How We Did It–Those Loop Holes

I am reposting part of my 2015 New Year’s Eve story about how we celebrated New Year’s Eve in Times Square in 2006 without wearing Adult Depends or freezing outside for many hours in those human cages. It was one of my best “getting-around-the-loophole moments.”

The year before, we celebrated Kelly’s 21st birthday in New York City, and we had so much fun being tourists in the Big Apple around Christmas that we decided to return. You all asked if we could celebrate in Times Square, and I said absolutely not. I had read about the need to arrive VERY early, and all my research said there were no bathrooms available. That was the deal breaker for me.

I compromised by agreeing to dinner in the vicinity of Times Square. I found a nice Italian restaurant but then discovered it was on the other side of Broadway from our hotel. “How will we ever work our way through all the crowds,” I wondered out loud.

My panic was calmed when I learned that  a written confirmation from the restaurant would help. So early in the day, we walked there to scope out the route and secure our written reservation—the golden ticket it turned out.

That evening, we set out on our journey, and as we headed toward Broadway, I recall thinking we were in big trouble when I noticed the barricaded streets manned by the NYPD. When we explained where we were going and presented our reservation, we were magically permitted to continue on our trip. We were ushered past all the revelers penned in like animals at the zoo and were able to literally run past everyone.  I felt as if we had arrived at the gates of Emerald City, and we were permitted inside once we showed the guard our ruby slippers.

We had a wonderful dinner followed by dancing in the bar, and then around 11:30, we noticed a steady line of people heading toward the door. We followed and  were shocked to see that we were just a short walk away from the famous New Year’s Eve Ball. The countdown began followed by the tons of confetti. What a wonderful surprise! It was the best party of my life.

Sometimes, the best moments are the unexpected!

Happy 2017!

Times Square 2006

Toasting in the New Year Before the Big Surprise


P.S. Dad reminded me to mention that the building in Times Square where the ball drops each year–the building with the electronic billboards and news ticker–was once owned by Allied Chemical, which was Grandpa’s employer for thirty-five years and where we met each other. This is just a piece of family trivia.

It’s Your Birthday Today!

Today is Casey’s birthday, so I am taking the opportunity to look back on some of my memories of her. Many are from the birthday letter I wrote on her twentieth birthday.

Casey, you were supposed to be my second December baby, but you were in such a hurry to be born, that you are forever stuck with the yellow Topaz rather than the blue or purple birthstone like Kelly.  But this is actually better, because that makes you more unique.  Scorpios are “determined and forceful”, and that definitely fits you.

As a baby and little girl, you were determined to do things your own way.  You never saw sleep’s real purpose, so you loved waking up in the middle of the night and early in the morning.  You have heard over and over how you tortured me by your dawn awakenings and love of early morning viewings of “Mousercise”.  Perhaps that is why we called you Dawn for a while. You didn’t like naps either.  I guess you were afraid of missing life.  So when you have those nights where you just can’t sleep, think of it as a remnant of your childhood.

It is sweet knowing that your first smile was to Aunt Marian—your great aunt and a favorite to all her nieces and nephews.

You had a great vocabulary and imagination, telling us when you were just three that you learned your big words from your invisible friend Ariel Katie. After Jamie told you a particularly long-winded story about swimming, you turned to her and said, “You’re too complicated with all these details!” You were excited about going to the dentist, but then said the day before, “I’m apprehensive, Mommy.”

You loved playing dress up, pretending to be Ariel, Dorothy Gale, and princesses. Bryce has never done this yet. Perhaps it’s a girl thing and “Jane Doe” will drive Mark crazy by doing this also.

It was both funny and frustrating to hear four-year-old you complain that your preschool was spending too much time playing rather than working. You needed to lighten up. I spent a lot of time trying, and then failing, to find a school that valued work over play to your satisfaction.  I think that was when I learned about the existence of loopholes.

We fought unsuccessfully to try to enroll you in public school before you were five, and then the principal, Mr. Goldberg, told us about the kindergarten loophole.  After many phone calls and searches, we enrolled you in a private kindergarten for a few months. After Christmas, you were finally able to join Kelly and Jamie at the bus stop for the ride to Valley View.  It really is true that you woke up singing on your first day there.  During a time when so many parents were electing to hold their children back a year in school, Daddy and I chose the rebel approach which was to accelerate you.

I hope the decision to listen to a young Casey and enroll you in school early was correct.  Think how different your life would have been if you had been among the oldest in your class instead of one of the youngest. Would you still have joined the Forensics Team when we moved to Chapel Hill?  If you had not, would you have still have the same major and minor—public relations and speech?

All of your friends would have been completely different. You met Chris in your dorm freshman year. Would you still have met him, and if not, would you still be living in the DC area now?  It is interesting to consider how the insistent requests of a four year old affected the rest of your life

I always loved your passion and enthusiasm for life but worry that adult responsibilities will make that disappear. I hope not. Scorpios are also supposed to be “powerful and passionate” so try not to lose that passion. I look forward to see where your road in life takes you.  I will be watching you.  Happy Birthday, Casey!

Casey Birthday Cake