Thursday, July 31, 2008

MWF ISO Beachside Rentals and Urban Sublets

I have no idea why I remember an interview I once heard with Madonna—it could have been as long as a couple decades ago—in which she expressed a wish to have an entire lifetime to spend with each one of her many boyfriends. The impossibility of this fantasy has apparently hampered any fidelity efforts she has subsequently undertaken.

Happily married to the same wonderful man for over eighteen years, I really can’t relate to The Material Girl’s plight—at least in the arena of matrimony. However, when it comes to real estate, I think I’m destined to take the Madonna approach.

Nine days on the road concluded as they always do—with a return to the same faithful home in which I’ve lived for the vast majority of my adult life. The partnership has been safe and stable. It was love at first sight when my realtor introduced us in the mid-nineties: The textured walls! The spacious kitchen! We even weathered the difficult Remodeling Years of the early ‘00s, hammering out solutions to issues that had managed to accumulate. It’s been good, having strong beams and sturdy rafters to surround me in good times and shield me through rough winds. Lately, though, I can’t shake the feeling that I might be outgrowing the relationship—like there’s other things on which I might be missing out.

See, I keep thinking about a shameless fling I recently had with a quaint little cottage on a rocky beach. It was only a one night stand—but oh, it was so sweet. The shore breezes, the lullaby of lapping waves…it left me wanting more.

And I’ve been having other fantasies, too. Like the Manhattan brownstone I admire from afar. The glamorous nights I’d spend reveling in the fast-paced urban high life! So enticing. SO out of my league.

Then there’s the So-Cal surfer crush I have going on the west coast with a colorful bungalow on a steep cliff with an ocean view. Oh, my…the memories I want to make there!

And I just can’t shake my desire to while away the hours in the company of a distinguished Victorian with a spiral staircase, bay windows, and closets that go all the way to Narnia.

It doesn’t even stop there. There’s no telling where my roving gaze will settle next. I’ve been blatantly gawking thanks to For Sale signs, classified advertising, and various other come ons.

I love my house. I really do. We’ve been together for a long time. I’m not really sure that I want to break things off completely, but I just might have to convince my husband that it’s time to enhance our stable marriage with some experimental renting action on the side.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I'll Take the Whole Cookie

“The good parts are good,” my son said, nibbling his way around a mostly scorched peanut butter cookie. A failed campfire experiment, the cookies—or at least my son’s response to them—spoke metaphoric volumes about a long-anticipated vacation punctuated by sustained stretches of torrential rain.

Any time suitcases emerge from closets and sleeping bags pile beside doors, it is the lot of the vacation-bound traveler to be swept into an excited frenzy fueled by a heaping dose of optimism and a shot of high hopes. We recall breathtaking views from lofty summits, food from far-flung places, and the crackle of campfires that will forever burn inside our hearts.

And although we may fondly recall any number of days passed on open roads, back woods trails, and sandy beaches, there are certain trips that live large in our memories for a lifetime. Perhaps for you, it was the week the whole family went to Disney, or maybe it was that deep woods scouting adventure when you first knew you could conquer anything as long as you had the pack at your side and compass in your hand. Personally, I’m never more than a blink away from a little bed and breakfast in San Diego. And that month on the road, traveling cross country with my family? There’s not a single moment that I wouldn’t live a thousand times over.

These storied excursions develop epic reputations that tend to loom large over future travel plans. We want every trip to live up to the fabled glory, and the expectations don’t leave much margin for error. Sure, we expect complications—after all, what trip would be complete without a blown tire or a mishap or two with a map? But I must admit that none of the scenarios I imagined befalling our trip to Maine included sustained rains and accompanying fog which reduced days’ worth of trip pics into so many grey rectangles.

My sister blames herself for the soggy turn in our fortunes. After a successful first day in the wilderness of Acadia National Park, she claims that lightening and thunder punctuated her declaration of utter happiness as her head hit her pillow that night. My thought is that if you’ve experienced unmarred happiness long enough for it to become notable, then you are more fortunate than most.

The truth is that the duration of pure happiness can only be measured in moments. Perfect days are an illusion—a smoke and mirrors bit of revisionist history which softens the edges of our mental pictures into Impressionistic snapshots of the Best Moments. This is a feature of the human brain for which I’m very thankful—the airbrush treatment the mind gives to the sharp and jagged angles, leaving us with a nicely framed interpretation of What Was Good.

