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Advertise on the Tentacle

August 13, 2009

Too Many Adventures and Then Some

Joan Marie Aquilino

Let’s hope my daughters don't read this article. They hate when I talk about them. But, isn't that a mother’s prerogative in some twisted way. Don’t labor pains equate to the right to use your children for article material. Okay, so maybe that isn't an exact interpretation, but work with me here, please.


For those that haven’t heard, I have two amazing daughters. I'd like to think I guided them a bit, but I'm also fully aware they have minds of their own and wills stronger than even mine. Coleen and Rachele are close in age but worlds apart in everything else. We are an American/Irish/Italian household, need I say more? It makes for some lively – and let’s just say – interesting conversations. No, we never argue! If you believe that one, boy, do I have a piece of swamp land to show you.


You’d think being three years apart in age and having different life styles I’d get their ‘big events’ in dribs and drabs. Not my girls! They somehow manage to pull out all the big moments in their lives and tag team me. You know that empty nest thing so many fear, well. not so much at our house.


The way my girls did it, I didn’t know what was hitting me. Guess they thought it was like a bandage – rip it off fast. A hysterical byproduct for them was watching me scramble to help (don’t tell them, but I ‘thought’ I was organizing) while they moved 20 miles on either side of me within a week of each other. They had a bet going as to how many trips I’d make to Rachele’s with Coleen’s stuff – or vice versa?


Have you ever seen what is left of a home once two 20-somethings take what they want and leave the rest? It’s amazing how much ‘stuff’ can be accumulated, and once you start pulling it all out of its well-contained nooks and crannies, it’s like a crack in a damn that just keeps growing until it bursts. Forget extra large trash bags; forget supersized cans. I just had them back a dumpster up to the door and went at it. What are you betting Zero Waste people are hating me about now.


Nevertheless, I thought I was getting off easy. They were still close. I was wrong . . .  again. This was merely the tip of the iceberg.


Hold on tight, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.


Rachele begins with, “Hey Mom, I'm getting married.”


Coleen says, “Hey Mom, I'm thinking about teaching in another county.”


“Hey Mom, I'm going to Europe for the summer to check things out.”


Rachele: “Hey Mom, we’re moving up the wedding date from 2010 to 2009.


Coleen: “Hey Mom, I got a new job and am moving to India to teach, and I’m leaving in a couple months ………. oh ……….. by the way it's for two years.”


Rachele: “Hey Mom, the wedding is in two weeks, Greg’s being deployed to Iraq.”


And, of course, there is always this: Coleen, “Hey Mom, is it ok if I leave a few things in the garage while I’m in India.” I naively said: “Sure honey. No problem. I’ve got a couple empty shelves.” So, two sets of shelves, one armoire and a full bedroom later her stuff is back and somehow I’ve got the trash again. How does that happen, I’ve yet to figure that one out?


These girls of mine have the ability to buckle my knees like no one else. Yet, they also inherited my ever so slightly off balanced sense of humor. They seem to think it’s funny to watch the blood drain from my face with every new adventure. You should have seen me when Coleen informed me of the extreme sports she did while in New Zealand. Her sister knew, but not me. I was told afterward just as she pulled out the pictures to show me. I went through all the “what ifs,” and she countered with all the “it didn’ts.” They didn’t want to worry me. Yea, right, we’ll go with that one for now. She didn’t want to hear me screaming from here to New Zealand without using a phone. They swear to me they don’t plan these things, they just ‘sorta’ happen. What’s that saying? Life is what happens when you are making other plans. Truer words couldn’t have been spoken.


I'm a firm believer in “if you’re dropping a bomb, give the person some time to adjust.” Not exactly one of my better-taught lessons.


Plan wedding; contract for India; shots for India; hit restart and plan for new wedding date; wedding; wedding; move out of apartment and back to Mom’s for an ‘hour, so to speak; ship stuff to India, Oy vey . . . time for a break; grab a bottle of wine; order Ledo and do some chick flicks; giggling; tears; blame it all on the movie, the rest can wait ’til morning.


Well, my Rachele got married; she’s heading to North Carolina this weekend to see him off. She's a strong one; I’ve faith it will all work out for the best and thank him for serving his county.


Coleen left for India August 3rd, arrived safe and sound in Chennai. As promised, there was a driver waiting for her. Customs went well. Those were her two biggest fears of traveling alone. Check out her blog. Coleen's India Adventures


In the midst of all this, I don’t want to forget to thank Michael Kurtianyk, for filling in for me during my Tentacle break. Also to Lori and another friend who were there with Ledo and six very cold beverages when I returned from the airport. Thanks to Nancy for just being that everything kind of friend. Rachele! It’s just you and me kiddo – for a while.


Hey, girls, how about a break for the next couple months. No new earth shattering reveals, pretty please? Who am I kidding, like that will happen. Thank you for one exciting adventure after another. Stay safe, healthy and happy.


’til next time . . . 


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