I have stuff to post, but for now, here are some photos from my California trip. More to come!
I had grand plans of posting about our trip to a you-pick blueberry farm this evening.
And then tonight happened.
But nothing really happened tonight.
I was in the kitchen prepping dinner semi-early, and Meiling and Noah were outside. They had two Frisbees that they had gotten at the County Fair last night (we worked there yesterday). They were the kind with the big hole in the middle – just large plastic rings. They weren’t throwing them at each other, they were using them to…um…do things. Like the put a long stick thing through both, then one carried one Frisbee and the other carried the other. They hung things from them, dropped things through them, carried things with them. And they showed us many of the poses.
Mom and Dad were behind me, just chatting, discussing (among other things) plans for tonight. There weren’t a whole lot.
Once I had gotten dinner pretty much ready, I headed out the door to go pick up Drake from work. On my way, I stopped at Sonic to get a medium cherry limeade, since Mom had a token for a free one, and she told me I could use. So I got it. A whole medium! It made me feel so grown up. A soda AND driving. If myself 4 years ago could have seen me then, she would have asked who that person was, because there was no way that could have been her.
Earlier today I ran something over to a friend’s home. After I had gotten over halfway there, I realized I had forgotten what I was supposed to take to them. So I had to go home. And it made my trip that much longer. But I actually kind of liked it. It was one of those beautiful days, not too warm, clear blue sky, just a few white, semi-wispy clouds, and all the colors oh-so-vibrant. And there is just something wonderful about flying down a country highway, windows down, radio playing, hair flying. It almost made me half glad that nobody was home when I got there, so I just had to leave my things there. No one needed to see THAT crazy hair.
That feeling carried over to my trip to get Drake, and the soda. It was so beautiful. After I grabbed Drake, we chatted on the way home. He said that, since it was Friday, everyone there was joking, and having more fun. It just added to my feeling of a relaxed, happy Friday.
When we got home, Mom and I were outside, when I heard some music. And it sounded like it was getting closer. Dad appeared around the corner holding the speaker from inside, music blaring, with Meiling and Noah behind him, bearing Frisbees. We all started throwing the Frisbees back and forth, to the happy music.
And then Mom lit the burn pile, and the smoke outlined the sunbeams that were straining through the trees. I ran inside to get my camera.
I took a few shots of the smoke, and then laid down in the grass, and took a few self-portraits. They are among my favorites. Not because they are amazing. Because they capture the moment.
It wasn’t anything that we did, or really anything we did. It was the feeling, the mood, that prevailed, that is what made it memorable. The relaxedness. The laid-backness. The love. The feeling of family. The whatever goes feeling.
We have been running almost nonstop for the past two weeks. And I have been feeling pressured to do more school, and to be more busy (if that makes sense).
But the other day, Meiling and I were home alone. And we were sitting on the floor in the family room, making friendship bracelets. After that, we were going to read “Little House on the Prairie,” which we call Laura.
While we were sitting there, I kept feeling like I should go do something productive. School. Prep for our trip. Oh, I am sure that my room could have used a cleaning.
But I really just wanted to stay there.
And then it kind of hit me. It’s summer. I don’t ALWAYS have to be working, busy. And this was one of those times that I was going to remember for a long time, if not forever. And I don’t want to squish that, brush it out of the way, with “what-I-really-should-be-doing.” School. Cleaning. All great things.
But in the end, what do they mean? What do they count for?
Meanwhile, I have a little sister who won’t be seven forever. And what do I want her to remember about me in 10-15 years? The older sister who was always closeted up with her books, saying, “SHH! Please shut the door when you leave!” or as the sister who took time to read, to make friendship bracelets, bake fun things, do projects.
Oftentimes, Drake, Noah, and I talk about all the things that we used to play. The forts. The games. Like pretending that we were orphans (our parents had been killed by monsters – more specifically, their bites, I think), and we had to move from room to room, being orphans with no home now. (Side note: we actually didn’t remember this one, but I found it in an old journal, and it TOTALLY sounds like something we would have played.)
And Meiling doesn’t have any of those memories.
Now we’re doing school, driving, going to work, running errands, cooking, programming, building, and other what-not, while Meiling is being her little self, at the same age when we were playing in cardboard boxes, cooking pretend food, and taping paper facial hair on one another (I don’t think I ever wore any of that). And she doesn’t have any memory of that.
So I want to be the sister that takes time for her. If not to play in cardboard boxes and make paper facial hair, but to at least take time out for her. Read to her. Participate in her make-believes. And give her some of the memories that we have.
