It can often be a mystery to figure out a 2 ½ year old. Who has a limited vocabulary which does not include “I am sad” or “I don’t understand” or “I need to calm down” or even…”I am lonely.”
But who still needs to feel a bit more relaxed or cheered or settled. I had a little boy like that a few decades ago. A comforting big hug would make all the difference most of the time. Or some grown up attempts at bridging the language divide…”it’s okay”…”you’ll feel better soon”…”let’s read a story together”…”I love you!”
there was something about Pluto Dog – that special stuffed animal buddy that soothed like nothing else did. Held against bare skin, the comfort radiated to where it needed to go. The amazing power of touch.
Many such buddies lined his bedroom shelf and a few were snuggled with every night. When he reached for comfort, they were right there. No need to explain.
It is no surprise to me that this little boy grew up to be a fine young man…with a smile and a fond eye for every pup he passes on the street. And a special connection to his sister’s sweet dog who jumps & barks with excitement when hearing him at the door.
(And it also just happens to be his birthday today)
When I think slippery, I think “slip and fall” and…snowstorms.
When I was a kid, a snowstorm was exciting and often meant a day off from school. Making snow forts. Snowball fights. Snowmen.
Slipping and falling were part of the fun.
Not fun any more…
As a (former) homeowner, winter storms also meant:
First: Admiring the pretty snow.
Second: Taking photographs.
Third: Removing the snow from the front walk & driveway…with a shovel..or a snowblower…or both.
Fourth: Taking more photographs.
Below is a photo from February 2014 after a major snowfall.
I had just finished clearing the front walkway.
Life is never the same for an only child when she becomes a big sister. Especially after almost 6 years of a – for the most part – predictable existence.
But then along comes a little brother to mix things up.
One hot July day, my daughter squeezed her 8 year old self into our small plastic pool – to cool off with her 2 ½ year old brother. His idea of play was…the element of surprise. He only got away with this the first time – pictured below. After that it was a free-for-all!
To her eternal credit, she was a good sport about this and the rest of his shenanigans over the years…
Many years ago, on a solo visit to Coronado, California, I captured this close-up moment of reflection…as the waves rolled out over the sand…
On my favorite beach.
On a beautiful sunny day in June.
Where the uniquely colored sand just sparkles.
If I didn’t know better, I would have guessed I had struck gold.
Birthdays are a big deal. No matter how old you are. If you are lucky, you have a party (if you want one). With friends. Family. Neighbors. There is usually cake lit up with candles (when you had a grandfather like mine, sparklers instead). Presents! Hats. Favors. Games of some kind. Pin the Tail on the Donkey when I was 5. A “Ouija Board” and levitation when I was 15.
My children always had a birthday party – sometimes more than one if you count “family party” and “friend party.” We did Pin the Tail on the Donkey a few times, but soon realized that was SO old fashioned. However, cake and candles never go out of style. Especially the trick candles…
And…speaking of trick candles…the following is one of my favorite party photos. My daughter’s 4th birthday.
The photo below is from my 4th birthday party. Trying to set up the group shot. The pointy hats are an interesting coincidence.
During the last 20 or so years we lived in our former home, we were visited every spring by wasps. They insisted on building homes behind the shutters, in the eaves, window casings, under the deck, stairs…wherever they could hide. Nests usually the size of a walnut or up to a small egg. I was constantly on the lookout and usually managed to evict them before they infiltrated our living space. Or stung us. Allergy and all.
That is, until one beautiful September day…when walking across the backyard, I glanced up and discovered a monster wasp nest like I’d never seen before. At least the size of a football. Attached to a branch in the maple tree.
The wasps were alive and well.
And not happy to be discovered.
A good friend suggested we sell it on Ebay.
My world is “new” as of 2 years ago, when we downsized and moved to a condo in a different town.
In one of those circle of life circumstances, our new town happens to be where we had also lived 40 years ago. Back then…in a tiny 2nd floor apartment above a paint store downtown. It had a small “deck” out the upstairs door overlooking the river. We watched the Blizzard of ’78 roar through town from the back windows.
In 1978, the Exeter River ran behind all the buildings on that street (aptly named Water Street) – but it was a dam then. The water would often reach high levels after extreme rain events. It often flooded the lower floors of many businesses that bordered it. Over and over.
Since then, the town removed Great Dam (as it was called). No more flooding. Businesses came back to the downtown area. The river now flows downstream; connecting several rivers throughout the state.
When I stand on the bridge, instead of high water I see what looks like a giant terrarium. A wide variety of plant life. I assume the concrete blocks indicate the old water line and one can imagine “what used to be.”
Our old apartment is still there…complete with an expanded deck!