Monday, July 25, 2011

Back from the Hills

Drove out west over the weekend to pick up Natalie from camp. Spent the night in Shelby, NC, where I was able to get a room at the Hampton Inn for only 7500 Hilton Honors miles, which is very cheap. The place was just fine. Best of all, it was right across the street from Bridges Barbeque, a fine old very homey purveyor of pig. Only thing is, being out west, they serve that wierd red slaw there, which doesn't offer any sort of dialectical interplay with your pork. Still worth going.

On the way along NC 74 towards Hendersonville, where one cuts over the ridge to Brevard, I saw some interesting stuff. A Jackson/Hewitt shop (tax-preparer targeting lower-middle folks) seemingly sharing space with a tattoo parlor. An insurance brokerage clearly colocated with a photo lab. Financial services firms are muddling through the post-crisis world where they no longer are perceived as workers of magic.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A bag of pennies

After hearing of how someone from the school's 2001 Camry had been broken into (maybe the door was unlocked) and the change in the thing between the seats was taken, I decided to try out a little experiment. On our somewhat lower income street, I left maybe 30 pennies in a somewhat if not perfectly translucent bag. At first it was over towards a corner where a brick wall meets lower brick wall (waste height) which holds a flower bed. 3 feet away from a sidewalk. No takers after a week or so.

So I moved it closer to the sidewalk, about a foot away from it. Still no takers after a day or two.

Today I upped the ante and put a quarter and a dime in there, my change from coffee at Weaver St. Let's see how long that sticks around.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Even more pix from Gwynn Valley

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

On the couch with Graham

Graham has gotten quite long of leg, and of late has taken to stretching out on our one sofa and reading Harry Potter. When I try to lie or sit at the other end of the couch he claims that it is "annoying," and refuses to really bend his knees much or do the cozy leg interlacing thing. Instead, he likes to extend his legs out fully and push his feet into my penis, in an often successful attempt to make me sit up. Clearly he is growing up.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

More pix from GV

Saturday, July 09, 2011

At Camp

Say no more.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Drop off at camp

Today was the first day of the three week session at Gwynn Valley.  Natalie was bouncing off walls silly, it was getting annoying.  For the last couple of days I kept saying "we gotta get you to camp."

Turned out, and we were fools not to have perceived it or otherwise discovered it, she was nervous.  Last summer at camp was -- as dedicated readers will recall -- really a transformative experience for her.  She was nervous at first, but she loved it loved it loved it.  She was so excited when I came to pick her up, really glowing in a super-positive way that I hadn't seen for a long time.  The horseback riding, doing a musical, making friends, singing songs, a whole range of pure childlike activities that are somehow less prevalent down in the lowlands, though school's really not that bad.

And when I suggested to her that she go for 3 weeks this summer, she was all over it, no hesitation.  And she is all about whatever bits of independence we grant her at home:  stay at home alone, walk to the library alone, walk to the drug store alone, she loves it all.  She generally revels in increasing independence.

But, 10 days and 3 weeks are, in fact, different, and she's never been away from us for that long before, and she finally brought it up herself on the way there today and Mary and I were like, of course she's nervous.  3 weeks is a long time.  So when she was all settled in and it was time to say goodbye, she leaned down from her bunk and gave us extra big, extra long hugs.  Which is not really her normal way of being.  And then we left.

But in 3 weeks, when I go to pick her up, I'm certain it will be all good.  And then we'll move on to 4 or 5 weeks.