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The other morning I went into a gas station to prepay on my gas pump. There was a woman at the register cashing in winning lottery tickets, and another woman behind her. I fell in place as #3, wishing I could have just paid at the pump, but that morning all I had was cash.

The lottery machine is down the counter by another register that was not open – this is where the lottery lady and the cashier had moved to in order to complete her transaction. An old woman walked in, saw me and the other woman waiting in line, and walked over to the second register. I eyed her suspiciously, but knew that the cashier wouldn’t take her before us. After all, we were here first.

When lottery lady walked off with her 23 tickets (and hopes of hitting it rich), the old woman stepped right up and began her business with the cashier. I looked at the woman in line in front of me and said, “Well that’s not right…” to which she replied, “I was here before her.”

Apparently the cashier, who I know from first hand experience is a miserable old man, could have given a rat’s ass who was next in line.

Another case in point – we’ve all been at a grocery store with too few cashiers open. The lines grow long until they finally announce “Aisle 5 is open with no line!” In my world, the folks who were already in line should get first dibs at life in the fast lane. But no…it’s always some tool who wasn’t even in line yet that zooms his cart to the aisle. Sometimes I find that I am in position to be that tool…but I always offer the place in front of me to someone who was already waiting.

Or take the deli counter. Sometimes it’s hard to tell who pushed their cart up to the counter first. In my world, when the deli dude asks “who’s next?” it’s customary (and polite) to turn to your fellow shopper and ask permission to go next…or to relinquish your turn and let them go first. Folks who just barge up and ask for two pounds of baloney are dickheads.

Then there are the car cutters. Those folks at an intersection that can’t wait the extra 6 seconds it would take for your car to pass. No, even though there is nobody behind you, they feel the need to insert their vehicle between you and the car you were trying to keep a safe distance in front of you.

I hate line cutters. I really do. Is there a special something in their molecular make up that leads them to believe that they are above waiting their turn? Some sense of privilege that I am not privy to? The only thing I hate more than line cutters is my inability to call them on it. Like George McFly, I’m not very good at confrontations. I usually rely on the wrath and big mouths of others to set these assholes straight.

Folks, it’s the holidays, where lines are long and the roads are crowded. If you find yourself in one of the aforementioned situations, stop, think, and wait your turn.  And if you see someone cutting, call them out on it for those of us too meek to do it for ourselves.

If all else fails, just sing along with Spongebob Squarepants…”Don’t be a jerk. It’s Christmas!”

cashier-handing-money

Today I am reblogging a portion of a previous post. Why, you ask? Has she got nothing better to do than to serve us a left-overs? Believe you me, it’s not that – I just need to reiterate what I had stated before because this problem not only still persists, but it’s getting worse.

What could possibly be so bad?

I hate the way folks hand back change! There! I said it!

Below is a post that originally made its way to my blog almost back in January of 2012 – almost three years ago. In that three years NOTHING has changed in the way I get change. Now, did I really think my idiotic little blog would change the world?

No.

But I am really sick of getting my changed handed back in a little pyramid – you know what I’m talking about. The assholes that balance 83¢ worth of change atop a dollar bill and hope they can get it into your hand before the coins topple over. Which they always do.

Heads up….That is a douchebag way to hand back change.

Read on if you want…I give up.


ORIGINALLY POSTED 1.16.2012

On Saturday I went shopping with my youngest daughter. While on the hunt for elusive and impossible to find Skylanders figurines, I picked up this, that and the other thing at a variety of stores. Every time I was handed back change from my purchase, it was done so in the annoying, obnoxious way that has become the retail norm for the past few years: Dollar bills in hand with receipt, and coins placed on top of that.

This makes me crazy. Why? Because half the time the coins roll off your hand onto the floor or the conveyor belt after the slightest movement of your hand. Or because while I am holding my wallet with my one hand, a pile of money precariously balanced in the other hand renders me incapable of anything but utter frustration.

