Saturday, July 31, 2010

Redwood Summer

Yes, I know about the original Redwood Summer and had the most unfortunate experience of living through it (remind me sometime to blog about growing up in Humboldt, willya?), but this time I'm talking about summertime in the redwoods, and a bit further north. Summer in Del Norte is always mild. If we're lucky, the marine layer burns off right around lunchtime, prompting me to shoo the children and Onyx the black lab outside as quickly as possible so they can burn some of the energy that's manifesting in outbursts of fists, tears and itty bitty pieces of paper all over the carpet. If they can get even a few hours of sunshine and physical activity, it makes life much, much easier on their poor parents.

Sporadic sunshine and feral kids aside, this has been one of the most fun summers we've had (pardon me, I just had to investigate suspicious sounds in the back yard, then chew out three little girls for soaking everything with the hose. Fun! Fun, I say!). We spent an epic five days at Disneyland, visited a myriad of relatives in Southern California, some of whom we'd never met before, and came home to a completely empty calendar. I can't say how good that feels after a school year of hourly commitments and constant meetings. The only thing I was sure to schedule was swimming lessons for the kiddos (I'm taking a hiatus on mine for now). They all did so great, and Steven particularly showed amazing progress in getting over his fear of the water, we've decided to do lessons during the school year too so they can keep going without having to re-learn everything each summer.
As much as I grumble about living in the armpit of nowhere, I have to appreciate the novelty of living in a sleepy little cow town like Fort Dick. Summertime here is much like the rest of the year: quiet and sparsely populated, except at 6, 10 and 2 when it's shift change at the prison. In the afternoons, the only sounds you hear outside are chirping birds and kids pretending they're Woody and Buzz Lightyear atop the tree fort in the back yard (and, God help me, the sound of the hose spraying yet again and three little girls expressing shock that they're STILL not allowed to screw around with it).

We're nearing the point of summer where I start exclaiming under my breath how nice it is to have two of them in school, but I'm still enjoying the short people enough to waltz across the lawn with popsicles and provide an enthusiastic audience for various stage shows the girls have thought up, and more than a few game shows the boy has invented - and probably rigged. I'll hold on to that as long as possible, because summer never seems long enough.

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