Linda's Lair

Happy Father's Day to all the new daddies in the Neary-Shumake clan, and to Lynn, who is not only a daddy but a granddaddy, as well. May your day be filled with love, smiles, fun and not too many poopy diapers!



Brady and GrandmaLast weekend I went to Maryland to see my beautiful grandson Brady for the first time. Mommy, Daddy and baby greeted me at the airport. It wasn't until we got back to the house that I got to hold the precious punkin in my arms. What an amazing experience, to nuzzle his hair, and watch him sleeping, to have his fingers grab one of mine and hold tight. He is truly the most beautiful baby in the whole world (no offense, Garrett and William, you two are cute, too).

Trying to cram a whole lot into four days wasn't easy, but we managed to do Sandy Point, the new Eldersburg bead store, grocery shopping, Home Depot, and Sunday at the Shumakes. I thoroughly enjoyed myself on Sunday, surrounded by new babies and a huge, loving family. And the burgers and brats, grilled by Lynn, were delicious!

Tyson actually remembered me, and seemed glad to have his walkies friend back. And Sneezy, usually aloof and uninterested, wanted some loving as well.

Saying goodbye was so hard, because I know that I will miss a lot of Brady's growing up. I made Mike promise me a new picture every week, but it's not the same as being there. it will have to do for now.

Thanks to everyone for making me welcome. I hope to be back again soon.


Yesterday I went grocery shopping, not an easy task since I live on the third floor of a building and the elevator is broken. But it had to be done, if I wanted to eat this week.

It didn't take long (you don't need a lot if you're single, and living alone with two cats and an evil, hateful cockatiel) and as I was pushing the shopping cart to my car, I saw a young black girl sitting outside the store, wiping her eyes on the hem of her soiled t-shirt. I had  to stop. Now I saw it wasn't a young girl, but a woman in her 30's. The sadness in her eyes made her appear older, though. I asked if she was okay and if I could do anything to help. She assured me, unconvincingly, that she was fine and just waiting for her ride to come and get her. Again I asked if there was anything I could do. She asked for change for a quarter, which I gave her and told her to keep her quarter. I wanted the sadness to leave her eyes. It was haunting. It hurt me to the core. I told her that I knew she probably thought I was just a crazy old lady, but I gave her a big hug and told her everything would be alright.

As I made my way to the car, I hoped with all my heart that everything would be alright for her, for me and my family and friends. 2007 will be a better year; I'm living in my own place and taking my time making it mine, and my first grandchild is due next year.


I am not blessed with fame or fortune. I have an old car, an old condo and a new, but same old, job. But I am blessed because 37 years ago I gave birth to a son, who has grown into a wonderful man. A man who is a husband and is about to become a father.

Growing up, Michael never gave me the problems I hear other parents agonizing over. He didn't smoke, drink or do drugs ( we won't talk about the snuff, right, Michael?). He didn't hang out with hoodlums or come home late. He had a job at an early age, and was a responsible and mature teenager. I give a lot of the credit to my mother, Michael's beloved Mima, for instilling in him many of the values I see in him today. He is a man who is not afraid to show his tender side, who is loving and compassionate and strong. I love you, Michael, more than words can say.

I am blessed with a wonderful daughter-in-law, who is Michael's perfect compliment. To see them together is to see love in its perfection. The looks, the touches, the smiles they share is evidence of their feelings for each other. Thank you, Karrie, for loving my son as you do.

And I am blessed that soon I will be a grandmother, that these two wonderful people I love have created a new life between them, a grandson who will be loved by his parents, and spoiled by his grandparents. I love you, little one, and can't wait to hold you and nibble on your little toesies.  

Life is good.