It’s been a perfect summer, weather-wise. We had a week or two where the temperatures reached into the 90s, but mostly it’s been high 70s to mid 80s. Late May, all summer long? I’ll take it.
That means we’ve spent a lot of time outside, playing in our new yard, planting our new garden, walking up and down our new street. We have great neighbors. We love our new neighborhood.
There are parts of me that miss living out in the country. My commute is not nearly as fun, photographically and spiritually, as it used to be. It’s all intersections and highway these days. I miss the quiet, and the trees. But then an airplane flies over our house every few hours, and the kids look up to watch it pass overhead, and it becomes one of those neat little things that make the new home so fun.
This summer I’ve worked steadily on the new portrait project. I photograph the kids as they play around the yard. But there haven’t been any photographic adventures – not like there used to be. There are only so many hours in the day, and photography’s slice of the pie is getting smaller and smaller.
That’s okay. My camera’s always ready when I need it to be. Like these late summer evenings when I can’t resist heading out to the front porch and watching the sun set.
We never had to prompt either kids to pick up a crayon and start doodling.
They both do it totally on their own. The crayons are always there, there’s always paper handy – they just need to sit down and scribble. It’s what they do.
That’s a good feeling, to have both kids take to art and music. It’s our fault, of course, as parents, because we surround ourselves with such things. It’s what we do.
As a kid, my parents always had music going in the house, and we loved to doodle and color in coloring books. But neither of my parents really did music (like play an instrument), or did art (as a hobby, say). I took their small spark and ran with it.
It’s exciting to think about what these kids will do.
Back on New Year’s Day, I came down with something terrible: fever, chills, aches, and an all-encompassing drowsiness. It was so bad I had to cancel holidays plans with my family.
By day three, I was going stir-crazy, so the boy and I headed outside during an unseasonably warm January day to get some fresh air. It had to help, even a little, to take a walk around the neighborhood.
We walked our usual path down by the lake, and through the neighborhood trails – to the giant pile of concrete rubble that sits on the farm property just outside the residential zone.
The walk didn’t end up helping all that much, long-term, but to my feverish head and aching lungs, breathing that foggy Midwestern air provided a much-needed break.