They’ve Got Your Number, Dad…

I talk to my parents every day.  That might be more than the average person, but I do have the advantage of being able to strike up a conversation with them at any time, in any place.  As I have written before, my mom and dad were the best parents any kid could have and even though I lost my dad twenty-seven years ago (the day after our oldest son’s first birthday party) and my mom nine years ago (definitely does not seem that long), I still miss them terribly and need them.  I was an unabashed Daddy’s Little Girl.  Which is why I talk to them everyday.  I especially bombard them during difficult times.  And I’m sure they just love that…

But what sparked this post, was a sudden flashback that occurred while I was quietly sitting in the back seat of our car on the way to a movie (the position to which I’ve been relegated since the boys have been home), lost in my thoughts, when I noticed the license plate of another car one lane over.  My breath caught in my throat when I saw the number on the plate:  1526.  An ordinary number to most, but my eyes began to well-up at the sight.  I hadn’t thought of that number in years.  I immediately texted my brother, Paul, to confirm.  And, without delay, he responded that, yes, that was the number alright.  Fifteen-twenty-six was a venerated number in our home growing up.  It was my dad’s star number.  He was a Chicago Police Sergeant and proudly wore that star for thirty years.  After his death, my brother, Tom, had a necklace made for my mom with a CPD star pendant and, you guessed…it was star #1526.  Paul and Tom have since followed in our dad’s footsteps, honorably serving the people of Chicago.  And, devotedly worn on Tom’s uniform, is Star #1526.  My dad’s star.  I remember, when my dad would leave for work, he’d give me a kiss and I’d tell him to “get the bad guys.”  In his uniform.  With that star.

Death may separate us physically from our loved ones, but never in spirit.  And, sometimes, we even get a physical reminder of their beloved memory.  Love you and miss you Mom and Dad, but you already know that.  I tell you everyday.

As a post-script to this, I wanted to share with you, in the words of legendary radio personality Paul Harvey, “the rest of the story”.  My brother, Tom, retired from the Chicago Police Department in November of 2013, resulting in a temporary pause in the life of Star #1526. Until a few months later, that is, when a new class of police officers was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, including my younger brother, Paul. The star had been re-issued to another new Sergeant, but when she heard the history of that number, she happily surrendered it to him. So now,  that Star…that Number…lives on as the third Chicago Police Sergeant in my family proudly pins it to his uniform every day. And that’s the rest of the story. And a pretty cool one at that…

Episode 34 – Are You Gonna Eat That? …And Other Stories of Growing Up in a Big Family

Did you grow up with a lot of brothers and sisters?  Did you and your siblings get along or were there sibling rivalries?  In today’s episode, Marilyn talks about her experience growing up in a big family.  She also discusses how her experience was different than her husband’s, who also grew up with a lot of brothers and sisters.  Don’t forget to rate, review and subscribe on iTunes!

Episode 30 – It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

It’s that time of the year again! The time of year when parents reluctantly send their kids off to college…crying the whole drive to and from campus.  As you might expect, Marilyn had a slightly different reaction to sending her kids off to college.  On today’s episode, our host is joined by her good friend, Tami, and they explain why sending your kids off to school is a time to celebrate!  Don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe on iTunes!

Episode 28 – Don’t Judge a Car by it’s Duct Tape and Glue

Do you guys name your cars?  Well, Marilyn’s family does, and as you’d expect, there’s a story behind every name.  Leave a comment and let us know what you guys call your cars.  Or if you don’t name your cars, let us know how weird we are.  Don’t forget to rate, review, and subscribe on iTunes.

Episode 26 – Cell Phone Quagmire

On today’s episode, Marilyn vents about cell phones.  She rants about how expensive and confusing the plans are but also about how we can’t live without them anymore.  We’re addicted! She also talks a little about how her (adult…and married) kids are still on her family plan. Do you hate your cell phone plan?  Does it confuse the heck out of you?  But is it all worth it because you can’t leave home without your phone? Let us know!

Episode 24 – Confessions of a Tired Mom

After attending a baby shower this past weekend, Marilyn reminisces about the good (and the bad) of having a newborn. We also hear a little about how things have changed since she had kids. As always, she’s got stories to tell! Send us your stories and we’ll talk about them in a follow-up episode. Make sure you rate, review and subscribe on iTunes!

