Coffee with Christine: Recapping the Summer of 2014

It’s time for more caffeine and some summer highlights.

In June, in addition to our trip out West, we faked a Disney trip. Budget constrains, time constrains, and maternal constraints (I love Disney, but I don’t do Disney in the summer) didn’t allow park attendance, but when LCB had business nearby for a few days, we decided to join him and spend one afternoon and evening at Downtown Disney. The small people brought their money to add to a small parental contribution, and we made all we could out of the Disney and Lego stores.

IMG_8543IMG_8542Then, we ate dinner at the T-Rex Cafe. Our children realized they were not in the parks, of course, but it was a fun alternative all the same. And hey. It beats the real person I knew in Chicago who really did, when her small children said they wanted to see the real Florida, drive them to Wisconsin instead and say, “Okay kids, here’s Florida!”

Let that one soak in for a minute.

100_8464We spent a few days in July back at the old island.

100_8208100_8246100_8224The largest part of our time was spent at the beach,

100_8447100_8421waiting for the next wave.

Life was good on our island.

IMG_8723IMG_8730A stomp rocket birthday present for one of the boys led to a July evening spent at a nearby park stomping, a pursuit that baffled Baby-Girl. “Why do they have to keep doing it?” she asked after an hour of stomping, boredom, and the stunning revelation that life is not entirely about oneself. “It does the same thing every time!” she moaned. And thus she began to realize the world of men is something few outside the gender understand.

And finally, on a Sunday night a couple of weeks ago, with the small people secure in their beds feigning sleep, LCB and I stepped out on the deck, intent on enjoying a nightcap and the breeze coming in off the marsh.

It is not hyperbole to say I will be eternally grateful that I did not sit down on the chair I usually sit on at night, but instead chose the rocker. It was dark, and as we sat and talked for a minute, I realized I needed something inside.

I have no earthly idea what that thing was, because when I stood up, I noticed an unusual shape on the top of my usual chair. I stared for a moment. “Hhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I think there’s a snake on that chair,” I told LCB.

IMG_8787So, while I continued to make the letter H sound, we turned on the deck light, went inside and stood by the window closest to the chair, and realized our snake looked a great deal like a copperhead. Of course, I immediately recalled my pediatrician’s comment regarding copperheads: “You won’t die from their bites, but you’ll wish you had,” and began imagining tiny, undiscovered holes in our house that the snake might be able to slither through. When I regained my ability to form additional letter sounds again, I warned LCB, “Don’t go out there wielding a shovel or any other form of weaponry unless you have backup. And since it’s a snake, I’m not backup.”

I don’t do snakes.

Fortunately, more inspection and a little research led us to believe it was probably a corn snake, a very snakish snake but one without the capacity to send you to the ER. We even interrupted our sons’ fake sleeping (Baby-Girl’s seemed real) to call them down to see the snake. Lest you think that because we live on a salt marsh, we must see them regularly, that’s not the case; we’ve only seen one other snake in our tenure here. Thus, they were mildly impressed and happy to avoid fake-sleeping for a few more minutes.

And so, our summer of adventure has come to a close and we return to a life of schedules and textbooks and stunning scholastic revelations like, “You’re the only Mom in the entire school that makes her kids pack their own lunches.”

That’s okay; it’s all good.


Up next: The epilogue of We Went Off and back-to-school miscellany

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