Park Day

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Spring Cleaning

On a beautiful day last week, the sort of March day that feels like June and smells like ebullient freedom, it was time yet again to rent a carpet cleaner. Not just for the floors, but more for the chairs, the cushions, and that spot on the back seat of the car. (Where did that come from?)

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Fortunately we had lots of help. Well, the “help” mostly took the form of keeping the car company; since the kids are almost never allowed to play in there, the fact that I had all the doors open for hours on end was quickly deemed The Greatest Thing Ever.

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Also there are all kinds of games that one can play on a line of chairs set out in the sunshine, although they refused to repeat any of these games after I’d gotten the camera.

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It was a long day of work, but I don’t feel embarrassed to invite people to sit down any more. Next up: windows….

Pumpkin Patch: The Beginning

Last year, as we squelched through the mud of a nearby pumpkin patch the week before Halloween, I decided that we would definitely try to grow our own next time around. I remember carving pumpkins out of our own garden when I was a kid, and I liked it — I liked the anticipation of seeing those babies grow and hoping they’d turn orange in time.

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So when my seed catalogs came last fall, I let both kids choose a packet of pumpkin seeds. Nathan indulged his usual preference for white pumpkins with Full Moon, and Ryan chose the fairly distinctive Knucklehead. Secretly pleased that they’d chosen such interesting pumpkins, I nevertheless felt compelled to add a more standard one to the mix, just in case. Just in case… what? Honestly, I don’t know.

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We planted the seeds last weekend. Having talked the event up quite a bit, I wasn’t entirely surprised that all of the setup failed to interest the boys; they scattered into the sunshine like soap bubbles. But once I had the pots filled and labeled and ready for seeds, I did manage to corral both boys for the few minutes it took to put seeds of their chosen variety into the dirt.

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Now to let them (hopefully!) grow and blossom and give us excellent fruit…

Lazy Easter

Somewhere last month I lost a week. I don’t know how it happened; I only know that I showed up at my friend’s house one day, was puzzled by the fact that her son had already celebrated his fifth birthday, and then realized that my notion of the current date was incorrect. The root cause of this, I believe, is the fact that I don’t hold down the kind of job which would require me to distinguish between the 16th and the 23rd.

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One of the results of this was that I’d given Easter scarcely a thought before it was upon us. I am notoriously lazy about holidays anyway, but given sufficient warning I usually do some planning. This time it wasn’t until someone dropped a flyer on our doorstep for their Easter service that I realized what was going on.

Fortunately I still had the dye kit that I’d picked up in the post-Easter sale last year, so I boiled some eggs and we got down to it. And how smart was this? Instead of making all nine colors in one go, I only did three colors and a few eggs at a time. Thus we got three short dying sessions (they have minimal stamina for it anyway), each one with a third the mess. I admit, it was an inspiration based more on a shortage of small bowls in the house, but it still worked.

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In keeping with the lazy theme, I failed to creep out in the pre-dawn darkness to hide eggs; instead I hid plastic eggs mid-morning, and the kids had so much fun finding them that we did it about eight times together. And that night I whisked the baskets away after dinner and brought them back with their goodies for dessert. Non-traditional? Sure it is. But tough cookies — it’s the laziest Easter ever, but the kids are happy and it sure works for me.