Set your intention..

Greetings from foggy Manahawkin tonight.  We spent the weekend between the Manahawkin mansion and the Best Western Plus in Dunmore.  Sound like quite the dichotomy of locations (at least from the titles of the locations). The reality was quite a bit different.  Dunmore, PA is one of the towns that Marywood University can be found in. The other is the city of Scranton, Pa. As long time readers, you would know that DS2 is a student at Marywood. A senior in fact. Graduation, possible grad school and a job are all looming in the not to distant future.

This weekend was all about a Wind Ensemble concert, dinner with the parents and Sunday mass. I guess he may have done some studying and whatever with his friends as well.  We arrived in Dunmore/Scranton at exactly 4 pm. The concert was scheduled to start at 4 pm. My DW had a continuing education class to attend in Atlantic City Saturday morning that caused us to leave for school later than usual.  It was nice to make it in time and not have to enter the concert hall during the show.  The concert went well. We enjoyed, but may not have understood, all the music. I have come to realize that I can enjoy the university level music without understanding it. I am making progress!

After the concert DS2, his GF, DW and I went to Coopers Seafood Restaurant for dinner. For all of you Office fans, Coopers is alive and well six months after the show went off the air. The menus are redone, the food tweaked and the selection of beer (draft and bottled)  is probably unrivaled in the city of Scranton. If you go there, ask for Pat. She is a our favorite waitress. A single mom, our age with a daughter attending Seton Hall Law School after graduating from the University of Scranton. Her daughter was a student of the wife of one of my uncles when she was in elementary school. Talk about a small world.

Saturday night we stayed at the Best Western Plus in Dunmore. They had a party in the “party room” which was under our room. The music stopped at exactly 11 pm. That was great. Sunday we attended mass at Marywood University. As long time readers (same assumption as before) you will know that DS2 plays his trumpet during mass. His GF is in the choir.  A fun thing for me, is that my DW has been welcomed into the choir whenever we are in town. This morning was no exception. It was cool to see my son, my wife and my son’s girlfriend all singing/playing during mass.  I can’t sing. I can however take pictures. Yes, I did.

Sunday after mass we went to the Buck Town diner in Dunmore. Eat here. Simple enough statement.  Elegant, no. Reasonably priced, good tasting food, yes. Good table and kitchen staff, heck yes! We drove home listening to the Cincinnati Bengals playing football on Sirius. They absolutely sucked in the first quarter and could do no wrong for the rest of the game.  The final outcome being a resounding win for the Bengals.

Tonight we went to gentle yoga with Gabby at Hot or Not Yoga in Manahawkin.  Tonight’s class was the perfect cap to this crazy weekend. Dinner was flank steak, red wine and mashed potatoes. DS1 was over for dinner. He was off from work for a few days and spent the weekend at home. Tomorrow he heads back to his apartment and off to work on Tuesday.

Me, I have a stress test with my cardiologist  tomorrow morning. Then I will work from home and probably go to a hot yoga class Monday night.

I hope you enjoyed living in my shoes for the weekend. I will add some pictures below.

Here is a link to the Wind Ensemble concert pictures.

Here is a link to the Sunday Mass pictures.


Thanks for reading.



Drama not needed at out post 69..

Or any post really. I am writing this on Labor Day (US), Monday, September 05, 2011 in the afternoon. Usually the blog gets done after dinner. That is kind of an excuse to not go watch tv or mindlessly surf the internet. Today it is quiet. Well, not that quiet. After minimal contact with the three children, two of them started texting within 30 seconds of each other. I guess they both got bored at the same time.  Yesterday’s blog was short, for that you are either welcome, or I apologize. I was just too tired to stay awake.

