We set out at early enough on Saturday, but one return home for forgotten items and a flat tire later, we arrived at our old friends’ new home late. They moved halfway across the country two years ago, and we’ve only seen them in bits and snatches since. At the end of this past July, a job change brought them in arm’s reach again.

Their son had been asking where Sam and Caroline were since noon when we finally got there. Our kids had been whining, “How much longer?” for most of the two hours since we’d popped on the spare tire, gotten the green light from a gas-station mechanic, and established a driving pace of a slightly wobbly 50 miles per hour.… Read the rest

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

Notes from the road: Under Boston

I’ve been scheduling my posts for the last week or so. If it works as well as it has been, I’m going to keep scheduling about half of them. I’ll still do plenty live, but if I can keep ahead of the flow, it will help when life (or grading) become crazy and I have to go to earth.

For example.

I’ve been on vacation since last Thursday, so I scheduled all my posts a week out. (Poor Roxanne at The Good Luck Duck noticed my prescheduled cow post on Facebook when I screwed up my scheduling function. And the accidental early publication attests to the fact that I’m telling the truth to say I totally scheduled that before Trifecta gave us a cow in the road prompt.)

This trip is part vacation, part family reunion, part memorial service.… Read the rest

Train Time

TracksBack and forth the car swayed, and the couple in the sleeper argued on.

Ann said, “Amtrak never gets anyplace on time.”

For the fourth time, I’m sorry,” said Karl.

“Sorry!” Ann’s voice rose. “We’re in the middle of Nebraska, and the wedding starts in an hour. This is the worst gift you could have given me.” Karl didn’t answer, and Ann didn’t stop. “You’re so cheap!”

“What do you mean, cheap?” he protested. “This cost us twice as much as plane tickets.”

“And it’s taking four days instead of four hours! What a waste of money.” Ann pounded on the window.… Read the rest

Notes From The Road: Caroline

I don’t want to make Caroline into something she isn’t.  But she’s a pretty amazing little girl, and she has this talent that’s hard to describe. I’ve blogged previously about how her Aperger’s Syndrome seems to drive her outward where it drives a lot of kids inward.  It’s more than that, though. Caroline is so loving that she draws others out, as well.

She can make friends with anybody, on or off the autism spectrum, with no concerns for age, race,  gender, or skill level. A trip to the zoo where she doesn’t either meet a new friend or bump into an old one is a tragic day indeed.… Read the rest

Going Visiting

At the beginning of December, I got to go visit friends in Ohio without my husband or kids. (Note: the hubs would have been welcome, but somebody had to mind the banshees.) Although not really a birthday present, this certainly launched my birthday month in fine fettle. First of all, I stayed with my best friend since preschool, Jenny Southcombe.

Jenny and I met because our Moms became friends and we were forced to spend time together. Prior to that time, we were enemies. I wanted to follow every single rule to the letter. Jenny just wanted to play with the damned preschool toys.… Read the rest

Dear Caroline and Sam

Dear Caroline and Sam,

This morning I woke up with

the dawn

I put on

my slippers

Oops. I meant to put on


my shoes

My car was covered


with ice

I turned on


and drove to


I bought

bacon eggs and milk

Then, I drove back to Jenny’s, and we had breakfast. I love you, I miss you. Keep taking good care of Daddy for me.

Love Mama

Read the rest

Not just anybody’s Mama

I’m not your standard Mama. I curse around my kids when others cover their children’s ears. I teach them Beatles and Rolling Stones where others play high-pitched-children’s voices-singing-it’s-supposed-to-be-endearing. (And I did NOT introduce the Wiggles to them, thank you very much. The kids introduced them to me, and after years of hating, I have actually grown to enjoy that one single kiddie group. And also one song by Raffi. But that’s it.) I’m kind of a control freak about things other parents don’t care much about (and I totally don’t care about the things I probably should prioritize.) I’m a liberal whose kids go to private schools and would even if they didn’t have autism.… Read the rest