As Time Goes By
It’s been a year since I stopped by. The more things change, the more they stay the same, as the saying goes.
In the past year, Babygirl has graduated from college. Yes, college.
I am the grandmother of a beautiful little girl and a terribly cool little boy. Girl has gotten past her “shy stage” and now calls me “Mom-Mom”. We play tea party and color. Logan teaches me lots on his Kindle. We watch some strange tv shows and have adventures when we leave the house.
I have quit smoking. Yes, QUIT! May 30th will mark one year. It was hard. After all the tries with the patch and gum, I finally did it cold turkey. I don’t miss it either. A rare day will show up and I will simply light a smoke and put it out. I can’t bring myself to smoke.
I am still married to my wonderful husband. We still run our business, but it is time to bring on our sons. In the upcoming couple of years, they will be taught to bid jobs, keep an inventory, and take care of the business. Hubs is ready to retire. He will stay on for the foreseeable future, but it is huge step nonetheless.
While I have enjoyed all of these changes, I haven’t enjoyed some changes in myself. I’ve become complacent about my weight and health. I simply don’t care. I have also become extremely judgemental. I criticize the television, celebrities, the government, news, my husband, my kids, my shoes, my dogs, my life. Why? Not a clue. I hear my mother every time my mouth opens and I slam it shut. This is something I am working on. I don’t care if I get fat. I just don’t want to allow myself to become a bitter woman.
Other than that? Not much. I see most of you on facebook. I’ve kept up with you, your families, jobs, etc. The blog roll on the left? I couldn’t tell you who is still writing. One or two are, but I’m about out. I only stopped here to see if it was still mine.
I’ll pop back. Maybe. I’ll let y’all know.
After a night of rigorous physical “activity” on Friday, I awoke on Saturday barely able to move. Oh my back hurt! I’ve gotten to the point in which I can tell if it is “over used” or simply “out of whack”. This was the latter, and I tried rolling my spine on the exercise ball as well as other things to help manipulate it back into place. Nothing worked. I sat all day Saturday, barely moving, watching tv from my recliner. And finally, around 5:00 , I gave in and took a vicodin-my last one. Going back to the recliner, I bent to comfort Mordecai (who is currently missing Holly). POP! All better. Just like that. You have no idea how frustrating it is not to know exactly how that happens!! But I had taken the vike for nothing. Boo.
Anyway, my phone rings and it’s my younger brother. This isn’t unusual. He uses us for business, sometimes a babysitter, or just to say hi. He asks how I am and what I’m doing. “Oh, I’m just sitting here playing a game and just chilling. My back hurt for most of the day.” Then he said some wonderful words….
“I called to see if you wanted to see Soundgarden with me tonight.”
“Hell yeah!” “Great, I’ll see you in about half an hour.”
I pulled myself together in record time and managed to annoy Hubs in the process. “You sat all day in pain and suddenly your brother calls and like magic, you can move!” It almost felt that way. I promised to be careful, not to dance too much, not to drink too much and come right home -just like I did with my dad years ago!
Dan was already fired up. He admitted that I was the third phone call but I didn’t give a shit. My son and I had both been disappointed when we learned the show had been sold out. Now I was going.
OMG! It was a fantastic show. Chris Cornell hit every high note without fail. He went onstage at 8:30 and never stopped for two solid hours. It was a great mix of the new singles with a generous portion of his older ones. We sang along, danced and had a helluva great time.
This particular brother and I are the eldest and youngest of my parents’ kids and we have never gone out to do something like this. The fact that we bonded over a concert was awesome. He didn’t know that I could be fun and I didn’t know he even heard half of the songs.
“Chris, I’m so glad you came out with me tonight. I had such a great time. The next time something like this goes on, I’m calling you first.”
Sounds good to me. We are already making plans for the next night out!!
Splits Are For Kids
What a great day.
I had a migraine last night. Rather than fight it, I took a tylenolPM, put on my jammies and crawled into bed at 8pm. Tuesday ended while I slept and I awoke to a beautiful Wednesday twelve hours later. Hot coffee and quiet time. Laundry running and Style network full of my guilty pleasures-How Do I Look?, Jerseylicious, and Supernanny. Just before I wanted to get in the shower, Babygirl wanted to go for a walk, so we leashed up the doggies and took a nice walk to Dunkin’ Donuts. I came home a bit sweaty and started dinner.
