Archive for July 2009

Tests, Breasts and Maura Tierney

July 27, 2009

I finally got my letter in the mail the other day.  After six days of waiting.  It was a while before I could bring myself to open it.  Scanning down the form I saw the little box next to ‘Mammogram’ checked and then farther down the letters ‘OK’ written. 

That’s it? 

Don’t get me wrong.  I was very, VERY happy to read those two letters.  It’s just that you’d think the anxiety prior and the actual test would warrant something a little more wordy.  Something like ‘patient reaction to compression’ (OUCH!) or ‘area vs depth upon compression ratio is good’ …..  Just something more than ‘OK.’

At my age, I have had a fair number of mammograms.  Now I am supposed to have them yearly.  Yuck.  They are not fun….but not too bad either.   I am extremely sensitive to the way I am treated when having one.  Insensitivity from a technician or the slightest inking of embarrassment and I go elsewhere.  I like where I get them now.  The technician reminds me to breathe.  I never realized that I wasn’t breathing.  So it’s friendly and fast and they have great magazines.  Not that you get to read any of them to any great extent.  Even though it was busier than I have ever known them to be, I was still in and out rather quickly…..for a medical appointment.

Women – as a rule – are not really talkative when it comes to mammograms and breast care.   At least in my little world they aren’t.  It’s not something that comes up in conversation as a rule.  If it does, we tend to keep things light hearted.  We share ‘war’ stories involving rough technicians who stepped a little too hard on the pedal to the compressor.  Or of mammary glands that were surely seperated from chest walls in the interest of  ‘better’ health care.  We tend to join walks/rides to raise money for breast cancer research and education instead.  Unless someone close to us has an issue.  And in my circle of acquaintences there have been several instances of ‘issues’ in the past few weeks. 

B took advantage of a free mammogram offer during a small business trade show a year ago.  I found out about her surgery and chemo treatments in a lengthy family news letter that came with an invitation to her daughter’s graduation party.  It kind of rocked my heart a little bit.  I was the first grade teacher to three of her now college age five children.  She was a good friend and important part of the ‘village’ that we used to help raise my son years ago.  They moved to another state when he was five.  He has a lot of memories of adventures with her family…not the least of which is always wanting to live in a house with stairs so he could ‘slide’ down them like her kids did.  Today I am a regular visitor to her Caring Bridge site to get up dates on her treatments and to share in her delight of the curls that fall down the back of her head again…finally.

I was surprised at church one Sunday to see prayers requested for S.  She was a  friend and family camping buddy until other responsibilities and interests pulled us in other directions.  I hadn’t seen her in a long while.  And when I did, she was wearing a hat to cover her bald head but her smile was the same.  Normally as regular as clockwork about mammograms, she had put this year’s off because of general busy-ness.  Until a surgeon requested that she have one done before hernia surgery.  Her cancer was stage 3.  Always the optimist,  she is counting her blessings that a hernia forced her to follow through.  Had she waited much longer it might have been stage 4 with fewer options for treatment.

T is a member of a message board that I frequent for author Susan Elizabeth Phillips.  It’s a busy board where fans share thoughts about everything from reality TV shows to monthly reminders that ‘it’s time to check the TaTas!’   I have bookmarked T’s blog since discovering that she is a Teacher and a Mom and a writer like me.  She is facing breast surgery in August and needs to take days off during the first week of school.  I can relate to that extra anxiety of being gone from a new class of fourth graders…..totally. 

I had known for a while that RS had a close call with breast cancer some years ago.  It wasn’t until I asked my Facebook friends to share their mammogram experiences that I got her full story.   It was one of frustrations, friends, decisions and family.  She pissed off an oncologist because she didn’t accept his plan.  She is empowered.  She is a Special Ed Teacher.  And a Wife, a Mom and a Grandmother.   I have learned from her that each and every day is a blessing and to live it the best way that you can.

Maura Tierney was forced to come out with a public statement about her breast cancer situation.  She is an actress that I have followed as a fan for many, many years.  I finally met her after a play in NYC last fall.  Twice!  I have seen all of her movies, watched ‘NewsRadio’ , followed her work on ‘ER’  for nine seasons and was looking forward to her new ensemble series – ‘Parenthood’ – this fall.   That show’s premiere was put on hold due to her ‘health issues.’   NBC’s bungled publicity attempt to keep her medical condition private resulted in a public statement clarify her condition.   She has a breast tumor that requires surgery. 

