The Outdoor Shower :: Saturday morning in Newport

I'm blogging from my phone which I've never done before, so let's see how this turns out. The boys and I are spending a little time with a dear friend and her young daughter in a charming home that makes me feel more like I'm staying at a Tuscan villa than a Newport cottage. (More on that later.) For those of you who've been reading The Entertaining House for a while, you know of my fascination with the outdoor shower. So after taking a walk down to Second Beach with my camera early this morning, I stepped inside the magical place of the outdoor shower. I firmly believe that every home should have one!

Simple, rustic, serene, peaceful, tranquil... Zen... Every morning should start this way!


Wishing you all a Zen weekend!


Angela Moore Fashion Show Recap and a Jack Rogers Giveaway!

Cynthia Bogart, Jessica Gordon Ryan, Gretchen Aubuchon at The International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, RI

I just knew it was going to be a good day the moment I saw these upon entering the tent. Pink champagne for breakfast. I'll drink to that! Cheers!

image via Angela Moore

Gretchen, Cynthia and I are enjoying our front row (!!) seats and a fabulous breakfast and event put on by Angela Moore to benefit the International Tennis Hall of Fame

Dee Gordon in Lilly Pulitzer
Photo via Angela Moore

Lilly Pulitzer was many of the prolifically fun and preppy brands to grace the catwalk. Isn't this model lovely? I'm proud to say she's my aunt and she totally rocked that cat walk!

Dee Gordon
Here she is... rocking jeggings, white jeggings no less!

Karen and Grace Megdley
via John Corbett/Angela Moore

I met Karen at the Angela Moore booth at the Newport Flower Show. I fell madly in love with the pink Angela Moore dress she was wearing. She was helpful and lovely and a total sweetheart and she stopped and smiled at me in recognition when she saw me seated at my table by the stage... in the same pink dress! Our hearys simply melted when we saw adorable daughter modeling the Angela Moore Tammi tunic (with white Jack Rogers.) Karen's beauty is undeniable... but that adorable daughter of hers stole my heart!

Angela Moore and two tennis pros wearing shirts by Three Islands
via John Corbett

all the Angela Moore models via John Corbett

Angela Moore was founded in 1997. She has stores in Palm Beach, FL and Newport, RI. In 1998 she introduced her hand painted jewelry, resort wear and accent pieces for the home.

Angela Moore's philosophy is to "celebrate your own individual style with colors and themes that make you happy"

Please visit their website here.

image via Angela Moore

image via Angela Moore
Above, the now widely popular hand painted beads can be found on their hair ties in a wide array of colors and patterns.

What I liked best about the show was getting introduced to new brands and products. The Entertaining House is not a shopping blog. It never was and it never will be, but as a lifestyle blog it is my pleasure to share with you the wonderful new things that I have stumbled upon. The following fashions and accessories are fun and fresh and won't break the bank!

Note: The items below were not necessarily in the fashion show, but they represent the brands highlighted.
Big Buddha Bag

The bags by Bosom Buddies were spectacular. To die for. I wanted each and every one of them.
Bosom Buddies Handbags

Bosom Buddies Handbags

Starfish Sandal by Hot in Hollywood
If you are a regular reader of my blog you know that my go to summer shoes are my Jack Rogers. There simply is no other (in my book). While my heart will always belong to Jack, my heart couldn't help but pitter-patter a little a lot a little when I saw these starfish sandals by Hot in Hollywood. (I feel really guilty... as though I have betrayed Jack... but Jack, I want you to know that I only looked, I never cheated! xoxo)

I was mad about this dress by Tracy Negotian. The colors and patterns (below) are fun and vibrant.

The dress is available in other fun and whimsical prints and patterns.

patterns by Tracy Negoshian

Men's shirts by Three Islands
The Three Island men's shirts were bright and fun and offered a nice preppy alternative to the Vineyard Vines and Brooks Brothers staples. Be sure to check out their sight as they have a wonderful selection of tunics and dresses for women as well. (And the price points are right on!)

Many of the models carried small bags and clutches by Moyna. They were fun and whimsical and unique. The accessory girl that I am, I wanted every bag I saw. (The two below were not featured in the fashion show but aren't they divine?

Evening clutches by Moyna, New York

Seeing as Newport is a beachy, resort community many of the men models wore bathing suits. These Strong Boalt suits were handsome and fun and certainly caused a splash!

Men's Swim trunks by Palm Beach based Strong Bolt

Many of the models, women and children, wore lovely straw hats by Toucan. Elegant and stately these beautiful hats easily make the transition from beach to polo to cocktails on the back lawn.
Toucan Hat

I would like to thank Nicole Hawkins of Angela Moore for our fabulous table and for answering my many, many questions!

and, finally, what you've all been waiting for a Weekend Wanderlust Contest sponsored by Jack Rogers and Assouline! Visit the Jack Rogers Facebook Page for more information!

Be sure to visit The Daily Basics, Gretchen Aubuchon Design and Newport Stylephile (from whom I borrowed a few of these pictures) for more on the Angela Moore Fashion Show to benefit The International Tennis Hall of Fame

Angela Moore fashion show to benefit The International Tennis Hall of Fame

It's like going home.

I learned to play tennis at The International Tennis Hall of Fame. If you're a local you just call it The Hall of Fame or you call it The Casino. We did anyhow. And that's where I got my Chrissy Evert swing. She was my hero. Now she's old. As am I. After shoulder surgery and numerous re-injuries let's just say my swing ain't got that thing!

I grew up and went to college and returned to Newport in the summertime. No longer taking lessons (it was time to get a job) I returned each summer to help out as a member of the tournament staff. I worked on the Volvo and Virginia Slims events and had a blast. Eventually I graduated and had to move on to more grown up and responsible things. I left Newport for Greenwich, Connecticut and have not traveled far since.

I still love to return to the Hall of Fame. I love to bring my children there too. Perhaps one day they too will take lessons on the grass courts.

I was thrilled beyond words when I was asked to accompany The Daily Basics Editor Cynthia Bogart along with Gretchen Aubuchon of Gretchen Aubuchon Designs to a Champagne breakfast and fashion show sponsored by Angela Moore to benefit the Hall of Fame. Love Angela Moore. Love the Hall of Fame... How could I possibly turn down such a fabulous offer? Even better my aunt will be modeling some of the collection at Angela Moore!

If you are near or in the Newport area and are interested, I do believe there are still tickets available. Click here for more information.

Summertime is for Preppies. And it doesn't get preppier than this!