I had wanted to make beef stew in the crock pot, but since it was already afternoon, I figured I’d make it on the stovetop. I simply wanted to cook the carrots a little before adding everything else. And so, they merrily simmered….and simmered. Hubs came home early and we had a brief conversation. Babygirl was leaving for a baseball game and work and I said goodbye. I prepared to get into the shower…..again. Then I remembered the carrots.
The water had boiled away and the carrots were now fried. Hubs was still in the office and didn’t notice. I got rid of the burnt ones and cut up new ones. It was no big deal. I stalled until they boiled and then shut them off. Now I had nothing to worry about.
I got into the shower and just enjoyed it. I stayed under the spray longer than usual, shaving my legs and feeling the heat on my back. It was glorious!
Cleaned and refreshed, I went into the kitchen to finally finish the stew. Onions, beef, potatoes all went into the pot. It smelled great already. Hubs and I sat in the living room to relax for a bit.
Before I knew it, my boys came in the door. Son2 was running right out to the MLS All-Star Game. But Son1 was here too. Apparently he was looking for jumper cables because the work truck seemed to be slowing down. Hubs went looking down the basement for the cables only to find…..
The basement had flooded.
Due to the roots in the line from trees and bushes, we have the plumber come out every now and then to clear the line. It’s that time again. Any laundry that had been sorted and waiting washing, was now soaking in two inches of water. The laundry I ran this morning? Yeah, that water. The long shower I took? That water too. The shower that Son1 was currently taking? Yup, that water too. Oh yeah, I think one or two of us may have used the toilet today too.
Hubs plunged out the line as best he could. It began draining again. The sump pump kicked on and sucked the water down. The dehumidifier came on to do its job. All I had to do was sweep some of the water toward the floor drain. I rolled up my pants and began.
Slowly, but surely, the water went away. I stepped backwards to push a pile of whites away from the flow of water and my foot began to slide….
I tried to brace myself with the broom…and continued to slide…
OMG! I’m falling into a split!!!!!
I started to laugh at the absurdity. I couldn’t stop. Instead of taking the hurt, I fell backward on my ass and kept right on laughing.
Now, with my ass soaked to the skin, I got up, went upstairs and changed. Before heading back to the basement, I noticed how yummy it smelled. My stomach growled and I realized that I hadn’t eaten today. Mmm….stew….
The basement finally clean, clothes running once more in the washer, Son2 gone to the game and Son1 on his way home, I went to check my stew.
I had been distracted for too long. The stew had dried and begun to burn.
The wonderful smell of stew lingered tantalizingly. The potatoes? Overboiled and mushy. The beef? Somewhat seared. Carrots? Brown.
I sighed deeply. Hubs scooped some stew up and began to eat it. “If I don’t like it, I’ll just throw it out.” he said. Just like that. And eat it, he did. Was he simply too tired and hungry to care? I think so.
I reached into the cabinet for my own dish, and noticed a pain. I turned and almost stepped on my dog. I noticed another pain. After a once over of all my body parts, I discovered a swollen and jammed thumb, slightly tweaked back, shoulder pain and a possibly bruised butt.
I still need to go food shopping tonight. I hope I manage to get it done before the worst of the aches start! In spite of it all, without sarcasm, I can still say,
What a great day.
Smiles and Tears
Again I have lapsed, my friends. My life is very busy. I have lots to do and have rediscovered the joy of reading in a quiet house. I haven’t actually watched a movie in quite some time and even most of my nighttime shows are caught in a random hour here and there.
My days are spent with Logan, mostly at his house. This isn’t an excuse. Why? Because I am offering no excuses. This is more of an explanation of my happiness. The child truly is sunshine. He rarely cries-even while teething! So far, we have two bottom teeth, accompanied by lots of chewing and drool. He has now started baby food and so far, it seems that squash is a favorite.
Carrots are definitely not a favorite.
