Thursday, August 16, 2012

Our Neighborhood Nun

As we were seated, sharing a table with an older woman for lunch today, Abby asked, "Mom. Is that who I think it is?"

She had this excited look on her face. So I turned around and sure enough, at the check out counter of our local farm stand, was Sister Janice.

"Why, yes it is!"

Alex was asking, "Who? Who?"

I pointed her out and he got excited as well.  I told them to go say hello, but to remind her who they were because while she looked the same, she was definitely aging.

Alex approached first and tapped her on the shoulder.

"Hi Sister Janice."

She looked a bit confused. Abby followed suit with a smile.

Sister looked back at me and then it clicked.

She hurried to pay for her fruit and vegetables, parked her grocery cart and walked back to me with her arms around both of the kids.

I told her we missed her and hadn't seen her recently. She explained she had spent a year in Biddeford, ME but was now back at the convent across the street from the kid's school. She was elated to see the kids and couldn't believe Abby stood as tall as her (Literally! She's a crazy, petite thing).

She asked us all for hugs. Told us she'd make a special trip to our neighborhood soon and was so grateful the kids recognized her. She was grinning from ear to ear, as were was like a lost family member. To be honest, we had often wondered if something had happened and I will admit to checking the obituaries looking for her name.

The older woman who was sharing our table got up after Sister left and asked me, "Was she one of their teachers in school?"

I replied, "No. Just a wonderful woman who used to take her daily walks through our neighborhood and who always shared a smile, a hello, a hug and a God Bless You."

Somehow, knowing her always made us feel a little bit extra special. Kind souls will do that to you. I hope you have someone in your life like our neighborhood nun - because every time you see them you're reminded that people may come into your life in the oddest ways but for the best reasons. Even if it's just to make you smile.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bedroom manners

We have a nice playroom in our basement for the kids. It's super cool in the summer on a hot day and super cold in the winter on a subzero day - but that's a conversation for another blog post.

When the kids have their friends over, they can all go downstairs to play. There is a mix of toys, a TV and a table and chairs. Good stuff.

Inevitably, at some point during the visit, they start to wander back up to the main floor of the house. They'll use the bathroom, get a drink, sneak some snacks, ask a question, chase the cat....and then they seem to try and wander to the second floor to the bedrooms.

Now as a child, the only play area we had was our bedroom. I get it. Not everyone has a shit play room. I remember spending HOURS with my girlfriend in my bedroom playing school, house, library, restaurant - you name it! But I don't remember boys in my bedroom. My brother would have his friends in his room. I'd have my friends in my room. End of discussion.

As I have a mixed age group of 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 year olds running through my home now, I expect the same thing. If you all want to play together, then you go to the basement...if the girls want some alone time, head up to Abby's room. If the boys need a break, then Alex has Lego's in his room and off you go.

But somehow, without fail, they go back and forth and back and forth from bedroom to bedroom. I've set the bedroom rule but now I wonder if it's fair?

Am I too restrictive? Am I too old fashion? Am I expected to roll with the flow because it's the 21st century, dude? Do they all play together in the bedrooms at other houses? At what age do I really start to worry about bedroom manners? Should I loosen up a bit?

Nah. I think I'll keep my rules, thanks. What are your rules for bedroom play? For the under 12 crowd, you dirty mind..... :)

Monday, August 6, 2012


We named him Coach. But we called him Bubba.

In fact any variation of Bubba would do.  Bubba-licious. Bubba-lips (don't ask). Bubba-biskie (I think that was biscuit gone bad). Bubba-do.

And lately, at the oddest moments, I've found myself shedding tears for my little friend. Not totally sure why, as we had to say our good-bye over 3 months ago. But my guess is that the love you hold in your heart doesn't always break at once, but breaks in pieces over time.

I miss my little office mate, vacuum cleaner, protector, and snuggle buddy. This tear is for you, Bubba. May there be no snow this winter in doggy heaven. You deserve that much.