At Squam Lake

Posted by jdg | Wednesday, June 15, 2011 |

This year we returned to the Squam Art Workshops and my wife spent three days learning new sewing and knitting techniques from some amazing teachers and I spent those days with the kids poking around one of the most peaceful and beautiful camps around. Fortunately, nothing was as dramatic as last year's ill-fated canoe trip across the lake, and we were able to just enjoy our days and take a few pictures. I've just now gotten around to looking at them.


We did climb Rattlesnake Mountain again; my daughter insisted on this the first morning we woke up in camp. This year my 3-year-old son climbed all the way to the summit two separate times all by himself. Whining was curtailed by a long-winded story about a certain ancient hero named Gram the Runner who wanted to climb a giant mountain but no one believed he could do it all by himself.


My daughter was certain that Pegasus would fly up to meet her once she reached the top, and she'd even written him a letter, rolled in a strip of white birch bark and filled with treasures like fresh-water clamshells and small rocks pocked with mica. Slightly disappointed by his failure to appear, she left the gift in one of his "footprints" and then found herself filled with "the spirit of Pegasus." Flapping her wings all the way down the mountain, she terrified other hikers with high-pitched braying:


We love the routine of meals in the Rockywald cafeteria, and falling asleep to books in front of the fireplace at night. 

Throwing Rocks from Docks was this year's favorite activity:

While hiking, my son decided to become a collector, filling his pockets with "beautiful things" he found in the forests.

His collection of beautiful things from the forest was most ordinary. He set each item out on the table and looked through them as though these forest treasures were magical, or somehow special. And of course they were.

The Road to New Hampshire

Posted by jdg | Friday, June 10, 2011 |

So I just dropped my daughter off for her last day of kindergarten. Before you assume I'm going to get all weepy about that, consider how the entire summer stretches before us: I get to be with both these kids all day every day for the next three months. I don't have any part-time sitters. I haven't even signed up for any day camps. I am, apparently, a masochistic idiot.

Oh, whatever. Just a few months ago you could have heard me whining to my wife about kindergarten and its every day demands: I miss her. We used to be able to just take off and have so much fun. Besides, it often seemed like school had torn into my very purpose. I left my career so I could be with them; what am I good for if they're not with me? And despite all my recent kvetching and uncertainty, I have actually been looking forward to this summer. Even if I'm not able to get much else done, I feel my greatest sense of happiness when I am with them doing what we love to do.

All that stuff I wrote a couple weeks ago about the blog changing and all that. . . it will. But this is going to be a fun summer. A summer worth sharing. We have already started working on a lot of projects that I'll be posting about and the other day I sat down with the kids and we wrote down two pages of ideas for stuff we want to do this summer. So things shouldn't change too much around here until September.

* * * * *

Here are a few pictures I took on our drive across beautiful Canada and Vermont on the way to New Hampshire.

The kids got to stay up so late every night on the road.
The front-yard culture of the Toronto neighborhoods we saw was pretty interesting. I saw this crazy garden and it reminded me of what I call "vernacular security" here in Detroit.
When we got to Montreal, we had a picnic on Nun's Island under the Mies van der Rohe buildings.
Then we stopped to check out Habitat '67 before we checked into our hotel.
. . .swimming and Dim Sum before we headed across the border.

I just got a fast new 35mm lens for my camera and I love it.