We play, we laugh, and oh, my do I smile! I recently realized just how much I smile when I was getting ready to go out. I was putting on eyeliner and as I looked into the
soul-sucking magnifying mirror, I noticed fine lines at crease of my eyes. I always had a few, but these are deeper. Know what? I am not freaked out by them. On the contrary, I am embracing them. They are my badge of grandmotherhood.
Logan has also learned to crawl. This happened two weeks ago. This week, he is pulling himself up….on the steps, on the coffee table, the couch, the dogs…you name it, he is the Edmund Hillary of the house.
And as long as I am telling you all of this, I may as well jump in and tell you what happened today.
Babygirl is home for the summer and her new roommate drove an hour today to hang out and have dinner with her. Just in case they were eating here, I made meatballs and sausage for sandwiches. Logan settled in for his nap and Babygirl went upstairs to get her shower. I sat right beside Logan on the couch. Normally we snuggle up together on the couch or on the floor. Sometimes I can get him to sleep in his car seat. Today, though, I was sitting beside him. He slept for an hour before I remembered that the meatballs were still in the oven. I could smell that they were done or needed to be turned. Either way, they needed attention. Since Logan still had about half an hour in his usual nap time, I jumped from the couch and ran to the kitchen. I opened the oven, stirred the meat around and was ready to close it up and return when I heard the thud.
He rolled off the couch.
I never leave that child alone! I toss him into the pack-n-play, the car seat, the floor….but never on the couch. The one time I did….for only 30 seconds….
He cried then. Oh, yes, he did. He looked at me bewildered by this new sensation of pain. I cradled him in my arms and kissed him, tasting his tears on my lips. My heart was pounding. I couldn’t take it away for him. I cried as he cried. And after all the boogers were wiped from his nose, he smiled. He hugged me and snuggled up. We looked out the front door at the cars passing by. When there was lull in the cars he looked at me and I saw it….
…..an egg on his forehead.
I cried a little more as I tried to hold an ice pack to his head. He cried a little more as he tried to avoid it.
Then his dad came home early. (Of course!) I could tell he wanted to yell at me. He knew it was an accident. But he also knew that he was the one who would have to tell Shenanigans. I felt even worse, knowing that she would freak out about it. He packed up Logan’s stuff and ran out to pick up Shenanigans at work. I cried a little more in the bathroom, rinsed off my face and finished dinner. I found it very hard to feed myself.
I talked to Son1 tonight. Shenanigans was a little upset, but as he said, she will get over it. Logan comes back tomorrow, and I will admit that I feel a little nervous. After all these years of caring for kids, Logan isn’t the first one to roll off the couch. He isn’t the first to get a goose egg. I’m sure he won’t be the last. But the fact that this is his first lump, his first real bruise…..and it happened at my house…it rattled me.
Tomorrow I’ll get back on that horse again, and laugh and sing and play……
And nap on the floor, right beside him.
You May Know…..
You may know that I spend time with Logan.
You may not know that I spend every Friday with him. I get so excited about Friday’s arrival that sometimes I can’t sleep on Thursday night or else I wake up far too early. Each week I take my coupons along to clip, a crossword or two from the Sunday papers, or my kindle. Quite often I bring them home again, untouched. He is almost rolling over, almost teething. He definitely laughs and talks to me. He anticipates “3” as in “1-2- THREE!” He is a bright sun in my week.
You may know that I just celebrated a birthday.
You may not know that it was my fiftieth. I spent time with friends which is always a great time. I was taken out to dinner with my kids, husband and best friend and her husband. It was better than any of us had anticipated. It has been far too long since we have included the bestie and her hubs in an intimate celebration. I’m glad they were invited!
You may know that I have missed Babygirl since she returned to school.
You may not know just how much I missed her. I didn’t even realize it until I saw her when she came home on Friday. For once, I didn’t break the hug first. I breathed in the smell of her hair and her scalp…something I haven’t done in years. I found myself just watching her when she wasn’t looking. I stopped whatever I was doing if I could hear her voice talking to her dad or brother….not listening to the conversation, just to the sound of her voice, her laughter.
You may know that I haven’t been here.
You may not know that I have thought about writing a post, but I am actually quite happy. I tend to post when I am experience a high or a low. I have been quite content with my life. I have enjoyed spending time with my kids. I enjoyed a few days here and there with my husband. I even enjoyed going to the dentist…after far too long since the last visit!
