Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Playing catch (up)

How was your summer vacation?

I'm taking it as a sign of a good summer that I am, once again, not ready. Last week at the swimming hole I sat with a friend watching the children splash about picking blackberries from the overhanging vines. Feet in the cool water, with pebbles massaging our toes and the laughter of eight or nine swimmers entertaining our ears, we watched the first of the turning leaves float to the water's surface and skim downstream. Our shady spot will be exposed to the autumn sky in a month or two.

But we'll be inside with books and tablets and schedules to make the gas gauge sigh.
How not to make a two-month catch-up letter a series of "been there, done that?' How to capture the feeling of summer? We took some drives. We splashed in the creek and swam in our "secret" swimming hole. We went to a big family wedding in the redwoods and we went to the movies with friends.
Madeleine stretched her musical theatre skills with singing/dancing/acting camps and Sarah attended a ballet intensive and a melodrama performance camp. The big girls were in our local heritage parade too, on the Storybook Theatre float. Sarah was the blue fairy from Pinocchio, reprising her role from last spring's performance. Maddy was Tiger Lily and Grace was a mermaid, both from Peter Pan. I broke three sewing machine needles on Grace's costume but she glittered like an undersea princess. Salvador and Laura caught a lot of candy and waved at all the floats. I ran after the Storybook float with my camera and Mr. Suite was impressed with my speed in pursuit of the photo.
Then! Grace worked on a new quilt top and on her model horse barn. Mr. Suite bought her a miter saw and she uses it with more confidence than do I. Grace and Laura won ribbons at the fair. Grace exhibited a blue-ribbon bookhouse and her handmade puppet collection, also a blue ribbon winner. Laura showed a Lego coffee delivery boat of her own design (blue!) and her pony collection (red).

The whole family plus some friends hung out at the fair and watched the steam engine demonstrations. We ate caramel corn and drank lemonade and I regretted that but not in the baking hot moment.

Mr. Suite and I had a few date nights. We celebrated our anniversary -- 22 years -- with a Tom Petty concert where almost every song made me feel younger. We hiked the mountain above our house a few times and took photos at the river bar where he grew up and learned to drive. We drove over a floating bridge and visited farm stands and old haunts and longtime friends.
On the pet front, Laura has two guinea pigs. I am informed they are not rodents. Charlie the Spaniel took a brief vacation with another family whose mama works at the self-sustainability workshop on our road. He went camping by the lake and then came home and we were very, very glad. Murphy the Bernese went up the mountain with Maddy and Mr. Suite on a hike and came back down in the Suburban. I understand the hip joint pain.
Maddy and Sam cut new trails in the woods above our pasture. We made hay in record amounts and two teen boys with more energy and bigger appetites than imaginable helped get all eight tons in the loft before it rained. We picked blackberries and visited friends. We hosted a mini craft and swimming day camp for friends. We took some more drives. I am gathering rose hips for wreaths and tea. I am gathering the school books and calendars and my wits for another year of sharp pencils and sharper minds.