Then I must put my wallet down, transfer the loose coinage to my now freed up hand, pick my wallet back up with my hand still holding the bills, drop the change into the zippered change pocket (which I must unzip with my teeth or the hand still holding the bills which by now are a crumpled wad), and then un-wad the bills and slide them into the appropriate slot. Meanwhile, I am getting more and more rankled because I know I am holding up the person waiting in line behind me who is growing inpatient to get their purchase underway.

I can remember a day when a cashier would hand you back the coins in the palm of your hand first, and then you grabbed the bills with your fingers. This way, you could slide the coins easily out of the hand into the purse and put away the bills in almost one deft movement. Or, if you were quick, you could store the coins before they even handed you the paper money back at all. But it seems as if those simpler days of receiving change are lost forever.

Since I am a meek freak who can almost never speak up unless lives are at stake, I appeal via this blog to any and all folks who handle money. I do not have the balls, guts, or gumption to lecture each and every cashier who hands me my change in this very wrong and frustrating fashion. However, If you are a cashier and you are reading this try to change your ways of giving change. For the love of God, put the coins in the customer’s hand FIRST!

And smile a little when you do it.

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Earlier in the year, a woman began working at our real estate firm. When she introduced herself I recognized her accent right away and asked if she were Slovak. She confirmed that she was, and thus began the conversation of family ties and foods we eat, etc. I love meeting fellow Slovaks because I find it to be such a unique heritage, especially here in Virginia.

corn husk dollsI have always embraced my Slovak ancestry. Our living room had photos and portraits of relatives in traditional Slovak garb, our china closet had Slovak dolls and corn husk figurines, and once a month our fridge reeked of garlic and spices from the sausages and  meats my dad would bring home from a Slovak butcher in New York City.

My older brother and sister had to attend Slovak school on Friday nights and a few times a year were dragged in full costume to several Slovak events in New York City along with cousins of mine. My brother even had to take accordion lessons.

I had travelled twice to my dad’s birthplace in what was then Czechoslovakia, staying with relatives and gorging myself on incredibly awesome foods…soups, goulash, dumplings, cookies and wine. I’d been to Prague, Bratislava and the Tatra Mountains. All these things combined left me with an overblown sense of being in touch with my heritage.

Hovadina.

Yesterday afternoon, my Slovak co-worker, Marcela, called to invite me to her St. Nicholas celebration. Not having any clue what she was talking about, she explained that it was a Slovak Christmas tradition where Mikuláš (St. Nick) shows up to give the children treats. She said that she does this with a group of local Slovaks every year, and wondered if I would like to join them. Hmmmm – I wouldn’t know any of these people, but I figured it would be fun to meet them and see what this St. Nicholas thing was all about.

Slovak Sandwiches

My daughter and I arrive at the party to a table loaded with traditional Slovak open-faced sandwiches (aka obložené chlebíčky – had to look that one up), cookies and puddings, and a gigantic pot of goulash on the stove. I ate and talked to the other guests, all of whom were phenomenally friendly and social. They knew I was a newcomer and took great pains to include me in conversations, and I was grateful for it.

Then came time for St. Nicholas to arrive. Called “Mikaloosh” by everyone there, he entered the room flanked by a devil in all black, and an angel in all white.  I had asked about the tradition earlier in the evening, and was told the tradition was meant to keep naughty kids in line. The devil carried a sack over his shoulder, and if a child was deemed bad, was carried off in the sack. If Mikuláš found the child to be worthy and good, the angel gave him or her a treat.

I had never heard of this tradition. We never did it growing up.

Mikuláš began calling children up before him. He was kind, but I have to tell you, these kids were scared shitless, even with the angel there. Each of them got up and listened to Mikuláš list their more virtuous traits, but each time he mentioned a bad thing that they needed to work on, the devil would sneer and gobble at them. Then they had to recite a poem or sing a song.

