Search This Blog

Sunday, June 25, 2017

All According to Plan for 2017- Camp Drop Off Weekend's Lessons

Another special camp drop-off in the books in our lives on Newark-Granville Road.  I love what I am learning about my family within these annual events and our pilgrimage to West Virgina.  Camp drop off isn't just a quick trip to WVA and back.  Since this was my camp, it was also my parents camp.  Various family members ranging from Joe, my parents, my sister, my niece, my kids have accompanied me, often adding a stay somewhere fun.  Here are some take aways from this year....

First and foremost this year Clare's lessons for me.  Our 16 year old returned to Camp Alleghany today for her 5th year. It will be her final year as a camper and we're not sure the counselor path is hers. (She also didn't think she'd continue with orchestra but she is.)  The past two years water levels have impacted drop off.  Camp Alleghany did a phenomenal job with communication and care. Last year's horrific flooding did not impact our children's experiences, in fact Clare said it was the best term ever despite being cut short by a week and mud and dirt coated everything.   Also know that last year's drop off trip was to be extra special as Louisa, my niece, was attending mini-camp so Sarah and I created the plan to gather at The Greenbrier during the transition. I'd always wanted to have my parents and family dining and dancing together at this special resort.  Read the blog from last year at this time to get the scoop.  We found our plan and B and all went on to camp and travel well in July 2016.  However it impressed upon Clare as we looked forward to this year's special plans to preference it with "if all goes according to plan".... I would say to someone at the pool- "oh I can't wait to see my father at the Homestead".....Clare from across the table would add an "eh eh..if all goes according to plan Mom".  

I'm pleased to say all did go according to plan for 2017! With Louisa joining both girls as 1st Term Campers what fun it was to all be together for delivery today.  What a special treat it was to gather at The Homestead this year meeting my parents and my sister and family with my family.  Dreams come true- we danced, and explored, relaxed and took to the healing waters and mountain air to just be.  Clare did ask several times a day- did you hear from camp mom?  Any word from camp Mom?  Did you check email and your texts today Mom?  The answer was always no- the sun was shining, the river low. We all took the barge- Joe included- first time at drop-off- to share the joy of the first day.  Seeing our dear Clare happy and at home was something I shall not soon forget.

I also discovered about Louisa, my niece and goddaughter.  What a joy it was so see her in her tent and see the location across from Sally's. Watch her hold her mother's hand while longing to be with her big cousins and their friends.  Share two days of anticipation and excitement on her own and in mass with Clare and Sally.  This darling, fun, sweet, independence, devoted, entertaining child is ready for camp and we're all so proud of her.  Thank you Camp Alleghany for the fantastic care last year and preparation for this place for our girls.

Sally is our dear Sally.  Hearing her sigh as we approached the banks of camp and say so sincerely- camp is my home away from home was music to my ears.  She was indeed at home so quickly for being a third year camper. Of course this was my first time seeing her in-camp on move in day.  I've only seen her leaving, saying farewell. As I reflect it was the same but there is something about the transition between worlds. It was good for me to see her in such a happy place.

Camp is amazing and seeing it through the eyes of my chidren is pure joy.  This happiness is expanded as I experience with my niece and friends.  Such happy reunions for the girls and for us parents. The whole day was happy, positive, goodness- renewals and new meetings- but we all were connected through our campers and this place.

The Homestead was an extended version with happy homecomings- kids, families, weddings.   Being with my family is very important to me. I missed my brother and his family but we'll unite in three weeks for beach time. Another ritual of camp- pick up and unite and reconnect with family vacation.  I loved making bookends with two days of quality time in such a beautiful place.  I'll wrap up with one more lesson.  We determined again that Joe is the funniest in the family.  As we prepared to leave today, soaking in the sun on the porch, my husband appeared as a Sherpa.  Carrying bags, dresses on hangers, phone charger around his neck and declared, Bellhop, we don't need no bellhop.  I think it may be- HTBT- had to be there- but I want the image captured.

Peter we're learning a lot about Peter and having a 15 year old boy.  He's made some mistakes lately but oh how I adore him.  He resists and puts up with a lot being the only boy cousin on this side, only male grandchild for my parents.  He rolls with most things. He didn't want to dance, but he came around.  Lucky me- I danced with my son, my father and my husband this weekend. We sent Peter home with my parents and I'm so grateful they get this time. No doubt they'll be stories to share, stay tuned!

