Sunday, September 18, 2016

Sometimes you have to wear pants. Sometimes you don't.

A dozen times this week, I've asked Ali if she wants to go somewhere with me. Options ranged from Petite Chou for onion soup to Target to the gym, even just a casual walk in the neighborhood.

The weather was amazing for the most part. The top was down on the car. The sky was the limit.

Without variation or hesitation, her response was a dead stare look and "Does it require pants?"

It's a good thing I embrace solitude. And generally am already wearing pants.


Back in her younger days, when Alison got together with friends, it was with kids I'd known since they were in diapers, or at least through elementary school. Drop-off usually involved some fun at the parent level while the kids scampered off.

These days, she wants to be dropped off at various malls or other places to meet fellow teens who I know by first name and whose parents I don't know at all. She usually rolls her eyes when we insist on her actually connecting with said friends before leaving her alone.

Meeting a new friend in an unfamiliar part of town this weekend, she glanced around and said, " Uh, it's OK if you wait for me to text you that she's here."

Yes I laughed. Out loud and long. Evil-like. And waited for the text.


Jeff spends at least two nights a week during the spring and summer playing softball. His basketball leagues take the summer off and, much like a young puppy, he needs to run off some of his excess energy, so I've always been good with it.

We're long past the idea of me (or Ali) actually going to watch him play. It seems fair to me. I don't ask him to come watch me huff and puff on the machines at the Y. Anyway, around 11 p.m. one night this week he came home with hardware.

Gracious wife that I am, I even recorded the moment.  


I've been hanging out with my Bunconian friends since the 90s. Our most recent gathering was at Jeph's new digs yesterday. As always it was a night punctuated with laughter only dogs could hear, great food, and those conversations where you only have to start a sentence to have people dissolve into fits or to finish the story for you.

I'm grateful for people in my life who love me in spite of my many flaws. And who forgive me when I drop the ball. :(

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Infinity Walls

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, my house will never stop talking. The chatter might be interspersed with a little crying. A little sighing. But mostly, I think, laughter will take center stage.

Take this gem I unearthed today. It's at one of Alex Ogden's birthday parties. Karin had strung up Hostess donuts on a line, planning to have the kids compete to eat them off the line, no hands.

Ali was mesmerized by the donut. Alex, used to the game, was just happy. Hannah and Natalie were happy being silly.

I have been struggling with how to keep/display our Paris photos so I've trashed the living room with photos, frames and matting for weeks. I've been slow to get Jeff's collection from his phone and debating where - or if - to hang them up.

I managed to get them off the floor today. We'll see what happens when I print the others. My guess is they'll be on the mantle for a while.

I'd probably pitch a fit if Ali or Jeff had left so much stuff littering the floor. I think they're giving me a pass only because they infected me with their stupid summer cold. Plus, the two of them are blessed/cursed with the gene that doesn't allow them to recognizing when it's time to clean the house.

The other day I came back from somewhere to have Ali inform me that she'd mopped the kitchen floor. "How'd you know where to find the mop?" I quipped, somewhat in shock.

"It was so awful, Mom, even I realized it needed cleaning," she said, declining to take up the job full-time.

Framing photos is a project that's been in progress before Ali ever arrived on the scene right up until our last family outing. I keep photos and framing supplies in a box in the basement so it's easy to get back to work when the spirit moves me. Every time I get back into it, I consider refreshing the gazillion frames already cluttering up my walls but it's hard to let any of them go.

Ali's oldest friends are used to them, but as she brings new people around she cringes a little bit for show as they take a look around.

She gets back at me for her baby shots by sending them to find the one of me holding a dead squirrel. Or my high school graduation photo. They're equally ridiculous.

Jeff's teenage years are there, too, along with weddings and parties and beautiful shots of loves ones gone too soon.

 I guess as long as I have space, I can chronicle our lives. They're just one more reason I can't see myself ever moving. When Ali has to pack up the place, she'll probably curse my name. But I bet she'll take her time and get lost a bit like I do.

One of my all-time favorites is Ali at 4. Wild-haired, wide-eyed.  It's a "Get ready world, I'm coming" kind of shot. If the house ever burns, that's probably the one I'll risk my life for.

I keep it by the front door, just in case.