What does Independence Day mean to you?

image via The Entertaining House taken with Instagram

It means having the independence to sit and relax poolside and catch up on some of my best reading as my boys splash and frolic around... Maybe next year!

This year it meant getting into the pool as the boys splashed me! And jumped on me. And jumped off of me!

The Newport fireworks are scheduled to go off in just less than two hours. We can see the fireworks from the hill, overlooking The Narragansett Bay, right next to us. We'll not have to fight the crowds. My only concern is that I may not make it up that late tonight!

For those of you still celebrating may your evening be Red, White and Bubbly!

Happy Birthday America!


Take it easy...

(This, to me, is the ultimate summer song. It evokes the happiest memories of my 10 summers at camp in the Adirondack Mountains.)

The boys and I return to Newport this afternoon. Older sister is currently en route to Maine. It will be quieter, much quieter with just the boys. You see, take any one individual out of the mix and the decibel level decreases dramatically. Yes, I know the girl has left and you might wonder, boys, quiet? Yes indeed. Girls can be loud too. Very loud! And two, I have learned over the years, is so very much less work than three. It's less than half of the work that three requires. I mean seriously, whatever was I thinking to go ahead and have that third kid? (Just kidding Alexander, although you alone exhaust me!)

The boy girl thing and the age differences makes finding things to do that entertain and interest all three like very difficult. impossible. The boys play well together and the older two entertain themselves well together, but when it comes to entertaining the troops en masse there is simply no pleasing everyone and someone usually gets let down or left out. The oldest, my girl, always has to be goinggoingoing. She gets bored at home. Cannot stand to be at home. The boys will entertain themselves anywhere and can always find something to do. This may be an age thing. At 12, the oldest girl wants nothing to do with playgrounds or anything remotely child like and fun. Middle boy, as I said, is happy to do anything.

I seem to have a great deal of trouble lately shifting from complete laziness - inability to drag my old tired self out of bed - to my warp speed trying to do and see and get everything done. This weekend will be about finding that happy middle place. This weekend will be about slowing down. This weekend will be about pausing to listen to the sea in that pretty shell.

So this weekend will be about me and the boys. While I will miss my daughter incredibly - She will be away from me for two weeks - I will spend this weekend focusing on my boys. We will slow down. We will slow down almost till we stop. We will go to the beach and to as many playgrounds as we can finds. We will eat ice cream and swim in the pool. We may do nothing at all. We may go for long nature walks. We may go bird watching. We will relax and take it easy. After all, that's what summer is all about!

Wishing you all a slow and take it easy weekend and very Happy Fourth of July!


Someone told me it's all happening at the Zoo

I do believe! I do believe it's true!

I discovered the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, RI a few years back and it became an instant favorite. The Bronx Zoo is lovely but much too large to take in at once. The Central Park Zoo is lovely but small. Just two hours from my home in Connecticut and less than 45 minutes from Newport, this family friendly zoo is manageable, clean, and best, on a hot summer day has plenty of shade so that you can stroll along with your children in comfort. The animals were plentiful and lovely and obviously very well looked after. A children's zoo is in the process of being built. This addition will make this wonderful setting even better!

If you happen to be in the area or have a trip planned to Rhode Island, this should be on your places to see!

(click on the above as you scroll through the pictures!)

I adore Zebras... graceful and beautiful...

But these gentle giants really hold a special place in my heart!
Two years ago we came just days after a baby was born. The baby Giraffe's name was Alexander. I asked about Alexander but he's at another zoo. Apparently there are lots of giraffes born at Roger Williams.

These beautiful pink birds are really quite stinky!

There's something rather cute and cuddly about this anteater!

The turtles were racing all over the place when we were there!

I said to to this alligator "My, you'd make a lovey pair of shoes!"

I don't think he liked my comment very much!

This sweet little animal is called a Red Panda. He had Panda and Raccoon-like traits. Why do all Zoo animals seem so huggable?

Our long weekend was event-filled and non-stop. The kids really enjoyed themselves. As did I. And the best part of the trip? I just may have converted my daughter... I think she may have crossed over to the Country Side!

Tomorrow I hit the road again with the boys. Rebecca will be headed to Maine. I'll put the boys in the third row and place the snacks back there with them.

I'll have the front row to myself. And the music. Country, of course. And I can sing, out of tune and at the top of my lungs with the windows and roof open without my twelve year old telling me to "Stop it Mom! You're embarrassing me! Ohmigod! Everyone's looking at us... Please stop it!"


Slow down you move too fast...

I really think that I do not know how to slow down. Rather, I seem to have a problem shifting from "lazy" mode to "turbo" mode gracefully and smoothly. Lately I seem to operate at two speeds and I really need to find a happy middle place.

It's summertime. We're supposed to slow down. It's summertime and the livin' is supposed to be easy!

Our days in Newport were jam-packed with activity, which, with young and overly energetic children is a wonderful thing. But not for me!

A favorite of mine and the boys was the Newport Flower show. If ever you are in or near Newport, RI the last week in June you simply must stop by. Sponsored by the mansions, the Flower Show is nothing less than spectacular. Even my boys delighted! I armed them with cameras and they shot away with me. We looked at styles and colors and marveled at the beauty before us. Admissions is $29 for adults and children under 12 are free. Children over 12 are just $6. It's an inexpensive and magnificent event!

My mind and body and feet are exhausted from days of non-stop activity... I'll let photographs I took do the talking...

(Click and play as you browse through the pictures!)









tomorrow, come with us to the Roger Williams Park Zoo in Providence, RI

Steven Stolman knows Jack!

The tantrums tears hair pulling kicking screaming crying punching pinching that I have had to endure has been entirely worth it... I had the privilege to meet Steven Stolman, Design Director for Jack Rogers at Angela Moore in Newport today. Despite the fact that he took one look at my old, worn, hanging together by a thread (remember this post?) Zsa Zsa's and told me it was time to toss them (Gasp! NEVER!!) and that it was time to grow up and move on to a newer shinier, sexier, hipper (oh, OK) pair of Zsa Zsas, I found him to be personable and charming and very amusing. Steven knows his shoes... specifically he knows Jack... And I learned a few things that I hadn't known before. I'm putting together a special post regarding these fabulous sandals over at The Daily Basics. I'll let you know when that piece is up and running.

(Yes, more on Angela Moore and The Newport Flower Show to follow!)

