Tag Archives: summer

Scenes from Saturday + Croissants & Cobie’s

My newest book will be out later this week.

The older I get the more I realize that most things are a lot easier when you’re blissfully unaware of what you’re doing. Maybe not surgery or quantum physics, but writing, painting, music. Being too knowledgeable can often trip you up or get in the way. It’s often much better if you don’t even know that you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s when you’re fully aware of your cluelessness that you’ve really got to dig in and chasing after it is often much harder.

I mostly try to forget now.

Or, as the poet Rumi put it more eloquently: “Sell your cleverness and buy bewilderment.”

We were down on the Cape for the Fourth and Domino enjoyed have a brand new house to explore. And mark – still working on house training – very happy the beach house was updated with hard wood floors this year.

Different house but Dom still takes his job as Ally’s alarm clock seriously.

It’s been open a few years, even changed location, but we finally tried out Eat Cake 4 Breakfast.

While many of the morning baked goods are variations on a croissant dough… who’s ever really complained about that especially when it’s a very good dough.

Also, the closest thing we’ve found to a Philly sticky bun in Massachusetts.

There was also a new cheese maker nearby. We had to check that out.

Luckily they are not relying solely on cheese. They also make a few different types of bread daily, plus breakfast and lunch sandwiches.

The mid-Cape needs a decent bread bakery, so I hope this lasts. The focaccia was very good.

After all the carbs, there was a long beach walk.

Including this strange pole on a particularly desolate section of sand.

I’ll just let that seep into your nightmares.

We gave Dash a break from Domino’s in-your-face energy and took him to the local dog park.

He enjoyed doing laps in the big and little dog sides, including many compliments on his luscious fur.

That was enough activity to get them both to chill out.

A mostly gray day where it always looked like it was going to rain, but rarely did, meant some indoor games. The girls each won both rounds of actual dominoes.

Once a year, we buy the big economy size barrel of cheese balls.

You know vacation is just about over when it empties out.

Puppies at rest just means puppy energy when they wake back up.

Despite his big brother showing him how to do it multiple times, Domino could not be convinced to go down the slide.

I remember actually pushing them on the swings a few years ago. Now they use it as a pull up bar.

It wouldn’t be summer with clam strips and soft serve at Cobie’s.

Cloudy skies and missing sunsets ultimately can’t dim the glow of a well-spent vacation.

The best time off leave us with more than just postcard views.

Have a great Sunday!

Scenes from Saturday + Domino 2

One parenting rule of thumb is to give your kids what you needed but never had. Okay, sure, but why not go further? Give yourself what you needed as a child and give your kids what we they need now.

Summer is a great time to think about what you wanted when you were a kid… and gift it to yourself. That might change day by day and that’s okay.

Only a few short summers left when they both will be home. I need to savor each one even if they are interrupting me or getting on my nerves or asking for money for the ice cream truck. I know I’ll miss it when they’re gone.

This summer I’m giving myself more time to read and more patience to leave the rest of my to-do list undone. The list will never end, but summer will.

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Scenes from Saturday + Traffic & Tacos

School is out and yesterday was the first official summer vacation drive to the Cape. I tend to believe things matter more than they do. Take…traffic. Cape traffic. There are just two (very old) bridges and everyone in New England and New York have a mutual agreement to meet at the bridges at the same time.

If we’re running late, I get stressed and irritable, convinced the entire day or weekend will be a disaster because our ETA has slipped by four minutes. But is it really that important to beat the traffic? Not really. Traffic, missing appointments, airport security lines, dance rehearsals. It can all take me out of the moment and rob a little joy for me (anyone lucky enough? to be with me). Yet often, the actual consequence if I were late or missed something is… nothing.

I often fall into the mental trap of conditional importance—if you want this result, take this action—with the idea that it would be terrible if the result didn’t happen. Sometimes it would be, obviously (getting fired from your job, being respectful etc), but often it wouldn’t.

Intellectually, if I take a step back, I know it doesn’t matter if I’m late, but my body has a hard time deciphering these mixed messages. I’ll snap or be curt or generally tighten up like Dash when he realizes why Michelle is filling up the tub.

Recognizing this helps. Recently I’ve been trying to ask myself (having a teenager gives me plenty of practice): “Wait. Does this actually matter?” Often, the answer is very clearly no. And for just a moment, I understand the Krishnamurti quote on serenity: “I don’t mind what happens.”

Then, I let my shoulders drop, and I exhale.

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Scenes from Saturday + Back to the Beach

Flash cards. Drills. Deliberate practice. Purposeful habits. It’s not that I enjoy torturing the girls. I’m trying to illustrate that any type of improvement is often done in the day-to-day doldrums of everyday effort and often the results are far from immediate.

It’s graduation season, if I were to give a speech, this is what I’d say.

For self improvement, I believe this is the key whether it’s in writing, teaching, sports, programming, music, baking, or glitter crafts. Part of what I talked about with the book club attendees last week was my writing process. I try to write everyday. I am not interested in being a Writer, but rather working at writing. For me, the important thing is to write as much as possible. This is my work. That is what I want to pass on to the girls. Strive to be a verb. The question is not what I am, but rather what I do.

Do that every day. Work at your art.

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Scenes from Saturday + Canobie Close Out

Before yesterday, thinking about a bright, sunny Labor Day Saturday spent at an amusement park filled me with… a certain kind of sweaty dread.

But also a realization. Summer is over. My sabbatical is almost over. These swaths of free time where the kids are stuck with me are almost over.

Maybe a Saturday at an amusement park with family and friends isn’t something that should fill me with apprehension.

If there is anyone who deserves my best behavior, or my biggest smile, or c’est la vie attitude, it’s them. If there is anyone I should muster patience and energy for, it’s them.

But if they think they’re getting Dippin’ Dots after 5 pm before we have dinner…

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Scenes from Saturday + Burritos of Destiny

My summer sabbatical started last week and I am a little more aware of what the kids are up to during the day. For Ally, especially if the neighborhood is quiet, that typically means doing some sort of arts and craft. I plan to spend part of my time off writing another book and I’m finding Ally’s work an inspiration of sorts.

Is there anything more perfect than a child’s drawings? In order to create or write, I often have to try and reach back to that open-mindedness and naïveté that kid’s just cultivate naturally. Things pour out of them in such an easy way. I’ll go downstairs and find a stack of canvases done or some new project afoot based on a whimsical what-if. I want to try to remember that and get a little closer to that.

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Scenes from Saturday + Humidity & Horticulture

As you read this, I’m likely running trough a hot, tropical, potentially pouring rain storm. And I paid to do it, too. One of my favorite runners, Eliud Kipchoge is famous for smiling at the end of marathons.
I will try to smile through the rain because excitement is a better motivator than discipline.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed that the people who appear to have a superhuman work ethic or monk-like discipline aren’t forcing it. They aren’t tricking themselves. Or using the latest life hack. They simply have a genuine curiosity or interest in that area.

The person who smiles is more likely to keep working than the person gritting their teeth.

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