We are nearing the end of summer and I have to admit with giddy glee that I'm glad that school is soon. GLAD! I'm not counting days or anything, but okay. I am. Jbird starts school too this year and he is SOO ready for it. It is also a wise person who chose the boys to be in different classrooms, if this summer is any indication as to how they get along in the same room. Since we moved to the new house at the start of summer, I allowed some time for settling in, transitions, etc., before the throes of summer camp and running here and playdates there and vacation absorbed all that free time. Well. Note to self: these kids do not need a lick of settling in time. In June I looked longingly at the camps and swim lessons that were earmarked for July and August. And the swim lessons? Totally fell through - all 4 of them. SO. Yeah. School's starting soon.
The bright spot of our summer ended up being a bit of a surprise. And I feel guilty admitting that it IS the bright spot --- because it was my grandfather's funeral. My amazing grandpa passed away in July at the age of 94. He lived a full life, more able-bodied and able-minded than any person I know. At his memorial service, my aunt reminded me that it was only a year and a half ago that Grandpa was up on the roof, trying to figure out that funny noise (my aunt quips that he probably heard the ghost of my grandma telling him to get off the roof...) To be honest, he was perfectly comfortable up on the roof. He was a telephone pioneer - installing the very first telephone poles and telephone service throughout New York state. I also remembered he they had the first "mobile" phone; sometimes on the way somewhere, Grandpa would get out of the car, climb a pole and "dial in" to phone ahead to let whoever know they were coming.
So we went to my hometown, to say goodbye. And there was room for us to stay out at the lake. This is the lake that I spent many sunny Sunday mornings; the topic of my stories to the boys after lights out and they beg me to tell them stories about when I was little. So it was very cool for them to actually be there. We shared the lake house with a whole gaggle of my relos - from all over. So at any given moment there was at least 3 adults to amuse the children - who needed no amusing since they had a LAKE to conquer from their beloved pirate float - complete with an entire artillary of water weaponry. (shh. don't tell our montessori friends!)
Smith would arise at the crack of dawn to kayak around the lake and take pictures like this:
He'd come back and make coffee and eventually the rest of us would drag ourselves from bed and somebody would make breakfast. And here is where I should mention that one of our hosts is a chef. so. yeah. yum! and the eggs? bought from the farm down the street... the carton full of feathers fresh.
And then we would swim for awhile. And then sail for awhile. Or gather wild blueberries for awhile. And then take the boat out and swim in the middle of the lake. And then we would scrounge for lunch from the fabulous leftovers from the night before and swim some more. and play games. fabulous games! because the other host? my cousin? used to have a game shop. And sells boats! so boats out the ying yang. Then we'd make cocktail drinks for "elegant hour" and sip and nibble as we made the rounds of the lake as slowly as possible. Then dinner and up till way late playing games and telling stories by candlelight outside.
We also made a family outing to a place called Salt Springs. I remembered it as being a wonderfully cool place when I was little so I wanted to see if it lived up to grown up splendor. Yup. My first discovery was some jewelweed/silverweed/popweed/touch-me-not. There was no consensus on what we actually called it. I guess I called it popweed because when you touch the tiny pods of these plants, they explode. Nature's bubblewrap. So I found a patch of them and let the kids loose. Next we walked up to the creek and began our hike through the creek and up the 3 waterfalls. My memories are full of the happy feelings of splashing and climbing through waterfalls, they did not disappoint. Everything was so green and lush and I sent the boys off ahead - free from the fears of fire ants, scorpions, snakes and lurking nasties that make me cautious back home. I heard later that my cousin spotted a snake on the trial after us and they high-tailed it out of there. Maybe it was just a little garter snake, because in my gentle mind, that's all there could ever be out there in those beautiful woods.
The trail back is along the banks of the creek where we discovered pennies hammered (?) into the rocks. tons of them. who knows why?
Me and some cheese. Who doesn't love cheese?
So it was good. And all at the same time, so sad. To say goodbye.
The squeaky lounge - in all her uncovered splendor.