While I know she is a very private person who likes to keep her personal life…private….I am not sure that she is aware of  how her news as affected the people that frequent the fan message board that I belong to.  We are an international group.  I am the Elder Statesman of sorts there and have been for years.  Sometimes they listen to me and some times they don’t.  When Ms. Tierney’s statement was released there was a frenzy of activity and frustration and not knowing what to do.  Like a group of  caring friends gathering at the local coffee shop, messages were flying.  What can we do?  What is happening?  Anyone find any more news?  Finally we did something proactive.  We set up a poll where members could post that they had either gotten a mammogram or done a self check of their breasts because of Maura Tierney’s statement.  Things calmed down significantly.  We shared stories of friends and family members that had gone through the same sort of thing.  We shared links that described proper steps for self checking.   What to look for.  We were talking.   And I scheduled my over due mammogram.

My daughter is fourteen.  She would definitely fall into the ‘itty bitty’ category a friend described when telling me about the ‘spatula’ tool that was on the mammography machine when she went for her mammogam.  It was for members of that ‘club’ and male patients (and yes, L, I did know that guys can get breast cancer too)  When I mentioned that I had an upcoming appointment, I asked my daugter if she would like to go with me….to see what it was all about.  She cocked an eyebrow and said, “Now why would I want to do that?”  Heh.  We were talking.  And now she knows a little more about taking care of herself.

And D tickles me to death.  She schedules her mammogram for the very same time on the very same day every year.  And wears her lucky panties.  She is an internet friend I will always want in my corner.  We ‘talk’ and we laugh.  And I am reminded that there are others with the very same apprehensions that I have.

I think that people in the public venue like Sheryl Crow, Christina Applegate….and Maura Tierney….have the means of reaching people.  Reaching women…and men….to remind them.   Remind them that it’s important to self check.  Remind them to make those mammogram appointments.  Remind them to take better care of themselves.  Remind them to listen to their doctors and to listen to themselves.  Remind them to talk to one another and support one another.

Of course their stories are painful….and private.  We are lucky that they are driven to share them.  And they are not alone.  There are thousands…no…millions….of stories like theirs.  But they are the very public voice of my friends and I.  We hope that you are hearing them loud and clear.

Check your breasts. 

Do it today.

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What We Got

July 17, 2009

     Watched a video of a friend’s child today.  She is four.  She was hosting a tea party for her daddy.  Straw hats on their heads and a tiny tea set spread out over the coffee table, she was the epitome of a good hostess in a little dress and a huge flower on her hat.  She was pouring ‘tea’ and dancing for him.  Delightfully beautiful child.

      I have a delightfully beautiful child as well.  She is going to be fourteen in several weeks.  Fourteen!  It will soon be nine years since we brought her into our lives from Russia.  Sometimes it seems like forever and sometimes it feels like yesterday.

     I think when you are blessed with a baby, it’s like being handed a package.   It’s a package that you have prepared for as well as you can….or not.  It’s wrapped in blankets and diapers and tiny socks and smells the smell that cannot be replicated from any kind of shampoo bottle or baby wash bottle or powder canister.  It’s new and soft and squishy. 

     As days pass and you open the little package, it slowly and surely becomes something special….and uniquely yours.  You watch for all the signs.   Hair begins to grow and eyes begin to focus and feet and hands begin to find their purpose.  You guide it to become the little girl or little boy that you expected for your family….or not.

      When you adopt a child, that package has already been opened elsewhere.  And wrapped up again.  It’s a little bigger now.  There are pieces of ‘tape’  holding this part or that part in place.  Maybe the paper is a little different than you were expecting.  And it’s covered with stamps and stickers.  Stamps from the foster homes and the orphanages and the guardian ad litems and stickers from court officials and social workers and escorts.  And so that package sits in your arms waiting to be opened….again.

       It’s not always new and soft and squishy.  The hair is there, the eyes are focused and the hands and feet have found their purpose.  But the package waits to be opened just the same.  What you find is quite a surprise at times.  Especially if you have adopted an older child. 

     Tempers.  Habits.  Hugs. Preferences and tastes.  They’re already there.  Formed in rock hard style.  Some good that you hope to keep and maintain.  Some not so good that you struggle to change.  Questions to be answered.  Rules to be made and followed…..or not.    You never know what you are going to get.

      But let me tell you what we got.

