Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Topic for Tuesday, May 4, 2010

What's the weather like where you are today?

Okay, this was supposed to be written and posted yesterday, but somehow I just can't seem to get myself organized these days. However, I really didn't want to renege on this one.

6:05 A.M. -

8:30 A.M. - Cold, drizzly, dark clouds.

10:45 A.M. - Time to go pick up the Lindas for our planned outing which includes browsing gift shops and antique stores on Park Avenue in Rochester, lunch at an outdoor cafe and dessert at the Cupcake Bakery. Put umbrella in the car.

11:00 A.M. - Pick up Good Linda. She comes out without an umbrella, hoping for the best.

11:05 A.M. - Pick up Bad Linda. She says her hubby just called and said there was treacherous weather on the other side of the city. Very dark clouds threatening as we spoke.

11:06 A.M. - Pulling out of Bad Linda's driveway a torrential rain storm begins. We decide against Park Avenue and head for the Mall.

11:06-11:16 A.M.- Rain so hard I pull off the road at one point. Wind, rain and hail buffeting my new car. **Sigh**

11:16 A.M. - Rain stops, immediate sunshine. 62 Degrees.

11:45 A.M. - Still lovely as we arrive at the mall. The Lindas shed their jackets. Off to a wonderful three hour lunch.

3:00 P.M. - Sunshine, 72 degrees as we head for the Cupcake Bakery in Pittsford.

So, I guess you get the idea of the kind of weather we have here in Upstate, NY. The evening was a mix of sun and dark clouds. Kind of a roller coaster day, to say the least.

I need to leave you with this little footnote. It is 81 degrees and sunny today, and is expected to be a high of 50 degrees on Saturday. Welcome to my world.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Summertime and the Livin' is Easy

What is your favorite season and why?
I live in the Northeast, well to be geographically correct, the Middle Atlantic States. You see, my husband was a social studies teacher, fifth grade for many years, and taught the states and capitals as part of his curriculum. But I digress.
Even though I didn't really choose to live here, I was born here, my parents resided here and my husband had no desire to leave, I think I really like it here. I cannot imagine living without a change of seasons. I really enjoy moving from one season to another.
So, even though spring, which we are experiencing now, brings hope and renewal to my spirit and fall speaks of the rest and, in it's own way, renewal and winter brings the beauty of Jack Frost to the landscape, I am a summer gal.
Waking up to the sun shining in my window, the breeze playing across my bedclothes, to me, is joy. The birds are singing to me to come, begin my day, see what lies ahead in the sunshine.
My flower garden begins to be its most beautiful in the June days of warm sun and gentle breezes. I remember back to the days of my youth, with all summer waiting for me to experience her joys. We roamed the hills of Potter County, rode our bikes, swam in the creek and allowed life to flow around us.
Summer with my own children was as laid back and easy as my days of innocence. Sleeping late, having a picnic in the backyard, riding our bikes, cooking on the grill when dad came home, what wonderful, idyllic times.
And now, in the latter part of my life, I still love the feeling of waking on a summer morning, most often with no heavy responsibilities. Oh yes, we have VBS, the LPGA, family visits, all things we look forward to with joyful anticipation, none of them a drudgery.
For sure, Summertime and the Livin' is Easy. Let's go catch us some fireflies a jar.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Prom - 1963

