Fireworks and thunder on Lake Quannapowett

We had a remarkably lovely July 4th today. I should be in bed in fifteen minutes, so I’ll give you the condensed version.

Thane at Fort State beach in Gloucester
Thane at Fort State beach in Gloucester

For the second time this week, we went to Gloucester to the beaches there. And for the second time, we had a superb time. Today was absolutely perfect: the air was the right temperature, there was the right amount of sun, the sand was everything silicate particles should be and the water was delightful. Today we went to Good Harbor beach – Saturday we went to Fort State. Both were a tremendous amount of fun.

The waves were absolutely great at Good Harbor today – just right for splashing through, or jumping over, or boogie-boarding. They were enticing and entrancing. The boys are just finally getting old enough and sturdy enough to have fun in the waves – Thane with a careful hand on him at all times, and Grey with a newfound resilience as he fell under tumultuous waves and rose again grinning. They’re also old enough that I got to read a little on the beach, and we flew kites (they practically flew themselves). It was a sunny, sandy delight.

We were home just long enough for a farmshare salad and quick shower before packing a tired family into the car (plus two neighbors!) for the fireworks on Wakefield’s Lake Quannapowett. As we laid down our towels, the skies to the North looked dark. As darkness fell, flashes of lightning fought with flashes of illegal fireworks to light up the sky. By the time the display started in earnest, so had the thunderclouds behind it. It was really remarkable. We were completely dry, but lightning laced between clouds directly behind the truly remarkable display of fireworks. I must say, God’s display got the bigger applause from the crowd.

It started raining – bucketing – as we walked quickly back to the car.

But guys… it was SO COOL. Unfortunately, I have zero pictures from today because I was lazy at the beach, and figured that any pictures I could take of (normal) fireworks would be lame. I usually don’t take “scenery” pictures because others have done the exact same ones, only better. And my photography skills have not yet extended to fireworks, which are tricky. I’m terribly sad, but I’m hoping that someone else did much better and you’ll get to see how awesome it is as lightning laces its way through fireworks!

Yes, I now think it is time to become comatose! Happy 4th to all my American friends, and happy day to the rest of you!

Wave jumping
Wave jumping

Pictures from Saturday here!

Tongue-tied

Some of what I've missed telling you about
Some of what I've missed telling you about

When you get out of the habit of frequent posting, you get tongue-tied. There’s a pressure behind your speech, of all the things you meant to say that are unsaid. This blog is part friendship, part letter home, part baby-book, part journal and part sanity check. But it also only touches a portion of my life. There are realms of my life that go unsaid and undocumented here. For example, I rarely talk about work in any but the vaguest of ways because, uh, not to put too fine a point on it but it’s really dumb to talk a lot about the details of your work in your personal blog. (See also: Twitter, Facebook, etc.)

Why haven’t I written very much lately? There are a few elements. First of all is the sheer time/energy factor. I’m really crazy super annoyingly busy. I just simply don’t get much downtime between a full time job, obnoxious commute, small children, real dinner, housework, church work (another place I’m horrendously behind/lax) and needing 8 good hours of sleep a night.

Second is, truly, that tongue-tied factor. It’s harder to restart than it is to continue.

Third is the stoooopid leg. OK, a bit more story here. We all remember how I brilliantly busted my knee leaping off a 5 foot stone wall. Right. Then we all remember how much BETTER I was getting. Well, about a week and a half ago, doing yoga as prescribed by the orthopedic surgeon to restore my flexibility before I hurt myself, I stretched the opposing tendon to my injured one. It seemed minor. I went to PT the next day and we got some stretches to work on that. Look how GOOD I was being people! Then on Thursday night I went to dinner with people I totally didn’t know. It was fun. I sat with my knee bent, which was sort of novel and fun because I hadn’t really been able to sit that way for two months! When I went to get up, uh, I couldn’t. I really, really, really couldn’t walk. I couldn’t put any pressure on that leg. I needed help to get to my car, which sheesh. Talk about embarrassing! Then my knee blew up to balloon size.

I did the only logical thing I could do. We left the next morning to go camping.

Then my stoooopid lower back which I’ve totally had completely under control since Thane was born decides that one bum joint isn’t enough. I have kept my lower back issues under control with a combination of massage and core strength. With the enforced inactivity, the core strength has been compromised, and the additional pulling off of significant limpage has caused some serious back issues which infuriates me past speech.

So yeah, things have taken longer than they usually do and I’ve been in pain.

And fourth? Well, there are big things afoot in the parts of my life I don’t talk about here. And that’s where I’ll leave that, in incredibly tantalizing and confusing form. Best of all, from an annoying-my-readers point of view, if this thing doesn’t pan out, you’ll never know what it was! Muahahahah! If it does pan out, it’s too big to not be mentioned here. So you should cheer for success with it (which makes it clear, I hope, that the THING is an opportunity not a threat).

So what haven’t I told you? Well, we went to The Gloucester Fiesta with our neighbors the weekend before last, and had a complete blast. Watching our kids play together in the surf (in their diapers, the weather was supposed to be awful but turned amazing!) in the foreground while the walking of the greasy pole went on the in the background totally made my day.

Grey has started summer camp. It seems fun, but extremely tiring and logistically challenging. Each day is different and requires different gear! On the other hand, they get two fantastic field trips a week!

I am on my third batch of jam for the summer. So far there’s two strawberry and one strawberry rhubarb.

We went camping for the 4th weekend (see also: things that are challenging with one leg). I took no pictures. Our Saturday was fantastic. Our Sunday was good. We came home Sunday night, and then had fun watching fireworks with Crazy Unka Matt on the 4th proper. Grey fell asleep in the kitchen chair eating a post-fireworks snack.

The meeting I was at when my knee conked out was a really neat one about setting up a Presbyterian Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program in Boston focused on food justice. The best part was all the locally sourced dishes that were fed to us there. YUM!!!! Or maybe the best part was the fun and interesting ideas tossed around. It’s hard to pick.

We’re getting ready for our summer vacation. My knee has BETTER behave, but I find it oddly prescient of myself that for once I opted NOT to go backpacking this summer. Instead, we’re going to Ashland Oregon. We’ll be seeing 5 plays in a week for our vacation, and I can’t wait.

OK, those are the big things I’m willing to talk about. What’s going on with YOU?