Monday, March 11, 2013

Shiny Silver Balls. And Flippers

The other weekend I went to Pinball Museum in Baltimore.  I went for the first and last time - though not by choice.  Yeah, it was my choice not to go before but I would go again in a heartbeat but Sunday was closing day.  I'm so glad I went before it closed!

The museum part showed the history of the game.  That was cool.  They had old tabletop wooden games - similar to the "snake in the grass" game my grandparents had when I was growing up (I often wonder whatever happened to that!).  They showed the progression of the game design - it was seriously cool.

But the second and third floors were the really fun part.  I played pinball machines from the 40s through the 90s (I'm estimating the time frame - some of the games didn't have their dates listed).  Some had little stubs of flippers and others had ones that magically elongated when a magic button was hit (yes, that is making me laugh).  Some had the little thingys you pull to release the ball; others had buttons you push to get the ball in the chamber.  On the old machines you could feel the vibrations of the bumpers and balls.  The newer ones put me into sensory overload - the lights flashed, things dinged and music played.  All very fun.

It all brought me back to my summers down the shore.  We had a house in Ocean City, NJ.  Every summer, my brother would pick one evening and we would go play games at the arcade.  It meant a fun night of skee ball, air hockey, pinball and sometimes something like asteroids (yes, I just gave you a clue to just how old I am).  I looked forward to the nights every summer.  I think they started when I was about 10 or 11 and lasted through high school.  It's one of my favorite memories with him.

One summer, both my brother and I got our names up on the pinball machines.  You got your name up when you got the high score.  Oh, I miss all of that.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The Heart of My House....aka....the fridge

One day I thought about the person who will wander through my house, through the disorganization and endless amounts of shoes and papers, and wonder what they would think?  They would notice right away I'm not the most organized person.  They would notice I had children.  They would notice I like shoes and purses.  But what would they learn about us?  They would look at my refrigerator and realize there is lots of love in this house.  The fridge - the outside - is the heart of my house.

My kitchen is super small.  It's a galley style kitchen - I kind of hate it. Okay, it's more than a kind-of hate.  I really want a new kitchen.

The fridge looks messy.  It is.  But I wouldn't get ride of the things on it.  Here's why:

The freezer has the most important things on it.  The poems my girls write for me, their honor roll certificates, pictures - even the magnets mean something.  This tells you a lot about us.  I am the girl with the pink flamingos in her yard so it's only fitting one be on my refrigerator.  The gold record is from Graceland (!!).  The spaceship is from my boyfriend.  We're all represented.  Our friends' wedding invitation is there.  The picture of my first and last time on a roller coaster-ish ride.

This was the important part when my kids were little.  It used to be filled with letter and number magnets.  Then it was covered in magnets that worked together like gears.  Now it has a picture of the girls as babies, a portrait one girl did of me, magnets with sayings.  I don't want to get rid of any of these things.

My girls make funny sentences with the word magnets.  Sometimes they'll leave me a message with them.  When they want me to know something is important, it goes on the fridge.  When we go on vacation, we get magnets.  Those magnets decorate the refrigerator and remind us of fun times.

When my kids are mad at me or when I'm feeling like I'm failing as a mom, I read these poems and remember how much I am loved, faults and all.

I will, eventually, get my house organized and looking like something out of House and Garden magazine.  But my refrigerator will never be clean and organized.  That would make me sad.

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