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On summer nights, with the windows open, you can hear the frogs in the pond across the street from my mother's house chuckling. They laugh all night long. At least it sounds that way from the distance of a driveway and a gravel road.

"Heh, heh heh," they chortle.

"Heh, heh heh."


The first time I heard them, I couldn't figure out what it was or where the noise was coming from. Karin and I were sharing the big bed in the front bedroom and I rolled over and poked her. "Are you giggling under your breath?"

"What? No. That's the frogs."

"Shut up. Frogs don't laugh."

"I know, but if you were closer you could hear them inflating with a pffft of air, but from here it sounds like laughing."

We were quiet for a few minutes, listening.

"Heh, heh heh."

"Heh, heh heh."

Karin started giggling. I joined in. We laughed for several minutes, then were quiet again, listening.

"Heh, heh heh."

I lost it first the next time. Once you hear them, you can't NOT hear them. ALL. NIGHT. LONG.

July has come and gone, and with it, Martin. We had a lovely long visit at my mom's house in Michigan. Our friends Kathey and Russell arrived the day after we did and spent the 4th of July weekend with us.

Then my sister and her kids and her dogs arrived. Then we spent several days racing around buying all the things Martin needs for college (thank goodness for Target). We dropped him off for his 3-week summer course on July 9th and the next day Sarah and the girls and I left for an unplanned (for us) whirlwind 2-day trip to Chicago. Her daughter Danely is starting at DePaul University this fall and she and Sarah had to be there for an orientation, so Karin and I tagged along.

We stayed at the Getaway Hostel and while they were on campus, Karin and I spent time visiting Lincoln Park Zoo and Millenium Park and State Street. We listened to live summer jazz and watched the face-fountains and took photos at the Bean. Chicago was LOVELY, warm and breezy and bustling and fun. We had dinner with my friend Val and our cousin Jordon at a great sushi place (Hot Wok Cool Sushi) and had fantastic cakes and banana pudding at Magnolia Bakery.

The next day Sarah only had to be at the school for a few hours, so she met us after breakfast and we went to the top of the Magnificent Mile and walked down it. Then we cut over to Navy Pier and found the most fantastic cupcake place ever: Molly's on North Clark Street. I had a Cookie Monster cupcake and it was DIVINE. I'm drooling thinking about it. Danely was done at 4 so we picked her up and then headed home. Not long enough in my favorite town, for sure!

We didn't do all that much else during our time in Michigan. The kids went to the beach several times, we visited my great-grandmother and celebrated her 101th (!) birthday. Sarah and I almost went to Canada by accident (turns out you can't shop at the duty-free unless you head over the bridge, whoops!). We went shopping and spent one day at The Old Club on Harsen's Island with my cousin Jamie and his family. We picked up Martin both Fridays and went out to dinner (once with my Uncle Mike, Jamie and family) with him. Karin turned 18 and the three kids went to a trampoline park for the afternoon and then we had tacos and cake for dinner.

The last Friday we picked up Martin it was just us (with my mom, Sarah and kids). We went to a sushi place and then down to Greektown to a pastry place for dessert. Then we drove back over to Martin's campus and sat on the grass eating cake, while Martin took photos of Karin for one of his course projects. Then we drove him back to his dorm and said goodbye. Everyone else said goodbye out at the car, and Karin and I walked in with him, since we both had to go to the bathroom. Martin waited for us, and I came out first and gave him a hug and told him I loved him. I wasn't crying, though it was a close call.

Then Karin came out and gave him a hug and they both burst into sobs. At which, I lost it, too. GAH! They laughed and hugged and cried and laughed some more.

And then we left him there. Two days later we left for Sweden (my mom drove us to Toronto's airport) and I went straight back to work. I'm not caught up at home, though I am at work, and my shoulder is already hurting again. URGH. My mom picked up Martin at the end of his course on Saturday and got to see all his work on exhibition. She said the staff raved about him and his photos and predicted great things for him. :) He had a fantastic time, and really enjoyed it, though he was the oldest student and didn't get a roommate. The course work and projects sounded (and looked) really interesting and he got to spend one afternoon exploring an abandoned building (Detroit is full of them). It's weird that he's not here but it's not that weird, yet. And he'll be home for Christmas.

Now I need to get back on track with my life, my regular routine, and everything else. And maybe see if I can convince Molly's Cupcakes to open a storefront here in Sweden.

Heh, heh heh.
mood: cheerful
music: The Corrs—Give Me a Reason

From Megsie

Oh, my gosh! I almost lost it reading this. It sounds like you had a lovely trip, and that Martin is in good hands. I am happy to hear that he will be home for Christmas. I just got done reading A Man Called Ove. It is set in Sweden, so I thought about you the whole time. I just started Bear Town by the same author...Fredrik Backman...also set in Sweden. And then I come here to check you out, and here you are! I am bummed that your shoulder is bothering you now that you are back to work. Still sending you healing energy (through the screen). I am still sad about Daisy. :( Poor Elizabeth. Sending you love!

Re: From Megsie

It was a nice trip, all things considered! I am still sad about Daisy, too :(

I haven't read Ove actually, though I have heard it is good. I haven't even seen the movie!


Lots of love here in this post.

Love the pic of Karin.

I thought the frogs made more of a "pinging sound" might be different frogs at different times of the year. Mom would know.

I don't think she can hear them as well from her bedroom. They are not at all as loud from that side.

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I can complain because rose bushes have thorns or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.

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