Thursday, August 29, 2013

Canobie Lake Park love

A list of reasons why I DON'T love amusement parks would definitely be way longer than the list of reasons why I do.  So let's skip the downers and move right to the good stuff:
1- I'm usually there with someone I love
2- views from the top
3- happy noises
4- great people-watching
5- conversations while waiting in lines(see #1)
6- cotton candy!
7- dangling feet
8- leaving on a high and knowing it won't happen again for another year
9- old wooden roller coasters
10 - Again, #1

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

reblog from Humans of New York

This blogger posts daily
about humans of New York.
His perspective and stories are fascinating.
Here's one from August 16th:

This man became very animated while discussing his ideas on happiness. He extended the index finger of each hand, and brought them very close together, as pictured: “Babies are happy with this much,” he said. “All they need is one ounce of milk.” Then he started to slowly widen the space between his fingers, until they were very far apart: “Adults,” he said, “are not even happy with this much.”
He pulled his fingers close together again: “You only need this to be happy,” he said.
Then he pulled them far apart again: “You do not need this.”

When I finished photographing the man in the previous post, he said: “Wait one second, I want to show you my father.” He went inside his store, and returned with this framed photograph.

"My father lost his entire family in Auschwitz when he was a young boy,” he explained. “After the war he moved to France. He went to a tie manufacturer and said ‘I will work for free, just teach me how to make ties.’ After a year of working there, he moved to America and got a job at a tie factory for 15 cents an hour. Soon he saved enough to buy his own ties, which he peddled on the streets. Then he saved up enough to open his own tie store. Then he started selling suits too. Eventually he opened five of his own stores.”
"Are they all still open?" I asked.
"No," he replied. "This is the last one left."

The store is Global International Menswear
62 Orchard Street on the Lower East Side.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

I feel giddy.
I taught early morning seminary today
(I LOVED it by the way)
which made up for it being the first day of school.
We transitioned from seminary to school almost seamlessly. 
9th Grade!
 Except we almost left the Honors Biology Summer work at home (see plant) and then I forgot about taking a picture until we arrived at the door of the High School.  Rooney humored me.  Barely.
And believe me, her first day of school outfit would NOT have been a white tee shirt and jean shorts if she weren't class Vice President, and required to wear the student leader ensemble.
Go Freshmen!
Leeli's a 7th Grader.
She was so organized for back-to-school that she put together all of her little brother's stuff just so she'd have something to do the night before.  She waited and waited and waited for the bus this morning until we almost thought we'd die.  Or have to drive.
(it finally came)
Our 3rd Grader was up at 5:55 am, dressed and ready.
I coaxed him back to bed, turned on a fan for noise (crossed my fingers) and he insisted he wasn't going to go back to sleep... an hour and a half later he awoke with a grin on his face and said he guessed he'd lied.  He caught the bus swooping down from his traditional spot in the tree.

Look at the SENIOR!!
12th Grade never looked so beautiful to me;
the first day of her last year in High School.
We got to hang out at home together until almost 10:00 am, which was the reporting time for older students.  She's going to have a GREAT year--I just know it.

Monday, August 26, 2013

...and they're OFF

Summer was full.
We played and traveled and hosted and hosted and hosted.
Last Thursday Enrique made his way back to UMass.
This morning there was another scheduled departure.
I keep thinking about how much fun these two scoundrels will have as they make their way across America all this week.
Destination: BYU.
Last I heard they were leaving Niagra Falls, New York.
I can't help but think that we did it all out of order.  Maybe we should have hosted the world AFTER the boys transitioned back to college. 
Then the emptiness wouldn't reverberate so much.

Friday, August 23, 2013

For the record

Life has not slowed down.
Not one little bit.

We spent five beautiful days together as a family on vacation.
Part of those five days (23 and a half hours) were spent together in an eight-passenger mini van driving to Virginia and then back to Massachusetts.

We're grateful that Aunt Rachael offered us her van so we could spend our precious hours together, instead of in separate cars.  For the record, last Thanksgiving weekend we made this same trip in two separate vehicles, and one of the cars was dubbed "the fun car."  This year we ALL got to ride in the fun car.  Also for the record:  all young adults and teenagers who have energetic eight-year-old brothers should recognize how lucky they are to have a living window into their pasts of energy and enthusiasm.  Especially when confined to close quarters with energy and enthusiasm seat-belted next to them.  For hours on end.
I left the lap top at home and finished a book.  Loved it.
We've enjoyed house guests almost non stop this summer.  Now that college students are transitioning back to their remote lives and school is on the horizon, I fear that we might not know what to do with ourselves in the looming stillness of reduced family members and being guest-less.

I suspect our busy Fall schedules will take care of the above.

