I have returned from The Lake, my people! Browner, chunkier, and with an aching back (having spent many nights sleeping on an air mattress with Lea), but here. My official Lake Book, by the way, was David Mitchell's un-bleeping-believable Cloud Atlas. When the character of Zachry (sic) is talking story, he refers to it as "mem'ryin'". So, a handful of mem'ryin' from the past week:
1) All of the littlest cousins now at the age (3-8ish) when they can be friends. When I checked in on them one afternoon, they were in the pool room, leaning casually on their cue sticks, staring at the green felt table. "You guys okay?" "Actually," said Vida, "we're doing great, Mom." "Yeah, Mom, we're actually playing a game," Risa added. And Lea, not wanting to be left out of the fun of saying "actually," said, "So you can actually go, Mom." And I actually did. Go, I mean.
2) My nephew-in-law and his sweet, pregnant wife opening their surprise baby shower gifts. When she unwrapped ours, she got all teary-eyed, leaned against her husband, and said, "What are we doing?" I wanted to tell her it would all be okay, but you know what? She'll find out for herself soon enough.
3) A memorable canoe ride, in which the excellent spousal unit was kind enough to ignore the fact that I wasn't really paddling. This, despite having to take the long way around because of the water skiers.
4) Otter pops!—an official Lake food group.
5) Girl talk night. While we chatted earnestly and sipped delicately on our beverages, the boys were sequestered in another house playing poker, smoking things, and fulfilling their yearly quota of bodily function humor. And that is as it should be.
6) My other nephew-in-law's delightfully gifted girlfriend singing—among other things—"On the Sunny Side of the Street" for everyone. She is the growly-yummy voice singing "I Love Paris" in the icky Paris Hilton Carl's Jr. commercial, but I somehow managed to restrain myself from asking her about it.
7) The daily ritual of gathering together chairs, towels, sunblock, floaty things, sand toys, drinks, snacks, and whatnot for the beach. The daily ritual of repeatedly escorting our children to the beach restrooms, where they loudly berated the non-existent powers-that-be for what they deemed sub-standard facilities. The daily ritual of ice cream from the snack bar. The daily ritual of hanging swimsuits out to dry on the deck.
8) Scrabble! I won 3 out of 4. They were excessively long games. And then we realized we were missing seven tiles. None of the good ones, though.
9) Much to my eternal sadness and mortification, I hit—and most likely killed—a small deer while driving us to dinner one night. We didn't stop as there were several kids in the car and doing so would only have resulted in complete hysteria. So when we arrived at our destination, the spousal unit called the appropriate authorities to tell them where it happened. As I said, sadness.
And that is all.