surviving outside adventures


Because it is Throwback Thursday I had to dig up an old photo to share…preferably one that won’t embarrass my four adult children. I just love this picture of my brothers and me for so many reasons.

The awesome that was 1970 fashion.

That pose.

Dear gawd, those damn pale, blue, cat’s eye glasses! I know my friend Kale praises me for being a hipster when hipster wasn’t cool by wearing those sweet frames; but trust me, they might have been ultra cool in the early 60s but  in 1970 definitely not. I cringe today every time I see someone wearing such frames…and yes, I’m kind of jealous that someone else pulls that look off and makes it look good.

Those tore up shoes of ours.

My brothers.

Randy.

Billy and his golden curls.

What lies behind that dead end sign on the street we lived on in Ben Avon during the summer of 1970.

Adventure! Grand, dirty adventures! A creek to wade in and swim in and even drink from. We had no clue what flowed from the giant drain pipe a little ways up the creek. We were kids. Kids who, if the sun was shining, were outside until the street lights came on because that was the way that it was.I seriously doubt Mom ever knew what we were doing and we rarely told her.

Who’s going to tell Mom about getting scratched by the raccoon she was playing with in the creek? Certainly not me. I could only imagine the trouble I would get into for that.

Are you going to admit that you literally rolled in poison ivy because your best friend and sister yelled and screamed at you to “STAY AWAY FROM THE POISON IVY!!” and you HAD to prove that you were immune. Randy never did even while scratching at literally his entire inflamed, itchy body.

Adventures behind the dead end sign, down the hill and in the creek were soon replaced with multiple other adventures because we moved…we moved a lot. A LOT…and because if the sun was shining (and sometimes not) outside was where we were until the street lights came on.

There were late night games in a local cemetery running from grave marker to grave marker, hiding and tagging one another.

Nobody tell that we snuck out after dark.

Oh those endless hikes up and down Robinson Road, which as children seemed huge as a child but not so much when I drove there the last time I visited back home. We chased cows in a nearby cow pasture and played in yet another creek…that also had a giant drain pipe emptying into it. Closer to home there was the trash barrel where the trash was burned and where we often played the Will It Burn? game because we had to try and discover what will burn and what will not.

Trees to climb.

Electrified fences to touch.

Circuses to perform complete with a high wire act on the clothes line in the backyard.

Open fields to run through as thunderstorms rolled in.

And so much more.

As children it was all so much fun…but sometimes not. I used to hide my books outside because sometimes I just wanted to sit and read…even if the sun was still shining and it wasn’t time to come in and make dinner or go to the store a mile away walking alone along Route 22 to pick up cigs and milk and tampons for Mom.

Boy was I shocked when I found out what those tampons were for a few years later!

As an adult and a parent I can’t help but sometimes cringe just a little. Okay, cringe a lot…especially about what the hell was likely draining in those creeks we always ended up in and that raccoon.

Still we survived…no rabies for me!

Different times back then we say. Still I often channeled Mom myself chasing the kids outside to play and make happy adventures. My favorite visual is Abby sitting on the curb loudly boo-hooing because “Mommy MADE me go outside and play!”. Still my clowns made their own adventures because it was their childhood and their time, their neighborhood. No creeks or raccoons or cow pastures or highways to walk along to go spend their 50¢ allowance on a small bag filled with penny candy. They were different kids, with different parents, growing up in a different place in a different time.

Still it’s a wonder they survived some of their bigger misadventures…that I know about and DON’T know about. Blame it on the bad parenting. It’s a wonder the four of them have reached adulthood.

I wonder if Hollie thinks that as she watches her children embark on their own great outdoor adventures in a different time and a different place?

Or perhaps she might better understand why mom would make them all go outside and play.

when robots come knocking on your front door


There was a loud knock on the door of The Big Top this afternoon. I peeked through the peephole and I saw a box…a large box. But I didn’t order anything that would come in such a big box…

I opened the door anyway and found a robot!

A blue-eyed robot!

And where there is one little robot, there is sure to be another one showing up.

See.

Hugh Jackman once said that he would love to have a robot at home. Dude, I’ve got two…blue-eyed robots!

birthday #newmagic


Your darling husband is turning 51 and you really want to gather the family circus to do something fun with him when what do your wandering eyes see but an old (not really old)  magical friend is coming to town with new magic to share.

Yes.

Perfect!

Our family circus first met Alex Ramon when he was performing at the “Zingmaster” for Ringling Bros Barnum & Bailey presents Zing Zang Zoom Circus. Like every one else, we truly were mesmerized as he made an elephant disappear, levitated members of the audience and transformed a man into a tiger right before our very eyes. But more importantly, we never forgot our conversations backstage before the show where he shared with us his love and enthusiasm for magic and the opportunity to come back to his home in the Bay Area and perform. Three years later, Jodie and I ran into him in Tahoe where he had been performing in his long-running show, Illusion Fusion, at the Horizon. It was there that my darling daughter literally ripped Alex’s heart into pieces which he magically (of course) pieced back together. With the closing of the Horizon Casino this past Spring came the opportunity for Alex to go on tour with NEW MAGIC with first stops in Northern California because you can go home again.

With only one performance in Modesto today, six members of our circus were guests of Alex’s including my darling husband, the birthday boy…

…who perhaps was a little too enthusiastic in locking Alex in shackles leaving marks on his wrist. “He said put them on tight.“, Bill argues.

Yes, he did. Still Alex got out of those shackles…several times.

#NewMagic is absolutely fun, family-friendly, audience participation entertainment that will not fail to hold you spellbound as you watch illusions performed that make you truly wonder if this is real or a dream.

Northern California readers be sure to catch Alex and the lovely, Meghan in the next few weeks at Vacaville on July 27, Livermore on August 10, and Marin on August 17.

Go.

See.

This.

Show.

I promise you that you will be as mesmerized as we were this afternoon. After the show most definitely take the time to stop and say hello to Alex as he is waiting after the show to say hello to you too.

Be sure to tell him the Scarborough Family Circus sent you.

The above review of #NewMagic is my own opinion. I received no compensation other than tickets for my family and me to attend the show. My thanks to Alex Ramon and Gallo Center for the Performing Arts for the hospitality and the magic today.

masterbuilder training


“With proper training…”

(and a little help from Zelda) …you could become a great MasterBuilder.”

Just remember who it was who helped you with that word search homework.

Yeah.

I know it sounds like a cat poster but it’s true. Just look at all that you have done when you believe that you are special.

Lego building and The Lego Movie, just a small part of our summer vacation where everything is awesome!

family meeting


There is quite possibly nothing more stressful than introducing a new boyfriend or girlfriend to your family.

Am I right?

Playing Cards Against Humanity has to be probably the best way to break the ice. Yes, I do believe this is the best way to meet one another. I did enjoy meeting Zoë’s new boyfriend and getting to know my sister, Ange’s just a little bit better. Thank goodness Ange and Matt travel with their own set of Cards Against Humanity.

Anyone needing gift ideas for Christmas or my birthday, I want this game for my very own. Remember, I have a lot of kids who just might be bringing home significant others to meet the family someday. I have to be ready.