5 Rules for hitting the road to Newport so Mommie Dearest can go to the Jack Rogers Trunk Show at Angela Moore!

Ok, so that's not the main, reason I'm headed back to Newport, but it is one of the reasons I am headed back! This time I'm going with the kids. Wish me luck in the car. Wish me lots of luck. My kids are not good travelers. My friend JoAnna recently drove her 4 kids  ages 5 and under from Virginia to Massachusetts. Not only did she survive. But the kids were... gasp... well behaved!

Put my three in a car together for 5 minutes and let the battles begin! I separate my kids by rows. Seriously. My oldest is old enough to be up front. The boys battle for the 2nd and 3rd rows. I pack an arsenal of activities and food. We have videos to watch and play. (Only allowed on the highway portion of our journey.) We have beverages and snacks galore in case we break down in the tundra that exists between my home and Newport, 2 and a half hours away! We have blankets and stuffed animals to keep us warm. (It's 64 and rainy today) Most importantly I have Duct Tape. In Zebra pattern. I also keep a pair off garden shears in the car for those moments I see and must cut down beautiful flowers... The garden sheers can be used for the Duct Tape. The Duct Tape will promptly be applied to the mouths of those children who
a) don't stop talking
b) don't stop whining
c) don't stop asking "are we there yet?" or
d) any of the above

Rule #1 I drive and therefore I am in charge of all music. And when the good Country stations come in clear this is what I will listen to. I don't care if this makes you puke. If you are going to puke kindly do so in a garbage bag.

Rule #2 I am in charge of all snacks. This way there is no she had more or he had more.

Rule #3 Keep your hands to your selves. Hit hitting pinching pulling hair spit balls. No shouting shrieking wining crying screaming. Yes, I really have children and not wolves... though sometimes I am unsure of this myself.

Rule #4 Dispose of all garbage properly. My car is not a garbage can. Neither is it a closet for all your items your sorry asses are too lazy to drag in. If you suddenly realized that your animal or blankie has been left in the car and youabsolutelypostively cannot go to sleep without it you will go retrieve it yourself. In the dark. Alone. Yes there are coyotes and raccoons out there. Yes there are skunks. Plenty of skunks. Snakes too. I am sick of risking my lives for you lazy little children who could not be bothered to retrieve your items when you were asked. You'll have to be brave and go out into the wild alone or do without.

Rule #5. You will not go all animal-like on me the minute you get there. Treat your grandparent's house like a museum. Not like a zoo my precious little animals.

Should you follow all these rules you will be handsomely rewarded.
One more thing...

There is something I want to do. You will have to come with me. Exemplary behaviour is EXPECTED of you while in public. If you do one thing to embarrass me ... and I mean ONE THING I will ship you back to the place you all came from with all three receipts and demand a full refund. Oh I know you are all thinking "Ha Ha. Very funny Mom. Hospitals don't give receipts." And to you I will reply you are wrong. I have the bills from each and every one of you. I will be a very rich lady when I cash in my bills!"

And with the money I will make in return of each of  you precious gems I will head here!

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I think I might have found me my own kinda paradise...

(click on the below as you scroll through the post!)

There's nothing like taking to the open roads in the summertime. To be able to take some time off without children and not have to listen to the bickering and the endless chants of the age old tune "Are we there yet?" and not fight about who gets to listen to what and how loud and how much is refreshing and much needed for anyone who spends lengthy amounts of time with their children.

I love nothing more than to blast the music, and open all my windows and sunroof and sing at the top of my voice (a million apologies to those of you who actually had to listen to me!) It is like exercise... it's a release... you can feel your endorphins kick in... you can feel the tension slip away... you can feel your muscles slowly start to relax. I love the feel of the wind in my hair and the sun on my face and the Redneck tan I get as I sail down the highway!

I love country music. The lyrics are hysterical. The tunes are melodic. The songs are so easy to sing along to... and never fail to put a smile on your face. The absurdity of the lyrics somehow ring true. And my life is a country song, for sure! 

The closer I get to Rhode Island the more relaxed and the better I feel. The weight of the world seems so far away... And there is nothing that brings me more serenity that the ocean... the feel... the sounds... the sights... as I near The Newport Bridge I know that I am coming home to my safe place... to my happy place.

Call me crazy but the smell of the salty ocean breezes and petrol of the boats as they motor away from the marina is intoxicating. It's the smell of vacation!

Ida Lewis Yacht Club
(where my parents tried to get me to learn how to sail as a kid!)

As always all good things must come to an end. I had a wonderful time visiting with my family but it was time to be hitting the road as I was missing kids terribly and I could not wait to give them each a great big hug and a kiss. Meantime, I would enjoy a leisurely journey back home...

Miles and miles of lush and bucolic farmland gives me much to look at on my way back...

I decided to do something I haven't done in years... something I certainly cannot do with my young Alexander in tow. I decided to stop off at the large antiques center. There is always much to look at there...

I imagined bringing this chandelier home and hanging it in a bathroom I would one day have. Over a bathtub perhaps?

I know where I will go to when I need a frame. As soon as I saw the large frame I knew that it would have to hang over a desk. It will be perfect for an inspiration board! Smaller ones are easily made into mirrors.

I love old medicine bottles and apothecary jars...

These soaps smelled amazingly good. At $2.75 a pop they would make lovely gifts. But I left my wallet in the car. On purpose!

This pedestal was only $25... a simple glass top and you have a lovely side or bedside table! I might even go so far as to paint it turquoise or coral to add some dramatic flair!

I bought a wash board like this years ago for my laundry room. I never managed to hang it up!

I love the American Flag. Simple beauty!

I couldn't stand far back enough to get a good shot of this old merry go round horse, but what a fun addition to a child's room or playroom!

The old desk was pretty beat up, but what fun to paint it in some whimsical colors... let's say pink and green perhaps? Oh the fun one could have with this!

Is this what I think it is? I vow never ever to ever again complain about doing laundry!

Happy Weekend!

I'm running away... the children will be with their father this Father's Day weekend. He's got some fabulous things planned for them... for them I am truly happy. I can't wait to do fabulous things with them again one day. I know they are bored with me... I know they feel cooped up with me... I know they are wanting to do so much that I can not do with them right now...

My summers have always been about creating magical moments for the children... creating memories that will last with them always and forever... summers of adventure and beaches and lemonades and fireflies and cookouts and crafts and experiments... I have always aimed to create the most memorable and rewarding summers for my children. I hope they remember those summers and that this is not the one that sticks out most in their minds when they are grown. My boys will most likely say "remember that summer when you let us watch TV and play Wii all the time?" Likely they will tell me that it was fantastic. As a mother I feel guilty about that. Guilty that I cannot be to them the mother I have been in the past... guilty that I cannot provide for them as I had in the past... I hope their young minds will forgive and forget.

