Category Archives: memories

New Riders of the Purple Sage

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Weinberg Center
Walking past the Weinberg Center in Frederick the other day, I remembered going to see the New Riders of the Purple Sage. We got a flat tire on the way to Frederick. Was André driving? Joe? I can’t remember, but I do remember walking to get help. It was cold. Very cold.

And we didn’t have cell phones because it was February 1979. Here’s an ad for the show:

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I need to remember that my parents let me go at 17 with friends to a concert an hour away. With no contact method. We had a problem and we solved it.

It’s a great reminder now that my guys are making bigger and bigger asks.

Bedtime stories.

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Books

If you were to ask me what I miss most about my boys’ younger years, I’d be quick to tell you I miss bedtime.

No, not because the days were long and I was exhausted. (Though the days were long and I was exhausted.)

No, I miss bedtime because there is something magical about reading those stories again and again with a child. I loved the giggles and the drowsy eyes and the questions. I loved the cuddles and the long hugs. I loved the “one more thing” as I was leaving the room and turning off the light.

I loved transitioning from picture books to chapter books. I loved moving to young adult books. And then, they didn’t want us to read to them anymore. It was gradual. I don’t remember exactly when it ended.

But, I miss it so much.

I’ll tell you this, though. All my guys know the surprise ending of Dinsmore and none of them would ever stand on a swivel chair and they all know how to make Mrs. Peters’ birthday cake.

Sitting at the bottom of the pool.

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Diving Helmet

Diving Helmet


When I was a kid, I was a swimmer. I was on the JCC team and we’d swim miles a week. It was hard, I remember, but I loved it. Sure, I occasionally vomited from swallowing too much water and sure, I hardly ever won a race. Still, I loved it.

I loved the quiet of it. I loved how the thoughts in my head were all mine and that I could think – really think – without the outside world or any other thoughts or sounds peeping in. Being underwater was this peaceful place that I owned.

When I was around 10 or 11, my family built a pool in our backyard. We’d swim all day long when it was warm enough, though no one had the stamina of my sister who would do laps until someone made her stop for dinner or bedtime.

So speaking of quiet and being underwater, my dad bought this diving helmet. It was just like the one pictured here. I looked it up:

This helmet was produced in the USA in the 1970′s. In those days it was sold for $49. It was used together with a 12 Volt or 110 Volt air compressor.People used it for fun in their pools or to inspect their boats. It is in fact a modern shallow water helmet that needed extra weights.

We would take turns putting on the heavy helmet and walking into the deep end and hanging out there. My father did it best; he’d take a folding chair with him and set it up the deep and and sit in the quiet. The only sound was the air coming in through the tube at the top.

We were talking about this the other day and he told my boys about the time that my brother wanted to get his attention and pulled on the cord – ala Jacques Cousteau – and disconnected the air cord. It’s funny to laugh about today, but imagine sitting there minding your own business at the bottom of the pool when the water starts to pour in. Scary! And that thing was heavy. (Obviously, my dad was okay and he laughs like crazy when he recounts the story.)

Next week, I start a swim class. It’s been 25 years or more since I really swam. (I used to swim laps back in my advertising agency days before work.) So this class is a stroke improvement and endurance class and I figure, I have no place to go but up. Thinking of the days when I could swim miles without even blinking, I wonder if I can make 10 laps without major effort. But we’ll see.

I am looking forward to the quiet.

Sunday in Paris

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No offense to you curling fans out there, but I find it very amusing to be in a hotel room in Paris watching the sport in German on TV while keeping my sick son company as my husband and other 2 sons venture out to a nice dinner. Aside from snacking on the amazing baguettes we picked up earlier, I plan to order the Japanese dinner from room service. And finish the bottle of wine Andrew & I started late this afternoon after my solo field trip to Marais. What an adventure.

This morning, I hung back with the sick one when the rest of the guys visited Versailles. They loved it. And afterward, I took them to find a pharmacy & to a really nice (and very French/not touristy) lunch.

Now, I’ll look for a pay-per-view movie to watch with the kid – assuming I can bring myself to switch the channel from the curling.

Jumping for joy.

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wendyjumping This is me at Blissdom last year. Alli took the pic. And I love it.

In 3 days, I’m jumping on a plane and headed to Dallas. Yes, to Blissdom! I’m having a tough time deciding what I’m most excited about:

  1. Seeing old friends
  2. Making new friends
  3. Teaching/speaking about Using Data for Creative and Impactful Marketing
  4. Hearing Chris Mann sing
  5. Seeing C.C. Chapman speak about Living An Amazing Life
  6. Sleeping in my own room (Sorry, Andrew. But, it’s just 2 nights!)
  7. Offline time with some of my Cabot colleagues

If you see me there, please say hello!

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Wendy & Amy Sanibel 1978
Today is my sister’s birthday. Yay!

