Around the Island

Richard’s Almanac: An early Grandparents Day

I just learned that tomorrow, Sunday, September 13 is “Grandparents Day.”

I never paid much attention to special days, except Mothers Day and Fathers Day. They were the big ones. I remember one time when I was very young asking my father when Kids Day was celebrated. He told me that everyday was Kids Day.

So what do we do on Grandparents Day? Do the grandchildren bring us gifts, or is a time set side for us, the grandparents, to have quality time with our grandchildren? After looking at a piece in Sunday’s Newsday, I suspect that it’s a kind of family day with the children and grandchildren.

The article, written by Jennifer Berger, suggests celebrating the day at historic Long Island places with the whole family. She lists destinations in Nassau and Suffolk, including Sylvester Manor Educational Farm right here on the Island. Other sites are Old Bethpage Village Restoration, Quogue Wildlife Refuge, the Nassau County Museum of Art in Roslyn Harbor, the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery and Aquarium and the Fire Island Lighthouse.

I believe that this is a good start, but we are only limited by our imaginations to come up with other rewarding day trips on Long Island. The Montauk Lighthouse, Mashomack Preserve and the Parrish Art Museum are among the scores of suitable family destinations.

I had the opportunity to spend quality time last week with all of my grandchildren. I have four who live in New Jersey and two who live here on the Island.

It was time to engage in our annual “back to school” shopping adventure. I started this tradition when the oldest was getting ready for kindergarten and I have continued it since, even as the numbers grew.

I started with the Jersey crew. Two came with my son and his wife from north Jersey and two came with my son from south Jersey. The ages of these grandkids ranged from 6 to 12. We met at a mall in Tinton Falls. I thought it was pretty crowded considering the pandemic. There were lines outside the stores, but they seemed to move quickly. Stores were only permitted to have 25% of their capacity.

A great deal of time was spent shopping for Vans sneakers. I cannot figure out why a 6-year-old needs to take so much time deciding on what sneakers to get.

Then there was time spent in the Gap and Polo and other places that are now just a blur.

My idea of shopping is to know what I want and go into a store and get it. I know my sizes so I don’t try anything on. And the situation now seems to prohibit trying on clothes. Although one is allowed to try on sneakers.

After wrapping up the shopping and the requisite snacking, I went back to my south Jersey son’s house to spend a few days with 6-year-old Drew and 10-year-old Avalene. I had a chance to spend the day with them at the historic Sandy Hook.

When I returned to the Island, I took my 16-year-old granddaughter and 14-year-old grandson to Tanger outlets in Riverhead to do their shopping.

Our first stop was the Nike store. There was a big line, but it moved quickly. Neither child found suitable sneakers. We went to Pac Sun where a few T-shirts were purchased. Most of the time was spent at the Levi’s outlet. Lots of bargains.

Appropriate sneakers were found at Famous Footwear.

We left and moved east to Panera Bread. We ate outside under an awning (it was raining). We returned to the Island late afternoon.

I had a great time. I guess this was my Grandfathers Day a bit early.

UPDATE: The September 15 vaccination date is full with 110 people signed up. There will be a second day for shots on Friday, October 2 at the Presbyterian Church parking lot. Call Sara at the Senior Activity Center (631-749-1059) to register.