Monday, October 14, 2013

Columbus Day Weekend

I grew up on the eastern end of Long Island, which my brother-in-law has coined "upstate Long Island."  If you know anything about NY's Long Island, you know that as you get out towards the end of the Expressway, it's suburban and then very quickly rural -- all within 90 minutes of The City.

And if you know NOTHING of Long Island, then you more than likely think it's all duplexes like you see on King of Queens, and everyone grew up bffs with Amy Fisher.

While that sounds fascinating, it's wrong.

The East End is also home to the Hamptons -- some of the most expensive real estate on this planet.  And it's worth it, because it's beautiful and quaint and beautiful.  And historic.  And on the ocean.  And beautiful.

Seriously: if I ever am wildly successful (time's running out!) or strike it rich, I will move "right back home."

I put that in quotes because I grew up in one of the last towns before you "hit a Hampton."  And if I strike it rich, I'm moving to an actual Hampton.  Actually, scratch that, I'm moving out past the Hamptons, towards Montauk.  Robert Redford went to my church,* but we were actually not wealthy.  In fact, our exit off the LIE was the "alternate route to the Hamptons," as the digital signs used to say every weekend from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

In any event, because we lived out where suburbia met rural farmland, we had a wonderful family tradition of going pumpkin picking every Columbus Day weekend.  I don't mean going to some "pumpkin patch" where they've trucked in pumpkins and laid them out in rows.  I mean going to a farm, and walking the rows upon rows, acre after acre, and picking our own pumpkins off the vines.  (And then piling them all on my dad, because it was one price for as many pumpkins as your dad could hold.  I'm not sure, but I think the signs actually said that.)

Two years ago, we were able to tie pumpkin picking in with Mick's cousin Travis' wedding, and the kids got to go pumpkin picking for the first time.  Last year, we were so excited to be in Maine, and thus so much closer to NY and pumpkin picking, but our budget and schedule didn't coincide with heading to NY for that weekend.  And this year, we were going to surprise my parents and come down, but they made plans to go to Florida to visit my sister Courtney.  And then my grandmother had her stroke, and that trip got cancelled ... and so did ours.

All this is to say that instead of going pumpkin picking, we took the weekend to do nothing.  We had grand plans to take the kids apple picking or to go to "pumpkinland" up here, but instead we decided to pretty much do, well, nothing.  Saturday I took the kids to make their craft at Lowe's, and yesterday we took a friend's Flat Stanley around Maine.   We made hot chocolate and strawberry cupcakes and stayed in jammies way too long, and just relaxed all weekend.

It has been glorious!  Today, I graded just enough to get me through tomorrow, and tomorrow I'll grade just enough to get me through Wednesday.

Sometimes, it's nice to just let the world wait.


* at least once, on Christmas Eve.  And he actually talked to my mom.  That's what we get for being chronically late and standing in the back!  

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