Thursday, February 19, 2015

With Sports So Hot, Who Needs Florida?

If someone had told me fifty years ago that the highlight of my winter was going to be my granddaughter's basketball games, I would have thought them a little crazy.  Certainly, I would probably be in Florida or someplace warm and the thought of going out into the freezing cold to watch a game was not going to be my thing.

My mother and step father couldn't wait to get to Florida every year. And everytime we talked it was about how they missed the kids.  They would never have thought about coming home for a week or so to cushion the lonesomeness that they apparently felt.  Too expensive they would say when I would approach the subject.  But yet they would go on Cruises to the Eastern Mediterranean or tour Russia with a group of New Yorkers that they had never met.  The way they spent their money was their business, God knows.

A few years ago I rented a place in Florida for three months.  It was much too long, I knew that but you have to rent for three months.  It is some sort of law in these condos.  The first month was great because one of my kids and their families visited.  The second month was a disaster because I missed everyone and an emergency came up and I had to fly home immediately.  That was the end of my rental experience.  A good lesson for me.  I am not the type to be away from my family for the winter, blizzards or not, it is not my thing.

I love the short visits to Florida, however, the wonderful feeling when you get off the plane and feel the balminess in the air.  I miss my daughter Kathy who lives in Florida, but thankfully she gets home often and we talk all the time.  I miss my mother and our visits to Disneyworld with the grandchildren.  I don't miss my step fathers inability to drive from point A to point B without getting lost for hours on end and then fighting with my mother like it was her fault.

The last time we were at Disney world my grandaughter Kelley and I pushed my parents in wheel chairs all over the   @%*&# park.  We took my stepfather who had several stents put in his body to help his heart function nearly fainted when we took him on a ride that was like an elevator that dropped fifteen floors in a second.  Neither Kelley nor I saw the sign that warned people with heart issues not to even watch the thing drop from outside the fence, forget about getting on it.

Three times since my birthday my son and his family postponed getting together for dinner because of weather.  The other nite we made it to Newburyport in still not ideal weather, to a restaurant called BRINE.  I had been there this summer with my husband and we loved it for lunch.  Our dinners were all wonderful.  The menu has a great variety pf oysters with very creative dipping sauces.  There is raw fish and homemade sausage, a different treatment nightly.  A carefully chosen wine list.  It was too good and the company was delightful.  Watching "my girls" as I call them grow up is so delightful.  Last year or so we were all about "Thrifting".  They loved hitting the thrift shops with me.  That changed overnite.  Boys and Bikinis, that is this period.  Nonni doesn't fit in as well but that's O.K.  I still love their company and I am grateful, so grateful for my Thursday nite dinners at their house and their parents fabulous cooking and I am grateful for the occasional Scrabble game, if they don't have too much homework.

Last nite, as we do twice a week we had dinner with the boys (ages 9 and 6).  Part of our ritual is to have a "Question of the Day."  Last nite we discussed the Chinese Birth years and that was interesting, finding out who was the year of the rat, pig, lion, tiger, etc. The boys knew all about it, the adults, not so much.

I told them about the PBS program I had watched Monday on Italian Americans and a little about when my grandparents arrived and what a struggle it was because my grandfather had to deal with name calling.  They were very serious about this subject.  I can't wait for the weekend to take them to a new movie, where I mostly watch them instead of the screen.  I know, I'm too much, but Todd is the same way, thank God.

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