Our ability to remember life in terms of moments should not be underestimated. After all, fog, rain and mud are the ingredients of daily life. How often do you wake up to a day of unlimited visibility, warm, fuzzy feelings and sure footing? If your life is anything like mine, I suspect those carefree conditions are the exception to your daily forecast. And a place as far north as Maine exemplifies the reality behind the metaphor.

Maine has a reputation built solely on moments. Flawless days certainly number below 100 a year, and a large percentage of residents depend on the temperate conditions of a four-month window to earn their annual income. The vast majority of Maine days are cold, dreary affairs—but the moments in between are so sweet, the state boasts the moniker “Vacation Land” on its license plates and literature.

Our trip was capped on either end by moments that proved worthy of the title. The blueberries were ripe...

...and the flowers were lush and plentiful.

We slept under stars numbering in the hundreds of thousands on two occasions, and our last night was spent in a beachside cabin so inviting, there is a movement among our family to spend our entire vacation there next year. The “good parts” were very, very good.And the other parts weren’t so bad either. They gave me the chance to notice the beauty in rain,

understand that ships can stay afloat in less-than-perfect conditions,

and to acknowledge that these are the moments that will sustain me through all the patchy weather I’ll encounter before I hit the road again.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Sitting around the campfire two nights ago, our family collectively worked to come up with a name for our excursion.

"GRIM," my son offered.

"Grim?" my sister questioned. "Isn't that a bit negative?"

"It stands for Great Living in Maine," he countered, sticking with the acronym even when the spelling indiscretion was brought to his attention.

As fate would have, his moniker has proven sadly apt.

It is my duty to report that the clouds in Maine are not pink.

They are, um...dark. And plentiful.

It's a bit wet. And somewhat...grim.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Ice Cream, Sandwich, and a Chorus of Voices

“I don’t think this is the fastest route to anywhere,” my husband said.

Creeping up a winding hill at 25 mph, he furrowed his brow, contemplating the latest instructions our newly-acquired Global Positioning System was dispensing.

It’s July, and somehow it just feels right to be packed solid in our Saturn Relay, headed to parts unknown. Although this year’s adventure—a camping trip to Maine—shares some commonalties with last summer’s excursion-- such as time of year and visiting new states--there are really more differences than similarities between the two trips. We’re spending time with friends and family, for one thing, rather than braving it alone in the wild. We actually know where we’re planning to sleep each night. We’ll be gone just over a week, instead of a month. And there’s a lot more people in our car.

This summer, our additional passengers include Yoda, Big John the DJ, Max the Low-Talker, and any number of generic British blokes. These voices emerge periodically from our GPS, giving instructions such as “In 800 yards, right you will turn,” or “bear left and join the Speedway.” Often, these voices offer a wealth of information and guidance. Other times—such as this morning's slow and winding route to the Speedway, or an oversight by Yoda yesterday, which dumped us unceremoniously onto random busy roadway—we just aren’t sure.

I was hoping we could count upon this cast of advisors to direct us on a detour into Vermont, based on a news item I recalled hearing last week involving some Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream which is apparently available only this month, and only in Vermont. After all, how can I show my face back in Virginia next week having gone to New England without eating exclusive New England ice cream? And with such a vast team to guide me—-finding a Ben and Jerry’s location is as simple as a typed request into the GPS device—-there really seemed no excuse.

However, unlike the objects in my rearview mirror, Vermont evidently isn’t as close as it appears, and my exclusive ice cream junket is about to be deleted from the itinerary—a fate that almost befell the last detour I requested to Cape Cod. These stalwart guides—-bent on realism—-offer frequent, shockingly accurate, and often grim time estimates on what a detour looks like from a time perspective. Once on the Cape, they really didn’t advise going beyond the seaside hamlet of Sandwich, where our hungry crew enjoyed a dinner of -–what else—-sandwiches, although we were alarmed to note that they only served them in halves that wouldn’t make much of a showing if they ever find themselves stacked against the sandwich I ate in Nags Head a couple weeks ago.

Still, I can’t complain—we ate sandwiches in Sandwich, and in the words of my son, “it doesn’t get any more sandwich than that.”

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

At the Intersection of Moose and Books

I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of moose crossing signs over the next few days. Better yet, I’m hoping to see them in use by the clientele they’re posted to serve.
Whether that happens remains to be seen—in the meantime, I’m having fun with another kind of Crossing:Book Crossing. I’m traveling with three sets of my books in tow, and I’m looking for just the right places to “release” these tagged copies, in the hopes that local “book crossers” will find them, read them, love them to pieces, and share them via another “release.” Best of all, I get to track all this activity online.