With proms all over the country last week and this week, Lynilu and I talked about recalling our own proms. Was it fun. Did anything go wrong. What were the traditions at your school?
I graduated from high school in 1963. Back in those days, the Junior class put on a prom for the Seniors. The prom was in the high school gym and we decorated it according to a theme. The prom we gave for the Seniors in 1962, was Wonderland By Night. I had a date for that prom, but I don't remember much about it. I don't even remember my dress (since I can't seem to find any pictures). But what I do remember is how much fun it was getting the gym ready. The decorating, the bonding of our class members, the laughter, all blend together in a wonderful prom memory.
Then there was my Senior Prom. I was in love during my senior year. The love of my life was quite a bit older than me and in the army. He was stationed in Korea. Hence, I had decided I wouldn't be going to the prom.
One night a few weeks before prom, I was sitting on my front porch when my next door neighbor came bounding up the steps and said, "Hey, I can't find anyone to go to the prom with so we might as well go together." Well, what girl wouldn't be flattered with a proposal like that?
What a fun time we had. No romance, no nerves, no expectations. Bob and I are still good friends today and I believe that friendship was strengthened by that non-date. We went to the prom and then off to breakfast at our church. Leaving the church, a bunch of us came back to our house and played games. Dawn found all of our group tired and dragging to our own homes to bed.
Prom nights have changed much since those "good old days", but prom is prom and kids are kids. Have fun.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Since we have no assignment for today, I decided to vent a little about the SNOW we woke up to today.

I told Jim we were coming home too early. I really love April in Las Vegas. I was ready to stay one or two more weeks, but no, we had to get home to mow the grass. So, here we are.

We arrived home to spring in all its beauty and glory. The tulips were blooming, the forsythia, golden, the flowering shrubs and trees resplendent. I wasn't convinced. I kept saying it is too early, it is too early. "Naysayer" was the response I heard from friends and neighbors. "Spring is here."

But I wasn't fooled. Nosiree! I have kept the flannel sheets on the bed and am still wearing my socks to bed each night. And when I woke up at 7:30 this morning to find my early bird hubby still in bed, I was vindicated.

"Why are you still in bed, I asked?"

"GRRR! Grumble! *#@+!"

"What? I can't understand you" say I.

"It's snowing!" mumbles the lawnboy.

And sure enough, it was snowing. Big fluffy flakes. True, they weren't collecting on the beautifully mown green grass. But the air was surely full of the white stuff. And all I really wanted to do was crawl back in bed, not put on my capris and sandals and venture out to get a pedicure. Alas, I couldn't cancel at that late date.

My toes look really nice, I think.....inside my snowboots.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday, April 26, 2010

The WeWrite4Ten assignment for today is:

If you had the opportunity to do one activity for one week without any worry about
finances, cost or other outside commitments,
what would you love to do for this week.
I decided to answer this question with the very first thing that came into my mind.
I graduated from the smallest school district in Pennsylvania. Truly, we were, and still are, the smallest school district. My graduating class, the largest to graduate at that time, had 25 members.
Needless to say, we didn't have the best academic choices available. We had two languages in our school, Latin and French. The way it worked was that you could take Latin your freshman and sophomore years and French your junior and senior years. Planning to further my education after high school, it was essential that I take language.
I wish I could say that I learned a lot and thrived under the tutelage of our language teacher(s). Such was not the case. We had Miss Collins for both languages through our junior year, when she retired. I liked and respected Miss Collins. I did all I could to please her, but I did not learn much from her. The boys used to say she knew Latin because she taught it to Julius Caesar. She had been teaching long past her prime.
Mrs. Fickinger came into my life at the beginning of my senior year. She was wonderful. A beautiful person and a very good teacher. Alas, I had a lot of ground to make up, and when she left in January, I hadn't done a lot to rectify the problem.
As teachers weren't exactly clamoring to teach at our school, our illustrious board hired Mr. Meier, who besides having no classroom management skills, knew NO French. Non, nada, none. So, you can imagine how much French I know today.
Which brings me to what I would do this week if I didn't have to think of the cost. I would order Rosetta Stone French and begin my studies of that language all over again. If the truth were to be known, I probably could afford to purchase that program without the unlimited finance tag. However, I am afraid I would not stick to it and that's a lot of money to sit on my bookcase.
So, although I'm not sure whether I'll spend my personal money for Rosetta Stone French, I'm positive I would spend my fantasy dollars on it.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Sunday, April 25, 2010

WeWrite4Ten's Sunday assignment is: If money was no object what would you do differently? Bigger house? How big and where? New cars? What kind? Travel? Where?

