Play Ball…

…an Ode to the Milkman.

This is an essay written by me several years ago. At the time, I shared it with family and friends who urged me to continue writing.  Today I re-post because so many have asked for it…who am I to say “no”. 

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My outfit for the one game I attend every year …I leave the baseballs at home…The Pete Rose baseball was obtained by Hubster in the 80’s.

Opening Day

I am not exactly a true blue or in “Baltimorese”, orange and black baseball fan, but there is something about Opening Day that signals the beginning of a new year. It may be spring or the thought of a renewed chance to win it all. This could be the year for the Baltimore Orioles and perhaps, we just need to believe, Hon.

For many years of my childhood, I watched as my father had once again believed that our beloved Boston Red Sox might finally have their year. The last time the Red Sox had won the World Series was in 1918. My father was born in 1919. He was a life-long fan.

 

When I found letters he wrote to my mother during World War II he penned his devotion to the team even while stationed across the country with a bombardier squadron in the United States Army Air Corp. As we know, most major league baseball teams were disbanded during the war, but he still had faith. I am sure this mention of the team in their love letters was what finally convinced my mother he was the man for her. Truthfully, she was not a sports fan, but thankfully for my sisters, brothers, and me; she somehow managed to forgive him his baseball transgressions and marry him anyway. He loved all sports actually, but there was a true allegiance to the Boston Red Sox.

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Many childhood memories for me include the smell of summer air with the kitchen windows open and my father listening to the game on the radio within earshot of the occasional train passing by on the elevated Orange Line. I would often ask for an interpretation of some of the commentary, “Swung on and miss.”

He was so engrossed that sometimes he didn’t hear my question. Fortunately, I figured out the lingo on my own.

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As a very young child, I had no concept of the past, I asked my mother, a devout Catholic if she lived at the same time as Jesus Christ, her response was a resounding, “NO”. I then went to my father, the dedicated Red Sox fan, and inquired if he was alive when Babe Ruth played baseball. He spoke of watching the “Babe” play at Fenway Park for the Yankees. Who knew that someday I would reside in the town where “Babe” was born. These baseball conversations were some of the sweetest because he was not often a man of many words, but I can hear his voice name Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams and Carl Yastrzemski like it is happening now.

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One of the Milkman’s favorite players…I remember there was a song about Carl Yastzemski

I attended college in Baltimore when in 1983 the Baltimore Orioles won the World Series. It was so exciting to be in a town where a team had taken the coveted trophy. The day after the Orioles clinched the World Series, my father reached me on my dorm room phone to talk about the win. Because I was living where a team had won he was just as excited even though it wasn’t his team.

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I don’t know for certain if this is the winning moment.

Baseball was dear to him. He did not have season tickets as it was too costly for a man with seven children, but he was the proud owner of a club level seat in front of the small black and white TV that eventually took the place of the radio in the kitchen. The glow of the game would sometimes continue late into the evenings even though my milkman father had to get up before dawn to deliver the milk. He believed every year would be their year. In 1975, against the Cincinnati Reds, the Red Sox went to the seventh game of the World Series. The disappointing loss only brought stronger conviction that his team could someday win it all.

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When I graduated from college in 1985 and returned to Boston the year before I married, he was still watching the game, only someone had upgraded the TV and now he was watching in living color.  Because this man had done right by his children, he was fortunate to have been the beneficiary of game tickets, now and then, facing Fenway’s “Green Monstah” and even took a grandson on occasion. He still believed they would win.

green mostah

One evening in the spring of 1986, only a few months from my wedding he sat in his aforementioned seat in the kitchen watching the game. A young pitcher by the name of Roger Clemens was striking out opposing batters with ease. The fans at Fenway were frenzied and began posting K’s somewhere out near the “Green Monstah”. As I paused to watch the game, I was confused by the K’s. The posted K’s stood for strikeouts my father explained. Clemens was on his way to striking out a record number of batters. It was history in the making. I took a seat with my father by the kitchen table with only the radiance from the screen giving light to our nervous excitement of the moment. We didn’t speak but just basked in the glory that this might be the year. Roger Clemens went on to strike out 20 batters in a nine-inning game. He was the first to do so and I watched it with my father.

the ks

A few months later my father walked me down the aisle to my wonderful husband who according to my mother, stole me from my hometown. The only thing that concerned my father was what baseball team would I be “rooting for.” Of course, with crossed fingers, I stated, “the Boston Red Sox.” I think he knew my allegiance may change, even though through birthright I am forever connected to the Boston Red Sox.