Each child, all very American, and all under the age of 10, got up and sang a song. In Slovak.

In Slovak.

I’m 50 years old, and I think my Slovak vocabulary consists of 12 words, and 3 of those are dirty ones. And here stood these children singing songs in Slovak –  and it was evident to me that their parents took the time to teach them these songs, and to make sure they rehearsed them to have their performance perfected for good old Mikuláš. I was stunned, impressed, and a little envious.

Here I was thinking that because I had regularly eaten Slovak sausages, could hold my own during a Polka, and drank my fair share of Slivovice, I was a true blue Slovak. Now I feel like I don’t know the first thing.

I know that’s dopey, but I’ll tell you, it makes me want to go cook some dumplings and have a shot of Shlivy…

And teach my daughters a Slovak song or two.

happy-birthday

Today I sat here in my 50 year old body, thinking with my 50 year old brain about birthdays of my past. I don’t have rock solid memories of many of them…after all, I’m 50 now. Remember?

But I do have little snippets of memories from as far back as 6 or so. They are not really stories – at least not all of them, but they are worth sharing (in my 50 year old opinion anyway).

My earliest birthday memory was turning 6 or so. I remember being home alone with mom…all the other kids and chauffeur dad were at Tuesday night Sokol. We were in the kitchen and my mom gave me my present which I eagerly opened. It was a 45 record of Ernie from Sesame Street singing “Rubber Duckie.” At least I think it was “Rubber Duckie.”

I was heavily into Sesame Street at the time so I was thrilled – plus I had just obtained my very first record – something I could play on our little 45 phonograph. But thinking back, I realized how hard times must have been for my parents if all I got for my birthday was a record that cost less than a dollar- and why such little fanfare was made in the way of giving me my present. In retrospect, I’m so glad I was happy with my gift.

Money must have been better a year or two later. I woke up on my birthday to find a Baby Tenderlove Doll in my arms. She was all I had wanted, and she was what I got.

I don’t know when the birthday dinner theme took off in our family, but if it was your birthday you were able to choose what you wanted no questions asked. For the longest time I had my dad take me to the Howard Johnson’s Restaurant on Rt. 46 for the turkey dinner. I don’t know why I would choose that. I had just had turkey at Thanksgiving the week, or sometimes days before. But there was something about that HoJo’s turkey platter that called to me. Maybe it was the yellow gravy.

Years later my tastes changed and my birthday dinner of choice was ravioli. Still is.

I can remember one birthday where we had to travel. We had been visiting my mom’s best friend, known to us as Aunt Dorothy, who had moved to Wayland, Massachusettes. December 1st was our travel back day, and I have to admit I was bummed – stuck in the car all day…happy birthday to me.

So my mom catered to me the whole ride home. I got to pick the lunch spot, I got to sit up front, I got to pick the music….because it was MY BIRTHDAY. Oh, and I took advantage of it too. By Connecticut my sisters wanted to kill me – I had been chirping about it being MY BIRTHDAY all day long. I think they were secretly planning on ditching me at a gas station somewhere south of Mystic Sea Port.

My family wasn’t big on throwing birthday parties, but I can recall two. One when I was in first grade – my husband’s brother was invited. I had a huge crush on him in first grade, and he didn’t seem too happy to be there. I think he gave me a dress up set. Hubby thinks it’s hysterical that his mom had to go out and shop for a birthday present for me 25 years before we knew each other existed.

The other party was when I was in 7th or 8th grade. That one was a blast – boys and girls and every single present I got was an album. Chicago’s Greatest Hits, Beatles Live at the Hollywood Bowl, and ABBA Arrival. Ah, ABBA. I played that record a thousand times.

And here I sit – 50 years old and thinking back on all those birthdays. If I’m still writing this blog when I’m 100, I guess I’ll reminisce about the fifty still to come. That would be pretty cool.

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Tomorrow I turn 50.

