Spring Break Shuffle

Scott and the kids never have overlapping spring breaks. Thus, the only way we can travel is if we yank the kids out of school for a couple of days of Scott’s break and make a mad dash somewhere. Mostly, we go home to Ohio. This year was no different. Though the kids aren’t off until the end of March, we picked them up at the end of the day Wednesday, then headed North for a long weekend.

The best way to start updating you on the state of our union is to give you the e-mail I sent my mother-in-law before the trip to answer her perfectly reasonable questions about our schedule and what my kids eat.… Read the rest

Mawwiage

Yes, these are pictures from the exact day we were lost, earlier in the day. You can't see the San Francisco on my jacket. But I still own and use that jacket.

We watched The Princess Bride this morning, Sam and Caroline for the first time. “I’m glad you stuck with us,” I said to Scott.

“I saw it before, in college.”

I knew this. I also knew he hadn’t been too keen. But he had clearly enjoyed it with the family. As he and Sam fixed the lintel that Sam broke apurpose two years ago and has accidentally snapped in two other places since, I said, “it doesn’t count until you’re with your true love.”

“That’s way too sappy.”

I kissed him anyway.

If you know any of our history, it’s this part: I didn’t think this kind of love was real until I fell for Scott within moments of meeting him.… Read the rest

Blueberry Haven

20140622_104612Fat raindrops smacked the windshield, and Scott turned on the wipers.  Ahead, a church billboard warned us that the only true wisdom came from God. “We timed that perfectly.”

“And it was the most fun we’ve had as a family in ages.” I peeled my ball cap back and wiped the sweat off my face.

Caroline stopped playing Subway Surfers long enough to disagree. “Ugh. No it wasn’t. We nearly got hit by lightning.” Sam was entrenched in Frozen, or he would have seconded her opinion.

Scott and I exchanged a look. Pick your battles. We had measured that storm impeccably, even leaving ourselves time to pay for our blueberries and transfer them from the U-Pick buckets into gallon bags before the sky opened.… Read the rest

The Tenth Circle

Sock Hell

Sock Hell

 

Our house has several circles of hell Dante never thought of. Today, I’m thinking in particular of Sock Hell. This is the underworld of mismatched socks, where no two look quiiite close enough to each other to be worn together in public.

But it’s worse than that. Sock Hell is a crowded place. In fact, because there are so very many socks in it, redemption is nearly impossible. The socks are damned as much because mates can languish nearly side by side, unmatched when one, perhaps is faded more than the other, or one (but not the other) acquires a fine glaze of pink paint when I tromp through something fresh I am coating.… Read the rest

Blood ties

Clarissa Drew pulled her dress tight over her rounding belly. “This fits too well,” she muttered.

Her husband went on shaving. “It’s driving me crazy.”

“My dress?”

“No. You know.”

“Owen, he’s not some Dickensian waif you can pluck up like Oliver Twist. He’s your nephew. He has parents.”

Horrible parents.”

His parents.”

“They aren’t fit! God only knows what the kid sees. Pot, sex, meth, whatever walks in that trailer door.” Owen drew an even line through the foam on his cheek and shook the razor in the sink.

“You don’t know that.”

“You mean I can’t prove it.”

“Same thing.”  Clarissa let go of the dress to rub his shoulders.… Read the rest

Mornings With Merrimans

Silly SamFriday was one of those mornings at our house. Caroline couldn’t find shorts, Sam wanted me to play balloon-bounce with him, the dog was in the kitchen stealing bagels every time I left the room, and Scott and I just wanted caffeine. But school needed notes about the field trip (yes, we could drive; we were both coming; we could carry three including our own; and we would buy popcorn for all seventy five or so would-be bowlers so Sam would have a snack), we had to put a cooler out for the co-op, and Caroline snacked on half the things we meant to send in her lunch. Read the rest

River

Caroline, Devon, Mike, and Scott

Caroline, Devon, Mike, and Scott

The first day I met Scott’s cousin Mike and his wife Michelle, I had no idea how much we would develop in common. How we would each name our youngest sons Sam. How we would laugh about this every Thanksgiving at Michelle’s parents’ dinners. Who spends the holidays with her husband’s cousin’s wife’s family? Me. That’s who.

Ketchup With Us
About damned time! I’m FINALLY Ketching Up! You can, too. It only takes fifty seven words about a first day.

http://www.accordingtomags.blogspot.com/2013/08/ketchup-with-us-24.html

http://olddognewtits.com/2013/08/15/ketchup-with-us-24/
 

Guest Post: The Color of Hope

Oh - and he's an awesomesauce nature photographer

Oh – and he’s an awesomesauce nature photographer

My husband has got, bar none, the coolest friends. He’s not a party animal, and he only connects with a few people. But when he does, it’s a lifetime bond. And they keep cropping up. Seriously. We’ve been married eleven years now, and just last year we found a college buddy of his on Facebook.

Randal Horobik works for a newspaper in Wyoming, and he coaches the high school NFL team. (That’s National Forensics League to the underinformed, and NO Forensics doesn’t have to mean Kay Scarpetta’s on line one.) Not surprising, since he and Scott did speech and debate together in their Wooster Years.… Read the rest

Afterward

Scott and sisters

Back row, Judy and Scott
Front row, Susan and Holly

A little backstory. Wednesday’s entry was complete fiction, but it was something of a tribute to my sister-in-law, Holly. (Don’t worry – again, this was fiction. My father-in-law’s health is fine.) Holly just spent the last long weekend hosting between fourteen and fifteen people, most of them actually sleeping at her house every night, and only four of them actually belonging to her on a regular basis. She somehow pulls together this amazing three-day-long family gathering every Christmas. Every. Single. Year.

I remember the first year, watching the adult siblings, the three sisters and their brother interact.… Read the rest