Letter to My College Self

Dear Young Dorrie,

This is going to be a short and sweet letter.  Your life is perfect and it is all because of you.  All of those questionable decisions you made- it turns out better than you could imagine.     You’re getting ready to go to school in Tennessee. You’re going to meet your best friends there. You’re going to decide to stay.  

You’re going to date a couple of boys and you’re going to be heartbroken over one. The other- you’re going to dump and not feel bad about it. But not before a couple years of nonsense. You were right to deal with it for as long as you did. All these little things will add up to you graduating college, meeting your future husband, and moving to Florida.   

Tennessee will be where you grew up- yes you were raised in Maine but it won’t be until you leave that you come into your own.  Have fun with your friends- stay up late and miss a couple of classes. Drink too much and run to Waffle House at 3 am. 

Really, like I said before. You did well. Don’t doubt yourself. You will have the opportunity to meet some of the best people the south has to offer.  Live it up. The worst that will happen is that you’ll have a Northern accent with a little bit of Southern twang. It’s the best of both worlds.    Cheers!   Your older, wiser, self.

More about Dorrie

#Blogtober14 Day 21: Dream Vacation

Wow 10 days left of Blogtober!  When thinking about what I’d do for a Dream Vacation, it’s hard.  Scott and I explore locally a lot, but we don’t go on many trips outside of the southeast let alone out of the country.  We are both homebodies and enjoy our house, our dogs, and our stuff.  Someday when funds and jobs allow, I would love to take a long trip to England, Ireland, and/or Australia.

However.  I have now been blogging for 2+ weeks straight (since I missed the beginning of the month).  I work full time, and have have some things going on there.  Scott is out of town all of this week for a sale, so now I am a single dog-mom as well.  After yesterday, I’m ready for Friday!

Happy Honeymoon delicious desert

Today, my dream vacation would be one I’ve already got to do.  Scott and I waited 6 months after our wedding to take our honeymoon, courtesy of the in-laws.  It was also a family vacation.  However, it was a 7 day cruise to Grand Cayman and Cozumel.  Oh, and we were in the Royal Suite on the Brilliance of the Seas.  There is only one on the ship

Guy Harvey has a store, and a restaurant in Grand Cayman.
I figured that since we gave him about $200 and almost bought a
$4000 watch (in my mind), he owed us a ‘graph.

It was amazing and way over the top.  Aside from nightly drinks before dinner, we were up at 4 or 5 am to play basketball by ourselves.  We had a family dinner in our room, with the player piano as background music.  And out own butler.  While at port, we toured Jose Cuervo, we got to meet Guy Harvey, and I was this close to scoring a lady Tag Heuer/ Guy Harvey watch.

Family dinner in the Royal Suite

It was just all very relaxing; we got to enjoy family time and us time.  We ate. A lot.  And it all went by too fast.  The family would like to do another cruise, but I think we have them convinced that just another family vacation in general is a good idea.  Maybe out West in a nice big cabin?

I posted some pictures here, back in April, also, but here are more (iPhone, so AWESOME quality) of the room!

Top to bottom, Left to Right:
Sauna Shower, view from the Living room area, soaking tub,
player piano, wet bar, king size bed and room

Helene in Between Blogtober

#Blogtober Day 14: Favorite Childhood Memory

I had quite a happy childhood, which I’ve touched on previously, growing up in Maine.  Both of my parents worked full-time, so my brothers and I stayed with my grandmother who lived down the road, most days.  We played games, fought, went for walks, fought, helped bake and cook for my grandfather, and fought some more.  My brothers and I fought.  My grandmother tried to wrangle us all.  Now that I’m all growed up, I also my brothers, who at the time, made my life hell, were also a pretty big part of the happy memories.  But not in the traditional sense.  I think my top five from childhood would be….

