Monday, December 25, 2006

Christmas in the Poconos, 2006

The Clarks and the Davidians pose in Milford, Pa.

The good life, according to the Roman philosopher Lucretius, requires two conditions: a body free of pain, and a mind free of fear and worry.

Look at these faces in the above holiday photo taken by remote control at 124 Vandermark Place in Milford, Pa. Are there any hints of fear, worry or pain? None at all.

Lucretius did not mention Christmas gift giving in his classic “The Nature of Things.” It was written in the first century B.C. But I will take a moment to mention a few of the gifts exchanged in the Pocono foothills. Poppy (middle row, far right), received a printer for his computer. Aaron (the stoic little angel in the middle row, far left) received a toy truck track. Michael (front row, third from left) received an unusual pinball game, and Madeline (front row, far left) warmly received a nano-Ipod, capable of playing digital music.

These toys and machines are all wonderful, but do they lead to the good life? Lucretius is silent on the topic. I suspect not. Rather, the glowing faces and sparkling eyes in the above picture are fueled by the joy of family, friendship and the laughter of children. A modest proposal: Next year, no gifts! We’ll just sit in the big room and sing songs. (Please respond below in the comments section of this blog entry.)

In other holiday news, the team of Casey Clark and Mike Davidian won the prestigious Clark Family Holiday Euchre Tournament.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas in New York

Theo, left, appeared for the fourth consecutive year in Santa’s Park Avenue corner office.

The 9:12 train to New York City arrived at the Metuchen train station right on time. Off we went to Daddy’s Park Avenue office for a rendezvous with destiny. Santa Claus was in town, and the Clarks of New Jersey, along with Uncle Danny, Aunt Tedra and baby Aaron, were coming to meet him.

Look there! It’s the Empire State Building, seen through the crosstown opening of 33rd St. Look there! It’s CafĂ© 34, where Daddy buys his no. 14 breakfast special ($2.98 for two eggs, toast, coffee and breakfast potatoes – the best deal in the tri-state) when he’s not in a hurry. Look here! It’s the elevator to the subway platform. Isn’t this a cozy fit for two strollers?

Santa Claus was very generous this year. He gave Theo a Lightning McQueen racecar and gave Natalie a toy radio. Aaron, a late entry, received a Teddy Bear. And all boys and girls received cupcakes and juice boxes.

Look there! It’s the world’s greatest electric train show – the Station at Citigroup Center. And here’s the world’s most famous toy store: FAO Schwartz. It’s also the world’s most crowded toy store.

Here’s our holiday tip: avoid FAO Schwartz during the holidays.

* * * Special New York City moment * * *
A woman on a crowded Fifth Avenue sidewalk shouted “Yeah, Indiana!” when she saw Theo’s I.U. jacket. Wait a second! Isn’t that woman the former girlfriend of daddy’s old college buddy Brad Carlson? It is! It’s Lola. You've heard of the Miracle on 34th Street? This was the coincidence on 59th Street.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Oh Tannenbaum

The Clarks of New Jersey pose with their Christmas tree.

A Christmas tree is more than just an indoor plant. It’s a member of the family.

On a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in mid December, the Clarks of New Jersey joined Lulu and Ron of Metuchen on a Christmas Tree expedition at Simonson’s Farms in the wilds of Plainsboro, N.J. A few minutes after leaving a $10 deposit for a handsaw, we fell in love with a beauty (above), cut her down, loaded her into Ron’s Ford pickup and headed home.

A special holiday thanks are extended to Lulu (short for Iluminada) and Ron. It was very nice of them to invite us to join their holiday tradition, and we intend to make it our own. Lulu and Ron have been very good to us since we moved to Metuchen. Lulu introduced Margie to Saturday morning yoga, for instance, and Ron introduced Casey to the massage parlor in East Brunswick (true story: $45 for 60 minutes).

Lulu and Ron, for your steady friendship and holiday spirit, the Clarks of New Jersey salute you!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Portrait of a young girl

Natalie Rose, approaching 18 months

“Nat Nat,”
by Michael Davidian III

Cyoot, speshl, small,
Crying, running.
When her Mom is not holding her
She will
Want to go down and find her

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Anticipation of Christmas

Viewed from space, 56 Voorhees Place emits a spectacular solar rainbow.

