Thursday, September 08, 2016


A new school year. Vacation re-entry syndrome. Fruit fly invasion. All good reasons for not having time to write lately. But really? I ran out of words. And believe me, you don't want to be around a writer when she runs out of words. She gets very cranky. Poor Larry.

So I am typing now and trusting some words will show up, for the sake of everyone around me.

Our Rachel (she of the stuffed toilets and decapitated stuffed animals) decided to attend a real high school this year, the kind with teachers and homework and lots of other kids. Let me tell you, 9 years of homeschooling was totally worth it, if only to generate the sort of enthusiasm Rachel displayed when getting on the bus that first day of ninth grade. Granted, she probably sounded a tad weird, but I'm sure she'll settle down soon enough and be as jaded as the rest of 'em.

That leaves just Susie and Brian (a high school junior) at home this year. As Brian's courses are all outsourced (Glory, hallelujah!), Susie and I have spent the last two days sitting around playing Dutch Blitz. I make her keep score, so it's educational.

It's homeschooling, people - we do what we want.

AND I had a job interview today for a senior companion service - their employees drive elderly people to doctor appointments, the grocery store, etc. Or else they visit the clients at home and help pay bills or organize closets or just keep them company. The upshot is, I am going to be paid real money to visit a senior citizen near me and play gin rummy with her a couple of times a week. I feel as though someone just gave me a present.

You know, I would have given anything to find a service like this for my dad during his last year. He was so lonely and bored. I still feel sad thinking about it.

Camping in Acadia? Oh, it was surpassingly excellent, mainly because we took only the 2 youngest children with us, both of whom actually wanted to go. This was the first time in years I didn't spend my "vacation" tiptoeing around a disgruntled teen emphatically not interested in family time.

I swear, I don't know what we've done wrong that our kids act this way.

None of this happened, so far as I know

So we left Brian at home (and really, he did have work to go to and a community college class starting while we were away), but only after alerting all the neighbors that NO ONE besides him should be seen entering or exiting our house. I even managed to restrain myself from texting Brian 100 times a day to make sure he was alive. The kid managed admirably (I mean, so far as we could tell). He even texted me a pic of the house on the day of our return with the caption "Still Standing."

Everyone's a comedian around here.

Anna (remember Anna? She of the lost-forever coat?) is studying abroad this semester in Amman, Jordan, in an intensive Arabic program. Apparently, she has graduated from her Getting A Clue curriculum  with honors, impossible as that seemed 7 short years ago. And Theo, our Army officer, is also in the Mideast for a year, as a member of Task Force Sinai. So tell me why, when I think of him, do I still picture him in his highchair, falling asleep face first in a bowl of spaghetti?

Really, feel free to start humming "Sunrise, Sunset" any time now. Lord knows that tune is stuck on constant replay in my head these days. Here, if you need a refresher:

I'm not crying. You're crying...

[Dutch Blitz image: Dutch Blitz]
[Risky Business image: Wikipedia]


  1. I'm so impressed with the path Anna and Theo have chosen. I am always heartened when I hear of a citizen willing to learn Arabic.

    Yes, tiptoeing around a surly teen is the worst, especially in a campground.

    And I am always grateful for the people who do the senior companion jobs. I rely heavily on such a person to help out my aunt, and send me all her important papers. I don't know why it's impossible for my aunt to send me the papers herself, but she won't do it. I'm thankful that there is someone willing to do that job.

    My aunt could use a companion to drive her and her cats to their weekly vet appointments. But alas, she passed her driver's test and will be driving herself. God help us all.

  2. I do not listen to that song. I know better.

  3. I have to admit the "Still Standing" text made me laugh out loud!

    And the Sunrise Sunset did make me tear up - where, oh where, do the years go? It was only yesterday that my son was toddling around here opening the one kitchen cabinet that didn't have locks on them, removing the pans and crawling inside. Why? I don't know but he loved that.

  4. Looking at the sidebar, to remind me of the ages of your children, I couldn't believe how much time has past since I first started reading your blog. I think I started when Susie was a toddler.
    I've always enjoyed your sense of humor and look forward to each post.

  5. Wow. It has been while, hasn't it? You must be very proud of Anna and Theo!

  6. It's so nice when you only have to camp with people that want to be there lol. My oldest was DONE the time about half way through last time she went camping with us and I was really wishing we could have just sent her back down the mountain so we could enjoy the rest of the time in peace lol.

  7. "Still Standing!" Love that kid. Congratulations on Anna and Theo, tremendous accomplishments. And even Susie, good for her to take her own path.
    But who said it was okay for them all to grow up like this?
    Remember how in old novels people would have "companions" to sit and read with them and so forth? It's such a dignified, civilized and gentle thing. I am sorry you have regrets about your father's last year. I feel like you are paying that love forward, though, in a way that you can. It's tough when the parents live far from the kids. Our parents are both a 5-hour drive from where we live, when things start deteriorating, our helpfulness will be limited.

  8. I hope we will be able to findxa service like that for my father in law soon. What a blessing. Arabic? Jeesh. I am trying to teach myself Italian with the Duolingo app. I already am fluent in Spanish so you would think it wouldn't be such a big deal, oh my goodness though -I am getting nowhere.

    1. I think it is harder when the languages are similar like that, though, don't you?

  9. Off to high school... *sigh* I was humming "Sunrise, Sunset" before I read far enough down to see the video. (And no, I did not watch it just now -- it's my #2 son's 24th birthday, I don't need to watch it to cry.) Thank you for the update on your 2 oldest offspring, I'd been wondering about them.
    I love that you are going to be paid for being a senior companion. I have no doubt that your clients are about to have their socks blessed off! What a great service. I hope this idea takes off everywhere.

    "Still standing" = a great sense of humor. And as long as your crystal egg is still in one piece, you know he's told the truth. ;)

  10. Catcing up on my blogger friends. Understand your wavering on what tile do I want to look at for the next 30 years. (I'm commenting on all the blogs I've read here.) I pulled out enough money to buy a new (to me) car and redo my bathroom and then I had to replace the AC. Good bye bathroom. sigh.

    Sunrise, kids are your age. Middle grandchild started college this year....Dang! I think she's only 12! SIGH