This post shows a few of the things we did before summer ended.
The neighborhood church is still under construction, but they had a summer festival out in the parking lot. The fire department came with a truck and "christened" the new building with so much water that the gutters couldn't contain it, and the kids ran to stand under the eaves as the water spilled down on them.
Great fun on a hot day! After spraying the building's roof, the firemen then directed the hose high over the parking lot and the kids ran through the water for another 10 minutes. Both girls got soaked to the bone.
I took the girls to a series of outdoor lunch concerts (mostly jazz and acoustic) in our suburban downtown area. Each concert was in the green space of a different office complex, mostly for the benefit of downtown office workers.
We ventured into the big city of Seattle to explore some new parks and playgrounds. This one is in a sketchy area of the city that by night you wouldn't want to be in. It is an oasis in an area overrun by poverty and crime. There is a community center and beautiful ball fields and wonderful play equipment, and park staff running recreation programs in hopes of giving the local youth something to do and keep them out of gangs and crime.
We got together with my brother and sister in law, and niece and nephew. After a picnic in a park Grammy pulled out these "disinfecting wipes" to wipe chocolate cake off the kids' faces, and I stopped her, pointing out the "not to be used on humans" warnings all over the package. My brother and I are always after her for not reading labels (especially expiration dates), and we had fun teasing her about this, and of course the kids joined in with expressions of horror over her error. My sister in law and I both had babywipes at the ready to clean up the kids.
I took my mom in for some surgery. I'm spending more time with mom at medical appointments. I'm grateful that I'm not working full time, and live close enough to be there when she needs me. While we wait in various waiting rooms I watch so many elderly people arrive alone, coming by cab or medi-bus, and facing their medical challenges without support of a loved one.
At the Humane Society I got to hear Jackson Galaxy (of the TV program "My Cat From Hell") speak about the unique needs of cats adopted from shelters, and how to ease the transition to a new home, and correct problem behaviors that might make a cat unadoptable. I wish I had been video recording the talk because he said something by mistake that caused the audience to gasp and he went bright red with embarrassment.
He had been picking people from the audience and having them come up and demonstrate cat behavior, and the person from the audience would pretend to knead with their hands, hiss, arch their back, etc. He wanted this woman to demonstrate cat greetings, and how a cat might approach their human. He referred to a cat rubbing its head against your leg as "giving head," and then realized what he said!
My girls and the other kids in the audience didn't get the joke, and kept asking what was so funny. I didn't explain.
Little K went off to Oregon with her best friend for 10 days, the longest she has been away from us. We are very close with the parents (they are the ones that went to Sleeping Lady with us), so I had no qualms about letting Little K go with them.
First they spent a few days in Portland (yes, they went to VooDoo Doughnuts), then camping near Joseph, Oregon, in the NE part of the state. They rode horseback to their campsite in the mountains, went for some amazing hikes, and saw billions of stars at night. I'm so grateful that Little K has a best friend she can create good memories with through travel. The girls talk about when they are grown up, how they will travel the world together. Not sure what the future holds, but they are off to a good start.
While Little K was away I took A to the grand opening of a new city park. It used to be farm land, was parcelled off, and then the land was pieced together again over the years through acquisitions and donations. Flat land like this is a rarity in our community, and is highly desirable for developers. It is a miracle that it did not become paved over and covered with strip malls or multistory condos. I am so proud of our civic leaders and the community members who made this park possible.
Little K came back from camping and summer officially ended with our annual neighborhood picnic on the driveway of the abandoned house. We do one at the end of school to signal the start of summer, and one just before school starts at the end of August.