Yesterday was all about patience and anticipation. After a week apart, Cecilia was coming home and the last six hours were almost unbearable for Allison. Even the final scenes of Anne of Green Gables could not distract her. Surprisingly, the five disc 1980’s mini-series had held her in rapt attention all week. I’m not sure if it was fine Canadian acting, the lush palate of Prince Edward Island or Gilbert’s boyish good looks, but she was all-in on Anne’s adventures and foibles. I was just happy to avoid the Tanner family for another week.
Mid-summer, a time of abundance, even in the scant growing season of New England. The CSA is in full swing. The home garden is producing. And my father-in-law can’t resist picking more fruit than he can possibly consume.
He’s an engineer, turned doctor, who should have been a farmer. He loves picking. Last week, when I drove down to Philly to drop off Cecilia, he sent me back with a 20 lb box of blueberries, a (slightly) smaller box of peaches, a bag of beets and some mangoes. Challenge accepted!
Once a year, when I was a boy, a small, traveling carnival would appear in town and setup at the abandoned naval base in the middle of town. From afar, especially at night, the lights of the rides, the smell of popcorn and sugar and the peripatetic palaver of the barkers was an irresistible allure to us kids.
I spent the past two days visiting my old friends Alexander, Vince, Molly, Joyce, and Woodrow. After a week of Camp Grammie on the Cape, I was tasked with driving down to Philly to drop Cecilia off for a jam-packed week at Camp Grandmother.
Some parents want to pass on sports allegiances, or favorite movies, authors, bands or a family recipe. I have ideas on all of those, but if I pass on nothing else, my kids will know all the tips, tricks and strategies for surviving a summer drive up and down the Northeast Corridor. Just like my father did with me. By now, this drive is encoded in my DNA.
A quick word on Michelle’s Fourth of July rules. She doesn’t ask for much, so when she does, you better listen.
- The Fourth will be an all-day beach extravaganza
- Patriotic playlists only
- Cheetos or Cheese Balls are encouraged
- Dinner will be cooked on the grill, with cheese
- Classic S’mores only, get your fancy pant treats off the beach
If there is one thing Boston networks like to hype more than snowstorms or hurricanes, it’s holiday Cape traffic. Since Wednesday, one network has had 2 roving vans driving around trying to get stuck in traffic around the bridges. They were mildly successful until Friday when they were finally rewarded with some bumper-to-bumper drive time.
I still wonder who tries to drive to the Cape on Friday afternoon. Is it all news vans and annoyed locals? As any veteran Cape visitor knows, you go early or you go late. We packed up the car Friday night, rolled the kids out of bed Saturday morning, gave them some portable Fruit Loops and made our break for the Sagamore just after sunrise.
The slowly spotting bananas had been staring at me from the counter for three days, looking more brown and pathetic every day. I could no longer trick the girls into eating them and even though I knew they were better for me the browner they became, they had passed the point of no return for me, too. Something had to be done about this fruit before they liquefied on the counter.