Als ich wisse das Morgen der Erde enden wuerde, immernoch wurd ich mein Apfelbaum pflanzen.

Even if I knew the world would perish tomorrow, I would still plant my apple tree. - Martin Luther

"Factory work's easier on the back, and I don't mind it, understand, but a man becomes what he does. Got to watch that. That's why I keep at farmin' although the crops haven't ever throve. It's the doin' that's important." Madison Wheeler in Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon

Monday, September 9, 2013

Goodbye Summer Serenity.... Hello Frenetic Fall

On my way home tonight I saw some beautiful maples changing color, and I realized that summer is really very close to an exit.  So before the days slip into October let me share our summer trips.

New York, NY

This spring, while helping Lily clean her room I discovered several "run away" bags.  They were packed with the essentials in case a quick get away was needed.  I'm sure that some parents would have been horrified.  I, however, understood.  I think we all need our own version of a run away bag.  For years my version has been the ability to get on a train, leave my family behind and head to Manhattan.   
This summer, after many promises that they really, truly were old enough, and a great deal of apprehension on my part - I let the rest of my family (The Woodsman and both kids) run away with me. 
They entertained themselves on the train.  They were quiet when our host was sleeping in the morning - even though they were full of energy and ready to hit the town.  They coped well with walking many, many city blocks (even when they were carrying luggage).  They listened to directions, stayed close to us, walked properly in crowds, and held our hands when we deemed it necessary (even though the 10 year old really felt too old for hand holding).  They even passed restaurant behavior 101, and learned how important it is to stay back from the curb while waiting to cross the road - an impressive skill for children who live on the kind of Mayberry dirt road which invites dogs to nap in the middle.  Props have to go to The Woodsman here too.  This was his first trip to NYC; he does not hold deep affection for big cities, but by the end of our trip he was navigating like he'd been to the city a dozen times before.

Half of a GIANT Corned Beef and Pastrami sandwich at The Carnegie Deli

The view of Central Park - half way up 30 Rock,

On our way in to see Wicked

 Going to NYC also expanded my kid's worlds.  We read a lot, and we travel a lot.  However, most of our adventures take place in the great outdoors.  Traveling to NYC put my family in an entirely new kind of wilderness.  I can't even begin to list all of the cultural experiences the kids absorbed.  There are so... many... different... people.  From Japanese tourists, to young talented street performers... From women in saris, to homeless men on the street....  From illegal corner watch salesmen, to mourners at the 9.11 memorial.  Their world is bigger because we spent a week in Manhattan. 
View of Manhattan from the New York Water Taxi Tour

Lady Liberty (our host, tour guide extraordinaire and my best friend from high school is in the back)

Outside of Jekyll and Hyde - a MUST if you're taking kids to NYC.  I love how the bossy older sister and the silly younger brother personalities shine through so clearly in this picture.  She was trying to get him to PAY ATTENTION AND LOOK AT MOMMY!

The fountain in Central Park

Coq au Vin at Rue 57 - I can't even begin to describe the joy of this dish.   I tasted as good as it looks.  Can you smell it?  Intoxicating isn't it?
 They fell in love with New York.  And, to my surprise, I fell in love with having them there with me.  Lily is already planning a birthday trip (a full day at the Museum of Natural History with dinner at Jekyll and Hyde), and I think Danny is still dreaming about the Pastrami.  I guess in the future, we'll be running away together.
Neil and Norma - our new favorite dogs


We ended our summer like we always do - playing in the surf and sand at Assateague National Sea Shore.
Sunrise - doesn't it look like the sun beam is coming right from his heart?

Kite flying - Hooray!  He could do it himself this year.

This is where she was for 80% of the time.

Good Bye Summer Serenity - Hello to Fall's mad rush.  I'm so thankful for you Summer.  You give us time to reconnect with ourselves and with each other.  Help us to hold the peace of a summer's day through today's busy reality.

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