FIFTY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Gulp. Like Scarlett O’Hara said,  I won’t think about that today. I’ll think about that tomorrow. And I won’t think about it tomorrow either.

It’s just a number, right? Besides, I don’t know why I would want to hang on to my 40’s, because to be honest with you, they sucked. I won’t go into the variety of reasons why they sucked, but they did. My 30’s were a lot more fun.

So what’s a gal to do? Ignore the number and just press on. Ignore the AARP card that came in the mail the other day. Looking at the bright side, I still have 10 years until I’m sixty.

Oh crap…that just made me feel really sick. However, it’s better than the alternative….NOT turning 60.

Karma

In the past decade or so, I’ve come to seriously doubt the validity of Karma. That whole “Karma’s a bitch what comes around goes around” mantra? I think it’s a bunch of crap, and I’ll tell you why.

Bill Cosby.

He’s the perfect example of why folks who believe in Karma are kidding themselves. Here’s a man who “allegedly” molested 19 women (so far) from 1965 until as recently as 2004. Yet he’s had unbelievable success, is (was) beloved and respected by millions, and let’s not forget is freakin’ stinking rich to boot.

Hello, Karma? Where you been, girl?

If this theory of what comes around goes around is even remotely true, shouldn’t Bill Cosby have lost his house in a sink-hole? Or perhaps have been duped into losing a bunch of money in a Bernie Madoff-esque rip off scandal? Hell, I’d settle for a stubbed toe or a bad case of pink eye.

It aint just old Bill either. I’ve known people who were super loafers – the type who were more than happy to have others do their work for them, and still were beloved by all; given accolades, awards and kudos for a job well done…by someone else.

If karma is true, why do we have phrases like “nice guys finish last” and “only the good die young?” Shouldn’t karma be working overtime to ensure that the greedy, predatory assholes of this world finish last and die young?

I know you folks out there love your karma – who doesn’t like the idea of some dishonest d-bag getting what’s coming to him? Trouble is, I’m beginning to think those same dishonest d-bags are pretty much running the world…how’s that for karma?

Dodger

Each weekday morning my cat drives me crazy.

It used to was that I let him out the minute I got up at 4:45 am. He’d sleep at my feet (or at my head) and the minute the alarm went off he would trot to the bathroom, rub up against my legs as I took care of my morning business, and then meow pleadingly at the front door. And I’d let him out.

But a few weeks ago we had a scare. Minutes after I let him out I heard an unearthly noise –  a ghostly, whining moan – followed by a loud, horrific screetch. To any cat owners out there, you know how unnerving that sound can be.

I ran out the front door, calling out my cat’s name but got no response. I then ran to the back door and out into the driveway. Our little kitty was fearfully crouching in the back of the driveway and when I approched him he made a slunky retreat under my husband’s car.

temptations-treats-for-cats-chicken-flavor-3oz-1_1By this time my daughter was up and outside in her nightgown, frantic that her beloved kitty was injured. We coaxed him out from under the car with kitty krack…a bag of Temptation cat treats.

Once inside he seemed no worse for the wear, with the exception of a scratch on his nose and one of his puffy little cheeks. But it was scary. We couldn’t tell if the creature that he had almost come to blows with was simply another cat or something more lethal, like a possum.

Right then and there the decision was made to keep kitty indoors until the sun comes up. And right then and there my mornings went from quiet to cacophonous.

Kitty still sleeps by my head, still joins me in the bathroom for a few leg rubs and scratches, but then I sit at the computer and he sits at the door and cries. And cries. And cries. From 4:45 – 6:30 am he cries moanfully, and bangs his paw on the wooden blinds, which make a horrible clattering noise.

Cuddie

That’s when I hit him with the spray bottle. And he runs away…for a minute. Then he’s right back wailing and crying and banging the blinds, where I again grab the spray bottle to give him another squirt. My husband is worse, though. He’ll chase him around the house spraying the poor cat until he’s fairly soaking.

