I want to add another example of how imaginative children can be.  This time I want to discuss my observations of the creativity of an almost seven-year-old boy.

He was over for his weekly playdate, and rather than playing a rousing game of Uno, Bryce decided he wanted to play mini golf. The fact that we do not have our own personal miniature golf course at home was not a problem. “I am going to make it myself.” I sat back and watched.

He walked around the living room looking at what he could use to construct ramps, barriers, and holes. We didn’t have a lot of time, so I figured perhaps he might be able to do nine. I was wrong. In a short period of time he made a full eighteen hole course, which wound it way from my living room to the kitchen and out to the screened porch. I allowed him a lot of freedom but put my foot down when he tried to put a hole on top of my end table. I could just picture the lamp crashing down on the floor, particularly because we were using real golf balls, not the more gentle practice balls.

When the course was complete, Dad, Bryce, and I grabbed our putters and began the game. We lined up our balls on each holes, took careful aim, and moved throughout the course, keeping careful count of each stroke.

We had a lot of fun. I came in last!


Daddy is a Hero!

Your mother is a wimp and a coward. I learned this about myself during a rather exciting storm this past weekend. Dad and I were watching TV when the rain started pounding down on the house and the wind began to howl. We both peeked through the front door window, but as we were unable to see much, Dad decided to open the door. Big mistake!

While we were standing on the front porch, unbeknown to us, we were soon not alone. When we went inside, I looked down and saw some movement at my feet. Within seconds, the action began as a bird flew past us into the living room. I screamed and headed toward the laundry room. Dad began closing doors while I stood unhelpfully nearby.

I knew in my heart that the bird was probably just as frightened as me, but still, I was paralyzed with fear, believing in my gut that it would gouge out my eyes or pull out my hair. Dad was screaming for me to help, but I could not budge. I was useless.

I grabbed a jacket from the laundry room door (I briefly considered covering my head with a laundry basket but knew that would have involved opening a door) and watched as the bird flew aimlessly around the kitchen as it attempted to plan an escape route.


Dad turned on all the lights and grabbed a stick from the garage, waving it and banging it as he tried to direct the bird toward the front door as he yelled, “Open it up. Open it up,” which I did as I hid behind the door thinking, “What if some of the bird’s friends decide to join him?”

Finally, the bird headed out the door, and Dad yelled “Close it. Close it.”

We dodged a bullet.

I then looked at the dining room table, where I saw Lily’s birthday cake. OMG! What a disaster that would have been if that cake had been involved in the crossfire of our battle. That would have been a disaster of monumental proportions.

I learned that day that I am truly a wimp. What would I have done if I had been alone? Would it have been wrong to dial 911?

The Right Attitude

As a grandmother, I have much more time to observe the children in the family than I once did as a harried mother. I am constantly amazed by their imagination, which just shows that a lot of expensive electronic gadgets is not always the answer to boredom. They can devise their own entertainment.

The activities during this past Tuesday’s playdate showcase two prime examples. I know now that when Lily is visiting I should never make my bed because that is a fun activity for her—and not just the basics of arranging the sheets, blankets, and pillows. Her latest game involves making a mountain of all my pillows and shams, climbing to the top of that mountain with “the girls” (aka Miss Ruth and Raggedy Ann), and then having me push her and the dolls to the floor, with the object being trying to catch one of the dolls before they hit the rug. She calls it “fall down kids.”

Lily loves “the girls,” and I have been working on explaining who they are, particularly Miss Ruth. I have told her that Miss Ruth is a real, very important person, and her job is to make sure all the rules in the country are working correctly. For now, I think that’s enough for a four year old to know. Lily knows she is special, so on Tuesday, we worked on the second activity, which was to make a necklace for Miss Ruth to wear. Each month we will make another one.

Today is Lily’s birthday, and I know she will be excited to bring in her birthday treats to her class: mini cupcakes and applesauce, which were her idea. I guess she is like me in that I loved eating applesauce with everything. I can just picture that big smile now which almost always graces her little face.

“What makes you happy?” I asked her.

“Everything!” she responded.

I sure hope she does not lose that cheary attitude. Happy Birthday Miss Lily!!

What Will We Do?

Climate change has been center stage lately. From marches around our nation to the attention around young climate activist Greta Thunberg and the wildfires in California to Australia. This is an issue that is not going away and deserves our attention.

