One year, my mother’s brother, Alfred and his wife, Julie spent the holiday with us. We packed a beautiful picnic as well as the large cooler, holding some 30lbs of ice and the special treat my mother made for the occasion. My father loaded the picnic basket, the cooler, and the old fashion, hand-crank ice cream maker into the car and off we went…
Black Friday, mid morning, in the car on our way to Ollies. “Ash,” I started, “when we get to Ollies, daddy wants to show me a couple of items. Can you please take Ren to the T-O-Y section?”
B and I heard Ren jump out of his bed and land hard on the floor. “Uh oh.”
B said, “Pretend you’re asleep.”
On our staycation, we decided to take one night at a hotel and visit Knoebels Amusement Park in central Pennsylvania as part of Ren’s 6th Birthday Celebration...
Early this morning, Ren crawled in bed with me, not something he does every night...anymore. I looked at the clock and thought of early Thanksgiving mornings a few decades ago years ago when my mother was already out of bed to get the turkey in the oven. By the time the rest of the family woke a couple hours later, the house would be filled with the aroma of roasting turkey. And just a few more hours after that, around the formal dining table set with my mother’s finest china and silver, we would all take turns stating what we were most thankful for. Then we would dive into a very traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
The Groshongs have been hit with a vile bug...Ren got it first followed by the rest of us. Of course he flew through it in 24 hrs, which makes him the healthiest of all of us, and officially in charge.
Our 21st Wedding Anniversary was suddenly upon us. We made no plans to celebrate the fact that if our marriage were a person, he was now legal to drink alcohol in all 50 United States.
The big day fell on a Thursday. We needed to leave the office an hour earlier than normal to pick the kids up from school rather than let them ride the bus home. Ash’s violin tutor was coming at 4 pm, a half hour earlier than the kids would get home if they rode the bus. Then B had a 5 pm meeting back at the church and band practice until 10 pm. It would not be a romantic, carefree day spent toasting our love and reciting poetry to each other. We spent the day at work, where once again, I was up against deadlines and moving as quickly and efficiently as possible.
“Have you eaten lunch?” B asked me as we passed each other in the hall.
Ash and Ren ride the twisting Monster Octopus attraction together because Ash is responsible enough to take Ren on the ride by herself and neither B nor I can stand all the spinning—oh yeah, it’s an age thing. They run in line, board right away and laugh and spin for the next fewminutes. As soon as they get off, they run across the walkway where B and I are relaxing on a bench in the shade. “We wanna go again.”
This morning Ren’s school was having their Halloween party, and all the kids were invited to dress as something from the ocean to follow this year’s theme. We don’t have any oceana costumes…Spider Man, Power Rangers x2, Batman, Superman, Ninja, Dog, Dragon, Frog, and lots of princess costumes left over from Ashlyn’s preschool days.
Ash said, “Mother’s Day is not just about you, Mommy.”
Brent wrote me a card on Mother’s Day. It read, “I heard a quote the other day that said you don’t only marry someone because you love them but because you can’t live without them. I can’t live you. I will always be here for you. I may be plopped down on the couch in front of the TV, but I'm here.
Our neighbor stopped by and he said, “I told my wife the other day that Kat looked like she had gained weight and not just a little. She’s getting big.” He didn’t just blurt that out when he walked onto our back deck; he waited until we told him that we were expecting. And then he said, “Congratulations. But, you look great otherwise.”
This Christmas marks our third in Pennsylvania, and it doesn’t look as though it will be a white one.It's raining and the remnants of last week's snow storm are melting away. But earlier this month, we picked out our Christmas tree while snowflakes danced in the air, creating a bit of nostalgia and bringing back all sorts of memories for both B and me. It’s been years since either of us drove home with a Christmas tree covered in snow. As we did this year, we reflected on Christmases past and tried to name the most memorable. And despite fantastic gifts or exotic trips, one of our favorites has to be our first in Bethlehem when we were celebrating Christmas with my family. My mom and I were shopping for some last-minute stocking stuffers and decided to hit the drive through at Burger King for a quick meal. We ordered a ridiculous amount of Burgers, half of which never made it to our bags. Of course, we didn’t discover this until we were home and faced with a hungry crowd.
Just last week, Ash announced, “Santa gives socks to those who are naughty. I’m nice.” I challenged her, “Are you really nice?”
Last week B and I found ourselves in New York City. It’s not like we suddenly woke up from an unknowing slumber in a strange and distant land, or that we were on a walkabout and this was our final destination. This journey was planned. In fact in the days leading to the BIG day, we spent time looking at maps and ferry and bus schedules, so much so that when the BIG day finally arrived, we were very confident that we could navigate our way across the island of Manhattan with ease. It was almost as though we felt we ourselves were New Yorkers. Oh, yes, residents. Nay, natives.