What would I do if my ship came in? Well, in the first place, I'd probably be at the airport. But, seriously, what would I do?

Jim and I talk about it sometimes. I'm assuming we are talking about lots and lots of money. In that case, the first thing I would do would be pay off all my kids' debts, mortgages, school loans, whatever. Then I would set up trust accounts for them and any future progeny. I would delight in knowing that they were financially set, allowing them to pursue their dreams.

Just yesterday, Jim said that if we had lots of money he would build a garage where our turnaround is and turn our kitchen, dining area into a great room. I totally agree with that.
A patio, pond and fountain in the back yard would also be on the list, which would about do it for our living arrangements.

The driveway would sport a Mini-Cooper convertible for me and a Cadillac CTS for Jim. That's it for cars.

Oh yes, let's go back to living arrangements for a second. I think we'd buy a condo in Las Vegas and another Mini-Cooper for the garage there.

Then, we'd travel. Anywhere our little hearts desired. The list of places we would like to visit is longer than I have time to write about in ten minutes. We have dreams of taking river cruises in Europe, seeing Italy and Spain. Costa Rica is on our short list, along with Ireland.

Although I know Jim isn't interested, I would drag him back to France to the Loire Valley. I'd also take my niece to Paris. We are planning to go in 2011, but if money were no object, I'd treat her and her mom to the entire trip.

To quote our friend Dr. Seuss, if money were no object..."Oh The Places You'll Go."

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Stick 'em UP

Talk about the most frightening moment in your life. I want to feel your fear.
It was Thursday morning and I was in the conference room of our small finance company working on the monthly bookkeeping. I heard him say, "Don't move and put your hands on your desk."
"Oh, that's that crazy Jim Surdevant being silly again," I thought. I got up from my desk and was walking to the door to give him back some of his own,l when I heard him say, "Who else is here?" By then I had arrived at the doorway and saw him.
He wore a black ski mask and gloves. He was holding a gun and a paper bag. Motioning with his gun, he told me to go sit at my desk. He shoved the paper bag at my boss and ordered ordered him to fill it with money.
Of course there is follow up to this story. I will post it at a later time.
Oh my God! I'd be glad to give him all the money in the drawer, but this was back in the day when we took our cash to the bank night deposit. We had no alarms, no way to protect ourselves other than to take all the money out of our office overnight. But, looking down the barrel of that gun, looking at the bullets, all I could think was that my life was over.
Bill looked at me helplessly as he said, "There is no money in this drawer." Our masked friend began waving the gun around and said, "I told you to put the money in the bag."
From deep inside came my words as I shakily spoke, telling him the truth about why we had no cash in the drawer. I had just been busy. The bank opened at 9. It was 9:15 on a very quiet morning and I was concentrating on my bookkeeping. I just hadn't gone to the bank yet to retrieve my deposit.
Each word I spoke was filled with desperation. Would he believe me? Would he be just angry enough at being foiled to shoot us? Lately several people in the state had been killed in finance company robberies. If he shot, who would be first? Could I escape by diving under my desk? In those few terrifying moments my life didn't pass before my eyes. My thoughts didn't turn to my mother, my friends or loved ones. No, my only thought was if he shoots Bill first, do I have time to dive under my desk and save myself.
As quickly as he came, he left. Oddly enough, he demanded the bag back, told us to stay where we were for ten minutes, and backed out of the office. We immediately sank to the floor and crawled into the bathroom, taking a phone with us.
Minutes crawled by as we waited for the police. I heard footsteps on the stairs, entering the office and approaching the bathroom door, quietly. My hear was racing, my mouth dry. This time there was no place to go. Expecting the sound of a gun firing, my heart started beating again when I heard Police Chief Johnson say, "You can come out now. You're safe."