It is not going unnoticed where I live. When I went outside today, I looked around my yard and saw the evidence of the warming pattern. My encore azaleas are again beginning to bloom as is my loquat tree in front of my porch.


Even my daffodils are beginning to push through the dirt. This should not be occurring during the first week in January. It is happening earlier each year.

Saturday’s forecast calls for temperatures in the mid to upper seventies, which is what I erroneously expected when I moved here over eleven years ago. I know the children are yearning for enough snow to ride a sled and build a snowman, but that will happen only if they head for the hills.

Not only is this occurring where I currently live, I have read that my state of birth, New Jersey, is warming at an even faster pace than any other state in the union. Since 1988, the Garden State has warmed at an average monthly temperature of 2.19 degrees, compared with 1.6 degrees in every other state.

It is time to act now. I do not ever recall seeing temperatures over sixty degrees during the month of January when I was a resident in New Jersey, which is the forecast for this weekend.

I am worried. We should all be worried. Why doesn’t every person on the planet see the problem?

Who is Naughty and Who is Nice?

Tonight Santa is coming, and I know nerves are frayed with Bryce as he worries about his sister. “At least you’ll get something from me,” he told her one day after observing her increasingly bad behavior.

It did not help when Santa told them both that they were on the “nice list,” and I think that Bryce was more excited than she was about this erroneous pronouncement by the jolly old elf. Their mom responded by reminding Lily that “he’s making a list and checking it twice.”

So they will don their Christmas pajamas and put out their cookies and reindeer food for Santa. Thankfully, Mommy was able to clean the blood from Bryce’s pj’s after an out-of-control nosebleed, but he was not worried. “It doesn’t matter how I look. It matters how I feel. And the blood would have added a Christmasy look.” Jamie, the nosebleeder of our family, would never have acted so calmly if her special pajamas had been afflicted by a blood explosion!

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Happy!



Springtime in December is Nice

Today was one of those days that made me realize that the decision to settle in the Deep South was the correct move for me, and I am positive Dad would agree. While the calendar says that the arrival of winter is just a few days away, the temperature felt more like a spring day.

My azaleas and roses are still blooming, and Dad left the house today wearing a pair of shorts. The temperature registered seventy-four degrees in my car.

I know this is disappointing to the children of South Carolina who yearn for some snow—any bit of snow. This was apparent a few nights ago at the zoo, where we all went to admire the Christmas lights and say hi to Santa.

The biggest attraction was the snow machine, which pumped out a mysterious white concoction of something resembling soap. The children spent more time running from one snow machine to the next than they did chatting with the jolly old elf.

You know what, if anyone wants snow, then they can either head to a cold-weather state or to that new mall in New Jersey—The American Dream—which has an indoor water park, ski slope, amusement park rides, an ice skating rink, and plenty of shopping.

I’ll wait home to hear about it.

Not on the Basis of Sex

When you were little, I was very crafty. Among the crafts I made were homemade Christmas ornaments, a plethora of ceramic decorations, and that Halloween ghost. I don’t have a picture of it, but I found one on the Internet that resembles my homemade creation.

As you recall, it remained up after Halloween and became a multi-holiday decoration—the best being the ghost of Christmas past. Now I am resurrecting that activity.

I recently purchased a Ruth Bader Ginsberg doll, which was initially meant to go to Lily if she liked it. Miss Ruth, as I like to call her, is very soft and cuddly, so I thought it might be a nice bedtime pal. Before Lily’s next visit to my house, I placed Miss Ruth on the windowsill in the living room and waited for our playdate.

I borrowed a book to read to her—I Look up to Ruth Bader Ginsburg—and introduced her to RBG. Although I thought the book seemed boring for a three-year-old child, Lily did not agree. She wanted me to read it over and over. She learned that “Ruth is strong,” “Ruth is a leader,” and “she believes in her opinions and shares them in a way that people understand.”

I decided to keep Miss Ruth, and if Lily wants one of her own, I will purchase a second doll. I went out to Michael’s and purchased supplies to decorate Miss Ruth for Christmas. She now sits on the windowsill alongside a Christmas gnome I believe I acquired from my friend Wendy and a snowman made by Casey many years ago.

When the Christmas decorations are packed up, I will return to Michael’s to choose my Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day Miss Ruth decorations. I look forward to fun with Miss Ruth as well as finding more strong women to introduce to both children, because I want them to know that they can be whatever they choose. Their careers should not be on the basis of sex.