“Christmas is the time of year when people of all religions come together and worship Jesus Christ.’
-- Bart Simpson

Have you heard of this little holiday called “Christmas?” It’s a big thing here in central New Jersey, where many homeowners decorate their houses and lawns with festive lights, symbolizing the stars that centuries ago guided the wise men to the cradle of our savior. Russian cosmonauts, looking down over Metuchen, might notice a particularly colorful patch of lawn – that would be 56 Voorhees Place, home of the Clarks of New Jersey. (I just ran outside at 9:09 p.m. in my slippers to snap the above photo.)

Theo’s excitement for Dec. 25 is contagious. He studies the toy catalogs with intense concentration – like a gambler at the track might study the Daily Racing Forum. He has strong convictions about Santa’s ability to deliver certain toys. And mom and dad love the idea that right now, in the bathroom closet, there's a package of wooden toy trains that will consume his little four-year-old body with a joy that is primal and massive.

Meanwhile, Natalie runs around, experimenting with her vocal cords. She has no way of understanding this jolly ritual.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Giving Thanks in Milford, Pa.

Gathering in the basement in Milford, Pa. (from left): Madeline, Sascha, Sabina, Joyce (Mimi), Michael, Natalie, Margie and Diana.

For Thanksgiving, the Clarks of New Jersey traveled to Milford, Pa., for a family gathering with Mimi and Poppy. In the photo above, notice the togetherness, the joy and the family bond. You see Joyce surfing the Internet while visitors offer suggestions and guidance.

Earlier in the evening, the computer brought the message that the Clarks of Colorado—Danny, Tedra and baby Aaron, all official relatives of the Clarks of New Jersey – are expecting a second child. They broke the news in an e-mail to Mimi with a photo of A aron Clark wearing a t-shirt with the message: “I’m going to be a big brother June 2007.”

It took a moment or two for the meaning of the shirt to sink in, but when it did, the Thanksgiving spirit kicked into fourth gear.

Danny and Tedra, we don’t know if you read “The Clarks of New Jersey Blog,” but we dedicate this Thanksgiving entry to you. Clarks of Colorado, we salute you!

We love visiting Joyce and Goose on holidays. It’s fun to watch the ebb and flow of the party as it moves from the living room, to the dining room, to the basement, back to the living room. Guests, including Sister Bernice Marie from Lodi, N.J., will not soon forget the feast.

Other highlights included a comedy skit in which Theodore and his cousin Michael pretended to break their backs, and a spirited discussion of the World Socialist Web Site involving Sascha’s step dad Morten Nyborg

Skillman, N.J.-based Madeline Davidian’s Life Book was also a big hit. We passed it around like a precious photo album filled with amazing snapshots. Here’s an excerpt from a passage entitled: “My House,” which describes the Davidian home on 94 Sycamore Lane in Skillman, N.J.:

“ … Outside is the most beautiful of all with all the tall trees around you, the smell of the grass and the c’rumbling leaves beneath your feet. Inside is a very warm and cozy place. … I think the family room is the best because it is the biggest and where every one does something together.…”

Breaking News: The Davidian’s home at 94 Sycamore Lane has been selected as the site of the extended family’s 2006 Christmas celebration.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Communication Skills

Four-year-old Theodore likes "things that move."

Theodore has learned to experiment with metaphors. For instance, he recently told his mother: “I love you as much as the land.” This was an expression of deep love, and better, an original expression. But his best work is done on paper, upon which he draws complex and imaginative machines, typically diesel trains. (He always distinguishes between diesel trains and steam engines.) I asked him this morning if he also likes airplanes. “I like things that move,” he answered.

Natalie, however, continues to struggle to communicate in English. “Up,” is one of the very few words in her repertoire. Her primitive communication, however, is very effective. She tends to scream until she gets what she wants – and usually she wants up. She also points very effectively. I get the sense that she will be a nature girl, because carrying her outside will often calm her. And she enjoys pointing at the squirrels during her early morning rides around the block in her stroller.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Halloween 2006

Theo and Natalie after trick or treating.
Let us say a word about the costumes. Theo's giraffe outfit comes courtesy of cousin Michael Davidian III, based in Skillman, N.J. Michael imitated a giraffe about three years ago, and has since turned to human disguises, such as superheroes and ninjas. Natalie's cat outfit is a hand-me-down from Skillman-based Madeline Davidian, who wore it for two consecutive Haloweens, and Theo, who wore it for three in a row.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Rare Team Photo Unearthed

Ken "Casey" Clark is recognizable as the young man in the bottom row, second from right.

