Monday, July 26, 2010

33 Going on 14

I just spent an amazing weekend at a friend's parents' house for her bachelorette party. They live on a lake and have beautiful, sprawling grounds with a deck, patio tables, huge firepit, and sandy beach. The weather was perfect--warm, dry, breezy, and blue-skied. Surprisingly, there were very few mosquitoes out, and it was a full-moon night.

Not only was it fun because of all the pontoonin', swimmin', and grillin' involved, but I felt like I was 14 again, just hanging out with friends and having a slumber party. We set up tents close to the water and ate a chocolate-raspberry ice-cream pie and gooey store-bought cupcakes by the fire. My bachelorette friend A and other friend C made a late-night cigarette run, and when A's mom asked where she was, we lied and said they ran to the store to buy more tonic water. We're all over 30, for chrissakes--why did we lie to her mom about buying cigarettes?

Then, just as all of us ladies were about to fall asleep, A and S proposed a late-night pontoon ride (2am-ish) and swim. I hadn't jumped in the lake all day because it had been breezy, but the evening was still and warm, with the full moon blazing over the water. We were the only ones out on the water so the lights stayed off. Only 3 out of 7 of us jumped in, and I'm glad I did. It felt like some sort of ancient pagan pre-wedding ritual, with the moonlight blue on our skins.

Earlier in the day, we stopped to "borrow" someone's lake trampoline, which felt very rebellious.

When we got back around 2:30am, A. grabbed a bottle of whiskey and a few of us retreated to a tent to read tarot cards and talk about relationship stuff (a very teenagery-thing to do, but which I never did as a teen because none of my friends did tarot and I didn't drink till I was in college, so I was catching up, in a way).

We fell asleep around 4:30 am.

The next morning and early afternoon we boated and swam some more, and layed out on our beach towels with a few bags of chips. It reminded me of hanging out with my cousin during the summer, where we'd sit on her porch after a day at the pool, and binge on Twix bars. I loved the laziness of it, and the guilt-free indulgence of non-stop junk food. A and S were singing Aerosmith songs, and later, on the ride home with A, I noticed she had a small collection of CDs in sleeves on the sun visors. For some reason it was so refreshing not to listen to music on an iPod, to hear the soft click of the CD being sucked into the stereo.

It's just what my soul needed. But I'm afraid I'm going to need this every weekend for the rest of the summer....

Anyone need a house-sitter for your lake-front home?

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fun with Templates!

Changed the look again, just for fun. I'll probably change it again in a few weeks.

Oh, by the way, I'm still here. I haven't posted lately because I feel like I have to post a picture to keep my readers interested, but most of the time I'm too lazy to add a picture, so I don't post at all.

Here's a picture, just for fun:

A butterfly on a license plate. Taken months ago, probably around Easter.

This reminds me of last Monday, when we went over to a friend's apartment for dinner. She's a composer friend of mine from Spokane, who moved here to take advantage of all the wonderful cultural opportunities the cities have to offer. Anyway, there was a period of time after dinner when her three elementary-school-aged kids were showing us all their creative skills and hobbies. Little girl W was showing us her fairy book and stuffed animals and how she can change a baby's diaper (she changed E's diaper and did a very good job).  She also drew a picture of E. using a peach colored pencil. Then, eleven-year-old boy T showed us his miniature skateboards, trucks and cars (mostly for E's benefit), and also his dead insect collection (very impressive: butterflies, wasps, beetles) and his living frog/snail collection. Then he entertained us with some free-improv on the accordion, and then showed us some tricks his robot dog could do, all the while wearing Star-trek-like 80s glasses. While this was going on, 12-yr-old boy C played some Philip Glass etudes on the antique upright piano (and then later from the organ in his bedroom). Then dad W played some Hotel California and misc. Led Zepplin on the classical guitar.

Have you ever heard of a more creative family? I love it. BTW, these kiddos are homeschooled, so I wonder if that has anything to do with their unbridled imaginations. There was no TV or computer in sight (maybe hidden away when the necessity arises?), but an abundance of instruments, books, and toys.

But that's not to say schooled children are any less creative (deep down). I think the lack of creativity/energy in many kids has to do with the amounts of TV watched, video-games played, and sugar consumed. Also, the lack of unstructured (outdoor!) playtime due to excessive homework/busywork and scheduled activities (including piano lessons, sports practice, etc).

I'm thinking about all these things because in a few years E will be ready for preschool/kindergarten. We'll try school, because we might find a good one that he likes, with a fabulous teacher. But he also might do better in a non-school learning atmosphere. We'll see.

Books--amazing old and out-of-print books from the South St. Paul library. See my post at my other blog: