Assorted Mid-Summer Musings


In the Pennsylvania prison system, the prisoners were kept completely isolated from each other. They left their cells only every 4-5 days for a shower and went out in their own private exercise yards. I wonder how anyone remained sane left alone with only their own thoughts for company.

The kids and I toured the Eastern State Penitentiary during our latest trip to Hershey and Philadelphia. The prison is hauntingly beautiful, and I can’t imagine being confined within its castle like walls. They actually do a Halloween tour which I imagine would be pretty amazing in its creepiness.

The Philadelphia trip was an effort to push myself out of my comfort zone after our summer trips to the lake, Myrtle Beach and Ocean City. Staying in an unfamiliar city and driving its unfamiliar (and mostly one way) streets was an effort to do something different. To honor Dave and his sense of adventure but also to honor ourselves and experience and learn some new things. Grant’s favorite part of the trip was running the famous stairs at the Philadelphia Art Museum. He and Dave watched Rocky together as part of Dave’s movie and classic music education curriculum.

Whenever we are traveling I have this fleeting thought of “What if we run into Dave?”. This might happen because I see someone who resembles him but usually it is just a thought that runs through my head. I imagine seeing him and asking him where he has been. Tonight at dinner, Sam shared that she and a friend (who also lost his dad) had a similar conversation. I guess it is not that unusual to feel this way. It is a bit unsettling and definitely leaves me missing him more.

Last fall, completely unprompted, Parker made a list of personal goals and wrote them on a dry erase board on her bedroom door. She successfully checked off all of her goals this past year. I am taking a note from my youngest and creating some personal goals for myself. Goals that will improve my intellectual, physical, psychological or financial health. I can’t do the year long plan that works for my child, but I can pick a few small goals on which to focus each month. For August, besides pushing myself off my familiar path, I also decided to take a break from Facebook. It’s a huge time suck for me, and I find that I am spending my time in more productive ways rather than clicking around on the computer without any sense of time passing.

We have a little less than a month before school starts up again. Sam will head back down to CNU mid-month, Grant will be doing some lifeguarding, and Parker heads off to Camp Kesem W&M on Saturday. I will be working a few days a week before we ramp up again at the end of the month. This summer is flying by far too quickly.



7 thoughts on “Assorted Mid-Summer Musings

  1. Robyn, so good to see a new post…You have been on my mind a lot….I finally caught up on all the posts I missed. Some posts were just so heartbreaking others provided such insight….I wish I would have had the time to comment on them all….Again, I am so happy you are checking in with all of us. I wish I had known you all were coming this way. My “neck of the woods”. We live in a little town in Pennsylvania called Wyomissing located in Reading…(the same Reading which is the Railroad on the Monopoly board game). We are not far from Philly or Hershey. My husband brings the families from all of his law firms to Hershey Park every summer – it’s always a great time…Philly is definitely a tough city to navigate, but I think it was a great choice for your goal……..Honestly, when I go into the city I don’t drive because it just overwhelms me…I am truly impressed you took it on……So excited Grant got to run the Art Museum stairs. Sylvester Stallone was here maybe in March filming for the next Rocky movie…Creed…I think that’s the title…….wish you all could have run into Rocky himself!! I can understand that thought of “what if you run into Dave” and just how unsettling that must be….I can also see how it would make you miss him even more…I glad you and Sam shared those feelings….I must also say congratulations to Parker! Such a great accomplishment and kudos to you for taking on this challenge as well…small goals are better than no goals at all – this is a bigger step than you realize and we will all look forward to hearing how it goes….I agree about the Facebook break – good decision in my book…I wish Sam all the best heading back to school. Hope Grant enjoys his lifeguarding. I am hoping Parker has a fantastic time at camp….If you guys ever come back to Pennsylvania we would be delighted to show you around…..and you won’t have to drive!!! Please keep posting…
    Warmest regards,

  2. Thanks for writing some of your thoughts and plans, Robyn. I admire your purposefulness in how you’ve spent your summer. I am also taking a long break from Facebook – most likely to never return. It is definitely a time sucker, and I often found that I felt depressed after being on it reading about this and that which concerned me because I’m normally a positive person. However, I do miss certain aspects of FB – like reading some of your posts which made me laugh out loud!

    Your description of thinking you might see Dave when you’re out somewhere is something about which I’ve wondered. I love how you honor your husband in different ways.

    Hopefully Parker will have an extra special time at Camp Kesem this year and that Sam and Grant will enjoy their last few weeks of summer before school begins.

    Still waiting to walk our dogs together…. 🙂 ~ Theresa

    • Hi friend! I usually have that thought about running into Dave when I am anywhere away from home. Guess my heart would like to think that he has just been on vacation and forgot to tell us. : ) I am heading out in a few minutes to take Parker to camp. She is SO excited. Cupcake has been on restricted walks because of the heat – once it cools down a bit, let’s plan to get together! xo

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