Thursday, April 22, 2010


Before I get into the MIL story – Here’s a bit of Pittsburgh culture that you may need to know if you happen to be traveling through or visiting SW Pennsylvania. 

Some of you noticed the Kennywood sign in my entryway.  Kennywood is a great amusement park in Pittsburgh.  I think it’s just the right size and just the right price for a day full of fun with your family.  In fact, it’s a favorite place for family reunions, company picnics, school trips and church outings.  And we’ve been going at least once a year for-evuh.  I love it there.

BUT, if you come to SW Pa and someone randomly walks up to you and says, “Ummm.  Kennywood’s open,” you should look down and check your pants.  Because your fly is open.  It’s just our way of telling you to zip up.  OK?

Now, moving on to the MIL story:

I like my Mother in law.  I really do.  She’s kind of odd.  Kind of quirky.  But she’ll be turning 84 this year and so she’s earned the right to be as unusual as she wants.  Besides, she’s got a good heart.  She loves my husband and she loves my kids and she likes me well enough. 

Sometimes though, she completely cracks me up.  When she was staying with us during the end of December, she needed something to occupy her time and I have lots of books around, so she got back into reading again.  She used to read a lot several years ago and for one reason or another she had stopped, but now that she’s rediscovered books, she can’t get enough of them.

But MIL is also very frugal and doesn’t want to spend money on books (Yes – she has a library card, but doesn’t use it, despite our encouragement).  So she shops for books at Goodwill and St. Vincent DePaul stores, and is thrilled by all of the 99 cent books.  What’s so funny is that she really doesn’t care about the book or its plot or its quality of writing.  As long as the book is clean (as in not smudged, dirty or torn.  Smut isn’t a problem) and it’s only 99 cents, she’ll read it and then happily tell me all about it, ending her “review” with, “And it was only 99 cents!”

So this has gone on since January, and I always enjoy listening to her go on and on about these books.  Except a few weeks ago there was a twist to her story.  She was zipping through one of her 99 cent books and lo and behold if she didn’t come across $10 folded up inside the book!  MIL was tickled pink.  And she can’t bring herself to spend it.   I said, “MIL, you could go and buy TEN more books!”  But it’s still folded all nice and neat and in the same book. 

You can’t help but love her.


  1. My morning crackup!! What a hoot! I needed it as I have a bad cold and feel like dirt!

  2. Your MIL is a hoot!! I bet you have heard some interesting reviews from those .99cent books!

    I know many people are loving their Kindles and the like, but you'll be findin' no folded up bills in those puppies!

  3. LOL! She sounds like a real character!

  4. LOL that is so funny, your MIL is a hoot :-).

  5. LOL @ your MIL, the 'oldies' can so and say the strangest things, my mum is nearly 83 so i know!

  6. My Mom is 84, so I know what you mean. She also got back into reading about 3 years ago, we "need" to go the library as they have large print books, which is all she can read.

  7. Your MIL sounds like a hoot. :)

  8. That is very funny. Why can't she bring herself to spend the money I wonder?

  9. Your MIL story just made me miss mine even more as she was a character as well, so very good-natured, but also feisty and loved her bargains. :D

    I have a tenuous Kennywood connection by way of our pastor's wife who is from Pittsburgh. Her mother worked for them for many years and just recently retired. They have Kennywood posters framed on display in their home, and have many stories to tell of the place.