Monday, June 23, 2014

Mailbox Confusion

Andrew has become quite neighborly these days. When we first moved to Middle Ave I think he was more than a bit apprehensive about the neighborhood idea…hence the smart ass remarks for months about "Hey neighbor" with a wave as they passed. He spends the majority of his week working on the house or his business, which also happens to be at our house, so he knows whats going on in the neighborhood. And so does the mail lady.

The mail lady LOVES Andrew…and loves how our house is being transformed…even if we are currently missing our entire front porch. Her biggest concern and confusion these days? Where to put the mail.

See, we had our mail box on the front porch, neatly placed next to the "82" on the wall next to the door. She walks up our scraggily front walk each day…rain & snow included…and delivers the mail with a smile and a quick chat about the happenings in Tiverton. Its very Norman Rockwell. Sometimes I feel like I live in the 50s around here…but that charm is exactly why we love this place.

So why is there mailbox confusion these days?? Well, we went to fix the obvious rotten parts of the porch and came to find that in fact, it was not just a few small parts of the porch. Nope. It was pretty much the ENTIRE porch. After even more uncovering, we came to find the old porch quite shocking. Shoddy construction, old termite damage, rusted footings "holding" it up, and 100 year old shingles.  It was even more fitting with everything we have found so far.



Looks sturdy enough...

Rusted Footing with big shims

Old table…thats a good use of wood for a porch...

Random Plug in the ground...

Lots of concrete to fix this! 

Old concrete & rusted footing…how do we dispose of this???

Put it in a Tiverton trash bag and leave it for the garbage men Monday morning (oddly enough, they didn't find this humorous!)

Our favorite is back: Maine siding!! 

Talk about first class lunch service...

Not only does the mail lady have no front porch to put our cherished house bills and catalogues of things we cannot afford, but the back porch has also been out of commission. The new one you ask?? Yes. That one is under construction with some stone landscaping that has transformed our back walkway and yard. So for the time being there will be mailbox confusion. Stay tuned for details on the landscaping and new front porch. 

Sunday, June 8, 2014


I just spent 2 weeks cruising around the British Virgin Islands with a group of "Millenials" or "Generation Y" kids.  And I have to say that I was disappointed.  Disappointed in their behavior, entitlement, lack of maturity, and parental hovering. Maybe I had too high of expectations. Maybe I am being too harsh. Maybe I raise the bar too high. To be fair, according to Wikipedia, I am also part of this generation as I was born after 1982.  But I think my parents raised me differently. And I truly hope I acted differently in college. I also realize that spending 2 weeks on a boat with 10 other people allows you to see SO many sides of people…and quickly. A 50 foot sailboat seems massive…until you have 11 people living on it day in and day out.  Quarters can get tight. Very quickly. True colors shine.

I don't know what I expected when I signed on to teach the course. I had taken this same course when I was in college, 8 years ago, and thought it would be great to be on the other side and provide some guidance to this next generation. Honestly I thought college age students would be mature, respectful, engaged in learning and grateful. And to be fair, some of them were.  But overall, I didn't find these things to be true. They lacked initiative, taking ownership for their actions, and expectations that did not meet reality.  They followed the "Generation Me Me Me" to a T. It was a tough course in that regard. I learned a lot. I learned a lot about being an adaptive teacher, letting some things go for the sake of the group's happiness, and appreciating the moments where the group "performed" and met the expectations. But what I really learned, is that you can't blame the student. There are lots of positive and negative characteristic reviews about the Millenial Generation. It's interesting to find in this article from the Today Show that maybe it isn't the generation, maybe its youth. 

The parents and the way they raised their child probably has the most to do with the way they are.  If anyone is to blame for their behavior, it is probably a combination of the parents and the world in which they've grown up.

And so I have come up with some goals for raising my future children and making them humble, productive, happy leaders in our society…

1. Grow some wings. As a mother I will try not to hover. Let them discover what it means to love, get hurt, be challenged, be poor, be rich, and learn from mistakes.

2. Take Ownership. For anything that is a result of YOU.

3. Learn to be Engaged. Engage yourself in what adults and your peers are trying to teach you. Learn from everything and everyone around you.

4. Take advantage of opportunities. Try anything and everything. Life happens once.

5. RESPECT. Respect your peers, your teachers, and most of all, your environment.

6. Humility. You are NOT the most important person on this earth (even though you might be to your mother:) Let your actions speak louder than words.

7. Take initiative. Don't wait to be asked. Think ahead. Be a leader.

8. Be a team player. There is no "I" in team.

9. Entitlement…my least favorite word and action. You are NOT entitled as my child. Nothing is guaranteed. Hard work gets you places. There is no job too low or high.

10. Be grateful. For each day. Each year. Each opportunity. Each person in your life. For anything that makes your heart full. 

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