Sunday, August 31, 2008

Back To School

August ends and, as always, my Birthday, the State Fair and Labor Day mean Back to School for me. In the days of my youth, school always started after the Labor Day Weekend. It signals a New Year…a new grade level…a new chance to make changes…a new adventure. It has always been that for me…first for myself, then during all the years I was raising my children. Now I am employed at the college and the advent of the new term brings the same excitement and promise. Even now, little Ember goes to her daycare “school” and today we will shop for her first pair of real shoes as she is about ready to start walking.

In my childhood, this was the weekend for venturing into the stores for school clothes…a new coat and a new pair of shoes. And for making plans for keeping to a sensible bedtime, eating a good hearty breakfast, making healthy lunchbox lunches. There would be rules about getting homework out of the way and a return to a more rigid daily routine than the free-wheeling summer days. “Home before dark” came earlier every day.

Now I preparing for the drawing in, the pulling the house in around me. A new filter for the furnace which will be turned on soon. Opening the plastic bins that contain the afghans and wool blankets, the heavy sweaters and warm scarves. Dusting off the rain boots. I already purchased my new shoes…brown leather Mary Janes from Born. And I’m busy knitting wool socks to keep my feet toasty.

The dogs love the brisk Fall weather and our longer ranging walks. We’ll have to dig around and find our flashers as the evenings I get home after work it will be dark when we head out. My Labs are real dogs and do not wear cutsey coats or little plastic booties. Their coats shed water and the undercoat keeps them warm in the coldest weather.

We’re ready to say good-bye to the summer that never was and move on to a Fabulous Fall that will be full of fun and activities and events and the joy of another season to be alive and well and surrounded by my family.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Nanna & the Wee Lad & Lassie

These two beautiful babies are the most precious birthday gift I could ever receive. I am thrilled and privileged to be part of their lives. Oliver Samuel Graham and Ember Louise Fay Roth.

Friday, August 22, 2008

La Familia

For my 71st Birthday Celebration, my children rented a house in Manzanita on the Oregon Coast. It was an awesome place in a beautiful location. The house had four bedrooms, three baths, deck, patio, all the amenities. Only a block to the beach and a few blocks walk to the charming little town.

We arrived Friday night in time for a delicious lasagna dinner prepared by Phil. Saturday we woke up to a waffle breakfast courtesy of Andy. Then a day of sand and sun. Scott set up his chair and Ember played under the striped umbrella. Phil and the dogs were in and out of the water all day romping and running while I just soaked in the atmosphere. Windy brought sandwiches down for lunch and we spent the whole day there getting spotty sunburns and dozing in the sun. Andy et al came down later in the day after Ollie’s nap. Back to the house for a grilled kebab dinner that Scott fixed, and then games and music around the big flat screen plasma TV.

Sunday was another Andy breakfast…huevos rancheros this time. It was misty and foggy and a perfect day for napping, reading and playing with babies. Plenty of leftovers for lunch. Andy & Laura & Oliver left for home in the late afternoon but the rest of us stayed over one more night. It was hard to tear ourselves away. We ordered pizza and watched a movie and had a quiet “wind-down” evening. Up very early Monday morning for a drive back just in time to hit Portland’s famous rush hour traffic.

It’s been over ten years since I lived at Ocean Beach in The City and fell asleep listening to the sounds of the coast…the thundering waves moving in and out, the tolling of the buoy bells, the deep voices of the foghorns. It was wonderful to hear that again and to smell the salt air. It felt so good to walk on wet sand and look for shells and rocks for my collection. I had forgotten how much I enjoy the ocean.

It was one of the best weekends I have ever had. This is why I moved here. My family. I love them all so much. A thousand thanks to them all for making my birthday so special.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Waxing Crescent Moon

When I went out last evening to see why the dogs were barking, there was the most awesome bright yellow waxing crescent moon hanging in the sky. Surrounded by piles of fluffy clouds, it seemed like a slice of lemon in the heavens.

It is Fall here. Crisp brisk evenings that make you want to get inside and close the windows and settle on the couch. Mornings are chilly and there is a film of dampness on the morning paper. Somewhere in the late afternoon the sun comes out of hiding for a few hours, but is gone by suppertime.

The memory of summer is more than distant…it’s a year old! No hot sunny days in 2008. I’m glad I’m not reliant on solar power! I’m already looking on knitting websites for warm wooly sweaters. I never got around to putting plants in the ground. So it’s Fall.

Next week the Green Corn Full Moon on the 16th will be the Saturday of our Family Weekend at the Coast and that will make a bonfire on the beach special. If…of course…we can see it behind the clouds. Lots going on in the sky in August so remember to LOOK UP.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Free Tibet

I plan to wear this shirt every day during the Olympics.