By the time the sun is starting to rise I am more than ready to drop kick him out the front door. So my rule is, if it’s light enough for me to see the street, he is cleared for take-off. My daugher and husband do not share in the wisdom of this rule. They want the sun high in the sky before he can head out, but they haven’t been up for 90 minutes listening to his wails and moans and blind banging.

If it wasn’t so annoying, it would almost be comical. It’s like he’s missing some big kitty meeting that all of his buddies are at, and he’s the only newbe left inside. I wish I could reason with the little fucker…sit him down and say, “kitty – there are monsters out there, and we don’t want them to eat you up so you have to stay in where it’s safe.”

He’s such a beautiful kitty. The thought of something happening to him, something like what we went through with Olive last spring, is too painful for me to bear. I just hope he gets used to our new schedule soon – cause it’s not even winter yet, and the mornings are only going to get darker for the next month.

Radio

I love talk radio.

It may stem from the years I spent driving with my dad as a child. With dad, there was no tuning in to to the throngs of New York city’s music stations – no chance of hearing ABBA or KC and the Sunshine Band. With dad it was all talk radio.

Some of it was a real snore, especially the shows that gave investment advice. That was when you stared out the window watching the scenery whiz by dreaming of the day the Walkman would be invented. But sometimes the shows were interesting, especially Bob Grant who would yell at callers if he was in the mood to do so. I thought he was horribly mean, but it made for good radio.

When I got a car of my own my love for talk radio grew. Whenever I made trips to the Jersey Shore or down to U of D, I’d turn to talk radio because, quite frankly, it got tiring listening to music. The stations could get very repetative – my brain would need a break from That’s What Friends are For.

Plus you would drive in and out of FM station range, usually during a song you loved. But for some reason AM radio waves travel super far. I live in Virginia, and sometimes on a clear night I can get 1010 WINS from New York City.

On these drives I found and fell in love with advice shows. Sally Jesse Raphael was always a good find – throngs of folks calling in to ask advice on a myriad of topics, some boring some bizarre. And who can forget Dr. Ruth talking about errrrrrections? (roll the “r”!) Now that was entertaining radio!

Years later when I moved to Florida I was desperately looking for a good talk radio advice show. Enter Dr. Laura. At first I was really excited – more troubled folk and expert advice – sign me up! But it didn’t take long for me to realize that Dr. Laura was, to put it mildly, a judgemental bitch.

One of her favorite things to harp on was working mothers, of which I was (and still am) one. In her mind there was no excuse what so ever for working when you had children. I would hear callers attempt to get advice about a problem, but if good old Dr. Laura got wind that you were a working mom you now had a second problem to deal with and rarely got any solutions to your first one.

That was the Dr. Laura game, and I got tired of getting angry and screaming at my dashboard. So I tuned her out. That was 15 years ago.  But I have to admit, every now and then I need a Dr. Laura refresher dose.

Talk radio here in Charlottesville is nothing to write home about. Althought it’s a fairly liberal college town, the local radio stations didn’t get that memo. It’s all Limbaugh, Hannity, Ingram and other ultra right-wing brain washing shows. They used to have Clark Howard on, but they got rid of him, and I stopped listening to the radio and moved on to audiobooks.

But lately I haven’t been able to latch onto a book that I really like so I turned to podcasts. Remembering my love of advice, searched for advice podcasts and stumbled across Dr. Laura. Should I or shouldn’t I? What the hell, I thought and downloaded 4 calls just to see if she was still as big of an asshole as I remember her being.

Call 1 – woman just got out of a 3 year abusive relationship and needs advice on how to move on. Right off the bat Dr. Laura digs for items she can use to cause shame – how long after your divorce did you start to date him? How many minor children in the household? You could almost hear the woman trying to answer in a way where Dr. Laura could find little fault in her.