As long as I am not needed I am going to run away. I am going to the safety and the warmth of my parents... I am headed to Newport... I am headed to the ocean breezes... the sunshine and sea always make me happy... Newport is magnificent and magical... it will be so nice to be taken away from my life even if just temporary. It will be nice to unwind and relax and breathe sighs of relief... it will be nice to be me... it will be nice to be happy... and I will be happy because I will be with my family and also because I am meeting up with the fabulous Cynthia Bogart of The Daily Basics for dinner and drinks!

And by Sunday evening I will be so very happy again to see all my little ones and I will rush into the house and give them all big warm hugs and kisses. I love going away because coming back to my children is the best thing in the world!

all images via Pinterest

Happy Weekend
May you unwind
soak up the sun
and sip a few bubbles!


Farewell Lands End... What would Jay Gatsby think of this?

Lands End in Long Island (not to be confused by the preppy company bearing the same name) is slated to be razed shortly and property to be sub-divided  to make way for several luxury homes.

The grand 25 room Colonial Revival which was built in 1911, is said to have inspired the home of Daisy Buchanan's in East Egg is slated to be razed. Once a glorious mansion, where lavish parties entertained such personalities as Winston Churchill, The Marx Brothers and Ethyl Barrymore. One can still envision F. Scott and Zelda, together on the back deck, drinking in the view of the Long Island Sound... rooms of marble, parquet and wide wood-planked floors, Palladian windows and hand-painted wallpaper... one can still imagine the melodic and joyful sounds of the times.

I understand the costs of maintaining such properties are exorbitant but surely something must be done to protect our history. Beautiful pieces of American Architecture representing our past, our passions and our identities are being razed to make way for new and offensive and most often gaudy homes lacking taste and certainly lacking any of our history.

Why is it that when we travel to other countries their buildings stand for centuries and ours don't? Bigger and newer certainly do not make for better. 

Fitzgerald who wrote so often and so well about the Haves and the Have Nots and those caught in between... Who so eloquently showed us about those trying to keep up with the Joneses as he and Zelda were certainly caught up back then... They were not well to do though they lived a lavish lifestyle traveling from New York to Newport and the South of France with the wealthy socialites of the Gilded Age. 

What would F. Scott think of these homes being demolished? Homes of the Morgans and glass-maker Louis Tiffany? And now the very one that helped shape his most popular book, The Great Gatsby? Would he agree  to this nonsense? Yes, I'll go so far as to call this all nonsense. Long Island's tony Gold Coast has a preservation society and in my humble opinion this group of preservation people, if that's what they would like to call themselves, could indeed save these buildings if they wanted to. Why do I say this with such conviction and speak about this with such passion?

Because I spend a good part of my time in Newport, Rhode Island where my parents, now retired, live full time. Because you won't drive down Bellevue Avenue and see those wonderful homes, also from the Gilded Age in disrepair. Because Newport, playground to the Jazz Age's Rich and Famous, recognizes the importance of preservation for the history of the city, the state and our country. (Although, there was a period in time when Newport did let some of its fine establishments go only to make way for the lovely architecture of the 1970s. Thank goodness the people of Newport have come to their senses!)

These wonderful homes both in Newport and The Gold Coast were built by the same architects. (Stanford White among them) So why on earth is Lands End in such disrepair? The front door is off its hinges, wood floors have been torn up for salvage, windows are missing and the two-story Doric columns are unsteady. I can see Jay and Daisy, F.Scott and Zelda standing in front of the once beautiful home, champagne flutes in hand, with tears streaming from their eyes, rolling down their cheeks...

This tugs at my heart-strings for sure.
I sincerely hope, as a lover of all things antique... as a lover of the Gilded Age and a lover of F. Scott Fitzgerald that the home is spared of a wrecking ball and instead, is slowly, carefully and methodically dismantled so that what remains can be reconditioned, if need be, recycled and resold. Think of it as an organ donation... perhaps the heart and soul of Lands End can live on elsewhere...

Robert Redford as Jay Gatsby in front of Rosecliff Mansion in Newport, RI.
This home stands strong and proud and is open to the public.

For more amazing and haunting pictures of East Egg, Visit Jenn Ross Photography

An unexpected gift - Time with my boys and a gorgeous day

I've been working weekends and crazy hours which has severely limited my time with my kids. While I love work I truly hate that I haven't seen much of my children. Like most working parents I rush them off to school and then don't see them again until dinnertime. I have a couple of hours with them in the evening but I'm usually fried, as are they. It's hardly quality time. Working weekends is challenging as well. And perhaps that's the hardest of all. We do what we have to to make things work and provide for our families but sometimes it seems that no one is really coming out ahead. The children are missing their mother. The mother is missing her children and all for a few dollars... I've other things in the pipeline and I am keeping my fingers crossed... I'll keep you posted... Meantime, I was able to spend a few days with my kids. We all had a long weekend, took advantage of an unexpected warm day by going to the beach, went to Newport and are now home to celebrate my older boy's 10th Birthday. Happy Birthday Sweet Christopher! I suppose, had I not been working so many days and late hours I would have taken this time, this gift, with my children for granted. I am sure that I would have. But because this gift is so rare for me these days, we filled our days and enjoyed every minute of it!

Before we know it we'll be here in bathing suits, eating ice cream cones! 

Looking for shells is always fun!

A piece of driftwood and Alexander has become Captain of a giant sailing vessel!

Why does everything have to be a weapon with him?

Rebecca used to think these were Angel's Wings!

A piece of driftwood -- love the pattern of the disintegrating bark


Long Island Sound

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Perhaps this gives new definition to the term sun worshiper! 

Off with his shoes!

Christopher's shadow
Me and my shadow!
A little tailgate party!

Off to clean the car!

At the car wash!

I think this might be the only time my boys like to get clean!

The boys never tire of this!
Almost done!

What a fun ride that was!

Newport was fun but cold! We were supposed to go on a Harbor Seal Cruise but it was cancelled due to the high winds. We found others things to keep us busy and warm. Along the way Rebecca wanted me to take her to St. George's School as she has it in her mind that she may want to go here for high school. It's a fabulous and beautiful school. Keep up the good grades and she just might have a chance!

View from the front of the campus down to Newport's Second Beach

 When we got back to Moo and Popsy's we had an early Birthday celebration for nearly 10 year old!

