Sunday, May 22, 2011

How To Make An American Weekend

The stars aligned on Friday for the kids and I to head out on an impromptu, whirlwind trip to Ohio (aka "Home").

The weekend was supposed to go down much differently, and I was disappointed when things weren't going as planned. But life has a way of teaching me that busted-up plans can often make for some unexpected, rowdy fun.

My Aunts were rolling into town, from PA, NM and AZ.

It was not to be missed.

From left: Aunt Elieen (Miss Arizooona!), Aunt Jan (Miss Pennsylvaaaania!), Aunt Carol (Miss New Mexicoooo!) and Mama (Miss Ohioooo!).

My Mom is the youngest of 5, 4 girls and a boy. Twenty years span between her and the oldest, Aunt Eileen, but they talked non-stop about long, lost cousins, the way Aunt Jan used to braid my mom's hair too tightly and the fact that they all dreamed, at one time, of joining a convent. They reminisced about my grandma's sassy streak and somehow, they managed to learn something new about something old.

My mind kept rewinding to the classic movie, How to Make An American Quilt. I wanted to rush off in a hurry and gather up 3 sisters for Ruby. She might need 'em now, and she'll definitely need 'em when her hair is gray.

The grand moment, combined with the impending End of the World called for a good, old fashioned cook-out, with more desserts than main dishes, because that's just how these sisters roll.

I trudged around with that vaguely familiar stuffed-to-the-gills feeling that I remember so well from the summers of my childhood. I'd stagger away from the food table and wander to the front porch swing only to return an hour later, not because I was hungry, but because I was no longer so-full-I-could-puke.

My staples: Chips and salsa, watermelon, brownies and mini Heath bars. You can hardly blame me.

Interestingly enough, the Amish man who is currently putting a new roof on the barn arrived just for the hay of it on Saturday to help Dad with the windmill.

It comforted me, having an Amish man with us for the End of the World.

And in hindsight, I probably wasn't supposed to take his picture. But for the record, I was more interested in documenting the fact that my dad was up there in that thingamajig with him when he probably wasn't supposed to be, and the Amish man rolled in on a blingy new tractor, which he parked in a nearby field, and not a buggy.

I figure if he can bend the rules a little, so can I.

I didn't see my two big kids all day long, (except for when I accidentally ran into them at the food table). When we were finally reunited, they were spackled in mud and sweat. Black-bottomed feet. A summer night does not get better than cousins and black-bottomed feet.

We attended to various forms of important business for the rest of the weekend.

We also slept 5 to a room, but I'd rather forget that part.

Then, earlier today, it was confirmed.


Flowers are my Jimmy Choos.
They're my Coach handbags.

If I were a richer gal, I'da given a good home to all of these lonely blooms.

Give me liberty or give me dirt.

No, that's not right...

Give me dirt or give me death.

No, too morose.

Give me dirt. With flowers.

Just give them to me.

I walked out with $9 of happy and I have big plans to tackle my favorite local haunt tomorrow for tomatoes, peppers, cukes and zukes.

I just don't see a way around a garden.

I only see a way in.

By 1:30, I was back at the childhood home of my girl, Sarah. Ready to pack it in and head back to my Big Girl home.

By 2:30, well, we were zonked.

Happy Sunday night, friends.

Here's to the last week of May!


  1. Hooray for a busy weekend full of love and family!

    I hear you on the plants. There are a lot of "extras" that I can pass on, but not the plants. My favorite haunt in summer is the "almost dead plant rack" at our Lowe's, where they give deep discounts on plants past their prime. I scored rhododendron bushes last week for $7.51!

    Love the photo of the sleepies in the van. :)

  2. Love the picture of the kids sleeping, so adorable! Looks like you all had some good American fun!

  3. I done fo'got you be goin! Love all the pics - so nice to be done seein' up yo mom again. I'ze missin' Nancy Pants. Love your trio of pics here and there - and girl - you got it right. Flowers are my oxygen, dirt is my food, gardening is my blood - something weird like that. I'm typing fast cause I think I'm the first commment, and how is that ever possible? I have a beard rash - or a rash, that looks like a beard - for real. I'm sequestered til it's healed.

  4. Sheesh! I don't be a fast enough typer.

  5. your staples, love 'em.
    black bottomed feet tell of a good time, love it.
    you're heart for your family-and dirt and flowers-is beautiful, love ya.

    cheers to a BAM summer! xo

  6. Everytime I think of your life, I think of an American Quilt.

    'Tis true.

    I do.

    I think I may have also spent many'a weekend with cousins attending to important things myself.

    I feel your pain, Calvin.

    Good Night, Big Girl.


  7. "A summer night does not get better than cousins and black-bottomed feet."
    So true. Thanks for evoking wonderful childhood memories. I wish my boys had cousins close in age and location.

  8. Girl, this is MY kind of weekend! It makes me think of when I was little and we would make the trek (all 15 miles of it, but when you're 6 it might as well be 100) to my great-grandma's to pick strawberries. I hated the strawberry picking, but I loved the running-bare-foot-through-the-field feelings, chasing fireflies, drinking sweet tea from a mason jar...oh this makes me miss my Nana all over again.