     We got a child with a heart as big as the entire outdoors.  She genuinely cares about the people around her.  Whoever they might be.  She struggles to make things different….one person at a time.  This is a child who is still surprised – after two years – to get money for mowing the lawn or shoveling the snow of an elderly neighbor.  A child who was willing to forego something she was looking forward to in order to purchase a bike for the kid next door.  A child who has faced more learning limitations than I could imagine  and still sets insurmountable goals for herself.  Just ask her where she wants to attend college.  Heh.

     We got a child that is a gifted athlete and always manages to come out on top when she attempts something new.   Skates.  Bikes. Diving boards.  Carny rides.  Ocean waves.  She fears nothing.  She is game for anything.  And that’s scary for a Mom to watch sometimes…..or not.  She rides easily over that crest of fear and comes out with a smile on the other side.  I admire that.  I wish I could do it.

     We got a child that is constantly moving.  This summer she is the Pied Piper of our corner and has five little girls who adore the ground she walks on.  She is out the door 15 minutes after she wakes up and complains when we rein her in to do something like…oh, I don’t know….eat?  Maybe sleep?  During the day she is pushing wagons for them and filling her alligator kiddie pool for them and digging in sand boxes with them.  She is organizing games and dress ups and stories.  She is busy.   She is moving.

     We have a child who gives absolutely no thought to what she is wearing 95% of the time.  Match?  What’s that?  Colors…count?  She brushes her teeth without argument but brushes her hair under duress.  At least for now.  Her clothes are clean when she puts them on….the night before.  Why bother with pajamas if you are going to get dressed in a couple of hours anyway?  Heh.

     We got a child who – at 14 – is very perplexed about the boy/girl thing.  She does not understand why her girl friends would rather sit and talk about boys and cell phones and make up than ride skateboards and bikes like they used to.  And why they get angry if she initiates a conversation with a guy that they like.  She does not understand why her guy friends are a little confused and standoffish when she invites them to go to the skatepark or texts them about ordinary things.  It’s a part of the growing up game play that I am not sure she will ever understand.

     And we got a child that has absolutely no sense of ownership.  She will give you the shirt off her back…her shoes…her lunch….her ipod.  Even her soccer coach has had to tell her to be more ‘selfish’ on the field and not pass all of the shots  to other players.   And she will innocently pocket an heirloom necklace if she finds it on the ground.  Because even after nine years she just doesn’t get it.   And we don’t get why she doesn’t get it.  We think it’s an ‘orphanage thing.’  And we worry that she will be taken advantage of or get into real trouble one day.

     I had lots of hopes for this package.  I hoped this package would enjoy hair ribbons and dresses and dolls.  I thought we would sit side by side and read books that I loved as a child.  I thought we would sew together and play with make up and design outfits to dazzle.  Our package was a definite surprise package however.  And you know what?  I wouldn’t trade this……for anything in the world.Jump

 Happy Birthday, Kiddo.

Love you,   Mom and Dad

Houston…..there are beans!

July 15, 2009

Our little garden in flourishing.P1020773P1020768

 

 

 

 

 

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I am just so proud……

‘Our StaTe Fair is tHe Best StATe Fair…’

July 13, 2009

Okay….so it wasn’t the STATE fair.  I think I have only been to our state fair only twice in my life actually.  MY family always went to the Saginaw Fair.  My father spent most of his growing up years either living on a farm or working on a farm.  The fair to him always meant horses and cattle and tractor pulls and baked goods competitions.  With the STATE fair based in an urban area, ours was more automotive than agricultural.   But not the Saginaw Fair.  It was horse puckies….and baby chicks pecking grain as they rode a tiny ferris wheel…. tractor pulls……baby animals……baked goods competitions….free stuff…..games and carnival rides.  In fact, when I was growing up, the Saginaw Fair was the only place we were allowed to go on rides.  If we clambored to go to one of  carnivals set up in the bowling alley parking lot, my parents would always say ‘Here or the Saginaw Fair?’  Hmm……

     Yesterday we bowed to the ‘everyone else is going’ argument and took the kiddos to the local 4-H Fair.  And it was fun.  Really, really fun.  And costly.  But that was the carnival rides and games.  The free stuff was my favorite. 

     Right off the bat the Princess was ecstatic to see an elephant.  She has never seen a real elephant up close.  Imagine that. P1020740 One of the few experiences that has slipped me by since bringing her home from Russia.  Sheesh.  The Prince has even ridden an elephant!  Not possible that she has never even seen one, right?  But then I remembered that we were disappointed that the elephant exhibit was closed when we visited the big zoo.  She was right.  She has never seen one.  And she was delighted!