You may know that I miss hearing from you guys.
If you don’t know…..I’m telling you now.
From the Depths of My Sadness…..
I haven’t stopped in for a while and there are very good reasons for this.
First off, when Mom-Mom died, it hit me very hard. Upon the phone call, I promptly got a migraine that didn’t let up until I saw her body. I wasn’t sleeping very well at all and even my sleep aids weren’t working. I was depressed, tired and very, very testy. To top it off, the funeral coincided with a dental appointment that Hubs had been waiting for since New Years. He had all but two teeth pulled and this was the day that he was going to be molded for his new plates. Now, I understand that he hasn’t eaten well and he must be starved constantly. I understand that even after this molding, there was more to be done. But this wasn’t about him. I was hurt and felt betrayed. I stood by him through the loss of both his parents and his grandparents, as well as cousins and friends. I have been blessed to have lost very few of my own dear ones. I needed him now. Finally, all the emotional and physical pain came to a climax and I let him have it. I also cried like I haven’t in a long, long time. He got the point quickly and stepped up. He was like a body guard, not letting issues or people touch me unless I invited them in. I still walked in a daze. I missed my daughter terribly. I cried while folding laundry. I couldn’t even call my best friend to tell her what I was dealing with. I began to scare myself. I don’t think I’ve ever been so shattered.
At the funeral, as I saw Mom-Mom in her casket, I realized that it wasn’t her. She was tiny, frail. The woman of my memories was robust, a force of nature. Even in her old age, she was the same. It was just in the last few months that she began to waste away. I said goodbye and tucked a letter under her blanket. I turned away and never looked back. The pain in my head disappeared and I suddenly felt so tired. My entire body relaxed and I knew it was the stress and grief that had piled on me. I believe she took it away and told me not to look back.
And from the depths of my soul, the grief was lifted. It was to be replaced with joys uncounted.
My son had brought Logan with him to the funeral at my father’s request. The child came into the church and every tear was replaced with such joy! He smiled at everyone. He was held by one great aunt after another. My own cousins gathered around laughing that I had joined the ranks of ‘grandparent’ (only one other out of 27 is a grandparent) Dad had had the best idea by asking for the baby to attend. It was brilliance. The child fussed a tiny bit after an hour and was ready to be fed. My son did that and he was out for a nap. This was an opportunity to watch my son fully in the Dad-mode. Shenanigans had to work and he was on his own. I was so proud.
I got home from a long, exhausting day and went to bed at 7:30. I woke up at noon the next day.
In this past week, I have been flooded with only good, long lost memories of my grandmother. It makes me smile. I watched Logan Friday and Saturday. They came for dinner on Sunday. I watched Logan again yesterday. Lemme tell ya, a good baby is the best medicine for an aching psyche. I have laughed, and danced my days away. I got together with my best friend and we went shoe shopping. I put on a fun pair of plaid flats….not something that I would normally wear. I ran up and down the aisle of the store laughing. I decided not to spend the money, but she insisted on buying them for me, stating “Chrissy, if they can make you that happy, it would be a sin to deny it”.
She was ri– , ri—……..correct.
So…..after the upheaval and neglect, I expect to spend the day with my doggy boys, bathing and brushing them. I plan on catching up with laundry and finally COOKING!
Life goes on……..
Yesterday, we spent our first whole day together. I want to remember every detail of it. You see, it was the first time that I actually felt like your mom-mom. We were alone. I was yours and you were mine.
I walked in the door and whispered “Hello” because I didn’t know if you were asleep. I was greeted by your wonderfully loud squeal that sounded so much like “HI!” It was the first of so many smiles you gave me. There you were, in your bassinet, all smiles, waves, and kicks. I can’t remember ever seeing a more joyful baby. Have I told you how beautiful you are?
You sat in your little chair and we played. You talked to your giraffe and the little froggie. You are a happy baby.
We lay on your play blanket and even made a fort. You are too young for a fort, but who cares? You laughed and cooed. I pretended that I couldn’t find you, asking “Where’s Logan?” You responded by kicking your feet and squealing. Were you playing too? Were you calling to me? It felt that way.
