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Friday, December 24, 2010

Friday Foto

I took my boys ice skating last weekend.

I can't remember the last time I'd been ice skating. I'm going to guess and say it was over 30 years ago in Wheaton, MD.

We all hugged the boards for twenty minutes getting our bearings. My youngest son Cole used a technique that was part Ickey Shuffle, part Pee Wee Herman. His brother looked more like Bambi, flailing being the rule not the exception, with arms pinwheeling and legs a-splitting.

I didn't fall once.

When we left the boys said, "I thought you didn't know how to ice skate?"


Veni, vidi, vici...

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Ghost Kitty

About a month ago I was watching some Animal Planet show about cats with the kids.

One of the cat species profiled on the show looked a lot like our old cat Ginger.

I had never had a cat before her and, quite honestly, don't know if I'll ever have another cat. She was an awesome kitty right up to the end. So when we saw the cat that looked like her on TV we started to talk about all the Gingerisms she had like sleeping in the bathroom sink in the summer to her tendency to paw me in the nose in the morning to wake me up.

It was good times fondly remembering the family cat and shortly after, we all went to bed and drifted off to sleep.

And then it happened: In the middle of the night I swear I felt like she was walking on my bed. You know the sensation if you've ever had a cat or dog. I woke up the next day and thought about how I must have conjured up her spirit; about how talking about her brought a piece of her back into my life. I joked about how I thought her ghost was in my room and the kids and I just shrugged it off.

My son Cole asked if she got lost on the way to the Tropical World.

But since that night, I have had several - maybe a half a dozen - encounters in the middle of the night where I felt like she was walking on my bed. It's a very calming feeling despite the actually creepiness of thinking there's a kitty ghost up in the joint.

This one's for you Ginger...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Friday Foto

During my recent excursion with my boys to the old neighborhood, I took them to The Cave.

We had gone there before with their cousins and my brother - the place is part of the local lore of the area (at least it was for me and my brother growing up) so when we got to Maryland it is a must-see attraction.

On a cold morning after Thanksgiving, we made are way down the path to where the cave lives, walking briskly to stave of the shivers.

They wanted to climb to the top, like they have done before, so we did.

When we got to the top the place was littered with empty beer cans and bottles. And of course, there was years worth of party phrases carved into the bark of the surrounding trees. I snapped a photo of this gem.

My 10-year-old said, "Does that mean because we are on top of the hill?"

He took a long pause glancing at the ground and then said, "Or does it mean high on alcohol?"

"A little of both," I said.

I guess it is time to have that talk with him.

When did you have that talk with your kids?

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A Family Tradition - The Wishbone

This year me and the kids got to spend Thanksgiving in Maryland with my parents. It's always a good time bringing the kids back to the neighborhood I grew up in because it triggers all kinds of stories to tell them about how I grew up.

Sometimes these stories involve the basement, sometimes these stories involve the woods down the street, but stories are told none the less. In recent years it has occurred to me that I come from a family of storytellers - we often sat around the dinner table as kids and, after a meal was finished, listened to my father tell stories about growing up in Philly.

The story, or the telling of one, has become a tradition. One that I am starting to see passed down to my sons whom I've witnessed telling tales to their friends.

Another family tradition is the breaking of the wishbone at Thanksgiving. And this year my boys got to take part in it. They both grabbed the wishbone with their pinkies, made a wish, pulled and... snap!

And wouldn't you know it? The fucking wishbone split in half evenly. I don't recall ever seeing this happen. What does this mean? Do they both get to cash in on their wishes? Or does a tie cancel out your wish?