Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wonderful Vacation

Beautiful 2-year-old Mariah
Gorgeous 3-year-old Leah

The past 6 days have flown by and tomorrow we begin our trek towards Florida and home. We've have a wonderful time each day, and gone to bed bone tired, but it's been worth every mile to see the smiles and hear the laughter of our granddaughters, Leah and Mariah. They almost make me want to give up the warmth and sunshine of Florida for the snow and ice of the north....but my heart wishes they'd all simply move next door to me in Florida. We would love to be doting, spoiling grandparents 365 days a year.
I was blessed to spend time not only with my children and grandchildren but was able to catch up with some old friends as well. I've been privileged to have the same best friend for 31 years and although we haven't seen one another face-to-face for almost 12 years when we saw one another today it was if the last 12 years were no more than 12 minutes. We picked right up where we left off that last time.
So as we climb in the car tomorrow and point it in a southwardly direction, as we leave the chilly fall temperatures and head back towards Florida I'm leaving, yet once again, a little piece of my heart here in the Chicagoland area and promise that the next trip here won't take another 12 years.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Clean house, Clean on Vacation!

I think I've finished everything that needs finishing. My desk top is completely clean...for the first time in a VERRRRRY long time, the house is completely clean, all the laundry is caught up and I think I've crossed all the t's and dotted all the i's.

Some people think it's silly to clean house before you leave on a trip, but I feel better knowing I'll come home to a clean house and clean, crisp sheets on my bed. I can remember vacations as a child, my mother always worked frantically before we left on our summer vacations.

In the morning we head north to visit family and hopefully see some fall colors and feel some relief from the never-ending summer temperatures and humidity. I'm looking forward to getting away and seeing my grandchildren and children, my parents and even some old friends. I haven't been back to the Chicago area for almost 12 years. It's time.

Seeya when I get back!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Won! I Won!

I can't believe it! I actually won the beautiful hand-painted Scarecrow Scoop offered by The Antique Pallet.

Thank you so much, Chris! I look forward to getting him. I know EXACTLY where that little guy is going!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Turning 54

Tomorrow is my 54th birthday. Until a few months ago I didn't think I looked 54...then I got contact lenses and discovered I did have wrinkles in my face! Seriously though, I don't feel brain keeps telling me I'm still 24 and should be able to do whatever I feel like doing.
As I think back over the years,
10 years ago I was busy enjoying life as a new Floridian.
20 years ago I was busy raising two active boys.
30 years ago I was anxiously awaiting the birth of my first child
40 years ago I was deep in the throes of my first real crush
50 years ago I was a wide-eyed toddler, exploring the world around me.

Over the past 54 years there's been a lot of changes to the world around us. 3 wars...VietNam, Desert Storm and the current war with Iraq and Al Quada. The price of milk has gone from 92 cents to $3.00. An average car cost $1600 back then, now you can't even find a clunker for that amount of money. My parents paid $11,000 for their first home in 1955. Now people's house payments for a year are that much...or more. Computers were something you saw in Buck Rogers then, now they're in every home and we carry them in our purses and briefcases. Man's been to the moon and back, walked in space...all the things that were pure science fiction in 1955 are reality now.
Do I feel old? Some days, yes...very old. Do I think the world has changed for the better? No, not always. I miss the easier going days, the days when children thought great fun was riding their bicycles or sitting under the apple tree in the backyard playing with Barbie dolls. I don't understand why kids today would trade fresh air and sunshine for a dark bedroom with their face plastered to a television set playing X-Box and I certainly don't understanding hauling yourself out of bed at 3AM to stand in line to be first to purchase the latest video game.
So would you call me an old fuddy-duddy? Probably, at times. But I'd like to think that somewhere there's a place where people still enjoy sitting around in the evening talking quietly while the kids chase fireflies and play Statue Maker or Freeze Tag in the waning light of the evening, where an evening of fun includes a bonfire, some whittled sticks and hot dogs or marshmallows. I miss the innocence of youth, when your first kiss was something you treasured and sex wasn't the main topic of conversation at every get-together. I miss family get-togethers where you got to eat Great-Grandma's famous cake or Great Aunt Martha's chicken and dumplings.
I'm done feeling maudlin, time to break out the streamers, party hats and noise makers. Happy Birthday to me!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dressed for fall

Although it's still hot and humid here in Florida my calendar says September and for this northern transplant my mind says it's time for fall! Fall is my favorite time of year, there's nothing like the warm days and crisp, cool nights or the ever changing colors of the leaves. Fall has its own unique smells as well, ones I now have to try to recreate using candles as Florida doesn't have the same seasons. Here we have two seasons...summer and not summer. Our leaves don't change colors, they just fall off the tree and die, those that actually lose their leaves anyway.
This year we're taking a trip north, and this year I'm hoping that the leaves are turning colors (I've been told they've already begun changing), that the sky is the unique blue only found in fall, and that the nights are "need a sweater" crisp.
As for me, I've put away all my summer decorations and have brought out the oranges, yellows, browns and blacks of fall. My home feels warm and cozy, as if we're beginning to wind down the seasons and prepare for winter.
Did you know it's only 109 days until Christmas? Have you started your shopping yet?