Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Hol Report

Our Missouri jaunt was great fun even though we got a bunch of rain and the 4th fireworks were almost entirely rained out. Robert’s grandson Jared is just a bit older than Katy and the three younger kids had a great time palling around together. Jared is always up for a swim in the pond or a boat ride so he was happy we were there to enjoy those with him. It was too chilly for me to get in the spring fed pond this trip. I have no regrets.

The kids loved it despite the cool temps. Katy specialized in the slide and paddling out on a body board. Lexi stayed at the sandy beach and, as usual, was happiest playing with sand/dirt. Katy enjoyed ordering Jared around (a change of pace from ordering Lexi around). She had him push her out on the board while she scooped up dead tadpoles in a bucket. She called them all “Swimmy” (she thought that was very funny). She pointed to the side and told Jared to steer her thataway toward a dead tadpole. “That one might be... That one’s still alive,” said Jared. “But it’s sick!” returned Katy cheerfully, scooping it up. In between the scooping, Katy made sure to shriek about how gross dead tadpoles were. After collecting the dead (or mostly) tadpoles in the bucket, she left it on the beach and got busy with something else. Soon after I heard Katy howling at her sister. Lexi had offended her by dumping out the Swimmies so she could use the bucket. Funny and yet tiresome all at once.

We’d been told that a neighbor had bought $2,000 worth of fireworks to set off at the boat dock on the 4th. This neighbor is some sort of an heiress who is a river rat. I don’t know if she is known for anything else. There had been lots of rain (and thunder and lightning) the night of the 3rd and through the morning but the forecast was that it would clear for the late afternoon and evening. Robert took us out on the boat around 7p and we enjoyed the view of the rising moon, some fluffy white clouds, swallows, and a pair of roosting bald eagles!! But the clouds were lowering and by the time we’d floated near the eagles, it had started to sprinkle. And then rain, luckily a warm summer rain. Back at the boat dock, the fireworks woman had decided that maybe it would just be a quick shower so she would go ahead with the fireworks that she’d spent a couple of hours setting out. We got out of the boat and it continued to be wet. We sat in the car while she started lighting fuses. And the rain got harder and harder.

When the windows in the car fogged up I rolled them down and told the kids, “Now we may hear some cussing.” Jared told us that he knew all the cuss words already from his teenage sister. He said something about calling people cuss words. He looked at me doubtfully and said, “Can I say one?” Oh yes, one is fine, I said, figuring we were going to have a discussion of ‘shit’ and its variations. Thus advancing my educational agenda. But Jared said “Stupid. It’s not allowed to call people ‘stupid’.” Aww, then he and his parents went up in my estimation.

Nod borrowed a blow torch and tried to help. But even when he got some fuses lit they would get put out by the rain. There was much yelling and laughing to be heard. Finally they got a nice sequence lit and we clapped and whooped (from inside the car). But the sluicing rain finally discouraged even the determined and we gave it up.

Our sweet hosts fed us fresh veggies from their beautiful garden and we lounged on the porch and had the resort experience. Their tomatoes are coming in early. The day we got there Robert discovered a huge tomato had been chewed while still hanging on the vine. It looked like a cartoon apple core, chewed all the way around. We couldn’t agree on which type of critter would do that. And speaking of critters we also saw cardinals, indigo buntings, deer, bunnies and a fox. The frogs and toads were profuse, despite the tadpole body count in the pond. I especially liked the itty bitty toad I saw by the front door one morning. It was the size of the first joint of my thumb.

Oh and speaking of thumbs, Nod received the sacrificial fireworks injury of the holiday. A disintegrating sparkler (of all things) burnt a spot on his thumb. It blistered but didn't require ER and looked much better the next day. I was mildly sympathetic but mostly grateful that none of the kids got hurt.

Tues: I am sleepy and bored this afternoon. This condition could explain my sudden fierce yen for a bowl of red licorice or something sweet to munch. But tasks are being accomplished so I suppose I will keep sipping my rooibos tea and getting things done.

I'm giving up on my Norwegian detective novel. Harry Hole is no Jean-Baptiste Adamsberg if you ask me. Alexandria on the other hand is just as delightful as I had hoped. I recently tried foisting the Aubrey / Maturin books on a coworker. He's working on the first one. It remains to be seen if he'll sign on for the full voyage.

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