Friday, July 31, 2009



Blue Ridge Mountains

Chickens and goats

Train tracks and wagon rides

Forest and farm

The old ways, the new ways

Fires and trailblazing

Friday, July 24, 2009

summer living

In the two weeks between our vacation to Michigan and our next vacation, we have been soaking up the sun, playing in the pool, enjoying a lot of great company, listening to music in the park, sailing with a friend, celebrating Jup and I's anniversary and we even welcomed a new member to the family (pictured here in utero). Jupiter's cousin came to our family pool party post-due and I kept thinking that it was possible that she would go into labor during the party( she didn't). We went yesterday to meet little Jhaden at the hospital. Both mom and baby are in good health.

One of Jupiter's friends from work has a sailboat and invited us out last week onto Long Island Sound. It was the first time I have ever been out on the water on a sailboat. It was fun and even Miranda did well (with on board entertainment, of course). Jove and Bob's son had a great time doing many pretend jobs on deck.

Some of our friends live in small town on the Hudson River and they invited us to a jazz concert and picnic in a park on the Hudson. I love summer nights- balmy breezes, fireflies and a laid back pace. All of the kids ran around, looked for sticks and feathers and made up games. When we leaving, Jove said,"I think that we were at a wedding because there were a lot of people gathered around and there was music."

Jupiter and I have been married for six years and this year's anniversary celebration was one of the best we have ever had. We had a full day of childlessness and went out to eat, hung out at home together and went into the city at night. We are still feeling elated from our day together, just us.

Jove has been really making progress with his bike riding and scootering. We have a paved schoolyard a couple of houses down from us and most days, either Jup or I takes the kids there to ride around. Just a few days ago Jove mastered riding his two-wheeler with only a push to get him going and today he learned to start himself and turn without tipping over. He is very proud of himself. Thanks to my dad for the bike that he found at a garage sale and we brought back to New York with us.

So, tomorrow morning another round of adventures begin. Jupiter leaves for a 5-day backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail in Vermont and the next morning I am driving with the kids to Roanoke, Virginia. Our good friends just moved there a month ago and we miss them so much. They have a home in the country, close to the Appalachian Trail actually, and we plan to enjoy the great outdoors while we are there.

Monday, July 13, 2009

the third coast

The day after my parents left our house, we left for Michigan and we spent a week and half seeing so many loved ones that my heart is very filled. The soundtrack for our eleven hour road trip is classic rock on the radio as we roll through the hills of Pennsylvania and the farmland of Ohio. We stayed with my brother overnight in Ann Arbor and the spent the Fourth of July weekend in Tawas at my parent's lake house. We played in the sand, watched fireworks, made s'mores, went for boat rides, Jove painted rocks for the garden with my mom, we sat on the swing watching Lake Huron charm us with her beauty, climbed a lighthouse, flew a kite, chatted, cuddled, went into town for ice cream, ate and I ran and Jup biked on the bike trails. It is an amazing place and we feel lucky to get to spend time there with my family.

We made a road trip to my paternal grandparent's farm in Gladwin. My once cantankerous grandfather is ill and I felt both happy and melancholy watching him with the kids. My mom said to me as we were leaving that it is like the end of an era- my grandparents on their farm. For as long as I can remember that has been their home. The barn, now decrepit, once had cows and I have many memories of spooking the cows, walking the fields, swinging on the swing under the willow tree... My grandmother, who has always seemed so energetic, seems to be slowing down and saddened by grandfather's decline.
I wonder what my life will be like when I am ninety years old.

Have I mentioned yet that our camera is broke and was left behind, so all of these pics were taken by my mom. I don't have any pictures from the second leg of our trip, but hopefully my words can express all of the love we felt.

We packed our bags in Tawas and drove to our friends Nan and Chris's house. They live in a hip, little town and have a great house (and yard) and great kids and we were so excited to spend a few days with them. We camped (mostly) in their backyard, Jup led geocaching adventures with a crew on bikes behind him, the boys played in the yard, with legos, in the hammock, Miranda got seriously doted on by Cricket (carried, talked sweetly to, taken into the yard on her whim), Miranda explored Nan's jewels and bags, the papas got to have some bonding time, we celebrated Frog's b-day and Nan and I got to talk, a lot, which was wonderful. Oh, and the tents and Jup's hammock were an endless source of entertainment and hiding spots.
Nan has some great pictures from our days together on her blog.

We went on a couple of trips to visit loved ones from Nan's house. We went to Algonac to visit with my maternal grandmother. She lives alone, is pretty active, is completely lucent and has very poor eyesight. It was wonderful to take her out for lunch and I wish I was closer to be able to do it more often. Miranda being so talkative and singing was quite a source of entertainment for her.

We went to the outskirts of Kalamazoo to visit my oldest friend, Heather's parents: Maggie and Bruce. Two things: they are wonderful, happy people that I cherish deeply and they live in my dream house (and yard). Nan and kids came out for the day also and we had a day of relaxing and catching up in the woods. Maggie and Bruce both encouraged my new found passion for birdwatching (a few more for the life list!!) and made us feel so welcome in their home. I took the kids on a nature walk and we picked wild black raspberries, saw a woodpecker, watched bugs and enjoyed being in such a beautiful place. Maggie sent us home with a jar of raspberry jam and we put in on our pancakes when we got home, trying to remember the peace and beauty of their home.

Thanks to all who hosted us in their homes. I am so grateful that my children will grow up seeing the beauty of Michigan as I do.