Sunday, November 18, 2012

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

I would normally insert some sort of excuse  apology in here as to why my blog follows the pitiful pattern of falling apart just after the Hodgepodge every week, but really does anybody care?  Does anybody notice?  I think in blogging, if you miss seizing the moment it's best to carry on and know another moment is waiting just around the bend.

Hubs has been at a meeting in Texas since last Monday.  I hope he can get back home without a passport because goodness, the US is in turmoil right now.  Really we need to be on our knees for this country.

That isn't where I intended to go with this post, but sometimes words have a mind of their own on this side of the pond and sometimes I think editing is overrated.

Back to my week...I trekked to my mom's on Tuesday afternoon and by trekked I mean, got in my car and drove down the interstate.

It's going to be one of those posts. The kind where I'm all over the place and you're gonna need a strong cup of somethin' if you have any hope at all of keeping up.

I arrived at my moms in time for dinner Tuesday evening, and my brother and younger sister and their families joined us to celebrate my brother's birthday.  I snapped this picture and after I posted it online we realized he and my nephew were dressed alike.

Complete coincidence and so funny, because we didn't really notice that at the table. My mom made a delicious meal and I made banana cream pie cupcakes for dessert since my brother is a fan of banana cream pie. 

Sisters rock. 
So do mothers. 
Just sayin'.

On Wednesday I did something I've never done before...I went to a seniors luncheon with my mom.  You should know that while my mama is 82 she does not look it.  At.all.  She would not want to be identified here as a senior citizen, but she is.  She rebels against it though, which I think helps keep you young. Her church has a group that meets for lunch and a program once a month, and the age requirement is 55 and ups. It's fair to say most in attendance were older than the minimum.  

Except me.
I was under minimum age.  The young one.  Ha.

It occurred to me as I sat at a table surrounded by seniors, that I'm not too far away from meeting the senior luncheon eligibility requirement.  Believe you me, that is quite a thought.  There is no way can I be anywhere close to being eligible, is there?  In the year 2012 is age 55 really senior?  I think not.

Thursday afternoon we trekked to my sister's house in center city Philadelphia and again, by trekked I mean we took the car across the bridge. We picked my nephew up at school and took him to a tennis lesson which was highly entertaining.  Have you ever watched 30 six and seven year old children play tennis?  They were divided into four groups so about seven in each.  His young instructor had the patience of Job which was a wonderful thing to see. Balls are flying and rolling and kids are jumping and bouncing and loving life,  yet somehow he managed to have them stand on the line and hit the ball back and give him a big high five when they succeeded.

My mom and I did some Christmas shopping each day and Friday was no different. She had friends in town for the day too, so we met them for a leisurely lunch at Seasons 52.  A very nice afternoon until we got back to her house and smelled gas. We thought we'd noticed it a couple days earlier, but the smell evaporated so we didn't call the gas company.

On Friday she called the gas company.

Turns out her furnace has a broken thingamabob and what that means is she needs a brand new furnace.  Ugh. I'm pretty sure that was not on her Christmas list.

Do you think the red maple in her front yard makes bad news a little easier to bear?  It literally takes your breath away every time you step outside.  

I always take the pup with me when I go to my moms and she is in her glory there. Partly because my mom is a softy and sneaks her treats, but also because I take her for long walks through the neighborhood.  

The neighborhood.  It is a sprawling subdivision with sidewalks urging you to walk just a little bit further.  Houses are not huge, but they are plenty big enough.  It is a cozy corner of the world where lawns are mowed and leaves are raked.  Where mothers push strollers and kids ride their bikes and neighbors wave and stop to chat.  It is the stomping grounds of my childhood and as I walk these quiet streets on a clear autumn day I remember. 

I wandered all the way down to my old elementary school, a place I hadn't seen up close in years. From the front it hasn't changed all that much, except the trees are taller. They've added a new wing out back, but I can still see the field where I learned to pitch a softball to my 6th grade teacher. The field is still there too, and I remember end of year field days where we competed in the long jump and ate orange Popsicles in the warm June sunshine.  

I walked by the side door, the spot where we lined up every year on the first day of school. It was here you waited with great anticipation for a teacher to call your name and claim you for the year.  We never knew whose class we'd be in until we got to school on that first day, but you hoped for the nice one, the one who didn't yell.  Then you crossed your fingers hoping your best friend would be called too.

That end of the building is the blacktop end...the place where a thousand games of dodge ball were played...where ropes were skipped and friends were tagged.  Where stones were tossed and grabbed from a chalky hopscotch board beneath your feet.

From the front of the school I look up the street and remember the 'short cut'. This route home was dubbed 'the short cut' by the kids who lived a few blocks up.  I was one of those kids and we often took the shortcut home at lunchtime or after school. You walked up the street but then had to cut through a couple of yards to get to our street. You could do that back then because neighbors knew neighbors and very few had fences.

When I was in the first grade and walking home for lunch one day a group of us stopped to talk on the corner where we crossed. A boy in the group was swinging his jacket in the air above his head and somehow he managed to catch me with the zipper. All of a sudden blood was everywhere, literally gushing from the top of my head.

No one had really seen what happened, we all just saw the blood and heard my hysterical screams as I took off running toward home.  I remember my best friend running behind me also crying hysterically, asking me if I was dying.  I  think first grade girls have always had a touch of the drama.  ahem.

