Archive of ‘Ultimate Blog Challenge’ category

Rainy Days Aren’t So Bad

The sun did not shine.
It was too wet to play.
So we sat in the house.
All that cold, cold, wet day.”

– from The Cat in the Hat, by Dr. Seuss

Yes, it is Memorial Day weekend, and the sun should be out. After all, it is the official start of summer. Here on the East Coast, we’ve already had a few days of warm weather. So, I can say I’ve already had a taste of summer. It would have been nice to sit by the pool today, but there is always tomorrow.

Oh, rain is in the forecast tomorrow? Ok, how about Monday? Can we sit outside on Monday? Let me check…Yes, Monday is looking good!

In the meantime, rainy days have never bothered me. I am more productive when it rains. The laundry gets done. Our Costco run is behind us. And soon, this post will be written.

Here are a few other reasons I love the rain.

  1. Rain washes away all of the pollen. – Springtime for me is allergy season. I can’t seem to walk around the block without running into someone mowing the lawn, and the grass is flying everywhere. There is pollen on the ground and just about everywhere else. But, after a good rainstorm, I can breathe a lot easier.
  2. Walking the dog in the rain does not take long –  Our dog, Chloe, does not like the rain.
    I tried to get her to go outside, but she dove under the bed. I got the message. On rainy days, she wants to cuddle up with us on the couch and sleep, which is fine by me. And when she has to go, she jumps off the front step, does her business, and comes right back into the house. No one has to stand outside and get wet on her behalf. It is very considerate of her.
  3. Reading on rainy days is my favorite pastime. – I can’t help it. A hot beverage, warm blanket, comfy couch, cute dog, and a great book is the perfect reading environment. And, if you aren’t in the mood to read, you can always watch the Friends reunion. I enjoyed it immensely!
  4. Memorial Day sales  – Working from home full-time gives me cabin fever on the weekends. So, when my daughter invited me to a late Mother’s Day brunch, I happily accepted. We wound up spending the entire afternoon shopping for summer dresses and sandals – knowing that someday soon, the sun will come out again.

Summer Plans

summer

It is Memorial Day weekend and the unofficial start of summer. With all of us fully vaccinated now, there are places to go, people to see, and things to do! Here is what is in store for us this summer.

College Visits – In-person or virtual, we are going back to college this summer! Ready or not, it’s Andrew’s turn to pick a school. I’ve been through this process once already, so I know the drill. But, Andrew is different from my oldest, Jenna, so it will still be new. And admittedly a little harder because he is (and always will be) my baby.

Andrew has different tastes in schools and majors. While she looked at mid-sized liberal arts colleges in the suburbs, he is going for the bigger schools in the city. Jenna is my social sciences kid, and he is into math and sciences. It’s going to be a fun ride, and I can’t wait to see the look on his face when he finds his new home away from home.

Swim Meets – In between college tours, Andrew will join the swim team again this year. It is a joy to watch him in the pool. You can tell he loves it, and his team spirit is contagious. He is going for a pool record this year in breaststroke. He tells me that he will train all summer long to make that dream a reality, and something tells me we will see his name on that wall.

Staycation – Instead of planning a big vacation this year, we decided to replace our deck and patio. It has already been a long process of selecting a contractor, educating ourselves on the difference between pavers and stamped concrete, evaluating the different types of deck material, and applying for local permits. Once the work starts, the whole project takes about two weeks for everything to be completed. And then, we get to pick out new furniture.

If everything goes according to plan, I will lay out on my new deck on a comfy lounge chair, sip a cool drink, and read a book sometime in mid-July.

Down the shore – If you are not from my part of the country, this is what we say when we go to the beach. I live outside of Philadelphia, grew up in South Jersey, and love the shore. After a year like we’ve had, I want to dig my toes into the sand and put my feet in the Atlantic Ocean. And there be plenty of chocolate peanut butter fudge from the Boardwalk to enjoy.

So, what are your plans for the summer?

A Brown Bear and a Hungry Caterpillar

Yes, I’m talking about books again because I can’t let the passing of an exceptional children’s author and artist go by without paying my respects. As a child, I learned to count thanks to The Very Hungry Caterpillar. And if you ask my kids what children’s book they loved growing up – it wouldn’t be anything by Dr. Seuss – it’s Eric Carle’s Brown Bear book.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do you see?
I see a red bird looking at me.

Red bird, Red bird, What do you see?
I see a yellow duck looking at me…

After the first 100 times reading this book to my kids at bedtime, two things happened – 1) I was pretty sick of it and 2) I memorized it word for word. This parenting trick came in handy when the kids got antsy in the back seat during long car rides. I’d recite these first few lines of Brown Bear, and they would calm down and join in. Sometimes, I would mess up the order on purpose, but the kids picked up on it every time.

(As a side note, I could also recite a mean Green Eggs and Ham).

So, what was so captivating? Was it the blue horse, the green frog, the purple cat, the white dog, the black sheep, or the goldfish? How about the beautiful illustrations and the rhythmic phrasing? Or was it just a cute brown bear with 20/20 vision?

I’d say – it was all of the above.

Thanks, Eric Carle, for teaching me to count and my kids how to read and for helping me make memories with my family that I won’t soon forget.

And by the way, I’m keeping this copy of Brown Bear, Brown Bear to read to my grandkids someday.

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