Prize Patrol

I hereby admit that I spend an inordinate amount of time entering the Publisher's Clearing House sweepstakes (online at, not the paper entries with lots of stickers and such). I figure my odds are getting better and better, especially now that I'm a grandma. It seems that it's always old people who get to scream and cry and shout "hallelujah!" when the PCH Prize Patrol rolls up to their house and knocks on their door, flowers, balloons and an oversized check in hand.

I've known for many years that I will be visited by the Prize Patrol myself one day. I had Megan so convinced one year that on the date the Prize Patrol was scheduled to choose a winner, she was quite devastated when our doorbell never rang. I learned then that I need to keep my PCH beliefs tempered ... at least with the girls ... at least until PCH does show up at my door.

At performance review time at my most recent job, when I had to write down my one-year and five-year goals, my five year plan always included some mention of winning PCH. I've never been a ladder climber and figured it was better to be honest with my employer that once the oversized PCH check arrived they'd have to find a replacement for me. It usually brought a few chuckles during the review process; they apparently didn't understand how serious I was.

But I am serious. One day I will win PCH! You all read it here. And when I do, it's not new cars or a new house or fancy clothes or high-end globe trotting that'll be among my first purchases (after paying off bills, tithing and helping out family, of course). No, my first big purchase will be a ...

JUNGLE GYM! Much like this one:

Very cool, don't you think?! I can just see Bubby climbing, sliding, swinging ... and leading the swarm of grandkids to come in all sorts of creative play at Grandma's.

Of course, those of you who've been to my house know that my yard won't accommodate such a splendiferous structure, so the other part of the plan -- and Jim and the girls and even some friends have already heard all about this -- is that I will offer lots of money to my next-door neighbor, raze their trashy home (an eyesore for the neighborhood!) and create the play area of all play areas there. Where I can watch my grandkids play. Right from my living room window.

An added bonus: Razing the house next door will give us back the view of America's Mountain that originally belonged to this house, before the neighbors made their mess (aka home) there! I can't wait to watch the sun set over the majestic peak.

So, note to PCH Prize Patrol: I do believe my time has come. You've received thousands of entries from me. I'm now old enough and grandma-like enough for you to roll up in my driveway, bearing an oversized check with my name on it. I'm not much of a screamer, but I promise to shout and scream and cry appropriately for your cameras. So bring it on ... please ... Jim has only two weeks left at his job and we could certainly use the money for the mortgage and health insurance -- and a jungle gym!