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outing to sunny up our thoughts

This afternoon I set out to walk the dog and the children under a painting-perfect blue sky with white fluffy clouds. Halfway down the block it started to rain. And rain harder. And rain and rain and rain. And yet I kept walking forward because why was this possible? Why was it raining on me from a clear blue sky? Why does everything look so lovely and yet I am getting totally wet?

This is a metaphor for my life right now.

I mean, it's not really a metaphor; it actually happened that way, I did get caught in a sun shower. What I mean to say is this: it FEELS like stuff should be great right now, but it FEELS like I'm getting rained on. Like life looks generally sunny, and yet I'm stuck below this invisible cloud.

Dan's job is crapifying its health insurance options, which means that we'll need to leave our current pediatrician and drive to Burlington or Billerica instead of just walking around the corner when the kids are sick. It was enough to make me put my head down on the kitchen table and cry. Then I told Dan he should switch to a long-term sub job so that we could get on Mass Health, because our doctor takes that insurance. Naysayers who think government-run health care would LIMIT consumer choice should consider how much the current health care situation limit's EMPLOYMENT choices. Anyway...

Also, Harvey's been waking up every night to vomit and Zion's been waking up every half hour to scream. I probably shouldn't look any further than this for the source of my problems.

I had a lot already scheduled yesterday, but I decided we needed to get out into nature pour changer des idees. I often forget that Minuteman National Park is just down the road. So quiet, so sprawling, so nice to get out into the simple revolutionary-war-era pasture.

harvey in the pasture


We spent most of our time playing around the house that burned down. ("Why'd it burn down?" "You see that big fireplace in the middle Harvey? Well the fire from the fireplace went onto some of the wood by mistake, and it made the house catch on fire and burn down." Two minutes later: "Why'd it burn down?" "Because the fire escaped the fireplace and got onto the wood and that made the wood burn." Two minutes later, "Why'd it burn down." "Because it caught on fire, Harvey." One minute later, "Why'd it burn down?" "Fire, Harvey. Fire.")

boys playing in a sand pit

burned out house has sand to play in

We also took a long walk behind the Hartwell Tavern and looked at some now-uninhabited chicken coops with sticks over the window as bars. I wonder if that was ever really raccoon proof? Maybe raccoons had more wild prey in 1775.

retro chicken coop at minuteman national park


They probobly didn't have mesh flooring in 1775. I wonder when they put that in, and if the historical society every kept chickens back here.

Then we played in the sheep pasture. This space is really wasted without animals. We need some intrepid young farmer to propose raising sheep on the national park land... it would really up the authenticity of the place, especially if the shepherd dressed in colonial garb and brought in heritage breeds.

gate to the sheep pasture

I am the gate for the sheep

Zion found a bucket in the sheep pen and exercised his love of containers. You can see why his mother took up baskets weaving for him.

zion playing with bucket

anything in here?

All in all, we spent a lovely morning with the park to ourselves. It turns out I have great boys, and they act great when I let them explore someplace new, rather then letting them turn the living room into the site of a cage match while I desperately try to fold laundry. I don't think field trips are the only solution to my personal rain-cloud... paying some bills and eating some protein and getting some sleep would probably help to. But outings are a good start.

zion and mama at minuteman national part

Junior Explorer


I think I understand what you mean. And yes to the incredible limitations of health insurance options- it was a big reason for our moving countries! Although we found that insurance here is not terribly much better, and have decided to be somewhat crazy and not have health insurance. When I go to the midwife, I say exactly the blood test I'll consent to, and so far it's only been 1 my whole pregnancy (iron at 32 weeks or something), for $7, if I handed over the cash then and there. Has been quite empowering.

I know that's not an option in the U.S., where we're talking BIG BIG bankrupting money, not just big money, as here.

We have given up on getting Noah to nap at home, which means A LOT of outings. And they're usually great, though we're using more gas and money than we meant to.

outings can really be awesome, except when they are not awesome! ha ha ha. Today while the critter control people came to fetch the squirrel from the roof trap the kids ran up and down the sidewalk watching them like they were the caged animals....I think we need more outdoor time....

Ha! you said it Bridget! Remember that time I went with you to drumlin and both my kids had a breakdown and I forgot the stroller and I had to carry both of them like a mile back to the car? And it took me like 40 minutes to do it? Staying home that day would have been better ;)

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