Mobile Chachi

Last Fall, I was provided with an iPhone for work. Let me preface this by saying how productive it makes me when I'm not in the office (in case anyone from work is reading this). A residual benefit has been that it takes pretty darn good photos. As if I didn't take enough already.

So the following is a quick display of some of my favorite mobile Chachi moments over the past 6 months or so. If you're my Facebook friend, you've probably seen many of these already. If not, enjoy. Especially baseball Jesus.
New Target.
Lunch break at the Please Touch Museum. Contemplative.

Making wishes on dandelions, Mom-Mom & Grampa's backyard.

Showing off a chocolate chip granola bar in front of an antique steam train, Strasburg Railroad.

Monkeying around with Uncle George, Yang Ming, Ardmore.

Cousin Criney's home sweet home.

Marchwood trikin'.

Pete's first haircut. Both faces are great.

Chasing after each other on the path at "Chief & Nan's Park."
Baseball Jesus. At Vincent's new school visit. Still totally cracks me up.

With Chief at their fishing spot.
Peanut Butter Cup with chopsticks. Nothing weird about that.

Showin' off the guns at Target (why is Target in here twice?).

Jungle gym - also at Chief & Nan's park.


Photo of the Moment

Rose and I enjoying a kidless weekend in the city a few weeks back. I know we're not supposed to enjoy ourselves while away from them but we did. Sorry. We're under our impulse-purchased bright yellow umbrella here, in Rittenhouse Square. It was a rainy Sunday late morning/early afternoon, we had just completed a ridiculous (and moderately-priced) brunch at Tinto and were heading to find a gift for the boys. We were kind of soaked. Especially my Chucks. But it was great.



For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been trying to write about my grandfather. Or, Pop-Pop, as we all called him. He passed away on April 17th and I didn’t want to jump online and go blindly stream of consciousness. I wondered if this blog was even a forum to pay tribute to him meaningfully.

But then it struck me. This whole thing has always been about family. Recording and celebrating the big and little events and moments that become the months and years. And above all, that’s what Pop-Pop was – a family man. Enjoying each and every moment. The man fathered nine kids so let’s face it, he was a family man whether he was going to enjoy it or not. But he did.

So instead of diving back into his history, I’ve decided to remember him here through all the small moments and impressions I’ve collected of him over the past 32 years, in no particular order.

The summer we arrived in Ocean City (as we did every summer of my life) and he was missing his trademark moustache. I was probably 6 or 7 and it blew my mind.
Manhattans at restaurants, Screwdrivers at the shore.
Friday nights in Broomall with the Dukes of Hazzard.
The consummate host. Offering to get you something constantly.
The stories my Mom has told about the multitude of jobs he had, usually two or three at a time, to support his huge family.
He never once yelled at any of us grandkids (that I remember). Not once.
His whistle was so darn loud. Like amazingly loud.
“You’d never see a Marine doing that.” (tongue-in-cheek)
The little jokes that kept coming back. He’d catch someone drifting off into space and say, “Those little naps are nice, aren’t they?”
Hanging out with his older brother, making fun of each other, criticizing, joking. Like they were kids.
Whenever concentrating or working on something, he’d stick his tongue out over his top lip ever so slightly.
Heinie Manush. A lost baseball player he and his brother celebrated every summer for no good reason other than his name was Heinie Manush.
He liked both the Cowboys and the Eagles.
Maybe the single slowest eater I’ve ever encountered in my entire life. Chalk it up to enjoying every moment.
The Hardly Ables Retiree String Band. Greatest band name ever?
The sound of his tenor saxophone. Equal parts Lester Young and Stan Getz - soft, deep & lyrical. It sounded like he did.
He always called his wife, “Love.”
That last talk he and I had.

And the thousands of other memories I’m sure will creep up as the years go by and we all continue to feel his influence on our lives. Not that he would ever take credit for anything like that. Ultimately, he was a modest, sometimes shy person who’d rather not have the attention. Sorry Pop-Pop, you’ve got it now. So I’ll raise it up to him and celebrate a great man. Because that's what it's all about, isn't it?


My Little Smartasses

I had solo duty tonight and during the boys' dessert, Peter decided he had to poop. He alerted Vincent and I to this fact, to which Vincent replies, "Thanks for telling me, Pete." We all shared a laugh at that, Vincent proud of his sarcasm.

A while later, after the deed had been completed, I was changing Peter and Vincent was hanging out close by for whatever reason. I was talking nonsense to them, as I'm prone to do at 8pm on a weeknight after a long day and I said, "Yep - you did some poops, Pete." To which he replied, after a perfect comic pause,


All three of us laughed heartily, Peter proud of his sarcasm. Or proud that he made his Dad and big brother laugh.


Pete's Tweets

Nearly everyday when I get home, Pete comes running top speed to the front door to quickly give me a top of mind alert. Usually it's something he's doing at that very moment or something monumental that happened that day. In fact, it would be a perfect fit for Twitter as they're typically less than 140 characters.

Mental picture - he usually has his one index finger in the air when he briefs me. And half the time he's partially naked. More often than not, he runs away immediately after his statement. It's one of the best parts of my day. A few examples:

"I don't like kettle corn. Just cheese popcorn."

"Broke a glass today."

"At the train station?"

"Didn't go to McDonald's."

"Nan cleaned the basement."

"Vincent got in the elevator. He was crying."

"Max and Ruby."

"Sippy beer?"


Riding the Rails

What's rural, antiquated and smells intensely of manure at points? Strasburg Railroad!

It's actually great. Riding in an open air train through the Lancaster County countryside, seeing farms, animals and mounds of poop - perfect.

The boys totally loved it and we were able to successfully avoid the massive Thomas the Tank Engine store, which is truly obscene. We did purchase one of the actual 1920s steam engines themselves, though so I could control my own train schedule in the morning. Anyone know a conductor?