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Sunday, July 8, 2018

Fifty is Fabulous and the celebrating was very Nifty!

I'll get this started but will come back and edit to add the "why, what, where and even how". Posting a few photos for the record book (and yes this is one of my record books.  I'll do blog to print and have a way to reflect on the fun of the year through words and blog!)   What a week of turning 50, yes the big 5-0!  Amazing cards and sentiments accompany birthdays and I will share in this blog, here is one Joe received and I adore:

God gave us the gift of life; it is up to us to give ourselves the gift of living well.  Voltaire

I have celebrated well this week and am so grateful to all the help in doing so! The Facebook posts, the signs in the front yard, the honks as a result of the signs, the time many took to gather with me, host get-togethers and the very intentional, thoughtful gifts. It has been quite a week of love and living well in my life on Newark-Granville Road.  Thank you all for sharing this special time with me.



It started with brunch last Sunday 7-1-18 on the Granville Inn Porch with four friends that commit to gathering to connect, catch-up, share and celebrate! Lucky me- cheers indeed!

At this table I received another quote as part of a gift:

Wherever we are, it is our Friendships that make our World.
Henry Drummond

I tear up as I type and write and reflect on my week of turning fifty,  my friends are the ones that are fabulous.

The good news for me, celebrating is more than a week. It started with our 50 Derby gathering, continued to the coast of Georgia and goes beyond this much to look forward to in these next few months, well really the next 50.  After all, it was a wonderful woman turning 100 in September and planning her celebration that inspired how I spent this week!

7-10-18 Update:  Look at what I walked into at work yesterday. Celebrating my 50th office style- woo hoo! This was made all the better with group lunch.  Denison is special and not just for students and alumni. Being a member of the staff and IA Team is pretty cool.  Big thank you to all that made this happen and shared sentiments.


Bonus!! Denison friend in town and staying at the hotel of roof top outing- Vaso! So nice to catch up with the Lawlors! Found another fun couple later in the evening.

 I want to update the blog with details beyond the pictures, however I don't want to bore you.  Reach out to me and we'll talk!  Here is the scoop for the record book: 

Actual Birthday-  Life on Newark-Granville Road was festive with the addition of signs encouraging honking to celebrate my 50th.  Took me a bit but I figured out those behind the deed and I'm grateful.  I was able to spend the morning sitting in the yard chatting, organizing, and waving to the honkers!!  Then Joe and I went to the Wilds! The Yurt or Yert was wonderful. I have lots of pictures and can tell you all about how we planned our outing and why.  It isn't inexpensive but was a wonderful way to support this organization and experience something very special in central Ohio.  And have our own adventure.  The storm that rolled in was spectacular- the echo of thunder, fireworks for us this year was the lightening over this valley.  The occasional rain shower did not dampen the experience in any way.

Birthday cake- Monkey Bread with Family time at Apple Valley!!  This is always appreciated.  Ann Leithauser always makes sure I feel special and turning a lake tradition of brunch into a celebration was awesome and appreciated.  Missing my kids, being with the fun Westerville Leithauser, was good for my soul.
I could go on and on and more is on the horizon!  I won't post them all despite each opportunity to connect and catch-up, toast and be delighted by post, text, gift, card and call is very meaningful.  I feel as if I've been launched into this next decade with so much love.  Life on Newark-Granville Road Birthday Blog, signing off.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Number One Rule of Your Sport- Listen to the Coach....Lesson for Parents Today!

Hearing your child share the experience through their eyes is priceless.  Adults explain the game through a misguided lens.  Sure, it is important the kids improve and learn “adult” lessons from time to time.  But, it is beautiful to listen to the child's account of the game.  Mike Deegan


Denison's Baseball Coach, Mike Deegan is generous with his wisdom and I value the time I take to read his posts.  As soon as I saw the topic in my in-box I knew I'd read it.  Mandi- you were right- this is a really good one!  

This topic is something we discuss in our life on Newark-Granville Road.  We often say to our kids and fellow team parents- we have three kids and two of us, we can't be at every game.  And Mike is right- we have jobs and activities and need time to just be us.  

The italicized point shared at the top is exactly right! When our children tell us about their days, games, responsibilities it is an incredible gift. A gift I'm loving this summer as I receive communications from Greenbrier County West Virginia and Hagerstown, MD.  I also love to hear the grandparents recount their experiences and time with my children, their grandchildren. I figured that out in 2000 when my father shared the darling coos and facial expressions of his five-month-old granddaughter to me. I had called from a pay phone on the way up the mountains to Whisler- worried we wouldn't have much opportunity to talk while skiing.  Another lesson, I can be "that" parent- at a bike race. I scared Joe.  We talked about it.  When I did it again at a swim meet, I quickly volunteered and found a role to move beyond the overly enthusiastic, loud cheering section mother.

