Thursday, September 12, 2013

Great Moments In Parenting


Photo courtesy Flickr

I was enjoying a leisurely morning cuppa with a friend who wrangles a blended family of ten. We were stationed at the dining table, close to the kitchen door, and the kids were home. When she poured the tea, my friend automatically put a spoon of sugar in it and stirred it before handing it over with the contents swirling nearly over the brim. That was laugh number one for the day.

A few minutes later, she asked one of the kids zooming past where something was. Her daughter said, “It’s in the upstairs closet, you know, the one where you hide the biscotti.” The ping on that one was five minutes.

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More after the jump.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Preparedness


Photo courtesy Flickr

In his discussion of the massive sculptures on Easter Island, Peter Freuchen says that the carrying capacity of its sixty-nine square miles was taxed to the limit. Midnight raids between groups were common, and people slept in caves on their stomachs with their knees tucked under them so that they could spring into action should aggressors turn up in the night.

The emergency preparedness measures recommended by local authorities are little different from good Easter Island practice, though I’m perfectly happy to sleep on my side. Finessing the balance between anxiety and prudent preparation for known emergencies goes with domestic territory. 

The tighter I wind the strings of emergency preparedness, the more smoothly the household runs and the less it costs to manage day to day life support. A favorite cousin and I made the same discovery when our nests emptied: the closer we live to our dorm days, the happier and more productive our lives have become. Henry Thoreau muttered about the ordinary citizen pushing his barn ahead of him down the road of life. I still have the barn, but it’s fairly featherweight and quite low maintenance, now.

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More after the jump.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Autumn Sleeping Party


Photo courtesy Flickr

The first cool, rainy week-end of a Seattle fall is occasion for, well, for nothing at all. We heave a familial sigh of relief and burrow under the covers to play catch-up from summer’s excess of daylight and fresh air. 

In a good year, the garden’s in decent shape, the lawn short enough to ignore, and the floors are clean. One Saturday and Sunday are all it takes to shift to the new rhythms of school and office.

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More after the jump.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Small Towels


Photo courtesy Flickr

Watching Olympic competition bores and edifies at the same time. It’s taken months to realize that the last summer games produced a lasting legacy. One of the divers commented as she climbed out the of the warming tub that there had been a switch to smaller towels, because they were faster to use.

They are. Now I can get out the front door thirty seconds sooner.

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More after the jump.