Articles by "Shannon, Author at Quirks & Recreation"
17 Oct
2017
Posted in: uncategorized
By    No Comments

For the Love of Everything, Put Down Your Phone

Friends who drive, I need a favor. Put your phone down while you’re driving.

I know it’s tempting to check email real quick at a stop light or respond to a text. I know the nagging feeling once you get a notification. You’ll just sneak a quick peak. It’ll only take a few seconds.

I need other drivers to help me in teaching our son. As parents, drivers, and members of law enforcement, we can talk all we want about the perils of mobile phones and driving. Our talking means nothing if what those young drivers see is mom and dad checking their phones while behind the wheel.

Let’s take a step back and remember what we’re doing when we’re driving. We’re operating a motor vehicle. We’re attempting to get from point A to point B. We all want to arrive safely at our final destination. I sit at stoplights and count the number of drivers on their phones while they’re driving. It’s ridiculous the number of people who are distracted. Next time you’re stopped, take a look at who is distracted around you. For most of my life, I left my house for hours at a time with no way to contact me. Guess what? It was fine. I managed for decades to not be connected at all hours, so I think I can make it across town without touching my phone.

teenage boy driving red truck

Our oldest is a new driver. He’s exhilarated to have that driving permit in his wallet. Every time he’s behind the wheel is another learning experience. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the most dangerous thing I allow my son to do is, not playing football like I’ve been repeatedly warned by well-meaning friends, but operating a motor vehicle. Accidental injury is the leading killer of teens in the United States and 75% of the injuries are sustained in motor vehicle accidents.

It’s in our best interest, as adults, to teach our teens to be good drivers. We teach them to follow the laws of the road and how to operate a vehicle. In our house I preach about mobile phone usage and when and where are appropriate times to be using a phone. A moving vehicle you are operating is not the place to be using a mobile phone. Period. Our teen is always watching drivers now that he’s counted among them. He notices infractions like failure to use a blinker, speeding, running a red light and who is distracted by a phone. Let’s educate our teens on driver safety, not just by telling them what to do, but by showing them.

 


 
Out of the Busy Race
By     |    Oct 12, 2017
Posted in: parenting     |    No Comments

Out of the Busy Race

I’ve officially dropped out of the race for most busy mother. Someone else can take the title. There are people in my vast circle who bring out the worst in me. You have them too. They want you to see all the balls they’re juggling at any given time. They are constantly on their phones. They want you to know what they’ve had to do without any help from anyone. I’ll find myself spouting off my own to-do list and... [Read More]

Read more
Take a Trip: Boston
By     |    Oct 2, 2017
Posted in: travel     |    No Comments

Take a Trip: Boston

Go visit Boston, sooner rather than later. Trust me on this one. We’ve visited an array of U.S. cities…Portland, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, San Antonio, Chicago, Savannah, and Louisville to mention a few. None of the American metropolises have won my heart quite like Boston. She’s unique. We visited Boston this summer as part of our epic road trip to the East Coast. Cities are not my favorite vacation destinations. I prefer mountain tops and beaches to sidewalks and buildings.... [Read More]

Read more
Teenagers Deserve More From Adults
By     |    Sep 18, 2017
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on Teenagers Deserve More From Adults

Teenagers Deserve More From Adults

Twice last week I listened to adults rant about teenagers. I heard all about how lazy teens are, how disrespectful, how they lack work ethic, how they dress like slobs and how our future is surely doomed when that lot reaches adulthood and takes over. I listened and silently seethed until the ranting was over. Both times I shared only one thought,” You, obviously, don’t know the right teenagers.” Right around the time I thought I had a decent grasp... [Read More]

Read more
9/11 Memorial and Remembering
By     |    Sep 11, 2017
Posted in: travel     |    Comments Off on 9/11 Memorial and Remembering

9/11 Memorial and Remembering

I stood at the South Pool of the 9/11 Memorial overcome by emotion. I would not be emotionally capable of touring the nearby museum and knew if I stayed much longer, I would be reduced to a crying heap on a bench. We began our day in New York City with a tour of Liberty and Ellis islands. We gazed at the NYC skyline from the ferry returning to Battery Park answering questions from our children about where the Twin... [Read More]

Read more
School Survey Says….
By     |    Sep 5, 2017
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on School Survey Says….

