family fun · Kids · water you paddling?

Day 184: One September Summer Day

First things first: I was so busy enjoying today that I forgot about E being my guest author until after she was in bed. My apologies. I’ll try to remember tomorrow, when the temperature drops to 12 from 24.

It was windy today, so in the shade it didn’t feel so warm. On the dock it was a different story: the sun was bright and hot all day long. I dragged the kids out of the house. “Whatever you’re doing,” I said, “you can do it on the dock. We won’t get another day like this.” While they did each other’s hair, read books, and played, I lay on a lounge chair in my bathing suit and read a trashy novel. It was perfect.

The day was so (relatively) warm that I agreed to go swimming with the kids, even though I knew the lake would be freezing cold. It was painfully cold, not refreshing, and we all started to turn purple after about ten minutes, but we made the best of it by running up the hill from the lake to jump into the hot tub.

I managed to convince N (who wasn’t keen on kayaking since last week’s fiasco) and Mr. December (who prefers canoeing) to try kayaking today. After they’d both had their turns, K and I went out together and spent half an hour charging into the oncoming waves. As I sit here right now I can still feel the up-and-down sensation; if I closed my eyes I could convince myself I was still out on the water.

Essentially, today was exactly what I’d hoped most of our days would be this month. We might get another, or we might not, but at least we had today.

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Day 183: Waves

I’ve come to understand that temperature is really only one element of a “nice day.” It was probably about 19 degrees today, but the wind was strong and the lake was rough, so it wasn’t the idyllic day on the dock that I had hoped for.

In some ways it was better, though. K, my sensory-seeking kid who loves swings, spinning around, and trampolining, decided to try taking a kayak out on the waves. We went together, paddling ferociously towards the waves and cheering when our kayaks went over the crest of a wave and crashed, bow first, into the next one. We felt so alive… and so very, very wet.

So now I have a partner in crime who will sneak away with me anytime to go kayaking on a rough lake. That’s a good thing.

My in-laws visited us today, which was a lovely break from our usual routine. I dropped them and the kids off at the park so I could drive to the supermarket two towns over. The twenty minutes of alone time in the car was a much-needed reprieve from being with people all the time.

Driving is a treat up here. I love driving, but not sitting in traffic, so I try to avoid driving in Toronto. But here when I turn onto the road, there’s this long stretch of road ahead of me. If there are other cars they’re moving along at the speed limit (or just above it.) Navigating a grid of straight highways isn’t as much fun as driving on the winding roads in rural Pennsylvania, but it’s very pleasant — especially when the soundtrack is by Great Big Sea instead of Great Big Complainypants Kids.

We had a late barbecue lunch (including brownies my MIL baked for us) which left most of us with no desire for dinner; but by 7:30, I heard discontented rumblings about hunger and bedtime snacks. Half an hour later I was pulling homemade tea biscuits out of the oven. With Skyr (instead of clotted cream) and blueberry jam, they hit the spot. The children sat around the table munching and listening to me as I read aloud from The Weighty Word Book. I’ve since sent them to bed (with the requisite arguments about who’s sleeping where with whom) and am finishing my own tea while I write this post.

And now a teaser for tomorrow: E will be my guest author (she’ll dictate to me and I’ll faithfully type everything she says.) She’s writing a book about the adventures of her favourite stuffed animals, Chickaletta and Bubbles, and would like to share a few pages of it with my readers. You really don’t want to miss this. It’s adorable.

While we’re up here vacillating between ennui and excitement, some of my readers are affected by the fires in the western United States. According to my brother, the air quality in Vancouver is awful now, and friends in Toronto have said that the hazy sky there has been attributed to the fires. Wherever you are, dear readers, I hope you are safe and healthy.