Time to Start Dating Again

Dad calls it dating. I call it research. The 2020 primaries are a year away, so the parade of candidates has already begun. Like in 2016, we are taking advantage of living in an early primary state and meeting and hearing as many declared presidential contenders as possible.

I am excited to see so many women in the field, which is particularly important because we have a six-year-old little boy in the family who told me that “girls can’t be president.” Did he come to that conclusion on his own, or did someone tell him that during a playground or lunchtime discussion? I will certainly have to get to the bottom of that!

Our first candidate was Senator Kamala Harris, who we saw at a large venue with 1000 of our closest friends. The event was advertised as a town hall, but the number of questions asked was low because she arrived quite late. I was disappointed, yet enthused by her message.

This past weekend, we saw Senator Amy Klobuchar in a much more intimate setting, which was the home of a USC professor and his wife. We were able to meet and speak with her, which was so nice. Dad spoke to her regarding the challenges she will face in trying to get prescription drug prices lowered, and I mentioned being upset that young couples are delaying or abandoning the idea of having children because of the cost of child care. The senator listened to us and responded to our comments.

Dad and I agreed that neither said anything to disqualify them from another date with us. Who is up next?

I Thought We Were Done With Projects!

Whenever I see photos of the monuments in Washington, I am always reminded of the monument project you all had to do in second grade. Last weekend, when I saw the photo of two of you near the “Big Stick,” as Casey referred to the Washington Monument when she was a little girl, I was back in my time machine to 1992, 1994, and 1996. And now that we have a kindergartner in the family, the parent/child projects are beginning anew.

I thought that I would be out of that loop now that I am no longer the parent, but that was not the case this week when I was asked to help decorate a cake for cub scouts. Bryce had forgotten to mention the project until the day before it was due, but with the help of the Google Machine, we found a project he liked and was able to do on his own. His mom and dad are not going to be helicopter parents. They will assist but not take over these projects.

It’s a good thing we only had three children, because I can’t imagine what DC-monument project child #4 would have been allowed to create with Dad. As you all know, the first monument was the most involved: a carefully constructed replica of the Jefferson Memorial, built with wooden dowels and Styrofoam. The second was The Pentagon, which Dad carefully cut from scraps of wood and meticulously angled  together using his engineering tools.

Two years later he announced that he did not want to do this a third time, but he conceded that he would either make “The Big Stick,” or Casey would recycle The Jefferson Memorial or the Pentagon. She chose “The Big Stick.”

If there had been a fourth child, I would have recommended The Eternal Flame at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. My design would have been a candle sitting on top of a piece of tile remaining from our bathroom renovation. Easy peasy. Done!

                    Mommy’s Eternal Flame

Another Trip Back in Time

When I was growing up, we always had several newspapers in our house: The New York Daily News, The Morristown Daily Record, and the Newark Star Ledger. Grandpa would either walk to a local convenience store several blocks away, or when he got older, he would drive “to the paper store” as he liked to call it. I don’t recall having the newspapers delivered as long as he was able to go on his morning outings.

He would return with the papers and his cigarettes. As you all know, during his later years, he tried to hide his smoking from all of us—particularly his grandchildren—but none of you could be fooled, because you always found his cigarette butts hidden around the property.

Dad and I always had our newspapers delivered in every home in each of the five states where we lived. It was not until our local carrier here in South Carolina continued to forget the dates when we altered the schedule during our vacations that we discontinued home delivery of the local paper and switched to e-delivery of The New York Times and The Washington Post.

I was recently in line at the grocery store behind a woman who was a super coupon whiz like Jamie, which then inspired me to pick up the Sunday edition of the local newspaper in the hopes of scoring a pile of coupons. I had no luck with getting many coupons, but my outing had an unexpected surprise. It was like climbing aboard a time machine.

Suddenly I was my father, standing patiently in line with my Sunday paper clutched tightly in my hands. He’s been gone almost 10 ½ years now, but that day, he had returned. It never ceases to amaze me what song or activity will bring him back, if only for a moment. It was a nice memory.



I’d Rather Do It Myself

During snack time the other day, I tried to help Lily climb up on the stool so she could watch the popcorn being made. I was immediately rebuked by her. “I’d rather do it myself.” This is not the first time I was pushed away because of her new-found desire for independence.

When I relayed the incident to Dad, we both immediately blurted out the words of an old commercial: “Mother please. I’d rather to it myself!” I don’t recall the product and I suspect he does not either. A search with the assistance of my good old friend Mr. Google gave me the answer.

It was an advertisement for Anacin, and it showed an older woman telling her daughter to add some more salt to whatever she was cooking on the stove. Mamma had walked over to the stove with a shaker of salt in her hand, and after she gave out her little tidbit of advice, her cranky daughter slammed down the lid and told her mother to effectively mind her own business.

“Surely you are tense, but don’t take it out on your mother,” the commercial told us. If only she had taken a few Anacins, she would not have yelled at poor old Mamma. Apparently, within minutes, tension, pain, and irritability would be gone with this miracle drug, which we were told was “like a doctor’s prescription.”

Fortunately, Lily was a lot sweeter when she pushed me away. I guess she did not have an Anacin headache.

Watch it and tell me what you think.


I Still Have the Moves

I was recently happy to discover that I still have not lost my hoola-hooping ability. Remember how we were all so adept at moving out hips in that rhythmic motion which keeps that hoop in motion, and as I recall, Jamie even won a contest at one of Dad’s company picnics when she was quite young.

I found two kid-sized hoops at World Market and purchased them for the kids, neither of whom has yet mastered the art of hooping. They simply love to roll them in the driveway and twirl them on their arms. They don’t care about anything else at this time.

One day I decided to show off my talents to them, and I was shocked to discover that I could not keep it spinning for even ten seconds. How could this be, since this was not a difficult skill? Was this another sign of aging like graying hairs, increased aches and pains, and occasional forgetfulness?

I decided to try an experiment, so I went down to the crawl space and retrieved the adult-sized hoops. Like getting back on a bicycle, I happily learned that it was the size of the hoop and not my aging body that made the difference. I look forward, someday, to a contest between all my children and me to see who is the Queen of Hooping. Are you up for the challenge?