Sunday, June 30, 2013

BOSTON Here we come!

Big month, July...

Before leaving for Boston, spent some time with Nick and the boys.  Swimming at their pool first, then Pamma treated to yogurt...

Got home, packed dad up in his apartment, moved him into our house for a couple of weeks.  Then packed ME up for Boston.   The ultimate goal of this trip is to attend the Compassionate Friends Conference.  July 5, 6, 7.  Decided to come a week early and stay at the Boston Sheraton downtown because of the great rates for the conference.  What we didn't realize at the time was there is limited parking in downtown Boston, so for the first night, we paid $47 for valet parking.  Unbelievable.
We packed enough for a month (including food~gotta save some $$ somehow), so we wanted to park close so we wouldn't have far to carry all the stuff.

All is everything into the room and requested a refrigertor/microwave since this  is home for a week - all delivered soon after we unpacked.  After driving seven hours, we were a little tired, but ready to explore downtown Boston.  We are just a block off Boyleston, very close to where the second bomb went off at the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013.  The Forum Restaurant is still closed.
Found the Memorial on Boyleston...hundreds of ribbons on a wrought iron fence with messages from all over the country...BOSTON STRONG.

Although we passed several quaint cafes on Boyleston, we ended up getting salads at the food court in the Prudential Center - walked the mall and headed back to the room.   Big day Sunday - headed to Maine for lobster!

Original destination was Portland, but didn't make it that far.  Got some great suggestions at the Welcome Center in Maine.   Ended up visiting York Harbor/Beach~lots of little shops and a Firetruck Parade AND the Nubble Lighthouse.  From there to Cape Neddick and Perkins Cove, then to Ogunquit, small village on the ocean.  Ended up in Kennebunkport, home of George H.W. and Barbara Bush!  Nice shops in a small harbor town and a restaurant with lobster...imagine that!

York Harbor ~ Nubble Lighthouse

Firetruck Parade in York Village

Cape Neddick/Perkins Cove 

Welcome to Kennebunkport, Maine
Donny got his lobster @ Federal Jack's Brewery & Pub

George HW Bush Compound in Kennebunkport, ME

It was an awesome day...and only day 2.  Lots more to come.   Cape Cod tomorrow (and hopefully a visit with Melissa's friend Shannon (from OU and Melissa's partner on our first 3 Day Walk in Atlanta!)
Then Boston stuff the rest of the week.  Then most importantly ~ the conference. 

 I am pretty sure Melissa visited a friend in Boston.  Not sure when - I would LOVE to know.  I remember her talking about having dinner on the water, but not much else.  If you know the story, or know who she was visiting, I'd love to know the details.  I love being where she was...and I hate that I forget the story. Wish she was here...miss you Fort, EVERY day.  

I'll be back....

Monday, June 17, 2013

She's still here....

I am sitting here watching Dr. Phil.  His guests today are a family who lost their daughter to a tragic traffic accident.  Ten years ago.  The mother has not changed their daughters bedroom in that ten years. Everything has been left intact...just the way the daughter left it.  He is giving her holy hell.
I understand SOME of what Dr. Phil is saying, but I also understand where this mother is coming from, in some ways.  It's really hard to change things when they are gone.  You want things to be the same as when they were HERE.  I don't have a whole room with Melissa's stuff, but I do keep the necklace that she took off when she was here that last Christmas, right in the place she took it off.  We DO have lots of reminders of Melissa throughout our house.

But one thing he said bothered me.  He said "She is not here."  I beg to differ.

Every day Melissa is here with us.  I am not motivated often to get things done around the house.  But when I AM motivated, I get as much done as I last we, I cleaned my room, including my closet.  I found a card that Melissa had given Donny for Father's Day a few years back.  I'm pretty sure she had a hand in that...I put that card in with my card on Father's Day.  He loved it.  That same day,
Father's Day, Donny & Nick play in the Annual Fortener Father's Day Golf Outing.  This year, my cousin Jim & his son-in-law Tony were in their foursome.  At one point Donny needed a divet repairer. Tony reached in his bag and pulled one out and threw it to Nick...when Nick caught it, he said "Where'd you get this Tony????"  He said "I have no idea..."

