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June   9

Living the Dream

Living_the_dream_1Here's an idea: sell the house, buy a camper, blow Dodge and go around the world. Most of us are too tied up in our salt-and-pepper shaker collections and travelling soccer leagues to even think about it. Well, Montclair resident Molly Monahan and her son Max, 12, are actually doing it. They leave June 30, with the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia as their first major destination. They're planning to blog their trip and make a documentary about their adventures. We'll put the link on our sidebar as soon as they have one, and we'll update you on their travels throughout.

Stuff Meanwhile, Molly and Max are having the yard sale to end all yard sales this weekend, from 9-2 Friday and Saturday, at 34 Erwin Park Road. And when they say "everything must go," they mean it. Look for some special stuff: Molly is, among other things, an art dealer and collector. In addition to some great prints and paintings, sharply reduced, she's casting off a couple of cool '50's Formica tables, some stained glass and a kimino rack! For other yard sale listings, or to add yours, go to Classifieds.

June 9, 2005 in Major Dudes | Permalink


What a terrific and brave thing to do! My hat's off to them.

Posted by: Right of Center | Jun 9, 2005 10:04:47 AM

They should watch the Albert Brooks/Julie Haggerty film "Lost in America" before leaving.

Posted by: JK | Jun 9, 2005 10:14:44 AM

Sooo cool! I give them a lot of credit. Reminds me of William Least Heat Moon's "Blue Highways." I wish them luck.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Jun 9, 2005 10:34:38 AM

Sounds great! But won't Max fall behind in his soccer footwork?

Posted by: walleroo | Jun 9, 2005 10:48:38 AM

That's awesome! How many kids wouldn't die for a mom who would do such an outing with them? This is one of those things that they'll both always remember and talk about. Too cool!

Posted by: butchcjg | Jun 9, 2005 10:55:09 AM

Will she adopt me? :-) LOL

Posted by: Miss Martta | Jun 9, 2005 11:03:10 AM

But what will the Harvard admissions officer think?

Posted by: walleroo | Jun 9, 2005 11:17:38 AM

There seems to be an impostor (nice) ROC here, today!

Posted by: Gonzo Journalist | Jun 9, 2005 11:23:26 AM

That's no imposter. It's our own ROC. He's a cream puff.

Posted by: walleroo | Jun 9, 2005 11:41:11 AM

Hm. What happened to the other way of saying get outta dodge, anyway?

Just kidding. This is a great idea, now if only more people had the opportunity to run rampant around the country when gas prices continue to go to all time highs. They should at least get an H2 or something before they go.

Posted by: Tom | Jun 9, 2005 12:07:22 PM

Sorry to sound like a child welfare noodge, but what about the kid's education? Friends? (Saying "he'll make new ones" doesn't cut it, they'll only be temporary.) Anyone want to bet how long it'll be before the kid gets bored or scared or, understandably, homesick for the earthly paradise known as baristaville?

It's tempting to want to chuck everything. "Born to be wild," as opposed to the reality of being mild, as most of us really are. It doesn't quite work that way in practice. I once sat in a stalled commuter bus when a bikie in club colors roared by on a summer Friday. My seat partner said, "Wouldn't you like to live like that? To be so free"

I replied that he really wouldn't like it, that there are an awful lot of rules in an MC, meetings, dues, assessments. He snarled back, "What the hell would you know?"

Again, it's tempting to get in the wind, going by the posts above. But maybe just a mite unrealistic. Nice, however, to see how many dreamers remain out there.

Posted by: cathar | Jun 9, 2005 1:43:30 PM

"Sorry to sound like a child welfare noodge, but what about the kid's education? Friends? (Saying "he'll make new ones" doesn't cut it, they'll only be temporary.) Anyone want to bet how long it'll be before the kid gets bored or scared or, understandably, homesick for the earthly paradise known as baristaville?"

Cathar, I really thought you were a free spirit! Don't disappoint me.

First of all, Max can be home-schooled by his mom if need be. Secondly, what better education is there than traveling around the world, meeting new people, experiencing different cultures, having exciting adventures? Yes, his classmates may have the traditional desk & chalkboard education but what Max will experience can never be replicated in a stuffy classroom.

Plus, he's 12 years old. It's not like he's in his junior year of high school waiting to hear back from colleges. If not now, when?

Yes, he may get a bit homesick for his friends, but that should abate once he's out on the road. It's not like he's being banished from Baristaville forever. He and his mom can come back when they're ready and I'm sure they'll be the life of the party with all of their stories.

I envy them and I can't wait for the blog/documentary.

Posted by: Miss Martta | Jun 9, 2005 2:20:50 PM

I would venture to say that Max is probably not a typical 12 year old.

I expect there will be great days and not-so- great days while on the road, but what remains is that it's a once in a lifetime adventure.

Bon voyage!

Posted by: Pam | Jun 9, 2005 2:51:21 PM

Odds are, cathar, that it most likely it won't become a permanent lifestyle for mom and son. Being free is damn hard work. All the more reason to applaud them for acting on those yearnings we all share.

