Katya and I have been taking a walk nearly every day. Katya adores going outside. When I say "It's time for a walk!" and hold up her shoes, she drops what she's doing and hurries over as fast as her legs can take her. It's so funny to see her hurry. She hikes up her shoulders and gets those hips moving as fast as she's able. Her arms swing stiffly around her sides. On her face is a look of concentration and a slight bit of trepidation as though she thinks if she doesn't get there soon enough, I'll leave her behind. She hasn't quite figured out running yet. The couple of times I have seen her run, she got going faster than her feet could keep track of and she fell headlong as if she were diving for home plate.
Darla the dog also loves our walks. As soon as she sees the leash and/or the stroller come out she becomes mindlessly excited. Before we started taking walks on a regular basis, Darla would become worked up into such a frenzy that by the time we set out that all she could do was dash in circles around me and the stroller. I would be trying to hold the leash in one hand and push the stroller with other and would have to stop every few feet while Darla ran her excited loops. I'm sure we made an amusing spectacle as I tried to make some progress down the street while trying to keep Darla from getting tangled with the stroller and me.
Now Darla and I have come to somewhat of an understanding. She seems to have figured out that the objective is to go forward, not round and round. However, Darla is a powerful dog and until she tires, it is a workout to keep up with her full speed ahead mode and also maintain control of the stroller. There's hardly any sidewalks in this town and weeds with painful stickers tend to grow along the sides. Darla prefers to walk on our left side, but if I have her walking on the side of the road, she edges over until the three of us are walking down the middle of the street if I'm not careful.
Now that we live in Wendell, we've also enjoyed going to watch Brent's boys play soccer. Katya doesn't have a clue what's going on, of course, but is excited when sometimes she gets to see her daddy after the game. This picture was taken at the Bliss game. That school is so small that K-12 is all in one building.
And I have a little story to tell you about going to the county fair. Brent's parents were here for a few days and one day we took off to see the county fair. We spent a few hours eating food, wandering the exhibits, seeing the animals and talking to people we knew. The Twin Falls County Fair is like a huge community gathering. You don't know who you're going to run into at the fair, but you're guaranteed to see at least some people you know.
Finally we found ourselves at the "Agricultural Pavilion" which explains everything you ever wanted to know and then some about Idaho ag. Brent and his dad set off to examine the displays. In the middle of the area was a sandbox for children. Except, instead of sand, it was filled with Idaho bean and corn varieties. There were also many types of tractors to play with. Brent's mom and I brought Katya over to the box and sat down on the nearby hay bales to watch. The box was divided into three sections and Katya immediately started grabbing handfuls of beans and moving them from one section to another as if she was sure that this section was supposed to be empty and all the beans are supposed to go here. She was very intent on this project and was not at all interested in actually getting in the box and playing with the tractors as the many other children who came and went were doing. Then she changed course and started flinging beans behind her, out of the box completely. So I tried putting her in the box and showed her how to play with the tractors. She was content to do this for awhile and I sat back again and watched her.
As I did so, I gradually became aware that I recognized the boy playing next to her. He was a former student, an extremely high maintenance child who with his inability to concentrate and immaturity cause many headaches. (Dana if you're reading this, you'll know who I mean.) And there he was next to Katya--the past and present--both completely oblivious to each other, two different worlds sitting side by side. It was the strangest feeling to see the two of them next to each other as if my past and present were at once silently colliding, scraping by each other, and for a second in time, intersecting.
The boy looked up and smiled at me as if it were perfectly natural that I would be sitting there watching. When it was time for him to leave, he looked back at me twice and waved. Then I was back in my present world.
Katya meanwhile had taken to throwing beans out of the box again and soon it was time to move on. I wish I had brought my camera to show you Katya at the fair, but you'll just have to imagine!