Later in the game, Tony found a pink ball with a breast cancer ribbon.  Gave them both to Donny.
She IS here.  Every day.

(oh, and about Dr. Phil.  He did do something nice for this family at the end of the show.  He offered to have someone come in and help clean up the room, leaving some of their daughters things, and also having a memorial for their daughter when they do it.  Good way to handle this.  I feel better about Dr. Phil's advice on this...even though he's never experienced it himself....)


Can't believe it's been over a month since I last posted.  Writing is good for me.  Been a little busy, between the boys and my dad.  Taking a break from the boys for the summer ( and I miss them TERRIBLY), but enjoying more time with dad.

Busy with graduations, festivals, weddings, rugby, and softball every Tuesday.  That's why I love's easier to get through each day when there is so much going on.

Went to the Cincy-Dayton women's annual rugby game at Eastwood Park.  Melissa played there MANY times.  Now her former coach and good friend Jen is coaching the Dayton team.  Took the boys and they found the lagoon.  They were more interested in that than the game.  More bugs at the the lagoon....

Two graduations - Chelsea Welch - who WAS going to be playing basketball at Duquense, but since the coach is moving to PITT, she will be playing there now.  Congrats Chelsea!

...and A.J. Breslin, my cousin Sharon's grandson (ok, I've always called A.J.
MY cousin, because that doesn't make me sound so old....
Congrats AJ!

Our softball team, sponsored by Angie's Firehouse Tavern.
Donny gave FORT bracelets to the whole team (and some girls on
the other team too)...we run ruled the team we played that night.
There's something in those bracelets....

Went to the Red's game with our good friends Bob & Penny.  
On the way home, saw dad's car at the VFW and stopped to visit.
(Bob's dad and my dad were good friends growing up)

Couldn't get the boys to take a nap one day...until I got them 
in the car to take them home.  They don't sleep much 
at Pamma's...ALWAYS want to find something fun to do!

Our good friends Curt (Mange) & Mary Clifford.  He looks happy
because he just retired from Portsmouth High School.  Taught and was
the head football coach for over 35 years.  They are our "cruise" friends too.

Donny & Mange @ daughter Caitlin's wedding

Along the river in Portsmouth, BEAUTIFUL murals of early Portsmouth.

didn't know it, but Roy Rogers was from Portsmouth!

...and there are some beautiful gardens along the main street, along with some awesome antique shops!

Stopped by the St. Helen's Festival.  (the church we grew up in, and where we all went to grade school)  Ran into Father Dave, who is now the Pastor.  He used to be at Ascension.  He got to talking to dad, and dad told him he "ran this festival in the 70s".  He WAS the Chairman one year in the early 70s.  Father Dave left for a minute, brought back all the current Chairmen, AND photographers to take pictures of dad with them, then announced dad's name over the loudspeaker.  Made dad's day!

Kettering Schools planted a new tree for Jackie...they didn't take care of the first one I bought and it died.  Can't have that...The new one is beautiful - right next to Melissa's bench by the Athletic Office.
Thanks Kettering Schools!

Stopped to visit Melissa & JP, planted some flowers and cleaned it up a little.
I miss you both so much.....

Bob & Penny went camping at Indian Lake...took us out on the lake by John's mom and dad's old place at Sassafrass Point, then to our favorite restaurant on the lake, The Tilton Hilton (the floor inside is 'tilton...REALLY...and the best burger I've ever had!


Grandpa Irv with Max & Andrew

PopPop with Max and Andrew

Took dad to the brunch at the VFW.  They had a raffle for the veterans...
Dad won himself a nice hoe.....

And on THAT note, that's all I have for this month.  Had to end with dad this month...Melissa would have LOVED this story.  And I know she would have ended with it!

Big month coming up.  Will have lots more to post then.  Enjoy this mild (and wet) summer.
I'm kind of enjoying the cooler weather.  Gotta get out and get my 4 miles in....