    I love animals.  I am a fool for finding one I like and just watching.  The first tent we entered was a petting zoo sort of thing.  Goats, cows, a tortoise, zebra, antelope, llamas, water buffalo and a hairy shetland cow of some sort.  They were all looking for hand outs of shaved carrot pieces you could purchase for $1.  I want a baby zebu for my very own.  Seriously. 

Oh….and a camel. 

   And then we visited the ‘Miracle of Birth’ barn.  This is where all the pregnant animals are housed in order for patrons of the fair to be able to give their kids an up close experience with birth.  Animal birth.  Eew.  (My kids got all that education by being addicted to  “Baby Story’ on the DiscoveP1020745ry Health channel a few summers back. Heh )   Since we were there so late in the week, all of the animals had put on their show.  We saw a calf that was named after a co-worker’s daughter when she celebrated her birthday at the fair.  (Happy Belated Birthday, Riley!  Bovine Riley sends greetings as well.)

  

 And then there were these little guys.  P1020742

Is there anything cuter than a baby goat?  Just three days old and they were hopping all over a small bale of straw and tunneling into their hay.  They just look so happy and their tails never stop wagging.  I really, really want a baby goat.  Seriously. 

     After I’d had my fill of the animal barns we headed for the midway.  We bought the ride all you can tickets for the kiddos because we thought it was a deal.  And it was.  For her. 

     Because I grew up with the ‘Here or the Saginaw Fair’ decision, the temporary carnivals have never held much appeal for me.  It’s true.  I am a ride snob.  With Grandparents who live in Florida, DisneyWorld has always been our carnival of choice.  The Prince had been there six times by the time he turned six. (We went for the day twice in one year.) Sadly, the Princess has only been once.  For her 7th birthday.   Costlier to go when you are paying for more people.   Last summer, the Prince experienced a large amusement park several hours away with his 8th grade class on the last day of middle school.  He came home a roller coaster fiend.  Yesterday we learned that he can’t handle anything that goes around.  Up and down is okay.  Backwards is testy.  Around?  No go.

       The Princess – on the other hand – can handle anything.  We should have known.  Up and down.  Backwards.  Around.  Fast.  Slow.  High or low.  Upside down.  You name it.  Anything at all.  Multiple times.  Good thing she ran into friends from school because there ain’t NO way that Mom or Dad were going with her.  No siree.  P1020749P1020756

     The Prince was more into the games.  And he was good.  He has a fair amount of stuffed animals littering his bedroom floor again.  Not many were playing the games.  Sadly they are up to $2 a try.  It seems like the hawkers would be having more fun if more people were playing.  Crazy.

     And everyone’s favorite….fair food.  Anything and everything deep fried and riddled with salt.  Lemonade. Snow Cones of every color.  Elephant Ears.  Candied Apples. Popcorn. Chicken on a stick.  French fries….that actually looked way healthier than the latest potato concoction…Butterfly Chips. 

      Imagine a dinner sized paper plate piled high with rippling cut (almost shaved) potato chips, deep fried and smothered with squirts of sour cream and nacho cheese and then sprinkled with Bacos.  And they were selling like crazy for $6.  We didn’t get one.  No siree.  We stuck with chicken strips and corn dogs and regular fries……and this. 

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     Healthier because there are veggies inside…..right?  Broccoli and cauliflower and zuchini and mushrooms and onions…..and dill pickle strips.  Healthier…..as far as Fair Food goes.    Right? 

Heh.

The Great American Camp Out

July 8, 2009

   There is no question about it – especially to my Facebook friends.  -this past weekend was not the best of my camping experiences.  And I have had a life time of them.  I am a camper from WAY, way back.  Back in the olden days way back. 

    When I was a kid, my dad would come home from work on Friday and we would toss  sleeping bags, a bottled gas stove, a food cooler and a tent in the back of the car and take off for any of Michigan’s camping destinations.  No need for reservations (see what I mean about the ‘olden days?’).  Muskegon, Grayling, Petoskey, Onaway, Grand Haven, Harrison, Gaylord, Ludington, etc. were all destinations that I knew well.  Eventually we chucked the tent and slept on the cushioned table/bed my father built into his new van.  Then in the interest of ‘privacy’, I acquired a pup tent for my 12th birthday and slept in that.  We also gained a very cool, MASH type walled tent (which I eventually learned how to put up all by myself!) from an uncle who took a busload of kids sight seeing out west. 

