Snow on the Hydrangeas

We’ve celebrated another birthday since I last wrote. We’ve also been back to the apple orchard/pumpkin patch. And let’s see… we’ve been to several soccer games and cross country meets. We’ve walked the Littles to school in sun and in rain, picking up colorful leaves since almost the first day. I’ve played tennis once a week in mostly sunshine, and Gus and I have walked and walked while the kids are in school. So what month is it? Sometimes, if the weather is nice, October and September can kind of run together here– with the same activities going on, and the sun turning the world orangey-pink under the canopy of turning leaves.

But then… then it snows on my still-blooming hydrangea bush. How are we supposed to respond to this? Run around crazily out of control in the backyard, like Gus? Start prepping for a snow day, like Will? Shuttle cars around in the driveway, like Clay? Admire it a moment and then get back to homework, like Chloe? Build a fire in the fireplace (like me?). Or, like poor Claire and Quinn, we could just sleep through it. If I had my way, I might sleep through the whole winter. But on the bright side, this morning is clear and bright, though cold. The hydrangeas survived, as did the mums and even the mandevilla. From where I sit I can see bright red leaves still blooming on the maple tree out front. All is not lost because of our brief flirtation with winter!

Luckily, it didn’t snow last weekend when Rusty and Lyn were here. Our Austin-based grandparents may well have decided they were done with New England had they had to weather that cold Nor’easter we had yesterday. We did get a pretty serious rain their first morning here, but it cleared by noon and we were out in the orchard the next day. A nice stranger snapped a photo for us– proving once and for all that I do accompany my family on these little outings! (And I feel it my duty to point out that we are standing on a slope in this picture– Clay at top, me at bottom. I noticed he placed himself strategically upslope relative to Will in every picture we took!) We so enjoyed Rusty and Lyn’s visit, and celebrating Coco’s 15th birthday with them. The celebration dinner was at Firebull, the Brazilian barbecue we love but– for the sake of our waistlines– can only allow ourselves to do once a year or so. Chloe was once again the last one to turn over her ‘Stop! I’ve had enough’ card– which makes them stop bringing skewers of delicious, rotisserie grilled meat to the table– but she only beat me this time by about a heartbeat. Not that I want to boast about my hearty appetite…

As I said, October looks a lot like September around here. Will and Chloe continue to be busy with their sports. Last Saturday they both took the PSAT test– which, according to many friends on Facebook, officially makes us parents OLD. But I’m not buying that. I’ll be old when I say I’m old, and not a moment before. (Cantankerous old bat, aren’t I?) Anyway, Quinn and Claire are having a great time in their respective schools. They each had their first field trips of the year, to different farms on the same day. For Quinn it was quite a highlight to get his first school bus ride.

While the Littles were on their field trips, Clay was holding down the fort at home so I could be with the Laub family for my Uncle’s funeral. My dad’s older brother, Larry, will really be missed by all of us. I’m so glad I got to see him August, and glad to have been with my family last week. My parents drove me to the airport in Dayton after the funeral, and then– happier news!– on to Cincinnati for the birth of a new little grandson! Matthew Wyatt Broermann was born October 15– God bless the little guy! Can’t wait to meet him. It was so hard for me to leave Ohio just before he came in…

But… it’s kinda hard to take too long of a break from routine when you have such important things as I have to do. I started that as a joke, but really I guess it’s true. What could be more important than making everything work for my kids? Getting them where they need to go roughly when they need to be there, making sure they brush their teeth, helping them write a note to the Tooth Fairy (Claire lost tooth #2 Sunday), showing up to do a story and craft for the preschoolers… that’s my life’s work right now! Sometimes I think I’m not very good at it, but then, every day is another chance to practice!

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