Ken Clark discovered a rare team photo when visiting former teammate and current father of two Pat Ginley in Anderson, Ind., recently. The photo was probably taken in 1974, when Clark and Ginley were enrolled as fourth graders in Edgewood School and played in a city youth league on a team sponsored by Dr. Pepper. In an amazing coincidence, the name of the team was "Dr. Pepper."

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

At the Doctor’s Office

caption: Natalie shows displeasure in this undated file photo.

The wheels were turning in Natalie’s little 16-month-old mind. She recognized the Doctor’s office and remembered the pain that comes from the good doctor’s treatment. She wanted out, so here’s what little Natalie decided to do: she furiously waved bye-bye to the doctor, hoping that would lead to his departure.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

The Pumpkin Patch

Theo and Natalie afloat in a sea of orange (top). Theo and the friendly white-haired man.

Henry David Thoreau wrote many great sentences. Here, in my opinion, is his greatest: "I'd rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion."

After our traditional Sunday breakfast at the Menlo Park Diner, the Clarks of New Jersey traveled to Giamarese Farm in East Brunswick, N.J., to pick a pumpkin for Halloween.

We picked a beauty – 19 pounds and shaped like an egg. We displayed our treasure on our porch, along with a brand new halloween sign we picked up at Home Goods in Woodbridge. The Halloween spirit lives at 56 Voorhees Place!

Note to editorial staff: The friendly white-haired man from the 2004 Pumpkin Patch pony ride continues to serve the community, expertly leading the Shetland Ponies around the little horse track. Can we get a picture of him up on the site? Thank you.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Philosophy Minor

Natalie Rose's interpretation of Nietzsche.

“That which doesn’t kill me, makes me stronger,” wrote Nietszche in his classic “Twilight of the Idols.”

Here’s Natalie’s take on that concept. For the past few weeks, whenever she was asked to reveal her strength, she would curl up her little hands into fists and thrust them toward the gods. Now, whenever she hears the word “strong,” she does the same.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Once More onto the Beach

Theo and Natalie, with the ruins of Asbury Park in the distance.

[Editor’s note: the authors have been busy expanding our day-care business and participating in lumber industry conferences. We apologize for the scarcity of new material.]

Marrianne Wilson, executive editor of Chain Store Age magazine, recommended Ocean Grove, N.J., for a day trip. So we went. (She also recommended “Z,” the French film of political intrigue from the late 60s, a recommendation for which I am thankful.)

We wound up in Bradley Beach, one town to the south, but for the sake of simplicity, future generations of Clarks will refer to the event as “Our Ocean Grove Adventure." Point Pleasant has the rides and the excitement, but Ocean Grove has the charm and natural beauty. We were almost alone, enjoying the wind, the waves and the miniature mountains of sand that formed near the breaking waves.

How about downtown Ocean Grove? It gives the exalted Stone Harbor, N.J., a run for its money.

There were some rough patches to the adventure. The wind blew the beach umbrella out of its foundation. Theo dripped ice cream in the fancy boutique. But Ocean Grove was good to us all, and we'll be back.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

To Brooklyn Bridge

"O harp and altar, of the fury fused,
(How could mere toil align thy choiring strings!)
Terrific threshold of the prophet's pledge,
Prayer of pariah, and the lover's cry,--

"… O Sleepless as the river under thee,
Vaulting the sea, the prairies' dreaming sod,
Unto us lowliest sometime sweep, descend
And of the curveship lend a myth to God."

-- Hart Crane, "To Brooklyn Bridge"

Monday, September 18, 2006

A Day at the Beach: Part II

Little Natalie had it made in the shade at Point Pleasant Beach.

Remember Aunt Helen’s parking lot from the entry a few days ago? Well if you thought her parking policy was a great deal for the Clarks of New Jersey, wait till you hear what happened Sunday in Point Pleasant Beach when we saw Aunt Debby, Poppy’s real-life sister.

Not only did we get free parking, not only did we get the “member’s welcome,” but we also got the free booklet of 60 tickets for rides at Jenkinson’s boardwalk – a $25 value! Debby casually handed it to us as if she had a thousand free tickets stashed away somewhere. (Rumor has it, she does.) We thanked her and wished her well and commented on the gorgeous blue sky and warm weather. “Made to order,” was Aunt Helen’s comment, as she hustled to rectify a haphazardly parked family.