Life on Newark-Granville Road loves a good laugh and happy tears. The kids realized this about me a long time ago and often I get that look- they can just glance over and realize I'm tearing up with joy. They'll tilt their head or roll their eyes.  There were quite a few of these moments this weekend. I'm glad they know me and I hold closer the chance to get to know them all in new and renewed ways.  Here is the lesson I relearned- I'm so fortunate to have this beautiful family and we love being together and away from each other.

Bellhop, we don't need no stinkin bellhop!

Annual barge picture- Christophers with us!

Clare in happy place.
Sally and her counselor- home away from home

Louisa is ready!
Why the smiles- kids delivered to 3 weeks of camp!

Thanks for the dance Peter!
Sums up the weekend.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Favorite time of the year......2017 style!

The summer solstice is a favorite time of the year.  And this year we've embraced and gotten the most out of each minute of the longest days of the year!  Documenting for the virtual journal and Leithauser achieves of our lives Newark-Granville Road!

-Sunrise on June 21st at Moundbuilders!  5:30 arrival and a beautiful treat to see the sun's rays make their way down number 9. Ancient history embraced!

-Last swim meet for 2017 in the books and it was a long one.  Wrapped up with dear friends and pizza.

-Lilly Store in Columbus opened- woo hoo.  Didn't have time, should of been in many other places but this fun impromptu time in Columbus before the girls go away for three weeks was something I'll never forget!

Those are the highlights I wanted to get down...lots going on including a long over due get-away. A vacation day and the opportunity to gather the family.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Fathers Day Reflections

It is Father's Day and of course I have to say happy FD to the wonderful Fathers I have.  Michael W. Stoner is pretty awesome.  I'm so happy to say I saw him last week! I was in DC for work and went to Hagerstown to sit on the porch during cocktail hour with my parents and catch-up! Mom made a great dinner and the night wrapped up with 5 and 5- my Dad and my ritual.  You rub my shoulders and I rub yours- we've done it for years.  It evolved from when he would pay me a quarter to rub his back and the objective was to get him to fall asleep.  It had been too long since we had seen one another- Christmas! And his pneumonia bought complicated by his MDS made this way too long since we were together.  My broken ankle had a part the delayed reunion.  I was soooo happy to be there.  It made this Father's  Day all the easier.

I am aware of so many that are missing their fathers on fathers day and I count my blessings.  I am aware of women who have lost men that are fathers. My heart goes out to so many.  At church today I reflected and prayed for many many in these situations.

I am thinking of my dear father-in-law, Jim, today.  80 years old and doesn't look a day over 63- always enjoy the chance to chat and benefit from his care and hospitality.  He dices, chops, cooks with care and I'm always grateful.

While in DC I attended the funeral of a wonderful father- Charlie Baumgardner.  The world lost a special man when he died unexpectedly from a heart attach.  I'm fortunate in my role at Denison to have engagement with amazing Dads.  Dads that support their students and the school and other students. I see their engagement with their children's roommate's, teammates, professors and fellow parents. Charlie was the diamond in this jewel box- he sparkled with love, enthusiasm, passion for his children, their friends, and all he met.   I adore his wife, who supported me from day one in my role. He supported her and welcomed me to a part of his Denison family and shared his beautiful story that connected to OH-IO!  I'll always be grateful.  I met his daughters and friends and was honored to celebrate his life with them on Wednesday in DC.  Extra thoughts and prayers to the Baumgardner kids and Marie today.

Life on Newark-Granville Road right now- freeze time- here we are at the kitchen table...loving time honoring my children's Father- Joe.  We're making dinner to celebrate, hanging out, looking at old pictures. Joe is coaching Peter in his grilling work.  Joe and Peter updated us on golf this am.  Clare told us about her basketball camp trip to Louisville.  We'll have pecan pie Sally made for Joe with beloved Barbara. We're a family and I am grateful this is my partner and my children's patriarch.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Chronicling Summer....messages for me.

Summer on Newark-Granville Road, my mind scurries with things I want to do:  farmer's market, pool time, golf time, walks, runs, exercise, blog posts, summer favorite meals, grill out, picnic, low key friend time, June Orientation, Family Philanthropy work, Denison things, trips, day trips, hikes, family visits, friend visits, road trips, berry picking, ice cream stops, lake swimming, ocean swimming, beach walking, beach yoga, sitting outside drinking tea, book reading, floating, tennis, summer movies, outdoor concerts, summer theater, as much time with kids as possible before they leave for camp, dog walks....

