Green Thumb…

I’m not a huge gardener and usually struggle to keep my house plants alive but this year, I decided to try gardening one more time. Since I planted strawberries in my garden a few years ago, the bunnies and chipmunks have beaten me to their luscious deliciousness. So I opted for less challenging plants and flowers that need little coaxing from me, than fruits and vegetables for my front garden. It went better but it’s no English estate garden.

This year I invested in deck rail planters and have grown successfully; peppermint, spearmint, jalapeños, lettuce, baby tomatoes, basil, rosemary, and oregano. I’m total amazed and pamper them relentlessly, ask my sons, who have been required to water and tend to them when I am away. The biggest surprise is that we actually eat everything we’ve planted and to have teenage boys eat anything green is nothing short of a miracle. I’m grateful everyday that we get to harvest and share our own bounty. At least they put down their phones, don’t get me started, and we chill out on the deck and talk and eat. That’s worth the price of soil.

It turns out that rebirth and regeneration of my garden has helped move me towards a place of gratitude and peace. This summer has been one of the most joyous summers of my life. To be surrounded by nature, my plants, my puppy, my friends, and my beloved family…well there’s just nothing better than that. Getting to spend quality time with the people I cherish most, that’s the best gift of all. Peace!

Camp Mom

Well, the kiddies are out of school, finally, and I foolishly thought I would be able to incorporate the kids summer needs, (read demands) and work and write and take pictures, and frolic on the beach and chill.  HA!

This year my sons requested they spend a little less time at camp and a little more time with me, “you know Mom, just hanging out together and having fun.” An idyllic image of us playing croquet on the front lawn, sipping lemonade, and laughing uproariously with one another, while the crickets and cicadas serenaded us, sprang to mind. Our summer vacation resembles none of this moments.

Realizing the true depth of my commitment, I discovered I had replaced the traditional camp experience, (with other people running the show) with my own version of Camp Mom. My sole role; to entertain my sons and sometimes if I am lucky, their friends and cousins too.

At Camp Mom, I have provided a bevy of exciting adventures designed to thrill and delight young boys of all ages. We begin our day lazily, debating what to eat and deciding if the choices offered are agreeable to their sensitive palates. While there is usually a menu, provided at Camp Mom, I am often barraged with suggestions that would enhance their eating pleasure. What chef doesn’t appreciate the culinary critique of a 9-year-old?

Then comes the endless questions, thoughts and concerns about our plans for the day. This is the trickiest part, as a miscalculated suggestion can create blank stares, and glazed eyes as they ponder the seriousness of my plans. As mentioned above, I make suggestions and they make adjustments. A canoe trip down the river was fun but apparently I overlooked getting seat cushions for their paddling comfort. I bet a real camp takes into account the comfort of their campers bottoms while they paddle away.

At Camp Mom, I offer campers; crafts, photography, games, water play with hoses or water guns, swimming in a pool or down by the lake, go-carting, roller skating, biking, boating, hiking, driving range, and water bumper boating, meals, drinks, snacks, ice-cream, eating out, sports, movies, and traveling.

This has all taken place in the past 3 weeks and I just realized the summer is just getting underway and I’ve used up all of my creative ideas. I have tried to coerce, cajole and bribe them to try another camp but they are having the time of their lives. Suspiciously, when I thought I could do no more, I heard my oldest son say to his brother,  “No one is a better camp counselor than Mom.” Hmmmm.

I haven’t had time for much else and I may have bitten off way more than I can chew. Who knows what will happen next year? With all of this been said, I do love spending time with my two favorite souls on the planet, even when they look at me with their beautiful bright eyes and innocently ask, “what did you plan for us to do today Mom?”

 

Celebrating the10th Anniversary of Vineyard Streetball Classic!!!!

                                

The Vineyard Streetball Classic  team will be at Niantic Park, Oak Bluffs, MA, Martha’s Vineyard for pre-registration :

Sunday July 1st from 2pm -4pm
Monday July 2nd from 2pm- 4pm & 7pm – 9pm

Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Vineyard Streetball Classic…everyone welcome…..

My friend Mike D. (no S), loves everything and anything about the subject of basketball. Since we were kids in middle school, basketball and music were his two loves, and he was rarely seen without a basketball in his hand, or dribbling the ball while asking if you’d heard the newest “jam” on the radio.  Mike is one of those rare people who everyone likes and who is authentic without artifice, ever.  Mike simply loves to play basketball win or lose, of course, he loves to win but Mike is not entirely interested in the accolades and cheers from the crowd, (he learned to love that though), he just wants to play the game to the level he expects of himself.

 As luck would have it, Mike grew up down the street from the very basketball court where the Vineyard Streeetball Classic has been held every year for the past ten years. Back then, Mike could be found at the basketball court, day after day, practicing foul shots, jump shots, dribbling (“with the left hand and switching to the right”) and lay-ups, perfecting his game, preparing for his next game or reliving a past game. If you hung out with him, you also spent time reliving the past game’s ups and downs with him, again and again.  Mike’s basketball education grew, as he was schooled each summer by the older kids who hung out at the basketball courts, perfecting their skills, and encouraging, challenging, and supporting his love of the game every step of the way. Now Mike is passing the torch to students from around the Northeast.

 It’s funny, although by no means a surprising, that Mike has built his life around both of his passions and used his creativity and business savvy, and his (Smooth) people skills, to conceive and build Vineyard Streetball Classic, an annual summer tournament program for students, ages 10 to 18, who eat, sleep, and breathe the game of basketball, just like Mike. With his nephew, Omar, and a coalition of close friends and supporters, Mike has managed to organize, promote, advertise, and enlist sponsors to support Vineyard Streetball Classic  for the past ten years.

The Vineyard Streetball Classic will be held again this year, at the same basketball court that Mike played on as a kid, down the street from his old house, “if you build it, they will come”. This year they will celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Vineyard Streetball Classic and family and friends alike will cheer them on once more as the visions of a few fulfill the dreams of many young students who love the game of basketball and get the wonderful opportunity to play in a summer tournament on Martha’s Vineyard, year after year.

Mike still talks about music and basketball but now he also loves to talk about Vineyard Streetball Classic so in a way, nothing much has changed as we’ve gotten older. The truth is though, Mike has taught me about following your passions, carving out your niche and creating a life that fits you exclusively. 

Mike has reminded me that whether its basketball, or painting, or writing, or business, we all have to follow our individual paths in creating the kind of life only we can dream about. In a way, we are all charged with the task of co-creating the life that gives us joy, purpose, and hopefully, serves the people around us, for there is no doubt, that is the true meaning of success.