And now I must be off as I have a Birthday breakfast to create and some presents to wrap!


According to The Wall Street Journal  orange is the color of the Spring season. So agrees New York Magazine.  They must have read my post a year ago. I wrote about my love of orange here. You had no idea I was such a trend-setter, did you?!

Orange. I'm mad about it. It excites me. It energizes me. Bows (if done right) are marvelous.

This dress is sublime. Marvelous. It's an Isaac Mizrahi. I love him for it. This dress was made for me!

The kids and I are off to Newport for the weekend. We have a bunch of exciting things on our list including a Harbor Seal tour! The weather is supposed to be beautiful and we all need to get away and spend some time in the nearly-Spring air! I'll have my cameras with me and promise you loads of pictures when we return!

Baby you can drive my car...

I was out with an old friend the other night. We somehow ended up talking about cars, specifically our first cars. Having grown up in Manhattan with its wonderful transportation system I knew that I would never have to learn how to drive. I could walk everywhere and when I couldn't walk there were plenty of buses and taxis and trains to take you anywhere you needed to go.

The summer I turned 18 my mother was adamant that I take driving lessons. I tried to refuse but she wouldn't let me. I couldn't imagine why on earth I would need to drive. This was not an argument she would lose. I would learn how to drive in Newport, a much better option than the crazy, crowded streets of Manhattan. We needed a car. We had just one that sat in a garage on the Upper East Side during the week and would take us to Newport for weekends during the school year and over the summer. My father was not about to let me learn to drive in his car, a beloved Mercedes that would never part his side for about 20 years when it cost him more to maintain than the home they lived in!

Mom wanted something big and sturdy for me. She wanted something nice looking but her frugal ways would also mean that she was not about to dump a lot of money on a sturdy piece of metal. If she could have, I am sure she would have picked out an old Woody. But she found the next best thing. It was a large gray Mercedes with a huge front grill and little fins on the back. She was elegant and sturdy and would be our Newport car for many years to come.She was 18 years old -- the same age as I -- and she was all mine!

While, stunning as she was on the exterior, worthy of any party fit for F.Scott and Zelda, her interior was no frills. I had no CD player (did we even have CDs back then?) or tape deck. I can't remember air conditioning, but that is not something one would need in Newport when cruising along Ocean Drive with all the windows open while blaring Steve Winwood's Back in the High Life Again... or crooning along to Don Henley's Boys of Summer on Bellevue Avenue. My friends adored my car. They loved to hop in and if we were not walking to one of our many evening destinations, I would most often be the designated driver. But long before I was able to take my friends along I had to learn how to drive.

Since I was 18 I was no longer required -- in Rhode Island at least -- to take driver's ed. My mother took it upon herself to teach me. We were prepping for my very first ride. My mother was showing me where everything was and how to use everything. We prepared by adjusting our windows and took a few laps around our large circular driveway, learning how to carefully press on the gas and the accelerator. When Mom thought I was ready we prepared to take the vehicle on the road. As I was approaching the stone pillars I saw a small construction truck appear on my left. As it approached I froze. I had come to a rolling stop but my foot had become paralyzed, hovering mid-air, someplace between the brake and the accelerator. 

What happened next was not pretty. The sound of metal crunching is a sound one tends never to forget. The sound and sight of the crunching of a very large Mercedes grill is something else one tends never to forget. Especially when one attempts to drive for the very first time!

The car's grill had folded like an accordion. I could see the disappointment in my mother's face. But she was not angry... As I would have been. The repairs had cost more than the car had! But the car was loved by us all and was fixed up like new.

I would learn to drive with a certified driving instructor in his small red car and before I knew it I had my own driver's license in hand. My gray car had become one of the family and we had even given her a name. Leibshen. As though she was a family pet. It was really quite amusing. Every time I left the house I'd yell out to my mother that I was taking Leibshen. As though on a walk. Though instead of a leash, I would be taking the keys.

When I was going into my Sophomore year in college my parents explained that they thought that car might be better suited to keep locally. She was getting old, after all, and they worried about her breaking down on the highway or on the busy streets of Boston. So Leibshen would be the Newport car. Eventually she became my mother's car. And my mother loved and nurtured her as though she was indeed the family pet. Older cars require a good bit of upkeep and maintenance and every time Leibshen was in the shop, which was a good bit towards the end of her life with us, mom would call to tell me. And I would make get well cards that would be posted on the inside of the garage where Leibshen slept when she was not at work or play!

I was given another car much more suited to a young girl requiring a reliable car. My father had surprised me with a zippy, fun and peppy red Volkswaggen Jetta. I did love it so. She was perfect. But she was not Leibshen. A dozen or so years ago my mother had to get rid of Leibshen. She had started to rust pretty badly and the undercarriage was in bad shape. Rust, in cars, is like cancer in people. It must be completely removed or it will keep coming back. She found someone who restored old cars as a hobby and he was more than happy to take the car from my mother. My mother was so pleased to be able to give Leibshen a new home.

If you are ever in Newport and ever see my Leibshen wave and say hello!

Not the Newport Flower Show + Playground Fun + Lickety Splits = A Weekend of Fun!

We headed off to Newport again this weekend, our last visit before August. I had wanted to take the kids to the Newport Flower show because I know they would have loved it, but my cousin was there with her newest baby and we all just had to see him. So we decided an afternoon at the pool would be perfect -- especially my aunt's pool with their newest cousin and her spectacular flowers... I mean with gardens like these who needs a flower show?!

Above and below.... pinks, lavenders and periwinkles... all my favorite colors!
I wrote about my love for the sea (here) now imagine how truly relaxed I am when I get these wonderful flowers by the sea!

Dee also has a fabulous vegetable garden... I'll be back in August... 1st weekend... in case you have too much of something... in case you are reading this! Or in case Alex is reading this!!

Ahh yes, the stresses of the day have melted away...

The husband took this picture... I actually like it!

We headed to town early to brave the crowds which were not bad at all for a late June weekend... we poked around some of the shops and had dinner at one of my favorite places, The Brick Alley Pub... great for families... good food in a fun and casual setting. This is definitely a place worth bringing the kids to if you are in town. Make a yourself a reservation or else you could be waiting for hours. This is a hugely popular spot for locals and tourists alike.

