These days in late June are the longest of the year. Indeed, they have felt…long. My husband took the older three kids to Arizona for the weekend for a joint family memorial service (people who had passed away over the past year, and now people can finally get together to honor them). The kids seemed to do fine with the 117 degree temperatures. Maybe there is something to that “dry heat” comment everyone makes. I stayed here with the 6-year-old and toddler. The toddler was not at his best. Up very early Friday after being up too late Friday night, because I’d agreed that the 6-year-old could go to an evening event with a 9 p.m. pick up. So he was throwing himself around, throwing food around. He got a decent nap, which was good, because then at night after going down at 7 p.m. he woke up at 10 p.m. and absolutely would not go down until 1 a.m. Since I had been up at 5:45 a.m. that morning with him, that last hour was particularly brutal.
But we all survived. I took the little guys in the pool twice over the weekend, and we drove to visit my brother in New Jersey. We have a few cicadas here, but they are much thicker there, making a 70-decibal oscillating sound. The 6-year-old amused himself for two-plus hours making piles of the cicada shells and observing the bugs themselves as they crawled around.
The four older kids are in three different camps this week, so there is a lot of driving going on. But I’m glad that they enjoy doing different things. When I dropped the 6-year-old off for his first day at a nature camp this morning, he basically bounded out of the car. The counselor suggested he say goodbye to me — but he was already racing off. A spirit of adventure!
About two years ago, I wrote a draft of a novel that centers around the summer and winter solstice, and a young man’s experiences of both days. He spent the summer solstice in Norway, where it is light except for a few hours in the dead of night. It was inspired, to some degree, by my husband and I spending some days around the summer solstice in Norway (more than once). I was remembering some of those journeys this weekend. On one trip, we went hiking on a mountain that had just opened for the summer season right around June 21st. We got stuck in a snowstorm on the top. I mean a driving blizzard of a snowstorm. I guess that saying about weather changing quickly in the mountains is true. In any case, we found some other people wandering around up there (with the snow obscuring the trail markings) and one of them had a compass and we all got down together.
I doubt there are any snowstorms coming here soon. The tiger lilies are starting to bloom, and the hydrangeas too. Now, on to more book writing/editing…