Fall Memories

It’s been a gorgeous fall…

IMG_9506

NJUD6905IMG_9375IMG_9338

It’s been a busy Fall…

I made a quick visit to Arlington to see my parents and brother…

My friend and I took a weekend trip to New York to see our kids…IMG_9191

I’m always amazed at how much Morningside Heights has changed since I was a graduate student. It’s a little disconcerting, (but awesome)! that there’s a farmer’s market right on Broadway.

IMG_9244

The Guggenheim has always been my favorite New York museum. The scale of it is just right for an afternoon visit…But first we had to wait in a line that literally went around the block for Pay What You Wish admission.

We caught a two-day art installation projected onto the side of Rockefeller Center by neo-conceptual artist Jenny Holzer.IMG_9234

Kehinde Wiley’s “Rumors of War” statue has just moved to its permanent home in Richmond, Virginia at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, but we got a sneak peak while it was still in the middle of Times Square:

IMG_9236

Back home…OKAX4117

I tried (and tried and tried) to convince my husband that the perfect I-survived-cancer, 50th birthday gift would be a puppy…IMG_9263

IMG_9266

Will he cave?

IMG_9267

“Heart of stone”

For now I’ll have to settle for visiting my friend’s adorable new pup.

I took the kids to see Adam Silver talk about The Business of Sports…

My book group buddies and I went to Pennsylvania for the weekend. We sat by a campfire, made terrariums, and befriended the local fauna.

A weekend visit from a dear friend and a trip to Carter Mountain apple orchard inspired two more trips to pick the most delicious Fuji apples!IMG_9351

We went through shocking quantities of Fujis this Fall..

IMG_9501IMG_9500IMG_9497IMG_9533Working on college applications and the dreaded FAFSA…

Halloween!IMG_9464

We’re always running a little behind…hence my daughter’s Halloween party in November:

A too-short but sweet visit from my California girls:

IMG_9588

Signing off for now. Hope to be back in this space a little more regularly.

Hope

It was pouring rain this morning when I asked my trusty sidekick to get dressed and go vote with me, even though she hasn’t been feeling well. Just a couple weeks ago, she had played the role of Leslie Cockburn in a debate for Civics class and had won the mock election. I wanted her to be there when I cast my vote.

IMG_6722

IMG_6809

Go, Leslie, go!

Despite the wide grins…IMG_6810

…we’ve actually been feeling like this all day:

IMG_6814

But the future is NOW…and we are going to live in hope. Even on a cold and wet day, there is beauty to be found…

IMG_6817IMG_6818IMG_6816IMG_6828By the time I got home from work, the sun was shining. There were even some flowers valiantly blooming, bowed but unbroken by the torrential downpours we’ve been having lately…

IMG_6831IMG_6832IMG_6834

We live in hope.

 

Goodbye, Summer!

In honor of the first day of Fall: a farewell to a summer of transitions.

The first frame shows my oldest with his siblings, celebrating his high school graduation. After trips to New York City, Cape May, and let’s not forget: Bumpass, we dropped our son off for his first semester of college in Manhattan, a city dear to our hearts because it’s where his dad and I met as graduate students. A short while after, my college friends and I got together for our annual reunion. I like to imagine my son someday in the future getting together with the friends he’ll be making in the next few years. A week after my college mini-reunion, I flew to California to attend the wedding of a childhood friend. I stayed with another mutual dear friend, and together we celebrated a beautiful wedding and a lifelong friendship that has weathered all kinds of life changes – big and small, sad and joyous. The last frame of the video is from this morning. After my second son passed his driver’s test and officially got his driver’s license, he drove me home, and then banged out this song with me. It’s one I used sing to each of my babies as a lullaby…

Weekend Snapshots 54: The Heaven/Hell Edition

Friday

I met up for lunch with a couple of friends at Feast, in Charlottesville’s Main Street Market. Before I headed back to work, I stopped off at a stall to buy a couple of things.

I gasped involuntarily when I saw that my two items added up to 6.66 on the cash register.

“666!” I exclaimed in horror.

“I don’t like that number either,” the kind angel behind the counter said. He voided the transaction and rang it up again so that it would add up to $6.65.

