remembering my dad

Today marks the tenth anniversary of my dad’s passing. I can still see him so clearly; it seems impossible a decade has passed. I’m reminded of his impact in large and small ways. Career decisions. Problem solving strategies. Likes and dislikes. Phobias and passions. Familiar characteristics reveal like trail markers around the bend as Dad’s sense of humor, abilities, and attributes present in grandchildren and great-grands alike. I am glad the generations continue to bear witness to my dad.

This morning I came across the video I made after dad’s memorial service. I slipped it into the DVD drive and slid back in time to a tiny Adirondack church packed tight with family and friends. The service was a rich and meaningful celebration of his life. My favorite part was when his grandchildren performed a heartfelt rendition of I’ll Fly Away, their voices raised on the wings of the hope he’d professed. I smiled, cherishing the distinct sounds of my children’s voices in the beautiful chorus.
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rv recon

Immediately after visiting the state fair, we set off to reconnoiter RVs. The Hubs has been hot on the trail of the “perfect” RV since we bailed on our rental and Quebec beluga trip in July. His exhaustive research yielded a pretty good idea of what we might want to purchase. He also discovered that between two Syracuse dealerships we could see most of those he thought we should investigate more closely.

After 35 years, let’s just say I know this man. Before we made the first stop, we had a little chat. Just for the record.

Me: “We aren’t buying anything today. Agreed? You sometimes get excited and make a spontaneous purchases. Just want to be sure we’re on the same page.”

He: “Well, I might have purchased a couple JetSkis without talking with you.  [Umm, yeah. Case in point!] But no, I would not purchase on this scale without discussion.”

Me: “Whew, that’s a relief. We’re just not ready.”

Even if all the stars aligned on make, model and price, I knew we were not ready to buy. We had nowhere to store it, for one thing. No time to use it, for another. We’d be foolish to burn through 6 or 8 months of warranty while we completed other obligations. It’s all too easy to become caught up in the possibilities and excitement of this new adventure. Prudence must prevail!
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blue ribbon day

A few weeks ago the Hubs and I spent a day at the state fair. It is a cheap date and a lot of fun when you time it right. We got lucky, it seems, especially with a break in the heat and humidity. The sky was heavily cluttered with clouds and crowds were down despite three-dollar-Thursday admission. Parking was only $5. Bonus: It was dairy day!

We smiled at the woman carrying a ginormous stuffed animal on a long trek back to the parking lot. We’d no interest in rides, games or trinkets any more than in performances or shows. We were running late due to a ’round about route — neither Google nor On Star GPS could get us to fairground parking without a hitch. Our first priority was lunch. Locally-sourced, if you please. Think Spiedie chicken or Dinosaur Bar-B-Que rather than fried dough and corn dogs. We planned a leisurely tour of agricultural barns and exhibits. Most of all, we looked forward to dairy displays.
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spirit of bart

I think every parent has a story or two they’d like to bury beyond retrieval? Something they said or did they sincerely regret? Something they hope and pray their chids will forget? Me, too. I suppose you’re lucky if it’s only one or two. (I have at least a few dozen.) So please don’t bother to continue unless you promise not to judge me!
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sadie & santa’s workshop

img_2066-e1535148049488.jpgOn Wednesday, Sadie turned four and a half. The concept for an all-in adventure (but neither presents nor party) half-way through each grand’s year is new but they have quickly caught on. Sadie has eagerly anticipated her turn since we launched celebrations with Oliver’s five and a half in July.  Rosie is already on record with a request for February!

Sadie agreed on the destination: Santa’s Workshop at North Pole, NY. She doesn’t like car rides but was sold by the website depicting mechanical rides. The Hubs and I were somewhat apprehensive about a long drive with six preschoolers.  Continue reading sadie & santa’s workshop

dill pickle proud

I had no intention of canning dill pickles last week. I was looking for raspberries at the Amish farm stand. I was at least a week too late. But they had several bags of small cucumbers and a couple bags of itty-bitty cukes perfect for baby dills. I couldn’t resist!

Homemade dill pickles are a thing around here. A jar of of my mother-in-law’s (MIL’s) pickles was a highly prized possession. Nothing was more often stolen in the Santa gift exchange game or more fiercely guarded in the pantry!  Continue reading dill pickle proud

second sleep

There’s one major hitch with my she-farmer gig: sleep. More accurately, lack thereof. Women about my age often empathize with my challenge of getting a good night’s sleep. I’m too hot. Too cold. I toss and I turn. Midnight to 4:00 a.m. is no-man’s land. If I get stranded there, I count on 4:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. to redeem the night.

Well, that’s doggone inconvenient as a she-farmer. I’ve often just settled into my “second sleep” when the Hubs nudges me awake with gentle peck. I stumble out of bed with only one thought: I need more sleep. The mere hope of resuming sleep after I finish chores propels me forward.

The concept of second sleep was introduced some years ago on an urgent trek to locate an Amish midwife. Continue reading second sleep