Tonawanda News


September 30, 2012

Dragons, volcanos and the neighborhood safari

Tonawanda News — We live in a dangerous neighborhood,


When we go for our daily evening walks, my 4-year-old is on point. It’s his job — again, apparently — to point out all the myriad hazards of our bit of the Town of Tonawanda suburbs. And there are many.

There are volcanos. (We have to be very careful to step over them ... after I’m told where they are, because they seem to be invisible.) There are jungles. (As in, a couple of homes have hedges around them.) And every crack in the sidewalk is a potential hazard ... at least for me, it seems. I was sternly lectured by the same preschooler that “Mommy, you need to let the kid do it. You’ll fall down and get a boo-boo.” He jumps over, then we can follow.

Then there’s the wildlife.

There are doggies. (I think he’s on a first-name-basis with every canine on the block.) There are birds of all sorts. (We have to whisper, so not to scare them.) There are squirrels and ants and once a bored-looking groundhog.

Oh, but it doesn’t end there. There are lions. (Two bored cats, drowsing in a driveway.) There are crocodiles, big ones that make the same tick-tock sound as the one in “Peter Pan.” (Trust me. They chased us for about a block ... or so Sam claims.) There are dragons ... but that’s OK, because we have a bigger dragon.

Hence this conversation:

“There’s a dragon!” (He points.)

“Uh oh,” I say, remembering the crocodiles. “Should we run?” 

“No. I’m a dragon, too!”

“Oh? What kind of dragon are you?”

This is where I get the “duh” look. “I’m a SAMDragon.”

“Oh. What do SamDragons do?”

“Ummm ... they fight the JimmyMonster!”

Text Only
  • SUN LIFE Volunteers honored 1 040614.jpg Women Who Move the City (and beyond)

    April 7, 2014 2 Photos

  • SUN LIFE POUND 1040614j jpg.jpg Rock n' roll fitness

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - crib notes RGB Enough of this winter -- it's time for spring

    Midway through separating the bits of dog food from the shredded paper towel pieces on the saturated bed sheet that had been strewn across the dining-room table, I finally realized I’d had enough.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - critter companions RGB Dear readers, it's me, Kenny

    I have bad knees. I have been told to blame my grandmother. I have also been told to blame her for my love of animals. Today, we celebrate the 100th Critter Companions column.

    April 7, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE mummies 1 033014.jpg 'Mummies of the World' exhibit arrives in Buffalo

    As visitors arrived for the recent NCAA basketball tournament games in Buffalo, a much older group of visitors arrived via motorcade at the Buffalo Museum of Science — but these newcomers to the Queen City wouldn’t be seeking out a place to have a beer between games or where to find the region’s best chicken wings.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • sig - double trouble RGB Years later, still spending sunny days on Sesame Street

    I always knew we’d hit “the Elmo years.”

    Going into parenthood, it seemed like a given. Both my husband and I  were “Sesame Street” fans from childhood ourselves, and we were happy enough to pass it on to a new generation. And we knew, having friends with children of the applicable age, that in this day and age “Sesame Street” equalled Elmo, the squeaky-voiced “furry red menace” (thus dubbed by Oscar the Grouch) of parents everywhere.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE Local Restaurant Week 2 033014.jpg Back for another bite

    As spring finally starts to unfold in Western New York, residents are likely eager to get out of their houses — and organizers of Local Restaurant Week hope they’ll consider eating out as they do that.

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • Wineries invite visitors to take a Taste of the Trail

    If one weekend of food and wine pairings is a good thing, two weekends of food and wine pairings must be even better.

    For the first time, the Taste of the Trail event, which takes place Friday through April 6 and April 11 to 13 on the Niagara Wine Trail, will be split into two weekends, with half the trail’s wineries taking part the first weekend and half the second, said Elizabeth Maute, wine trail coordinator.

    March 31, 2014

  • sig - critter companions RGB CRITTER COMPANIONS: Rewards for playing nice

    March 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • SUN LIFE signs of spring 1 032314.jpg Region's favorite signs of spring gear up for season

    Ah, the signs of spring: The birdsong, the flowers, the green grass, the flowing waters of the Erie Canal or Niagara River ... and the words “Opening soon” on the marquee of your favorite seasonal business.

    March 24, 2014 1 Photo