Anyway, we went off to enjoy another glorious day of boardwalk, funnel cake, chocolate malt, sunshine, sand and wicked waves. When we returned to the car, there was a gift waiting for us. Aunt Debby had stuffed candy in the Honda’s cupholders and $10 bills in each of the kids’ car-seat buckles.

So let’s do the math. The normal person would pay $10 for parking and $25 for the rides. The Clarks of New Jersey, however, not only saved the $35 in expenses, but we took in $20 in revenue — a $55 total value.

I’m not sure if Aunt Debby or Aunt Helen read “,” but this entry is dedicated to their generosity.

Some advice and random notes from the beach:

• To get the utmost enjoyment of funnel cake, one should not watch as it is being prepared.

• Be careful when the waves break close to the shore line. Dad is experiencing back and neck stiffness as the result of one brute of a wave that caught him out of position.

• The guy at the candy and ice cream store recognized us from our last visit. “I remember you because you asked for chopped Snickers the last time you were here,” he said. They still didn’t have chopped Snickers.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Deep in the Forest

We discovered another great beach: Stone Lake at Stokes State Forest in Sussex County. This place is a hidden gem. Clean beach, cool water and paths and trails to walk abroad and recreate ourselves. Margie and Natalie (above) played in the sand, while Theo played with the fish.
Here was a state park, when comes such another!
The Clarks of New Jersey visited the forest on our way to visit the Clarks of Pennsylvania, a.k.a. Mimi and Poppy. A good time was had be all, even Poppy, who was recovering from a mystery cold.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Day at the Beach

The Clarks of New Jersey made several great decisions on the Sunday before Labor Day, and were rewarded with karma.
Here are the examples:
1) We decided to abort our shopping trip to the Menlo Park Mall and hit the boardwalk at Point Pleasant instead. In fact, we had already parked at the mall, loaded Nattie in the stroller and walked all the way to the Nordstrom entrance when Margie asked: “Why not go to the boardwalk?”
Why not, indeed?
2) We decided to take the Garden State Parkway to Point Pleasant. At 3:30 p.m., the traffic flow was smooth and fast. The whole trip was 45 minutes. Remember when we mistakenly took 35? Ouch.
3) We decided to look up Helen Ciesla. Aunt Helen is a dear old relative. She’s my dad’s sister’s husband’s aunt, and a sweet lady. Everyday in the summer she stands sentinel over her parking empire directly across from Jenkinson’s boardwalk. She charges $10 to the public, but she lets family in for free – even when the lot’s full, she’ll squeeze us in somehow.
Interesting real estate point: Helen lives next door in a classic old house, with a comfy living room stocked with photos of the A-Team – my three young cousins named Alex, Adam and Andrew. Helen shared a story. A parking customer, a cop from up north, asked Helen, “how much for your house?”
“Make me an offer.”
The cop gave some six figure number.
Helen: “That’s a good down payment.”
4) We decided, when faced with an open gate to the beach to hit the beach. We weren’t prepared – no towels, no swimsuits, no chairs – but we spent a wonderful hour near the crashing waves, whipped up to fury by Hurricane Ernesto. Then we moved on to the thrills of the boardwalk – the rides, the skeeball, the funnel cake. It was a classic day in Point Pleasant.
5) We decided to come back.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

The Sidewalks of New York

Mom’s last day of vacation from Miss Margie’s Day Care was Friday. After this weekend, little Kara, little Maura and Maura’s new baby brother Paulie will begin spending their days at 56 Voorhees Place. How does Mom celebrate her last weekday of freedom? Ambitiously. She carries two kids, a stroller and a big bag of supplies to the train, through the New York subway system and up the steps to Dad’s office at 425 Park Ave. Then she whisks them off to FAO Schwartz and Central Park for several hours.
Eventually, the four of us enjoyed a peaceful afternoon stroll down Park Avenue, through the Helmsley pedestrian tunnel and into Grand Central Terminal, where Mom and Dad taught Theo the secret of the whispering wall. Off to Bryant Park, above, for some rest before our final push to Penn Station and home.
An interesting toy note: Theo wouldn’t let go of his new Lego toy – a complex dinosaur kit with tiny little pieces. While sitting around a small table at Bryant Park, Mom thought she felt a single piece drop to the floor. An exhaustive search was launched. Nothing was found. Maybe nothing hit the ground after all. It would be a shame to lose a single tiny piece of the toy.
Ten minutes later, walking down a crowded Sixth Avenue sidewalk, Theo spills the entire Lego pack. Tiny pieces ricochet everywhere, commuters stepping all around, mom and dad doing their best to recover what they can.
When we arrived at the Metuchen platform, it was raining.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Jersey City Discoveries