  • The time that my brothers, who are both older than me (5 and 9 years older), were fighting so bad over their baseball card collection, for multiple days.  My grandmother got so tired of listening to it, that she marked each of their cards with a “W” or a “J” in the upper right corner.  If they were worth anything to begin with, they weren’t after that.  We still have them at my grandfather’s house, and that was the last time they fought to such extremes on anything. 
Me and my Dad circa 1986
  • Going out to breakfast with my dad at the ass-crack of dawn every Saturday.  For those who don’t know,  the sun rises in Maine very early if you are 30 minutes away from the easternmost point in the country.  Like, 5:30 early.  Restaurants also open when the sun rises because all the old men are up and ready to work for the day by first daylight.  It started out, that my dad would rotate between me and my brothers each weekend.  But they were older, and at some point in their teenage years, it wasn’t fun for them to get up and go to eat with Dad.  So it was always me.  Even during my teenage years, when I would roll out of bed, get in the vehicle, and not speak for the entire time we were out.  And then would go back to bed as soon as I got home.  Now when I go home, I specifically plan it so we are there for at least one Saturday, so I can get up and go to breakfast with him.  We talk more now.  I fully intend on continuing this tradition with my future offspring, and/or making my husband continue it as well.
  • Koosh ball (remember those things?!) fights with my brothers.  I was reminded of this one when we went to Maine this summer.  A light came on in Scott’s truck and we figured we’d get it checked out before trying to drive 1500 miles back down to Florida with 3 dogs.  While at the dealership, we ran into one of my brother’s friends from grade- and high-school.  Who proceeded to tell my husband about the koosh-ball fights we had growing up.  It was always me and my oldest brother against my middle brother and his friend.  We’d build “forts” to hide behind in the hallway between our rooms.  The teams were always me and my oldest brother against my middle brother and his friend.  My oldest brother is legally blind.  My middle brother was a baseball pitcher.  His friend, the catcher. Me and my oldest brother always lost.  And always came away with welts from these damn koosh balls.
All grown up!!
  • When I was approximately 6 years old, my middle brother snapped my neck (essentially, whiplash) trying out a “new” wrestling move on me.  I had a neck brace and the “no wrestling” rule was quickly instituted in our house hold.  My brother’s catcher-friend from above also witnessed this, and told the story to my husband.  Being confirmed by an independent third party, Scott said “I thought you were just being a drama queen with all these stories.  Now I kind of believe you.”  Vindication!!
  • The fifth is a toss up.  Somewhere between helping my dad build his sawmill, and expeditions with my middle brother into “Binky Mansion.”  I almost gave my 4th grade teacher a heart attack as she drove past and saw me standing on a roof, nailing shingles down with Dad.  And my cat that would follow us up the ladder.  Binky Mansion is the woods behind our house that my middle brother had a (very basic) tree house in.  Really, playing back there was one of the few times that we would get along.  One time he showed me how to burst the sap pockets on one of the maple trees.  I couldn’t figure out where the sap was going.  Turns out, it was going into my hair, which resulted in a very terrible last minute haircut from my mother. 
It turns out that my favorite stories from my childhood tend to be the ones where my brothers and I got into some sort of trouble.  Now my middle brother has a kid and my oldest brother is running for State Legislature. (Shameless link to his Facebook page which will eventually be a blog of his own if he listens to me.)  We’ve all got happy little lives and have come a long way from the days of pile drivers and general disdain for each other.
Helene in Between Blogtober

A Letter to Myself in 10 Years

Dear 10-Years-Older Dorrie,

Congratulations, you are just 18 months shy of turning the big 4-0.  Relish in the thought that you’re still younger than your husband, who already turned 40 at the beginning of the year.  Congratulations on making it to the double-digits anniversary-wise.  A huge feat in this day and age.  I hope that Scott has kept his promised and stalked up on Duck Commander’s Miss Priss pink moscato wine, or that they still make it.  You’ll need it.

And those kids running around?*  Remember that you wanted them.  Even on the days that you would like a return.  Remember that while your son has you huddling in a corner, terrorizing you with a lizard, that he is his father’s son.  Scott will get his when his little daughter ask him where babies come from.  Be sure to laugh, but duck out of sight before he can bring you into this conversation.  Really, you guys created kids that you’d hoped would have your best qualities.  Unfortunately they got your not-so-good ones as well.  You made kids that will eventually take over the world.

Whatever you do, remember this day, this feeling.
Especially when you want to throat chop him for
teaching your kid how to pee off the deck.

I know it’s hard making time to get back home to Maine, and it’s harder saving money for 4 or 5 people than it is for just two.  But make sure you go.  Make sure your kids get to see the kind of childhood you had.  Don’t just go in the summer when it’s fun to swim in the lake.  Side note- make sure your kids know how to swim. But when you do go in the summer, go during blueberry season.  Have their great-grandfather take them on a tour of Wyman’s.  Have them rake berries.  Show them how to make Grammy’s blueberry pie.

Go in the winter when they can hear their grandfather cuss at the snow.  Help them build a snow man and take them sledding.  Make them shovel the walk way, and let them go with their grandfather snowplowing.  Even if the only brakes in the truck are when you drop the plow.  Make a trip in the fall to see the leaves change- if you’re still in Florida, you miss that phenomenon.   Let them go hunting with their uncle, once they’re old enough.  Show them how to go tipping and make wreaths.  Make some mincemeat with them.  Take them mudding in the Springtime once all the snow has melted.  Pick some lilacs, and hunt for pussywillows.  In fact, now is a good time to remind Scott that you had talked about buying a house or camp up there many years ago.  Maybe it’s time to do that.

Remember how far you’ve come in the past 10, 15 years.  Realize that as quickly as your 20’s went, your 30’s have gone even faster.  Your 40’s will just zoom by.  Remember that while your kids are the most important thing you created, they’re not the center of your world.  At some point they’ll move out and away, then you’re left with that boy you thought it was a good idea to marry back in your 20’s.  Still enjoy each other’s company, still wrastle, still drive each other crazy.  Have fun just driving around town, or sitting on the couch.  Make an effort to stay awake during that boring movie, even if it takes an extra glass of wine.

Just be happy, content with the life that you’ve created for yourself, with each other.

*Disclaimer to any and all family reading this! I am NOT pregnant.  It is, however, safe to assume that in the next 10 years, we would have a kid or two.  

The Daily Tay