As I went racing up the street we saw an older woman I didn't know working in her garden. I suspect she heard me before she saw me and she came running over asking me to please let her drive me home.  It was only a couple of blocks, but my mama had drilled into my head never ever ever under any circumstances, even when blood is pouring out of your head, should you accept a ride from a stranger.  I said no thank you between my sobs, accepted the towel she offered, and ran on home.

My mom took me to the doctor which for us meant a trip across the bridge into Philadelphia. My dad was military and we had to see a doctor at the Navy Hospital.  I remember the tetnus shot and the teeny tiny little doll couple purchased afterwards, my reward for being a brave girl. They were dressed in Amish clothing with matching purple shirts and black trousers and skirt.

It's funny what you remember.

I've lived and traveled a million jillion places in this big 'ole world, but every now and then I need to let  a place that sleeps within my soul waken and rise to the surface.  I need to click my heels together and think of home and the girl I used to be.  


  1. this was a nice post! I feel the same way about living here where I grew up. My girls went to the same schools as I did and even had some of the same teachers. Its a nice feeling.

  2. What a nice post, even if you were all over the place. One thing for sure, Joyce ... when you take us all over the same place, it's always entertaining. ;-)

    That tree in front of your mama's is GORGEOUS!!

  3. What a lovely story about home.

  4. A great post and sounds very similar to my experiences as a child. The pics of the neighborhood make me want to go there. Very nice and the tree is gorgeous.

  5. Lots of nice things to think about in this post. I haven't been back to my childhood neighborhood for several years, but I will be going in March. You have me looking forward to it more that I already was.
    I more than qualify for a seniors luncheon but, as yet, I haven't put that qualification to use. I am, however, always ready to take advantage of a senior discount. :)

  6. Your post gave me chills. What a sweet rememberance of days gone by.

  7. Oh Joyce, I made it through this entire post just enjoying your reminiscing. You touched on a little of everything... being almost a senior citizen (I don't think so!), learning to play softball, your trekking about here, there, and everywhere, your best friend crying with you during a scary time, your mama's cooking, and those cupcakes you made. Yum! Pinterest gives you the best ideas. I loved reading it all!


  8. I do look forward to your posts but I know I like to post maybe 3 times a week. Those who post daily make it hard for me to keep up with them. I try but it tires me out sometimes.

    Happy Birthday to your brother and they look so cute blowing out the candle. Well at the show 60 is a senior. Joyce, suddenly we reach that age and it is a huge awakening/surprise!! You still have a ways to go :)

    Thank you for sharing your childhood. I know it's a cliche but "Those were the days!"

  9. I so enjoyed this post! Memories, oh how I love memories. I have fond memories of my childhood, friends and games we played. I so hope my daughter has great memories of her childhood. Enjoying this week making memories with the grand kids! Thanks for sharing!
    until next time... nel

  10. Joyce, I loved this post, perhaps because there is so much of it that I can identify with. It is such a good thing to "remember". BTW, I have "crossed to the other side" of the senior citizen age, and most days it's not so bad. I promise.

  11. Awww, you CAN go home again!
    That tree is glorious!
    So glad you had a nice visit with your Mama.
    I drove by the home I grew up in last summer. It looked so small. My elementary school had burned down. It seemed so strange.

  12. I absolutely remember walking home from school at that age and getting stung by a bee . Why can't we have that kind of memory clarity now????

    The recipe for banana cream pie cupcakes definitely needs to be posted!

  13. It's amazing what you remember from our childhood. Going home can do that! I love that the little walkable towns still exist. I hope your husbands passport issue are settled. Have a wonderful Monday!

  14. There's something about returning to the world of your childhood that is so comforting. I LOVE going home and poking around the woods and streets where I grew up.

  15. Beautiful tree! I am glad you had a nice visit with your mom. Hope Hubs gets home safely.

  16. I love rambling. I am a pro at it myself. I loved that red tree. It was amazing.

  17. it is funny the memories that stick out to us--beautiful post---i really enjoyed reading this today--and yes that tree could surely make things better--happy thanksgiving joyce :)

  18. Hi Joyce! I was the woman sitting next to you at the Ree signing. I found your blog! I enjoyed meeting you on Saturday and have really enjoyed reading your blog!

    1. Hi Angela! Thanks for stopping was fun meeting PW and you too : ) I have a little summary set to post tomorrow about the day. Thanks for following along...I will go check out your friend's blog too.

  19. Wow, that was some post! You are so blessed to still be able to "go home again". Savor those days while you still can, for time is passing so quickly!

    Sorry about your mom's broken furnace, but yes, I think the sight of that beautiful tree would make me feel just a tad bit better :)

  20. Whew! Let me get another cup of coffee and read that again. :) I love your thought about "a place that sleeps in your soul". I, too, have lived in many places (we're on house #17 at the moment) but there is one spot that calls to my heart and I hope to some day go back and build a little cottage there on the farm where my dad grew up, then spend my "senior years" (which, btw, 55 is NOT) rocking on the porch and feeling the peace.

    Thanks for sharing your week - sounds like a good one!

  21. Thank you for sharing your trip down Memory Lane. Reminded me of some of my own.

  22. Thank you Joyce for sharing your memory lane with us, and bringing back some wonderful memories for me as well.....that could be a good blog for me sometime ;)

  23. I love when you meander, Joyce. I always learn something more about you and about "things" in general. Thanks.

  24. great her tree...gorgeous!