Yes I'm still here. No I'm not off on some fabulous vacation to some exotic locale. And I am not enjoying summer's bounties so much that I can't tear myself away from the sun and excitement for ten minutes to get in touch with my bloggy public. Mostly I can't think of anything to write about other than the fact that it won't stop raining! And it feels like March again!!! And I'm going crazy! Freaking out!
No, really, I'm fine. The sun made an appearance on Friday, but since I had planned my day around rain, rain and more rain, I felt somewhat unmoored and unsure what to do with myself. I didn't want to get in the car and run errands when the sun was shining, but I wasn't sure what else to do with myself. Eventually, Z and I went and picked wild strawberries in the neighbor's field, which was really nice...amazing actually to spend a few minutes focused in on just one of my kids. We did go on our errand-running--library, consignment store (where I found a pair of cammo shorts for M which he has not removed all week), shoe store for my brother (yes I realize I haven't written about the experience of having an additional male--a teenage one at that--in my house yet. I'll get to that, I think. Once I recover). We opted to not go to the pool one last time (I suspended our membership for the summer, thinking we'd be swimming in the great outdoors--ha!)
Saturday, I determined to go to the beach, no matter what. As it turned out, the weather was beautiful--sunny, warm, clear; a little breezy, and the ocean way too cold for swimming (although my friend's son dove right in). It was hard to tear the kids away. Next time I'll just bring lunch AND dinner and stay until twilight. On the way home I stopped at the book store in Damariscotta and picked up Call Me Okaasan, edited by Suzanne Kamata, who co-taught the online writing class I took last summer. The collection includes an excellent essay by a fellow student in that class, Katherine Barrett, about the contrast between the life between a Canadian expatriat in South Africa and the lives of refugees and immigrants from other African countries. Some of the essays I found truly beautiful and insightful, while others I thought lacked a certain something. Many focused on the issues around raising multilingual children, which appears to be more complicated than I thought.
Saturday night, C and I actually went out on a date--dinner at El Camino, one of the Mexican restaurants I wrote about last month....mucho amazing good food (wild mushroom tacos in homemade tortillas--much better than mine--rhubarb mojito, home made chips with guac and salsa, Mexican chocolate pot de creme)...a bit of a wait on a Saturday night, but we weren't in a rush (we were alone! together!)
Sunday morning I went strawberry picking--the berries were a little on the pink side of ripe and it started downpouring while I was out there, so I only got about 10 quarts (and only three quarts made it to the freezer--the rest found their way into bellies, strawberry-rhubarb cake and strawberry shortcake, minus the shortcake, because I didn't feel like making it, and minus the whipped cream, because it kept turning into butter). On the way home, I pulled into a public boat launch parking lot along a lake, pulled out my notebook and wrote, wrote, wrote totally uninterrupted. Amazing.
And...drum roll, please...we've finally made a decision on our summer travel plans: we're going to drive, which was my original plan, but which was poo-pooed by C, who wanted to make the trip fast, resulting in me having a major melt-down about life in general, and particularly having to live in this god-forsaken climate with a steady stream of his relatives flowing in and out of my life and never seeing my own family, and, oh, yeah, my job sucks. In that order. Humph. So now we're back on the road, so to speak, and I'm both excited by planning the little details (travel amusement packs for the kids!) and really traumatized by the vision of the three of them fighting the whole 4000 miles. Wish me luck.