Ha! Fat chance. A little over 1 minute in Dr. Laura called her pathetic – when the woman pressed on seeking help, Dr. Laura says, “Ok, so tell me why you are so stupid and weak.” What a saint.

Call 2 – A nurse calls in saying she is nervous about an upcoming surgery and was concerned about how she would feel becoming the patient. Dr. Laura’s response? “Well this tells me you look down on your patients.”

When the woman began to argue and defend herself, Dr. Laura said “I’m right – don’t you argue with me,” and then continued on to tell the woman that as a nurse she considers herself superior to her patients and gives them substandard care. And then finished the sentence with “Put that in your pipe and smoke it.”

It wasn’t until the woman was in tears that Dr. Laura pulled back and actually made an attempt to help her.

Call 3 – This was a classic Dr. Laura case. A 19 year old girl calls asking advice on ending her 3 year relationship with her boyfriend. Dr. Laura immediately discounts any validity in her relationship because you can’t possibly know what love is at 19. Then she berates the girl for shacking up and “Laying on her back and opening up her legs.”

You could hear the girl trying her best to ignore the snarky quips and attempt to get some advice, but it was tough coming. Eventually it came out that this poor girl was in foster care most of her life after getting away from an abuse mother. Then Dr. Douchebag was a bit more understanding of how she might have made some wrong choices and gave her some advice.

I never got to call 4. I couldn’t stand it anymore. I was only 3 phone calls in and I was ready to punch her repeatedly.

But in those three calls I saw a pattern. Dr. Laura’s m.o. is to first shame you into submission if you have done anything that remotely goes against her strict moral code – the way she thinks the earth should turn. Then maybe she’ll help you. That puts her in charge; you’re a loser and you suck and you are to shut up and listen. I’ve seen dogs treated better than these poor souls that were coming to her for help.

She used this tactic in every call – she’s nothing but a big bully who makes a living putting folks who are already miserable in their place, and then rubbing their noses in their dispair for the sheer fun of it.

So I got my booster shot. She’s still a high riding bitch with followers who love abuse. Sigh. There will be no more of her podcasts on my iPod.

Now Clark Howard? That’s another story – he gives advice I can use. And he’s nice as pie to boot.


Footnote: I’m very proud of myself for having the restraint to not use the c word – it would have fit so nicely, too.

Booze

When I was in my young adult years I couldn’t always find a job in the graphic design field. Desktop publishing was in and paste-up was out, and although I had some experience designing on the Mac, I was still more comfortable with my T-square and pica guage. So art jobs were hard to come by, even when you lived a stones throw from Manhattan.

But a girl’s gotta eat, so I took a job at our local liquor super store, Bottle King. Glamorous, right? Well, it was easy work, and the store was so close I could walk to it. I worked a 40 hour week as a cashier – scanning beer and booze. You’d be surprised the things you could learn wearing that blue Bottle King vest.

I loved working the opening shift because you figure – how many people buy booze at 9 am? Well I’ll tell you something – there was almost always someone waiting for those front doors to open every single day. We had our regulars, that’s for sure.

There was the business man in an overcoat who came in just about every day shortly after 5 and bought a pint of BK Vodka. There was an overweight dude with long hair that would buy 2 or 3 jugs of Almaden wine – not every day, but a few times a week. And there were the throngs of blue collar dudes who came in for their case of Bud, or Miller, or Coors.

And there were the bouffant sisters. Two ladies in their 50s or so with big beehive hair-dos who would fill a shopping cart full of all the fixin’s for Manhattans and Old Fashioneds. They would argue and bicker as they went up and down the aisles, but I have a feeling that they were best buddies again a tumbler or two into happy hour.

Then there were the wine connoisseurs – the folks who came in and bought bottles by the case. My boss liked them. And my boss liked me too. He was a decent guy – I think his name was Mike. If you showed up and did your job, he gave you better shifts and didn’t mind if you took an extra 5 minutes for your dinner break, which was good because it was only 30 minutes long. Just enough time to buy a slice or two and inhale it in his office before heading back to your register.

