Posts filed under ‘Michigan’
Last week we spent a steamy mid-afternoon picking more than our share of Grandpa Jon’s raspberries. Strawberries are usually my favorite fresh summer fruit, but put a quart of hot-off-the-bush raspberries in front of me? Watch out. Amazing.
Wren is a funny little birdie, but you probably already knew that. She’s really into being nude these days and all she needed was to see Grandpa picking without his shirt to join in on the fun. Soon enough, however, even a pair of shorts proved to be too much constriction. Because really, who doesn’t want to pick raspberries in the nude? Oh my.
Phoebe is into a different sort of fun these days. While she too enjoys nudity, she also loves a good round of peekaboo. Or maybe she’s wondering where all the raspberries went? Guilty.
Once we got home, all four of us dove (almost) head first into the raspberries. Phoebe thought it was pretty incredible too.
I’m not really sure how babies do it exactly, but they make such a ridiculous mess from such a small amount of anything. Phoebs, raspberries on your cankles, really? Bathtime was a juicy one.
The cherries are in short supply this year. The early warmth and sun in March brought out the blossoms and then more normal temperatures returned and the needle dipped below freezing. You can guess what happened next. Sorry, cherries. We enjoyed a ripe handful yesterday and they were delicious. Summer in northern Michigan is really here!
Another spring, another trip to see the irises. We love visiting the Black Iris Farm just a bit outside of Traverse City. We’re greeted with countless rows of vibrant colors, which is quite the spectrum spectacle for a color lover. The bearded iris flowers are always in bloom around Wren’s birthday and I hope I’ll always remember going there to get flowers for her first birthday party. And again last year when I remember it perking Wren up after a rough morning when she was entering her charming “tasmanian devil” stage…
We visited this year once during the day and then we begged Chris to take his girls there another evening when the shadows would be long and the sun full of gold. Do you ever go back somewhere with the light in mind? I learned that from my Dad.
Here is a great example of the light difference in these two untouched photos. The one above taken in mid-morning with harsh, almost directly overhead, cool light. And the next one taken in mid-evening, with the sun lower in the sky and full of warmth.
My Dad also taught me to “choose happiness.” I am reminded of this perspective on life every day when I see Wren’s free, creative spirit in action.
I’m not sure how this post turned into things I learned from my parents, but seeing this sign for one of the varieties of iris makes me think of my Mom and our mutual love of words. I’m pretty sure I got this from her.
Although I don’t see my parents very often because we don’t live close to each other, I think of them every day. I wonder what my kids will learn from me? This has been on my mind a lot lately as Wren is now of the age where she can form lifelong memories of events, or so “they” say. Will she remember visiting the iris farm? Or will the photos create the illusion of a “memory” for her? Or will she just remember being nagged to keep her shoes on instead of remembering the pure joy of running through the sandy fields, bare toes and all? Please, dear child, remember the joy.
Everyone is always talking about “Paris in April,” blah blah blah. They obviously have never spent any friend and nature-filled April afternoons in our dear Empire, flying kites, chasing butterflies, playing at the water’s edge, looking for jack-in-the-pulpits and dutchman’s breeches (“pants flowers”), enjoying picnics in the sun… We were lucky enough to have spent two beautiful April afternoons in Empire recently. So good for our spirits and for the strength of our family ties. It makes such a big difference to spend the day outside, wandering around at a toddler’s pace. Nothing hurried. Just enjoying the renewal of spring and letting it fill our wells after the cold and darkness of winter. Aaah, welcome spring. We are so very grateful for you.
We escaped the big storm that brought twenty (or more) inches of weavy, het snow to northern Michigan and got a city fix in the D this past weekend with my Mom. Thanks, Detroit, for being sunny and snow-free for our visit. We played tourist… ate Opa! and olives in Greektown, picked out desserts at the Astoria and visited the Detroit Insitute of Arts. Phoebe slept the entire D visit until the modern wing. So I nursed her amidst the big, abstract pieces while Wren melted down in need of a nap… There was a lot of “why?” and “wow!” as we wandered around the museum and it made this Mama happy. Never too young to enjoy art.
We finally got some real snow here in northern Michigan. The “blizzard of 2012″ seems to have moved on east and now the sun’s revealed a twinkly blanket of white. A virtual snow globe! Or is it the other way around and a snow globe is a virtual snow storm? Hmmm. Anyway, just a few chilly pics for you today. We’re off to sip some hot cocoa and “fix” some more puzzles. What’s happening in your nest today?
I’m not really a nostalgic person; I don’t usually try to relive great moments; I also don’t really enjoy sitting around and chatting about the “good ole days.” But when Chris suggested heading out to the Dune Climb, aka Sand Mountain, I jumped at it. But it wasn’t really because we had such a great time there earlier this fall. It was because it seemed daunting to take our whole family of four (!) out there and I knew it would do all our spirits (and lungs) good to GET OUT. And we did it! And had a great time. Every time I get out with both girls and get home safely without any complete meltdowns or disasters, I feel like I won the lottery. Maybe not a big, retire-now-and-travel-the-world lottery, but a decent one. Yes!
Happy August, lovelies! We started the morning out with an early blueberry bonanza to beat the heat. Apparently, I just can’t eat enough fresh blueberries because we picked some last week too, but my supply was already getting a bit low. They’re just soooo good right now. I’ve been eating them by the happy handful every day. And no, I haven’t turned into a Smurf yet. Yet!
Truth be told, the little birdie isn’t a great blueberry picker at this age – maybe next summer. She loses interest in picking after about, oh, 60 seconds. But she loves to run up and down the rows, check in with her friends (err, boss them around), and occasionally, pop a big, plum-sized one in her mouth. Pure northern Michigan summer!
She also had a great time with her good friend, Cora. And they didn’t even fight over anything today! Girls are so funny: one minute they’re pulling each other’s hair out over a toy and the next, they’re hugging and laughing. Or holding hands…
How are you celebrating the arrival of August and beating the heat in the midst of these dog days? Any great blueberry recipes I just HAVE to try? Send ‘em my way. Until then, we just eat them straight out of the bowl! mmmmm.
Cyberspace friends, thank you so much for your thoughtful, thought-provoking, understanding and encouraging thoughts regarding my anxiety over the arrival of little birdie #2. Your support and advice means a lot. Thank YOU.
Did I tell you we now have a two year old living with us, who sometimes turns into the Tasmanian Devil when tired/hungry/over-stimulated/doesn’t get what she wants? Oof. We really needed to get out of the house yesterday for a change of attitude and perspective. And a trip to the iris farm worked. For about an hour of the day, yesssss! She decided to leave her grumpy pants at home and we had a great time. She had another melt-down in the garage when we got home, but then promptly slept for two hours after that, so that but-I-WANT-to-drive-the-car-NOW, Mama!!! meltdown can be forgiven. But obviously not yet forgotten. Sigh.
Yesterday, I wished that I too could’ve been 35″ tall so I could wade through a forest of irises. Then sit and pull them toward me, letting the smell fill up my entire face.
What did you do this weekend, lovelies? This is the first official week of summer vacation here in northern Michigan and it’s a near-perfect day. Looking forward to playing at the park this afternoon with my little birdie. And eating a popsicle. Or two.