I fed you and you looked into my eyes while you ate. You held my fingers as your eyes grew heavy. Slowly you grew ‘bottle drunk’. I burped you held you through your hiccups. You threw up on me and I was okay with that. It made you feel better and the smiles returned. I changed your diaper and you were happy through that too. I found your ticklish spots and you giggled for me. It was a beautiful sound.
Eventually you slept and what a peaceful baby you were. Did you dream of playing with me? Did you dream of chasing your dog, Maggie? Or did you dream of Mommy and Daddy and playing with Jazzy? You smiled often while you dreamed.
You woke up and fussed. I could tell your belly bothered you. I felt sad, and wondered if I were to blame. Did you get too much air? Did you not burp enough? You cried. I ran the faucet and you calmed down. Every five minutes or so you did that for half an hour. But when you calmed down, you cooed and smiled. Finally you farted. My lord, child, you sounded like your dad. Then you pooped.
And farted and pooped some more.
I waited until I was sure you were finished and when I removed your diaper, you took my breath away. Goodness, you make big smellies! And then I noticed that it was up your back too. When I took off your onesie, I smeared it in your hair too and you needed a bath. Good thing mommy came home because suddenly I needed extra hands! But I learned how much you love your bath. You happily kicked and squealed as your mommy cleaned you and washed your hair. And you stayed calm as we dressed you afterwards.
All good things must end and our day was one of those good things. Pop-Pop came to pick me up and as we began to drive away, he told me to “stop it”. What was it that he wanted me to stop doing?
I was smiling, ear to ear. Without even realizing it, I was still smiling. You made me so very happy.
I can barely wait until next week when we do this again.
Lemme Break It Down…
Thus the New Year enters…..
Where have I been? you may ask. I’ve been around. The holidays took up a good bit of time. Family took up a good bit more. On the whole, December was an awesome month. I just didn’t blog about it that’s all.
**I spent a few days with Logan without the distraction of family. He slept most of the time of course, but I got to snuggle him.
**December 8th was my mom’s birthday. I didn’t forget it. But I DID forget that it was her SEVENTIETH! Holy shit! What kind of daughter am I to forget that?! I’ll tell you what kind. The kind that also forgot that December 9th was Mom and Dad’s FIFTIETH anniversary. My brothers and sister gave me a lot of grief for that. According to them, since I am the oldest, it is MY responsibility to keep track of these things. I should have planned something big for that. Well, the sibs and I did discuss this back in August. The problem was that work was slowing down for my brothers, my sister wanted something huge with a small price tag and it was too close to the holidays, so the idea was scrapped. We all ended up being at Mom and Dad’s house that night anyway with champagne and Logan. We all agreed to go out for dinner the following week. Joe and his wife weren’t in a place to afford going, but I offered to cover his bill as his birthday was the day after the dinner. Dan offered to pay for Mom and Dad. We went out to dinner-all four of us kids and our spouses as well as Babygirl and Son1. We had a wonderful evening. We sat drinking and laughing and finally waiting and waiting for the bill. Finally my brother Dan asked the waitress to bring it, as we were all ready to leave. She said it had already been paid. My husband paid for it all. All he asked was that they cover the tip generously. And they did. When I asked why he had done that, he said because he knew it meant alot to me to be with the family without stress. And he was right. He told everyone Merry Christmas.
**I spent time with Babygirl and my girlfriends in Center City Philadelphia. We saw a traditional Holiday light show, did more than a little shopping and did lunch/dinner at a very nice restaurant. It was a wonderful day full of laughter and friendship. It is something that we hope to make a tradition for ourselves.
**Christmas Eve was the usual family night. Lots of people, lots to drink and the ONLY time that I went to bathroom, my nephews banged on the door yelling “Aunt Chrissy! Santa Clause is here and he’s looking for YOU!” What the hell? I ran out of the bathroom to see him standing in the middle of my living room, speaking not a word to anyone in the house. He leaned to me and said “Merry Christmas, bitch!” It was my friend Nancy dressed up. I laughed so hard my sides ached. It was a wonderful cherry on the top of the evening. I mean, really! How often does anyone get called a ‘bitch’ by Santa?