     My parents fiddled with the idea of purhasing some sort of camping set up.  We once borrowed a covered wagon pop up from a neighbor.  It rained for most of our trip that time.  They eventually got a small  trailer…and then a motor home.  That motor home became their home on wheels for a while as they tried longer and longer trips after retirement.

     When my husband and I started dating, we camped – with his girls – in a domed tent….with a bottle gas stove, a food cooler and sleeping bags.  One of our first purchases as a married couple was a pop up camper.  We loved it.  We used it for weekend camping and then took it – and the girls – on a trip down the Atlantic coast.  That trip is now affectionately  referred to as the ‘vacation from h-e-double hockey sticks.’  Two premenstrual teenagers in a van for two weeks.  WHATwere we thinking?  Before the Prince arrived from Korea, we had upgraded to a camper.   And at word we would be adding the Princess to our family, we needed something with two bunks for growing kids.  That is our current camping rig.  And we have used it…alot.

     We have camped over Easter weekend in April and as late as Halloween weekend in the fall.   We have camped in private parks and public campgrounds….as well as an occasional available state park.  We have camped where you can explore lighthouses, old forts and beaches.  We have taken the trailer to Kentucky – where my sister’s family joined us from South Carolina.  My children have lots of memories of fireside chats, games of flashlight tag and cooking outside in the cool morning air.  But they don’t have the same memories I have of camping.    We generally camp more locally now.   Camping  in this Great Lake state is no longer something you can do on a whim.  You have to plan ahead.  Reservations are necessary for the best state parks and people begin booking them in January.  

      As  our involvement in soccer has increased, we have had to spend our free weekends – and pennies – on soccer games and soccer tournaments.  In the past two years we have only taken our camper out of storage four – maybe five – times.  We miss it.  That’s why we jumped at the open opportunity to do some camping last week. 

      We did some scurrying to repair a malfunctioning refrigerator in the trailer and got a spot in a local county camping facility.   Our kids love it there.  There is lots to keep them busy.  They can fish and swim and skateboard and ride bikes and snooze.  The pavilion hosts organized dodge ball games, puppet shows, craft activities, nature talks and a DJ at night.  And there is a wonderful fire pit at each site.  Perfect for sitting around and talking.  And then there is the added bonus of being on site for a perfect 4th of July fire works display.

      But this year, it wasn’t fun for me for some reason.  It didn’t feel like ….camping.  I was constantly picking up wet towels and dirty clothes.  There were ants on my table.  Fires were irritatingly smoky.  And it rained.  Alot.  The upside of camping close to home is that you can come home.  And I did.  For one night.   Then we all came home with smoke smelling laundry, aa few left over groceries and satisfied smiles. 

     Inspired by a writing prompt from a new blog I have found, Mama’s Losin’ It, I did a lot of thinking about my camping history.  And here are my thoughts: 

List 5 things you like to do while camping

1. Cook breakfast outside.   While I am not a voracious bacon lover, there really is nothing like the smell of cooking bacon in the crisp morning air at a campground.  Nothing.

2. Play in fire.  This is a delight that has been handed down to my children.  I can build a great fire by stacking wood both tee pee and cabin style.  So can they.   Our problem is we like those roaring flames a wee bit too much.  And bright red tips on the ends of your poking stick.  And s’mores.  And putting in things to see how long it takes them to be ‘transformed’ by fire.  Fortunately we also know how to safely put a fire out. 

3. Read outside in the sun.  I keep a collection of my favorite paperback books in the drawer next to my bed in the trailer.  Having not seen them in a year and a half, I was like a fool at a reunion this time.  Five books in three days.  Sheesh.

4, Play games with other campers.  I think this was my problem last weekend.  My family was off and doing their own thing.  We have generally camped with friends and there was always someone to play a game with me.  Rummicube has long been a favorite.  There is nothing in that game that can be blown away in the breeze.

5. Relax.  Slow down the pace.  Even if it was a Labor Day camping outing and I had a bag full of stuff to get ready for a new school year, there is something about doing it under the trees that is relaxing.  Soooo relaxing.

And I am adding:

5 things I hate about camping

1. Packing the camper.

2. Unpacking the camper

3. Too much rain

4. Too much smoke and smoky laundry

5. Ants on my table.  I realize they come with the territory but this time they REALLY bugged me.  I squashed the little suckers.  Me.  Who has the reputation of catching insects and setting them free outside.