After dinner we walked around some more. After a while the boys headed back to the car and Rebecca and I kept going. We stopped in at Island Outfitters to check out their stuff. Noticed the Tretorns.... OMG what happened to them? Tretorn, you will be hearing from me. You have completely ruined your sneakers! These are not the Classic Tretorn but a cheap imitation and I still have the original to prove it. Bevy, you are soo right in being dissatisfied!  I did spy a gorge pair of turquoise crock Jack Rogers and I think my cousin Ashley ought to stop in for them because she isn't ever ever ever going to get my pink ones!

I didn't buy myself anything... or Rebecca, for that matter, who was begging and pleading for me to do so! We continued on our merry way... I texted the boys as we turned on to Wellington Avenue... We had no idea where they were and thought for sure we were going to end up walking all the way home!

We stopped to take some pictures of the harbor and the Ida Lewis Yacht Club where I learned to sail. Er, perhaps I should rephrase that... I took sailing lessons there. Poor girl never learned how to sail. Tennis was much more my thing. I can't believe I actually got Rebecca to smile for me here!

The boys finally caught up to us in front of the New York Yacht Club which was good because I was very close to getting a blister!

The next day we took Alexander to his favorite playground, Morton Park.

The older two went exploring and decided to take the path less traveled...

while Alexander got the chance to be a kid.

On the way home I spied this house for sale from the Newport Bridge...
This one might just be in my budget!

One final stop before we hit I-95 and all the horrendous traffic...
In the 30 years that I have been going to Newport I have never once stopped here. Oh man, what I was missing!!

Alexander had fallen asleep and was too tired to get out for ice cream. He got a little something "for later."

A nice weekend was had by all... and now back to the grind!

Gifts from the Sea...

I am drawn to the sea. She is majestic and magnificent and mysterious. She is glorious and beautiful and powerful. She is a force to be reckoned with. She is awesome and amazing, spectacular and vast and huge and deep. I love the bright cerulean waters of the islands and the deep greens of the cool New England coastline. She is always the same and yet ever changing. She is predictable and yet not. She is calm and furious. And within her presence I am in my glory. I am at peace and ease. I respect her and admire her. I am drawn to her beauty and power. It is the ocean I seek when I need an escape. I could never live anywhere too far from it. And when I cannot readily stand on her shores I find peace and solace in the bath.

I hear many mothers who complain that they never take time for themselves... there is never enough time in the day. While my days are packed I do carve out time to myself. I need it. My children need it. My children need me to take this time. While I cannot readily set off for a good, soul-cleansing run on the beach (What would I possibly do with the children?) I can draw a bath. I can fill my big, deep tub with water and scents from the sea, from Provence or from Tuscany. I can climb in to the hot water and let my body feel weightless and close my eyes and let the worries and the stresses temporarily melt away. I need this. My body needs this. My soul needs this. Alongside my tub are various shells that I have collected from the Bahamas, from Bermuda and Newport and Maine. I have clam shells that serve as a soap dish and luminaries filled with sand and shells. And now I have the sea glass I collected from the beautiful, rocky shores north of Boston. Beautiful sea glass in browns and greens and blues and whites in all different sizes and shapes. Magnificent glass that has been magically transformed from someone's discarded bottles. Glass that has been tossed into the sea and been broken up by waves and rocks from, perhaps, violent storms and glass that has been transformed from something jagged and sharp and dangerous into something smooth and soothing and magnificent. I look at my sea glass and I see beauty. I love the feel and the smell and the look of it. Like the shells and the life deep below, sea glass is a gift from the sea.

How privileged I am to have grown up with the sea -- to have spent my summers with her, with little fish nibbling at my toes... to have been able to have watched as octopi wrapped their arms around the docks of the marinas... to have played on her shores and dug holes in her sands... to have learned to fear and revere and respect her... to have swum out for miles and miles and miles.

It was to the sea I ran when I was just 16 and our summer home caught fire. It was to her I could share my innermost thoughts and bare my soul and shed my tears... It was to the the quiet, private beach I rode my bicycle when I needed to run away. I would take off my shoes and walk in the sand and feel the softness beneath my feet. I would sit and watch the tides roll in or out and watch her lap upon the shores. And she seemed always to listen to me, which to a teenager, is of great importance.

The sea is forever changing, like the seasons. She changes with the day and throughout the year. She can be calm and she can be tempestuous. She's as mesmerizing as a crackling fire in the middle of January. Have you ever really taken the time to watch the sea? I highly suggest you do. Her message is powerful. Her message is soothing.

I live just miles away from the beach and I wish I could get to her more often. My relationship with her is different these days. I can no longer just sit and watch her motions and emotions. I now have children I must watch. I cannot take my eyes off of them for a minute. I watch as they dig her sandy shores and delight in her waters. But I cannot trust her. I cannot trust her to take care of my children for I know her secrets. I know her strength.

It was not until I was in my 20s that she earned my respect. Twice. The first time I was in Nantucket. I was pretty far out and got caught in an undertow. I am a strong swimmer and by the grace of God I did not panic. I let the sea take me to where she wanted. I curled up in a ball and let her take me here and there. I held my breath and was happy to bounce around on the sand... was happy to feel the sting of the salt on my forehead from where I had been tossed. In the end I ended up along the shore a good bit away from where I had entered. I was afraid. Until then I had never really known fear. I certainly had never feared the ocean.

At the end of that decade I was in the Bahamas with my husband. The crystal blue waters were magnificent and appealing and spectacular. A storm was approaching and the surf was rough. But the sun was out in her glory and it was a perfect day to be at the beach. I made my way out. The surf was rough but not overly so. Still I entered with caution -- the kind of caution one has after one has had a close encounter. The waves started to come faster and closer together. I stood there, about waist deep, trying to decide whether to jump over her watery peak or dive below. I decided to dive but my timing was off. And as I went down she grabbed a hold of me with such passion and force. As I had in the past I remained calm and rolled into a ball ready to be tossed and bounced. I was not ready to be slammed onto my left shoulder with that kind of fury. Fury enough to knock my shoulder from the comfort of her home. I knew instantly what had happened even though I had never experienced an injury (or pain) like that ever before. Thirteen years later I am still paying the price from that ill-timed, ill-fated decision. Thirteen years later and my respect for her remains strong. My fear of her remains strong. And my love for her is unwavering.

It is my dream, to one day have a home at the sea with windows tall and wide. I will sit and watch her ebb and tide and lap the shores and wave hello. I will forever feel soothed and comforted and calmed by her motions and movements. I will forever seek her thoughts and advice and solace. I will turn to her for advice and answers and comforts.

