Miss me?

We’re back!

And I’m just going to assume that big sigh I just heard on the other side of my monitor is one of relief.

With Zoe making a mad dash for the phone the instant her toe crossed the threshold and Helena and I body slamming each other to get to the bathroom first and Nate standing alone in the garage, hollering WHO’S GOING TO HELP UNLOAD, it took all of 3.2 seconds to get back into our routine. Add the 29 pounds of dirty laundry we brought home with us and it’s like we never left.

I always love to spend time with my parents down in North Carolina in November. Great company, awesome food, perfect weather – mid fifties and sunshine. So much better than sitting here by myself, eating a granola bar and staring at the cold, frozen, sleety, slushy slop outside my window.


While in Southern Pines, we did some window shopping and I added 43,296 items to my list entitled Expensive Things I Will Buy When I Win the Lottery. Not to be confused with Nate’s list which is entitled Expensive Things I Will Buy Whether I Win the Lottery or Not So Don’t Tell Andy.

We went to Fresh Market which is this lovely, charming, quaint, rustic, I’m out of adjectives, grocery store near my parents’ house. Now, I come from the land of Wegmans, which is the Holy Grail of all things grocery, so it takes a lot for any other store to impress me. I mean, A LOT. As in, George Clooney better be working the cash register and he better bag more than my groceries in order for me to even consider buying our sustenance from anyplace other than Wegmans.

But Fresh Market came along and even though I didn’t see George Clooney bagging me or my groceries, I still fell in love. With Fresh Market, that is. Not George Clooney. But that’s only because I was already in love with George Clooney. Hi George! Call me.

Fresh Market had an actual cranberry bog. It lacked the panache and sophistication that only Ocean Spray cranberry bog guys in chest high rubber waders can deliver, but who cares? Wegmans, where’s your cranberry bog?

Fresh Market sold herbs and spices in simple ziploc baggies for under $1.00 each. Wegmans, as much as I adore you, I have to admit, it was nice to pay for the herb instead of the jar it comes in. And that comes from a packaging junkie … slap some groovy colored cellophane on it and stick it in a hot pink and emerald green box shaped like the Sydney Opera House and I’d buy my own excrement, even if it wasn’t on sale.

Wegmans, I love you to death, but you may just have to up your game a bit. Just sayin’.

Anyway …

We stayed five days and five nights under the same roof as my parents and nary one fight amongst any of us. I’m not counting those between Zoe and Helena because those are just a given and, unless there’s blood or vomit involved, they no longer even register with me. And I’m not counting the 951 kicks and shoves and punches and pinches and screams of frustration I bestowed upon Nate when he snored loud enough to make me think I was seconds away from being run over by the local Amtrak train, not to mention long enough to make me wish that I was seconds away from being run over by the local Amtrak train.

When you only get three hours of sleep in five nights, death becomes a viable, if not desirable, option.

I’d have to say that the only tense moment between my mother and me arose from their garbage can:

If you ask me, I’d say that this is a pile of garbage with a sticky, icky, slimy, tin can lid resting on the top. Because that’s how sticky, icky, slimy tin can lids go to Heaven – amongst their brethren in the trash.

If you ask my mother, she’d yell ANDY, OH MY GOD, WHAT HAVE YOU DONE? Whereupon she will emit a primal scream of horror and morph into an NFL defensive back, barrel her way across the kitchen, slam aside anyone in her path with her titanium hip, retrieve the lid in question, rinse it off and run it down the line to the end zone where she will risk unsportsmanlike conduct by spiking said lid into the recycling bin, all while her granddaughters scream GO, YIA YIA, GO GO and Nate bellows SHE . COULD . GO . ALL . THE . WAY right before breaking for commercial.


Someone please come over to my house on Sunday afternoons, Sunday nights, Monday nights and Thursday nights and force Nate to turn down that monstrosity of high definition he calls TV because listening to football at 310 decibels for four hour stretches is beginning to affect my creative process. And not in a good way.

In my defense, I did, in fact, place the actual can belonging to said lid in the recycle bin. However, my mom spotted this lid with the extra set of eyes she stores in the back of her head, the very same eyes she claimed ran out of batteries around my eighteenth birthday or so.

I’m not sure why the pie crust box didn’t warrant the same attention.


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28 thoughts on “Miss me?”

  1. Avatar

    I don’t live in a house big enough to get away from the pervasive sound of the Man TV.

    Drives me crazy – stupid split-level open floor plan. There are no doors to close to block off the family room/Man Cave.

    As much as I lerve Wegman’s, I HAD to go to Trader Joe’s when I was at our Yiayia’s house this weekend.

    Did you have spanakopita or yemesi with your Thanksgiving feast? Yiayia gave us finikia to bring home 🙂

  2. Avatar

    I used to be so smug, boasting about Wegmans whenever I was at my parents’ house for the holidays. Then about 5 years ago they got their first Wegmans, not five minutes from their home and larger and way the heck fancier than the Monroe Ave Wegmans. Seriously, it makes the Pittsford Weggies look like the dingy, small, dismal ones that used to languish on Mt. Hope and over on Driving Park in the city. So now I can’t be smug any more about how our local store kicks their ShopRites and Foodtowns and A&Ps to the curb. Humph.

