Monday, July 03, 2006


What a day.

My mother-in-law, her friend, my five punkins, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, and niece drove north to a fantastic private beach. It's a marine station which holds many memories for my family, from the time I was a kid (mice in the cabins), through dating the father of my babies when he was taking classes there, to my brother's and sister-in-law's wedding almost two years ago (new cabins, no mice).

As we pulled in, the fog was burning off, pulling back from the beaches so quickly it appeared to have been waiting for us to arrive before exiting demurely. We spent the afternoon looking down from cliffs on tremendous, noodley kelp beds, perusing teaming tidal pools, holding all sizes and colors of crabs (courtesy of G, resident crab catcher), playing with the multi-colored pebbles on the beach. The thrushes were in rare form as we walked the paths--G said, "Those bird songs make our human instruments sound terrible." There were wild roses everywhere, smelling lemonyrosey and blushing wildly. The ocean spray bushes were heavy with their tiny creamy blossoms, showering us with flowers and pollen when we tried to pass gently by.

The girls waded in, then swam (bravely) in the little cove, shivering but wanting more, even when their lips were leaning toward a charming shade of blueberry. The little cousin waded in, and later tried to fill her sopping diaper with the tiny, wave-rounded stones which are the beach. She also tasted the rocks. They are apparently good, but no substitute for the perennial favorites of cheese or "cockit." We picnicked with gusto, appetites honed by the sea air. Doesn't everything taste better when eaten outdoors? There were only four forks (that we knew of, I should have looked harder--my mother had stocked the cooler pockets) so we made our berry salad into lettuce wraps. Butter lettuce leaves sprinkled with raspberries and blueberries, candied pecans, low-fat feta. We never got around to the huckleberry vinaigrette. We were too enamoured with our tasty (drooling now), fork-free invention. Leftover from yesterday's mountain picnic, we also had black-bottom cupcakes, sandwich stuff, cherries, and of course, excellent company.

My children are awesome. They've been troopers all weekend--being dragged about, driving for hours, hiking, playing in snow and salt water and dealing nicely with a variety of personalities. They are grace on feet. Most of the time, anyway. They are still children. S melted down this evening when her blood sugar hit the floor, but rebounded nicely when I stuffed a little filled lettuce leaf into her mouth. Sweet girl.

We didn't get home until ten minutes to midnight. Wiped out. But in the best way. It's a contented tired. Sighs of sleepy happiness. I love, love, love this part of my life.

Salt-water dreams to you. And good food, great company, much laughter and your own version of deep contentment. May you have these and more. Off to sleep now, before the teething baby awakens.

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