Sunday started dark and early. We were up and out of the house headed north and west towards Scranton at 6 am. DS2 was finally going back to school. His eye doctor had cleared him for school. The car was packed and away we went. The ride up was mostly boring. We did see several convoys of 3 to 10 utility company trucks heading west. All the companies were from Ohio. I guess that they were done fixing the problems from Hurricane Irene and were going home.  With all the negative press about the power companies not restoring power and such, it would be nice to hear the governor publicly thank these out of state crews that drove here and worked all week to get NJ back up and running.  While we all know the that the crews were probably well paid for their time, they did sacrifice their personal lives for us while they were away from home. So to those crews, I say thank you.

Once we got to Scranton DS2 went into the campus ministries building to meet up with the other members of the choir to practice for the 10:30 mass. We hung around outside giving him his space. Mass was good. Father Brian is working in the right place. He knows how to explain the readings and the weeks’ theme to the college students.  I would go every week if we were closer.  After mass we moved DS2 into his dorm, waking up his roommate. After moving in we went down to the U to visit with DS3. DS3 met us on  the campus commons. There were hugs all around. He brought his roommate Dustin and friend (girl) Ally. We all walked downtown (three blocks) to the Fiesta Italiana. This is a three day festival over the Labor Day weekend aimed at Italian food and culture. It is held on the square that surrounds the court house in downtown Scranton.

We walked the festival, reading the signs on the booths, trying to decide what to eat. We sampled cannolis, potato pancakes, fried Oreos and pizza. It was hot and humid. Try 87 degrees and humidity greater than 75 percent!. Yuck, anywhere in the world, yuck.  After getting some food and walking around we left DS3 with his friends at the festival and drove DS2 back to his school so he could cool down and get unpacked. Then we drove back across Scranton and met with DS3 and Ally. They walked us over to his dorm room where we met Dustin’s girlfriend who was celebrating her 18 th birthday. After my DW had the chance to see the room, we went back to the DeNaples center (which is air conditioned, the dorms are not) and spent some time talking with DS3 and Ally about their classes and other things that parents want to know about (but might be afraid to ask).  After this conversation, we both felt better about DS3 and his first week of college.

Dinner at Coopers Seafood Restaurant, Scranton, PA


Then we bid adieu to Ally and took DS3 back across Scranton to to pick up DS2. Dinner was at Coopers Seafood Restaurant. This is a must see/eat when in Scranton. The memorabilia on the walls depicting the history of the city is incredible. The food is good, the beer selection is awesome.  After dinner (and a picture) it was time to send the boys back to their schools and for us old people to drive home to our empty house. 

Boys on the steps at Marywood

Drop off’s went well, hugs and no tears. That is a good thing. We stopped in Stroudsburg for coffee and then drove home.  The drive home was difficult since I was tired and the coffee did not seem to help.

Sunday morning, quiet. Nobody walking around, nobody looking for breakfast. No extra cars in front of the house. The dreaded empty nest. Think about it, 8,437 days since we did not have a child in the house. This allows for the extra day that DS1 and my DW spent in the hospital after his birth. Granted there were times when the three of the them were somewhere else, all at the same time or we went away without them. But after these brief separations there was always getting back to life with three children in your home. Today, nothing. We went food shopping and started thinking about buying smaller quantities and food that we might like without worrying about which kid might or might not like it on their plate. The next month will be different. We will be cleaning and straightening and finding things just the way we left them.  I will let you know how all that goes. and BTW, there are two gallons of milk in the refrigerator with one and a half more coming tomorrow.  We dumped out a half bottle of Orange Crush soda that DS2 was drinking, he forgot to finish it. I think the family next door with four children will be getting a milk donation.


School starts in town tomorrow for the K -12 crowd. Time to watch and remember those first day of school pictures. We have them from every year. Some are digitized  and some are on real film. The school bus will rumble up the street and none of mine will get on or off. I think this will all hit home mid week when there still is only two people for dinner.

Can you guess what this is a picture of? My DW really rolled her eyes at this picture..

Mystery picture


The picture on the (below/right) we saw in Scranton. Notice the teeth on the side car.  Hmmm 

Motorcycle with neat sidecar