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.

life as the plumber’s wife


A mid-day text message conversation between a plumber and his adoring wife:

So the faucet in the kitchen sink has been leaky the past couple of days and it is getting worse. Zelda likes it.

But it has literally filled up a cup within the last half hour just dripping.

Do you know a good plumber?

No.

Try Angie’s List.

:::silence:::

I’ll correct the aforementioned defect when I get home.

Are you a good plumber?

Well, I’m cheap.

That’s what she said!

[/rimshot]

 

 

 

 

too much growing up


To be filed under the “isn’t it ironic” files there was just too much growing up happening here under The Big Top today.

I came home from work this morning…YES!…I worked last night which is indeed some kind of record for 2014 where I worked the last three consecutive scheduled nights rather than be cut or placed on call. It’s a good thing. We’ll just ignore the health stuff going on because I’m working on it as best as I can right now and a paycheck is better than no paycheck as that has been a real reality of late. Not that any of this has anything to do with too much growing up going on.

Back on topic, I came home from work this morning to find this handsome young man…

yes, this handsome guy dressed and ready for school eating his breakfast.

I made my breakfast, Mom. Abby and Jodie are STILL sleeping.

yes, he did roll his eyes. For the record, it was 7:30 AM and both were soon up because of school and work. Meanwhile, this boy of mine made his own breakfast…a simple breakfast, but a good breakfast to start his day with.

Impressed I was!

This kid is growing up!

And just when I was feeling pretty okay with this, he hands me this flyer at the end of the day.

Yes, yes my sweet little boy is old enough to attend those monthly Middle School Dances sponsored by the Manteca Youth Advisory Commission with security provided by the Manteca Police Department (?!). The ones his sisters would BEG me to let them go to and as I would drop them and their friends off, I swear to god it took all that was in me to not jump out of the mom-car and pull them back in for so many reasons…reasons which were definitely confirmed today when I shared this flyer with them.

YIKES!

OMG, NO!

Nope, he’s not allowed to. I forbid it.

Well this could be fun if he wanted to go. I mean IF he wanted to go.

“Did you see this, Daniel?”

“Yes. I don’t want to go.”

Thank goodness!

That’s enough growing up for today.

 

 

 

spontaneous moments like these


I have become very bad about capturing life under The Big Top with my camera. I still carry my camera with me practically everywhere I go but more often than not I’m just holding it, or worse, it is sitting in my bag. I was thinking that as I looked at this shot that has been living in my camera for a few days now.

And after berating myself for not taking pictures like I used to, I found myself smiling just a little bit because I DID CAPTURE THIS MOMENT…THIS MOMENT OF AWESOME BETWEEN A DADDY AND A DAUGHTER!!!

If I ever find myself doubting whether or not my children realize just how lucky they are that this man is their Daddy, I just have to look to spontaneous moments like this.

They know!