Tag Archives: The Papermill Playhouse



Playtime. There is nothing like it.  It is my students’ favorite part of the day.  As we go around the circle each day as we end our class, I make every child tell each other what their favorite part of the day was.  “Playtime” is the answer that comes up most often.  At first, I tried to discourage that from being the answer, hoping that they would think about more academic things that happened each day. The whole idea behind, “Favorite Part of the Day,” when I started it, was so that when they went home after school and their parents asked, “What did you do in school today,” everything is still fresh in their mind and they didn’t answer, “I can’t remember.” I have quickly realized that there is nothing wrong with choosing playtime as their favorite part.  I sometimes have to remind myself that they are only five. They SHOULD like playtime the best.

Playtime is still one of my favorite things.  When my boys decide that they want to have a game night, I jump at the opportunity!

Today’s photo prompt is Play and I knew I would have no problem with a picture for it and I didn’t.  I took several but decided that I was going to share one from yesterday.  Playing out in the snow, on the big hill in town.  Drew, even at 13 years old was out there with his friends – playing.  Having the best time I have seen him have in awhile.  Drew is a kid who still plays, and while he likes video games, it makes me so happy that the games he likes to play most are outside.  Backyard hockey, baseball, football….he loves it all and even at 13 years old, he needs that release at the end of each day.

Kids need the time to just be that.  Kids.  They will be working for the rest of their lives and although he has to have homework done first, I encourage him to go outside and play. I am looking forward to the longer days when the sun is up late and he is outside playing until we need to nearly drag him back into the house.

Maybe everyone should build a little bit of playtime into each day.

Getting into the Holiday Spirit

Christmas cheer

A few days ago I wrote about Elf being my favorite Christmas movie.  Tonight, my dad is taking all of us to see Elf the Musical at The Papermill Playhouse.  It is as close as you can get to Broadway without leaving New Jersey.

The show, along with the light snow that began falling earlier this afternoon is going to be a great way to get into the holiday spirit!

The countdown till Christmas has begun!

nice list

Still There


Not enough time for a long blog today.After a busy day at school, I am meeting up with Dale and Kathi to go see Grease at The Papermill Playhouse.  We are using my dad’s tickets.  Unfortunately, my dad is still in the hospital and not coming home like he thought.  He was in great spirits yesterday thinking that at some point today he’d be back in his house.  Dave and Dale were “on call” for his pick up today, just waiting for the call saying he could leave.  When I spoke to him early this morning I wasn’t so sure because he had run another fever during the night.  He still seemed optimistic, but after seeing several doctors during the day, including the infectious disease specialist, they decided another day was needed.

Needless to say, he is NOT happy about it.  That alone tells me that he’s feeling better though. It took until the seventh day for him to complain and start arguing about staying any longer.  I haven’t spoken to any of his doctors.  I can never get there and time it to meet up with one.  Today, he was taken for an echocardiogram.  I am still unclear why, but since he had a quadruple bypass years ago, I assume they were checking to make sure no damage was done to his heart after the blood infection and high fevers.

I am hoping that those results come back soon.  So is dad!  He just wants to get out of there.  I know he doesn’t want to hear it, but I am happy that they are checking everything out, even if it means staying a bit longer.  At least this way, we will know he’s all clear to go home and won’t have to worry about him relapsing at home.  Better to get all better now than have to go back to the hospital!!

Once again, thanks for all the good wishes.  He can’t wait to get home to thank you all personally~

Another Anniversary

loss of a loved one

Tonight, my dad and I are going to see South Pacific at The Papermill Playhouse, a local theater. He and my mom have been benefactors there for many years.  They were always given tickets to the dress rehearsals of the shows as a thank you for supporting the theater.  My mom loved going, although it was more and more difficult for her to get there as her health deteriorated.  Tonight marks the one year anniversary of the first show I went with my dad.  My mom had just passed away three weeks prior, and he asked me to join him in her place.  We got there and the women remembered him and greeted him warmly and asked about my mom, not realizing that she had died.  Of course, they were sympathetic and offered their condolences to us.

