Last week I was at my parents’ house picking up some things to sell at a yard sale later this month. I thought there might be some things in the basement to sell but when I asked for the key we discovered it was with my dad at his work. We were locked out.
I had my eight year old daughter with me and as we walked back toward the front of the house she asked me for a bobby pin. I happened to have a couple in my hair, so I pulled one out and gave it to her and went inside to talk with my mom.
A few minutes later G. returned and handed me back the bobby pin.
“I couldn’t get it open.” She said.
By this time I started to have an inkling of what she wanted the bobby pin for – the lock on the cellar door. She had tried to pick it and failed.
“Here, you do it.” She said as she handed me the bobby pin.
I don’t know about you, but picking locks with bobby pins is not an experience we were exposed to growing up. Heck, we weren’t even allowed to have our elbows on the table at meals. Suffice to say, we just weren’t a “lock picking” family.
Recently, at 75, my mother was required to get an updated driver’s license photo. One day soon after getting the new picture, I overheard my mom talking to my brother and she said, “I wish I were a criminal, mugshots look better than this. I look like a little old lady in this picture.”
They made her take off her glasses for the photo.
Apparently by living a crime-free lifestyle we’ve missed out. I lack lock-picking skills and may never again see my 1980s Smurf figurine collection hidden in the bowels of my parents’ basement, and my poor, 75 year old mother is stuck looking like a “little old lady” on her driver’s license.
Shoulda been criminals.
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On clear days when I walk westward I get a view of the skyline of Philadelphia.
I love walking in the morning. My town has a marvelous, 2 mile “bike trail” running right through the center of it. It was built to cover the old railroad tracks no longer in use, so it truly does – run right through the center of town.
No matter what the weather or which direction I’m walking, I do enjoy my little path.
Since writing my post, Everyone is Friendlier than People from New Jersey, I’ve been more determined to greet passersby as I walk on the path or am out and about. In a sense, it has become My Mission.
Everyday as I walk the path I make an effort to say, “Good Morning” to the people I pass. This is a lot more awkward than you’d think it would be.
I once passed an old gentleman from behind and as I was lapping him I greeted him with a warm, “Good Morning.” I walked to the end of the path, swiveled around and started heading back East. A few minutes later the old gentleman and I passed again, this time we were walking toward each other. When he saw me his face brightened and he said an enthusiastic, “Gut Morningh” with a heavy accent and a smile.
I don’t think he recognized me from the front, and although this could have been a somewhat awkward situation, my heart was gladdened to think that my initial “Good Morning” to him a few minutes earlier had created a positive chain reaction.
I said it to him and then he said it to me. And I’m OK with that.
I take My Mission seriously but the following is a list of people that I Do Not say “Good Morning” to:
- Dog walkers whose dogs are in the middle of a poop. (This happens more often than you can imagine.) I figure these people must be humiliated enough watching their dogs take a dump and probably are wishing for invisibility. I sure would be. Therefore, out of consideration for their remaining shreds of dignity, I walk right by without a greeting and pretend to see nothing.
- People with ear-buds in. This is a struggle. I want to say “Good Morning” but I know they can’t hear me. I try to make eye contact and smile instead.
- People I’ve already passed once and already greeted. Awkward. I don’t make eye contact
mini half-mouth smile
until I am a few feet from them and then I look over for just the teensiest instant and flash them a mini half-mouth smile. I have this down to an art form. It means, I acknowledge you. We passed and greeted each other 9 minutes ago. In fact, we pass and greet each other this way every day. I’m on A Mission, you see.
- Groups of people walking together in conversation. What is the etiquette here? Do I interrupt? I’m 50/50 on this one.
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My paternal Grandmother was raised by her mother’s sister (Tante) after her own mother died. Tante was married to “Onkle” Fritz and they were the only “grandparents” my father ever really knew. Onkle Fritz and his two brothers immigrated from a part of Europe that was, at that time, Poland. Their surname was Plefkawitz.
Onkle Fritz and his brothers each came to the US separately and entered one by one through Ellis Island. Somebody sure couldn’t spell because the three brothers, who ended up living mere blocks from each other in Camden, NJ, spent the rest of their lives with different last names.
Once registered at Ellis Island their surnames were changed to:
2. Plefka (this official apparently had half a brain)
Three brothers, three tombstones, three last names.
Maybe they wanted it that way…
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Whenever I see this
All I can picture is this
It’s the archaeologist in me.
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This note, if I were Sherlock.
1. Author: Pre-adolescent girl. The sheer expressiveness of it makes that obvious, even if you failed to notice that the double exclamation marks were dotted with a smiley and the single exclamation with a heart.
2. The heart and smiley also indicate that she must comprehend on some level that her mother (to whom she is writing) will most certainly NOT take this note seriously, and after photographing and blogging about it will positively dump it in the trash (with all other notes of this sort.)
3. There is a pronounced annoyance that proclaims that the writer (said girl) could not move on with her life (which most likely means removing skinny jeans and replacing them with jammie pants and then laying on her bed watching Netflix on her Kindle) until she got this unpardonable situation off her chest. I.e. – she is undoubtedly of the high drama sort.
4. The fact that she apparently could not handle (at almost 11) walking a 5 year old the three and a half blocks home from school, with the assistance of FOUR crossing guards, is somewhat alarming and tends to add weight to point 3.
5. It appears that dishing out some discipline to the younger sibling is the note writer’s call to action.
I go to bed alone. I wake up with a couple children plastered to my body. This is my life.
They’re girls, so they wake up talking. And by “talking” I mean: Asking Questions.
“What are we doing today?” If I had a nickle for every time I heard that…
This morning my eyes were still glued shut when I heard G. ask in an accusatory tone:
“Did you eat the cornbread?”
FYI: I never touched the cornbread.
This is one of my favorite things ever, when Dads do their little girls’ hair.
I see a little girl with an elastic headband wrapped around her forehead like Olivia Newton-John getting physical and I know.
I know Dad did it.
And pigtails, forget about it, Dads don’t even try them. They go for straight for a single ponytail that shoots out of the back of that poor little princess’ head like the firing end of a rocket engine. You know what I’m talking about. You’ve seen it.
In addition to the aforementioned headbands and ponytails, there will often be some unfortunate attempt to hold any escapee hair away from the face. If you are an observer like me, you will recognize that this is usually achieved by one, and only one, hair clip awkwardly placed.
I’m not judging. I love Dads. I love Dads who do little girls’ hairs. I love seeing little girls whose Dads did their hairs.
Yet here is where it gets weird; I firmly believe that Dads are wholly capable of creating a decent hairstyle on their daughters.
(cue eerie music)
I think they purposefully choose not to.