And tonight was one of those nights, in a way.
Just a random, fun memory. Not perfect, but wonderful in spite of the imperfection, maybe because of it. Or maybe because it seemed so great.
That was today.
On Sunday Meiling, Drake and Noah were going to sleep out in the backyard in a tent. They were all out there for a little while, but at about 10, Meiling came in.
She was scared of the paleontologists. She said they were coming to get her.
The next morning:
Dad: Do you know what a paleontologist is?
Meiling: Someone who digs up dinosaur bones.
Dad: Are you a dinosaur bone?
Dad: So why are you scared of the paleontologists?
Yesterday, when Meiling was doing her school, at the end of her name, she made a big swirly thing after the g. She said it was like a rock. Then she drew an asterisk after it.
She says she’s a rock star!
Sorry for the long time (for me) without a post. We attended the Family Economics last week, and this week we’ve had a cold going around our home, which I now have.
So, yes, I am sick *again.* (I am starting to think that I just might have a sluggish immune system – I get sick with every cold that goes around, or at least I FEEL like I do!)
Anyways. Back to the subject at hand.
On our trip East, our first stop was Plymouth, MA. We rented a house right on the Cape, which was lovely. The view out of my window was the ocean. I could hear it when I was lying in bed at night. It was lovely.
We arrived there late Sunday evening, unloaded the trailer, and headed to bed. The next day was spent unpacking, grocery shopping, and settling.
The view from my window. Lovely, eh?
Random shot from the car window
Everyone else was having fried chicken for lunch, and I had this – smoked salmon, cultured butter, and rosemary-olive oil cheese (I can’t remember exactly what type of cheese it was). The grocery store we went to had all this awesome food – cultured butter, cheese, and fun meats. You see what floats my boat!
Dad took me down to the beach, which was a 3/10th of a mile down the road. We spent some time walking around, chatting, and I took plenty of photos! Even though it was rather chilly, it was fun. And you can’t get a landlocked Midwesterner that close to the ocean without her getting to the beach!
There was lots of water running and making pretty patterns in the sand
Ocean! Please come home with me!
This one’s from the next day, when we all went down to the beach together
I decided to get up at 5 one morning to take a picture of the sunrise. Meiling insisted that she get up with me. We went downstairs, and sat on the couch to wait. Meiling immediately launched into this whole story about how Noah took this picture of himself blah blah blah blah. I just sat back and told her she had WAY to much energy for 5 o’clock in the morning. In the end, we didn’t get that amazing of a sunrise – it just got gradually lighter.
The next three days we spent with the Heroes, History, and Hope tour. It was wonderful to hear the pilgrim stories and to stand where they had stood. The first day we visited many monuments and sites in Plymouth. Thursday was spent visiting the dock where the Mayflower II would have been (it was undergoing repairs, so we didn’t get to see it) and Plimoth Plantation. Friday we went to the Forefather’s Monument and the pilgrim museum – I can’t remember the exact name.
First Parish Church in Plymouth – this was the original church started by the pilgrims when they arrived in Plymouth. In the 1800s, I believe, this church adopted Unitarianism…
…and then some people separated and started the Church of the Pilgrimage, which is right next door. The Church of the Pilgrimage – this photo and the next.
Pilgrim sarcophagus on Cole’s Hill
The Forefather’s Monument – it was really chilly when we were there, so we only stayed for 20 minutes instead of the two hours we had been hoping to.
Meiling, sitting in the family room, pretending to fly a plane.
Announcements before takeoff: …and your driver [pilot] is new, so, if we crash, we’ll…give you something.
Ya, not a good idea.
OK, I am going to try to post something different after this, but Meiling has been coming up with a few gems.
Meiling: Allison, just an advisement: Please don’t smoke.
Meiling, to Drake: Please don’t eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with your ears because it will smoke.
Meiling: I have lots to say.
Me: You can say that again.
Meiling: Who in our family has a blog?
Me: Well, we have a family blog, Drake has two, and I have one. That’s it.
Meiling: And me. I have a blog.
Me: No you-What’s it called?
Meiling: It’s www[dot]talkmouthgirl[dot]com.
Meiling’s new greeting:
“Peace be with you, owl shrimp.”
Ya, your guess is just about as good as mine. I only know where the “peace be with you” part comes from.
Meiling: My camera is not croperating.
This morning during Bible, there was a brief pause in which there was silence.
Meiling started looking around, very pleased, and gave the thumbs up sign.
We cracked up, and Mom said, “You don’t hear silence very much around here, do you?”
Turns out, Meiling likes silence.