My mom took this photo of us in 1978 in Sanibel, Florida. Years later, my sister (who is a photographer!) did something to it to make it look like this. She sent me a framed copy. These days, we see stuff like this all the time via Instagram, etc. But when she did this, it was really different. And awesome. I’ve had it on display ever since.

I love you, Amy. Happy Birthday.

xo

Life’s a beach.

You know what sucks?

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vacuum cleaner

Are you ever doing something totally mundane and get a memory flash? Well, that happened to me yesterday and it was so odd and funny to me. Let me back up a sec.

We have a new shower. It’s lovely, really lovely. Did we plan to get a new shower? No, we did not.

At any rate, the construction of this shower had a few rippling effects. One: The house got really, really dusty and dirty. And that is not to say that the crew didn’t clean up after themselves. It’s just dirty stuff. Two: Rosemary, who cleans our home bi-weekly, couldn’t come last week because of the construction. Why am I sharing all this? It’s a long way around to telling you that I spent a good part of yesterday cleaning the house. It was filthy. Filthy.

I scrubbed and rubbed and cleaned and vacuumed.

I don’t know if you vacuum your hard floor surfaces, but I do. Our vacuum allows us to turn off the brush so the wood floor doesn’t scratch. It’s nice. And it does a better job than sweeping. So, I vacuum, then use a Sh-Mop to dry mop, and then go back over it again with the Sh-Mop and Method Squirt & Mop.

So I did a lot of vacuuming yesterday. Hardly the most exciting news of all time. But when I finished, I was exhausted. Burned out. Numb. And, without thinking, I started wrapping the cord.

No, not in just an oval. But around and around and crisscross and crisscross and around and around. And the plug hit in the wrong place. Know what I mean? It hit so I couldn’t connect it to the cord to make it stay. So I unwrapped it and tried again in a different pattern.

I just wanted the plug to hook onto the cord.

And that’s when I had the vision. The vision of wrapping the cord on the Hoover that we used growing up. I did that same thing. The around and around and the crisscross and crisscross and around. All with the same goal as I had yesterday; to get the plug to stay put.

It was just so weird that I had this muscle memory, this automatic action.

Who does that? Are you an all-around wrapper or a crisscross wrapper? Does your plug just fly in the wind or connect to the cord?

Good night.

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Goodnight Bear This night light is in the hallway to my bedroom.

It’s had a long and useful life.

It was in my brother’s room when we were little. I had one just like it in pink.

It wasn’t bright. It just glowed.

I don’t know exactly why I have the blue one, but I do. It was plugged into the wall of my first baby son’s wall when he was born and until we moved east.

And then it was in the wall of the room he shared with his younger brother, while the baby slept in another bedroom.

There was a time when the boys wanted brighter lights. You know the kind with real bulbs and a plastic shield. Then, the little blue bear moved to the hallway in our old house.

Until we moved here 2-1/2 years ago. Then, the boys at 15, 13, and 12 did not want night lights. They were big, after all. So I plugged in the little blue bear in the hallway near my bedroom because I didn’t have the heart to put it away.

And now, it no longer glows. And no one needs it. But I don’t have the heart to throw it away. So I’ll tuck it into one of the boys’ memory boxes.

The Atlas Theater

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Today, I realized that I have over 100 draft posts on my blog. That means I started writing over 100 things that I decided not to post. This is the one of the older ones. No, the photo isn’t great. The memory is, though.

We’d taken the boys to the Atlas Theater in Washington to see Godspell. Though we had a very fun night, we didn’t think the show had aged so well. It was November 2008.

Good times.

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Ballet lessons.

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credit to katagaci

credit to katagaci

Before you accuse me of living in the past, let me defend myself. Stuff just crops up in my memory. It’s not as if I think about this stuff all day long. I swear!

But after writing about the quiet girl, it got me to thinking about the boys.

The boys in fifth grade.

I thought they were my good friends. They were popular, but not ‘too’ popular. One was tall and skinny and smart and funny. His friend? Not so tall and a little more solid. And also smart and funny. They were always together. Kind of like Laurel and Hardy. (Not to ruin the story or actually not even all that related but a little cathartic, he was a lot less funny when we re-met as adults. Or at least, he didn’t amuse me. At all.)

So, in fifth grade.

The tall guy. (And when I say tall? He was 6 feet tall in elementary school. Or at least that’s how I remember it.) So the tall guy comes up to me and says, “You need to ask my friend about his sister’s ballet lessons. He really loves his sister.”

And I cared about these guys. So I did. They were my friends.

“How are your sister’s ballet lesson’s going?” I asked about an hour later at recess.

“My sister doesn’t have any legs. I can’t believe you’d say that. I thought you were my friend.” And then he began to cry.

That was 1971. And I still remember the bile rising up in my throat.

It was months later that I learned he didn’t have a sister. Kids are mean. Just saying.