I love catching up with friends over the summer. I met up with a few of them at a Mexican restaurant the other night and we ended up sitting at the rooftop bar, enjoying a rare breeze on a hot July night. My friend Amber was sharing a story about her niece’s best friend and how they hosted a bridal shower for her at Amber’s home. There were the requisite naughtily shaped cake and cookies, trashy lingerie for the bride and an interesting guest. She went on to explain the evening’s entertainment.
They stood for at least two hundred years, along roads both dirt and paved. I drive past the oaks along Shirley Bridge Road almost every day, acknowledging them usually when they don their autumn colors or when they throw a cool shade over my car on a particularly blistering summer day. They line the street just in front of an old barn that I love and an unassuming brick home behind the barn belongs to one of the founding families of Alpharetta. This small piece of local history is tucked in among subdivisions and busy roads, a reminder of simpler times.
It is really, really hard to be a parent. And not just a parent, but an involved and level headed parent. As my boys get older, the adventures become more complicated and the issues move way beyond giving up a sippy cup or finishing your homework before cartoons. Case in point? My oldest decided it would be a great idea to pierce his ear with a push pin and took an old silver snowman stud out of my jewelry box to highlight his handiwork. Sigh. I kept hoping it would hurt enough to put an end to it quickly, but his ear hasn’t fallen off so far. I comfort myself with the fact that a boy’s reasoning skills do develop eventually, but the latest research puts that at about twenty- eight. That’s thirteen more years of slightly stupid.
Have you seen this video that went viral last week? It is a guy in Yosemite Park gushing about the sight of a double rainbow he is videotaping. Now I like rainbows as much as the next girl, but he really, really likes rainbows!! The video goes on for over 3 minutes and he is crying/laughing/freaking out as he “narrates” his…um…joy. There is even a double rainbow song to commemorate this now famous video.
If you grew up along the beaches of the Space Coast, Patsy’s might sound familiar to you. It was a tiny shop tucked into the sea dunes just off of A1A and the Eau Gallie Causeway. The front door opened into a mecca of shell-themed jewelry and gifts, all lined along shelves like a mermaid’s dream. It wasn’t fancy but the view was gorgeous facing out to the Atlantic, and Patsy had a steady stream of customers for years. At night, long after the doors were locked, the parking lot was known to teenagers in the 80s as a great make out spot (or so I have heard). It then morphed into a community center until two hurricanes had their way with the beaches and the building was razed in 2004.
I had promised my son that we would spend the day at a local water park and that he could bring a friend along. This seems very generous but really it was a selfish way to keep me from having to ride the really scary slides, aka the water wedgie. So on Friday we picked up his friend and headed north to the park. It was a little overcast, but I slathered us all in enough sunscreen to block out any sneaky uva and uvb rays that tried to attack. I was still reeling from the price to get into the park (thirty bucks a person!) as we claimed a shaded beach chair. Short people under 42″ are slightly less expensive, but I apparently give birth to freakishly tall, full priced children. That price didn’t include the eight bucks to pay for the pleasure of parking in the blistering July heat or twelve more dollars for a locker. But we were headed for fun, so money be damned!
I was edging the yard today, trying to beat the darkening sky and cross mowing off of my to-do list. The clouds provided some relief from the blistering heat we have had this week in Atlanta and the breeze quickened ahead of the thunderheads off to the north. Something caught my eye unexpectedly as I followed the curve of the pavers and I laid the weed eater down to inspect it more closely. A tiny Blue Jay, still fuzzy with down and a few straggly feathers, attempted to hop out of the way and into the safety of the nearby bushes. I peered into the tree to see if it had fallen from the nest, but the squawk of a large Robin distracted me as it popped out from under the Indian Hawthorne.
A commercial came on the other afternoon talking about “magic something or other”. “There is no such thing as magic” I harrumphed to myself. That thought stopped me cold. When did I stop believing in magic? I grew up in the shadow of the Magic Kingdom and Cinderella’s castle, romping through Fantasyland and Tomorrowland, happily dropping my disbelief at the gate for the day. It is why I love the book The Polar Express and the Harry Potter series too, I think. In the battles of good vs. evil and right vs. wrong, belief in the unbelievable gives hope a fighting chance.
I was doing yet another load of endless summer laundry. It would seem that there was a FIFA soccer team living here not just three people if you looked at the pile of clothing in the laundry room, stacked up into a four foot pyramid smelling of sweat, pool chlorine and sun tan lotion. I grumbled under my breath as I stepped over the dog to shove the neatly folded clothes into my teenage son’s armoire. I swung open the door and sighed as I was staring at several empty soda cans and a dish growing something furry and penicillin-like.
Here’s a link to an article I wrote for Northside Woman magazine on our local farmer’s market this month: http://tiny.cc/7y158
What is your favorite thing to get at a local market?