Friday, July 30, 2010
Friday, July 23, 2010
I have to admit that there are some places that the kids love that I could take or leave. Today we went to Chutes & Ladders playground, which is part of the Hyland Lake Park Reserve in Bloomington. It is essentially a great big habitrail for kids that they run, climb, and slide through like a bunch of screaming little hamsters. I understand why they love it and appreciate the ability for them to get out and move their bodies. Some things you just do for the people you love and it helps to remember that with young kids a little bit of time spent doing something fun goes a long way. The sun was hot and Charlie was apprehensive about the water sprayers so about an hour and a half was good enough for us.
The thing I do like about this area of the metro is the park itself, which includes a swimming lake, some marsh area and a good walking and biking trail through prairie reserve. For most of the drive you are definitely in the city with all its incumbent traffic and concrete and then all of a sudden you turn off the highway and you are in nature. The Twin Cities have many areas like this where there is clear space reserved for a natural landscape within the urban area. It's one of my favorite things about the place I live because I have a hard time deciding whether I love the city or the country more. I feel as if I can easily have the best of both worlds.
Sunday, July 18, 2010
When I wake early feeling anxious on days when my life feels a bit beyond my capacity to manage, I think of this place on the edge of the big water and the big sky. The rocks are warm from the sun and the water is cold because it is too big for the weather to change too much. Gulls fly and freighters and sea kayaks glide past. I focus my mind on the smooth stones both gray and brown, shiny and dark when wet and pale and chalky when dry. There is nothing I know that is more peaceful than those stones.
This trip, I will remember:
- Charlie being scared by some large waves and talking about it over and over. ("I got scared by the waves!)
- Ellis and Charlie filling buckets with rocks and dumping them from high perches to make avalanches.
- Nate teaching Ellis to skim stones on the lake.
- Leaning back onto a large stone like a sun-warmed easy chair and staring out into the blue.
- Charlie saying "Bye big water!" when we had to go.
Friday, July 16, 2010
- Many multi-colored Head Start school buses
- The Mississippi-Sippi Ribber
- A man cleaning the sidewalk with a very loud pressurized hose that scared Charlie and that he talked about for the whole ride home from my office.
- Rough Blazing Star in bloom all over the medians (there are people who can live happily in cities that don't have prairie flowers all over their public spaces, but I am not one of them)
- Our neighbor Miranda with her class from Laura Jeffrey Academy who are spending this week biking around the city seeing what they can find and learn about the place we live (I can't tell you how excited I was when she told me about this project)
Monday, July 12, 2010
- Charlie's joy playing in the wading pool wearing his "babing suit," making rain with the hose and filling buckets, watering cans and other beach toys with water.
- Brown-eyed Susans and day lilies and the ongoing luxury of lots and lots of flowers in the yard.
- The cardinal perched on the spigot when I went to turn on the hose.
- Getting back into the routine of my workouts and that burst of energy they bring.
- Planning for our Alaska vacation. Slowly putting together activity kits for the plane ride: Mad Libs, card games like Old Maid and Crazy Eights, math dice, mini doodle pro, etc.
- Working on an arrangement of "You Never Give Me Your Money" for piano and clarinet.
- Rediscovering John Coltrane.
- Pulling out "new" toys for Charlie from Ellis's closet.
- Reading (and finishing) The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin.