September 7, 2011

Many reasons to celebrate this summer

SUSAN TOBIAS, Pinch of Time

---- — I'm really enjoying the cooler days and nights of September. I am not a hot-weather person.

I can hardly believe, however, that the summer of 2011 is just a memory; but, oh, what a memory for our family.

It all started back in May with a bridal shower for our granddaughter, Emily, followed by her graduation from College of St. Rose in Albany, followed by her sister and husband, Hannah and Chris, receiving their law degrees from Hofstra University on Long Island, followed by their younger brother, Joshua, graduating from Brushton-Moira High School.

As if that weren't reason enough to hold a party, their parents, Tracey and Randy McAdam, celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary in June, threw a graduation party for Josh, followed by Emily's wedding to Jared Montroy in August. Add to all this excitement our daughter, Carrie and husband, Rick, driving home (2,000 miles) from Colorado for the wedding, with six of our grandchildren and three of their friends, and you can see how our summer has flown by; but, we loved it all.

That's what good memories should be about — family and friends. Even though, back in May, we didn't know how we were going to make it through the summer without collapsing.

Our Emily was such a beautiful bride, as all brides are, but we are just a little prejudice. All our grandchildren are an amazement to us, from the friends they choose to the life path they walk.

It was fun to have Carrie's son, Jesse, all 6-feet-3-inches of him at 18, stand in front of the growth chart we have kept and see how he was once just a little guy.


Before they all came, we bought 14 boxes of cereal. We have four left. We also bought a tent, badminton game, water slide and games including a wooden puzzle for Grayson, who is 4. Each picture has a wooden piece that, when you pick it up, makes the sound of the picture, such as a siren for a fire truck or a horn blowing for a boat.

The teenagers slept in our mother-in-law apartment-turned-recreation room. It includes a kitchen with all the appliances. One morning, I went to the freezer in that kitchen to get some ice and I found the puzzle stuck in among the hamburgers and hot dogs.

When the teens got up, I questioned them on this weird place to put a puzzle. They said it wouldn't "shut up." All through the night, every time somebody turned over in bed, the movement would set off the sirens in the puzzle, so they figured putting it in the freezer was the only way they could get any sleep. I laughed so hard but really admired them for their problem-solving skills.


I love talking to the grandchildren about the hours they spent with us when little. Angel, our 14-year-old, gave me a real treat when she cuddled with me in the hammock. We talked about when she used to dress up as a ninja, handkerchief around her head, another tied on her leg, then kicked out straight for my camera to capture the moment. She wondered, too, whatever happened to Papa's big recliner. She remembers taking her naps in it, big enough to have her two older brothers, Jesse and Toby, sitting with her while they watched cartoons.

We had a new addition on that hammock: Gabrielle, known as Gabby, our great-granddaughter. She is also 4. She has all the answers to life figured out: just treat her like a princess, and we will all be happy. Seriously, she is a true delight. After hammock time, Grayson, at Gabby's coaxing, pushed her on the trike, played hide-and-seek in the tent and raced each other down the slip-and-slide. Childish laughter filled the air.

Toby just mentioned it's about time to stack wood for the winter. That sure brought me back to reality! In truth, though, fall is my favorite time of year. I love the fresh smell of Adirondack air and the crisp, dry leaves underfoot. Toby and I are in the autumn of our lives, literally, and I love every minute.

One last thought, as always, please be kind to each other. The world needs more kindness.

Susan Tobias lives in Plattsburgh with her husband, Toby. She has been a Press-Republican newsroom employee since 1977. The Tobiases have six children, 18 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. They enjoy traveling to Maine and Colorado, and in her spare time, Susan loves to research local history and genealogy. Reach her by email at