      I am beginning to think that I have outgrown the camping thing.  All of the soccer tourney weekends are spent in hotels…..with spacious showers and air conditioning and comfortable beds and complimentary breakfast bars.  Our road trip to Boston last summer was spent in hotels.  With all of the above.  I am kind of liking that kind of travel. 

    So I am thinking of planning an Oregon Trail road trip for next summer.  So my kids can get a real  feel of our country’s history.  The stuff they are reading about in school.  Only with the hotels and motels and showers and beds and complimentary breakfast bars.  Or maybe we’ll rough it and just skip the breakfast bars.

     Heh.

On the subject of Movies

July 4, 2009

I watched bits and piecs of ‘Flipper’ on television last week.  Aside from grinning about how stinkin’ cute Luke Halpin was, I was struck with a bit of nostalgia.  It was the first movie that I ever went to see without parental supervision.  In fact, Shelly and I were put in charge of a younger sibling at a small town theater showing while our parents played cards together.  They dropped us off and we had to buy our own tickets, purchase popcorn, see the show and then wait outside the theater to be picked up.  How cool was that?  I think I was 8 or 9. 

    I have written in the past about my family’s affection for drive in theaters as I was growing up…..and the excitement at finding a working drive in not far from where we live now.   We’ve been twice this summer.  I have to admit that I fell asleep during both of those excursions.  Fortunately my leg was pressing against the speaker in the car door and I was jarred awake by all of the explosions at the end and so didn’t totally miss the finely sculpted tushy and  pecs of Hugh Jackman’s ‘Wolverine.’  Not exactly my choice of movie so I was glad not to miss the only thing that I was interested in.

     When it comes to choosing movies today, I generally roll with the crowd and it’s caused some friction in my household lately.   I am beginning to buck the system.  We are a family of acutely different tastes.  The Prince generally nixes any of my choices….just because they are mine….and he might enjoy them after all.  (I am still not forgiven for a forced Saturday afternoon viewing of ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’…..something I made him do before taking the final in English class after reading the book….even though he actually enjoyed it.  Nor has he forgiven me for ‘Whale Rider’, which his teacher made his 7th grade class sit through…..about three months after I made the whole family watch a Netflix rental of it.  I love that movie. )   The Princess has still not outgrown the need for animation.  HRH generally goes for anything that is loud with explosions or warfare or growls or blood.  Don’t get me wrong.  I kinda enjoyed the latest ‘Hannah Montana’ offering.  ‘Transformers II’….not so much…. but in the interest of doing something ‘with my family’, I went.  Will they see ‘My Sister’s Keeper’ with me?  Not a chance.  How about ‘The Proposal’??  Nope.  I did manage to cajole the Princess into seeing ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ once….and took a lot of flak from friends for allowing my 13 year old to see it before screening it myself.  At any rate, she enjoyed it, loved the music and dance at the end and bought me a copy for my collection as a Mother’s Day gift. 

I tend to go for the movies that are not huge blockbusters.  Quiet movies with lots of good character development.   Those were the kind of films that we watched on Sunday afternoons.   ‘Bill Kennedy At The Movies’ was a local show that mixed movies with movie trivia and interviews.  We used to plan dinner around it and eat from t.v. trays in front of the television.  We watched things like ‘Mister Roberts’,  ‘The Thrill of it All’, ‘Father Goose’, ‘The Longest Day’ , ‘Spencer’s Mountain’ , ‘The Greatest Story Ever Told’ and ‘The Rare Breed.’    Those are just some of the movies I remember enjoying back then.  I was exposed to so many great performers…Cary Grant, Sophia Loren, John Wayne and John Mills, Gregory Peck, Doris Day, Jimmy Stewart, Maureen O’Hara….sigh.  I miss them. 

     However, Netflix has been able to assuage my need for those kinds of films again.  And since no one else thinks to add things to our list,  the red envelopes that come in the mail are not generally met with a whole lot of enthusiasm as a rule.  They are ‘Mom’s choices.’  Don’t get me wrong.  We have seen some gems (‘Bottle Shock’ comes to mind.  We talked about it for days afterward.)  and others have been a total waste of time (‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button’??  What the frick was THAT all about?). 

     I am glad that my children will have their own memories of ‘ET’, ‘Star Wars’, ‘Star Trek’, ‘Wall-E’ , ‘Harry Potter’ and drive in showings of ‘Night at the Museum’, …..and okay…..’Transformers.’ 

    We are a movie going family after all.