Let’s forgive me for not getting to this until what is essentially the second week of September, ok? Seeing that the school year is beginning so late, I’ve kind of been pretending that this past weekend was Labor Day. But, without further ado…
For the third year in a row, I completed the Warrior Dash down at Windham Mountain. Kind of pleased with this year’s results: 62nd of 779 in my age group, 1463 of 7300.
I became obsessed with Orange is the New Black. Have you watched it yet? When does season two start??
My Quinnie became sick while we were on vacation and I reflected on how stressful sick children, far from our pediatrician, can be.
I had a meltdown about needing bangs – STAT!
The movie theater became the perfect babysitter so I could take a run.
Finding the “perfect” Cape Cod house can be a real test of patience and acceptance.
And there are a few things you don’t want to find in your temporary beach home.
There was a little bit of panic as the days of August started growing shorter.
And a lot of discussion about twerking and expressing oneself.
Finally, my piece from the Sept/Oct issue of Women@Work talked about how not to Fear the Fall.
What have you been up to??
Filed under aging, Boys, Cape Cod, Events, Exercise, family, favorites, Martha's Vineyard, Moms@Work, Observations, running, sick, Summer, travel, vacation
After being back and settled in the DelSo for a week, I thought I’d share what I missed this summer while away. Some of the items on the list, I may take for granted when I’m home, while others are always appreciated. The list is not in any order, although alphabetical would naturally be my first impulse. I’m a librarian, remember?
- My pillows. I wish I could bring them along on the vacation, but there just isn’t enough room in the car – and there are only two.
- My coffee bean grinder. What do you mean not everyone grinds their beans freshly each morning?
- My griddle pan. Traditionally, I bring my waffle iron along on the trip, but next year I may need to find some space for my go-to pancake/grilled cheese making surface. Making either of these items individually makes no sense when you can make three at a time.
- Our sweet old lab, Cassidy Bono Lilly, especially when I read stories like this gem from Paul Grondahl.
- Him. Because I like having him around.
What do you find yourself missing the most when away from home?
Filed under Albany, breakfast, Cape Cod, Cooking, DelSo, family, favorites, friends, Martha's Vineyard, Summer, travel, vacation
Going down the dune would be more fun if going up the dune wasn’t eventually necessary.
Last week, I had the brilliant idea to get a beach bonfire permit so we could take in the Perseids Meteor showers, beachside. Like last year, we were shut out of our first choice beach, Newcomb Hollow and “settled” for White Crest. If you’re unfamiliar with these Wellfleet ocean beaches, trust me, they’re all beautiful. The only true disadvantage to White Crest is the remarkably steep dune one must navigate from the parking lot down to the beach. And, of course, the return climb up the dune.
The weather was fairly cooperative, but there was a bit of fall in the air. Jeans and sweatshirts were necessary, as were marshmallows, lots of marshmallows. I have to say that watching my brother build and maintain fires in the wood-burning stove of our childhood home, really has paid off. I can build a fire, Jack London. Naturally, we were a bit half-assed about things – I had some paper, some cardboard, a little kindling and a $10 bundle of soft wood and a lighter, but no bucket to fill with water to extinguish the fire. Never mind. We figured it out.
While we didn’t go all out with s’mores fixings this year, I have to say the boys have really mastered the art of toasting marshmallows to a perfectly gorgeous shade of brown. They really were the best toasted marshmallows I ever recall eating, at least that’s my excuse for eating as many of them as I did.
The fires of other sky watchers.
Good friends, delicious marshmallows and a blazing fire ocean side made for a pretty special evening. But the best part of the entire night was when Quinn and I were sharing a chair, in a practically reclined position, staring quietly at the sky. He nestled into me, and I wrapped my arms around him. Our eyes searched the heavens for trails of light and we made a vow to never forget this night.
It’s impossible to predict where in the sky the meteors will ultimately appear, but the light shining in my son’s eyes as he promised to always remember that moment, provided all the illumination for which this mom could ever wish. Magical memories.
There’s almost nothing like the ocean to punctuate time, especially when you’re temporarily living on an island which is inaccessible during high tide. The necessity of planning is as explicit and unavoidable as the tide chart adhered to the fridge with a magnet.