Tuesday was vacation day. It rained.
So, instead of heading down the shore to the boardwalk, we decided to go out for breakfast and head north to the Liberty Science Center in Jersey City. We jumped on the $2.22 manager’s special at Friendly’s in Metuchen, then hit the Turnpike.
When we arrived 25 miles later at the Science Center, we were shocked to see the whole place under construction. A sign informed mom and dad that the facility will be closed until 2007, and we slowly realized that the vacation was ruined. At least we had an affordable breakfast, we thought. Now we'll turn around and go home.
What’s this? Well, what do you know? There’s a sign on the road pointing to a railroad terminal of some kind. Might as well take a look, right?
As luck would have it, Liberty State Park is home to an attraction that, for our purposes, outperforms even the world-renowned Science Center. You should have seen Theo’s face when we approached the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal. He was giddy. Three rail cars on a track stood outside a massive train terminal that’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This, we would soon learn, is the launching point for ferries to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. Once the rain let up, we explored the grounds and took in the views of lower Manhattan. It got better: the Science Center had a temporary exhibit inside the terminal—bugs and reptiles, and such.
Yesterday, the Clarks of New Jersey had never heard of the Central Railroad of New Jersey Terminal. Today, it’s regarded as a family treasure to be celebrated and promoted.
We completed the outing with our first-ever family meal in Newark, at the famous Spanish Tavern in the Ironbound district. We justified the expense by looking at the entire day’s meals as one lump sum of a figure.
Oddly, we had the whole place to ourselves. Let’s note the performance of the waiter. As we were walking to the car in the parking lot across the street, the waiter rushes outside to hand me my credit card, which I forgot at the table. We walk to the car, take our positions, and begin driving off, commenting generally about the waiter’s thoughtfulness. Look out the window! Here he comes again! This time, he’s bringing us Natalie’s little puppy dog doll.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Opus 40 and Bear Mountain

We pulled out of the drieveway of 56 Voorhees Place at about 10:25 a.m. Destination: Opus 40 in Suagerties, N.Y. Opus 40 is Harvey Fite’s massive masterpiece of stone work. Some would say it’s an environmental sculpture, but it looks to me more like a really cool patio. Fite died after working 37 years to fasten the stones in place with simple, old-fashioned tools. He intended to work 40 years, hence the name.

Up the New York Throughway we drove for two hours and change. When we arrived, the rain was falling just enough to make the outdoors unpleasant. We made friends with Patrick the teenager in the gift shop, who showed us a seven-minute movie and advised Theo to be careful. Theo, in his shy mode, wouldn’t talk to him.

It was still raining when the video ended, so we took a walk through the museum, which looked like an old dusty attic. In fact, it was an old dusty attic. The rain continued. We decided to brave the elements and walk among the stones.

The kids loved it, even though the blue stone posed a double threat—it was a trip hazard, as well as a slip hazard—and the slopes weren’t easy to navigate (especially when carrying an umbrella, a purse and a baby). The inclement weather prevented us from achieving the goal of our trip: a picnic at Opus 40. Still, the entire Clark family was enriched by the experience. Theo, especially, was amazed by the steps and slopes and pools of the place.

Plus, we had the whole wet place to ourselves.

On the way home, blessed with more pleasant weather, we drove into Bear Mountain State Park, found a bench by the lake with a view of the mountain and enjoyed our picnic lunch. The ham sandwich was a particular success. Natalie and Theo were thrilled by the birds, who swooped down for crumbs of bread and cheese – a thrilling spectacle for the peanut gallery.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Television criticism

Comment yesterday from Theo: "Did you know that TV is bad for your brain? Did you know that TV turns your brain to mush?" With the word "mush" his little hands were shaking to emphasize his point.

At the time we were watching the PGA Championship on TV.