I will always relish the many gifts I have received from the sea.

just another ordinary day in paradise

If you've ever been to Rhode Island you're most likely familiar with the yellow and green cup with the lemon on the front. This beverage is an Ocean State icon. Made from pure high fructose corn syrup, fresh lemon, lemon rind, sugar and crushed ice, this lemony sweet beverage is addicting. My kids love it and we can't seem to go to the beach without getting one at least once over the summer. Recently they've added a new flavor. Watermelon was added last summer, I believe. I didn't think I would like it. Of course I had to try one... it's fabulous! The only thing we seemed to need with it was a little vodka and perhaps a wedge of lime... or a sprig of mint!

I was so excited to go to the grocery store in Newport today to pick up a powdered version of this drink that requires just ice, water and a blender. My friend Heather told me about it after I mentioned the wee little bit about it being great with vodka. Well, imagine my surprise and delight when I learned, just minutes ago, that there are many flavors and even better... I just learned that Del's is available in other states. AND there's a store less than 5 miles from where I live. Do you have any idea how happy this makes me? If you love Del's and you don't live in Rhode Island you have got to go to their website! These slushy drinks simply make the best cocktails! Cheers Fluffy! And thanks for the tip ;)

There's a little playground called Morton Park that I used to take the kids to when they were younger. How they loved it there. To this day it is the only one they will play on. Perhaps it's because they have such fond memories of it. This thrills me to no end because Alexander so rarely gets to go to the playground these days and here the three can play together. While the kids play I put in a call to my husband. My wheels are screeching and it sounds like a braking problem. We learn later, after my husband brings my car in, that all four brakes need to be replaced. Nice way to drop a cool $1100 in a day. Gah!

I'm trying to get all three to sit on the bench and pose for a picture for me... Alexander will have nothing of it. Rebecca has plans of her own...

She moves in a little more...

Gah! A hug... from his sister no less!!!

This one shares the spotlight with no one!

Isn't he beautiful? I've often thought of having him model... but then I feel that's like pimping him out!

Before we hit the road we must stop off at Newport Creamery (kinda like a Rhode Island version of Friendly's) for some Crazy Vanilla... my kids all-time favorite!

After tummies are filled we hit the road.
Of course Alexander has to pee theveryminute we pull out of the parking lot. I tell him we have to wait the 20 minutes until we get to the Dunkin Donuts before we hop onto I95. There I'll get a coffee for myself.

But coffee runs through me quite quickly which is not good when you are stuck in this!

But things could be worse, I tell myself... I could be all the way back there! (The view from my side mirror.)

All because they want to chop down a couple of trees. Seriously, why can't this be done at night when I am not on the road with a full bladder!

The ride home was rather uneventful until the last half hour or so. The older two were bickering... Christopher was sitting behind Alexander, pulling his hair and Alexander was sitting in his seat chanting "I'm never going to stop talking... I'm never going to stop talking... I'm never going to stop talking..." despite Christopher's non-stop request to "Just shut-up, Alexander!" And of course all three are hungry. Because ice cream two hours ago was not enough. And as we approach was seems like McDonald's Mile on this stretch of highway, they beg and plead to go into one. To which I keep replying with a firm "No!"

I turn the radio on higher to drown them out. But it really isn't working. I sing along to see if that quiets them down. I sing along with Frank.

Of course it didn't quiet them down... But I enjoyed singing it!

We're home for a couple of days... then back to Newport this weekend. Going to buy some duct tape before that trip!

Happy Feet: A Jack Rogers Update...

Yesterday I wrote about having fallen in love with a stunning pair of fuchsia crock Jack Rogers and how devastated I was that they were not available in my size. It seemed that the shoes were custom made. I have my beloved white JRs that are on their last leg. They are unique, fit me like a glove, and are my absolute favorite sandal. I will be completely devastated when they do give out.

 Aren't they awesome?!

Yesterday afternoon I was reading my comments and noticed that someone from the Newport Island Outfitters store left me a message. How sweet, I thought. I then wondered how on earth he found me, so I sent him an email to thank him. I explained that these weren't just any JRs, that these were special and specially ordered. I then asked him how he stumbled across my blog. Jeff sent an email in reply. It turns out that his fiancee, Katie, is a reader (a huge fan, actually, and I am completely shocked and humbled and thrilled) and told him of my dilemma. A few more emails were exchanged and I told Jeff that I would be in Newport later this month and would stop by the store and check out their selection.

This morning the phone rang and the caller ID informed me that the Fairfield Island Outfitters was on the other end. I answered. The kind voice asked for Jessica and then asked if I was the one with the blog. I had to laugh. I told her that I was Jessica, and, yes, I was also the one with the blog. The kind voice told me that she was more than happy to place a special order for the fuchsia crock sandals, however I might have to wait 6 to 8 weeks. I let her know that I would think about it and would give her a reply shortly. I explained my dilemma to Rebecca who told me I had to get them. That all good things are worth waiting for. So there, my decision had been made for me.

I took Rebecca to her soccer game and called my friend Lori who had been at the IO store with me on Thursday and was witness to my Sad Sandal Story. She concurred that I must order them. Then she asked me a huge favor - Would I ask if they could locate another Owl ring in yellow? I bought the last one and she had fallen madly in love with it too. I told her I would be happy to do so.

I knew it was going to be a happy day when I saw the two teams were pink vs. green! Perfectly preppy soccer! 

And yes, that is my Becca in the pink and green!
Our team wore the green jerseys which beat the pink jerseys!
But you want me to get back to the shoes, don't you?

After the game was over and we won, I had to take Rebecca to meet her friend Grace. The girls headed over to a Birthday party. I came home to an empty house and was about to make a clean break off to Island Outfitters to order my shoes. But then the boys came home. Would my mission be foiled? The youngest and his father headed to the Lake and this left me with my 9 year old... Would he be willing, possibly, to go get some shoes with me?

He was more than happy to!

So off we went!

I decided that I should try on a pair to be sure of the size since they were being ordered specially for me. I saw the fuchsia ones in the size 9s in the box. I decided to try them on to see how big they really were. In slid my foot... and they were... perfect! The shoes fit perfectly! Like a glove! I felt like Cinderella and her glass slipper! The sandals were mine! Mine, mine, mine! The last pair and they were still in the store waiting for me. It was fate! Destiny! The special pink Navajo sandals and I were meant to be together. And I could not be happier!

So, thank you Katie and Jeff and everyone at Island Outfitters in Fairfield and Newport! XOXO

Aren't they just spectacular?!!!

