Tag Archives: memorial day duck race

Responsible

responsibility

My dad is on his way to recovery.  He was sitting in a chair out of his hospital bed this morning when I went to visit.  He had eaten his breakfast and brushed his teeth.  Definitely on the upswing.  The doctors want him up and walking around now.  He wasn’t ready to do it while I was there so I made him promise he’d do it when my sister arrived. Waiting to hear from her if he followed through!

He was gazing out the window talking about what a beautiful day it looked like outside and he was right!  Memorial Day weekend started off a bit rainy, but today, the weather was perfect.  Tomorrow is expected to be the same which is great for the Memorial Day Parade and Duck Races in town.

When we knew how nice the weather was supposed to be, DJ had asked us if he could take Drew to a Somerset Patriot Game today.   They are a minor league baseball team about 45 minutes from our house.  Dave and I debated about letting him take him without us.  It would be his first drive on the highway since getting his license without one of us being in the car with him.  There were two options for him to get there.  One required driving on two highways, and the other was to take Route 22.  If you aren’t from this area, you would not understand the apprehension we have with Route 22.  The best word to describe it would be chaotic.  There are cars merging on and off of it from the left and right.  Jug handles and u-turns every few miles.  There are center islands with many stores, and cars pulling out from all directions.  Traffic lights every few minutes.  Total mayhem!  I have been driving for over 25 years and I still don’t like driving on it!  You have to be aggressive enough, but not overly aggressive at the same time.

Last night, we discussed it and I told him we had to make a decision, either Route 22 where he could drive 45 mph or the two highways with higher  speeds, more traffic and no lights to slow him down.  So after some debate and asking DJ what he thought, the choice was Route 22.  I went to bed a little nervous but feeling like we made the right choice.  He’s going to have to do it sooner or later and I can’t let my nervousness stop him.

This morning, they got up and were getting ready to leave when a text came in from my brother offering him two tickets to The Met’s Game.  So, the decision making began again.  Letting him take Drew to Citi Field by train(s) or sticking to the original plan and going to the minor league game.  I have let DJ go to plenty of Mets’ Games by train, it was having Drew tag along with no adult supervision that made me nervous.  The only problem with making the decision this time, was that I had to do it on my own since Dave was playing in a soccer game and I couldn’t reach him before they’d have to leave.

I finally decided to let them go see the Mets.  They aren’t little kids.  They are totally capable and I know this. Kids who grow up in the city travel this way all of the time.  They sent me a message when they got there and took a photo for me to see their seats.   I love when they spend time together.  Their five year age span sometimes makes this a challenge.  Drew tries so hard to to get DJ to spend time with him and he loves it when he does.  I know they are having a great time.  I have to give them more opportunities to do things like this.  In just over a year, DJ will be going to college and depending how far away he goes, their time together cold be limited so I need to let them enjoy it while they can!

 

Giving Back

giving back

Growing up and never leaving the community you grew up in, may not be for everyone but for me, it was what I always wanted.  Other than leaving to go to college in Washington, DC for four years, and a spending a few years right after we were married in a townhouse ten minutes away from here, I have remained in Maplewood, New Jersey.  My hometown.  Married to my high-school sweetheart, we knew this was the place for us to raise our own family.

I am sure it is the same in every small town, but one of the things I love most about my community is how so many small businesses still remain and are thriving here.  There are no big chain stores or restaurants. Many of the businesses are privately owned and run by local families.

I try to support the small businesses in my community to keep the local economy strong.  My dad owns one of these local businesses, which makes me even more passionate about it.  One thing that I love most about living here, is how so many of theses businesses give back to the community.  Through the annual Memorial Day Duck Race and school auctions where merchants donate prizes and services to the Street Fairs and Girls’ Nights Out – the list could go on and on.

This week  it has been “Restaurant Week” in town.

Local restaurants aresupporting Rent Party Pantry, Inc. in its efforts to fight hunger locally so come on out that week and sample the quality, variety and hospitality of Maplewood’s restaurants and food purveyors for less AND help fight hunger on the local level.  

This tied in perfectly with a fundraiser at another one of my favorite businesses, Viva Z.  On the last Friday of every month, the owner holds a dance party.  All classes are free but you are asked to make a donation to the local charity she has chosen for the month.  Last month, it was for the local fire department.  Last night, was a collection for the local food pantry.

Maplewood Karate, encourages its students to give back as well.  Students earn blue charity stripes on their belt for donating food which is also donated to the local food pantry.

There is a saying, “It takes a village,” and Maplewood really proves that is true.  Things like this are happening all of the time here, demonstrating how important community is and how valuable it is to give back.  I think it is part of the charm that draws people to our town.  It certainly makes me want to stay!