Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Reading Tree Leaves

Until our air conditioner recently sighed its last frosty breath, I was able to mark the passage of summer simply by looking out the window, noting the condition of leaves on our oak tree out back. Full green leaves, for example, are a sure sign that summer is in full swing. When they begin to change hue, I know that school is back in session. When they start to dry up, I start planning Thanksgiving and when they fall off altogether, it's time to start Christmas shopping.

However, it doesn’t take a glance out the window to tip this plate spinner to the fact that summer has not only arrived, but is fully intending to wear out its welcome. Case in point:

* Airplane pilots flying over my house mistake the patches of dead grass in my yard for mysterious alien-induced crop circles.

* My office inbox is bursting with emails from people who got my name from vacationing co-workers’ “out-of-office” messages.

* I consider installing a portcullis in front of my home office door to keep bored and restless children from accosting me with requests to go to the pool or settle debates over who’s turn it is to mow the dead grass.

* Aforementioned air conditioning unit picks the hottest day of summer to cease and desist emitting cool air into my house.

I marvel at the fact that the human race ever survived without air conditioning and can't help picturing pioneer women with those long heavy dresses toiling in fields, churning butter and milking cows.

Has the wide spread use of air-conditioning caused the human race to lose its ability to acclimate to temperature changes?

Hmmm...

Somthing to ponder while I sit in my car, parked in the driveway, with the A/C cranked, waiting for the repairman to arrive.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Reality Beckons

With most of our boys away at camp a few weeks back, I'll be the first to admit that I enjoyed the lull, however brief, in activity. And I have to admit, that it took longer than I expected to get back into the swing of things on their return.

I made no attempt to hide my astonishment at the way food started once again flying off the shelves of my pantry and refrigerator. The washing machine is already making this pathetic moaning sound as if it's begging for mercy and the dishwasher keeps going into sleep mode even though our model doesn't even have that option.

Despite keyboards tapping, video games beeping, phones ring-toning (ouch), and boys using their "outside voices" when they're inside, I am actually OK with the decibel level in my house. It's a wonder I got any sleep at all while they were away.

And, after using up two hard-earned vacations days to tromp around the campus of our oldest's college of choice while he registered for his first semester's classes, I'm determined to relish every harried moment of the next six weeks.

"He said that he would've stayed if he could," I told my Mom after she asked me how it went. The words caught in my throat.

He'd rather be there than here.

My husband, standing nearby when I hung up, put his arms around me as I sulked, blinded by memories of all of the good times, all of the hugs, all of the laughs and all of the moments that had us beaming with pride.

I reached for a tissue. "Who's big idea was it to have kids anyway?"

As if sensing my need for a reality check, my son entered the room, sneezing loudly, took the tissue from my hand and, without a word, left the room.

Huh.

Accepting a fresh tissue from my husband, I asked, "When's his move-in date again?"

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Guest Blogger Alert - I Like Peanuts and Other Silly Things by James, age 8

So...um...I went to summer camp. I played awesome games like drip-drip-drop, especially on the HOT days. I played sharks and minnows and freeze tag, toilet tag - like when you get tagged by the tagger, you have to look like you're a toilet and wait for someone to flush you, then you can get up and run. We do holidays everyday like water day.Cubs and Sox day and hat day. Don't forget crazy hair day! Ummmm. And we do songs like "Dennis the Worm" and "Rock the Boat" and "Baby Shark". The last song we do everyday is "Everywhere we Go".  We always eat snacks everyday. I ate carrots. Um. On water day, I pour water from my water bottle on my head. What? It's hot! What else? Oh, the last thing we do everyday is do our journals. And we can tell as many things as we want on there. Don't forget the illustration! That's all. Bye!!!