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September 2011

Remembering Union Street

7 years ago (next month) I sold my childhood home (approx. 30 minutes outside of NYC) and moved my parents "down the shore" to live in "the village" or what my kids warmly refer to as "Camp Mama and Papa."

Union Street Lamp
So, a week before the move, we took our kids up for one last visit and my husband started to take a couple of random pictures.

Union Street Arbor
At first, I couldn't quite understand why.  Although, yes, the gardens were magnificent and often times my parents would receive compliments from passersby.

Union Street Patio
My kids grew up here visiting with their grandparents nearly every Sunday and yet I couldn't help but look forward to watching each of them (and us) make many more memorable moments in Mama and Papa's shiney new home.

Union Street Front Yard
The last I heard, the house on Union Street was being rented (AGAIN!) and, living 90 minutes away, my parents sometimes STILL visit, insisting that, you know, they just happened to be in the neighborhood.

A few weeks ago, I drove up north to run a few errands (okay, only one, the Hungarian butcher is still there, enough said) and did EXACTLY what I told my parents NOT to do.

I drove up Union Street, right passed the house and, I swear, I could hear my heart break a little. 

The foot bridge, the lamp post, the rose-covered arbor, the greenhouse that my father built using leftover materials recycled from various landscaping job sites, it was ALL gone. 

I did NOT recognize it, anymore.

Today, I'm heading out to check on my parents (my dad tore a ligament in his "good arm," yesterday) but, not before I make a quick stop for them at the Hungarian butcher...ONLY!

Union Street House

So, yeah, thank you, Garth (NHRN) this is EXACTLY how I will always remember Union Street.

© 2003 - 2011 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2016

My Father, Zee Pool Mon-nee-tor

The Pool Monitor

I'm a people watcher to the extent where I can sit, pretty much any place, for hours and, you know, make other people wonder, "Why IS she staring at me like that?!?"

Because, it's in my genes, along with a weird sort of magnetism, or ability to draw complete strangers into sharing their WHOLE life story (I'm a good listener, too) oh, and certain parts of my body are extremely follicle-ly gifted (you're welcome!) I get it from my dad.

Dad the Pool Monitor

My father volunteered to be pool monitor (checks badges, accepts tickets from visitors) a couple hours,  twice a week, this summer and if you've ever hung around the geriatric set (figuratively AND literally speaking) then you would probably understand when he tells you, "Izzzzz no pic-a-nik!"

It was his last day (as pool monitor) but, he did not want to go, because it was between the hours of "NO splashing" and "They're not OUR grandkids."

I said that I would go with him, anyway, just to keep him company and it would give him (and me) the chance to sit and make fun of the...I mean...interact with the rest of the villagers.

"Did you ask permission to take pictures?"

No Diving

You know, it was SUCH a beautiful day and I really could have sat there for hours, I don't believe the cement was very interested in what I was doing, really.

"I em herrrrr perrrrrrmeeeeee-shun!"


I mean, he IS the pool monitor and, honestly, the pool chairs and loungers didn't seem to mind, either.

My kids think their grandfather is funny (me, too) but, sometimes they have a real hard time figuring out whether Papa is being serious, or not (ditto) like, when he tells them how he, you know, hates senior citizens.

"Oh, okay, YOU gave her permission, uh-uh, and you are?"

Okay, not really, it's just, well, at this point, my father feels life is too short to worry about Jackwagons, who insist on acting all, you know, Jackwagon-y.

"I em fin-eeeshed speaking to you."

Me, too... AND... I really, really hate it when people get all patronize-y, like that!

"Sir, really, you're not making any friends, talking down to people, like that."

[eyes go wide]

 "Oh, I forrrrget, you did not meet my frrrrrend Joe...Joe, dis izzzz my dah-terrrr."

[one beat, two beats]

"Yeah, I noticed the resemblence."

UGH!  That Papa!  He's so, so funny.

"Nice to meet you, too!"

Morale of the Story:  If a man insisted always on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it. ~ Herodotus

Aaaaaand, THEN, make it HIS life's mission to drive us womenz right off the deep end...riiiiiiiiight?!?

[sound of crickets, chirping]

Turkey Vulture
Look, over there, up on that satellite thingy, isn't that one of those turkey vultures, up there?!?


© 2003 - 2011 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2016

After the Storm

Blue Skies
We heard it was coming, a few days after experiencing our first earthquake and it was supposedly one of the biggest storms to hit the New Jersey coast in recent memory.

We prepared, each in our own way and as much as we could, considering our house loses power whenever the town burps or hiccups, stocking up on can goods, batteries, candles, lots of ice and Ibuprofen (okay, that last one was for me) thinking that we would be without electric for a day or two.

Five (5) days later, my middle girl called me at the laundromat to say that the lights came on and I cried.

We fared better than most.

A week after the storm, it was announced that the federal government has approved New Jersey’s disaster assistance request for state residents in ALL 21 counties impacted by Hurricane Irene.

Just a few miles away, there are people we know who are still without power and/or draining a swimming pool in their basement.

As we wait our turn to estimate the cost of the damage caused by Irene (at last count, our living room ceiling sprung about a dozen leaks and the wallpaper by our front door burst open to expose a magical water fountain underneath) there is nothing that could not be repaired, or cannot be dealt with, over time.

Not when there were lives lost.

Although, I feel it safe to admit that...YES!...the last week or so has been very stressful.

Except, the part where we spent two gorgeous days and nights with my parents (see pic above!) or, hosting an impromptu virtual sleepover with online friends (thanks, you and Gabs do good face, Jenn!)

Oh, and ALL four of the kids are actually looking forward to starting school tomorrow (FTW!)

I, on the other hand, am very, very thankful to be able to sit here, in this house (filled to capacity with unmatched socks and mildewy as it may be) I get it.

People have experienced worse...of course, they always do...but, we WERE lucky and I am just happy to have the chance to write...again...after the storm.

Howeverrrrrrr, the next person who insists that...pssshhhh...Hurricane Irene was NUH-THING!...gets a Wet Willy (look it up!)

© 2003 - 2011 This Full House

© This Full House 2003-2016