So I’m scoping out just the right places to leave them—and that’s a little trickier than it may seem. You want to leave the books where they’ll actually be found—a place that’s busy, but not too busy. A place where people travel, but maybe not where people are traveling, what with security guards not really being keen on people dropping off foreign items. You want to pick a place where booklovers go, but not necessarily a place where books already are. A place where people stop and smell the roses…but probably not a place where roses actually grow—what with the uncertainty of weather, and all.

So, while I’m hunting for moose, I’ll also be hunting for places to “make the drop.” But I think I’ll keep the two activities separate. Stay tuned.

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Maine Thing

Remember the old Calgon bubble bath commercial where a houseful of kids and muddy pets drive a young mother to plead for said bubble bath to come and “take her away?”
The last we see of the woman, her placid face is bobbing just above suds level, and we’re left to assume that the children and animals have conquered the home. Although I certainly enjoy taking a dip in my Jacuzzi tub at the end of a long day, I get much faster relaxation results in my living room, simply by transporting myself, via wall print, to a mythical location I refer to as “the Maine house.”

Much in the way that Jill and Eustace entered Narnia through a picture on the bedroom wall in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I can enter the tranquil lakeside cottage depicted on my wall with nothing more than a steady gaze. Oh, the wonders of the Maine house! The lake, the rustic row boats, the cozy cottage…and the parties I’ve thrown there—you really should stop by sometime. Simple wine and cheese affairs on cool evenings, private book readings, coffee and blueberry cobbler on the lake. Artsy people talk literature, music, and mixing brilliant shades of cerulean and fuchsia late into still nights under starry skies. And the romantic picnics! Fresh berries and simple sandwiches on a worn quilt at sunset to a soundtrack of smooth jazz.

Bouquets of wildflowers, bountiful produce, and secret woodland trails (moose use them all the time) are all part of daily life at the Maine house. Mornings play out on the water, and evenings on the shore….but the afternoons are for writing, or, failing that, painting …all serious art that always sells.

See, I have this thing about Maine, and I’ve passed at least some of it on to my kids. First of all, it’s one of the few states they haven’t visited—and I only barely did, as a kid in the 80’s. Best I remember, we stayed at a resort of the same ilk as the one in Dirty Dancing. I seem to remember tuxedoed waiters, a formal dining hall, and lots of shuffle board. But then, pre-adolescent angst probably warped my impressions of much of the trip.

So I don’t really feel like I’ve experienced Maine yet—at least not the Maine I see in all the pictures, the land with the pink clouds that seem to perpetually hover over everything, the Maine with the blueberries, and moose. I’m off to discover that Maine this week.

I’m excited, but I’m also wary. First of all, I don’t even know that the scene depicted in my Magic Painting is even in Maine. The print was an art gallery cast off, and I trimmed off all the identifying information to get it into a frame. This is one work that will be permanently left to the interpretation of the viewer, and I’ve just made it into my version of what I want Maine to be. And let’s face it, the Maine house never deviates from a state of perpetual August, and one with a flawless forecast at that.

Furthermore, I’m beginning to suspect that moose don’t even really exist, that maybe they are extinct, or perhaps even mythical, like the unicorn. We traveled into several so-called moose habitat areas last summer, and didn’t catch so much as a glimpse of an antler. Church friends just returned from the same area of Maine into which we are heading, and reported a moose-less trek. My mom didn’t even see any moose as far noth as Alaska, unless you want to count a brown blob out the window of a fast-moving train that a tour guide labeled as such to pacify tourists hungry for a sighting.

In short, I’m not certain if the Maine in which I believe is real. But I suspect that even if my experience fails to deliver the Maine of my dreams, my Maine will live on in an 18’’ X 24’’ inch rectangle in my living room.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Green, Beans, and Things Not as Bad as They Seem

Racing against the bank of bruise-black clouds on the immediate horizon, I was certain of just two things: that finding my car unlocked and running on the other end of the parking lot was the best I could hope for, and that things only got grimmer from there.

Clutching my canvas bag full of over-priced cleaning supplies, I was regretting my decision to leave my cell phone in the car, in the interest of “traveling light."