Posted by: walleroo | Jun 9, 2005 2:54:23 PM

I don't share those yearnings, walleroo. As Walter Brennan says to the tavernkeeper at the end of "Northwest Passage." as they watch Rogers' Rangers march off on another adventure, who asks if he's going too, "I've been." Now I'm back. Flag, family and fireside cut it for me now. I always have a dated return ticket.

And I hate to sound like a cornball, but proper home schooling calls for some educational structure. (One of my cartoon heroes remains "Droopy Dog," I'll also add relevantly.) I think the item just stirred up a little hippie wishfulness (or do I mean wistfulness?) in you folks, perhaps because you weren't quite the right age to pull it off yourselves back when people split on a whim. You didn't miss as much as you think if you do feel like this, honest.

Yet if you're going to do something like this, I suppose Canada is a relatively safe place in which to start. But would any of you folks take off with your own offspring (I'm curious)? Would your offspring even want to accompany you? Who'd water your plants? Pay your water bills?

Posted by: cathar | Jun 9, 2005 5:28:42 PM

It's admittedly through the confusingly filmy glow of age, but right now I can't think of anything much better in life than to be "your typical 12-year-old."

Posted by: cathar | Jun 9, 2005 5:31:13 PM

PPS: It's fine if they "leave Dodge," as long as they're not leaving because of the bold words of Thom Kennon back on Memorial Day.

Posted by: cathar | Jun 9, 2005 5:32:50 PM

Apparently you regulars were declawed in the last few days. I would think that simply by virtue of her being a Plofker neighbor, Ms. Monahan would incur your ire, but apparently bohemian musings can quell that anger.

But for the unitiated, Ms. Monahan and her son got some other press not long ago from the Montclair Times in an article entitled "Where to go when you're on the brink." From their archive:

"Upon first impression, Mollie Monahan seems to be doing just fine. She lives in a five-bedroom house on tony Erwin Park Road with her 9 1/2-year-old son, Max. But her husband’s decision to seek a divorce a few years ago left her reeling.

Her income as an art curator and as a saleswoman for a consulting firm isn’t enough to maintain the lifestyle that she had with her ex. She and her son don’t go out to dinner as much as they used to, and there’s no money anymore for such luxuries as babysitters or new toys.

Monahan considered moving to a smaller house, but said she couldn’t bring herself to leave her home. “I chose to live praying that the pipes don’t burst,” she said.

For several months, Monahan has been searching for a housemate, ideally another single parent, who could share in the responsibilities of keeping a home and caring for the children.

“It’s more important for me to stay in this house than to have privacy,” she said.

But if the pipes go or another disaster strikes, Monahan said, she’s ready to let it all go. Her life, she insists, is about a few priorities: her family, her church, her wits and her health. If getting outside assistance helps to keep these things in focus, she’s willing to turn to that."

Guess she should have sold the kimono rack back then.

P.S. Word on the street is the house sold for around a mil. You gotta love this town.

Posted by: trixie | Jun 9, 2005 7:12:05 PM

Thank you much, Trixie. I'm semi-ashamed I retracted my claws on this one.

I missed the kimono rack reference. What on earth is it? Something the shogun tosses his soiled skivvies on after a happy day of decapitating his enemies? Does anyone know what one looks like? Would I be able to distinguish it from, say, one of those life-sized racks on which a man lays out tomorrow's suit, shirt and tie? And if it's so valuable, shouldn't our intrepid travelers take it along for barter purposes to obtain salt cod and flour from those notoriously backward Nova Scotians?

Posted by: cathar | Jun 9, 2005 8:53:28 PM

Ps: Did the pipes go?

Now I'm also concerned that the ex won't get to see his son if they're heading off to Labrador or some other cold, hard-to-get-to Canadian place. Or is it possible the trip isn't meant to last as long as all of us above assumed? I can still hear Steppenwolf singing "Born To Be Mild" on this one, folks, instead of Blackfoot doing "Fly Away."

Posted by: cathar | Jun 9, 2005 8:59:01 PM

Well, if the ex wants to see his kid, he can always hire a Labrador retriever.

Sorry. Couldn't resist!

Posted by: Miss Martta | Jun 9, 2005 10:16:05 PM

Trixie - and why exactly are we supposed to show ire towards that?

Posted by: butchcjg | Jun 9, 2005 10:40:20 PM

Miss Martta, I laughed out loud at that one. And as a Garfield fan, I don't usually even chuckle at pro-canine humor.

Posted by: cathar | Jun 9, 2005 10:49:08 PM

Well, there is the "tony Erwin Park" association, and since most issues that are even vaguely or remotely related to Plofker (or his wife, or his kids, or their skateboarding habits) seem to cause a stir, I thought perhaps that thread might weave again. Go figure.

Posted by: trixie | Jun 9, 2005 10:59:46 PM

trixie - oh. um, ok. well, obviously you missed judge those folks...though, there are the other regulars who still belittle anyone and everyone, even 12 year old boys.

Posted by: butchcjg | Jun 9, 2005 11:07:57 PM

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