I remember while I worked there is father died – he had a heart attack while shovelling snow. I felt so bad for him…it’s such a lack luster way to go. Here you are just clearing the snow from your driveway and bam, you’re dead. You know, I think of his dad almost every time I shovel.

During the holidays the store would be rocking. Thanksgiving day the lines would run the entire length of the store back to the beer cases. Ditto on the days leading up to Christmas and New Years. And if we had a big lottery? Uff da – the line would circle the store.

The lottery machine was another ball buster. Not so much if folks filled out their card or just wanted a couple of quick picks. But every week we would get a few hard core lottery players that would come in with a very long, very tattered list of pick 3 and pick 4 numbers. Those sucked.

There was one lady who was in her 60s or 70s that would waddle in with her walker once a week stinking to high heaven. I don’t think she did more than sprinkle water under her armpits once every 6 months. She had that classic, sour, old lady smell and boy, did it linger. You had to practically hold your breath while you punched in her lottery numbers and then the front of the store reeked for at least a half an hour afterwards. But I was never mean to her – not like some of the other cashiers.

We used to have one dude come in that had these odd horn-like growths on his fingers and the back of his hands. One of the girls would tell me she tried to make sure their hands never touched when she took his money. It didn’t bother me though. I don’t like making folks who may have an abnormality feel out of place. Except for once…

We were really busy – so busy that I was nothing more than a change making machine. I was ringing folks up and handing them their change like a robot, barely making eye contact. I went to hand back this one gentleman his change when I saw that the palm extended out to me was not your average palm.

I think the man had Ectrodactyly – where the hand looks more like a lobster claw. In any case it caught me 100% off guard and and instead of dropping the change into his hand, I screamed and threw the change – about 94¢ worth – in the air. It came clattering down noisily as everyone in the store turned to stare.

I was utterly humiliated. But the man was very kind and understanding while I babbled a string of apologies and gathered up his change from the floor. It’s still one of my most cringe-worthy moments.

I worked there on and off for a couple of years. If I left for a new job, and it didn’t quite work out, Mike was always ready and willing to take me back. But eventually I found a good enough job that my Bottle King days were officially over.

The store is still there, but it’s not a Bottle King anymore – it’s now called Wine King – hey! Right up my alley.

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POSTCARD

For the past few years my sister and I have been trying to get back up to Martha’s Vineyard for our family summer vacation. It takes some early planning – we stay at my cousin’s rental house, and in order to secure a week before they are all spoken for, you need to get on the phone with her soon after the summer season is over.

My sister called me last night to let me know that the house is ours for a week, we are just not sure of the date yet. But it’s ours. We are going. My last trip to the Vineyard was in 2005 I think – the year Sasha locked herself in my cousin’s bathroom and we almost left the island out of sheer embarassment.

10 years is too long to be away. Way too long. My oldest has a mild recollection of our few trips there since her birth, but my youngest can’t remember a thing about my favorite summer place. It will all be new to her and I’m psyched that I can show it to her. Excited that both of my girls are going to form memories of the island that will stay with them forever.

Memories just like their mom has.

Memories of mornings at the beach, and afternoons at the bay. Memories of evenings spent walking through the streets of Edgartown or Oak Bluffs, your skin glowing from a day spent in the sun. Memories of eating ice cream on a wharf-side bench while feeling the ocean breezes flutter through your hair. Memories of riding the Flying Horses, mastering the art of grabbing more than one ring each time around.

I’m good at that – they are going to have to practice.

I can’t wait to make my reservations with the Steamship Authority. And to make the drive into Woods Hole, and wait in line for the ferry. Ah, the ferry. It’s a ride I cherish every year. The ride to the island, that is. The one back to the mainland isn’t nearly as much fun.

Oh man. I can’t wait.

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