As a school teacher, I have long enjoyed gloriously relaxing summers. In my early years of teaching I typically taught during part of the summer, but in the past six years I have savored up to twelve weeks of work-free vacation filled with relaxation. Relaxation, even during summers when I worked, is swimming, kayaking, reading, one or two weeks vacationing elsewhere (Cape Cod; Maine road trips; visits to Olympia, WA to visit our younger son), taking workshops, seeing family near and far, and indulging in pastimes or whatever tickles my fancy without the constraints of time.
This summer was a glorious hodgepodge of nine weeks of non-stop houseguests! The constant was our older son, his wife and their two children. During the first five weeks our visitors also included my daughter-in-law's mother, and then her father joining us for the last of those five weeks. The following three weeks we settled into a household of six. And the final week was hands down the most heart warming week of all, as our younger son and his girlfriend flew in from Washington State. It had been almost two years since my family was last together, and the reunion was all the sweeter as it provided ample time for reconnecting, and for our grandchildren to get to know their uncle and he to get to know them.
- Stamford Museum and Nature Center
- Greenburgh Nature Center (amazed it took till being a grandparent to visit!)
- Tibbetts Brook Park (twice! and see the end of this post for my almost-86 year old Aunt's recollections of when she and my Mom went to Tibbetts Brook!)
- Rye Playland (where I made a goof and went on a ride with my grandchildren and agreed completely when my 28 month old grandson said "Grandma, this is dizzy!)
- games of Hearts with the Olympia contingent
- lunches and a dinner at Sal's Pizza (especially when my daughter-in-law's parents were here, including multiple stops for Sal's devilishly rich gelatto)
- delicious family meals, including pizza by the pros! (all but one cooked at home, and almost all eaten on our deck)
- lots of conversations, some in French (with my daughter-in-law's Mom, who also speaks English so we both were able to practice our conversational language)
- a kayak or two with our grandchildren
- Nail Polishing
- plenty of visits to Mamaroneck and Harrison Libraries
- having my younger son and his girlfriend practice yoga in two sessions that I led (he followed my journey to becoming a yoga teacher with encouragement and support)
- long mornings spent on the beach at Rye Town Park (where we discovered we are considered Seniors - 62+ - and each purchased a 20 dollar pass providing unlimited free parking and beach access)
- numerous (some weeks daily) afternoons at our neighborhood pool and beach
- occasional bicycle riding, with our granddaughter graduating from her balance bike to a larger bicycle with pedals
- walks to CVS, Lord's Farm and Mangone's, all less than a mile from our home
- with my older son and grandchildren, visiting the neighborhood in Yonkers, NY where my father grew up in the 1920s and 1930s (my Dad lived at 272 S. Broadway [more on the visit here] and his Dad owned the Studebaker dealership [more on that here] just a few blocks south at 350 S. Broadway) followed by brunch at The Corner Cafe
- going with my grandchildren and son to attend his graduation after three summers/two years of study with the Montessori Training Center Northeast in Hartford, CT (Master's of Education studies and AMI Primary Training certification; AMI is Association Montessori International), and while there visiting the home in West Hartford where my husband lived for many years (that's the house, below)
At times my husband and I felt wiped out by day's end, sometimes even before day's end! We found ourselves having to acknowledge our energy depletion, both physical and mental. Eventually, when our son's four weeks of studies were completed and he was no longer spending Mondays thru Fridays in Hartford, our days found a summer mellowness. We quickly saw that having Papa home provided a consistency and stability that two sets of grandparents, despite our collective best intentions (or perhaps because of best intentions ;-)), were not providing, and the consistency and stability resulted in fresh reserves of energy for Fred and me.
What brought our family to spend nine weeks with us (and ten weeks next summer!)? Our daughter-in-law is studying for her AMI Assistants to Infancy certification, and the program is based in New York City, just a 40 minute train ride from Mamaroneck.
We have had priceless time with the people we love. We have glowed in the gathering of our two sons and the people they care about. Happy Sighs.
My Aunt Joan's memory of going to Tibbetts Brook Park:
Memories. We used to go to Tibbetts Brook for canoes and swims. Lived in the Bronx but probably wasn't for Westchester residents only or had to pay an admission.You can tell this to A. & E. Go back 80 plus years. I figure I was about 4 or 5. Mother packed salami sandwiches and we would pick nick and eat lst. Then, because old fashioned idea of don't go in water till1hr. After you eat, my dad would take out a canoe. Eileen and myself went with him - of course only one who could swim and not well at all was dad. No such things as life vests or rules in those days. My mother would sit and watch and worry. One day she realized that if the three of us went under she would be frightfully upset - but she still never got into the boat.
Then into the most gosh awful ugly suits for swim time. We had to wear sneakers so as not to get germs on feet - ha! And also walk through a foot bath/basin of disinfectant (with the sneakers on) when leaving dressing room. There were fountains spaced out in the pool and kids had a lot of fun under them. Men wore bathing suits with tops to cover the chest. We were only kids wearing sneakers - mother was super cautious. I think bathing suits were wool. Women wore heavens knows what - maybe there was a corset built in, I remember a lot of hooks. Sorry, no pictures from that era but I recall it vividly, especially asking "Is the hr. Up yet" because swim time was the main attraction.
You mentioned it and brought back memories. Now you're taking your grandchildren to the same place.