Glimpses of magic at the edge of summer

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I’ve been feeling so energized to get out and do things and line up new projects. It likely has a lot to do with all of the beauty exploding outside. We’ve been having a ton of rain which is never terribly energizing for me, but when it leads to so much green, and every once in awhile that rain gets replaced by a day of brilliant sunshine and blue skies it makes me want to take advantage of it in every possible way.

I’ve been looking up new sewing projects, spending time in the garden, researching composting (which we started this weekend after years of considering it – and it makes me giddy to put scraps into our pretty countertop bin), and building the kids a dowel swing.

The other day Kristin asked me, “Do you ever rest?” I told her that I recharge by doing because I like this stuff, to which she replied, “Said no battery, ever.” I attempted to explain. “I mean, kind of like an electric car, right? They charge when they brake, and braking is doing.” “That sounds horrible,” she said, followed by hysterical laughter. “No judgment though.”

When I planned out the dowel swing I picked out what seemed like the perfect branch and figured I could get there easily with my dad’s 10′ ladder. When I leaned it up against the tree, however, I realized that the brach was a solid five or six feet above the top rung. I changed my strategy and decided that I was going to have to use the ladder to get into the tree and then climb higher. While I was up there the next door neighbors walked across the yard (probably because they spotted Jonah and Vivi at the bottom of a 10′ ladder and sensed trouble) and said to the kids, “Why is your mom in a tree?” I actually ended up having to get up there twice because after I hung it I decided that we needed double rungs for different-height kids, but I didn’t have enough rope left at the bottom, so I needed to re-string the whole thing. The upside: Jonah has now memorized how to tie a double bowline.

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We had the most magical Memorial Day weekend. First stop was a neighborhood party I’ve been looking forward to ever since February. Good cocktails, lots of laughs over a collaborative playlist put together specifically for the occasion, kids spraying everyone with the sprinkler and hiding out in leafy corners of the yard, way too much delicious food, Cards Against Humanity, and suddenly realizing that 4:00 p.m. became 11:30 p.m. more quickly than we could have imagined.

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I feel like we are truly living the dream in this neighborhood. This kind of wild childhood nonsense: kids everywhere, running in and out of one another’s yards and houses, sticky from popsicles and pink from the sun; this is everything I wanted for our children. We couldn’t have hoped for more wonderful neighbors here.

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Sunday morning was slow but surprisingly lovely considering the very late night. I baked muffins and assembled the new compost tumbler with the kids, and Kristin hatched a plan for us all to drive up to Fenville to Virtue Cider, which she’d heard was fantastic. Despite being much cooler out than we’d expected, it was every bit as wonderful as we’d hoped. Farm animals, cornhole, hammocks, wagons for kids to climb on, picnic tables, fire pits, and amazing grilled cheese and pickled vegetables.

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We were on such a high that we decided ice cream was in order, and while we were at it why not swing by the beach on our way home. By the time we got to South Haven it wasn’t even 60 degrees, but once the kids began to run around they hardly noticed.

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Today was going to be a day for laying low and running necessary errands, but in the morning I walked down the street with the kids to deliver a thank-you quiche to our hosts from Saturday and found all of the neighbor kids playing together along the way. Krista made me a cup of coffee and the kids ran with kites and ate chocolate croissants; No matter how simple or brief the shared space and time, it feels magical to me.

We snuck out for a family hike in the afternoon (where we got lost and then caught in a thunderstorm, unable to find where we’d entered the woods). The kids were such troopers, even when lost in the rain, and I just adore how much they love the magic that they find out there.

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She named the toad that lives behind the trellis near the vegetable garden Pony Rosie, and when I found this one in the woods today she said, “Pony Rosie! How did she get here so fast?” When I explained that this was likely a different toad altogether, she was all too happy to give it a name of its own: meet Katie Violet Sparkle.

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After two nights in a row of midnight bedtimes we tried to wrap things up early tonight. Warm baths after a rainy hike, a much-begged-for dinner of ramen noodles, Harry Potter movie in PJs, and confusion over why we were going to bed while it was still light out (so quickly they forget). Fourteen school days left ’till summer vacation. Bring it on. We’re so ready.

One thought on “Glimpses of magic at the edge of summer

  1. Your words are always so descriptive and heartfelt….perhaps only exceeded by your amazing photo skills. You seem to capture emotion and the moment so well. You are a blast to follow.

    Like

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