Summer is my favorite season because I LOVE all of these things, all of these things are options and I have so many fond memories of these things- from my childhood and recent and not so recent adult life, life on Newark-Granville Road.   Over the past week a message has been delivered in a few ways.  A message to stop the call of thinking about doing all these things and be in the moment.  I'm listening, I'm trying and it feels great. Thank you to the universe for the delivery and the delivery methods, and I'll chronicle it with you now.

Improv Wisdom, Don't Prepare, Just Show Up - book by Patricia Ryan Madson.  She reflects on her time at Denison by the way!  Fun quick read with a good message.  A message I read, found interesting and put on the shelf.

Then I was invited to learn improv techniques for our work in development from Denison Burpee Seedy students.  This session was on Friday- quite timely.  It was a great afternoon of laughter and reflection about our work. The messages I particularly liked were "assume positive intent"-interactions are positive- partners want success AND the  yes, and....not no, but! I had not thought much about this - I always saw improv as entertainment.  My colleague reflected on how nice it was to be taught by students and it was.

The Turquoise Table a book and concept by Kristin Schell about community building and hospitality was brought to my attention on Friday.  My dear friend and neighbor set to execute with her beautiful family and I was honored to assist and enjoy a gathering on Saturday am.  The book is filled with fantastic quotes, scripture, recipes and sentiments and I understand the draw Kim experienced. I'm grateful to see this in action.  I'm grateful for the message to be in the moment, take a break from busy to be in community. The Turquoise Table: Finding Community and Connection in Your Own Front Yard

Yoga has been calling to me.  I made it to the mat for a great class but my ankle needs more.  When I broke my left ankle and plateaued a dear friend said Yoga would be great for strengthening and she was right.  I'm ready to return and am signed up for the 6 am class!  The message of being in the moment is important and mat time is the messenger.

On Saturday I wanted to be at the pool, I wanted to golf,  I had happy work commitment, I wanted to clean-up but the girls needs me and we embraced the indoor activity of shopping for camp. We gave ourselves the treat of ice cream and soaked up mother daughters time- I was in the moment.
Golf was planned for Sunday afternoon, a bit of pool time was squeezed into the day and we even watched the Belmont.  Sunday's work was productive, I was sorry to miss church thought, but embraced the moment to learn- understand more about the parents partnership with Denison and colleague's work.  Joe and I golfed- my first 9 holes, walking since I broke my ankle!  It felt tender and there was discomfort but I did it.  We won't talk about my playing.  I read and rested by the pool, enjoyed friend time and our family dinner of grilled steaks was delish!

I will admit to sleeping quite well recently.  Working until 10:30 pm, lots of fresh air may have something to do with it.  Being in the moment, breathing in all the good around me is the key and such a happy place to be on Newark-Granville Road in the summer.  Message received, lesson applied- beautiful moments with wonderful people are the focus.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

The weekend is a wrap, three highlights with highlights for the blog:

-Denison Reunion Weekend- such good people, doing really good, important people.  THANK YOU to all those alumni who returned to Granville and our fair college on the hill. The re-connections, the deeping of friendships and the new friendships created across generations- what an honor to be part of the team to facilitate.  Huge kuddos to AFE- Alumni Family Engagement- for the thousands of details- that I know go into the weekend.  Thanks for the great financial gifts to Denison- donors make the world go around and our world on the hill is grateful.  A highlight was listening to a 50th reunioner talk about her 20 year career with the CIA. I'll share her reading list when I get it!

-I was able to slip downtown and be inspired and thrilled for The Works!  The ground breaking of the SCIDOME was amazing. A treat to be included- Sally has been raised at the Works and history was made.  I will say I was taken by the words of Dr. Mike Stamatikos- only 18% of the population know a scientist and those of us who do- how much and often do we engage in their work, talk, ask questions?  The Works work is important and so much fun......I encourage you to get or stay involved!

-Ohio Cup Tourney- Girls Lax 5th-6th- Joe coaches and Sally plays.  Another fantastic group of people making good happen. This season of lax has been fun, provided great exercise and friend time and was filled with interesting lessons.  Joe really was looking forward to taking a team back. Clare had amazing experiences with her coach when she played at this age.  Yesterday was one win and one loss- that gave us the opportunity for three games today.  Single elimination could of had the team on the field once.  This fired up team played with passion and won all three games- becoming the first champions of this tourney.   Wonderful way to spend a Sunday- good friends, good competition and all outside- and then the highlight summarizing, reflecting and gleaning lessons of spirit over an early dinner with Joe, Peter and Sally.

