Archive for August, 2009

IMG_2941IMG_2800IMG_2939IMG_2947IMG_3255IMG_2903IMG_3168IMG_2801August.  The ripening of  corn and tomatoes.  The overlapping of blueberries and peaches.  Outdoor cooking and eating.  Gatherings of good people and good food.  Steamy days and then nights spent sleeping on top of the sheets.   Diving down to reach the cold spots in favorite swimming holes.  The icy chill of the Maine sea.  Trailside picnics.  Paddling among the loons.    Wintergreen and low-bush cranberry.  Tidepools.  Tufts of sea lavender.

My most cherished month of the year.  I will miss you, abundant August.  But I have a few more weeks of barefoot freedom and a few more dips in the ocean yet before my lungs fill up entirely with the high, crisp, expansive air of autumn.

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ten years ago today

But how did you come burning down like a

wild needle, knowing

just where my heart was?

-Mary Oliver

anniversary 3

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thank you notes 001This was the celebratory sign at Eli’s birthday party.  Eli’s sweet silhouette from a favorite photo of mine seems to work so well within the design; like he’s gazing up into the adventures of his sixth year.  This was no photoshop silhouette.  This was the old-fashioned scissors, brown paper and snip-snip-snip silhouette.  thank you notes 002I’ve been drawn to any project lately that gets me seated in my favorite spot on the porch with my little paper scissors in hand.  Cutting is so meditative.  I like the combination of gentle production within a calm mind.  So, I snipped my peaceful way into a stack of after-party thank you notes.thank you notes 003Now I’m not really one for perfect etiquette in most regards.  My elbows are often on the dinner table and I’m still not clear on which side of the napkin I’m supposed to wipe my mouth.  But thank you notes I’ve always held in high esteem.thank you notes 004

The thank you note encourages graciousness in the receiving.  It’s a way of briefly showing appreciation for the person and the thought behind the gift.  I think it feels really good on both ends.  Besides, it’s just another fabulous excuse to make someone’s day with a pretty piece of mail.  And obvioulsy I’m all about pretty mail…

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lego party 002You needed a pass to get into the lego party.lego party 007Then you were assigned to your station and got to work building the best vehicle you could with the allotted pieces.lego party 018Some of us needed help from the brick-master himself.lego party 013Auntie Erica cheated a little bit by sneaking some pieces from Eli, but shhh…

lego party 022A scavenger hunt devised by Auntie Eliza…lego party 023with hidden notes inside from the kitties (who aren’t the best at spelling as it turns out).lego party 020Little lego candy made the perfect treasure.lego party 005Of course we needed lego napkins.lego party 006And good thing there were some old duplos left over from the baby years, as they made the perfect placecard holder.

Eli’s passion for legos runs deep.  It  kind of blows my mind that three years of his life (and that’s half his life at this point) has been devoted to the exploration of these little plastic bricks.  Honestly, I never pictured so much plastic in our house.  I maybe imagined that my house would be pleasantly full of wooden toys made in Germany or something.  Ha.  But legos are a true creative wonder.  It is no exaggeration that Eli spends hours of every day designing new creations.  He specializes in lego vehicles, but occasionally some other structures or contraptions find a way into being.  All I know is that when something inspires that much passion and creativity  in a human being, it is a blessing.

Eli’s lego convention birthday party was a blast.  Everyone got assigned a station and got to work building a vehicle with the available pieces.  Since the rest of us have not spent the past three years specializing in lego vehicles, our creations were a bit crude compared to the birthday boy’s.  But it was fun all the same.  We had planned to race our designs to see who had engineered the fastest, most streamlined vehicle, but good food and conversation took the lead instead.  And now my resident six year old has a whole bunch more little plastic bricks to ignite that beautiful passion.

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someone is six

How did we already go from this…Birthday Eli 0 (1)

…to this?

eli copy

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Eliza, or Auntie, as my youngest sister is most frequently referred to, lives in western Massachusetts.  This is just close enough that she can come for a visit on her day off and still make it home in time for dinner.  And it is just far away enough to make an outing with Auntie really special.

outing with auntie 003outing with auntie 004Our Auntie outing was spent at our favorite places… our swimming hole and Tangerini farm.  The swimming hole is deep and clear and cool.  You can walk for miles on the trails that circle the reservoir and find your own little secret spot to slip into the water.  The farm has the allure of delicious ice cream, berry picking, friendly goats and a crazy hay maze that I’m too scared to go in.outing with auntie 008outing with auntie 011The hay maze is pitch black and just wide enough for an adult to squeeze through.  I guess there is fun to be had in shimmying and feeling your way through damp hay.  It was fun had by Eli and Eliza while I waited outside in the sunshine, but see, that’s why she’s the Auntie.outing with auntie 015

outing with auntie 014Auntie showed us how to make a little treat for the goats that she calls a goat burrito.  A nice wide leaf of plantain wrapped around a wad of clover and bam!, we had three new best friends.outing with auntie 018Were you lucky enough to have an aunt or uncle like this?   Someone who devoted time to you as a child, who actually played with you while the rest of the grown-ups were talking boring.  Someone who was just responsible enough to be a good role model, but just inappropriate enough to be really, really fun.  I so wish an Auntie for everyone.

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