Back in Boston and later that year, the Red Sox once again went on to the World Series. The New York Mets won. He would not be disillusioned by the loss and continued to cheer for the home team. Like most Boston fans, he was once again, left to suffer in silence.

On March 26, 2004, with only days away from Opening Day my father died. In the fall of 2004, the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. It was 84 years of Opening Days never to witness this unbelievable event. However, I do believe his divine intervention may have played a role in their unbelievable four games to none in the best of seven wins against the St. Louis Cardinals.

Present day: A few Red Sox souvenirs adorn my classroom.

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After sharing this essay with other several years ago a friend found this mint condition t-shirt in a thrift store here in Baltimore and she gave it to me.

 

Fourteen years and three World Series wins for the Boston Red Sox have passed since he was buried on March 29, 2004.  My family sang the Star Spangled Banner and Oh Canada, for his native country by his graveside that day and I can’t help but think he was watching down on us. If he could have spoken, his words would have been, “Play Ball.”

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In loving memory of my father, the Milkman, he embodied the love of God, family, country and the Boston Red Sox. Wishing all baseball fans, no matter the team, the love of a father I called my own.

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Fall costume parade 2013…the day after the Red Sox won the World Series.

This fabulous photo of my two sons, a son-in-law, and a nephew…at Fenway Park last summer. #1 Son-ster standing pointing to his friend who is a Red Sox photographer and deserves credit for this great photo (B. Weiss, credit) The legacy continues.

Go Orioles! (Sorry Dad, but I know you’ll forgive me)…and if not then, Go Red Sox!..or any other team, with the exception of the New York Yankees*. Some things never change.

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*no offense to my Yankees friends, but enough already.

Foresight…

…is 20/20 in the rear-view mirror

     Hello again, I know it has been  what has seemed like a lifetime since my last post. I have no perfect excuse for not writing; however I will try a couple of classics for life’s procrastination:

Lazy

Anyone who knows me, knows this isn’t true…I am always doing something! 

The Dog Ate IT

This could work if I were 9 and owned a dog.

     With the excuses out-of-the-way, let’s move forward with the post.

I am teaching math and science this year to both 4th and 5th grade students. I enjoy both subjects, but math is my favorite…thank you Sister Alice*, CSJ and Sister Ellen*, SSND, both were tough, but excellent teachers of all things algebraic and “trigonometrical” ( yes, a made up word).

About one month into this school year, I was getting ready to proceed with some direct instruction for one of my math groups. Students who are seated further away from the whiteboard screen have a sticker on their desk which means they have the option of moving to flexible seating before this instruction begins. While this transition was taking place, a young man whose desk does not have a sticker on it proceeded to sit in one of the more coveted seats.

You can clearly see why they all want to sit on this furniture. I sewed slip covers last summer from remnants and samples. I painstakingly stitched both  our school mascot, the chanticleer, and our school’s monogram on those pillows. Yes, those are the Beatles on that chair.

The students began to complain…“Hank*, your desk doesn’t have a sticker on it. You can’t move.”

As you can see, we have many bosses in my class. Anyway, I did not immediately ask Hank to move, rather I listened to the discourse, before acting.

Hank was quick to respond to his bosses peers, “No, I can sit here. I have been to the eye doctor and he told me to move forward. I am going to be getting glasses.”

Finally, I chimed in, “Hank, I didn’t know you needed to sit closer to the board. I am so sorry, you should have said something sooner.

Hank then proceeded to tell us he had been diagnosed as “foresighted”. I could not help, but chuckle and quickly requested the evening’s lottery numbers. Hank was a good sport when I explained the difference between foresight and farsightedness. I decided not to break it to Hank, but I’m also pretty sure that farsighted means it is more difficult to see things when you are closer to what is being viewed. We still laugh about it to this day and I have yet to see a pair of glasses on Hank.

Fast forward to this past week….

