Wednesday, June 29, 2011

lost in new york

i have 100 stories to tell.

a little at a time.

on friday, kyle had class and graduation ceremonies.

i was not invited.

kyle sent me on my way, telling me where (exactly)
to go and shop for grace (h&m=love!).  i found a 
slice of pizza and a black and white cookie and a park.

the obama motorcade passed by--which in and of itself
wasn't as cool as the actual motorcade of 50 (or more)
nyc police cars--lights on and sirens blaring.

it was a SERIOUSLY amazing spectacle to behold!

you could see the whole line up lighting up the street
for several blocks.

i apparently also JUST missed justin beiber at macys
that morning (the block kyle sent me on to circle
contained macy's).

which was OK with me--some tweenage girls got a little
out of control when the beiber walked into the store
for the launch of his new perfume and had to be controlled
by the police.

our one celebrity sighting (there is always one in nyc)
was Michael Gross from the old series "family ties".

he was at the top of the ROCK with us. and sipping a 
starbucks coffee while we downed our dt coke and water.

i told josh this when we got him "yes he was on a show
from about 20 years ago.  in the 80's when me and dad
were growing up."

josh looked at me kinda funny and said "mom the 80's 
were WAY MORE than 20 years ago."

dang! he is so right.  we are getting old!

back to friday.  after successfully navigating a few stores,
pizza and the park i got back on the subway to go back
to the hotel and wait for kyle to finish up graduation.

however, he gave me the wrong directions and i ended up
completely lost.  some lady on the subway told me to get
off and go to another entrance and try again.  (ok-how
can i find that if i'm already lost???)

kyle was texting me with directions.  mark siddoway (who
was in town with his family) told me to go get more
lost with his family (how could i find them if i was lost?)
our friend scott asked if i could see the empire state
building (i could not.)

after a few chats with some nice policemen, a man with
dreads and another man who asked ME for directions (to
which i laughed out loud and exclaimed "i am MORE lost
than you!")  i found my way back to the hotel exiting
the subway JUST in time to watch a lady vomit all over
the middle of sidewalk.

i love new york.

and i was found.

life was good.


i realized today 28 minutes into my workout at the gym,
on the elliptical, that i was sweating as much NOW as i 
was just standing on the street corner in NYC doing 
nothing. nothing at all.

shocking, i know.

70% humidity sucks.

glad i live in a dry arid climate. 

we were told in august it is even worse.  people
drip sweat on you on the subway, it's that bad.

people bring a change of shirt to work--the one they
wear in is too sweaty to wear all day, it's that bad.

remind me NEVER to go to NYC in august.

sitting on the subway

i just have a few good stories i have to type out 
before they leave my (old and forgetful) mind.

i know some people think NYC is a scary city--not me!

statistically it is the #1 safest big city in the USA.

safer than SLC, where the crime to ratio people is LOWER!
so really, you do feel safe there.

there are too many people around for all sorts of bad
things to happen, i guess.

anyway, i am normally not one bit nervous in the city, i
love walking around, and am even fine late at night.

coming into NYC this time our flight was delayed and
pushed our already late arrival time to early morning,
as in 1:30 in the morning.

we always take the subway/bus/public transit to our
home away from home.  it's easy and cheap.

that night (morning) we finally got from JFK to our 
subway stop near 2:30 am--it was lonely, but there 
were still people around.  just not the kind of people
you REALLY want to see at 2:30 in the morning.

i was a little nervous.  besides that, the subway runs
more like every 1/2 hour at that time of day and not
every few minutes.  

we sat and waited and i tried to look menacing.
kyle assured me he was a big guy and no one would
hurt us.  (ya, right).

finally our train came and we boarded only to be sitting
down the car (alone) with two people who appeared homeless.

our clues?

one of them was (quite literally) wearing a box, yes
you read that right, a box.  he was in his box asleep
in the corner.  we are not sure if he had clothing on
under the box, but kyle did point out if you're homeless
and trying to get a good nights sleep--the box would
allow for some privacy.

i will give the man kudos for thinking outside the box
in his situation.  or in his case, INSIDE the box.

seated directly across from "box man" was "table cloth"
lady.  she was wearing (for clothing) 3 vinyl print table
clothes, all somehow arranged to completely cover her
body giving the distinct impression of clothing.

on her head (in case of rain i suppose) was a clear
plastic rain hat.  she was eating a sandwich (which 
dropped a few pieces of lettuce, landing on her tablecloths,
er clothing.  

so convenient i suppose, clothing that doubles as a table?

it worked for her.

now believe me when i say i am not poking fun of these people.

it made me sad to see how they had to live, i just
felt a little worried riding the subway with them that
late in the night (early in the morning).

we DID arrive without incident at our hotel (after walking
past the "projects" to get there).  it still boggles
my mind how many people were awake at 3 am.

again, just not the sort of people i would want to meet-
even in broad daylight--toting luggage and a carry on.

basically with a big sign on my forehead screaming "YUP!

i breathed a sigh of relief upon entering the hotel
and announced that was the last time i rode the subway 
at 3 am.

we only made it to midnight the rest of the time, and i 
was fine with that!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

there's an app for that

perhaps one of the more unforgettable moments on 
our trip to NYC occurred one night after we met
our old (as in long time), dear (as in true) friend
scott for dinner.

we ate and talked and caught up on 20 years of life.

we walked the highline trail and sat and talked
some more.

my stomach, which sometimes reacts badly to travel
and different food, was in need of a bathroom.

i must stress the fact that in NYC potties are hard
to come by.  which in and of itself can sometimes
give me stress.

as i expressed my need for a bathroom and the feeling of
sickness that had overcome me, i felt a moment of
panic wondering where we would find a restroom.

this is NYC people.  (you would think bathrooms would
be easier to find.  they are not.)

as if on cue, both scott and kyle pulled from their
pockets (literally at the same second) their I-Phones.

pressing whatever buttons necessary, they pulled up the
NYC app for "restroom".  (which by the way is somehow
GPS enabled and gives you choices within the 
immediate area.) 


i was quite amused, as well as relieved, as we descended
the stairs back to street level and immediately found
the necessary place.

turns out i didn't get sick, thank goodness.

but i did learn that there is even an APP for that--

public restrooms in any given city.

just download and you're good to go...

yup, there's an APP for that!