I was in the check out line when I realized that I had no idea where my keys were. I’d been at the part of the transaction where you grab the receipt and gather your personal effects—purchased items, wallet, and—typically—keys…only to discover that mine were, simply, gone.

I rooted through my bag of purchased items, and seeing no keys, decided to go with the odds and just head out to the car like nothing was wrong. Chances were, I’d find my vehicle waiting for me, unlocked and running, in the parking lot—just like last time. Failing that, the keys would just be sitting on the driver’s seat of the (again unlocked) car. Just like a bunch of other times.

With the first drops of rain already falling from an ever-darkening sky, I comforted myself with the knowledge that history was on my side, squelching the voice of the self-righteous “Told You So” character who kept nagging me about how stupid it was to leave my phone behind, and the equally annoying, “You Need to be More Responsible” figure, who kept trying to analyze What Went Wrong..

At this point, I was blaming it on the canvas bag—or at least an earlier decision to go back to the car for it. See, I’ve redoubled my efforts in my struggle against the ever-present Plastic Grocery Bag—call it my own personal “surge” in the war against terrifying encounters such as the avalanche of overstuffed bags of bags that rolled from my closet like so many snowballs down an Alpine ridge.

Now before you tell me how fashionable it is to shop with re-usable cloth bags, let me tell you that this is only due to the efforts of early anti-bag pioneers who endured the scorn of store clerks and jeering family members in a Less-Green Era. I have personally been traveling with canvas bags in my car for at least two years, but confess that my efforts had been whittled down to simply reducing and refusing plastic bags, due to a combination of forgetfulness and a certain amount of buckling beneath the contempt of the Unenlightened Public. Now the same stores that used to sneer at my little Save the Earth totes are even offering discounts to shoppers who employ Green Bags emblazoned with their own logo, and will gladly fill even the plain or alternately adorned shopping bag.

At the risk of having to weather a deluge of snide comparisons to the beleaguered Al Gore, allow me to veer slightly off the linear course of this narrative to state for the record that I’ve been on the cutting edge of a lot more than just green shopping. MTV? My Barbies were doing that in my bedroom in the late 70’s. Malibu Barbie and Suntan Tuesday Taylor were the first veejays, ever. I’m not even kidding. And reality TV? During a large segment of the third grade, I was convinced that my life was being beamed to the airways, live (a la Truman), but that’s less about me being a visionary and more about me being a little weird. But I digress.

Of late, I’ve resumed my assault against The Plastic Bag, full-on. “This can’t go on,” I explained to the children, “we’re being inundated.” One of them thought I was referring to some kind of legal action, and got really freaked out. So we’re all about the bring-your-own-bag movement, except for the times we forget to grab one on the way into a store. In an effort to reinforce the BYOB concept, I’ve taken to the extreme measure of returning to the car when I forget--which brings me back to the parking lot.

I was at once saddened and relieved to discover my car in a locked and resting state, which bolstered my feeling that whatever went wrong with my keys happened during my earlier retrieval of the forgotten shopping bag. I must have set them down on the floor, or accidentally tossed them into a console—or who knew—maybe even the glove compartment. I was grasping at straws. After peering forlornly into every window and poking through my bag some more, I figured I may as well go back and, you know, retrace my path through the store. What else was I going to do? Call someone? Nooo…I was traveling light.

I wove in and out of the cleaning aisles, eyes cast downward, knowing there wasn’t any way I could have dropped the impressive collection hardware that is my key chain without knowing it—unless the sound had been muffled by the peals of thunder that were now rocking the store. I interviewed my cashier and a handful of customers before I figured I’d better turn myself in.

I fidgeted with the handle of my bag as I waited at the end of a rather slow customer service line. I didn’t really mind the wait, as I had no idea what I was going to say when I got to the counter. I suspected that it was Phone-A-Friend Time, but I really wasn’t sure who to call. My daughter would be helpful, and amused by the whole affair, but she doesn’t have a driver’s license. OnStar could unlock the car, but that’s pretty much the extent of their services. They don’t send detectives, or even beach combers with metal detectors, angling for extra cash. I asked about that last time. And as far as my husband—he was about the last person to which I wanted to tell this story.

Repositioning the rather heavy bag on my shoulder, I was suddenly poked by a hard object. I reached into the bag and withdrew my keys, immediately making a discreet exit from the line. Hopefully no one would ever know.

“Oh, you found them!” a customer yelled in excited tones. “Where were they?”