The ring on the top is the fake. He did a good job of matching it, no?
**Christmas came and I got gems. I had bought a fake gem ring to wear with an outfit and I loved it. Unfortunately, it was beginning to tarnish and I was sad about that. Hubs remedied that by getting me a real one. I love it. I also love Logan. He is at a cute age where he imitates sticking his tongue out, he laughs and smiles constantly. He certainly brings a new level of joy to the holidays.
**The Friday after Christmas, Hubs had his teeth pulled. This has been a long time coming. It was his Christmas gift to himself. Unfortunately for me, he got all but two pulled and it took alot out of him. And so, I am paying for all the joys he has given me by nursing him through this. We are spending every waking hour together…..every…..waking……hour. I can’t wait for retirement…<–insert sarcastic voice here!
So you see, my friends, I am here, I am busy and I am happy. I just can’t believe that I went almost a whole month away from here. I hope your holidays were full of joys and family. I wish you love, laughter and prosperity in the new year.
I love you all.
Tuesday November 01st 2011, 10:23 AM
Filed under: happy
Alas, poor blog, I have again been neglectful. However, I must beg your forgiveness for this time, it was neither mere laziness nor lack of inspiration. It was an event so momentous that it will change my life forever.
I have become a grandmother.
Shortly after the last post, while raking, Hubs stumbled upon a nest of wasps. In their anger, they stung him 8-10 times in the back of his left shoulder. In his haste to pull off the shirt, he tweaked his tendonitis and damaged rotator cuff. This meant a week of taking him to the doctor and MRIs and x-rays. Next stop will be orthopedist because we fear that stings have exacerbated damage that we have ignored for many years.
As we were coming to terms with all of that, we were also awaiting the birth of the grandson. Babygirl came home for her 20th birthday, and we took her out for a family dinner. Shenanigans came too and she broke the news that she had been having contractions for the past 24 hours. We were so excited. Son1 had even been running errands and doing his soccer coaching with her emergency bag in the back of his car! Two days after dinner, we got a call that she was at the hospital.
Oh the excitement!! It was 6:30am. I rushed to shower and change. Hubs rushed to get a job started so that he could be available when it was time for us to go to the hospital. The phone rang at 11. The doctor was sending Shenanigans home because she wasn’t quite done baking. The adrenaline crash was maddening.
The following days were spent making sure that the house was clean, that laundry was done and meals were ready in anticipation of a sudden day spent with Son1. Doctor visits occurred on Tuesday and Thursday and still, the doctor said she wasn’t ready. Thursday’s appointment even included pre-op forms to prepare for inducing labor on Halloween.
I was sitting home on Friday, relaxing with a book and a cup of coffee. It was cooling off and the weathermen were calling for snow–IN OCTOBER! What a rare occurrence! The phone rang at 3, dragging me from the book. Son1 was heading to the hospital straight from work. Shenanigans had gone to the hospital at noon and didn’t call anyone until she had made sure that it was time. This time, her water had broken and things were starting to progress. I called Hubs, texted Babygirl and Son2 and by 5, I was headed to the hospital.
Son kept us informed. “She’s getting an epidural now.” “It’s progressing nicely” “Can you pick up Jazzy?”
Jazzy had been in school when her mom left the house. She was with her Pop-Pop and was waiting for word about her new brother. We raced to get her through the rain which had started, past our own home, to Son1’s house. She jumped into the car, and told us how excited she was. And then I got a text.
We made our way back to the nursery and signed in. We were ushered to a room where we found my son, cradling his own son in his arms. He looked at me and tears began streaming down his cheeks. “He’s beautiful Mommy! Jazzy, come see your brother!”
This is Logan Gibson Hutton. He is only one hour old.
I beheld a perfect little boy, his eyes wide and alert. His head turned to follow my son’s voice as he moved around the room. Shenanigans was glowing, even in her discomfort and exhaustion. The love in the room was almost overwhelming.
With a great effort, we dragged ourselves away to leave the little family to bond together. Snow had begun in earnest and it would continue for the next ten hours. We went to dinner to celebrate and have a few drinks.
As we sat at the bar, one of our favorite bartenders came over and said “I haven’t seen you guys in a while. What’s new?” And then it happened…….
