The Cinco de Mayo Dilemma..


It was pretty chaotic… three of us squeezed into a tiny dorm room last week packing up and trying to move out. I was sitting on a box folding piles and piles of clothes and layering them into bins for transport. Every so often, my daughter’s roommate would let out a sigh and comment about how much stuff she had accumulated and the need to get rid of some things..specifically shoes. I nodded in total agreement.

“This is actually a great example of having too many clothes” I said as I shook out a balled-up,  wrinkled,  ‘Happy Cinco de Mayo’  T-shirt to show to my daughter.  “OHHH, there it is!!” she wailed, “I was looking all over for it and couldn’t find it in time!!”


“But honey” I declared, “you’re making my point exactly. You have so little space for storage and every square inch is so stuffed to the gills you don’t know, or can’t find, what you do actually have… why would you take up one ounce of space in a tiny dorm room for a shirt you can only wear once a year???”

“I LOVE my Cinco de Mayo shirt mom!! I got it for free at Taco Bell last year..DO NOT throw that away!” she warned.

I rolled my eyes (again), dutifully folded the shirt and put it into the bin.

My eldest daughter used to be a clothes hound too, and her dorm looked just like this. Now, her closet resembles a small, super-organized, airy boutique, (no overcrowding) so I know..I KNOW… there’s hope for my youngest.

Because at some point you transition away from accepting chaos to craving clarity..

You’ll know you’re getting there when you give your unopened Clinique “gift with purchase” to the local women’s charity and start tossing all those dang free T-shirts.


Once was lost but now it’s found..


Last fall, my daughter took her old bicycle to college.  She was super excited about being able to get to her classes so much faster on wheels. My husband replaced the tires, screwed on a new seat and added a bell for good measure.

The bike was stolen within two weeks.

Our poor girl was distraught, but ready to admit that the theft was partially her fault. She hadn’t taken the time to secure her bike before she sprinted into class that day and lo and behold, it was gone by the time she got out. Not only was it not locked up, she hadn’t registered it with the campus police so there was nothing they could do to help her.

She spent the next few weeks suspiciously eyeing every bike rack she passed. Fall eventually turned into winter and before long, the ordeal was forgotten.

Fast forward to yesterday morning.  My daughter is walking to her class passing tulips and azaleas and a lone bicycle laying flat on the ground next to the path. As she passes the bike something triggers a memory and she spins back around to take a closer look. There was the bell attached to the handlebar, the cushy seat, the relatively new looking tires.. “that’s my bike!”  she gasped.

Our daughter picked up the bike and quickly wheeled it INTO the building she was headed to, then after class went straight to the campus police to tell them she thought she may have just “stolen her bike back.” She registered it on the spot and  then peddled back to her sorority house, bringing the bike inside again where it will stay-safe and sound- until she gets her new lock delivered from Amazon.

What a way to end the school year..

reclaiming in the last month what was stolen in the first.



photocredit:LBB Magazine,Pinterest

Dorm Room Flip!

So here’s an idea for HGTV…I mean seriously,  I’m getting a bit bored with the home make-over shows so how about..


Think of the creativity required to  turn a super tiny space with too much (ridiculously heavy) furniture, scratched floors, stuck windows and concrete walls into a livable space..all with a budget of like $47.25, a box of command strips and a string of mom’s Christmas lights..


Talk about a challenge!!!


I think it would make for a great reality show..a competition.. to see who could turn their dumpy room into the cleanest, cutest, college cubby!

First prize- a $100 Starbucks gift card,

Second prize- maybe 4 pizzas?

Third prize- How about one of those Swiffer Duster boxes delivered straight to their door!!


Time flies..

I cannot believe my daughter’s freshman year at college is already over! As we were lugging her junk  belongings  down all of those stairs and stuffing them into the car yesterday, I commented about how fast the school year went by..



Of course having just completed her final exams, she felt differently.



I guess time only flies when you’re a mom watching your kids grow up.

But seriously, wasn’t it just yesterday…..?

Move in day

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Burning down the house

The summer before my junior year of high school, my family moved from Germany to Maryland. My father’s job was in Washington, but he and my mom decided it would be better if we lived outside of the busy D.C. area. We settled into a wonderful neighborhood on the Chesapeake Bay full of families with teenagers to hang out with. One family in particular stood out among the crowd; they lived in the biggest, most extravagant home on the pointe and had two awesome kids, one of whom was a super hot, blonde, sailing hunk.  Lucky for me we attended the same school, and armed with my brand new driver’s license, it was soon my “job” to pick him and his sister up every day. I was such a nervous wreck with this gorgeous 10th grader in my car that I actually backed over his mailbox on the very first day I came to pick them up.

Yeah, it was a great moment. 😏

It became clear over time that this boy’s parents were hands down, the stars of our town. The dad was wildly successful and as handsome as his wife was gorgeous. They were active and friendly, involved in their kids’ lives as well as in the greater community.  So you can imagine everyone’s horror when the fire engines came storming into our neighborhood one warm, summer night to put out a massive fire at their home.  By the time I ran up the street, the entire house was fully engulfed in flames… I had never seen anything like it. The folks next door said no one was home, so at least we could all breathe a sigh of relief.

Except that wasn’t quite true, as the family dog was later discovered to have died in the blaze.  An investigation eventually uncovered that the dad himself had set his own home on fire in an effort to collect the insurance. He had waited for a week-end when his wife took the kids to visit family, and had probably left the dog inside to die so that it would look more like a believable accident that happened while he was out.

Needless to say his wife and kids,  as well as the entire community, were in utter shock as these horrifying revelations slowly came to light.  This man was a wonderful spouse, neighbor and father. He was caring and helpful, funny and intelligent. He was so many great things…and then he committed this unimaginable, heartless crime. He went to jail about the same time I went to college, so I never heard what ultimately happened to him or his family.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people spend decades building their lives and reputations only to burn everything to the ground in a spectacular fire-storm of self serving actions. I’m sure we can all make lists of the politicians, businessmen, athletes and yes, even preachers whose minds seem to have melted in the heat of their own sense of entitlement, ambition and invincibility.  I guess that’s the caution I’d share with every kid as they head off to college to pursue their dreams: