Rockford’s rock ‘n’ roll summer

Our very last Summertime Rewind post is brought to us by our own Rockford, who as I type this is singing Vanessa Williams’ “Saved the Best for Last” to me. Which really does something for his rock & roll street cred, doesn’t it?

Like everyone else, I have lots of great summer memories. Family gatherings on hot days, road trips, vacations to exotic locations (you know, like Wisconsin or other upper Mid-Western states), cookouts, playing frisbee in the backyard — all of these are in the memory banks.

The memory that recently rose to the surface of my recollection relates to summertime concerts. I have seen lot of shows over the years, and many of them in the summertime. Funny thing, the summertime heat seems to bring out the classic rockers that find a welcome reception on the state fair/theme park rotation. You know, we’ve all seen the billboards beckoning us to come see Bad Company at some regional casino usually in July or August.

My first concert rock was one of these special summertime shows — The Steve Miller Band at Six Flags over Georgia in 1994 with my best friend Don.
Continue reading Rockford’s rock ‘n’ roll summer

‘I don’t know’ would’ve sufficed

Ann Taylor Loft and Barnes and Noble extend their teachers’ discounts to homeschoolers, so I didn’t think I was being crazypants when I asked the clerk at Office Depot whether homeschoolers were eligible for their My Star Teacher program.

“It depends,” the clerk explained, “on what school you’re affiliated with.”

“Waste of Office Supplies” by Scott O’Donnell

I thought I might have misheard her or maybe she misunderstood me.

“Oh no,” I said. “I was wondering about homeschoolers.”

“Right. What school are you affiliated with?” she asked.

“Well,” I said, not entirely sure what to say. “We aren’t. We homeschool.”

“Ugh,” she grimaced. “That’s so weird. What school will they graduate from?”

“That’s not how it works in this state,” I said. “Homeschools don’t operate under a school.”

“That just doesn’t make sense,” she said. “How can they …? I just don’t understand the homeschool system.”

“Clearly,” I thought.

I probably would’ve walked away from the whole transaction after such an odd and rude response, but I’d already paid. So I just said, “You know what? Nevermind,” and I picked up my binders and dry-erase markers and left.

I was still curious about the program when I got home, so I looked up Office Depot’s Terms and Conditions of the My Star Teacher program. It says that “Membership is open to Office Depot® customers who are teachers currently employed at the primary and secondary grade levels (pre-K and K through 12).” The “employed” phrasing would seem to preclude homeschoolers from eligibility.

And that’s just fine. I’ll probably be a Staples gal from now on anyway.

Edited 07/31/12 to add …
I put a link to this post on Twitter, and the Office Depot people responded with a confirmation that homeschoolers aren’t eligible for the program:

Unfortunately we currently can’t accommodate homes school teachers.They have to work for a public, private, or charter school k-12

— Office Depot (@officedepot)

Every great adventure includes travel by horse

Today’s Summertime Rewind guest writer is Rockford’s Aunt Sally. She is also the Keeper of the Family Photos, and she isn’t kidding when she talks about her childhood. Every picture I’ve seen, every story I’ve heard paints the picture of an idyllic time.

Sally is a Master Gardener; a top-notch hostess and decorator; the one-of-a-kind mother of McW and Kevin; the provider of Poppy’s first cupcake; and the brains behind the multi-purpose muffin cup as well as, I’m certain, many other household innovations.

Philippa Willitts photoFavorite childhood summer memory? Throw a dart at the photo album — they were all pretty great. I’m a child of the 1950s, the stuff from which “Leave it to Beaver” and “The Donna Reed Show” were made. Our vacation road trips were worthy of a feature film. We sang and played Travel Bingo as we drove along. We searched for Burma Shave roadside signs. We ate fried chicken brought from home and drank tap water from a red plaid thermos. When the sun began to set, the backseat scoured the motel signs for the dynamic duo: Vacancy – Pool.

And we knew that we were on the road to real adventure.

Pretty sure it was 1957. Mom has identified the car: the giant white Oldsmobile. I had a ponytail, so it must have been second grade. Close enough! We went to Estes Park, Colorado. Mountains, horses, fishing, cabins. New experiences. Did I mention horses?

Mom and Dad made sure I got to do the one thing on my list -– a western trail ride. We had days of memory-making experiences, but my Rocky Mountain horseback riding day was splendid. I didn’t know the first thing about riding, and Mom wasn’t too excited about saddle time — “I’ve never been so sore!” — but we did it. Lots of laughter, great scenery. One happy little girl!