My Happy Feet!

1136 Fifth Avenue

I was bored so I Googled my old address. I was quite taken by the flurry of emotions I felt. I was expecting to see a familiar building and green awning. I was not expecting to have the same building and awning evoke so many memories and emotions.


This is the building where I grew up. My formidable childhood and teen years took place here. I climbed those brass poles when I was little. I jump-roped, pogo-sticked and hopscotched in front of those doors. My parents left the building 20 years ago. They left the hustle and bustle of Manhattan for the relative peace and quiet of Newport, Rhode Island. I was in college and was shocked by their immediate and, what I thought to be a rash decision. How could they do this to me? They had foiled my grand master plan which was to move back home, get a job and not have to pay rent. Well, my grand master plan never came to fruition and so my life took a vastly different turn. This City Girl would end up living, most likely for the rest of her life, in the country. Meg Ryan and Dennis Quaid would end up moving in (until their separation).

And this girl would soon learn, however, that you can take the girl out of the city, but you cannot take the city out of the girl!

Most kids cannot wait for their 16th Birthdays. Drivers licenses and cars follow suit. But not for me. I was never going to learn how to drive. Whatever for? I had buses and taxis and my feet at my disposal. (Loathe the Subway and to this day can count on my fingers and toes how many times I've used the Subway system.) But driver's licenses and cars would have no part in my future. Or so I thought then!

I hung out in front of my building a lot. Like many kids play in front of their houses and meet up with neighbors on their street. I roller skated (anyone remember sneaker skates?!) and skateboarded up and down Fifth Avenue. I lived in an area referred to as Museum Mile. Many of Manhattans most famous museums were located within that one mile. I loved to skateboard to the Guggenheim which was less than a half mile away. The Good Humor Man was always parked on the corner standing proudly in his white uniform, next to his white truck. I had two favorites. Both were chocolate.One was the chocolate eclair and the other had an actual chocolate candy bar inside it. Sometimes we'd skate a few blocks further to The Metropolitan Museum of Art where the man selling Italian ices had his cart. He sold lemon, cherry and chocolate. There might have been a blue one as well. I most often got chocolate. Lemon was my second choice. I never much cared for the cherry. Sometimes my friends and I would just hang out on the steps of the "Met" and people watch. 

The Stanhope Hotel was just across on the other side of Fifth. My grandparents always stayed there when they crossed the pond to come and visit us. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis lived directly across the street from the hotel and the museum and it was not at all unusual to see her or walk by her. Other celebrities I saw in my "hood" were Dustin Hoffman, Bill Murray, Ralph Lauren and Robert Redford. Movies were also frequently shot in this area. Kramer vs. Kramer was filmed on location in a restaurant just up the block from the met (on Madison Avenue) and at the school, PS8 located on the other side of Madison. Trading Places was shot a block away from where I lived. 

My neighborhood was always hustling and bustling and there was no better place to watch people than the steps of the Met. In the summertime, on the weekends Central Park is closed to all vehicular traffic. The streets are filled with bicycles, rollerblades, skateboards and runners. The road behind the Met was a great place to skate board. There's a large open grassy area behind the museum and on any warm weekend day it's filled with people reading, relaxing, picnicking and sunbathing. This was all my back yard and I was indeed the luckiest child in the world. There were also two wonderful playgrounds within that half mile that we could go to by ourselves once we got a bit older, 10?

Sometimes I just hung out in front of our buildings. I had a dozen friends that lived within a couple of blocks. My two very best friends lived right across the street at 1125 Fifth Avenue. They were sisters just 13 months apart in age. I was smack dab in the middle and did everything with them. Robert Redford lived in their building with his wife and children. His children were older than I. One day I was outside chatting with one of the doormen waiting for my friend Catherine to come downstairs. A really good looking, strawberry blond with tousled hair exited the building. He had his skateboard under his arm. I was holding on to the awning pole with both feet on my board. He taught me how to do a 360 on my board. He was nice. And handsome. And I had no idea who he was until he walked away and the doorman told me!

Robert Redford was as good looking in person. There is no way I can ever compare him to the other blond, younger actor, that resembles him slightly. Robert would never give up someone as classy and elegant as Gwynneth (who while younger went to the same school as Redford's daughter) for someone like Jennifer and  certainly would never end up with anyone like Angelina. Robert Redford was preppy. Old school. I remember this because I remember seeing him (as he came out of his limo -- or went into his limo) in lovely colored Shetland (cashmere?) sweaters and dark sunglasses. Always dark sunglasses. I knew preppy. The Preppy Handbook was my life. My music school was mentioned. As was my dance school. As was my school. As were many other pl aces I frequented. I had my blucher moccasins (LL Bean), penny loafers and my polos. (Ralph Lauren was one of  my father's clients for many, many years and he had drawers and drawers filled with Polo shirts -- in every color under the sun. Many still in their plastic packaging. His drawers became my drawers. My collars were always up. Mr. Lauren lived just a couple of blocks away. I didn't see him often at all.

We had lemonade stands in front of our building. I remember we always made a lot of money. The doormen liked to hang out with us as well. Dressed in their dark coats with big gold buttons, Chauffeur-like caps and white gloves, they stood tall and ready to open a door, or help a resident at any moment, but they liked the distraction we offered them. We had two doormen and two elevator men, if my memory serves me correctly. 

Our building had the old fashioned kind of elevators. There were no numbers to push, just a brass gate (not even a door!) to close and a lever that went to the right or left, depending on whether you wanted the elevator to go up or down. Some of the elevator men were nice and would let you drive the elevator to your floor! During the elevator strikes the building's residents would have to take turns driving the elevators. I used to love it when one of my parents signed up and I would happily join them

Our elevator men were either Hispanic or Irish. Russel was a loud, white haired Irish man. I always found him obnoxious. I hated when he worked in the mornings on the weekends. You could hear his voice in the courtyard by the basement and he always woke me up. There were Jesse and Jose and they were nice enough. And then there was another nice older (50s) doorman named Ronald. He too was Irish. And he loved to have the children play outside his building. He would play games with us (as much as he was able to) and one day my friend Zoe and I were playing with him when he had to go and take someone upstairs.

It took forever for him to come down. When he did the ambulance had been called. He had slumped down to the elevator floor and had a heart attack. He later died. For the longest time I wondered if I had somehow contributed to his death. I was very saddened by his loss.

My children like to drive by the old house. Sometimes we do on our way to school. Now I understand the appeal. It's fun to go back and revisit those special moments.


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