My baby boy is 8 today. I can’t believe it, yet looking at him it must be true. We spent a few minutes this morning looking through old pictures and videos taken the first few months of his life. He is every bit as funny and good-natured now as he was then. And still in such a hurry to keep up with his siblings.
We spent this first day of his 8th year with his good buddy, eating pizza and ice cream cake, bouncing like crazy on inflatable fun houses, and they are finishing out the day right now with StarWars and potato chips.
About a month ago we checked off one of the remaining boxes from our Summer Bucket List–waterfall hike. Along with friends, we made the trip northwest to Monson, down a crazy bumpy road to the trailhead of Little Wilson Falls, in the Hundred Mile Wilderness, and near the end of the Appalachian Trail.
The iPhone pictures don’t do it justice…it was remarkable! Being such a dry summer we able to walk along the rocks, right in the river in some places, swim in swimming holes, and build dams along the lazy shallows at the top of the falls. Even with little water, the falls themselves are amazing, according to the guidebook, some of the tallest in the state. I can imagine they must be even more impressive in the spring (though I’d skip the swimming then!).
On Monday Kale and I have the first day of a new geology club in town. I can’t wait to learn a bit about the geology behind these crazy “steps” in the river. In some places we felt like we were at a Roman bathhouse.
This year marked our 9th Autumnal Equinox celebration atop Mount Batty. It is a sweet, simple celebration with family friends, pizza and Oreos (half light/half dark). We gather stones or shells and toss them off the cliff and make a wish for the coming year. Some years we don our hats and winter jackets. This year we returned from the sweaty, dusty Common Ground Fairgrounds and sought out the only shade on the summit to escape the 90 degrees in the sun. Still, the feast Kale laid out for the chipmunks looked very fall like. It’s coming for sure.
Two weeks ago the harvest began in earnest. It’s a small scale affair here, but still, as much as I can (or want) to handle. I’m still working on sauce (apple and tomato), onions are curing in the screen porch, the garlic is now cut and stored, with some set aside to go in the ground. Half of the honey has been pulled off the hives. Lard from a friends’ pig about 1/2 rendered. Potatoes dug and in the pantry. Grape jelly lids popping behind me as I type this. Plus cabbages to be krauted, and more kale and chard than we can keep up with. We are eating well. Some days. Other days its cheap pizza from the General Store– we can only manage so much. Sometimes it’s overwhelming. Especially the fruit flies. Mostly it’s just beautiful.
Summer has turned the corner to Autumn, with all of its schedules and well-intentioned business. I’d like to post more regularly about our weeks and our learning adventures. But first, a few highlights from our Labor Day vacation to NYC.
We stayed in an AirBB, walked 10 miles a day, had dinner with a 2nd cousin, saw “School of Rock” on Broadway, and met up with my childhood friend, Adrienne and her children at Central Park. We had such fun re-connecting and meeting her kids for the first time!
So much could be said about the trip and our first impressions of this amazing city. But, I’ll leave it to a few captions and let the pictures stand in for the rest.
Rob has a habit of calling Juniper “sweet girl” (which she truly is) but I am quick to jump in and correct any gender stereotyping, and remind them both of all of her other amazing qualities–clever, strong, kind, sassy… So her new nick name has become, “Sweet girl, ahem (throat clear)” which indicates all the unsaid truths about her. It’s become their thing. In any case, this sweet girl (ahem) turned 12 the last week of July.
Her birthday followed the sickest week I have ever spent as an adult, possibly ever, and she was truly a good sport as birthday planning continued to be pushed aside–“maybe after a nap we’ll sew your dress”, maybe after another nap we’ll start your cake. Each nap turned into another day, and day after day in hopes that my fever would dissipate. A course of antibiotics did the trick, and true to tradition, the dress did get sewn, the cake did get made, and I was nearly as good as new in time for her special day.
Wylie’s birthday is just a week after that, and our 1st baby turned 14. It is hard to believe that I’ve been a mother for 14 years. That sounds like an eternity. And when I think of who I was at 14, well, I can’t believe that my boy is that big. It really is an incredible thing getting to be with these people as they grow.
Mimi’s birthday is two days after Wylie’s. Seventy-three and still the best Mimi around! It’s a solid week of cake. No one ever complains.
The end of July was also the year anniversary of adopting Daisy. We can hardly imagine living without her. Such a funny little pup she is!
Last, but not least, Rob and I celebrated 16 years of marriage on the 11th! The friend who snapped this pic said she wanted to make an ad for running that said, “this is what running together will do for your marriage!” Must be true, because it gets better every year.
We’ve been doing it properly. Lots of fun running with friends (including the Rocklobster Relay, 200 miles from Bar Harbor to Portland), 4th of July weekend at the Lake with the Fowler cousins and second cousins, a week camping at Mount Desert Island, the first week of Farm Camp at Toddy Pond Farm, and somehow, time for swimming, ice cream (lots), sleepovers in the yard, and a bit of gardening. This year we’ve made a “Summer Bucket List” (inspired by Pinterest) and have been working steadily to make sure all of our summer dreams can be fulfilled and adding new ideas weekly. I’m realizing that there may be a point in the summer where this goal feels stressful and crazy making–but so far, it’s been nothing but loads of fun!
Rob’s solo marathon in Acadia, Rocklobster Relay, Carriage Trails, Eagle Lake
Wylie’s homemade sailboat–it got him across the pond, fast! Pedaling back was much slower.
Fireworks with second cousins, Rob is 40!, Family Sundae at SuperScoops
Hiking Bar Island in Bar Harbor with friends
MDI Campground, Ship’s Harbor Hike, 1st Monarch of the year