Happy Birthday, Clare

My site will be a bit quiet for a while as we navigate through some tough family stuff. Prayers appreciated.

Perhaps I will occasionally bring back some posts from the archives like this one, originally posted exactly one year ago today.

Bar sign

This story begins at Senior Bar.

It was just weeks before the end of our senior year in college. My roommate, Catherine, and I were enjoying an evening of celebration. Those were the days that most students had a job lined up before graduation and those of us who were accounting majors really had our pick of opportunities.

Catherine and I were excited about our new jobs in Chicago…all we needed to do was to find an apartment we could afford. We decided it would be nice to find a third person with whom to split the bills and put the word out hoping to find someone to join us.

Sometime during this particular night of dancing to Donna Summer hits and drinking our nickel beers this scene played out.

Some Random SeniorHey, you guys are looking for a roommate in Chicago, right?

Mo and Catherine: Yea

Random Senior: You should talk to Clare Wilson. She’s looking for someone to room with.

Catherine and I walk over to the other side of the bar and locate Clare.

Mo and Catherine: So Clare…any interest in getting an apartment with us in Chicago?

Clare: Sure.

Under 60 seconds.  And thus began a beautiful friendship that has lasted 35 years.

Catherine, Clare and I were all accounting majors and had suffered through some classes together but that was the extent of our interaction…until that fateful night at Senior Bar. If someone had told us that someday Clare and I would be godmothers to each other’s children I doubt we would have believed it.

I guess, once again, both serendipity AND fate played a part in this story. I am so very thankful that I was paying attention!

Happy birthday, dear friend!

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Go Where No Other Readers Have Gone

Today’s theme for the September Sapphire Even Day Blog Challenge (which, it seems, I have turned into an every other even day blog challenge) is: Resurgence.

Our fabulous host, Kim, from Being a Wordsmith is giving us the opportunity to show off some of our older posts that perhaps didn’t get the viewership we had hoped.  Oh, I’ve go a lot of those! Since I didn’t share my blogging adventure with my family and friends (except Clare) until I had been up and running for awhile, I’m not sure anyone has read these gems.

Enjoy going where no other readers have gone.

Barbie flight attendant

First, my rant about the scofflaws on airplanes who do not feel the same compulsion to follow rules as I do.  “It Is Now Safe To Turn On Your Electronic Devices”

iPad and wine

Next, my confession about my lack of productive hobbies. “My Constant Companion”

Personal Preference

And finally, a silly little piece about board games. “Personal Preference And Other Board Games


On a personal note, one year ago today we were pacing the floor of our condo in California, anxiously awaiting the news that our identical twin grand baby boys had been born in Boston. These little guys have filled our lives with joy and love. They are perfect in every way.

Today we will be with them as we celebrate their first birthday.

Happy birthday, boys! Momo and Tato love you!


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Our Yankee Doodle Dandy

Yankee Doodle Dandy

My fabulous step-dad turned 95 on the 4th of July. His birthday and the holiday weekend combined to provide a wonderful opportunity for a family reunion.

Most of the days were spent splashing in the pool and dodging the periodic Florida summertime thunderstorms.  My son and daughter-in-law are wishing they had a pool after they experienced the affect an hour of swimming had on the babies’ naps. The boys slept like…well, like babies – very relaxed and sleepy babies.

Because they live in different parts of the country, the cousins don’t get to see each other frequently. But when they are together, they have a blast.  The ages range from 6 to 31. It’s quite a confusing blend of generations.

The little guys (ages 6 and 9) are very clever and have incredible imaginations. They love to create imaginary lands, figuring out everything from the characteristics of the land to the type of currency.  The older cousins love this game and especially enjoy the wacky twists and turns their little cousins come up with.  One night the land that was created included mutant bunnies living underground which eat all the garbage created by the inhabitants and bees that have been genetically altered so they pollenate but don’t sting. Wacky, eh?

On the 4th, we surprised the birthday boy when he arrived for lunch.  We were all wearing matching t-shirts honoring the occasion (Celebrating John’s birthday, Est. July 4, 1918) and had a custom made Tampa Bay Rays jersey for him (number 95, of course).  As John entered the room we broke into a pretty darn good rendition of Yankee Doodle Dandy followed by a chorus of Happy Birthday. Cue the tears and the laughter.  It was just perfect!

The celebration continued with a  fabulous dinner at the resort.  Even the fireworks-canceling rain could not dampen our spirits.

We packed the remaining days with a trip to the beach, more pool time, another celebratory dinner, and ended with an epic pool party at my sister-in-law’s.  By Sunday night most everyone had headed to the airport for their flights home.

Our Yankee Doodle Dandy re-read all his birthday cards, looked over all the pictures from the weekend, and reminisced about the non-stop fun.

And then he said good-night and slept like a baby – a very happy baby.

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Born on the 4th of July

Happy birthday

Tomorrow we are traveling to Florida to celebrate my step-father’s 95th birthday. Yes, that’s right, John was born on the 4th of July in 1918.

Family is gathering from all corners of the country: six from California, eight from Massachusetts and one from Oregon to join the three Floridians.  We all agree that July is not the best month of the year to vacation in Florida but no one wanted to miss out on the celebration.  We are thrilled to be together for such a happy and monumental event!

(When I saw the fun and festive items that The Dose girls found on Pinterest, I was very tempted to make these my birthday gift. But then I remembered that John asked for “no gifts” plus I love him and don’t think he really needs a ham dogger or condiment dispenser.)

This will be the first time that the birthday boy meets his great-grandsons.  It will also be the babies’ first trip on an airplane. My fabulous daughter-in-law has made gift bags for everyone on the flight containing candy, earplugs and a little note from the boys asking for patience if they get a bit noisy in their excitement. Super cute, right? Another great idea from Pinterest.

We out-of-towners will be staying at a resort nearby. We will all head off in different directions during the day to enjoy the nearby attractions like The Chihuly Museum, then gather for the (in)famous Carney cocktail hour(s) and dinner. Most days I plan to be in the pool with water up to my nose wearing my SPF 100 lotion, my SPF 50 long-sleeved swim shirt and a hat. Quite the look, eh? Or, even more likely, I’ll be wherever the babies are.

On the 4th we will spend the entire day together. Just one party after another. John will enjoy candles in his pancakes, candles in his ham sandwich, and candles in his birthday cake.  The resort has been kind enough to schedule a fireworks show for the birthday boy. Or to celebrate America’s independence. Either way, it will be a bang-up end to John’s 95th year and a great kick-off for year 96!


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