POST SCRIPT:  after all the worry i was
informed by scott "hey it's NYC-you don't
even need a bathroom if you're going to
be sick.  just use a bush--better yet
IT IS NYC just do it in the middle of 
the sidewalk.  that's where everyone
else does."

there is truth in that statement.

without pictures

i've been neglecting my blog.

life has been speeding past me and this is what
has fallen by the wayside.

pictures to come soon.

i was "official" photographer of ron's funeral.

it was bittersweet.  and probably not mine to share--
but the thing that STRUCK me when all was said and
done that day...was after, after tears and talks
and thoughts and things...there was laughter
and life and loving.

i had a voyeuristic view from behind the lens.

i loved watching people smile and hug and share
stories of ron and laugh.

i felt the same as i did on the day of
my fathers funeral.

even in the midst of the heartache, life does go on.

that doesn't mean any of it is easy, don't get me
wrong.  but there is no stopping the forward 
motion of things.

i think his family has been left in good hands, there
are many people that will help take care.

that will step in, that will love and help fill

that is a good thing.

NYC was on the schedule again.  kyle went for graduation
from his Columbia Informatics program.  he was part
of the inaugural class.  loved every minute of it--
hard work and all.  he will probably miss the work, but
i KNOW he will miss the trips to the big city.

we fell a little in love with the Big Apple in these
past few years.  it feels a little, almost like home.

met up with a dear old friend.  ate good food. had
alone time for the first time (i think EVER) in our 
20 years of marriage.  it was good.  really, really good.

left the kids at home, the oldest in charge.  the house
was still standing when we returned, and if only the
walls could talk.  i think it all went fine.

returned and packed up again.  grace on to girls
camp adventure and josh and kyle off to "boys" camp.

i have been bumming it with the "Little's".

reality set back in all too quickly, like it always does.

pictures to post soon, i mostly promise.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

picking the scab...

Summer has started out with a bang.

Quite literally.

The 17 year old boys blew up an old TV in the backyard.

At 11:30 pm on Saturday night none the less. I yelled
at them really loud. They didn't care.

Then, on monday--the first official day of the summer break,
on their way to the desert to blow up their home made "bomb"
a funny (but oh so not funny) thing happened.

All the boys left with promises of returning alive
and with all their body parts in tact. 

Apparently I was the only mother who knew.  And in case
of police calls, they were all coming to me.  Kyle, who
is much more calm in these situations, was of course,
out of town.

I made the sign of the cross (that always helps in
these situations) and told them I would kill them
if they died. They were pretty worried...not.

One boy returned a short while later.

I texted my son to see why Nate had come back and
was missing out on all the fun. These boys don't 
SKIP opportunities to watch things blow up.

Long story short and many texts and questions later,
he sent me the answer,

"mom, nates dad is dead".

I burst out weeping...and tears have been leaking
out ever since.

Josh's best friend, Nate.  Ron, who was his 2nd dad.

If nate isn't at our house, Josh is at his house.
That's just how it is, and how it has been, for 6 years.

Everyday, all week. And the weekend.  Except for sundays.
And sometimes when they should be in school and aren't.

They are still here.

Nate's dad was 50.  Ron. We vacationed to bear lake with them
in the summers.  We sat at basketball and volleyball
games with Ron for years.  Ron coached Josh's basketball
teams, fed teen boys with "waffle night" at his house.
Ron LOVED the boys in the way only a good dad can. And
the boys LOVED Ron. The boys told me yesterday 
"he wasn't just a regular dad, he was our friend."

Ron always told Josh (and all the boys) he would kick 
his butt if he ever did drugs. (I'm holding him to that, 
and hoping its possible from heaven if need be!) 

Ron had the biggest heart of any man you could hope to meet.

He would give you the shirt off his back, then 
his pants and a shoe or two if you needed it and 
never ask for it back. Or care if he got it.

Just when the scab is healing, for me, a new one 
is touching way too close to home.  

We are all in shock.

Death has swept in his ugly hand, again, and snatched
away another soul.  Quickly, and without pause, at the
pain he (death) will leave in his wake.

Numbness has set in once again at the way life can change
from one minute to the next.

At 7:15 Monday night, the world was right.  A half an
hour later it had shifted and tilted at an awkward angle.
Throwing us all off yet again.

50 is too young to go and my heart is so sad.  It aches
for all of things that will be missed.  Milestones.
Especially in the coming year for Nate.

The first day of summer break.  The summer before Nate's 
senior year...and his dad is gone.

Josh has been asked to be a pall bearer at the funeral
on Saturday.  Ron was josh's 2nd dad.  Josh DID have
a retake of the ACT scheduled ...but we know which is more

Supporting a friend and taking the test another day.

Rest in Peace Ron, your big heart, laugh and smile
will be greatly missed by us all.  

Till we meet again.  And maybe you could check on my 
dad for me while you're at it.  

 Classic Ron--last summer @ Bear Lake 
in the thick of it with the boys! He ALWAYS
had a smile and something funny to say.
Ron doing what he loved best.  Driving the 
tractor @ Bear Lake.  Here's hoping there are
a few of these to drive around the big city
in the sky Ron!