Thursday, September 21, 2006


I won't be available at all tomorrow. It will just be too painful of a day. Everywhere I turn, I'll see Michael's beautiful face and be reminded that it's his 18th birthday.

Instead of having a big party to celebrate the milestone in his life, we have to go to the cemetery to visit his grave.

I can already feel the deep depression setting in and I'm not sure I'll even have the energy to get out of bed in the morning. Life just truly sucks.

Thanks to everyone for their thoughts. Please keep the family in your prayers.

Sunday, September 17, 2006


I was covering a youth field day yesterday and they had a bunch of snakes there. Two non-venomous ones - a milk snake and a black rat snake - then three venomous ones - a copperhead and two timber rattlesnakes. Now, I'm scared of those things, but had to get the shots, so I stand up near the front and shoot away. I was surrounded by 124 kids between the ages of 10 and 16, so I couldn't be too much of a wimp and run, even though ever fiber of my being was screaming to do just that.

I'll upload the best of the photos here. What do you think?

Monday, September 11, 2006

5 years ago today

The world was stunned when planes hit the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and Shanksville, PA. I don't think anyone will ever forget exactly where they were when they received the news of what was happening. It's like when Kennedy was shot to our parents. Many of us saw the second plane hit the WTC live on TV.

I was home, the kids had just left for school. Dad was here for a few minutes to bring my dogs back (he walked them every day). I was just ready to give him a ride to the store to pick up his medicine, when my cousin calls screaming about planes and WTC. I had no idea what she was saying. "Turn on the TV!" I did that and saw the second plane hit live. Dad and I just sat there, stunned.

My in-laws were on a bus trip to Atlantic City, NJ, so of course, I tried calling them immediately. No answer. Strange. I keep trying all day and kept getting more and more worried. Eventually, my MIL calls and says that FIL had heart problems and was in the hospital. She's hysterical, but says not to worry. Wrong answer. I jump in the car, go get my mother and we rush there. I couldn't think of anything else. I just had to go.

Over 12 hours later, we're pulling into their hotel parking lot. Three days later, he's released and we bring them home. (He had to have surgery a couple weeks later) Hubby had just started a new job and would have been fired if he left. I had just started at the paper as a staff writer, but didn't really care. I called the editor from NJ and said I wouldn't be in for a bit. Luckily, they understood.

It was so eerie driving on the interstate that day and night. There was practically no traffic and signs were everywhere that NYC was closed because of a "major incident." We had no idea what to expect, but I just HAD to go.

The really weird thing about it, my daughter had said just that weekend that we would be on the beach on Monday. Well, I live in PA and there is no beach. I shrugged it off, but it really hit me when I was standing on the beach, looking at the ocean on Tuesday just what she said.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Altoona Curve Play off game

Didn't plan on doing anything yesterday, but my cousin called about going to the Curve game. Called my brother and he said he'd meet us there. My baseball bag is always packed and ready, so we just grabbed the camera gear and we're set.

We get there, buy our tickets and go find our seats in general admission. My cousin and brother head off to the visitors side to get autographs from the Akron Aeros. Hubby, son and I are in our seats. I decide to go look for a pin for my collection. Get there and there's a sale on shirts, so T gets a nice green one (his favorite color). We're on our way back to the seats when a staffer stops us and asks if we'd like upgraded to better seats. Of course! We go grab hubby and now we're now behind home plate on a nice comfy couch. :) Plus, we got a voucher for $8 worth of food. (Got wings from Quaker Steak and Lube place)

They put up barriers so nobody can walk in front of us during the game. SWEET! In the fourth inning, they put our mugs up on the big screen. The usher was Bob and he was such a super nice person.

T got a few autographs, including from the Pittsburgh Pirates' owner/general manager on his tee shirt. He was so excited!

The Curve ended up winning 3-1, so they're playing in Akron tonight. If they win, they're on to the championships! If that happens, I'll get to one more game in Altoona.

Don't you love those unexpected trips? I sure do!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


We got home late last Monday night from our most recent trip to Gettysburg. We've been there many times before, but always find something new to see or do each time.

Rather than do the pro ghost tours this year, we decided to just go sit out on the rocks at Devil's Den until the park closed at 10 p.m. on Sunday night. It was a much better choice, except for the people who were up on the top road part blasting their music. Why do people do that?

This time, we tried out the double decker tour bus ride. It's a two-hour tour of the battlefields. You put on headphones and hear the story of the battle. There's music and battlesounds, too. Really interesting. Even the kids liked it. Listening to the cannons fire, then the narrator taking about all those killed really brought the horrors home. There are several places on the tour where the overwhelming sense of sadness just made me tear up. It's hard to explain if you've never been there and experienced it. The land remembers the pain, blood and death.

We also visited Boyd's Bears factory. WOW! We were given a card to get a free bear, but that "Free" bear sure turned out expensive when they each wanted clothes for that bear, plus the photo where your kid's face is put in a teddy bear. It was too cute, so of course we had to buy them.

We'll be going back again, hopefully sooner rather than later.