For the first 50 years of my life, my perfectionist self mistakenly believed it was all about knowing more, getting it right, planning, attempting to prevent bad things from happening, and keeping all of my chicks in a row. It took me this long to discover that the JOURNEY is all that matters. This quote from Gilda Radner sums it all up:

"I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Firsts and Lasts

As I walked my doggies this morning in the cool autumn air, I did a lot of reminiscing.  Today is the first day of school in our town.  Vance and I have just sent our last child off to school for her last year of high school.

The last first day of school that we will be a part of.

It has been a tradition since Adam began school many years ago. 
Daddy delays going to work that day to send them off. 
In our family, everything revolves around pictures,
so of course we take pictures every year!

The large neighborhood gathering at the bus stop from years past
is now a gathering of one.
Adam and Kerry are at college.
Neighbors kids are grown up.
The school bus comes later, but there is only one house with young children anymore.

 This is the way it was.  Adam acting happy and brave, but running to the bathroom the minute before the bus came due to his internal strife.  There's no hiding how Kerry felt and still does to some extent!  And Annie, happy and excited to be going off to face new adventures and meet new people.

This was Annie's first day of Kindergarten - pink backpack, friendship bracelet around the ankle from endless summer days at the swim club, and a smile.  The only reason she looked back at all was because she loved to have her picture taken!

 Keeping to our tradition, we took pictures this morning.

 Then she hurried off to school, excited to be back with her friends and see her teachers.

Annie has the same smile on her face that she did 13 years ago.

This will be a year of lasts. 
To be followed by a years of firsts.

I remember back in the days when life was filled with firsts, I read a poem about motherhood.  It told about how a child's "first" everything is so celebrated but the "lasts" just seems to happen without much notice. 

How many of us remember the last time we rocked our children to sleep?
Or the last time our children said "twee" for "tree"?
Or the last time we woke to one of our children standing by our bed after a nightmare, wanting to crawl in next to us for comfort?
The last time we left cookies out for Santa?
The last time we braided our daughter's hair?

I guess it's because we always expect things to happen again.

So when we KNOW a "last" is happening, we'd better take notice!
And celebrate!
Because just as "firsts" mark a time of growth in our children,
so do "lasts".

They just carry a different kind of emotion!

Monday, August 27, 2012

Only in Burlington

We made a quick trip to my hometown yesterday to bring Kerry back to school at UVM.

Kerry slept almost the whole trip, clutching her pillow and her iPhone.

After moving her into her apartment in this brand new apartment building on campus,
we headed downtown for a bite to eat before heading back home.

Burlington was swamped with people since it was move-in day for UVM.
We had to park in the parking garage near Church Street.
As we parked, Kerry caught a glimpse of something new...

The alleyway from the parking garage to Church Street was covered in a gorgeous mural!

 The mural was commissioned to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Church Street Marketplace.
It depicts the history of Vermont in a very fun and entertaining way.  I could have studied it for hours!

 Local businesses are represented along with QR codes which can be scanned with your iPhone to give you information, menus, etc.

 Here is Maria Von Trapp with her guitar.

 I wish I knew who everyone was, but I could spot Bernie Sanders and Olympic skier Barbara Cochran.  THE HOT DOG LADY even made in onto the mural - she's the white haired lady with the pink jacket standing next to Senator Patrick Leahy!

There are going to be maps with keys to who everyone is - I can't wait to see one!

For those of you who grew up in Burlington  and now live elsewhere, here is a news report on the mural.  I think you'll find it interesting!

This is a fun picture of Vance and Kerry walking down the alleyway into the sun.

So,  next we sat down to eat outside at the Asiana Noodle Shop.

 We all had extremely good meals (teriyaki chicken and rice).

As we ate, we were entertained first by this old man with his guitar...

He was missing a few teeth, but he was playing his heart out for the little boy (far left).  I think he was scaring him a little, as the boy's father (the shirtless man with the tattoo of a monkey riding a bike on his back) looked on!

Then, a few minutes later, another group set up next to us.  A shirtless man with a vest playing guitar while a girl (woman?) with green hair adorned by a large gold bow, andgold hi-top sneakers played accordian.  They both sang!  Such a treat!

Only in Burlington!

As we walked back to our car, we spotted my Uncle Jack's car and went over to say hello to him and my Aunt Connie.  It was good to see them!

 It was getting late and we had a long trip home, so we brought Kerry back to her apartment and said good-bye.

There she is, waiting for the elevator to take her up to the 5th floor.
I still feel sad whenever I drop her off.  I already miss her!

But I look forward to many trips this year to visit her and Adam, watch her play softball, and parent's weekend in October.

It gives me a reason to go home again.

Saturday, August 4, 2012


Everybody needs a best friend - someone who "gets" you.

A confidant, ally, comrade, sidekick, pal, wingman, bosom buddy.

Kerry and Jojo are all of the above and more.

It's fun to be around them when they're feeling silly...

And even when they're not.

The other day,  Jojo was in a bad mood.
Kerry can be rather irritating sometimes,
especially when you don't feel like laughing.
Kerry kept looking at Jojo and repeating "Why so glum, chum?"
It made me smile.
It took Jojo a little longer than me,
but after enough repetitions, a little bit of the glumness went away.

That's just how Kerry is.

She wears you down by being so irritating - and funny!

For instance, I can't count how many times this summer she donned her black glasses
and her pillow and asked"What animal do I look like?"

The answer is "A giant squid", but she keeps asking until you answer her!

Jojo and Kerry have fun together, whether they're giving a friend a wedgy...

playing volleyball...

or just hanging out watching TV (which they do A LOT)

There is no doubt in my mind that their friendship will stand the test of time.

because they are chums.

Best chums.