Saturday, September 26, 2009

Oh, September!

It has been quite a month. Really. I'm exhausted just thinking about all that has happened, good and not-so-good here at Lostview over the past four weeks. It is the fullest time of year, in my opinion, with the gardens busting forth with fruits, the days warm and evenings cool, projects in full swing, visitors by the car load, and the kitchen always buzzing. It's so rich and lovely...and yet I always look forward to the new air of October.

But perhaps my favorite part of September is our annual birthday bash for the boys with my family. Mom and dad come in from Minneapolis and we play all day before gorging ourselves on tasty food, topped off with presents and a cake creation, a la Gaga. My mom has made amazing birthday cakes for as long as I can remember and it tickles me pink to know that she continues her cake art tradition with our kids.
I love that Ellis and Owain share birthdays just close enough to warrant a shared celebration (one of many birthday celebrations for these anything but deprived boys...I think over the course of September, Ellis had the pleasure of enjoying birthday cake, birthday cupcakes, birthday ice cream and birthday caramel apples).

My first born is four years old. This past year, really, this past summer, Ellis grew up. He gained about 4 inches and a few pounds, building on his tall, slender stature. He became more introspective and thoughtful, at times alarming me with his serious, intuitive nature. Ellis feels deeply and thinks intently. He is still learning to share those intense feelings, but when he does, it is poignant and I am so proud of him. He is intentional and careful, fiery and fun. I relish the moments I still get to read with Ellis in my lap looking on, knowing they will be fewer as he gets too big to fit in the chair with me any longer.

This past year, Ellis learned to swim and hold his breath underwater. He began to write his letters and sound out words. He climbs like a monkey, digs alongside his dad in the garden, and is a trustworthy, hardworking helper. He went from diapers to tiny tighty-whiteys, got rid of his nuk and "shirt", and outgrew all his clothes. This year, Ellis became an older brother. It has been a year of change and profound growth for my sweet Ellis. He is a big boy, and I love him more deeply every day. Happy birthday, my four year old. Here's to another September gone by.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Saturday morning I whimsically ended up in Colfax with Owain. Becca and Charis were canning tomatoes, which reminded me that I wanted to fix the outdoor propane burner Chris found at the dump, as it leaks a bit at the burner connection.

My thought was check at the Cenex/Farmers Co-op in town and go to the park with Owain.

We pulled into town having listened to the beginning of the first song on Riding the Nuclear Tiger by Ben Allison a dozen times. Owain's request: "beginning again."

In the high school parking lot were parked ten different fire engines/trucks: antiques, hook and ladder, etc. I thought, "Cool, we will have to swing by and check them out. " Another block and I saw the road lined with opened, empty folding and camping chairs. If I hadn't seen it before, I would have thought the second coming had just happened.

We checked Cenex for the part - only high schoolers working on Saturday. The propane people were gone. There was one lone man sitting in his chair among the 1/2 mile of empty seats: Dick Peterson. His coffee steaming into the blue sky, we talked about where we lived: "up at Popple Creek in the Morning place." He told me the parade was at noon - an hour and forty to kill. We played at the park for an hour and came back to buy a slice of pizza and popcorn. We had some apples from our tree in the car. Eleven thirty and the sidewalks were filled with people in their chairs and others walking around. We found a three foot space on the curb with no chair or person and ate our snack.

The parade started with six four-wheelers driven by high schoolers throwing candy at everyone, followed by a police car, members of the national guard and army vehicles. They were blasting "Proud to be an American" on repeat.

On the middle of the half mile route, they stopped and we all stood for the National Anthem. Owain ran circles around my legs, holding my waist for balance. The guard and members stood stoic and still. The anthem ended and they continued marching down the street: lock jawed, eyes ahead, backs straight.

"I'm tired. Can we go home?" The parade had just started, but it was Owain's naptime. You never deny the rare moment Owain wants to go to sleep. As we walked to the car, the announcer talked about a local woman sitting in the back of a convertible on the parade route who lost her son in the war.

We headed out and came right into the army marching on the side streets past the route. They were still blasting Lee Greenwood and locked at marching attention, but nobody was watching but Owain and I.

A large hole fell between the marchers and an army hummer, and I pulled in to follow the truck blasting "Proud to be an American."

A block later and they still maintained formation, but then the people in the stereo truck threw loads of candy at five kids hanging by their four-wheelers. The kids screamed and scrambled to grab up their loot.

The marchers reached their army vehicle, broke formation and relaxed. At that instant the stereo truck sped up to be parallel to the guard marchers and pelleted them with candy. The guard marchers scooped the candy off the ground, laughing, and threw it back at the truck and each other. Ten seconds later they were in their vehicle, and we were all off to our preferred homes.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Could someone just do us a favor and bring us one that works?

Either the stork's GPS is on the blink or this baby did NOT get the memo. I'm sorry, but babies in this house are supposed to have hard core opinions they like to share loudly at all hours of the day and night. I'm pretty sure this one may be broken, actually. Therefore, I feel it is my duty to let you know that we're sending Phelan back to the factory for reconditioning. Not only does he burn my retinas with his blinding cuteness (though I suppose you do get points for use of irony when you advertise Akron on your hat like that, Smug Little Person), he spends most of the day sleeping (boo-ring) and then has the audacity to smile ridiculously the rest of the time like Buddy from the movie ELF. I'm definitely giving this baby an "N" for Needs Improvement. Some high-maintenance type effort every once in a while would be nice, little monkey.

Love, Auntie.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009