Thursday, July 30, 2009

Summer Travels

But if in your thought you must measure time into seasons, let each season encircle all the other seasons, and let today embrace the past with remembrance and the future with longing.

-Kahlil Gibran

In my imagination summer is always this warm, lazy space of time stretching languidly into a distant future.

In my reality, this summer has been incredibly busy, scheduled and finite. Lots packed into each day and lots to do at any given time.

The latest burst of traveling and activity was spurred by my nieces visit. Mary Alice's daughters, Little Red and the Middle Child came out to visit and we ended up spending some time with them up in Northern California where they were both born. My mother joined the adventure

and we all spent a wonderful bit of time visiting old friends and swimming in the clear, cool river; a welcome respite to the heat that welcomed our arrival.

One of the highlights of the trip was Babou's experience feeding a very tame deer at Mary Alice's mother-in-law's home! Although the deer loved to fed,

they did not take well to being petted! Babou, a devout animal lover, was overjoyed.

Even Loco O, our overly friendly and energetic Golden, had a wonderful time and found ways to keep the long ride home interesting!

And so did Babou.

And now we are home, my Old Man is off on another job and we will go visit him soon. But, in the meantime, I will enjoy returning to a normal routine. The beauty of travel, I have always believed, is not so much experiencing something new as much as re-experiencing the old as new again.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Summer Days

Hospitality is one form of worship.

-The Talmud

July is flying by, summer is flying by! And, despite my energy level, I am keeping up with things fairly well--as long as I am not throwing up (morning sickness is haunting my every move)!

We are having, have been having, lots of company. My nieces, Mary Alice's girls, my Old Man's mom, my mom, lots of fun and lots of entertaining. We took the Old Man's mom to Bolinas Beach and it was so beautiful, clear, and hot. We dipped ourselves in the icy Pacific and it was actually really refreshing.

The ocean inspired us and we made our own fish and chips when we got home. We tempura fried some fish and some squash from the garden and served it with clam chowder. It was so delicious! I haven't been able to eat many vegetables lately but somehow they were much more palatable when dipped in tempura batter and deep fried!

Today my mother arrives and we will all head north to the little mountain town we grew up in for a little vacation and to collect my nieces. I will be sure to take lots of pictures and will post when I return next week. I hope you are all having a wonderful summer so far!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Fear This

(This is my guest blog for my sister Mary Alice, From the Frontlines.)

Becoming a parent may happen on purpose or by accident, but however it comes about, parenting itself is a calling.

-Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn. Mindful Parenting.

The other night I was chatting away with Rescue Ranger as Babou happily played in the tub. Babou joyfully scooped and spilled cup after cup of water while Rescue Ranger and I happily discussed...just about everything. The topic of high school had come up and he was telling me about his experiences.

"But you know Auntie Jo," Rescue Ranger confided in me proudly, "I never did any drugs or drank or got into any kind of trouble while I was in high school."

"Really," I replied, very impressed.

"Nope," said Rescue Ranger, "I was too scared."

I laughed, knowing what he meant. Mary Alice was a force to be reckoned with when she was mad.

"And you know what really gets me Auntie Jo?" Rescue Ranger continued, "She would guess the bad stuff before I could do it. Like I would be going out and she would say, 'I hope you are not thinking of doing such and such because I will be soooo mad if you do,' and I hadn't even thought of doing such and such until she said it and then I would get mad because it was such a good idea and I hadn't even thought of it--mom had! She was always two steps ahead of me."

After Rescue Ranger and I hung up much later that evening, I thought about what he had said. I was so impressed with Rescue Rangers respect for my sis, with his sense of self, with his way of being.

I love Rescue Ranger.

Rescue Ranger has always been so close to me and has only gotten moreso over the years. Now he is more like my best guy-friend than nephew. We call each other up and talk and talk. Nothing is off limits and we know we will always laugh. Rescue Ranger is hilarious and we both have the same quirky sense of humor.

As I tucked Babou into bed, I thought about Mary Alice and what a lovely mother she is to her children, and what a role model to me. It takes phenomenal parenting to raise such a mature and fun son, one that calls up his Auntie to discuss life, love, and the pursuit of happiness.

You have done an amazing job, Mary Alice, and I am so proud of you. Thank you for producing children who are now my friends.