*Incidentally, cast your eyes over to the right…I’ve been at 666 followers of this blog for a couple weeks now and it’s giving me the creeps! Here’s hoping that another kind soul takes pity on me again and changes that number soon!*

In the evening I took the kids to see Black Panther. My son and I discussed the Utopian and Dystopian aspects of Wakanda and the moral ambiguity of Killmonger all the way home. The younger two in the backseat plugged their ears with their fingers and rolled their eyes all the way home.

Saturday

We helped set up for the PACEM homeless shelter…

IMG_2941

“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” Hebrews 13:2

IMG_2953


A wicked game of Two Square that left one of these little angels with a throbbing, purple pinky…

We finished watching the first season of Stranger Things…sooo good/sooo creepy!!!

Sunday

Goats are traditionally associated with Satan, but for a group of five parents and seven girls ranging in age from 12 to 13, spending the afternoon playing with baby goats at A Better Way Farm was heavenly. 

As we were leaving the house to head to the farm, I found my daughter in the garage staring pensively at an old guinea pig cage leaning up against the wall.

“Should we bring the cage…just in case?” she asked.

IMG_2976No. No, we shouldn’t.IMG_2962IMG_3021IMG_3086

IMG_3033

Take me home, human!

IMG_3013IMG_2977IMG_3111IMG_3072IMG_3076IMG_3120

Ethical Question of the Day: Your beloved little angel is being attacked by a hair-eating goat. Do you: a) save her or do you b) continue snapping photos while cackling like a demon?IMG_3127

Clearly, I’m going straight to hell.IMG_3123

 

Happy 2018!

Yesterday afternoon, we managed to record a song for our annual holiday video, just before hitting the road to spend New Year’s Eve with my family in Arlington. Like a lot of things my family does, it was thrown together at the last minute, the process was rather stressful, and the product imperfect. Still, we did it together, and despite some grumpy moments, we did it with love. My son contributed one of his compositions to finish out the video.

Wishing you and yours a wonderful, wonderful 2018 full of peace, love, and not too many grumpy moments!

 

Weekend Snapshots 50

Friday

8 am: This was the sight I saw as I pulled out of the driveway. Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to school and work we go…IMG_5828

Later that day my college friend Lizochka drove up from Charlotte to Charlottesville for a visit. She arrived at the university towards the end of the workday, so I could take her on a quick tour of the Grounds. The leaves are at their glorious peak, so despite the rain, it was a great weekend to be in C’ville.

Saturday

Our oldest son had to be at his testing site by 7:45 am for the last SAT he’d ever take. My daughter would be heading to her last soccer game of the season. As we discussed the complicated logistics over breakfast the kids asked me how Liza and I were planning to spend our day.

“Oh, we’re going to get up to aaaaaaaall kinds of mischief.” I told them.

“But what are you going to do? Are you going to go around painting graffiti or something?” asked my 15-year-old son, who is always willing to play along.

“Well, you’re just going to have to tune into NBC 29 News tonight to find out!” I replied with my best attempt at exuding an edgy, menacing sort of vibe.

My amenable son raised his eyebrows and pretended to be suitably impressed.

My daughter shot us down in flames by deadpanning with devastating accuracy:  “Are you going shopping at Roxie Daisy?”

OK, kid. Yeah, whatever:

IMG_1773

Unrepentent miscreants that we are, we recorded our every move:IMG_1771IMG_1772

I want to steal this chair. It was like sitting on a cloud. A really, really expensive cloud. ($3000+).IMG_1796

We hit up all my other favorite spots on the Downtown Mall too:

IMG_7876 2

From O’Suzannah to Rock, Paper, Scissors, and an obligatory stop at Caspari to say hello to the zebra finches!

IMG_4464 2

No visit to C’ville is complete without a stop at MarieBette, where we had our lunch:

IMG_5807

And last but not least, we poked our heads into Patina, my favorite store in Charlottesville.

IMG_1774

Cute book lamp!

We had a cozy dinner at home with a table full of family and friends, and then we spent the rest of the evening tucked up on the couch, watching the charming movie The Big Sick.

Sunday

A jiu-jitsu takedown? A hug? Who can tell?

IMG_0435 2

Bidding a fond farewell to my sweet friend…

IMG_4599

IMG_5808.jpg

It’s been a long time since I’ve heard this boy play his guitar…IMG_4556

At choir, we got started on Christmas music… “Hey on, Sir Ass, hey!”

IMG_8039

Onward.