I have been going through the suitcase of letters my parents wrote to each other in the years leading up to their marriage in 1945. Mostly, I have been organizing according to date as the letters are quite lengthy. In addition, there are cards and letters from other family members (some written in French, my father’s first language…which I am attempting to translate). This is a slow process. This past Wednesday, which happened to be Valentine’s Day and Ash Wednesday, I was unable to sleep so I got out of bed and decided to go through more of the letters. I came across the Valentine’s Day Card, my father sent to my mother in 1945. It was so sweet to see it, also there was a letter dated February 14, 1945. I took a photo of it and sent it to my siblings.

When I came home from school on Wednesday evening to the news of another school shooting. I found myself feeling nauseous because I am often fearful that although we practice for these types of scenarios in some ways I do feel helpless.  I turned off the news as I couldn’t watch the heartbreak and despondency as this is always too close to home. I rested the remote on the end table and noticed I left the card and letter I had taken a photo of sitting where I had left it in the morning. I decided to read my father’s letter to my mother.

It seems I may need to apologize to my student, Hank because being foresighted may be an actual diagnosis. In this lovely letter to my mother, just a little over two months away from their wedding date, my father wrote that he believed that they would someday make cute babies (they went on to make seven cute babies). He also wrote of picturing how much fun it would be fussing over these little miracles of life.

The first two miracles he fussed over… the Family Matriarch and Susan… twelve months apart.

He went on to say…”we might spoil them, but with our principles…and with those we learn in our way of life will make them pretty good living citizens.”  

My father had foresight.  He spoiled us as much as a man could with love, patience, and principles. We are “good living citizens”.

This photo from 1994….my Milkman father and his Sweetheart, surrounded by their cute babies.

Happy Presidents Day!

*names changed to protect the innocent.

 

 

Zero, Zilch, Zippo…

…all = nothing!

Alphabetical Post Z

      I must say, this was the worst idea I have ever had. Alphabetical posts…at least I can say I am not a quitter. I made it to Z; even though it took 14  15 16 months to do it. My creative non-fiction writing ability was really put to the test…fortunately, none of this was graded because I may have scored a big huge ….

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Feel free to print and use for adult coloring…pencils not included.

The summer was busy with odds and ends that consumed much of my time.

Immediately after school let out on June 13, I drove to Massachusetts to enjoy a fun-filled week with the Family Matriarch and the Kitchen King. I also visited my sister, Keary, where I received the three years worth of correspondence of my parents during WWII. I believe there is a book in there.

Once back in Maryland, I cleaned a closet in the garage (I will spare you the photo of the actual empty closet). The following photo is the intention for the currently empty closet.

 

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I think the housekeeper (me) will love it.

 Closet cleaning meant multiple trips to Goodwill for donations. I happen to live where our Goodwill receives donations from the “movers and shakers” of the metropolis; thus while donating at the back door I have been known to pop to the front. I recently scored this beautiful Vera Bradley bag…I don’t think it was ever used.

 

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The housekeeper thought the bag was beautiful, so I might just give it to her.

In addition to serious closet clean out, I also sewed slip covers for some furniture in our sun room. While cleaning that closet in the garage, I found leftover fabric from when I originally made the slip covers which have become quite faded and damaged by the sun. The furniture out there is a mish-mash of various hand-me-downs, but I love the room and especially enjoy sitting out there in the summer to watch my garden grow. ( if interested you can read an old post I wrote about the room here)

 

 

The pillow in front was sewn over 10 years ago…if you look carefully at the double welting, you’ll notice the solid fabric from the back pillow that I just completed is the same fabric as the very faded smaller welt…the ottoman is next. I’ll try to remember before and after photos.

The beach was fabulous this year. Once again, Peggy Anne hosted and we had a blast. Below are a few snapshots from our time at the beach.

I would go back in a minute.

 

 

We really loved our reader sunglasses.

 

Squished into a car for fabulous bagel breakfast at Uber Bagel.

 

 

Christmas in July gift exchange.

We built exactly one sandcastle…

It seems I managed to fake my way through this “Z” post.  Now I’ve said my ABC’s….The next time I write, I will fill you in on my beautiful niece’s wedding a couple of weeks back and some back to school makeovers in my classroom.

