Thursday, September 22, 2016

Where the Blacktop Ends


After-dinner walks on the Canadian border look like this.


Robert Frost would dig this. The woods are indeed lovely, dark, and deep. And soon to fill with snow.

This particular road looks like this on either side for about five miles. 


Hello, bear? Are you there?*

This is why we bring our bear sensor (and bobcat, and coyote, and fox, and whatever else might be lurking in these woods).


Good dog, Mia.

We almost always hear a couple of barred owls nearby when we're on this road just before dusk. 


Here Jack is trying to repeat their call, which is pretty hilarious but doesn't really translate to a photo.

Eventually, everyone always finds a stick.


Of course.

And the peaceful walk degenerates into an attack on some defenseless vegetation.


My only request is that they each find their own patch to mutilate, so they don't accidentally/on purpose whack each other.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again and again: I can't imagine trying to live with these boys in a city. I guess our family was meant for life on the Canadian border.

* Not that a bear would get within ten miles of my shrieking hooligans. If noise is an effective bear deterrent, we will never see one.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Life With Boys

After dinner this evening, Cubby spent several minutes detailing the rules of Rabbit and Turtle Tag. That was apparently the game of the day in his gym class today. Charlie was all for playing, but Cubby said they couldn't because there weren't enough players.

After a moment of thought, Cubby instead offered, "Hey, Charlie. Let's play ram into each other."

"Okay!" Charlie agreed with enthusiasm.

So they did. And so did Jack.

The end.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Why Not?


I came across a couple of photos as I was scrolling through some old ones, and I decided they should be here. Because I can, that's why.

First, here's a photo of the downstairs play room that the children never actually play in because they'd rather be upstairs racing around and screaming in the same room as me. Also, please note the steep, uncarpeted stairs that miraculously no one has hurt themselves on yet. Seriously bad.


Oh, and Charlie. Striking a very typically Charlie pose.

And here we have a much more cheery photo of Charlie, in which he is actually smiling. I think this may be only the third photo ever taken of him with a smile on his face.


Probably because it was Cubby's first day of school and he knew that soon he would have no competition for the coveted green ambulance toy.

That's all. Have a nice day.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

A Moment of Calm

Sometimes, A. is gone (on a solo exploration of the woods) . . .

 . . .and Cubby and Charlie are downstairs playing elaborate games with play cars . . .

 . . . and Jack is running laps around the living room with my library card . . .

 . . . and everyone is entertaining themselves without me.

We take these moments of grace as they come. They are fleeting, but appreciated.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

A Daunting Calculation


This morning as Charlie was helping me hang clothes on our new clothesline, he noted that there were a lot of socks to hang up. I explained that there are five people in our family, each with two feet, which means that in one day, if it's cold enough that we're all wearing socks, we use ten socks. And in one week, which is seven days, our family would use 70 socks.

Wow, he said. That's a lot of socks, he said.

Indeed. No wonder it feels as if the laundry is never-ending.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Happy Times Are Here Again

Perhaps there are some people who don't feel a great sense of contentment and happiness from the sight of clothes drying on a clothesline. I am not one of those people. And our dryer is currently out of commission.

So A. put up a clothesline for me yesterday, and I now feel as if a clothesline-shaped hole in me has been filled.


Charlie likes it, too, though his clothesline happiness is likely to result in clean clothes being ripped off their pegs. Oh well. At least we're all enjoying it.

Friday, September 9, 2016

The Youngest Child's Lot in Life


When your older siblings get awesome early Halloween costumes from their grandparents, complete with whistles and hatchets and handcuffs and billy clubs . . .


They might let you borrow the pants. If you're lucky. And only for the photo op.

But then you'll get cuffed. Because someone has to wear the handcuffs, and you're the youngest.


Lucky for him, there isn't a jury in the world that could convict those blue eyes of anything other than criminal cuteness.

(Of course, when Jack does manage to steal the billy club or the hatchet, he uses it to whack one of his brothers over the head, so perhaps we shouldn't feel too sorry for him.)