I thought that night would bring us happy memories but as we drove there, my dad told me that my sister-in-law Francine had been rushed to the emergency room that morning, with acute morning sickness symptoms. We spoke to Tim before the show and asked if he needed us and he told us to go on to the show and that there had been no change.  We promised to call when it was over, which we did.  In that short time span, her health had taken a drastic turn for the worst.  She had an adverse reaction to the fertility treatments she had been receiving which caused her brain to swell and caused bleeding in every part of her brain.  This caused irreversible damage.  She was placed on life support and given no chance of survival .  She was only 31.

Once again, our lives were turned upside down.  Thursday marks her one year anniversary.  In some ways, the year seems to have flown by and other times it seems like ages ago.  My brother has had good and bad times throughout the year.  I am sure the next few days are going to be very hard for him and for his mother-in-law but I hope as time passes, the pain lessens some for them.  The world he and Francine had planned completely changed and he is slowly adjusting to his new normal.  I wrote about it 6 months ago, another night of a show at The Papermill.  I have a feeling that no matter how wonderful the shows, I am always going to associate that place with some sadness.  Remembering my mom, as I sit there in her place, and remembering the terrible phone call from Tim as we left the theater.

Regardless, life does go on and we have to remember all of the wonderful memories and let them out number those sad ones.  That is what gets us through our grief.  Never forgetting, just remembering.

Another 6 Months

time limit grief

Six months ago tonight, I went with my dad to The Papermill Playhouse to see a show.  He and my mom would go to every dress rehearsal for the shows that the playhouse put on.  That night, was the first night of him going without my mom.  He asked me to join him and it began as a good night.  We learned earlier that day that my sister-in-law Francine had gone into the hospital with what we thought at the time was severe morning sickness. Earlier in the day, it did not seem too serious.  Unfortunately, we learned later in the evening, that it was much, much more than just morning sickness.

As soon as the show ended, my dad and I went up to the hospital and met the rest of our family there.  By this time, we had been told that there was no hope for a recovery.  No chance of saving Francine or their unborn babies.  After a day on life-support, Tim made the most difficult decision of his life and the machines were turned off, sending Tim and our family into a tumultuous time.  We hadn’t even had time to grieve for my mom and then this happened. At 35, Tim is too young to be a widow.

Over the last six months, Tim has had good and bad days.  He has a remarkable group of friends who keep him busy and active.  Our family tries to do what we can to help and to give him the support that he needs.  His healing will happen gradually.  It will come at its own time.  Grief is not something that can be rushed.  There is not a “timetable” for how long it should take.  With Tim, I see good and bad days.  I can tell by his Facebook postings what kind of day he is having.  He has been wonderful to Francine’s mom, visiting her several times a month and taking her to the cemetery.  I know he finds comfort when he visits Francine.  She and my mom are buried side by side and when he is there, I think that he feels a sense of peace. when he is there.

There is a mass for Francine tomorrow.  I won’t be able to go because of work, but I hope that Tim knows that everyone will be thinking of him tomorrow. Francine left her imprint here on Earth and she will never be forgotten.

Mixed Emotions

mixed emotions

This evening I went with my dad, sister and niece to see “The Little Mermaid” at The Papermill Playhouse.  What a great performance!!  All four of us enjoyed it.  The last time I was there, was in April.  I went with my dad and we saw, “Thoroughly Modern Millie”, also a fabulous production.  My dad is a supporter of The Papermilll, and therefore gets tickets to all of the dress rehearsals.  He and my mom always went together.  On the day that we went to see “Millie”, we got to the theater, and the woman, who recognized my dad, had not known that my mom had passed away.  She was saddened to hear the news since my mom had been a familiar face and she absolutely loved going – especially to musicals!!  That alone was emotional, for me, but I am sure even more so for my dad.

It just so happens, that was the night that Francine was rushed to the hospital.  We did not know how serious her condition was, but at intermission and at the end of that show, Tim had been sending us messages, telling us how quickly she was deteriorating.  We left as soon as the play ended, we rushed up to the hospital and wound up staying there with Tim all night and throughout the next day.

This has left me with such mixed emotions tonight.  The play was fabulous, yet all I kept thinking about was mom and Francine.  That last time I was there, the night had started out sad, with remembering mom and ending up tragically with the loss of Francine.  Tonight, I didn’t know quite how to feel… I know that there will be many days like this.  Days where I am experiencing happy and sad emotions all at once.  They will all blend together I am sure, and I know that it is okay to be happy and my mom would have wanted it no other way.  She and Francine would have absolutely loved this show.