 

Happy Labor Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yesterday,…

…Today, & Tomorrow

Alphabetical Post Y

Yesterday, Hubster and I celebrated 31 years of wedded bliss. If you follow me on Instagram, then you have already seen this photo, if not then here we are yesterday, as well as 31 years worth of yesterdays ago…

Image (1) Moving on …Today, as in the Today Show….I used to love the Today Show. It was my go to morning show from a very young age. I remember the days of Barbara Walters & Tom Brokaw . I even pictured my self as the next Jane Pauley after she took BW’s seat. My inspiration for my life in broadcast television came from the following…

MTM hair

jane pauley

It seems I thought the only qualification was my long hair back in the day.

     The Today Show just doesn’t hold the magic of the past. Since I have been out of school for the past two weeks, I have only watched some of it each morning. A few mornings, I have even jumped ship and headed over to Good Morning America. I feel like an unfaithful viewer.

     Tomorrow always brings a promise…

free beer

 Hubster & I enjoy a visit to an Irish Pub when we are at the beach. We like it because we can walk to it and the food always satisfies. Upon a recent visit, we noticed a sign similar to the one above written on a chalkboard. Both of us made a comment and discussed whether or not we thought there was an Irish holiday the next day. We ordered and a younger couple came and sat next to us. The man told the bartender that he had been to the pub yesterday and thought they were offering free beer today. The bartender turned to the chalkboard and said, “Oh no, free beer is always tomorrow.”

Until tomorrow…

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X Roads…

…translation “Cross Roads”

Alphabetical Post X

 It has taken me just over 12 months to reach the letter X in my pursuit to write 26 alphabetical posts. This quest was intended to keep me writing, but it seems the opposite has occurred; it has stunted my growth . (Thankfully, it has stunted the growth of my hips as well.)

Today, my x post is all about “Cross Roads”; whether it be crossing something off a “to-do” list, eliminating a behavior, or looking for a point in the right direction.

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There are only two more full days and two more half days of school left this year. The Farewell Assembly for my 5th grade class is Friday morning. They tend to call it their graduation ceremony. I used to correct them when they would inquire, “What time is the graduation ceremony?”, but I have grown weary from repeating this same phrase 800 times per day, “It is a Farewell Assembly, not graduation; and it starts at 9:30 am.”

“Resistance is futile”, I  will let them call it what they want…, but have no fear; I do not intended to give in to the masses in other areas because many times the M is silent.

Cross the 2016-2017 school year off the “to-do” list.

When I was a stay at home mom for 20 years, I used to pop over to the local Hallmark store to purchase cards for birthdays, holidays, etc. I loved using my frequent buyer card, and never really gave much thought to dropping between $20-$30 for a stack of cards for my large extended family. Now when I say stack, I probably had at least 10-15 cards. Since returning to a full-time job I started buying cards at the grocery store while doing my weekly shopping. I truly never looked at the back of the cards to note the price. By the time I reached the cashier, my groceries and cards were rung-up together, thus I never noted the price.

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In April, the Family Matriarch turned, 70. Leading up to her birthday, I searched for the perfect card. The day I found it in the store, I began to weep because it nailed every sentiment I had hoped to find for my dear sister. When I went to the cashier, once again I had several grocery items, so I honestly had no idea of the price of the actual card.

Fast forward to Mother’s Day…school was quite hectic the two weeks prior to Mother’s Day with mandatory testing, county science fair, band concerts, and collecting permission slips for our annual trip to Mount Vernon. I went to the grocery store only to purchase Mother’s Day cards for my two sisters, and my mother-in-law. After reading a “gazillion” cards I brought three to the self-checkout. I scanned without thought, bagged, and returned to the terminal to complete the final purchase… the screen stated, in big bold numbers with a dollar symbol: $19.92.

$19.92,

FOR THREE CARDS

Needless to say, I paid for the cards, sent the two cards to my sisters, and Hubster presented his step-mother with the third card. Now don’t get me wrong, I like nice things, I am willing to pay for quality, I will spring for classic & iconic, but three cards…round $19.92 to $20…$20 for three greeting cards. This cross-road has me professing, “I will no longer purchase single greeting cards.”  

My final cross-road has me looking toward the summer. At present, I have many, many balls in the air. If you’re old enough you may remember…

ck pin pong

I love watching Captain Kangaroo

I spend most days of the school year avoiding this pratfall. The summer points me toward sewing, lunching with friends, visiting family, spending time with my Son-sters, a wedding, and most of all pointing me toward my favorite cross-road…

 

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Happy almost summer vacation!