Life on Newark-Granville Road had so much more going on this weekend but these are three happy positive inspiring and energizing happenings I wanted to share.


Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day Blessings

Today felt like a Sunday, a beautiful day of rest, relaxation and gratitude.  A day to say thank you for all we have in our world. It is Memorial Day and a day to reflect and say thank you for those that have served to protect us.

It was a weekend for me personally to say thank you to my own progress. I was able to swing a golf club and know I'll be back on the golf course.  I returned to the water and swimming felt good.  Were these activities back to normal? No, but I was able to do them.  The lack of exercise is evident in my swimsuit body but I felt the joy always have when engaging and count my blessings.

Memorial Day weekend was extra special this year as we benefited from the hospitality of graduation parties.  The closer we get to the age of graduates in our life on NG Road, the more parties we receive an invitation.  It was almost daunting and we regret unable to attend them all.  What a treat to see the individual way groups and families choose to celebrate and share this special time in their families' lives.  We look forward to our day when our Derby party morphs to honor our HS graduates!

We kept the tradition of visiting family at Apple Valley and swimming the lake.  The kids filled the less than 24 hour escape with samores, fishing, ping-pong, tubing and that cold water swim.  The Indy 500 festivities were another happy occurrence and Life on Newark-Granville Road values this family time and tradition.  It wasn't easy to leave the bed for the swim, but Clare's declaration of the need for a work-out and not wanting to run was the inspiration I needed to rally the troops.  Ann was our beacon on the paddle board and our 1/2 way hosts never disappoint. Joe's breakfast preparation was Eggs Benedict this year- delish!

Yes today and all weekend long we embraced the summer launch holiday, and celebrated an important milestones and counted our blessings veterans bestow to us on Newark-Granville Road.  Thanks to friends and family that included us in the happy times.  We all need these happy times to carry the not so great times.  Memorial day reminds us there is a price for what we have. It is good to be grateful and together.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Ankle Diaries- my feet ask for these shoes!

Allbirds.  I found out about these shoes from the fabulous Emily- the renaissance woman I'm so grateful to know.  Many of you know her as the INCREDIBLE mixologist at Derby.  She is such a lifesaver to our, my, our sanity when it comes to Derby production.  Not to mention she makes the most delicous best presented julep ever! And I've had a few.  Soooooo when we met to talk Derby I asked about her work.  She is doing fascinating work with on-line only cyber merchandise processes. I asked about her clients and was intrigued. Then i noticed her shoes and inquired- sure enough a client.  She gave me the low-down: super comfy, washable, low carbon footprint, responsible international company.  Still in my boot, I knew I needed to invest in good, supportive shoes- but I wanted something that made me happy.

Allbirds make me happy!  I made my online purchase and went with the classic white.  These merino wool shoes are practical and cool.  Literally cool- the wool breathes in the summer. I loved the website and enjoyed exploring, reading and learning.  Bonus- I found out about the concept store in San Francisco and lucky me was headed that way.  So I was able to sneak in a stop-by on my way to the airport.  I loved trying on the loafer style that turned out wasn't for me.  I came home with my 2nd pair of lace in the charcoal gray color - perfect alternative.  Although I LOVE the colors- happy cheery shoes that are such a joy to wear.

I encourage you to visit the website and take a look and find the "why" the name: Allbirds:  I tell you, I put on other shoes and my feet are like "Susan, what are you thinking, put the allbirds on, please"!  When I get up my ankle is stiff and it is hard to walk.  I do my stretches while showering, brushing my teeth and then I put on the allbirds and walking is possible.

Ankle Update: Each day is different. Some days I make progress, some days I feel like I'm back at square one- not really- just back a few.  I love Physical Therapy days.  I like knowing I'm working to make it better.  The Athletico team is encouraging and positive.  Today I went back to rowing in the basement and loved it.  I went back to Yoga- a restorative practice at Breath- great way to return.  More on all of this later but I wanted to share the update and one of the secrets to my success.  Allbirds!  Walking through three airports and on the beautiful campus of Stamford with a DU parent would not of been possible without these shoes and the great care I've had at Athletico. Life on NG Road is moving forward step by step in the comfort of Allbirds.