When the tide is out there’s the shallowest of tidal pools under the bridge, barely enough water to carve the silty bottom of the marsh into rivulets. When that tide rolls in, though? That’s a different story. The salt water flows in and submerges the almost garishly green marsh grasses. The bridge becomes a launching pad for the neighborhood adrenalin seekers, some complete with choreographed group dances and cheeky chants. There’s a remarkable difference between the two extreme states of the tide, yet it is predictable and easily planned for – just refer to the chart. It’s there in black and white.
This year, for the first time in a long time, we’re vacationing with a baby, and for the first time ever – it’s a girl. She was present (in utero) last year, but nothing really prepared me for sharing a house with a baby again, especially a busy baby on the verge of walking. Like childbirth, you just forget what was demanded by those days, it was simply survival when you were in the thick of it. The minute details (each of which seemed ever so critical at the time) of taking care of a child have disappeared faster than a sandbar in a rising tide.
Despite promises made, be it to yourself, your child(ren), or the well-intentioned older person offering advice, just like you’ve heard your entire life those early days of parenting/babyhood go far faster than could ever be imagined. There was no punctuation to mark the end of that chapter of parenting. It’s gone, and unlike the tide it won’t be back.
This year my middle son chose to only stay in Massachusetts for one of the two weeks of our vacation. He wanted to be home, hanging with his friends and practicing lacrosse. I felt that I needed to respect his preference and, for me, it was an exercise in letting him go. I was okay with the decision, but I’m less able to accept the fact that 2012 may have been the last year that my boys and I would be together for a two-week vacation at the beach. How could that even be possible without some sort of acknowledgement? Where’s the chart to refer to for important things like that?
What once was lost is found.
The most remarkable thing happened this week – an occurrence which could be considered as a divine lesson about yielding control and letting the miraculous happen. I mean, if you’re inclined to think that way. Decide for yourself.
My youngest son, who has extremely poor eyesight, placed (with great care, I’m sure) his glasses on a sandbar when he decided to swim instead of merely wade. Naturally, the tide was coming in with increasing enthusiasm and force and his glasses quickly disappeared, never to be seen again.
A woman observing our directed stares as we carefully searched the beach, told me not to completely lose heart. She said that her family had sacrificed a pair of goggles to the current only to have them returned the very next day at low tide. Come back tomorrow, she said. Don’t give up.
As we left the beach and walked past the few boulders which act as a boundary to the parking area, we saw a pair of glasses carefully placed on one of the large rocks. Apparently a pair of glasses had been found and were waiting to be reclaimed. Of course, Quinn tried them on and declared them to be perfect, a miraculous “fact” I quickly rejected as I asked my son to put the glasses back for the rightful owner.
Low tide was after dark so we returned the following morning for a thorough search of the area. Despite our best efforts, we turned up nothing beyond an addition or two to our shell collection. No glasses. Arrangements were made to have a back up pair of glasses delivered. We moved on.
In the late afternoon I received the following text from my friend, Aloysius: “Have q’s glasses.” Huh? Really?! It seems that after a full afternoon of kayaking, my friend and my oldest son had come ashore at the beach where Quinn’s glasses had gone to sea. As Aloysius picked up his dropped towel, he noticed a pair of glasses on a lower rail of the nearby fence. Liam quickly identified them as his brother’s and the tale of the glasses’ disappearance immediately became the story of their reappearance. How utterly amazing!
What’s the take away? For Quinn, I hope, it is a lesson about being more careful with his possessions, especially items necessary for his essential senses to properly operate. The lesson I’m focusing on is to accept loss while understanding that the possibility for being reunited remains. How about you? Any lessons about loss and recovery to share?
Best: outdoor showers under an inky sky sparkling with stars and fireflies
Worst: washing towels nearly daily
Best: naps on the beach once your children become a certain age
Worst: sand in between the sheets
Best: fresh ocean breezes
Worst: green head flies
Best: the slower pace from driving on dirt roads
Worst: the layer of grim and dust coating my car
Best: packing up the car for an afternoon at the beach
Worst: unpacking the car after an afternoon at the beach
Best: revisiting favorite places
Worst: having to say goodbye to favorite places for another year
Some recent topics from my blog over at the Times Union:
Catch up and comment.