moments from the week

the kids swimming beyond the beached canoe

our happy place

Moments from the past week.

Lijah going down a zip-line

zzzzip!

the dogs swimming in the Old Reservoir

reservoir dogs

Lijah climbing up a partially fallen tree above ferns

tree, ferns

Harvey paddling the canoe on the lake

Harvey on the water

Zion in the car with a big bag of blueberries and a donut

blueberry picking spoils

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hard labor

The boys were prostrated by a day at the pond; I survived that fine, but barely made it through a half-hour of vacuuming this afternoon! While the days have been hot lately it's been getting cool enough at night that we haven't had any problems keeping the house cool, at least until 3:00 or 4:00 every afternoon. But there's still latent heat in the air or something, because if we so much as turn on a burner the kitchen becomes an unendurable sauna. And it turns out the vacuum cleaner puts out just as much heat! If I could have avoided running it I would have, but there are these dogs. It was getting so we couldn't see the rug anymore with all the bits of chewed-up pencils and plastic bags they'd strewn everywhere, to say nothing of the dirt they track in from their delightful romps in many local mud-holes. So I cleaned up a bit: it took, as I said, about half an hour. Then because of the heat I had to rest of the couch in front of the fan for 45 minutes. Some people get lots of things done in a day. I'm not sure how they manage it! Maybe they have air-conditioning.

too much!

Saturday evening after our delightful outing to the pond I was talking with Leah about how well-adapted the boys are to the sun, since they eased into it by being outside every day all spring and into the summer. They're basically sunburn-proof, I said. That was after we'd been at the pond for two hours in the middle of the day and all three of them had a delightful healthy glow. Well, yesterday we went back to the pond, and this time we stayed there for six hours: all the way from 8:30 until 2:30. As we finished our lunch I suggested they take a little break in the shade—there were places where they could be in the shade and still be sitting in the water!—but they were having too much fun. They were feeling great, and talking about what all they could do the next time we came. Could it be tomorrow? As we made our way back to the car, though, I noted how red they were looking. Harvey scratched an itch on his face and found that it hurt some. And we were all super tired.

As it turns out, the sunburns weren't actually very bad. All the redness was gone by mid day today. Hooray, but it turns out sunburns aren't the only thing to worry about from a full day of sun exposure: between the heat and the dehydration and all the exercise, all three boys were totally wiped out today. And worse than wiped out, downright sick, with almost feverish symptoms. Zion threw up a couple times in the morning and slept for an hour in the middle of the day; Harvey threw up after supper. Leah and I tried all day to get liquids into them: water, gatorade, lemonade, chocolate milk. Lijah and especially Zion couldn't find anything to their taste—trust Zion to worry about taste when he's dehydrated and throwing up. As the symptoms kept on towards bed time I started to wonder if they could have actually picked up a bug of some sort at the pond. After all, they were around people more than they had been any time in the last several months! But right now I still do think it's just dehydration and heat exhaustion. "Just"? That's plenty! Zion told me this afternoon that he's never going back to the pond again. I hope he feels better in the morning!

stress, relief

It remains hot here, so we want to be swimming. But there's also this virus thing that makes it a little more complicated and stressful. Our favorite swimming hole is Walden Pond, but even when we're not in the midst of a pandemic going there can be complicated, because there's a limit to how many people they let in before they close the gates until the crowd thins out. In ordinary years it's to keep the beach and trails from eroding too badly; now, obviously, it's to help us all socially distance. And of course the capacity is smaller that usual. That's all to set the scene for Saturday morning, when we planned on getting an early start, bringing the canoe and a lunch to the pond, and spending some hours there. Only "early" is relative, because when I checked at quarter past eight I found that it had already closed. At 7:36.

That was a blow, but we didn't despair: almost certainly it would reopen before lunchtime. So we started packing up, in between all the other work of the morning. Laundry and things. I was only checking Twitter—where the closings and openings are posted by @waldenpondstate—every fifteen minutes or so, so it wasn't until 10:20 that I saw that they'd reopened all the way back at 10:07! Luckily we've gotten somewhat better at getting out the door since back in June, and we were on our way in moments. We made it to the boat launch parking lot at 10:39, and were able to squeeze into what I was sure was the last parking spot available (no: one more family, better still at squeezing, came in after us). There was still lots to do before we could jump in the water—getting the boat off the car, changing into swimsuits, getting lifejackets and picnic supplies together—but we could take our time on all that. The stress and hurry was over!

It may seem silly to endure so much stress in search of relaxation, but I think it's worth it. After all, it's not like there's anywhere else we could go that would be much easier. Certainly nowhere closer! And once we were there, our stress—mine, anyways—just melted away. I enjoyed a leisurely conversation with the actual last family into the lot, who reported a very similar morning to ours; we paddled slowly across the pond and our boat didn't leak at all (unlike last time); we swam and floated and ate a peaceful lunch. I got to do some quiet reading, and even read aloud a little from our chapter book to the boys as they sat in the shallows (a first, for sure!). Harvey and Zion even piloted the canoe back across when it was time to go home, while I loafed in the bottom not even looking where we were going. It was a good time. We may even do it again one day.

Zion eating a sandwich sitting in the canoe

boat lunch

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moments from the week

the boys swinging on the playground swings

playground!

Moments from the past week.

Harvey wading watching Blue and Scout swimming

water dogs

Zion and Blue walking across a log over a big depression

balance beamers

the boys making pickles at the kitchen table

pickle makers

the boys by the Old Belfry in Lexington

tourist things

Lijah holding a baguette

he bought it with his own money!

Lijah lying with the dogs on the kitchen floor

love those dogs

Harvey and Lijah swimming in Walden Pond

summer delight

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