Confessions Of A Cookie-Challenged Mom…

Well, it’s happened again. I’m really not sure if I’ll ever learn the lesson. I’ve come to the painful conclusion that there is something inherently wrong with me that I am absolutely INCAPABLE of baking a batch of cookies. Edible cookies, that is. I used to be a sort-of good baker. Admittedly, my creations were often not pretty to look. I never was deluded into thinking I could pass myself off as a baked goods artiste. But, the treats I baked always tasted pretty darn good. I think I probably just got lazy over the years. But, I mean, seriously, why the heck can’t I bake a decent batch of cookies anymore? I’m not exaggerating. Just ask my family. When I tell them I’m baking, there is an audible groan. One day, after an unsuccessful attempt, which resulted in a pan of lumpy black charcoals, I set the smoking pan outside on the deck. When my husband came home from work, he saw the pan outside and casually said, “Were you baking today?” Continue reading “Confessions Of A Cookie-Challenged Mom…”

Episode 15 – Adventures at Summer Camp

 

Today Marilyn tells us about the summer she spent at camp as a child…and, as you probably guessed, she did NOT enjoy it.  If you’ve ever wondered why Marilyn isn’t an “outdoorsy” person, this episode is a good place to start!  Let us know about your summer camp experiences (good or bad) and we’ll talk about them on air!

Five’ll Get Ya Ten…Whether Ya’ Want It Or Not

I hate coupons. I hate when I strategically choose a checkout line based on a carefully formed algorithm I’ve devised: number of people in said line, approximate number of item in carts, the gender of said shoppers (sorry, women take longer), and the checkout clerk on duty, only to find myself  behind someone sifting through her (yes, her) neatly sorted organizer. And this display always occurs after I’ve emptied my cart and several people are behind me in line. At this point, I come to the crushing realization that I’ve been deceived and am now trapped. Kill me now. Why? Because what will unfold next is as predictable as a made-for-TV movie. After a relentless search for one or more coupons for each item on the belt, there is ALWAYS an issue with one (or more) leading to an insistence on the part of the customer that, YES, this coupon IS good for .25 off the purchase of four Suave deodorants on top of the posted sale sign on the shelf and the helpless clerk responding that, sorry, it did not ring up at that sale price, all the while thinking “I hate my job.” This leads to the clerk sending out an SOS to anyone within earshot to please go check the deodorant shelf for confirmation. Slow motion the next five minutes (because apparently, I’m the only one who is ever in a hurry), the messenger returns with the sign clearly stating the sale was, in fact, for Secret deodorant. The indignant customer then accuses the store of deceptive marketing because the Suave and Secret deodorants are neighbors on the shelf and bear a remarkable resemblance, and as a result, the sale price should be honored on the grounds of pain and suffering she endured during the whole checking-out ordeal. Time to cue the manager and for me to roll my eyes, heave a huge sigh and play Candy Crush on my phone in a feeble attempt to keep my composure.

Who are the real victims here? That’s right: me and all the other poor schnooks who were tricked into thinking this would be a quick in and out trip to the store. Finally, my moment has arrived. After ringing up my items, the clerk asks the inevitable question: “Do you have any coupons? Would you like to become a member of our Savings Club? You could save 20% off your first purchase and receive offers for huge savings throughout the year.” NO! NO! I do NOT want to save money. I just want to pay a lot more for my stuff and get the hell out of here. That’s when I see the look of gratitude on the clerk’s face and my suffering line-mates. Their eyes say it all. Thank you. Thank you. I nod back in a show of solidarity and a silent encouragement that they, too, will get through this.

The Partial Daisy

 

How hard is too hard to push your kids?  Where is the line between letting them just be kids and insisting they be involved in activities?  When our oldest son, Mike, was young, we thought it was very important for him to participate in sports. It seemed only natural to sign him up for baseball and soccer every summer, spring, and fall.  As he grew older, he added basketball to his list.  At the same time, my husband and I wanted him to learn piano and drums and play in the school band, so that was just more to add to the calendar.  Of course, he also took swimming lessons every summer and attended tennis camps, as well as scouting.  He was going to be a well-rounded kid if it killed us.

Continue reading “The Partial Daisy”