Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Summer Notes

1. It's been 10 months, and I have finally unpacked all my books, put them in their new permanent homes in the bookshelves. It was like seeing the faces of old friends again. Art books, beloved old classics like Little Women and Jane Eyre, as well as my small collection of Elizabeth Goudge and Rumer Godden. There are also newer favorites like The Secret Life of Bees and A Severe Mercy, as well as "new-old" books--ones by favorite authors I've picked up at book sales but haven't had a chance to read yet.
2. What a relief! My birthday is coming a couple weeks and somehow I'd gotten it into my head that I was turning a year older than I actually am. K had decided to make me a birthday card and I overhear her asking B how old I'm turning. When he tells her, I stop to do the math... and lo--he's right! It's like getting a bonus year to my life. Later, K tells me she's done with my card and asks if she should give it to me now or later. "Whenever you want to," I tell her. "How about both," she says and proceeds to read me her very sweet card. Then she puts it under the Kleenex box on my bedside table so it will be saved for my actual birthday.
3. At dusk the arc of the moon hangs bright and low over the black mountain. The sky in the west is still light but bands of red-brown smoke from yet another wildfire sweep across. Streets are quiet, heat still emanating from the pavement. Windows are lit where people have retreated to the indoors, though more houses appear to be completely dark. I think many people must retire to the back of their houses to watch tv or go online. There is an occasional cough or shuffle of someone still working outside, trying to finish work in the quickly diminshing light.
4. Well, alright. K had decided she didn't want to put her swimsuit on, she wasn't going to swim, just play on the equipment. But when I tell her T will be wearing his swimsuit and going in the wading pool, and she can just sit on the side if she wants to, but she'll need to wear her suit because the side of the pool will be wet, she agrees. It will be ok to just sit on the side and just put her feet in the water. We get to the pool and she sits on the side as planned. T, meanwhile, merrily splashes and laughs at the other children's antics. Soon, K is up walking around in the water, then dipping down into it, then going to the middle to play in the fountain, then practicing her kicks and bubbles. When it's time to get out, she proclaims that she wants to come back tomorrow.
5. We rarely eat fast food. Last month was a bit different with travel and other factors and we got to know the kid meals of the various chains. McDonald's has the fanciest toy. The Taco Bell toy was horrible--a toy with scary pictures featuring The Weirdos--ugly characters with bloodshot eyes. Arby's was the best--colorful, educational books. We were so impressed. Hooray for Arby's! The kids enjoyed their meals. T, especially, can eat a huge amount of Chicken McNuggets and fries. Now, every time we pass a McDonald's, K points it out as we drive by, and "Danno's," affirms T with fondness.

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