I became that grandmother…..
“Let me show you a picture of my new grandson…..”
Now I need a bumper sticker and a shirt that states “Ask me about my grandkid.”
Oh Lord, SAVE ME FROM MYSELF!!!!
Prison Bucket List
Among the various things on my “bucket list” were two things: Visit a truly haunted place, and go to a decent house of horrors.
Hubs hates blood and gore. He’s not a fan of haunted houses at Halloween. And most of all, he has no belief whatsoever in the paranormal. As I get older, I was coming to the realization that most of my friends echo his feelings. I’ve been told haunted houses are “for kids” and that “we’re too old for that kind of thing”. Babygirl hates being scared. Son1 prefers to go with Jazzy or his other ‘friends-with-kids’. Son2? He’s too fucking cool to be seen with his mom at a scare house.
And so….I got a message on Facebook from my girl Teri. A friend of hers is visiting from Florida (where he is a scenery designer at Universal Studios horror houses.) One of the things he wanted to do was to visit Eastern State Penitentiary. Immediately, Teri thought of me and invited me to go with them.
Oh..my…God!!! I barely took a breath before I messaged her that YES! Of course I wanted to go!!
Eastern State is a truly haunted prison. It has been featured on several paranormal shows and many unexplained occurrences have been documented there. However, every Halloween season, it is turned into Terror Behind the Walls. Whether it is it’s notoriety as a haunted place or the fact that it is in the city, no one ever wanted to go. I was so excited about this that I found myself counting down the days, and hours, until I would be there. Before I fell asleep at night, I imagined what it would be like. I imagined a contact outside of the realm of ‘spooking’. Would I possibly feel a cold blast of air? Would I see a dark, unexplained shape? I got chills…anticipation? fear? Both!
Teri parked a distance away where we go on the ‘Ghost Shuttle’, a tourist trolley car run by the event. We were treated to a story told by a guy dressed in costume. This was an opportunity lost. This guy must have had ADD because his story was not scary, spooky, or even coherent. He went off on too many tangents. Why not have one scripted story of ghost, ghouls or unexplained noises? This could have turned on the imagination before ever getting to the main course! If not a ghost story, then perhaps a story about the Prison’s history, that would tie in with the areas of the tour that we would be exposed to. Like I said, an opportunity lost.
We pulled up at the Prison and joined our friends, signed our ‘release form’ and got in line. Several characters roamed about setting the stage for creeps and chills. The wait to get into the prison itself was kind of long, but it actually went pretty quickly. The characters creeped us out, there were tv monitors showing paranormal videos of the prison, and there was just the curiosity of looking at a building with such a heinous history.
Inside the prison, we were treated to the standard ‘scare house’ fare. Strobe lights, creeps that stared or followed you, the ones who stole up behind us to softly blow on our necks. There was the infirmary with its mad doctors, the intake with its sadistic guards, and the cells themselves. I was particularly happy with the 3D portion. Looking down at my feet, it was as if my legs went into the floor! But again, there were opportunities lost. Why not have a dummy operation on the hospital table? Why not a gore covered ‘doctor’?
Of course, it all ends with a Gift Shop. It was not overly big, and the selection was small but very cool. And the prices? Pretty decent.
I have to say that it wasn’t as scary as I had hoped but it was very good overall. I didn’t have any otherworldly experiences. I do , however, plan on going back during the daytime to take the more historical tour, in which cameras are allowed, and you get to see the closed off cells, like that occupied by Al Capone during his incarceration. The cool thing is that we were given coupons for a discount on the return tickets.
Speaking of tickets….There was a fee for an “Exit Pass” . We had parked at a designated parking lot. In order to get onto the shuttle back to the lot, we needed an exit pass. This was used to get off the lot with the car! I confess that I did see it listed when I purchased my ticket online. But what if someone missed that? What if they had run out money? Now THAT is a scary thought!
Will I go back for the scare house? YES. It was a fun time. Will I go back for the day tour? DEFINITELY!
So I got a two-fer off my bucket list. A truly haunted place, and a cool scare house.
This is not a paid review for Eastern State Penitentiary…..Although it would be cool if it was!!