beach day {life}

We took a beach day last week. I had a migraine, but the humidity was mercifully low so I bundled Cal and a pal of his (and their boogie boards) into the car and we headed out. It was perfect beach weather. If we'd waited a day the red flags would be flying for rip currents, and as it was the temperatures were perfect and the waves just lovely for boogie boarding.

Apparently the cure for migraines is the sun and sand and salt coupled with a light breeze. Low humidity doesn't hurt. While the boys careened from board to ball to ball (paddle and soccer), I sunk my chair and toes in the sand and dug deep into a book I'd just popped onto my Kindle. Bittersweet was just the kind of beach-read that I was looking for. Set at a wealthy family's compound over a summer on Lake Champlain, I'm not even sure that it was all that well-written, but I did exactly what one reviewer did, which was read it every chance I got until it was finished.

It was a fascinating story, and I won't give anything away by saying that despite this family's wealth, the primitive nature of their sprawling summer compound makes it hard to sense if this novel takes place in 2014 or 1954. I kind of like that. Dogs abound. Floorboards creek. Afternoons are spent beachside, reading (well, attempting to) Paradise Lost on the rocks beside the lake.

I felt a yearning when I read it, I have to admit. It all sounded so ... nice. The beach. The sun-heated rocks. The quiet slap of water against the shore as the sun goes down each evening. Not for the wealth, necessarily, and certainly not the dark secrets. (There are always dark secrets, aren't there?) I know I don't need the All White Party that's this family's tradition every 5th of July (Good grief, people.). But I yearned for those traditions that make summer, or any season, really, special. And it got me thinking, what traditions do we have? We don't do All White Parties, but we do have our summer routines. Watering the plants each morning. A pack of Twizzlers in our beach bag. The long slow walk across hot sand. A walk to the river on muggy nights. Milkshakes or homemade ice cream for dessert.

And if I want more? A glass of wine in the evenings before dinner. Some chilled grapes or cheese after work. All that takes is some more attention. A flick of the wrist, really. A willingness to take the time. And new routines are born. All White Party? Pffft. Give me a few moments in the evening light of my living room, and give it to me every night so I know I can count on it. Let me come downstairs freshly showered after a day at the beach, feeling cool and comfortable after my skin has been pulled taut by sun and sand. Let me talk with Neel about his day and answer Cal's impatient question, "How long until dinner?" This is the stuff dreams are made of.

weekend recap, october 21

1. autumn sunrise | 2. studio hound | 3. silhouette | 4. fall bouquet | 5. studio work | 6. fall ball | 7. local hangout | 8. nighttime walk | 9. Emergency! | 10. surprise selfie | 11. bay day | 12. sunday sunshine  

1. autumn sunrise | 2. studio hound | 3. silhouette | 4. fall bouquet | 5. studio work | 6. fall ball | 7. local hangout | 8. nighttime walk | 9. Emergency! | 10. surprise selfie | 11. bay day | 12. sunday sunshine 

Well hello there Monday, how did you get here so soon? Cal's home sick today, so we're snuggled up on the sofa. I have work to do, and at some point the dogs are going to need to wake up, but right now a snuggle feels good. 

So, I feel like this was a weekend full of stories. They aren't always like that. Sometimes weekends drift from moment to moment, threaded together only by the shift in schedule. This weekend was a lot like that, but peppered with these little vignettes too. And the last thing you want to hear about is my weekend, but! I'm a-gonna-tell you anyway. Smile. 

We had Cal's baseball game on Saturday. It was our first cool game of the year, and the low skies threatened rain all day. As the kids were warming up, a woman came up to me and asked if I had any painkillers. Hello. I always have painkillers. As I dug in the bottom of my bag for some Excedrin and turned around to find the man who would be our home-plate umpire waiting for it. These umps are great men. They give up their Saturdays because they love the game, and during the fall (which is the instructional season for Little League) they spend a lot of time teaching as well as umping.

So after I handed over the pills, he asked what my son's name was, and he went into the dugout and said, "Cal, anybody slides into 3rd is automatically out (Cal plays 3rd base), and you're always safe at first, all right?"  

Cal's first hit was an infield blooper, so he was thrown out at first to end the 1st inning, but when the other ump called him out, our guy says, "Wait! That's Cal! You're not supposed to call him out!" The first base ump totally plays along, saying "You have to tell me these things!" and the woman who came to me for the meds comes stomping up saying, "Who called Cal out? He's supposed to be safe!" 

This goes on the whole game. After Cal makes a routine catch, the ump yells, "Great play, baby!" The ball bounces up and hits his hand, and the ump calls time, saying, "Cal's hurt!" When Cal went up to pitch, the umpire says, "Take your time warming up. Just tell me when you're ready." At one point, the coach from the other team calls, "Favoritism! " and our ump says, "YOUR wife had the opportunity to give me some medicine and she didn't have any, so watch it!"

We didn't win, but we kept it close (this is new), and each week these kids get better and play better. Saturday was fun.  

We drove some boys to a Haunted Bat Mitzvah (how cool is that?) Saturday night, and that was pretty cool. Since Neel and I were doing both pick up and drop off we stayed down at the beach for dinner.  As we were on the road on the way back to get the boys, we saw a pretty gnarly accident happen right in front of us. It's funny how so many simultaneous things can happen at once. I noticed that we passed the place where we were getting the boys and that it seemed to get really misty all of the sudden, and right then, Neel said, "Are those fireworks?"

They weren't fireworks. Some young man had swerved to miss a car, his truck spun out in the misty, muddy road and hit a light pole, completely shredding it. Those were the fireworks Neel saw. The light pole was across the road in front of us. Cars were stopped left and right. Neel stopped our car (we were one vehicle back from the accident, but we couldn't really see a thing) and ran to help, telling me to call 911.

I dialed 911 and got a recorded message saying, "All our representatives are busy at this time, DO NOT HANG UP." 

How crazytown is that? It only took a minute, maybe less, for someone to answer, and I was on the phone with them when the first police arrived. I guess the delay wasn't that big of a deal (and likely caused by other people calling in on the same accident), but still. Totally unexpected to be put on hold with 911. After I got off the phone and moved our car out of the way, I saw that the guy's truck was teetering in a ditch beside the road. It was a moment of near misses. A bicyclist was riding along the sidewalk and could have been hit. The back of the truck was shredded, and if that guy had hit it head on, he would have likely been killed. As it was, he was unhurt, but badly shaken. Neel stayed with him and kept him calm until the police got there and took care of things.  

Thank goodness Sunday was quiet!  

And now Callum is sound asleep next to me, making me think it was likely a good idea to keep him home today.