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Where’s Waldo…

…or Beemie?

Alphabetical Post W

My two Sons-sters loved the Where’s Waldo books, lots of illustrations and few to no words. It seems  my blog for the last month has followed this pattern, only in addition to no words of the written kind I also featured zero illustrations. A New York Times bestseller, I think not.

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If my body could ft into those skinny jeans, I’d definitely give this outfit a try.

The month of April featured a spring break from school, where quite honestly I did nothing, except shop. I can happily report that my shoe size has remained the same for years, unfortunately clothing sizes seem to fluctuate.

April also found me at the movie theater with Peggy Anne…she surprised me and purchased the two of us tickets for Beauty and the Beast. I loved the movie. I actually felt like I was watching two movies because I was awestruck by the costumes. Truth be told, I actually wept while gazing at the wondrous combinations of materials and trims.

 

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This collage of Emma’s costumes are nothing compared to the lush fabrics used in Beast’s jackets.

This spring, I have had the privilege of reading books intended for those of us over the age of twelve because the novels my students are reading this year, I read in full last year, thus I only require a quick daily refresher of the chapters. The books I have read may not be on the popular reading lists, but they have been interesting.

Eb White

E.B White was quite an interesting character and I loved learning about how he was inspired to write Charlotte’s Web. Upon completion of the above book, I was encouraged to follow-up with the actual E.B. White:EB white one man

 

I am reading one or two essays at a time…I especially enjoyed the essay he wrote 1939 about the television. He was not impressed and believed it would be a detriment to society. Hmmm,… with classic programming like the one below, I’m not sure he was on point.

 

Keeping-up-with-Kardashians

Never mind!

This book found me both laughing and crying. I highly recommend.

ove

 

I am just about done with:

tin ticket

While the above is not for the weak of stomach, it explains much about human nature and the need to survive.

Next on my list is:

boys boat

Hubster has already finished it and tells me to make sure I have tissues at the ready.

 

So as you can see, I haven’t really been away, just not here on my blog. There are only 29 days of school left and I can’t wait. I love the summer. My flowers are in and the vegetable garden goes in next weekend.

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Value…

…my top five.

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When I see or hear the word value, it often conjures the notion of saving money…this, naturally has me cocking my head to get a better view or leaning my ear in the direction of the anticipated savings. While a good value always peaks my interest… please know,  this will not be a post where I dumpster dive, yard sale my way through a weekend morning, or score a great find at TJ Maxx, Marshall’s, Home Goods, DSW, the “Gucci” Goodwill, Talbot’s Outlet, any one of an abundance of local consignments shops,  or Target…(perhaps I am not saving that much money if I shop at all of these places).

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It is no coincidence, I think that the value of the tile V in Words with Friends is 5.  V in Roman Numerals is 5. When taking a survey, typically, the scale is 1, being the least desirable and 5, the most desirable; thus 5, is the golden or should I say Golden Roman Standard (GRS).

There are many things in my life which meet the value of  GRS.

GRS: My Family

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GRS: My Career

While I have much commentary (some positive, some not) about my job as a teacher in a public school, I do feel fortunate to have a job. There are many without a steady income and health benefits. Many factors within my job are out of my control; therefore for Lent I have given up stress and worry. This may sound like a joke (many found this humorous when I announced this on Ash Wednesday), but the truth is it is very challenging to just shut this down. I think this may be harder than giving up chocolate or another beloved food. So far, I have only had to talk myself off a ledge of stress once…21 days down only 19 more to go. I am hoping I will give up stress and worry for good because I value my mental health.

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 GRS: My Siblings

family art

This masterpiece is nearly 50 years old, but it’s no wonder my kindergarten teacher insisted I stay for another year to inspire another group of students in the fine art of family portrait.

You can read more about my extended family here.

GRS: Friends

Too many to insert photos, but here is a cute definition….

friend

GRS: Time

This post is short because I value the time you take to stop by and read my little blog…Have a wonderful day!

enjoy

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Underwriter…

…my current job title.

Alphabetical Post U

      Truthfully, I still don’t fully understand the job of an actual underwriter. I know my own meaning is I just can’t seem to get it together to write a post; thus I am “under-writing”. I have always been a “story-teller”; usually not at a loss for words, although as mentioned in the past, sometimes I need to kick myself to hold my tongue because I do need the job that employs for 190 days per year.

