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Archive for the ‘family’ Category

flying man

IMG_7609ab (3810)IMG_2801This man of mine is often flying through the air.  I’ve always loved his spontaneous, risk-taking nature.  He just goes for it, you know?  So different than my own cautious, more on the ground sort of ways.  Anyway, it’s this flying-man’s birthday today.  He’s jumped, ridden and sailed through 35 years already.  Eli and I were talking about what we loved so much about ‘Dada’ and besides the already discussed flying abilities, we especially love that he can throw a raspberry 30ft into the air and still catch it and eat it.   We also love his ability to compose silly songs on the spot and ignite after-dinner jamming sessions with fork, knife, glass, plate, pepper grinder and whatever else happens to be around.  He’s really good at fixing things, he bakes a mean cake, and has extraordinary car-packing abilities.  Eli says he’s pretty good at legos too.

So- Happy Birthday to this wonderful man of many talents on this last radiant day of summer.  Long may he fly…

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drum lessons 004We haven’t been the sort  of parents to push things.  We’ve let Eli determine his own interests and discover his own talents.  But that doesn’t mean we haven’t hoped.  We hoped that Eli might be rhythmically-inclined like his drummer dad.  We hoped that he would be all, “Dada, teach me how to play drums like you!” and “I want to know everything you know!”

Except we all know that’s not how it usually works.  Instead, for the last 6 years (okay fine, the last 4, who can realistically count the first 2?) Eli has had his own passionate areas of interest.  Areas that did not include the drums.  His friends, on the contrary, go nuts when they enter the little basement recording studio complete with guitars, drum sets and rhythm instruments galore.  But Eli’s always been sort of, eh, take it or leave it.  And mostly, leave itdrum lessons 005So it was an absurd delight for us when Eli decided a couple of weeks ago that he wanted to learn how to play the drums.  There’s a palpable energy around here now on Tuesday nights.  We’re all excited about the weekly drum lessons.  I mostly stay out-of-the-way.  But sometimes I listen in while Jeff imparts a little drum history or Eli gets an introduction to hand drumming and the house echos with the two of them yelling, “Left!, Right!, Left!, Right!”

drum lessons 002drum lessons 003Music to my ears.

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I am keenly aware of how often I wax on about summer swimming.  For me it is the absolute highlight of all my summer activities.  It is the sweetest dessert on summer’s abundant plate.  And like dessert, it’s special.   It’s not something we get all the time, so when it is plentiful, I’m all for heartily indulging.  And knowing that the autumn breezes are already beginning to sweep in, I feel okay about a few more props to my cherished watery adventures.

Sooo…  one wonderfully steamy day in Maine not so very long ago, the only goal for the day was to swim.  This quickly evolved into the swimming project, with the objective being to swim in as many different bodies of water as possible.IMG_2786We began with the ocean, which only Eli and I were bold enough to walk right on into.  And, if I might toot my own horn for a moment, it was only I who fully immersed myself and actually swam in the 55 degree water.  It really was cold enough to stun your heart, I think.  Needless to say, my swim was short, but I felt awfully good emerging into the baking sunshine afterward.IMG_2807Next we worked up a sweat discovering a hidden lake tucked into the outer parts of Acadia National Park.  The sparkling water was soothing and clean and surrounded by dense pine forests.  IMG_2857And lastly, we hiked into a quiet brookside trail and dunked into the chilly water among trickling waterfalls and mossy banks.

Swimming, I think, is my longest and truest love.  A summer-loving piscean has a yearning for water.   So a day with three spectacularly beautiful, unique swimming spots just might top the list as my best day ever.  May all projects be so refreshing.

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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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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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