"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Siesta in Connecticut

We are finally getting to the warm, genuinely summery days, all signs point to lots of swimming, grilling and slow evening promenades around the block after dinner in the late light. The boys and I just finished reading The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate together and since its set in the boiling heat of Texas, in the day of skirts and overskirts, and the heat was so oppressive that everything stopped in the middle of the day. Even the men came in from the fields and took a break indoors with the curtains drawn.

Sometimes the wheel has to be re-invented. My mama used to always say there were some people who had to touch the stove to see if it was hot. Same kind of an idea, I guess. I just discovered siesta living.

After we finished the book, spring trailed off, then suddenly summer showed up, we had a week away, we made our first batches of ice cream and we've packed away most of the long pants and our squash patch has exploded. And suddenly, I was thinking about life in Victorian Texas and I began to have a Siesta Time during the day when outdoor work and play gave way to indoor activities.

I think it took me a while because I'm not really a napping person and siesta sounds so much like a group nap hour to me. What I discovered is that if I get up early (6 hopefully, 5:30 if I'm really on track) I can get housework begun and maybe blogging, then after breakfast we can go outside and do animal care, lawn work and garden tending while it is sunny but not hot. Right about the time that I find I am sweating heavily, and the kids are wiping out, its time for 10 o'clock snack and indoor time.

----(Siesta Begins)---- 

Then inside we have lunch, the big boys find quiet time occupations and the littles go down for a rest. I do quiet, office-type work (phone calls, paperwork, emails, card writing, maybe blogging ). Then after we get done with quiet hour, I prep dinner, clean house, and maybe work on home improvement projects (in between breaking up arguments, fixing Lego creations, hanging with my sister, and downing glasses of ice water). After that we are heading into dinner land so the boys often watch a Netflix special while I do prep and wait for Aaron...sometimes there is free-play in the yard, sometimes watercolors.

Once dinner is over the indoor time is finished and hopefully it has cooled off enough to breath outside and we all head out into the yard to play a game before bed or take a walk around the block together. Then all the boys tumble upstairs to the bath and the day is over.

The key is making sure I go to bed early enough to get a jump start on my personal work so that I can just head outdoors during the morning and get all the garden hustle out of the way.


Monday, June 2, 2014

Boys In The River

We are into the solid, golden days season. Every morning begins chilly and the boys shiver in their t-shirts at the breakfast table because A has opened all the windows the night before to get his fill of fresh air. By noon everyone is barefoot and many bare-chested, all in the sunshine on the lawn and every hand filthy and filled with sticks and rocks and whatever else they're digging up and tying together with pilfered yarn.

Today we went to the park downtown so the boys could suck the nectar out of clover blossoms, skateboard around on the sidewalks and end with a good splash in the river. I sat on the river rocks next to a Guatemalan daddy whose two little boys were in the river too, splashing and grinning. He told me about working in a local kitchen and showed me pictures of himself grinning with his chef knife, hotel pans and kitchen whites.

He said:
         "I cook 300 lobsters every Saturday night. I bake them in the oven for 15 minutes and then pull them out, slice them in half for serving." 

Today was his day off.

We watched our boys collect sticks and stalk minnows, fall in and take turns helping each other to the opposite bank.

I collected clam shells for the baby and lined them up on a rock, one of my boys fell in and we all laughed and the man cocked his head at me and added,
"I grew up on a river like this....in my country. We were always swimming."
"I have a ticket to go back this month."
I asked, "For how long?"
He grinned, "Two weeks."

We team-worked together, counting down the five minutes warning to our collective children and then he hunted wet shirts and unrolled leg cuffs while I hefted the baby on my hip and encouraged boy goodbyes and we wandered slowly back up the sidewalk to the car.

"Mucho gusto." I told him, when we reached our cars in neighboring parking spots.
"Nice to talk." He said and our boys waved muddy sticks to each other out of the car windows.

I should have asked for a picture of him and his sons. It didn't cross my mind.