Distant Journaling on a Bad Storm.

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Start the month right. Give each day a little blog entry. Kiss October’s round and orange jack-o-lantern butt buh-bye. Its moon wanes, high, still a bit bright, and it hangs with Jupiter and Venus in the morning darkness when the … Continue reading

Back on board.


@postaday 183; #postaday2011.

I’m back at work, back on board the Mothership, in my cube. Screened a few voice mails. I had been keeping up with emails while on vacation. I’m still a little wobbly. Mentally rested. Looking to be sure nothing falls between the cracks.

I had not had a vacation in five years. We had been on the Super Ferry for a day. We went to the Big Island and to Maui for a couple of weekends. But we had not taken a real trip where we packed so much into such a short time. There was very little down time while on the Mainland. New York City, the Jersey Shore, Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, family and friends, restaurants and take out. So glad it’s over. I knew I would be.

Two complaints, although I know no one ever wants to read a blog fraught with kvetching. Our hotel suite with the Marriott TownePlace Suites in Mount Laurel had three smoke detectors or fire alarms hardwired to the ceiling. For our last four evenings they would go off for no apparent reason. One night the girls were sleeping over at their cousins’ house, and we got moved to the last vacant room on the property. The management yanked the alarms out of the ceiling to quiet them. We get a call in the other hotel room early the next morning to go back to that room so they could clean the one we had slept in and get it ready for another guest. What they did was reinstall the detectors, but I seriously don’t think they bothered to determine why they were going off in the first place. Something funky about that suite. And it’s irresponsible for the operators to have put us back into it. At 3:30 on the morning we were to depart, they went off again. We got our things and left for the airport. What would  you do?

The other challenge was that Kid1 had a perforated eardrum, and we had to take her to a doctor. Since I follow @VirtuaHealth on Twitter, and because my sister-in-law recommended it, we took her to their brand new Children’s Emergency Room in Vorhees, N.J. After a really trying flight home, she’s now on the mend. And what can you say about an organization that sends a card to a patient a few days later to let her know they care about her? Nice touch!

John and I have decided it will be a long time before we go out to eat again. We really missed the home cooked meals and I know he missed washing the dishes! We returned to Honolulu late last Tuesday after being up nearly 26 hours. It’s taken me a while to adjust back to Hawaiian Standard Time. We got a few workouts in since then and things are just about back to normal. Almost.

The thrills are in the journey.


@postaday 171; #postaday2011.

Maybe it’s because I’ve never had to work in Washington, D.C., but it is one of my favorite places to visit. Just as we found on our day trip to New York City, WDC is very crisp and sophisticated. I love it. Sure, there are the brusk, self-absorbed and legends-in-their-own-minds types on the periphery, but for the most part, I can’t help but get a sense of aloha. It started with the hotel valet and the reception desk, it occurred when we had to squeeze by the guy shampooing the carpet in the hallway, I expect it tomorrow when we board the metro and head to Sen. Daniel Akaka’s office for our Capitol Tour. Mahalo, Elisa!

Entering Delaware, aka, Bad-to-the-Bone Zone.

The drive down from South Jersey was intense. I don’t get that aloha feeling along I-95. It takes a lead foot and a white-knuckle ride to hang with the 18 wheelers and the regular movers and shakers who dart from lane to lane, hopscotching their way to the finish line. I imagine their big shiny SUVs panting in reserved parking stalls. Would one of those have belonged to me?

Early this morning we were woken by a dramatic thunder and lightning storm that blew in and out within 30 minutes. Having been through a few of these before I departed for a life beyond New Jersey, I walked around the suite unplugging all of the family’s iDevices in case there was a nearby hit, crisping our bushel of electronic apples.

Between Perryville and Baltimore we drove through another wild thunderstorm. Visibility was nearly nill. It’s thrilling, but I do prefer appreciating dramatic weather from a safer perch, such as a hotel room.

The Benderettes will get their fill of museums over the next few days. I’m grateful most of the museums in our nation’s capitol have free admissions. Your tax dollars at work.

Kish me, I’m Irish!


@postaday 77; #postaday2011

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

I’m one-quarter Irish, more or less. My mother’s father was Scots-Irish, whose family, if my memory serves correctly, escaped the 1845-49 potato famine for the United States. My maternal ancestors settled in Philadelphia, hence my propensity to tough love the occasionally unlucky professional sports team.

I grew up with a lot of kids in big families who were more Irish than me. What I remember most about them were how easy going these families were. In my class were kids who had big sisters and brothers, little sisters and brothers, baby sisters and brothers, even nieces and nephews — despite still being in grammar school!

I was in awe of my more Irish, good-Catholic friends’ families. No birth control, Friday confessions, Sunday Mass, lots of beer and boiled beef. Plenty of red heads, plenty of black Irish — the fair-complected, raven-haired blue-eyed set. They were boisterous, loud, proud and always, always, always wore hand-me-down clothes with pride. Most of the time the teenage siblings were sports stars, so the younger ones were always proud to wear their big brothers’ old gear.

I marched in plenty of parades when I was at Holy Cross High School, but the favorite was always the bus trip up to be in the New York City Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. We’d follow the green line that was painted along the route from 5th Avenue (candy bar!!!) in a parade where it was often cold and blustery (like today in Hawaii!) and five hours long. At the end of the parade we’d have some free time to grab some food, see the sights and be back on the buses in a few hours to go back to South Jersey. It was a long, fun day, full of crazy memories.

I remember one year after we were through marching, these men asked if they could take our pictures. Good girls that we were, of course we agreed! Then they started taking pictures of our legs! We wore these short little dresses with white cowboy boots. Hmmmm. High school legs? How would we know? And this was BEFORE PhotoShop!

So today, of course, I’m wearing some green. Before the Guinness, the saying goes, “Kiss me, I’m Irish!” But after the Guinness, or the Jamesons, or the Bushmills, the saying goes, “Kish me, I’m Irish!”  Pucker up!