New Smyrna Beach Mom

Information, events and school information for New Smyrna Beach, Edgewater, Oak Hill and surrounding areas.

Category: My Ramblings (page 1 of 3)

That Empty Room

It was the week. It was long and miserable. Hotter than the 7th circle of hell and we were loading a U-Haul. Actually, Curtis was loading the U-Haul with one of his friends.  I took my daughter to college this past weekend. My baby. She moved into her apartment and got ready to start the next chapter of her life. I am excited to see what she does. She took advantage of the dual enrollment program with Daytona State College. (which I highly recommend) so she is about half finished with her degree. I have heard arguments for and against dual enrollment. I had one kid who did it and one who didn’t. If I could do it over they would both do it.

On to the move. As we were leaving the driveway on Friday morning,  she in her car with me driving the truck, she said, in her normal tone. “Mom, don’t be that person,” I said, “what person?”

“That person who drives a U-Haul the speed limit in the left lane.” Yes, I will miss her. So I drove the U-Haul 75 in the left lane the whole way to St. Petersburg.  Did you know those trucks only got up to 75 mph? No, I didn’t either.

There were some big bumps along the way but we got her settled and off I went on Sunday night, headed for home, to that empty room. I mean totally empty, she took all her furniture and some of mine.  I had 3 hours in the car home to think about her whole life.  My overachiever.  She worked 2 jobs, went to college and high school and played high school sports. She would get an idea in her head and NO ONE could talk her out of it. I had to negotiate everything. I had many people tell me, you need to just tell her what to do. Yea, ok. I know my kid. She turned out fine, doing it her own way.

We moved to NSB when she was in the 3rd grade.  In the evenings we would sometimes walk on the beach, one night she was picking up shells, I said to her, “Sam those are broken,” she looked at me like I was crazy, and said. “Mommy, just because something is broken does not mean it is not beautiful.” Thank you, child, lesson learned.  She may not remember that night but I will never forget it. So far she has lived her life that way and I hope she continues to do so.

People say to me, you did a great job raising her by yourself. Let’s be clear on that one. I did not raise her by myself, a village of friends and a few family members helped along the way. Tammy Merrick, Kathy Stanford, Sandra Sovinski, Dom Amendolare, Laura Cloer, Snap Wood, Uncle Rick, her grandparents and probably a few I have forgotten.  I am eternally grateful to all of them for their help and guidance along the way.

The future is now up to her, I am only here to advise (although she did call me yesterday to see where the Publix Lemonade was in her new store). As she starts her new life I am sure of one thing, she knows how much I love her.

Happy Mother’s Day


This is the first Mother’s Day without my mother. My mother rocked. She was the best, always put everyone else first. She wasn’t the same mother over the past 4 years. She had a stroke in 2013 and was confined to a wheelchair, needed 24-hour care and was in constant pain. I saw many glimpses of my mother, she never lost her sense of humor and adored her grandchildren. In September of last year, she began having heart problems, this combined with her constant pain made her decide to enter Hospice and basically end her life. Hospice in Edgewater is fantastic by the way.

Before she had her stroke, I spoke to her every day, she lived a few miles away and we saw her frequently. My children visited with her and my Dad, spending the night often, just hanging out with them. My daughter would make my Dad popcorn and watch the Western Channel with him on the weekends. She is a better person that I am, that Western Channel…um no.

I remember when my Mother would laugh at me when I would see a misbehaving child and I would say, “my kids will never do that” or my friends with kids were driving them all over the world for sports and stuff. I said, “I am never doing that”. Guess what. They did that, and I did that.  My kids are 17 and 19 now, I don’t have to drive them anywhere, I am done watching sports, checking homework, doing their laundry, I still worry about them misbehaving, but now that does not include them throwing themselves on the floor in a restaurant. There are bigger things to worry about.

My mother used to tell me, the bigger they get the bigger the things are to worry about. Now I get it.  If you are lucky enough to have your mother around this year, give her a call, go visit her if you can. It will mean so much. Last year on Mother’s Day I was in NYC and did not see my mother, my super awesome kids, and my brother handled the mother’s day thing.  This year we will remember her and hope that what they say is true, every passing year gets easier.

Happy Mother’s Day.





People Pretty Much Suck

Since I have started at the Edgewater Animal Shelter I have seen both sides of people. Kind generous people, who give their time, money and hearts to animal rescue. There are people who see our facebook posts while they are in the grocery store and drop off 100 pounds of cat litter. A 13-year-old boy who gave up his first day of spring break and volunteered all day, he then came back today with his dad and adopted a dog. A high school senior who comes in every single day after school to play with the cats and help clean up.  The list of good people is long. I could never mention them all.

Then we have the not so nice people. Hell, to be honest, many people suck. This week our animal control officer brought in a dog, a big friendly male dog. This is a dog we have seen before on all the local lost dog pages. We even know his name we have seen him so much.  We have his owner’s phone number. So naturally, we called her to tell her we had her dog. We left a message. One of the local lost dog Facebook pages also called her, the person who answered said she was not missing a dog. Hmmmm.  Two days have passed and this sweet boy has moved from a cage in our laundry room to the regular kennels. Every time I passed by him yesterday he would get up and look, wag his tail.  Waiting for us to come and get him, waiting to go home.  I went to visit him today and he looked a little sadder, a little less hopeful, his tail wagged a little slower.  Tomorrow will be more of the same, I don’t think his owner is coming for him, and I think he is starting to figure it out. People Suck.

Godspeed Mr. Wall

Cuda Nation is a very sad place today. Most of us knew Robert Wall, many of us considered him a friend. I met him when my kids were in the Middle School.  He met my then very gangly daughter, who had very little self-confidence and told her she should play sports. Basketball he thought, she laughed at him and said no the uniforms are ugly, so he said how about Volleyball? Every time he saw her he encouraged her until she finally said ok, started working out with her brother and Coach Wood and never looked back.

I worked with Mr. Wall, as I called him,  he insisted on calling me Mrs. Hicks (drove me nuts) for several years.  I helped coordinate the activities of the baseball program as sort of a liaison between the athletic department, the coaches, the city, the parents. It was an interesting undertaking. We had many lively discussions and debates about many topics in his office, on the baseball field and in the gym. We often agreed to disagree but always left each other smiling.  I ended up monitoring and administering Cuda Nation’s social media for him, along with some other fun things.

I ran into Rob and his wife last week at Beef O’Brady’s and we hugged and chatted, he asked about my kids, checked in on Sammi and reminded me that he was rooting for her. I reminded him it was he who was responsible for her playing sports in the first place. I told him I would see him soon. Today, I am very glad I ran into him and we took the time to visit. Next time you see someone across a restaurant, I highly recommend making the time to say hello.

Some other things you may not know about Mr. Wall, he was probably one of the kindest people. Truly, truly kind people are few and far between. Rob Wall was one of those people. He would literally take money out of his pocket to help a  deserving student who needed help.

Before he left for his new adventure at Campbell Middle School he gave Tara Galloway, Dominick Amendolare and I an award for what he said was “a thank you for all you do for Cuda Nation.” Well, Mr. Wall, thank you for all you did for all of our kids, making them better students, better athletes but most importantly, better adults and better people.  Cuda Nation is shedding tears for you today and tomorrow but we will remember you with a smile.


Older posts