We completed a 1,000 piece puzzle.  To the eight-year-old, it was just as monumental as reaching the summit of Mount Monadnock.
I sliced my finger while cutting watermelon at my in-law's house.  There was a trip to the ER and some stitches.  Mr. Dub decided it would be more fun to intern instead of holding my hand, and switched sides of the bed so he could peer over the shoulder of the attending doctor while she worked.  He became so engrossed in the procedure that the doctor gifted him the implements he would need to remove my stitches in ten days.  Meanwhile, the two of them chatted it up and didn't notice that I was writhing in pain as she stitched away at parts of my finger that were NOT numbed.  I hollered "uncle" after the third stitch and assured them that the fourth stitch she intended to put in was not necessary.  The cut is healing nicely.  Now I feel a little bit like Frankenstein.
Mr. Dub and I sat out front tonight for about an hour in the Adirondack chairs and just talked.  We also spent some quality time at the temple today.  This makes up for all the crazy and hectic that sometimes makes us wonder if we'll ever speak more than two consecutive sentences to each other in the same day.  I love him.  Crazy and hectic and all.
Just for the record.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

The day the cashier paid it forward

After our hike on Monday we stopped by a little consignment shop in Townsend to look at some bicycles parked out front.  Nothing was quite right, but I did find a charming pie basket that I wanted to take home.  It was $10.00. When I got to the register, I realized I only had a few dollars in my wallet.  I asked the woman at the counter if she would accept a credit card.  She said I could only use a card if I spent more than $20.00.  I was disappointed.  Without missing a beat she said "Why don't you pay me what you have, and you can owe me the rest?"  I was stunned.  I guess I wasn't as surprised at the offer, as I was in her faith in the integrity of someone she had never met before.  I offered to mail a check for the balance, and she said "Well, since you're going to write a check, why don't you just write it for the whole amount?"  And with that, she handed me the basket and told me to have a good day.
It WAS a good day.
I came home, told everyone about my encounter with a woman who still has faith in humanity and popped a check in the mail.  
If you happen to be in Townsend and want to browse through a little boutique, I have the perfect recommendation for you:

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

No such thing as No Vacancy

We love having company!
 My kids aren't going to know what to do when summer ends
 and guests stop arriving.
Their visits make us HAPPY.
We want them to stay LONGER.
It was fun seeing Morgan again
and she was happy to be reunited with her van.
 The little guests are especially fun.
I would love to hang a "vacancy" sign on our mailbox...
because there's always room for another family member or friend.
 Sweet Mesquite and Yonder will be happy to know when they return home later this week, that we have kept their beds warm for them.  They've been slept in almost every night since they left!
Come on over.
The Hotel in the 'burg is always open.
We'll leave the light on for you.

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Hike up Mount Watatic

Mount Watatic is our favorite local hiking destination. It takes us 30 minutes to drive to the trail head in Ashby
and it's a fairly quick 1.1 miles to the top.
Other than a small fall on the way back down, we enjoyed every minute together.  We packed sandwiches for the top and enjoyed the amazing panoramic views while we ate.  The skies were crystal clear, and although you can't tell from the cell phone camera images below, we could see the Boston skyline on the horizon.  From the summit, Boston is about 45 miles due east as the crow flies.
It was a perfect day for a hike.

A week of Band Camp starts today

Sweet Mesquite is still in Panama, having the adventure of her life. But Rooney was out the door BRIGHT.AND.EARLY today lugging her tenor sax.  She won't be home until after dark.  And that's how it'll go through Friday.  Hooray!! for dedication to the arts.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Boston Temple

 We met up with some good friends at the temple this week.
Day or night, it's one of my very favorite places to be.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Rambling in Western Massachusetts (I saw Fall coming)

Thursday night I drove to the western part of the state for a meeting.  I took the back roads.   Just across the street from the new Salem General Store I saw some evidence that Fall is just around the corner.

2013 Boston Marathon Jimmy Fund Walk for Cancer

This coming September 8th will be my parents' 52nd wedding anniversary.  I can think of no better way to celebrate their day than by participating in the Jimmy Fund walk for cancer with my sister Becky.  Together, we will honor our dad, Kenneth Hutchins, and his decade-long battle with cancer, and also remember our friends and relatives (and their friends and relatives) whose lives have forever been changed by this disease.  We will walk the 26.2 mile Boston Marathon route together
I'm excited!
I may never be able to run a marathon, but this will be great.  
I invite you to celebrate too, by helping me to reach my goal of raising $300 to help eradicate cancer.  This is a war we can all help fight!  To donate, please visit my Jimmy Fund webpage.  Let's all work together to combat cancer!
I'll keep you posted...

Friday, August 9, 2013

Antiquing in Maine

Wells, Maine is our spot for antiquing.
 Antique shops are everywhere you look.
I laughed when Morning Boy started poking his fingers into the holes of a rotary dial phone and asked
"How do you work this thing?"
 After I showed him how to dial the phone properly, he was drawn to all the antique rotary dial phones we saw.
 He dialed our 11-digit phone number on EVERY.SINGLE.ONE.
There's something for everyone in Maine.