did it

File under "minor achievements that make us feel good": I wrote something for every weekday and Saturday in October. That's this blog's schedule right now, because "every day" is about the only sort of schedule I can manage to keep in my head. If you were paying attention you noticed that some of those entries didn't technically appear on the day they're dated, but that's ok because I totally thought of them in time.

I've been trying hard to keep writing, if for no other reason than to get a little sense of accomplishment from something. I almost managed every day last month—I just missed two. And I worked really hard to catch up back in July; that month had something for every day except the week when we were away camping. But to top October's achievement you have to go all the way back to April, 2011, when the blog saw posts for every single day of the week (including Sundays!). Leah wrote most of those though, so I don't get much credit. October 2021? That was all me!

Besides giving me meaning, the blog also preserves our family memories. This past week Harvey (and his brothers) have been excited to hear about Harvey's old imaginary pals Jop and Boonin, who Harvey had forgotten about entirely (not surprising, since he was two when I that post). They all wished we had written more about what Harvey said about Jop and Boonin, and about their own early childhoods too. So I'd better keep at it; I wouldn't want to miss anything that might be important later!

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Halloween

Halloween this year was wonderfully celebratory: just like a real holiday! It's because it fell on a Sunday so we were able to devote the whole day to a series of varied observations. We started at church. Last year in the pandemic we did a church thing on Halloween (on a Saturday) because it was a chance to gather together outdoors. This year lots of us are meeting indoors but not all, so we thought we'd do it again! The kids all had the opportunity to wear their costumes to Kids Church, then we did trick-or-treating and photo-ops out in the parking lots.

me and the boys posing in our halloween costumes

church halloween photo op

As you can see, we were a warlike bunch! (well, I was actually a peaceful farmer—as Elijah pointed out I picked that costume so I could just wear my regular clothes!—but I couldn't help but get into the spirit for the photo). Zion was a ninja for the fourth year in a row and Elijah joined him in that brotherhood of the night; though as you can see Elijah had a little more liberal interpretation of the canon. Harvey was a ranger again, this time with a bow instead of a sword. As you can see he's in middle school which means he likes to make his costumes exclusively from things he already has (his high-school friend went as a wizard dressed as a muggle, which if you know Harry Potter you can see took even LESS effort!). The younger boys made new swords and masks for the event at least.

Then we had some time for resting—and for Zion to renew his hair dye—before the main event that evening. For trick-or-treating we were joined by four more kids, three of whom were ninjas. The fourth was a katana, which was significantly more original while not departing at all from the theme. The trick-or-treating was a joy, with excitement high on the streets after a gap of two years. Everybody got lots of candy.

the boys and friends posing in the street before trick-or-treating

mostly ninjas

Then we went home to gather around the fire with a few more folks who had trick-or-treated in their own neighborhood. I made hot cider, and the kids ran traded candy and ran around. We didn't stay up super late: it was school night, so by eight everyone was about ready to head home. But even with that prompt finish, the day was well celebrated.

the boys and friends sorting their candy at the picnic table

the reason for the season

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riding in Fairhaven

Yesterday we introduced another family to the joys of cycling by Fairhaven Bay. They have a fourth-grader and a kindergartener who are kind of into mountain biking, but not totally sure about either the risk or the energy requirements involved... and one parent who would really like to get them into the woods and moving. So I thought the Fairhaven trails would be perfect—they're practically designed to introduce folks to the fun of trail riding. The landscape between Fairhaven Bay and Walden Pond is beautiful and varied, and there are lots of fun spots to stop and play off the bikes. And on the bikes, there are steep hills where, for a second or two, you can feel like a real downhiller. And most of all, the paths are almost entirely smooth and free of roots and rocks—super rare for woods around here. So the little ones can ride for way farther than they would be able to otherwise! We managed four or five miles, which felt about right, and which took in the cliffs, the boathouse and its lawn, a stop at Walden Pond, the train tracks (where we waited for a train to pass and the boys successfully signalled the engineer to sound the horn), and the old race track. Then back at the car there was plenty of Halloween candy for a recovery snack. Good times.

we need a time change

It's been so hard for us to get going in the mornings lately! We're all early risers (well, mostly all) but once risen we also have to make a start on the work of the day, especially when we need to leave the house by 8:30. Who can be bustling around getting ready when it's still dark out?! Well, lots of people apparently: everyone with school or jobs out of the house lately, and everyone on the other side of the time zone. But we're not used to it, and it feels pretty challenging. We're all looking forward to some morning sun Sunday morning!

moments from the week

Elijah jumping into the halfpipe to slide down on his socks

dropping in

Moments from the past week.

Zion with black hair die

halloween hair

me, the boys, and friends putting in garlic in our garden

farm school garlic

Elijah standing on the horse ride at Market Basket

daring at Market Basket

the boys reacting to the noise watching a train by Walden Pond

witnessing the train horn up close

Elijah and Harvey in hammocks at a playground

hammock town at park day

Elijah and a friend playing Candyland

school

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