Monday, October 28, 2013

... i read a book today, oh boy...

The beautiful thing about reading is how it brings families together. Right?

 happier times, earlier in the weekend
(walla walla sunshine)

This last weekend we were in Walla Walla, which was nice, except that yesterday we had a 5 hour drive with M feeling under the weather and the girls getting antsy. The weather was changing (we actually had rain during parts of the drive) and we were all tired. But we made it safely (always my base-level measurement as to how successful a trip we had). And we ate dinner and did baths, and even finished listening to the 4th CD (out of 6) for the book on "tape" we'd borrowed from the library (On the Shores of Silver Lake, for those of you keeping track). We were all snuggled up like a family on the couch. It was classically Rockwellian. Ish.

And then it was time for reading and bed.

Did I mention we were all tired after a busy weekend? And a long drive?

I was going to read to K, but she was finishing up a book on her own in an armchair in the living room. I told her twice that she was using up her reading time. M and L were already snuggled in L's bed, reading. I lay down in my own bed to read my own book (last 15 pages of All the Pretty Horses, for those of you…). And finally K came up. She had 4 minutes left of reading time and still hadn't brushed her teeth. She brushed and brought the floss to me and I flossed her and then it was time to read. We had 2 minutes left. She whined. I told her she could have 5 minutes of reading.

me: What are we going to read?
K: I wanted to read Yatimah (the 6th Horse Diaries book, for …).
me: OK. Where it is?
K: Down stairs in my suitcase.
me (sigh): I'll get it. 
seconds pass
me (crawling back into bed): OK, where are we? Can you find it?
K: Yeah (paging through). No… (handing it to me)
me (flipping through): Here (starting to read) "So I followed her out into the desert…"
K: No! That's the sandstorm. 
me: Right. We haven't read that yet. We were just getting to it.
K: No!! We already read that!
me: No we didn't. It doesn't matter. Tell me where to start.
K: Just go ahead and start there!
me: OK. "… I followed her out into the desert…"
K (slapping the bed covers): This is boring!
me (closing the book and getting up): This isn't working for me. And we're out of time anyway.
K (turning face down in the bed and beginning to sob): You don't like me! You don't love me!!

She jumped up and ran out of the room slamming the door. I went and said good night to L while M followed K downstairs and after they came back up I kissed her and told her I love her to which she said "You don't love me!" And I went downstairs.

And that's how reading can bring a family closer together.  Shouldn't you do more of it with your children?

post script: To top it off, I had to get up and out of the house before K was up this morning, so I didn't have a chance to reconnect with her. There's little worse than going to bed feeling like your link to your loved one is fraying and then getting up in the morning and leaving the house without an opportunity to repair the connection....

walla walla trees
(whose parents probably didn't read to them)

Monday, October 21, 2013

... i got a halloween head....

This last weekend we did the pumpkin patch thing, which may come as a surprise to those of you who are still waiting to read about the downtown-hotell-for-one-night-last-fall thing, or the trip-to-maui-without-mom thing or any other number of things we've managed to do over the last 11 months without my writing a damn word. Things seem to have heated up, busyness-wise (as well as hyphen-wise, apparently) and I've been doing rather than writing about doing, which is something my own mother called me on when I was in college. If I remember correctly, and even if I don't, because she most definitely won't (though she'll be certain of whatever she remembers), the conversation went something like:

me: I'm going to write novels.
mom: When are you going to live?
me: In between novels?

Substitute "blog posts" for "novels" and you more or less see that the realities of parenthood have swayed me to the wisdom of mom's point of view. I haven't had much time, in other words.

But that doesn't mean I don't write posts IN MY HEAD that any reader would have loved, had they only been actually written down and posted.

Enough of that.

We went to the pumpkin patch this weekend and saw pumpkins (not a huge surprise), pigs (an unexpected joy, especially to Miss L), horses (an unmitigated ecstasy to both L and K), a pumpkin-tossing trebuchet (expected), and we came away with 80 pounds of pumpkins, now on our front porch and waiting for some carving action.

The highlight of the afternoon, which was cold but dry-ish, was a ride back to the barn in a horse-drawn wagon, pulled by 4 belgians:

We waited 25+ minutes for the ride, but it was worth it. K spent much of the trip breathing deeply and saying "I love that horsey smell, don't you?" And I do! So does her Maui grandmother. It must be in the genes, this love of equine sweat.

The only hitch (ehem) was that while we were waiting (the loop took the horses 20 minutes) K expressed concern that we wouldn't get on. We'd been waiting about 5 minutes and had about 5 more to go. I assured her that we would. We didn't.


She groused and spent the next 10 minutes telling me how she couldn't trust me any longer.
hiding disappointment


Then the wagon came around again and she set that aside to breath deeply of draft horse sweat, and it was worth it. Apparently. Even though she's since raised the issue again of her lost trust in me. I guess it was bound to happen at some point. It may as well have been over something as important as an extra 20 minutes waiting in a pumpkin patch.

We also came away with a few photos, with which I'll pad the rest of this post. I'm playing with lens/film combinations in Hipstamatic, so you have to deal with the oddnesses of those. I like the impression these give, something along the lines of colored images from Gettysburg, but without the bloodshed and with more crushed squash:

pumpkin hunters

uncle b (and cousin j in the background)

family -1

family -1 (+ randoms)

no relation (that i'm aware of)


one last family group shot