Productivity

What an interval! About 10 days ago, a team of painters descended upon our house. Like those flying ants that show up in Ohio from time to time, they covered every surface and sent us fleeing from the vicinity. At the end of each day, they dispersed and we would tentatively return to the house, shaking our heads at the dust and wielding vacuum cleaners, mops, and swiffer cloths to make the space habitable again. Then, the next day we did it again. Among the swiffer-wielders were my parents, who were champs for suffering through it with us. The painters arrived the same morning I picked them up from the airport, and left just a day before Mom and Dad did. The upside of this is that it got us out of the house and doing things every single day. Also, we were blessed with gorgeous, summer-like weather. We spent part of every day on a beach, and only one of those was a little chilly. Today it is freezing spring weather again, so I am reminded just how fortunate we were last week.

My house is transformed! The downstairs hallway, the upstairs hallway, the entryway, the upstairs landing and bathroom, the sunroom, my bedroom! All the old paper has been scraped away, and the surfaces patched, primed and painted. All without Clay’s hard labor… it’s a beautiful thing. But enough about that.

Also since I last wrote, Chloe has been to Quebec with her 8th grade French class. She had a wonderful time! I’ll put up a few of her pictures, and maybe she’ll provide some commentary. Because she (and about 1/3 of the school orchestra) missed a concert the director unwisely scheduled during the school trip, she was responsible for attending another concert as a makeup assignment. So Chloe, her 2 closest cronies (Lily and Brenna), Grandma Cathy, myself, and Brenna’s parents, went to see “Bowfire” last weekend. It’s a group of professional strings players who put on a great show, including fiddling of all kinds, step dancing (some while playing the fiddle!), a tango, and singing. We loved it. You can get a taste in the videos on their website (www.bowfire.com).

Did I mention Mom and I saw a mouse in the opera house? He was finding his seat while we found ours. He loved the show, too– especially nibbling on Junior Mints during the performance. There’s a children’s story in that sometime.

What else to catch up on? Quinn and Claire continue to delight, amuse, and sometimes frustrate. Yesterday as we cleaned and organized in the wake of the painting job, the two of them played their own games. At one point we overheard them playing restaurant in the sunroom. “Here you go,” said server Claire, as she set down a meal in front of diner Quinn at the table. He tasted. “It’s hot!” he exclaimed. It was such a convincing performance I had to look to make sure they didn’t have real food. Then a few moments later, the diner fell out of his chair and whipped up pretend tears for the attentive server, who was doubling as mommy. When the Littles are in the play zone, they’re fun to watch. But when they hit the battle zone…let’s just say the sound and the fury are terrible to behold.

Oh! I almost forgot to talk about Claire’s ice skating and the medal ceremony. At the end of each 8-week session, they set up an archway and each kid gets a medal then skates through the archway. My pictures are blurry– I don’t know why– but here you go, anyway. Today we started a new session. I know, I know, I said we weren’t going to do another… but Claire really wanted to. So Quinn and I got reacquainted with the cold metal bleachers, and he got the delight of stomping down the metal stairs between them, slamming the locker doors and sometimes the big heavy, half-height door that leads out to the ice (thus shaking the sideboards and causing all in the vicinity to look around for what caused the commotion). Makes me pray that neither of them plays hockey– unlike soccer fields, ice rinks are no fun for spectators (at least, not for adult spectators).

Apparently, ice-cold lakes aren’t a lot of fun, either. Will is less than enthralled with crew, even after finally having been out on the lake. Apart from suffering through his crew commitment each afternoon, he’s doing well in his last weeks at Brooks. Seems to be a heavy workload time coming on– projects and exams and papers. He stayed at school last weekend, and he will be there this coming weekend. Sunday he’ll take a bus into Boston with a group from Brooks to do the Project Bread walk-a-thon. There is a community service requirement each year at Brooks, and he’s getting his in under the wire. I can hardly believe that he’s almost through his freshman year.

I have to sign off and go wake up little Quinny. Apparently his ice arena exertions really took it out of him, because he’s having a long, rainy day nap. Hmmm. Doesn’t that sound nice?

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