  9. Love it all. Every single little bit!

    (I grew up in MI - don't worry I forgive you for being from OH. it's not your fault - and last fall I got to go back to take a road trip with my aunt to the Country Living Fair and to the Amish country in Berlin. It was one of my favorite trips ever. One of my most favorite thing about the Amish country was the windmills! I took lots of pictures of windmills!)

  10. i love the love i find here. and i loved that movie, how to make an american quilt. and i only see the way into gardens too friend :) love to you.

  11. looks like a successful weekend. i love when my kids are so tired, they just pass out like that :)

  12. What a wonderful way to spend the weekend. And the final shot is the keeper :)


  13. I just found your blog and love it! I too am such a flower/garden nut and it's incredibly hard for me to pass up "lovelies" at my local garden centers. I'll be checking in often! Kelley

  14. I'm so with you on the flowers and the dirt thingy, maybe it's an Ohio thing. :)

  15. that last picture is priceless!!

  16. What a wonderful weekend!!

    This post had me feeling a bit like I was reading a good book...the aunts are all ran into your own kids at the "food table" (foozball! <--I don't know why..) was the End of Days...but the best of days. An Amish man "fix the roof"...what is going to happen???!!

    May I just compliment you on your outfits? Seriously. You look so cute and you put things together that I understand would never work on me. But they work on you!

    Flowers are also like pricey shoes or bags for me. In the past, I have spent my last $30 on dirt and annuals so as to have a pretty porch or window. Now I have a home and can plant and plan and PERENNIALS!!

    Thanks for making me smile and Goodnight. :-)

  17. What a bunch of FUN!!! So cute to see all your family members... love that.

  18. I think Sophia needs sisters too but my womb has started a protest march on my uterus' front yard. I LOVE your weekend! (And I loved your email too. I will blather back at ya in the ay-em.) :)

  19. It really doesn't get "better than cousins and black-bottomed feet", does it?! LOVE this post.

  20. Love it all but that last pic is a sweet one...
    Have you read the book "HTMAAQ"? It is sooo good. Even better than the movie, but aren't they all?

  21. All three wiped out in the back of the car means a good time was had by all.

  22. What a fun weekend:) I agree with you about the flowers!! I'd pick flowers over just about any other purchase!!

  23. What a great weekend. Sometimes the best ones leave you more exhausted than rested bust just as refreshed!
    One of my favorite things is when my grandmother who we call Granis, (who lives close to your home town actually) and her sisters get together. They only do so once every couple of years now due to health issues, but let me tell you, they know haw to catch up in a hurry.
    I can only imagine what they were like young!
    Have a great week!

  24. This visit looks fun filled. I bet everyone carried away lots of wonderful memories.

  25. I thought I might see you at the Springfield Extravaganza over the weekend... did you really come to Ohio and stay away from it?!

  26. I loved the pic of the Amish man working! I have Amish friends and they are the hardest working , most friendly, honest people I will ever meet :)

  27. give me dirt or give me are a hoot! love how the amish man comforted you on our "last" day here on earth;)

  28. #1- i absolutely adore that movie. oh man-- just thinking about it is giving me the itch. weren't women in the 40's just gooorrrrgeous?!? it is possible my sister and i have seriously discussed the possibility of smoking marijuania together when we are 65. is that wrong?? ;)
    #2- we have the same carseat
    #3- we also have the same stripey target shoes.
    #4- your posts are a special kind of smile for me. thanks for sharing your weekend! :)

  29. what a fantastic weekend
    i seriously am diggin your ensemble missy

  30. i'm with you--i love me some shoes (cheap ones) but i'll take flowers or a peony bush over fancy shoes most days. sounds like a great weekend. sounds like a familiar one, too...guess it's these midwest roots ; )

  31. Do you know an old song called "Don't fence me in"? It's from your side of the pond, not mine - and it sounds a lot like you!

    You cheer me up, sweetie. Why don't you come to England sometime? I'd mind the kids for you!

  32. Hi!
    I Love, Love, Love your blog!
    I've been reading for sometime & this is my first comment. Actually, a question really. I just tried twice to e-mail you & both times it came back "permanent failure - this user does not have a account". Help what am I doing wrong?

  33. I am in love with the zonk picture. Totally, 100% in love.

  34. A summer night does not get better than cousins and black-bottomed feet. That's a good sentence. So true.

    Your kids are amazingly cute. Love the sleepy photo. x

  35. What a great quick trip---sure looks like the kiddos had a blast! :) I'm with ya on the flowers---hub and I have butted many a head over whether or not I really need ONE more flower to bring home. Luckily he's finally getting that $2 happiness is worth it---and now that they're brighten our walk ways, I'm pretty sure he's on board. ;)

  36. Do you know that song that goes "Oh me oh my oh, look at Miss Ohio . . . she's a runnin around with the rag top down. . . " ? Your post will have me singin it the rest of the day, and your end of the world comment about the Amish guy cracked me up!!

  37. Is that an ear candle? I love how much your weekends with your family look so familiar to me. The stuff happy memories are made of.