Friday, April 18, 2014

Nights on the town well-deserved BEHIND THE BYLINES Christopher J. Hughes

February 16. 2013 2:23AM

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Our respite came in the mail.

Last week, my wife's aunt sent an adorable invitation to the house. The special greeting was to request our daughter's presence at her home from Friday night into Sunday afternoon.

"Bring your brother and his stuff," she added at the end.

I'm not sure who was more excited about being away for the weekend – the kids or the grown-ups.

Being a parent is consuming. Any good one will tell you that.

With both parents working in most households today, ours is no different. My days are filled with headlines and deadlines, my nights with clean dishes and playtime. Swap the hours around and you've got my wife's schedule.

So the opportunity to have the kids away for a bit was welcome. Lynz and I rarely get out, and when we do it's either to the grocery store or with our respective friends on solo nights away from home.

Friday and Saturday were different.

We kicked off the weekend with a few drinks and some excellent music from our good friend, Mat Burke. The Abington Heights grad and I have been close since he was one of my most reliable photographers at The Abington Journal. Now, a musician with a few discs under his belt, Mat was one of the opening acts for a headliner comprised of his buddies playing at The Keys.

Catching up with Mat over a few brews as the missus sipped her Captain and coke was a great change. It was fun to see how Mat's style and stage persona have evolved.

His set list, built on original material and fantastic covers of hits by Alkaline Trio and Bouncing Souls, helped fuel a playlist that made deadline more bearable.

On Saturday, we were set to travel to Wilkes-Barre for a production of "Chicago" starring another dear friend, Dane Bower.

Dane and I trace our roots to a college improv group as the only two members with enough knowledge of the alphabet to perform the Alpha-Line skit forward and backward.

Without seeing the show at the time of this writing, I'm sure we're in for another treat. Dane knows how to command an audience, and this will be one of the few times I haven't shared the stage with him.

It is odd not having the kids around, though, and old habits die hard. I still found myself tip-toeing past their doors Saturday morning on my way to the bathroom, only to realize that there was no one to sneak past.

This weekend provided a nice break, but it will be good to have them back home again.

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