Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Musings on Summer


I've been floundering around in the whirlpool of coursing time as it whips around faster and faster with every passing day.  It's quite a ride, and I can't help feeling I'm missing things.  When did bug get old enough to do simple math and sound out words??  When did my baby turn into, well, NOT a baby?
Not only that, but my brain seems to be in a type of fog... am I forgetting obligations?  Was I supposed to be somewhere today?  When do I pick up the kids from school again? 
I've heard mom-brain never gets better.  I've got to start writing things down.  And in that vein, I feel I should document our life better.  So I don't blink and see an 18 yr old heading off to college and think "Um, did he skip 14 years?"

Thanks to my Instagram addiction, I have a mostly documented summer - almost unheard of for me.  
I will warn you - there are a lot of photos.  A LOT.

Summer began as most summer's in Wisco do, somewhat warmer weather, but still chilly enough for pants and perhaps a long sleeve or two.  We were bursting to get outside, and made a surprising and happy discovery when we found this little park:




It quickly became one of our favorites since it's not exceptionally popular and the quiet suited us just fine.  The kids and I decided we would hit up as many different parks this summer as we could.

We jumped right into our summer vacation with a trip out to Utah to visit family - where I came to the startling realization that I no longer hated the mountains.  They didn't make me feel claustrophobic as they once did.  Instead I found their beauty breathtaking and rather missed their presence in my life.  Funny how you don't appreciate some things until you feel their absence.  I took some family photos and just generally enjoyed the company of people we wish we could see more often.  


It was difficult to leave this time.  Though mini's stylish traveling clothes made it a bit easier.


There was some napping, though not too much.  It WAS summer, after all.  In general, I found there was much more sleeping on the floor:
And in the car:
Then in bed.  There was also some snoozing in the sunshine, which I always miss during the long and dreary winter.

There was a lot of dandelion blowing, 
and flower smelling.

bug lived for the bike rides, so there were a lot of evening walks.




which were pretty cushy from mini's perspective.


There were books to be read:



and treats to be made:


along with the normal pastimes.  A bit of sewing,

a bit of painting,

and crafting.
(I also got everything in order for my book and sent it all off to the publisher.  That was a feat in itself.)


As alluded to, there were many parks in our summer.  Parks of all kinds and sizes.



during which time, mini had her very first stare-down.  (Don't worry, no children were harmed.)


There were picnics, 
and swings,
quite a bit of climbing,
Oh!  And more swings!  Did I mention we practically lived at the park?


There were walks by the water (and much ado about stick-throwing):




and one particularly brilliant afternoon of kite flying.



We dangled our feet at restaurants.

And made friends with leaves.

We swam in the wading pool.

bug discovered a deep-seated and unquenchable passion for drawing (and clip on ties),
while mini preferred digging her toes (and hands, and feet, and legs, and head) in the sand.


There were impromptu car rides,
some of which we even dressed up fancy for.

We learned to fly.

There were many visits to the city sprinkler.  Unplanned:









And planned:




Of course, there was a lot of chasing.

We visited a nearby amusement park.  It is inexpensive (25 cents a ticket) and perfect for kids - though they just added a small roller coaster called the Zippin'Pippin that's fun for the grown-ups too.  We had so much fun we went no less than three times.
Time one:



Time 2:



Time 3:







There were two fun filled trips to the local zoo where we encountered the new camel.  He's living with the llamas and I could have sworn he smiled at me when I took his picture.  He must be very happy.



bug went fishing for the first time with Uncle A and his cousin.  
I believe we'll have a lifelong fisherman now.  He was excited to catch more fish than Opa during our trip to the cabin.

There was a lot of dancing.

And a bit of basketball.  Safety first, of course.

By the way, we went to a park or two.  We even dragged mr. along a few times.







bug and I engaged in architectural feats of wonder and stability.  Until he and Zoe knocked it down.

And then we went to another park.












And we learned how to look cool.

The water slide at K's house was a big hit.

As were the glow in the dark light sabers on the fourth of July.
Fortunately, the battles were neither bloody nor fierce and the soldiers were eventually able to be calmed enough to watch the display commemorating our country's hard-won freedom.



mr was busy (along with both the nearby uncles, Uncle A and Uncle Tall), putting this beauty up in our backyard:

It got (and continues to get) much use.














Though not always in our underwear.

My mom grew strawberries in her garden and magnanimously shared them.  It's funny how something so small and simple can be one of the biggest highlights of summer.

A trip to the Children's Museum in a smaller town just south of here was a welcome distraction one weekday.  It was our first time, and a place we will definitely frequent in the future.  We put on a puppet show, went "fishing", filled up our "passports", played with a shadow wall and bug served me some delicious pizza.





Then there was the epic trip to the cabin in the backwoods of Wisconsin.  It was beautiful.  mr and I could not escape calamity, unfortunately, but after forgetting all of my toiletries, medications, and contact paraphernalia, walking around blind for three days, locating the one optometrist that was still in the state despite the "Ophthalmological Conference" going on, frantic calls to the doctor for a prescription, living in a bat house (literally) while they swooped at our heads in the night, mini throwing up most of the day on Thursday, and mr driving back home - 6 hours away - with MY car keys in HIS pocket so I was stranded... well, after all of that, it was a great trip.









There were airplanes to be watched from outside the gates of the EAA, 

and olympics to train for.



Mini made friends with the cat.  
Almost.


There were bubbles to blow:








views to view:





and trains to ride:


There was buried treasure to hunt for.

And decisions to be made.

There were rides at one of our favorite local parks:



And funny faces to photograph.

We learned how to play baseball.  At least for pretend.



And found animals in the clouds.

mini learned how to spell pig!

But her most impressive accomplishment?
Overcoming her anxiety of sprinklers!

It clicked for her finally, and she seemed to connect the idea that sprinklers were for FUN, not for TORTURE.
In the meantime, bug conducted experiments involving the laws of Physics.  He just discovered inertia!


There were long and slightly breezy days that begged for the beach.  We happily complied, both at the city beach on our little lake here in town:

and at the big lake just a car ride away.














The summer wound down, as summer's everywhere do, in a quiet and unassuming fashion - as easy as a relaxing day at the beach.  Though the days seemed to seep through my fingers like the sand on the beach, and no amount of grasping could hold them still, we savored the ending just as we savored the beginning.  We eked out as much summer as we possibly could.

One more race in the field with daddy.
One more log-roll, tumbling down the hill.
Staying at the park until dusk, the sun setting behind the trees,
to squeeze the most out of our warm, slowly swinging days.

You know, I DID warn you there were a lot of pictures to sum up our summer.  I do hope I didn't bore you with this post.  Though, if I did, it was worth it.  I hope you'll forgive my frankness, but this post did my heart good.
Unlike the ever present clouds of past posts, the one I am currently writing has been alive with sunshine.  As is true for most people, we document our good memories, not the horrible ones.  No one really WANTS to look back and dwell on the sad, depressing or pathetic.  Sometimes, without meaning to, memories such as the ones laid down here can slip to the back of our minds.  And minds are fickle things anyway.  If we don't stoke the good memories, breathing life into the embers, they can fade completely.  Photos are simply one way to keep the bonfire roaring.
It's become clear to me as I write this and look through the past few months, that it has been a full summer, indeed.  

Perhaps I am not missing as much as I thought.




*Be sure to check the right sidebar for all the fun parties I link to!

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