Lunches

Mom belongs to the Red Hat Society which holds a monthly gathering at someone’s house, at a restaurant, or off on an excursion somewhere.  This month, they were meeting at an Italian restaurant and I tagged along, decked out in Mom’s extra regalia. I know some of the ladies already, including my Aunt Jeannette (Mom’s sister) and our long time family friend Edna.  I had also met many of the other members over the years including one memorable meeting at Mom’s house a few years ago where Chef Rich prepared a lovely luncheon that they are still talking about. In fact, I think they were kinda disappointed that I attended this time instead of him. 🙂  It was fun to see everyone and to chit chat over some fabulous Italian food.

My cousin Pat had Mom and me over to her house for lunch along with her mom, my Aunt Jeannette.  Patty and I are a year apart and were always partners in crime growing up when we had a chance to get together.  She lived in NJ and I was always moving with Dad being in the Air Force but we got to spend vacations and other occasions with each other.  We also had a couple of years together as youngish adults when my ex and I lived in NJ for grad school.  Although there’s a lot of time and distance between us, we always pick back up and have a lot of fun visiting. She has a gift for story telling and a great sense of humor, plus we have a lot of shared family history. Hard to believe those little girls are now in their 60s.  🙂

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Down the Shore

Coincidentally, some friends of ours from California happened to be in Atlantic City at the same time we were at Mom’s, so we drove down one evening to visit. We had a great time catching up, enjoyed dinner and drinks and the ocean view, gambled a little and I left $3 ahead because I am loathe to lose any money! We might have also crashed a UAW private party and stolen a cupcake on our way out.

New Jersey

Mom and I took advantage of the rainy weather to go through our old coin collections so I could put away some of the coins for my kids and grandkids and leave the rest for my siblings and their families.  As a kid, I was excited to find a penny or a nickel from a year that we didn’t already have, and add it to the proper slot in our book of coins.  I don’t think we have any that are rare or worth a lot, but it was a fun pastime when we were growing up. Later, Mom started buying uncirculated sets of coins so she has a lot of those from various years.  We found quite a few that lined up with grandkids’ birth years so maybe one day they will be happy to have a little memento to keep.

Pretty much any time I’m home, I drag out Mom’s old photo albums and the last few years we have started culling those down too.  I think Mom is kinda “over it” and doesn’t want or need a bunch of family photos any more. She says she’d rather we go through them now than after she’s gone.  I think we must have distributed a lot of our own childhood photos by now because I didn’t see very many.  But I brought home many of my kids and grandkids that I’d sent to Mom over the years. I will keep them till my kids have to sort through them when I’m gone…I’m sure they’re gonna be excited about that prospect. haha (I keep reading these articles about how your kids and grandkids don’t want your old “crap” but I am still a bit sentimental myself).

Here are a few photos of me when I was growing up. Notice the Catholic school “beanie” headwear and the bow ties.  And crooked bangs cut by one’s mother were certainly a thing.

We ate *real* pizza AND cheese steaks one day.  Don’t judge me.

We played a rousing game of “Chickenfoot” one night, and the sun finally came out the next day.

Mother’s Day

Since Rich and I would be gone on Mother’s Day, Sarah and the kids brought me a cute cross-body bag on Friday night, a gift from their family and Bonnie’s family. It’s even monogrammed and I think that’s the first monogrammed item I’ve had in my life. 🙂

I’m grateful for my mom, my girls, my sister, my nieces, and my friends who are shining examples of the many ways to be a mother. You make life a little bit better for everyone who crosses paths with you. I love you all.

We are now in New Jersey and I got to spend Mother’s Day with my mom for the first time in many, many years.  I am thankful that we will have a week together and I’m thankful to have her as my mom, someone who is kind and friendly, very interested in others and in learning new things still at age 88, curious about the world, open minded, adventurous and thoughtful. She’s been a good role model in many ways.

It was rainy and chilly so Mom didn’t really want to go out for Mother’s Day, also stating that the restaurants would be packed! She had bought a roast before we came so Rich cooked a nice dinner and later my brother and two of his kids came over to visit.  He is always funny and full of stories so a good time was had.  We’re pretty goofy when we’re all together.  🙂

 

 

 

 

 

New Jersey

Up at 6 AM and off to Love Field on Saturday. It was raining so I was not thrilled with the idea of flying. We were delayed slightly but not too bad.  After some initial bumpiness climbing out, we had a nice flight to Philadelphia and were happy with a not-full cabin so we had an aisle and a window seat with no one between us.  Sweet! Mom doesn’t like to drive in the city any more so we took a train from the airport to the Jefferson Station in Philly, then walked a few blocks to the High Speedline and took another train across the river to the Jersey side. I always love that feeling of “coming home.” 🙂  Mom picked us up at the station and it’s a short drive to her house. We happened upon  “Laurel Springs Day” in her little town so Rich so I walked downtown from Mom’s to peruse the booths, but it wasn’t too exciting. 🙂  We had to buy hoagies, though, and brought them back home to eat.  My favorite!

 

 

Rainy Day

Jack and Ajax don’t particularly like storms so we spent part of the day in the “kids’ room” playing games. First, chess by Jack’s rules (pieces go in random places and move in random ways, and yes, a plastic dolphin can help), a matching game, “Connect Four,” drawing, and watching Ajax nap on a pillow.  When things calmed down, we moved to the living room where Jack lazed on the couch and almost fell asleep, but not quite.

Thrift Store Gold

Jack went with me to our favorite nearby thrift store the other day, exclaiming, “This place is so cool! They have all the best stuff!” With my senior discount and a credit I happened to have on my loyalty card, all of this goodness was $6.  I love Jack’s joyful spirit and the excitement he brings to everyday life. He’s a sweetheart!