    Even with their fancy-pants Wegmans just up the road, we still have to run to the Convienence Mart on Christmas morning for the 3 random things Mom and Dad forgot to pick up in their 87 trips to Wegmans in the preceding days. CM is the only place in their area that is actually open at 10am on Christmas day.

    Anyhow, glad you had a good trip and welcome home! You’ll note we worked up some positively delightful, seasonal “fall” weather for you while you were gone.

  3. Avatar

    Yeah, so, one day I’ll drop the kids off at the Eastside Y and run over to Wegman’s to do some quick shopping, and I’ll see you in the aisle.

    Or I think it’s you. I’ll circle back and peek around the endcap to see if it’s really you. I’ll think you look familiar, but I can’t be quite sure, because, you know, photos don’t always look like us.

    I’ll find an excuse to peer intently at the 37 different kinds of pasta sauces for an excuse to linger in the aisle where you are.

    Hmmm, too awkward. I don’t say anything. You move onto salad dressing.

    I casually pick up the Wegman’s Organic Vinaigrette – Balsamic with chunks of garlic, and pretend to be keenly interested in the gluten-free labeling.

    You see me give a sideways glance. Maybe it’s your imagination, maybe I’m not really staring at you.

    You/we move on to the juice aisle. I pick up the pomegranate and pretend not to look.

    This is killing me. I say hi. I ask if you’re who I think you are. (insert witty repartee here) I’m quite pleased with my discovery. It’s a small world, after all.

    You mutter something about having to pick up your deli order and quickly scurry down the aisle looking over your shoulder, barely resisting the urge to RUN and scream out loud, “She’s a STALKER! Nate – we have to MOVE!”

    I’m sorry. Really. I’m not scary.

  4. Avatar

    It’s true, Kristin is so *not* a stalker. She is lovely, witty, charming and a fantabulous lunch date. You’d be lucky to have her stumble upon you at Wegmans – or anywhere else!

    But, just to be safe, if you did want to go to lunch with her sometime, I’d be happy to go along too, you know, for protection. 😀

  5. Avatar

    Oh I just LOVE Fresh Market, there’s one next to my job down in NC and it’s awesome!! 🙂 I love your blog, never read it before today but I’m bookmarking it right now because it gave me some great laughs this morning 🙂 Have a great day!

  6. Avatar

    Glad you’re back. I always find myself laughing and nodding my head in agreement when I read your post. Are you sure we don’t have the same husband? I don’t understand why football must be listened to at the same volume as a rock concert

  7. Avatar

    I probably shouldn’t brag about how my husband watches football on mute, only turning up the sound if there’s a call he needs to hear for a flagged play or something. It’s ’cause that is the only way I let him watch commercial TV during the day when Kiddo is around. There are too many inappropriate commercials/tv show previews on during sporting events, so he’s learned to watch it on mute or else not watch it at all.

    Oh, and by the way, does this mean the three of us are on for lunch or coffee sometime? I bet that will drastically reduced your feelings of being followed while grocery shopping. Unless, of course, you just have that feeling all the time anyway. I try not to – best to just ignore the voices in my head, right? 😀

  8. Avatar

    You made it back alive. And oh man, God bless you for spending a week with your mother. When we lived in Memphis and we’d come home for the holidays, my mother and I almost made the local news everytime. Uffda.

    You are a better person than I. Oh, and I share the same dilemma, how in the heck do you get the turkey out of the bag? Especially when you put the bacon on top, it’s so juicy that it just falls apart. It took my aunt, my grandma and myself 15 minutes to figure out how to get the turkey on the platter.

  9. Avatar

    My father lives in upstate New York. Near a Wegmans. I get there maybe every year and a half. I drove out of Rochester airport and hit two Wegman’s before I even got to their house.

    My dad just laughed when I showed up with shopping bags.

  10. Avatar

    Thanks for the vote for my photo. Glad you had a good holiday. 🙂
    I’m afraid I’d be with your Mom. When I lived where we had a program, I was an avid recycler. Where I lived then, if you weren’t, you were virtually shunned. Even now we still separate garbage into burnables (cardboard boxes & whatnot, which we use to start fires in the backyard,) & edible scraps (for the birds, raccoons, possums, etc.) If we had a recycling program in our area, we’d have so little actual “garbage” it’d be funny.

  11. Avatar

    Ok, here I am. Driving the boy to the doctor to get his flu shot. And I see a big construction site and I wonder what is going up there?

    Then I see a sign.

    The Fresh Market

    And immediately I think of you. Yep. You. And it drives me crazy . . . is that the place she talked about in her blog? Will I have a market nirvana in my own backyard?

    So, I have to rush home, just to read your blog, to find out that yes, I will now be thinking of you even when I go to the market!!

  12. Avatar

    Fresh herbs in plastic baggies? I would be in heaven. I’m stuck with grocery stores that pretend to be from other states because of living in FL where everyone is from another state.

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