Don't get me wrong- I love to watch my kids games and if I could I might find a role at Camp Alleghany. However, I'm doing my best to allow it to be their experience and program and not mine. Thanks, Mike for sharing your feelings and insights.

Sunday, July 1, 2018


The message in the yoga class yesterday was simple and timely. Be in the moment- that is how we are genuine and real.  Summer and the kids away (doing so well) provides time to think about blogging and sharing.  So many things but the reality is I'm being the moment and those moments add up.  I encourage you to find your moments some of mine in my life on Newark-Granville Road:

  • Walking in the morning grass, fresh cut preferred, barefoot.
  • Driving in the convertible and exchanging greetings with happy traffic officer in downtown Granville.
  • Waiting but really soaking in The Farmers Market. I was off to the side and saw beautiful families all genuine and happy.
  • Taking 16/161/37- the highway instead of NG Road so I could feel the wind in the convertible.
  • Driving slow on NG Road- more on this later.
  • Walking on the wrong side of the street on NG Road- more on this later.
  • Cleaning
  • Floating and submerging- one one day, the other the next.
  • Warm Golf (you've heard of hot yoga)
  • Writing letters
  • Reading letters!!!
  • Phone calls
  • Friend chats
  • Joe time
  • Nesting time
  • Susan time
Just a few....lets chat about these and yours soon!

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Seersucker, Blues and Whites/ Whites and Blues- Stoner and Camp Time in the South.

Seeing Clare in the counselor uniform made it real, our baby is growing up.  So many emotions and too many miles on the road to appropriately reflect but I wanted to capture and share the highlights from the weekend.  So many! I use the blog to share the rest of the story, pictures capture special time but what was going did those in the picture end up there?  

Sunshine Stoners with Clare at CA!  
This year the Stoner reunion happened before camp as Matt and family are headed on a mission trip to Costa Rico.  Yes, a good excuse to miss the annual beach trip. We're grateful it worked to all gather at camp drop off this year.  We stated at the beautiful Homestead in Hot Springs and made great memories and simple enjoyed one another's company.  But we missed Clare!  Three cheers for Matt and family for making trek across the river to see Clare in her element and check out Louisa and Sally's home away from home for the next three weeks.  

Lucky me- Clare had time off and she spent it with me!  On Saturday I took her to lunch,  to get a walk-in pedi and just some hang-out time in beautiful Lewisburg.  I am soaking in these sharing hours.  She told me all about the counselor training and the past two weeks at camp as a JC!  I continue be truly impressed and grateful for all she is learning, how and from whom.

Meanwhile back at the Homestead quality family bonding was going on...Joe went shooting with his brother in laws and enjoyed an activity he loves in a fabulous place.  Three cheers for Greg that reached out to Joe about shotting- that was what rallied us to make our reservations.  It wasn't in the plan this year but how could we miss the Stoner get-to-gether!!  Mom was soaking in grand kid time and Peter helped Pap enjoy his father's day gift at the Spa!  Our evening gatherings for cocktails and dinner were just plain good for the soul!  Throw in fireworks and birthday cake - Saturday night was pretty amazing.  Of course dancing with Joe, Peter, Matthew, seeing everyone else on the dance floor warmed my heart.  So much more to share...I'll let some pictures tell the rest of the story. 

I took a selfie and Sally said- just take it.
Clare's tent in Junior Camp.
I watched the fireworks with the kids!

Cousin Show Bday Preso!!

swimming in the rain!


Nana and Pap smiling- all in one area!!  I hope the pictures share the happy, sweet time we had gathering in Hot Springs, VA and for camp drop off in Lewisburg, VA!  We're back to it in our lives on Newark-Granville Road. Grateful for the kids to be off enjoying summer away- Peter back with my parents in MD while girls at camp- how amazing is that!  Joe and I appreciate this time to be together, be at work, and hopefully tend to some some house projects!! I won't wish the time away to welcome them home to our lives on NG Road- adventures await us all these next three weeks!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

JUNE 2018 Time to Muse @ Summer with Commercial!

It is June 17....ahhhhhh and today we have arrived at summer mode!  Perfect timing as the summer solstice is rolling into town!  It stays late so impacting my bed time not toddlers. Time flies when you are having fun.  We arrived at 3 pm for a lovely Father's Day gathering at dear friends' and 8:55 pm departure in great light felt like only an hour or two together! SUMMER!

And Happy Father's Day to all those wonderful Dads!!  Thinking of those missing their Dads and counting the blessing of Dads in my life. Joe-thanks for all you do, all you coach, all the homework, the laundry, the insta-pot meals, the adventures and fun and love. Daddy, thank you for the love of reading, exploring, working with creative approaches and philanthropy lessons.  Can't wait to toast you both and Greg and Matt next week.  Jim and Scott- thinking of you dear men too- so glad you're i our lives on NG Road.