     Nothing out of the ordinary has kept me away from the keyboard. There have been exactly zero snow days this year. A two-hour delay a couple of weeks ago was quite disappointing.

This amount of snow screams: 2 hour DELAY!

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     I have avoided watching news shows …so no 60 Minutes, Today Show, or Meet the Press; thus without media, I have fewer headaches. I have not gone complete cold turkey on the news because I still read the daily newspaper. Sadly, skipping political stories finds me reading the obituaries and sports. In case you’re wondering, the matriarch of a famous seafood establishment recently passed and a player on the University of Maryland women’s basketball team has been named Big 10 player of the year. I also check the Facebook timeline; however I think I may be developing carpal tunnel in my right wrist because I spend more time scrolling past politically polarized posts from both donkeys and elephants.

     I tried to find an image of something that represented neither party, but wasted 30 minutes searching for images. The decrease in headaches mentioned in the previous paragraph came creeping back. I did find this image….

cuckoo clock

This speaks volumes to my current political mood.

There is some good news, albeit shallow. Hubster and I have discovered a new series.

collection-front

Hubster needed to find something to pull me away from the sewing machine on weekends.

Speaking of the sewing machine, I have spent a great deal of time at my machine on weekends. Due to absence of snow days, Project Snow Day (read here and here) is lacking and the auction is a month earlier this year.

Oh, and this goes out to Hasbro, just because like the ostrich, my head has been in the sand with all the political news; it has not gone unnoticed that the most significant game piece of Monopoly has been discontinued. The thimble; worn to protect the finger  and push the needle when sewing….gone! It seems there is nothing sacred. Hobbyist seamstresses such as myself must go forth in a game which involves taxation, yet, no representation.

It seems protest is required. I am going to wear my thimble (because I will be sewing) for the rest of the day in support of thimbles everywhere on the planet. I know a revolution when I see one.

 

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From my mother’s sewing collection…she was always up for a good protest, unless it was from one of her children about the rules of the house…dictatorship was a house rule…and no, this in not my middle finger.

     Have a wonderful week!

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Tyler…

… as in Mary Tyler Moore.

Alphabetical Post T

     Last week, I started to write a post about television. Needless to say I never finished it, but when I heard the news of Mary Tyler Moore’s death, I started to write again, only this time the tone of my post changed. Here I am today starting from scratch.

     I recall being back in my childhood home sitting in front of our 15″, or maybe it was 19″, black and white TV. After sitting through a another Saturday night of the Lawrence Welk Show, (a staple of both my parents and the only show permitted to be watched during Lent for a good many years until they relaxed that rule because they found they were missing out on great television) we settled in for the Saturday night comedies. I don’t remember what time the show aired, but I do remember the evening ending with the Carol Burnett Show.

     Mary Tyler Moore was not only a funny lady, but she had an elegant way of ” taking a nothing day and certainly make it all seem worthwhile”. Yes, I stole the line from the soundtrack to the show.

Although I was only 7 when the show first aired, I wanted her hair. To be exact, I wanted the hair she had in the early years of the show because it had a “That Girl” flip…oh, how I longed for that flip.

MTM

    Her teeth were perfection…no wonder she “could turn the world on with her smile.” At the age of 21, I finally wore the braces I had hoped would give me those “Chiclet” pearly whites.

     I know Mary Tyler Moore did not decorate her own sets, but I loved the “M” monogram that hung in her apartments. When I moved into my college dorm I purchased a big yellow “C” (for my real name) made of cork to hang on my dorm room wall. I think Mary may have influenced my affection for monograms.

     Over 20 years ago, Hubster and I attended a charity fundraiser auction. One of the items for auction was a script signed by the writers of the Mary Tyler Moore Show. The script was titled; “Chuckles Bites the Dust.” We were in a bidding war with a local meteorologist and,I kid you not, Tom Clancy. TC backed out when it reached $100. I wanted that script and so did the meteorologist. We won and we paid way too much for that script, which sadly sits in a plastic  container in our attic, probably dry-rotted, but it’s ours.

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This is not our actual script….sorry, Mary, I didn’t feel like climbing into the attic.

    My favorite line from that episode was part of the eulogy read by Ted Baxter (Knight) on air for Chuckles the Clown, “A little song, a little dance, a little seltzer down your pants.”

