Tag Archives: mom&dad


I know you’ve been wondering, and I am so happy to report that I’ve found my retainer.  I actually went looking for it a few months back, and thought it had been lost to the garbage since I’d moved out of the house.  I couldn’t blame mom, considering I would have probably done the same thing.  I mean really, who wants a 10 year old multi-thousand dollar piece of plastic?

But in a miraculous moment I was going through the bottom dresser drawers at my parents’ new house, and like a tiny gift, I found it in cahoots with an old razor and pumas stone.  I’m embarrassed to tell you that I was ecstatic.  I immediately brought it to the bathroom, gave it a good rinse, brushed it with some industrial-strength toothpaste and shoved it against the roof of my mouth.


Mom was so proud.



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Last Thanksgiving day my dad went through the Chicago Tribune ads (a normal off-work routine) and pointed to a remote-controlled helicopter in the Ace Hardware ad saying, “Now THAT is a doorbuster deal!  I think I’m going to go get one of those tomorrow.”  My mom and I laughed it off–the thought of my dad in the backyard with a remote-controlled device added to the fact that no one in our household ever steps foot near a retail store on Black Friday was worth a chuckle.

But the next day he came home with a 3-foot long bock and there was great joy as he unpacked is new helicopter and chased it around the back yard.  He was like a little kid–and my mom and I, still dumbfounded that he’d followed up on what we thought was a joke, couldn’t help but peak our heads out the window to watch.

After an hour or so of what might compare to “red-rider-BB-gun bliss” the helicopter landed on the roof of the house.  In an attempt to make it air-born again the ‘copter ended up on its side, unable to rotate the blade, which immediately broke.

The joy was gone.

When he took it to be fixed a few months later the repair shop told him that the counterweight–the part that had broken–was the only non-fixable part of the remote control helicopter.


This Christmas, while opening presents at my brother’s home there was great surprise (and irony) when my brother opened a 3-foot long box from his in-laws.  “Thanks for the remote control helicopter,” my brother said.  “Those things are great.  Just be sure not to break the counter-weight,” my dad warned.


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I’m at home in the routine

I’m on a suburban retreat for the weekend–hiding out in my parents’ house and joining their in their normal routine: dinner out Friday night (to bed by 9pm sharp), errands Saturday, sunrise mass, breakfast at the “Star”,  Sunday night pizza and a movie.  It is a routine I have grown to love and won’t let them stray from when I come home.  They always complain that they’re being lame by going to bed so early…but I secretly revel in the routine.

Today they finalized an offer for a new home.  Perhaps my feelings will change on moving day, but my mom was surprised when I said that I didn’t have much of an emotional attachment to the present home–despite the fact that I’ve lived here since I was eight.  That means birthday parties, sleep overs, prom pictures, and the majority of my Christmases have occurred under this roof.

But, I know that home is where the dinner table is–as long as they’re there with the bottle of wine and we’re all asleep before SNL comes on.


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Poland, place of rest

I’ve been asked to comment on my travels abroad. So here it is. Sorry for the delay Mr. Parkinson.

First of all, why Poland?
Well, my friend Elizabeth had been suggesting I come visit her in Paris for a number of months. But as the year went on time and money began to dwindle and I’d brushed it off. Unfortunately, after sitting around with my parents and a bottle of wine (a bottle? make that 2) sometime back in the spring I started to get the travel bug. Liz said, “pick the place. I’ll meet you there.” Poland: relatively inexpensive, holy, and wouldn’t be mobbed by beach-crazed Americans. Poland it was.

I arrived a few hours late and was met at the airport by my friend Jake, who I’d met a few months earlier in Pennsylvania at the Theology of the Body course. He was a bit confused as to where my luggage was–as was I. Amsterdam, supposedly. My layover there had been interesting, it was the one place in the world where my limited Dutch skillz came in handy. Everything was also in English as well, so really, Dutch continues to be a useless language. Lekker!

I met the travel-weary Elizabeth at the hostel and we spent the evening eating perogies in Old Town Warsaw.

After our visit with the very helpful reference librarian, we took a few moments to show our apreciation.

Day 2 we ventured to the library to attempt to find out where Liz would go to do family research. The reference librarian was VERY helpful, despite the old school computer catalogs and our lack of Polish.

Still not quite sure what this cake actually was...we dedcided coconut and goodness.

The afternoons (this one being no exception) were often spent going to mass and having a cappuccino. Jake drove us to Krakow via Częstochowa–in which lies the Black Madonna and Polish National Shrine. This place is a big deal, but I felt completely stupid as I 1) don’t speak Polish and 2) don’t really know anything about the Black Madonna. But, I was able to stand about 20 feet from her for mass–which I presume has some sort of special graces attached to it.

