Living to See 100

Today is The Sandwich Lady’s hundredth blog post!  I feel like it should be something profound but am at a loss for words.  So here is a picture that depicts the awe and delight that I feel in reaching this milestone.   Image

Not to use such a crass symbol, but I include it because it’s something you don’t see every day. Frankly I wasn’t sure I’d see this day either.  As you may have noticed (or maybe you didn’t; and that’s OK), I was absent for almost two months when life got busy, and was stuck at 98 posts during that time.  During this absence regular emails arrived announcing new posts from other bloggers that I follow, and I felt guilty and ashamed.  But I was able to climb out of the rut and here we are!

Over the past 21 months I’ve written about many things that have been close to my heart – my husband and children, my extended family, the changing relationships of midlife, my car, my pets, popular culture.  I’ve been Freshly Pressed once, for my blog about Words With Friends, and received more than a few Versatile Blogger honors.  While the attention can be dizzying and fun, what has been most satisfying is getting to know the other talented bloggers out there.  They are among the most nurturing people I’ve ever met and have inspired and encouraged me so much.

Here are a dozen of my favorites.  There are many more and I apologize for anyone I’ve left out.

Mostly Bright Ideas – my fellow Catholic, Charles, could have been the guy in the other confessional during grade school.

On the Home Front and Beyond – Louanne writes prolifically and from the heart, and has the most enviably long list of devoted followers and commenters, which she truly deserves.  She is a champion of finding bliss in little everyday things and enjoying life.

Grown and Flown – Lisa and Mary Dell write about the challenges of raising adult children with great candor and courage.  Their blog post about the myths of raising older children (it really doesn’t “get easier”) will reassure any parents who worry about whether they did a “good job.”

Curmudgeon at Large – This guy is one of the funniest bloggers I know; just reading his “about” page makes me laugh.  And not sure if he looks like Statler or Waldorf from the Muppets.

Life in the Boomer Lane – always witty and funny; Rene is a real soul mate.  Her recent post about customized funerals — and her classic, deservedly-Freshly-Pressed post about Goldie Hawn being caught without makeup — were terrific!

Raising my Rainbow – “CJ’s Mom” writes with humor and grace about raising a son who really wants to be a girl, and helping him deal with the outside world.

Slice of Midlife – Allison writes beautifully about midlife and motherhood, and through her blog I often find my way to interesting articles that have appeared on those subject.

A Clown on Fire – LeClown is a brilliant subversive; his perspectives are sure to scorch through your preconceived ideas and help you think a new way. “If you never want to leave your comfort zone, I suggest Martha Stewart,”  LeClown writes. His tagline proclaims “because every day is fucking magical.”

A California Galivant – my neighbor and friend Kelly writes about moving from Massachusetts to California; the cross-country drive there and the adjustments they have made.  Kelly is a gifted artist who also happens to be a brilliant writer. Her post about having a palm for a Christmas tree is a classic!

Bunkycooks – Gwen writes about her culinary travels, and her posts are accompanied by lush photography and great recipes.  I want her life!

Erica DeMane – Reading her posts about southern Italian cooking is like being back in my aunt’s kitchen.

Evolequals – A gay dad writes about raising his children.  His recent Father’s Day piece will bring a lump to your throat.

Well, now that my hundredth blog is done, looking forward to at least 100 more. Thanks to all my family members, friends and fellow bloggers who got me to this milestone. Thanks to all the people who pushed “like,” even if they never visited again, and thanks to the people who visited often and who commented.  Looking forward to sharing more with you and to learning from you!

Goodbye, Little Shaver

More than a week ago we bought a Norelco triple-headed razor – which will someday trim the youthful fuzz from our middle-school son’s face.  But he is not in a hurry to use it and we are not in a hurry either.

John’s face is growing swarthier.  At almost 15, he is at the age when many boys have already begun the manly tradition of shaving.  His mustache has turned from a faint brown to a more noticeable black; the downy hair along his sideburns and jawline is also starting to thicken.  The Norelco waits in the wings like a mysterious black-clad actor, waiting for childhood to dance offstage.  But John is our youngest and we are not ready for this moment, not yet.  The box of wrestling action figures was just put away close to a year ago, when John was having friends over and didn’t want to explain why he still had them. 

He had kept them in a plastic basket in the den, adding to his collection over eight birthdays and Christmases.  For a while he would play with them every day, sometimes alone and other times with friends, adding dialog based on the outrageous back stories from the TV wrestling shows every Monday and Friday night.  From the kitchen I could hear his “boosh!” sound when Battista clashed with Edge, or Sean Michaels took down Triple-H, or the Undertaker took down Randy Orton.  The matches gradually disappeared.  John no longer played with the action heroes when friends were around, only when he was alone.  Then he stopped altogether. 

So Orton, Cena, Edge, the Undertaker, Big Show and other WWE celebrities were banished to a plastic bin in a spare room, never to return.  John’s playroom became his man cave at that point.  He began playing Halo with his friends via X-box, watching You-Tube, disappearing into Tolkien novels.  His facial hair became more noticeable.

 Not long after we retired the wrestlers, we unearthed another forgotten action hero from an earlier era: A two-inch toy Michelangelo, the reptilian hero of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.”  He was encrusted with dirt after years of being buried in our yard but his smile was still reckless and cocky.  It seems like yesterday that our older children were playing with Michelangelo and his fellow turtles – Leonardo, Rafael and Donatello – on sunlit afternoons that we thought would never end, until they did.  When they put away those childish things we felt regret, but there was always one more baby-face left so the regret passed eventually.

So now, as our youngest child approaches his first shave, can anyone blame us for wanting to hold on to our baby-face a bit longer?  Like a beard, adulthood will keep coming no matter how hard you try to keep it away.