The Joys of Perth Amboy

Dad had the kids to himself all day Sunday, as Margie went into the city for a day of recreation and friendship. Let’s begin with the highlight for the kids: our trip to the Jersey Shore.

We arrived in Perth Amboy at about… yes, that’s right. Perth Amboy. Surprised? Did you think I was going to say Point Pleasant Beach or Spring Lake? Well, let me explain that Perth Amboy is 7 miles from 56 Voorhees Place, straight down Amboy Avenue, turn right on High Street (spectacular Victorian-style homes) and there you are at the beach – a broad expanse of sand and a fishing pier at the intersection of the Kill Van Kull, the Raritan River and the Atlantic Ocean. Granted there’s no boardwalk. Sure, the big sign says “NO SWIMMING,” but those are the only two drawbacks I can see. We arrived in the late afternoon and we didn’t mind the fishing pier or the view of South Amboy condos across the bay. Theo would not have been more excited if he were at Waikiki Beach. Natalie enjoyed getting her feet wet, too.

I subscribe to the theory that the No Swimming sign reflects the inability to secure life guards, and not concerns over water quality. This is my theory. Three large Spanish-speaking men were submerged in water up to their shoulders, with no noticeable negative side effects.

We also enjoyed a trip to Jiffy Lube and we bought a tent at Dick’s Sporting Goods in Woodbridge. We paid $40. It’s in the backyard right now. Theo sat in it yesterday and ate Watermelon, despite 95 degrees of heat inside the sun drenched two-man pop tent. Can’t wait to camping with the little adventurer.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

The Giants of the Midwest

At the Seagram Building, from left: Spaulding E1, Spaulding E2, Clark, Ginley.

The arrival of the boys from Indiana electrified 56 Voorhees Place in Metuchen, N.J. Theo and Natalie looked up in wonder and utter shyness at the new arrivals, several of whom were more than six feet tall. Nathan Ginley (son of the legendary Ty Ginley), his three cousins Ethan, Evan (or was it Evan and Ethan) and Eli Spaulding and their father Rob dropped by at about 6:40 p.m.
“Nice place,” they said. “Great to see you, nice to meet you,” they said. “Say, by the way: we have to be in Elmhurst, Queens at 9 p.m. – Eli’s job interview.”
This last bit came as a blow. I had intended to sit out on the patio against the sinking light of day and share tales of the Ginley clan – the dominant Edgewood family of the 1970s (the greatest decade in the history of the United States of America). Instead, I dropped them off at the Metuchen train station, gave Eli my monthly transit pass and wished them all luck.
The following day at lunch, we met up again at the Seagram Building on Park Avenue. A beautiful afternoon in New York City it was. Ordered from the Fast Food Indian guy, and toured the great St. Bart’s Cathedral, one of three churches designed by Bertramm Goodhue in Manhattan. Off they went again, to Ground Zero – still a mess after five years, an utter failure of public-private redevelopment. (I suggested, perhaps not eloquently enough, a visit to Central Park, the city’s great monument to public planning and civic beauty.) Off they went to pay their respects to the fallen towers.
We met up again at 9:30 p.m. at Ollie’s in Times Square. A nice dinner, and a nice walk through the crowded tourist district was enjoyed by all. During the drive back to Metuchen, we shared Bible stories and tales of courage. We visited the Alexander Hamilton rest stop, to the delight of Evan (or was it Ethan), a history buff, apparently.
I wish they could have remained with us for a trip to the boardwalk on the Jersey Shore, but time, she is a jet plane. We said goodbye the next morning in the parking lot of the Menlo Park Diner.
Theo was just beginning to warm up to the Hoosiers when they had to leave. So it goes.
Oh Giants of the Midwest, you came and you gave without taking. And we miss you today.

New Furniture

Aug. 9, Pottery Barn delivered the new dresser for Theo’s room. It looks fantastic. Margie and I rearranged the bed, moving it perpendicular to the back wall, instead of parallel. This subtle move has paid huge aesthetic dividends. Now, when one walks up the stairs to the second floor, one catches a glimpse of the handsome headboard and matching dresser. Many thinks to Joyce “Mimi” Clark for her efforts to secure Theo’s new dresser.

Beating the Heat

The heat broke all records, but luckily Pat Donahue from across the street supplied us with a purple kiddie pool. The kids love it.