Readers, there’s a whole lot that I don’t know. The events recounted in this post are a mere sampling of my deficits. But I am certain that there is really only one thing a girl can do in the aftermath of self-inflicted trauma such as I have described. I pointed my running vehicle in the direction of the nearest coffee establishment and drowned my sorrows in a large cup of iced joe as the sky opened and rain poured down in violent torrents.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Tuesday, Squared

What could be sweeter than a group of girls huddled around a pan of double chocolate brownies? How about two groups of girls discussing the Important Things in Life around two different brownie pans on opposite ends of town?

For almost a decade, I’ve looked for ways to encourage other people to replicate what we do at my house every Tuesday. Lot of laughter and tons of love over big helpings of chocolate…why keep all the fun to myself?

When the newspaper reran a magazine article I wrote last spring, I finally got a taker—an amazing young woman who just survived her first night with a houseful of girls who were hungry for a dose of scripture and a whole lot of chocolate.

The combination is so good, you should join us so we can serve it up cubed.

Sunday, July 13, 2008


“I have the memories in my head and heart. I’m OK with going to live somewhere else.”
--woman on the local news, about city council plans to route a highway through her living room.

The first time I ever went to my friend, Lori’s, house she was bailing me out of a jam. Mere days before the birth of my son, I accidentally became the chairperson for our church’s Christmas food drive. Don’t ask me how this happened; I was as baffled as those poor saps one occasionally reads about in an Offbeat News Brief who suddenly finds themselves Mayor of some small Burg after a family member scribbled their name on a ballot on a lark. All I know is I showed up at the wrong place with my three year old and a box of crayons, and next thing I knew, there were turkeys to buy, canned goods to sort, and a perplexing list of deliveries that had to be made to unfamiliar neighborhoods. As with any trauma, the subsequent memories are hazy and dark.

The next thing I remember is being Lori’s living room, surrounded by a cast of people who may well have been wearing halos and white robes while they stuffed boxes with food and told me encouraging stories about Childbirth and Christmas Babies. I seem to remember Lori tying my shoes, which I’d taken to wearing unlaced after I became too large to see my feet. I may have handled a can or two of beans and applied my Crayola seal to a few cards before the metaphoric angels whisked everything away. A Christmas Miracle, played out on a set that would become a second home to me for the next fourteen years.

The last time I left my friend Lori’s house, I had no way of knowing it would be the Last Time. Oh, I knew the house was going up for sale, that a long-threatened move northward was inevitable. But considering today’s slumping real estate market, I figured an Actual Sale was something I wouldn’t need to worry about for a long, long, time, kind of like taking Metamucil, or collecting Social Security.

Readers, don’t allow the media to lull you into a false sense of security. A home can disappear from the market faster than two scoops of Ben and Jerry’s on a hot summer day. I’ve seen two go in less time than it’s taken me to get all my flower beds weeded. Should a for sale sign appear in the lawn of one of your loved ones, run, don’t walk to the local bakery to order your Bon Voyage Cake and Farewell Balloons.

Even after it became apparent that, against all odds, a sale was, indeed, imminent I fully anticipated making an official Final Visit. I suppose I imagined a scene not unlike a series finale of a much loved sitcom: the last shift at Cheers, the Friends gang meeting for a final round of coffee at Central Perk, M*A*S*H, post-cease-fire. However, a parade of realtors, perspective buyers, inspectors, and handy men descended upon Lori’s home over recent weeks, hampering on-site visits. But I also I detected a faint reticence in my friend’s voice whenever talk turned to a home-visit scenario: she didn’t want any help painting or packing, just some time to sit at the coffee shop and get away from it all.

It wasn’t until the Last Day that I got it.

“Don’t go over there,” Lori said. “It’s empty. Everything’s gone. I don’t want those images in your head,” she said, immediately listing some of the pictures she hopes I’ll retain: poker parties and pasta dinners, bad movies and mugs of coffee. Oh, the snapshots I can add to the slide show—the day of the Big Yard Sale to raise money for my Africa trip, the night we pulled my five year old son’s stubborn, blackened front tooth, the Thanksgiving the tablecloth caught fire. Fourteen years of birthdays, picnics, fireworks, and made up holidays. We trimmed trees, planned weddings, and dreamed up terrific adventures—some that even happened. There were special days and ordinary days, with the Very Last One thoroughly indistinguishable from all the rest.

