Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Even though the weather was icky and cold and wet most of the time, this was a GREAT weekend.
Saturday morning I told you I was going to be helping paint a school in Philly right? Well, for me there was an added bonus. I wasn't paying too much attention to which school we were going to be going to or where it was located. While we were driving down there, I was looking around thinking this was a nice part of Philly. Then we cross Passmore street.
I do a double take. And then I start to grin.
You see, Passmore is the street that my Gram grew up on. They moved into number 801 (a number that would come up often in her life) when she was starting kindergarten. The closing for the house, and the ice cream and candy store that was run out of the store front basement, was the day the market crashed in 1929. My great-grandparents managed to keep the house and the business through the whole Depression. They had to take boarders for much of the time and PopPop (my PopPop that is... not my dad) did lots of things on the side, but they were able to keep everything going.
So, as it turns out, the very beautiful school we were painting was the very middle school that my Gram and her sister went to, Woodrow Wilson Middle School. The building was built back in 1927, just a few years before Gram started Kindergarten. It's the oldest school still in use by the Philly school district. It's also the most diverse and the highest performing middle school. But... there's a down side as well. Many (I think the number was around 60%) of the students are below the poverty line. 80% of the students get free lunch every day. The school itself was in desperate need of a paint job. Well, we managed to do that with over 300 volunteers and a handful of hours of work. Of course, it was a bit easier than in years past because about 30 professionals from the painters union had volunteered and did all the cut in work and was helping out. It was also easier because the lower half of the walls were covered in a beautiful rose colored marble. They sure don't build schools like they used too... marble on the walls, beautiful tiles on the hallway floors and real hardwood floors in the class rooms.
I had a good time hanging with some coworkers and getting some painting done. Boo had a good time playing with some other kiddos in the art room turned day care. Everyone loved him. I know he stole the heart of my coworker C, and even let Y hold him for a group photo. Yep, he's my very cute, very happy, laid back and well behaved little guy. I'm so proud of him.
After we were done painting, Boo and I headed home, with a slight detour. Can I tell you I love GPS? I hadn't been in these neighborhoods since I was about 12. Anyhow, about 5 minutes after leaving the school, Boo was asleep and I was sitting outside 801 Passmore. The house looks great. If you see the pink blotches in the lower left corner, they are roses. I believe they are still the "fairy roses" that my PopPop planted so long ago now and that I have a bush of growing over at Kat's house. (I got them from Gram when she was moving out of her house in DE. We never actually planted them, but put the bucket they were in beside Dad's memorial and they grew through and took root. We guess that Dad's taking care of them because they've really flourished!)

So, needless to say Saturday was a very good day in my book. Sunday was a good bit of fun too. Even though it was rainy and wet and cold, Boo and I still went down to PopPop's and Am-ma's. (Yes, my dad wanted to be called PopPop like my own PopPop because he really liked the man.) We had a very good day. Mom had called seeing if we still really wanted to go down, and I said yes because Gak said he still wanted the day to himself, and I can understand that. (He'd been up waaaay too late the two nights before playing...) So, mom offered to let me do laundry there, so I took her up on it. Instead of spending $15 on laundry, I took my son and husband out to breakfast at this little place nearby. I didn't really need to eat lunch that day. Boo had a great day making a mess of the cabinets and running around in circles in the house and getting into everything. No, the boy does not sit still. He loves to explore and get into everything. He was also talking up a storm. I think PopPop and Boo had a good time together. We did end up having dinner down there, which is nice because Boo fell asleep for a nap right around 2:30 and didn't wake up until 4:30. I have no idea what all he ate, but he ate a lot that day. He mostly just grazed on whatever was available but did actually have some cheese and oranges and applesauce, so it wasn't all just cereal or cookies. (He found Am-ma's box of spice wafers, which are a definite favorite with him...)

Now, if only the work week will go this well. We've got 10 days until the end of reporting month and I'm not sure I'm going to make it. Too many odds and ends and things just taking forever. That and for the first 1.5 hours or so when I got to the office, the network was down, so all I could do was twiddle my thumbs. I couldn't even call anyone because I couldn't look up who I needed to call about what!
Oh well, that was resolved and I did manage to push forward on a few things.

Well, I'm off to finish getting ready.
Peace to all and may your weekends be full of pleasant surprises and the work week go smoothly.

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