August 7th, 2009



Each time I think maybe there isn't anything more to write about, the sky is the blue that it was today and I realize all over again that one can never have enough of it. If the sky is a wonder and a joy each time it's that blue, that cloudless, endless blue, then why not everything? Even the things I've written about before suddenly strike me as relevant, as fresh, as interesting they did the first time. This time we twist them, we come at them from another angle. We open them up, unfold them like a flower, and take a closer look.

They're not the same thing, after all, because WE'RE not the same. Even if some days I suspect that I am always and forever the same person I was at 14, at 22, at ...well, 29, I am not. Though I AM turning 29 again in a mere matter of days. Everything old is new again!

The year seems to be speeding suddenly. Someone remarked this week that there were only 20 weeks left until Christmas. I nearly choked on a bite of salad. 20 weeks! Ulp. ZOOM. You know those movie scenes where they show how time slows down suddenly by having the scene suddenly stretch out like a tunnel? That's what the year looks like in January. Then suddenly, somewhere around August, every damn year, it as suddenly snaps right back into your face and all you can think is "My god, what have I done? Where did it go?" Whoa, year! Slow the heck down!

I had such a lovely buried-treasure salad today. Last night we had artichokes for dinner, along with paper-thin pork cutlets, rice and grilled asparagus. It sounds like a lot, but it was just right. The kids eat the leaves, sharing off 1 artichoke, but so far they've shown little interest in the work involved or the reward received in cleaning off and eating the heart. Which is just fine with me, because it means I get to eat my heart and have theirs, too. The next day: in a salad! Much, much tastier than the canned ones, and I like those just fine. Anyway, my salad today: 5 small cold grilled asparagus spears, 1 chopped artichoke heart, 4 yellow cherry tomatoes, a hunk of cucumber sliced and diced, a small handful of cooked chicken, a whopping pile of romaine & ruccola, a small sprinkle of pine nuts and sun-dried tomato bits and a tablespoon-ish of Ranch dressing. Mmmmm, to die for!

All week I've been crossing 1 or 2 items off my party preparation list, which means that tomorrow morning I only have a couple of things left to do and can relax and enjoy the arrival of people and the party itself without getting all stressed out. I even cleaned the fish tank and the whole house is picked up and ready for final vacuuming in the morning.

Because the club was forced to cancel the 4th of July party this year, much to my dismay, the Activities coordinator and I talked it over and I offered (after clearing it with Anders, of course) to host a Summer Grill Party instead. 2 weeks ago there were 18 people signed up. Today, at the last check, 24 hours before the party starts, there were 59 plus 3 maybes. Yoicks! It's the easiest kind of party, though: a potluck. Everyone brings their own meat to grill and a side dish or dessert to share. I'm actually making both a side dish (2 kinds of roll-ups) AND a dessert (rice krispie treats!) because I like to overdo things for picnics. The weather promises to be as wonderfully blue sky beautiful as today and the past few days have been and we have a virtual amusement park planned for the 25 or so kids attending: our pool, the giant trampoline, a full-size soccer goal, a playhouse and a bouncy castle courtesy of an AWC member who owns the local indoor playplace! What fun!

On Sunday we're heading over to Anders' parents for more feasting and birthday cake to celebrate both my birthday and his father's, which both take place next week, so this is one of those weekends that does absolutely nothing to help slow the year down. What we plan to do the night OF my birthday and possibly the middle of next week as well when they're at their peak, if it's still warm and clear, is go out in the evening under the dark blue sky and lie on the trampoline and watch for shooting stars. My personal heavenly birthday gift each year: the Perseids!