There are the kind of goodbyes where everyone involved knows that something good is over. Other goodbyes are simply transitions. That’s not to say they’re easy; on the contrary, ever writer knows how tough it is to nail a smooth segue. But no matter how choppy a transition may prove, a finale isn’t the right response, any more than a standing ovation would be between acts of a play. So I’ve decided that I have no choice but to accept that stories move forward, and that just about any decent production involves a set change or two.

I figure that while the furniture’s being shuffled around for the new set, it would be a good time to think about what I’ve derived from the plot so far:

That life is more about people than perfection. (Who knew that you could show up at a picnic with the three deviled eggs you rescued when the rest of the platter crashed…and no one will be disappointed in you.)

That bodies are really, really awkward, and it’s OK to laugh about them.

That “I’m sending you drugs, costumes, and a man” is the most reasonable thing you can tell a friend when you’re sending your son to her house with cold medicine on Halloween.

That with the merest amount of research, you can find a legitimate reason to celebrate just about any day.

That dreams are the stuff of life, even if they don’t always come true.

That life is too short to eat bad cheese. (Lori’s response to me on her first visit to my house when I offered to make her a grilled sandwich with low-fat cheese. I never bought it again.)

That there are Givers and there are Takers, and Givers have a lot more friends.

That flexibility is a good thing. (Did you know that it’s OK to end a New Year’s Eve party for a bunch of tired moms at 9 PM because it’s midnight somewhere, and you can
pretend you’re there??)

That it’s never about the stuff.

That home is a place where you are accepted and loved, even if it takes you three hours to get there.

Lori, it’s been an amazing Act One. I can’t wait to see what happens on the set in Act Two.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hang Time

I’m taking the world’s longest hang gliding lesson.

Eleven years, ten months, six days, and counting.

My adventure started in the mid-nineties with an early fall trek to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina with some friends. Following a brief instructional session, we hit what the Kitty Hawk folks like to reference as the “soft, forgiving” sand dunes which cushioned the fledgling efforts of none other than the legendary Wright brothers.

Our package included 5 introductory flights. I recall two things about my time on the dunes: the thrill of my running feet leaving earth as I went airborne, and an unfortunate crash and burn into said forgiving sand. I’d managed three flights before ill-winds turned the cushiony dunes against our party, reducing many of us to sand-blasted recipients of “wind checks”—a kind of extreme sport IOU—for the grounded flights.

Yesterday I attempted to cash in. See, wind checks are a pretty durable form of currency—you can cash them in, evidently by just claiming to have them (no one even asked to see mine) and they never, ever expire. So my daughter and I headed south, me clutching an aging wind check and her signed up for the same introductory lesson package I was planning to complete. The day was sunny and mild. We were set to fly. That is, until we pulled into Kitty Hawk beneath the specter of ill winds that blew a band of thunder storms just ahead of our arrival. We ran to the Flight School building through a cold sheet of rain and reviewed a range of options with the Instructor Studs, who basically delivered a lot of bad news in extremely charming fashion.

Our chances for flying that day were “abysmal.”

They were happy to troll the internet for lodging options for us, even though radar predictions for the following day weren’t appreciably better, and all the classes were full, anyway.

But they did know a great sandwich shop, in case we were hungry.

So with my hang gliding lesson back in a state of suspension, and it occurred to me that I should probably take some notes on what I’ve learned so far, just in case it takes another 12 years for me to resume it (although I’m aiming for August).

Here’s what I’ve got, just shy of mid-lesson:

That it is possible to keep track of something as small as a coupon for nearly 12 years. I find this fact fascinating. Let’s face it, I live in a home where key items such as passports, social security cards, children’s immunization records, and at least one queen sized striped sheet routinely vanish. The thought of a simple 3" x 5" piece of newsprint surviving nearly 12 years under our auspices leaves me frankly stunned. The fact that neither the document itself or even a scrap of verifying evidence was ever requested from the coupon, would admittedly be depressing had the Instructor Studs not issued me a new wind check for 5 full flights, which means I essentially redeemed the coupon for more than twice it’s worth. Not bad in today’s economy.

That my daughter is a great driver, even in the rain.

That Instructor Studs really know their sandwich shops.

(those are thin slices of sweet apples, just beneath the cheese.)

And that anticipation is a pretty cool thing. I can’t wait for August. Maybe I’ll wrap this thing up in under 12 years after all. Or perhaps the adventure will stretch out a little further, capturing even more memories to savor. I can’t wait to find out.


Blog Widget by LinkWithin