Maria roused herself half an hour early so that she and her daddy could resume their reading. Maria already read The Far-Flung Adventures of Hugo Pepper, but Geoff picked up a copy for home, after hearing her riveting descriptions. Chango, too, finds the narrative compelling.
Maria tells me she's impressed with Picture a Day, and when she knows I might miss posting, she says encouraging things, and offers suggestions. Today, when I came home from getting Max, she met us at the car with her garden finds, and said, "Look, fruit salad, and a picture for ChickenBlog." I sure do love having her on my team. And I love when our garden is offering delicious gifts.
This is our other jacaranda tree, which always blooms just a bit later than the one by the barn. Today I was counting trees I pass between schools, the market, and home... I lost count, but each one is a delight to spy, so it is a happy game.
Close and Closer, details, for Cyndy...
The flowers in the jacaranda trees appear prettier, and prettier, the closer you look. Soft trumpets, gracefully arching from their stems, their little stamens like magic wands with wispy, flourished tips. I breathed them in, but detected no fragrance. It seems to me that they should emit a hint of confection, like a violette pastille. The bees are collecting something sweet, and they seem in an unhurried stupor as they drift, not quite busily, through the abundance. Standing beneath the canopy of this tree, I watched blossom after blossom descend, like snowflakes, slowly. A graceful bow at the end of a beautiful dance. The walk was swept last Saturday, though you might not guess, looking at our rust and lavender path.
Another fifth grade milestone... they're learning life skills, like balancing check books, writing their resumes, and doing job interviews. Maria's first choices for jobs were not an option, so she won't be trying for programmer, artist, or engineer. Instead, she's going to see if she can get a job as a shark researcher, or newsroom director. She's been working on her handshake, introducing herself, and making convincing statements about her desire to work with sharks. She feels sincere enough about loving research, but she'd still rather be writing code, developing games. It was sweet seeing all of her classmates in their ties, and coats, skirts and sweaters. They were even more polished and adorable than on school pictures day!
We enjoyed an afternoon down by the Bay... Mission Bay. It turned out to be one of those occasions that catches me off-guard. Not sure if that's the expression I want. My thinking goes something like this... I didn't give this enough advanced thought, and the pleasure and fun of the outing was almost missed. Geoff said something about meeting friends from work, but we knew we couldn't stay long, so it was just going to be a quick 'hello' kind of thing. I didn't think to bring food, or drinks, or even the right shoes. Maybe I am too caught up in a smaller routine, or maybe life is a bit revved up at the moment, making my thoughts distracted, and energy thinned out.
Honestly, my reaction bounced back and forth between I didn't do this right! and Gosh, what a beautiful day, nice friends, lovely pastime... nothing's amiss. The latter feelings prevailed, thankfully. The day was beautiful, the weather was moody, and interesting to observe. Maria found friends she sees only occasionally, but children have that happy ability to slip right back into a comfortable engagement. Maria, Kayla and Serena were right back to the easy play and exchanges they enjoyed the last time they met.
'No supplies' was 'no problem,' and the children found their own amusements and activities. Patrick had a tennis ball, someone brought a Frisbee, Maria had a small pail. And of course there were those hermit crabs, shells, stones, kelp, and bits of this and that. We had the views, as far as La Jolla, Pacific Beach, and even of the San Diego finish of the Tour of California, cycling event. We watched the cyclists cross the bridge, heard the cheering crowds. People boating and fishing, pelicans and seals, and eventually the gathering clouds and light sprinkles. There was a lot to take in.
This one they named Barnacle Bob.
And everyone took turns observing the Frisbee tide pool, before all the residents were returned to their larger, natural home.
Of course we stayed longer, later, than we'd planned. Things at home were fine, after all, and we rescheduled this and that. It turns out being caught off-guard can be a good thing... seeing friends, laughing, roasting marshmallows, exchanging ideas, catching up, all very good. If I cannot exactly plan unexpected moments and occasions, I hope to at least appreciate more of them as they come along.
Maria, Geoff and I came upon this poor fellow on our morning walk. I flipped him upright, gave him a gentle yet invigorating exoskeletal massage, carried him to the water, then said encouraging affirmations, like there you, go, and be free! Ten minutes into my diligent, sincere rehabilitative program, Geoff called my name, tearing me away from my mission work... he nodded to a sad scene, and pointed out that this little Sebastian was one of many. I'm sorry, Pleuroncodes planipes.