Saturday, August 13, 2011


Sketch of our Oakley house, courtesy of my mother.
When I was a kid growing up in Cincinnati's suburb of Oakley, my grandmother lived on the corner of our no-outlet street and I spent the summer days at her house while my mother worked.  This was fabulous as her 1920 house had central air conditioning, while our 1922 house had bedrooms hot enough to melt steel.  I spent most of my days in front of the television, riding my bike up and down the street, or feeding my "horses" (the thick limbs of my grandmother's backyard tree).  I consumed gallons of Kool Aid and my grandma and I played frequent hands of 500 rum.  It wasn't an unpleasant way to spend a summer, but it definitely wasn't exciting.  I got terribly enthusiastic when I accompanied my grandma on her weekly trip to Thriftway for groceries.  At least it meant going somewhere.  (Incidentally, we left Oakley just before junior high and I then found myself on a couple acres in a rural-ish area, miles away from anything as interesting as a grocery store.  I hadn't known when I had it good.)

Fast forward a couple decades and I have two children of my own and try to make up for my rather dull, but typical, childhood summers by taking my kids everywhere.  And what happens?  They beg for an "inside day."  Today is just such a day.  It follows an active week of gorgeous weather, during which I dragged The Inmates to Lunken Airport's Sky Galley Restaurant and playground, Alms Park, Aglemesis for ice cream, Coney Island for rides, and King's Island (on top of an outing to Run, Jump, and Play on Monday).  They declined the offer of lunch with Grandma and Uncle Chester and talked with dreamy eyes of having an "inside day."

Personally I'd like to be having some pasta at Macaroni Grill followed by a trip to JoAnn's for size 9 circular knitting needles.  (I have this winter hat I wanna try out...)  From my children's perspective, though, "inside days" are a thrill because they mean:

1.  Wearing the same clothes as the day before and getting away with it.  (Foghorn, not me.)

2.  Wearing pajamas all day.  (The Professor, not me.  Somebody has to go outside to get the mail.)

3.  Not bothering to comb your hair.  (At least it was one of the thrills, before The Vulcan showed up with a wet comb and wrestled Foghorn to the ground.)

4.  Taking the dogs in the car to pick up lunch.  (Of particular delight for The Warden was watching Foghorn try to distance herself from our coon hound who gets a during car rides.

5.  Eating Applebee's carry-out on t.v. trays while watching Destroy, Build, Destroy on Cartoon Network.

6.  Playing really old games (that I thought I had given to Goodwill long ago).

7.  Watching episodes of The Professor's latest mother-son bonding-through-television obsession -- The Twilight Zone.

8.  Hours of video games, including the much anticipated and just-arrived-today Guilty Party game for the Wii.  So rare that the three of us can play a game together without someone having a meltdown.  This sucker might be worth its weight in gold.

9.  Making coffee cake and trying to keep it from the mouth of our pilfering hound dog.

10.  And for a change of pace in the evening, having dinner in front of the television, playing Guilty Party, and topping it off with watching television...again...this time with ice cream.

The highlight of The Warden's day?  A very long afternoon nap locked in my son's blissfully quiet bedroom.  Hey, maybe these "inside days" aren't so bad after all...

You might also be interested in:




Anonymous said...

Good grief! Their in-days sound as busy as their out-days.

Kathie said...

What's wrong with getting the mail in your pajamas? ;-)