This morning after breakfast we said goodbye to our last batch of friends and headed back to my family’s lake cabin where we’d made our home for the weekend. Yesterday’s intense heat had given way last night to a wonderful lightening show, rain and thunder; friends swam in the gloaming with the sun hiding, then emerging; warm rain spattering. It was magical weather. Good food, delicious beer, long conversation well into the night.
It had been a good birthday weekend in honor of the much-loved Ralph; yet, unfortunately, I had not slept well either night we stayed, so I am feeling oddly muted, depressed Sunday morning. A trudging sense of ennui as I begin the long and laborious process of cleaning the cabin; washing up dishes, packing clothes, sweeping floors and wiping down counters. I don’t throw food out, so each bit I’ve prepared is carefully packed for the ride home. Damp towels stuffed into bags to be taken home, washed, dried, and returned to the cabin; gamepieces carefully fetched back to the dogeared copies of Clue and Monopoly that have inhabited the cabin since before I can remember.
There are bright spots through the fog of my exhaustion. My husband, who not only takes the kids into town so I can have a nap but while there seeks out and purchases the modeling clay I’d been wanting. At breakfast our friend Mary announces, “Your kids are my favorite kids,” smiling at Nels with a genuine warmth; a success in my estimation given Mary is childfree and during her visit Nels has worn combinations of pine needles, marshmallow and nakedness much of the time. And C., a father to two grown children himself, asks us, “Was their energy level typical yesterday?” not at all meaning this in a bad way. Ralph and I are testified to on the nature of our kids: free spirits, active, social, and engaged.
Back to Hoquiam and out in the evening to dine with our friend J., then to the amusing ice cream parlor in downtown Aberdeen (we lampoon the name of the place, SCOOOOPS!” in a big silly voice; we’ve also taken to calling it “OOPS” or “Scrapes” given that a recent visit culminated in a spectacular fall which included a full-body sprawl as the the “Ocean S’mores” sundae flew out of hand and splattered on the pavement). Home and the cats are loving, clingy, climbing into our lap and rubbing against us, glad to have us home, please give us more food and love.
Evening comes, a warm summer rain, weather I am used to through to my bones and do love dearly. Tomorrow is Monday, back to our week; Sophie’s swim team in the morning, cooking long hours in the kitchen, maybe even a bit of sewing, hearing the voices of my children raised joyfully in play outside.