     My recollections of Mary Tyler Moore may be superficial, but I truly believe that Mary ‘Richards’ showed my young self that I could “make it after all”.

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Seven ’17 Sentiments…

…in the New Year.

Alphabetical Post S

     I went back to school on Tuesday after a wonderful break and it was the lonnnnggggest short week ever. When I am feeling blue or haggard due to the daily demands of being a classroom teacher, I try to remind myself that I am lucky to have a job and  to just keep teaching. One of my colleagues has been so overwhelmed that it sent her to the doctor this week.

     Since I know what it feels like to be submerged in stress (read here) I have tried to offer words of wisdom, but words are easy; actually allowing yourself to take something off your plate is not so easy.  When providing unsolicited counsel of my own experiences to those in distress that I often have plenty of lemons , but no lemonade; that person may say something like, ” Wow, you seem to have your act together!” (Those who really know me are laughing so hard right now they need to change their underwear. Sorry for the inconvenience.)

The “act together” comment from those who I seem to have bamboozled that my life seems in calamity calm, cool,  and collected reminds me of the persona “Fernando Lamas” created by Billy Crystal.

Sentiment 7

marvelous

 Little do they know this is really what is going on in my daily life….

Sentiment 6

 smile

Things have changed because I seriously have decided…

Sentiment 5

everything

This is why during the school year, Hubster does most of the cooking. (Honestly, I think he really likes the deluxe health benefits my job provides.) He is a great cook and although I grew up in the era of ” I can bring home the bacon…”

Sentiment 4

enjoli

I am perfectly happy with him frying it up in the pan!

There are many experts out there who tell us we need to find ways to relieve stress…

Sentiment 3

adult-color

My sister, Keary, bought me an adult coloring book for my birthday last year…I tried it, but then I stopped because the color pencils required sharpening…I didn’t want to add another job to my life. In my profession, I sharpen a few thousand pencils every day.

I do believe my best stress reliever….

(no, not alcohol)wine

is my best friend….

 

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A dark and blurry photo of two young kids who are still in love.

Sentiment 2

husband

Operative word here is “girl”,  for he still calls me his “child bride” and believes it!

Another step I have taken to relieve worry is to remind myself that ….

image

These two are adults. Yes, I did buy them the t-shirts and they did wear the hats for the throwback photo at my request, but they have significant others, jobs, benefits, and lives beyond the one that we created. We have raised independent beings …apparently, that is the job of parents.

     When my mother was dying in 2009, I entered her hospital room having just driven 7.5 hours with my sister, Susan from Maryland to Boston. In the days before this trip, I had walked across the stage to receive my Masters degree at the  old nubile age of 46; I was very much a hip and trendy well-ripened and exhausted adult.

     My mother, was slumped in the chair next to her hospital bed. Her hair was combed straight back and white, like I had never seen before. I walked over to her while Susan stayed near the door. We both thought she had died in that chair. I called to her, ” Mum…Mum”, no response. I turned to Susan and frantically exclaimed, “Get a nurse!”…Susan was frozen, so I grabbed her by the arm and together we summoned a nurse.

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My mother and Susan; a time Susan didn’t mind being close.

     The cool-headed nurse brought us back to the room. She told us to call her name again. Susan did not want to get too close, so I along with the nurse tried to give her a little shake on the arm, while I called out again, “Mum…it’s me…Susan is here too!”

     My mother began to wake. As she muttered my name and tried to focus her eyes, she whispered, “Oh, it is you…you know I’m dying.” There was never much “sugar-coating” when it came to her making a point.

     As she focused more, I was crouched down in front of her. The voice which once commanded attention was now fragile, but just as pointed. She had a clear view of my hair because she advised, “You need to do your roots.” At that moment, I knew that no matter what your age or state of mind, your mother is still your mother.

Sentiment 1

adult-children

     I  had hoped I would find myself writing more, but I will refer to Sentiment 5. This does not mean I am giving up on my blog, it means that for now things are status quo…Writing is excellent mental health, but so is reading, watching TV,  and sewing….

A Cautionary Sentiment

alone-time

Have  a great week!

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PS: This is Us comes back of Tuesday, but also check out Good Behavior on TNT….Lady Mary not so lady-like.

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