Yesterday's summer fun included: running in puddles, delicious ice cream cone served to us by dear pal, lunch by the pool, a great float in the pool, summer dress shopping for Sally and me (next year's Derby party dress- check!), life on Newark-Granville Road highlight- gathering at the Holt's table, FARMERS MARKET with green juice thanks to sweet Amanda and an incredible dinner (way to go Danielle and Chef Rodney) for a great cause (NGSO) with amazing friends!  Yes- one of those Susan days- soaking in each and every moment, sitting at the end in pure bliss...going to bed with happiness to fill the cookie jar.  All the more reason a two event day was appreciated by Joe and me today!

Commercial Break:  Atti D's Car Detailing! "low prices, professional cleanliness!  Two of the three cars in our lives on NG Road have had the Atti D touch and we are THRILLED!  Schedule Your Appointment Today- 614 296 1683- operating hours, M-F 5-10, Sat and Sunday- Flexible.  He will have updated flier soon, check back to see it here! I highly recommend this Denison student, working in town for the summer and launching this business!

June means June Orientation for me.  If you read my blog enough or know me, you know I love my job.  The opportunity to engage with Denison families is special and I value this launch in the cycle.  I also appreciate being with the staff that execute this important component in the Denison student experience.  Life is figure eights, playing a role with the June O team again is quite rewarding.

June means camp time!  This year Clare went early, as she is a JC. What fun we had on our quick road trip to WV for drop off.  Dear Charlotte went with us and we added a college tour to keep the search process going.  Clare is delightful when happy (who isn't) and camp makes her happy.  We're in countdown mode to take Sally as we add family gathering fun. This year is all the better with Matt and family making the trek!!  Four day week, by Friday we're at the Homestead and back crossing the Greenbrier river to camp on Sunday.

Yes, June in my life on NG Road is good, very good.  And it is all the better with super clean, detailed cars by Atti D!

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Today I Carry Kate Spade

Life on NG Road knows too many people who have been touched by mental health issues leading to death.  Kate Spade's death is tragic.  What to say?  We have to say something, we have to know where to get help and we have to support those needing help.  Licking County's Mental Health America website is filed with wonderful, important information. We were talking at lunch about a special artist, Glass Artist in Residence at The Works, who uses his art to educate, honor and build awareness about mental health.  And then we heard the news of Kate Spade's death.

I pulled out a favorite Kate Spade bag to carry today. I dressed to match my purse. In my life on NG Road I'm doing what I can to help.  The FB posts about this subject ask us to share that we are a house, a phone call, a walk, a friend when needed.  I am here for those in need.  My life is better when I'm talking, walking, engaging. I don't have answers but I can find people that do.  There is so much more to say but life calls and I'm grateful.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Invitation Please

I thought we might be done with the swim across the lake tradition at Apple Valley.  Last year it only happened on Memorial Day weekend.  Even with Ann suggesting it as we synced weekend plans to gather as a family on the special holiday weekend.  Her invitations are always appreciated, valued and accepted!  I thought we just might be too tired and not up for the effort.

The text invite from our half-way- on the other side of the lake- hosts is what tipped the decision to the affirmative.  We had to go, we were invited and we enjoy the engagement. For years we've made the swim on a Sunday and missed this wonderful couple who shows lovely hospitality to wet, loud, early morning swimmers- in person or in absentia!  Our Granville residents, with a lake house directly across the lake from Scott and Ann's house (discovered thanks to COYB Nutcracker auditions on labor day weekend YEARS ago) reached out on Thursday this year asking, not if, but when we were swimming. Thank you, that is all I needed.  And thank you to the four Granville Leithausers and three Westerville Leithausers plus one that accepted the wake-up call at 6:30 am, departing the dock by 6:50 am! Water temp 2018: approx 70 degrees! Much warmer that 2017.

The swim was extra beautiful this year.  Was it because it wasn't in my plan and a bonus?  I don't think so.  I think it was the happy place driven by others valuing the exercise, time and the cool perspective of lovely scenery. is pretty spectacular. The fog created dramatic lighting and silhouettes. The cloud curtain made way for a bright and brilliant morning still filled with a calm and peace as the sun was dazzling on the water. We were active and engaged, not just looking at it, but in it.  The picture below is post swim and does not capture the beauty but does document the activity!
photo by trusty paddle boarder- Ann Leithauser

The weekend on Newark-Granville Road was filled with wonderful invitations, engagement encouragement and shared celebrations.  A weekend filled with happy places, voices and experiences.