued. “Besides you look great just the way you are!” he smiled at me, I could see the hope in his eyes that I would believe him.
“Ah, thanks.” I gave him a kiss on the cheek. “I needed to hear that.”
I saw the relief pass over his face.

To be honest I was relieved too. I really didn't want to drink all of my meals for the next week anyway.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

The Winner Is...

As American Pharoah raced over the finish line I swear I could hear my sister, Patty cheering six towns away. I looked over at my husband, Steven, “I'm going to wait until she stops crying before I call her.” I said.
“Is she really going to be that excited?” he asked.
Oh, if he only knew.
When we were little my two other sisters and I would have to spend summers sitting in our older sister Patty's bedroom taking tests on Thoroughbred racing trivia. Patty always called it playing school but I considered it torture. I never had any idea what she was talking about. She'd give us paper after paper of information on the lineage not only of the horses but who the jockeys and trainers were.
I can still see my other sisters lying on the floor, sweating from the summer's heat, waiting for a breeze to blow through the window as they studied for the next test. I, on the other hand, would be staring out the window wondering when we'd be allowed out to play.
The next day I called my sister Patty, she still sounded excited as she picked up the phone. “Did you watch the race?” she asked before even saying hello.
“I did!” I laughed knowing she would still be walking on cloud nine, acting as if she owned American Pharoah herself.
“I was screaming so loud when he crossed the finish line my throat is still sore!” she said.
I had to laugh, because that's exactly how I pictured it at her house on race day. “When I was watching the race yesterday I was thinking about when we were little and you'd make us play horse racing school every summer.” I laughed.
“Made you?” she didn't sound as excited anymore. “I thought you loved that game?”
Now it was time for me to back-peddle. “Oh, well maybe the other girls loved it.” I explained. “I just wasn't into horse racing as much as the rest of you.”
“Oh.” she sounded a bit hurt.
I tried to change back into happier news, “But when American Pharoah crossed the finish line yesterday my first thought was, “Hey, at least if Patty were playing horse racing school now and asked who the latest triple crown winner was I'd finally get an answer right!”
“I used to love teaching you three.” she said sounding a bit happier again. “I have great memories of those summers.”
“I know, I guess I just wasn't a very good student.” I reasoned. “But now at least I know two triple crown winners, American Pharoah and Seabiscuit!”
There was a brief pause. “Seabiscuit was never a triple crown winner.” she said.
“Oh, I guess I'm getting that one confused with another horse.” I said.
“But Seabiscut had a really great story...”
“Oh, That's right. Maybe I'm thinking of another horse that begins with S.” I cut her off before
she went into the Seabiscuit's history.

I felt a bit bad cutting her off but, I was having a flashback to her hot and stuffy bedroom where I was sure to fail the test