Sunday, June 17, 2007


We're here in PA! What a long day we've had. Mark drove from his weekend basketball camp in Cinn. this morning and as soon as he got home, we all hopped in the car and headed out. But that wasn't until 1:00, so we knew we'd get in pretty late tonight. On top of that, we hit traffic 3 or 4 times and just crawled along the highway forever. So our 8 hour trip took a little longer. When we got here, we realized we're on the top floor of the dorm, so on top of being tired from our trip, our suite is swelteringly hot (yes, I know I'm spoiled from my central air at home!), and we are walking up stairs outside and then stairs inside to get all our stuff unloaded. FINALLY we got everything in, got our AC into the window, got the beds made, got the kids to fall asleep, got most things into place, and now we can finally sit. It's almost midnight. Must go to sleep. But I'm so wired just knowing I'm here in my beloved Clarks Summit and that I get to spend the next three weeks with old friends who make me smile. I can't wait to talk and talk and talk. But before then, another drive. This time a shorter one--5 hours tomorrow morning up to Boston. I feel bad putting the kids back in the car, but it will be worth it to spend time with my mom and Gramps. But before then, REALLY must get some sleep...

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Movie Milestone

I got to experience the magic that is “The Wizard of Oz” with my kids last Friday night. Rory’s room is decorated with Wizard of Oz stuff, we’ve read the book many times, and we sing “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” all the time (it’s our mother/daughter song). She knows who Dorothy is because she’s all over her room, but she still hasn’t seen the movie. Some may think both kids are too young. I’m actually the person responsible for poor little Johanna Show’s nightmares from a few years back. I let her watch it at my house eons ago and she didn’t sleep for weeks. Oops! But I’ve found that my kids don’t scare easily. They’ve seen their share of witches because of Sleeping Beauty, The Little Mermaid, Snow White, and so on, so I knew the Wicked Witch of the West (who is, in my opinion, the most authentic witch ever portrayed in film history) wouldn’t be a problem. Mark had reservations about the flying monkeys, but when they showed up, the only response from the kids was an excited exclamation of “MONKEYS!!!” I’m telling you, our kids don’t get scared of stuff on tv. I think I watched my kids’ faces through half the movie. Rory took it all in stride and there were parts that kept her attention better than others—she is still two, after all. Jake was mesmerized the whole time because he’s a movie freak like me. So even though this movie is ancient (released in 1939, an amazing movie year which also produced the perfect “Gone With the Wind”), and my kids are watching crazy technology daily, I knew they would love this classic that has been near and dear to my heart for as long as I can remember.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Nothing Like Fresh Strawberries

I took the kids strawberry picking for the first time today. The weather was PERFECT! It's the first time we've had a cool down in weeks and it was partly sunny. I think they had a blast. It took them a few minutes to catch on to the fact that they were supposed to pick the red ones, as opposed to the many pink and white ones out there. I just kept repeating "the big red ones, guys...only the big red ones!" to remind them. We came home with two big buckets of juicy goodness. I was taking quite a stroll down memory lane while we were out there. I grew up strawberry picking because of our family business, which was a big produce stand and garden center. My mom took us to the fields all the time every June, and once I turned 13, and started working myself, I somehow became the strawberry person. I sat in those fields all day long every June, assisting customers in the Pick Your Own Strawberries field, weighing, ringing them up, etc. And when business was slow, I had to be out there myself, picking pints and quarts for the store. I didn't mind the job, unless it was blazing hot out there. But I ate to my heart's content too, which was a great perk. I did that for years. It felt great to be out there with my kids today, smelling those familiar smells, and taking that first bite of a fresh berry smack in the middle of strawberry season. Nothing like it!

Another quick memory...the small farm stand sold old fashioned candy sticks and I haven't seen those anywhere since we sold them at Spence Farm. I grew up eating those--we were only allowed to have candy on Sundays, so it was always exciting to pick out a flavor each week. They've only gone up 5 cents since the 80's. I couldn't resist taking a picture and letting my kids each pick one out to take home.