School Survey Says….

The former journalist in me comes out full-force on the first day of school every year. I pepper our kids with countless questions about their day when they arrive home. I’m one step away from a spotlight for my interrogations like my beloved crime books and movies. I’ll take every nugget of information, no matter how small, the kids are willing to throw my way. I really should hand each of the kids a survey to complete. Those who need... [Read More]

Read more
Joys of Back to School Shopping
By     |    Aug 31, 2017
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on Joys of Back to School Shopping

Joys of Back to School Shopping

Every August I look forward to back-to-school shopping for clothes and shoes for our kids, and every August I’m reminded how taxing the actual shopping excursion is in reality. We try to make a weekend trip away from home to a larger city to make the sometimes tedious shopping more enjoyable. At least in a larger city there are more food options to help in coaxing good behavior. This year with high school football a new part of our schedule,... [Read More]

Read more
Total Solar Eclipse Debriefing
By     |    Aug 22, 2017
Posted in: uncategorized     |    Comments Off on Total Solar Eclipse Debriefing

Total Solar Eclipse Debriefing

I woke up this morning with the post-total-solar-eclipse doldrums. I’m sure it’s a thing. The kids and I ate breakfast with a ho-hum attitude. Attending athletic practice and playing at a park seem lackluster compared to the moon and sun show yesterday. It’s akin to the first day home after vacation, or the day after Christmas. We spent months being inundated with all things eclipse related. We live directly on the line of totality and a lot happened in our... [Read More]

Read more
Take a Trip: Ben & Jerry’s Factory
By     |    Aug 9, 2017
Posted in: travel     |    Comments Off on Take a Trip: Ben & Jerry’s Factory

Take a Trip: Ben & Jerry’s Factory

During the initial planning stages for our epic road trip this summer, I made a list of all of the states we’d travel through and researched top destinations. The Ben & Jerry’s Factory continually popped up in my research as a fun family destination in Vermont, but it was more north than we planned to be in Vermont and seemed out of the way. We were making the trek to the Northeast to see first-hand where important beginnings of our... [Read More]

Read more
Take a Trip: Niagara Falls
By     |    Jul 26, 2017
Posted in: travel     |    Comments Off on Take a Trip: Niagara Falls

Take a Trip: Niagara Falls

We didn’t fully prepare our children for what we’d find at Niagara Falls in New York. We read books about the history of the falls, from its discovery to crazy stunts performed there. I didn’t make it clear that Niagara Falls is a money-sucking tourist trap. Don’t get me wrong, it’s beautiful and a wonder to view. However, it’s also overrun with people, casinos, restaurants and kitschy tourist-driven businesses. When we began planning our epic road trip, we went back... [Read More]

Read more
Cuyahoga Valley: An Urban Park
By     |    Jul 20, 2017
Posted in: travel     |    Comments Off on Cuyahoga Valley: An Urban Park

Cuyahoga Valley: An Urban Park

I had predisposed ideas about Cuyahoga Valley National Park in Ohio. I knew it was large with an extensive trail system, waterfalls and a covered bridge. What we found was the most urban national park we’ve visited. The park, our first major stop on our epic road trip, is not far from both Akron and Cleveland. It’s a refuge for animals and people alike in the bustling urban sprawl. We visited on a weekend, and the park was busy. The... [Read More]

Read more
East Coast Road Trip Debriefing
By     |    Jul 18, 2017
Posted in: travel     |    Comments Off on East Coast Road Trip Debriefing

East Coast Road Trip Debriefing

5,905 miles. Three weeks. 21 states. I can guess what people will say each time I recite theses details about our most recent epic road trip. People think we’re “amazing” to take our children on an adventure of that caliber, but cannot fathom doing anything similar. We’ve been called crazy. People think there’s some trick for getting our children to travel for weeks and swear their families would not survive the journey. This was the second time we’ve been on... [Read More]

Read more