Those Days

Here's the month of October.
November's on deck, and December's in the hole.

After Dad died, the camera collected dust for awhile, so I've finished posting the bulk of snapshots from the last few months.  Catching up will be easier from here on out.

October 29/30/31

Millie teaches Aidan to crochet on October 29th.

That same baby sleeps on my lap while I read history to the girls on October 30th.

My mom called me from the hospital on the afternoon of October 30th and told me through tears of Dad's abrupt diagnosis.   On October 31st, I woke up and started making Zeke a car costume.  I cut cardboard, taped it together, and painted a base coat with my thoughts centered on my mom and dad.  My sister Debbie showed up mid-morning with the offer for me to go to the hospital for a few hours, so I left, came home mid-afternoon, and slap-dash sewed Pippi a skunk costume, my thoughts still centered on my mom and dad.  Deb had helped make/gather the rest of the girls' costumes, but I had no time to finish Zeke's car.

And then I snapped these sorry pictures right before John and I left the house with them.



Millie was Beth from Little Women.

Annie was...you guessed it.

Susannah was....you guessed it.

Piper and Aidan were both skunks.

(Striped, not spotted.)

And poor ol' Lu slipped through the cracks entirely in that confusing day.  She was supposed to be a duck-horse, but I had no time to make her costume, so she settled on a princess before changing her mind after we'd dressed her.  Final choice, five minutes before we left, was an elephant too big for its skin.

That morning's hospital visit on All Hallow's Eve ended up being the last time I talked with my Dad in the flesh. The man I'd never seen cry wept with me, the man who struggled to express affection to his children held my hand, and we spent a few hours together before they transferred him to Rochester.  I didn't know that he would step from death to Life in just ten days.
Posting these pictures is hard.

October Picnic in the Big Woods

In the short stretch of time between the last walk and this one, the rampant exuberance of orange and yellow began quieting to blocks of gray and brown.

The children were still exuberant, though.

I don't know who took this picture of squinty me, but since three of the children are in the frame, it must have been one of the four older girls. (Just call me Sherlock.)

Since hlearning was in full swing at this point, the half-day in the Big Woods was supposed to be a "nature walk," chock full of field guides, curious children, eager identification, and elaborate (and realistic!) sketch renderings in their nature journals.

Like most of our nature walks, it ended up being a picnic with lots of tree climbing.

And reading purely for FUN?  What a waste.

When Lucinda was a baby, I called her my little tree frog.  In hindsight, I may have been more right than I knew.

Shimmy down, tree frog.

So was I once myself a swinger of birches.

I don't know who took this picture of me, either, and there are no clues! No clues!!! (Just call me Watson.)

They're standing as stiff as soldiers here, ramrod-straight, because a buck had just walked by.

These pictures are funny because Zeke was reprimanding fungi in them.  He'd tried to eat some until we all said, "YUK!" so here he stands, telling them just how "ukk" they are.

Sorry for the graininess.  We were in a dim pine grove.

They had a footrace and left Luci in the dust.  She is, after all, a tree frog, not a cheetah.

When Aidan and I (who am also not a cheetah) finally caught up, Millie had made a teeter-totter.

 They played on it for the next half an hour, until we walked back to check in on my folks.

Another Good Day

Babies with Babies

When I made those baby slings years ago, I could never have imagined this little boy using one.


But I'm so glad he's here and that he does.