Sunday, November 16, 2008

Home Sweet Home

We're back from our big adventure!

It wasn't so much of an adventure as it was an escape. M has a co-worker who owns a home up in the Pocono Mts. of Pennsylvania called the "Chestnut Cottage" and rents it out for skiers during the winter, vacationers during the summer and anyone else who just wants to "get away" for a bit.

It's a very nice "chalet" type house typical of the area and it sleeps up to 16 people! Man, if I had that many friends I would have a party up there!

We were there just to drop off the radar and relax and enjoy each other. No dogs, no kids, no work, no computers - no nuthin!

Even though it rained the entire time we were was nice.

We arrived Friday night after fighting the traffic out of Philly. (Silly me left her work laptop at work and had files on it she needed so she had to drive 1 1/2 hours out of her way to pick it up. yes, I am a dumb ass)

On the way up I got a call from the other biological parent of my two children. The discussion was about Daughter C who has decided not to finish out college. Daughter C is much like her dear ol' Mom - not a good student. It's not that we aren't smart, we just don't like school all that much. If it's not a subject we like, we tend to get distracted and bored easily. I begged and pleaded with her to just finish these first two years. Get it under her belt and when she's made up her mind what she wants to do with her life then she can go back and take the classes that she's interested in. As least she can get the B.S. classes out of the way.

Well - this didn't work and she's dropping out.

She's 21 and I can't force her to stay in, but there will be things that she will have to deal with now and these may be the hardest lessons for her to learn.

#1 - Free ride is over. M and I didn't mind paying for her while she was going to school, but now she's an "adult" she will have to pay rent.

#2 - Car Insurance. She had a deal with the other parent that while she was going to school her car insurance would be paid for. No more!

#3 - MONEY MANAGEMENT - this will be the hardest lesson this child has ever learned in her young life. Money goes in and out of her hands so fast it will make your head spin. We have tried to make out a budget for her and she gives us the same answer: "I know, I know."

She doesn't have a clue.


So anyway - after that conversation with the other parent I was a bit tense. The other parent and I don't get along very well. It's more like a seething dislike on my part actually. I've tried to swallow my pride and deal when it comes to my kids, but M says you can see it in my face whenever the other parent comes around. I cannot hide it.

M and I talked about this more when we got to the "Chestnut Cottage" and after a few glasses of wine and some sound advice from someone who is better at money management than I am (guess where daughter C gets it from?) I was able to relax and kind of put it out of my mind for a while.

Saturday it rained ALL day. We decided to venture out to some of the areas shops, and also found some local winery's to do a little tasting at! "SCORE!"

First it was off to the House of Candles - an ol' favorite place to go. (What is it about lesbians and candles?) Memories are usually more pleasant than reality though and as soon as we walked in we both got an instant headache from sensory overload. The plan was to get what we wanted, pay and get the hell out before our olfactory nerves blew a gasket.

Next stop - Cherry Valley Vineyards. Apparently it was a Wine Trail Weekend. This is where some wineries offer free samples and cheese and give little talks about their wines. It's a great way to get a free lunch and a free buzz on!

We tried 4 little samples from Cherry Valley - we didn't like any of them. Too fruity. Like taking Welch's Grape juice and turning into wine. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but that isn't our taste.

Next up - Big Creek Vineyards. We had fun finding this place! We were using a GPS thingy and it took us all over the place. Finally we turned onto a road that we thought was someones house and by golly the damn thing was right all along!

M and I are convinced that the two women who were pouring the samples had been "sampling" themselves all afternoon. They were goofy as hell! It kind of reminded me of the store scene from Saving Grace! But anyway - we liked these wines a bit better and bought a few to take home.

Back to the cottage we chilled out, read a little, found a way to "kill a bit of time" and then M taught me how to play Domino's and I kicked her ass a few times before she kicked my ass right back! We found a little place for dinner - which is kind of hard in that area. Most of the "restaurants" are bars that just happen to serve food. There was the Gentleman's Club, but I have a small feeling that unless we wrote "I voted for McCain" on our foreheads we would have been shot on the spot!

O'Donnell's touted that they had 6 great steaks, and steak was what I had a hankerin' fer. It was just a bar that happened to serve food, but it had a little extension that served as a dining area. Kind of looked like a dressed up porch. M and I both had the prime rib and the sign was right...they were great! HUGE - but great.

With full bellies we headed back to the cabin and decided to just relax. I lit a fire, we snuggled up on the couch (I took your advice Vic!) and we just enjoyed the quiet.

It was really quiet.

All we could hear was the rain, the crackling of the fire and the ticking of the clock.

Really quiet.

Nice - but a little weird at the same time.

This morning we slept in a bit. Found a nice cafe for breakfast and headed home. As we headed out, it started to snow a little bit. That was a nice ending to a very nice weekend.

Back home, the dogs were happy to see us and we were happy to see them to. Their little bodies just shaking from excitement makes us both smile!

M is settled upstairs catching up on the football scores and I came down here to check my work e-mail.

How easily we get right back into our ol' routine!

Daughter C made a guest appearance and I told her of the conversation with her other parent. She stomped out of the house murmuring something like, "Oh great, now I have to pay my car payment, my car insurance AND rent?"


Not a freakin' clue.

Oh well, she's about to learn!


neetzy said...

Wow! C is up for a rude awakening. You've done your job. Now its her turn. My sister-in-law's daughter also dropped out of college. She is living in New York, working at some exclusive clothing store, and playing in a punk rock band on the weekends. Should I ask her if she wants a roommate? They are oddly similar. BTW I feel the same about your ex.

dive said...

Sheesh! I had to work and gig evenings and weekends from age eleven so I could pay my parents rent.
I bought my first car out of gig money and took tax classes to make sure I kept as much as was legal and then a bit more.
Then I … er … dropped out of college to go on the road.
But hey, I ended up having a whale of a time and retired from music into a job I love.

So dropping out worked okay for me, but then I had learned the value of hard work and money management beforehand.

Good luck with your daughter, Shazza; sounds like she needs a crash course.

the only daughter said...

My daughter...well, let's just say, kids!

My daughter doesn't pay rent but she does pay her car note, insurance & parking & phone bills.

Rent will come (especially if she's still here this time next year) as her hours stablize more.

Much luck.

Trip sounded cool and as my son would say, chill.

Shazza said...

Neetzy - NYC would be THE worst place for this child! And I think EVERYONE feels the same way about my ex!

Dive - 11?!? Yikes dude, that's a bit rough. Glad it worked out for you though. Gives me hope.

Deb - Yeah...Kids! Sometimes you just want to shake some sense into them.