Day 3 was spent milling around the Old Town of Krakow. Eating the usual picnic lunch (large pretzel looking things, cheese, fruit), shopping and mass. On this particular day I made friends with the cute security guard at the Cathedral, who snuck me into the sanctuary for free to pray before mass. It is a good thing he didn’t ask for my number because my grandma made it very clear I was not to fall in love with a Polish boy and get married. Whew. Close call.

Day 5. Sunday. Papal Tour.
Jake had told us to catch a train to Wadowice, birth place of Karol Wojtyla, and on the route back we’d also be able to stop at the convent of St. Faustina. So Liz and I ventured to the train station about 40 minutes before the scheduled departure (the train station was across the street). Despite our best efforts at Polish and pointing at the printed email from Jake, the ticket ladies kept telling us to go “Hall” “down there” “left!” After about 5 tries to buy tickets we were eventually brought to a tiny office where we bought official PAPAL TRAIN tickets. And once on the platform this disneyworld ride pulled up:

more to come..


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Watch: “watch out”. Warning: “one has been spotted”.

A little known fact about this girl: when I was little I was deathly afraid of storms. I remember spending a lot of time hiding out with mom and dad and Chris in our unfinished basement and I’m still unsure if it was because it stormed a lot when we were young, or because it was the only thing that could keep me sane during rain.

Yesterday, during a Scrubsfest, the sirens began to sound to alert our little town that tornadoes were eminent. Now, I’m an adult and all, and I’m over that whole deathly-afraid -of-storms thing, but there is still this eeriness that looms. It makes my heart beat fast and my breathing become short. Normally I’d stand outside and watch as the clouds made their way toward us, but being in a new place and having heard that sightings had occurred in towns within 10 miles we decided to descend to the basement. Sandy could tell I was nervous.

Knowing that the rain was to hit us a few minutes after 8pm we shut the windows, and JUST as it started to downpour we made our way to the laundry room…a super creepy place in the underbelly of our building. Halfway down the stairs I worried about the possibility of the lights going out–which would leave us in the creepy basement in the dark. “Should we get a flashlight?” “No,” Sandy said. “Keep going!”

So, we spent the next half-hour chatting with friends from the washing machines. Luckily the power didn’t go out…because then we also would have been without a wireless signal. This was the result.

Hiding from the storms!
Luckily, we are still alive.


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New Toys

Dad and I were sitting around a the day before Thanksgiving when, mid-sentence, he remembers that he has something to show me.  He retrieves a newspaper ad for Ace Hardware from the other room and returns with it flipped open.  He sets it on the counter and explains that come (Black) Friday morning the RC helicopter on page 3 would be his.  I laughed at the thought of him pushing old ladies at the hardware store to ensure that he got to the helicopter first.  I also laughed because this grown man, my father, was telling me that he wanted a radio-controlled helicopter.

We’d never been much of a family to go shopping on that Friday–in fact we avoided it at all cost–so I was a bit taken aback when he was gone post-Thanksgiving morning.  “Mom, where is dad?”  “Off at Ace getting that helicopter he keeps talking about.”  Apparently, I wasn’t the only one he’d discussed his plans with.  I also wasn’t the only one who wasn’t sure whether or not to take him seriously.

Soon enough the 2 foot ‘copter was charging its batteries in our living room and my dad was as giddy as ever.  Every time he left the room he was sure to inform my mom and me that he would be fully aware if we touched his new toy.

I wasn’t around for the test-run, and it is probably for the better, because it ended up landing on the roof followed by a crash on the deck.  My brother tells me he tried to jimmy-rig the thing with toothpicks or wire or something engineery.  When I asked him about it the next day the twinkle in his eye was gone as the helicopter was pronounced broken.

I look forward to what Christmas brings.


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I’m sorry, I didn’t notice you sitting there.

Went out with mom&dad as an “ode to short week/tomorrow is thanksgiving and we’re NOT cooking” dinner.  We went to a favorite sports bar and sat at a cozy table nuzzled between the bar and the row of high-top tables along the edge of the room.  Near the end of dinner a group of Black Wednesdayers started taking over the high-top next to us.  Thats cool.  The table was open. Whatevs.
Half of the group remained at the bar.  They’d obviously (obviously, as in, I’d watched them) had a shot or two.  It was about the time that we got our bill that they started shouting to their friends, still at the bar.  And then there’s us.  We’re in the middle.  “HEY!  JOHN!  Hey John!”  “YEAH!  GET ME ONE TOO!”

This went on for a while and I was about ready to say something to them when my mom looks up and says, “Welp, it is time to go.”  We all know why.  It is then that my dad starts yelling our names across the table to us.  “LORI!”  “KATE!”  “TIME TO GO!”

Take that.  We’re so bad(z).

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