Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Great Minnesota Get Together

The State Fair is a pretty big deal around here.

I don't consider myself a "fair person," and I don't totally get what people DO all day every day if they go for repeat visits, but I consider it a tradition and the girls seem to like it.

On the very last day of the run, off we went to the park and ride to meet the Nonners and Papa.  The fair report is, so far, kind of the same each year.  So rather than a full round up, here's what was new and notable.

New rides.  (Brave girls.)

French Fry bucket and classic rock for a little morning snack.

Little Farm Hands

Eleri chose not to participate.  Clio got to ride a tractor, dig up "crops" and trade them at market for a little stuffed sheep.  Eleri wanted the sheep, too.  Valuable lesson learned about commerce?  Maybe.

Papa procured this inflatable Kemps cow.  He claims it was through his power of persuasion.  Others think he paid for it.  Jury's out.  Girls love it.

Clio carried him the rest of the day.  Papa named him Milky Way.

Along the way we also checked out the Fine Arts building, watched a troop of drummers, ate ice cream, chicken nuggets, and cheese curds, petted baby animals, and just missed the horse show and some lumberjack pole climbing.  Maybe next year.

The biggest deal, perhaps?  No strollers needed.  I forgot it in the trunk when we got to the park and ride just as the bus was going to pull out, but everyone did just fine.  These are some big, big girls.

Monday, September 19, 2011

A Room of One's Own

We are very lucky to have a nice house with plenty of space.  The girls have an awesome room and lots of space throughout the house dedicated to them (including a playground in the basement.)  And yet, they are always carving out their own little spaces around the house.

This might be my favorite.  They have taken to listening to the Beauty and The Beast soundtrack on this little old boombox, and they like to set up a pair of chairs facing it, as if they are watching something.

So sweet.

Oh, Summer, Where Did You Go?

Last Monday it was 90 degrees.  We spent a lazy day swimming and flipping through magazines at Nonny and Papa's house.  Two days later, frost.  Just like that, summer was over.  Nothing gradual, no reprise in Indian Summer, just: fall.  Winter feels imminent.  I put the down blanket back on our bed, and was not too warm.  I'm not ready.  All of a sudden I'm having visions of shoveling mountains of snow, of bundling everyone into insufficient layers, of hibernating for six months, just when we're ready to get out there and do some things.

Most of the summer was lost to this blog, too.  I didn't take nearly as many photos of our family as I usually do.  Used to do.  Partly because the girls just scream at me when I get out the camera, partly because I just got lazy, partly, I'd like to think, because when I was with the girls this summer, I was WITH them, and not hovering above to record and remember.  That's a good thing.

I never got around to describing the girls' birthday party, which started as a disaster and ended in great good fun.  Coming out of a government shutdown, we didn't know if our desired venue--the north commons water park--would be open.  Turns out they were (yay!) just not at the hour we specified (boo!)  So we lost several people along the way, but ended up having a marvelous picnic with two families, including self-frosted cupcakes and presents.  As we were about to wrap it up, we decided to hit the waterpark instead just as they opened, and the kids were in heaven.  Not bad for the grown-ups, either, with the two huge water slides for us, too.  We wrapped up at our friend Silo's house for pizza.  A long, wonderful day.

We went camping with the Harringtons.  It was perhaps the most humid weekend of the year.  There were trains that ran so close to the campground I could swear they were barreling through our tents.  And there was an insane lightning and thunderstorm that wind whipped the tents and sent fear through my fingertips: what if the lightning strikes the tree we are camped so near?  What if it runs through the ground, drawn to our metal tent poles?  We were in separate tents, Dave with Clio, me with Eleri, and that sweet girl slept right through.  IT lasted 45 minutes.  when it was over, another train barreled through.  You know what though?  The campground had a lovely beach on Lake Pepin, and we spent most of the time in the water.  Despite everything, the girls loved it.

We spent time in the garden.  And drawing with sidewalk chalk.  And visiting the local playgrounds and water features.  Minnesota has a LOT of amazing pools and wading pools and sprinkling devices.  A LOT.  Especially for a state that freezes over for half the year.

The girls went to Grandma and Grandpa's when I went to NYC.  They always have a great time with the kittens.

It's always so weird to wrap up a season in a post.  It always feels both forever ago and just like yesterday.  That will never be revelatory, but it will always be true.

School has begun.  Leaves are changing.  Life moves forward.