Some days dawn chilly and cloudy and cold, only to heat up; by mid-afternoon the sun blares and glares, glinting and golden at its low, desperate-seeming angle. On the river, where we lounged with neighbors and kids all Sunday afternoon, it blazed straight along the path the river took, no shade, no blue. All the blues are greens. Even water feels shallow and warm and cloudy, rocks dry and dull. There's a promise in it, somehow; our picnic is lazy. There's nowhere else to be right now. School is starting, leaves are falling. Eagles and hawks circle high above, and I close my eyes and make this memory for later, when it's raining: Tall trees rising up the side of the ravine; a tiny house high on the hill; the shade flickering, flashing; our babies babbling in the sand, and our great luck, to have our neighbors as friends.
The day before had been our annual neighborhood block party. Our other neighbor Barbara took that darling picture of Amelia, head in her plum bits. Isn't that the cutest picture??? Holding her chin. Be still, heart. After I put her to bed, I went back out and sat talking until late with the ladies. I never go out at night; that night I didn't want to go in. It got dark so early I was surprised. Above us, oak trees towered, starting to drop their acorns in the dark. Around us, our houses sat, starting to glow with evening lamps and flickering shapes of the husbands at home, watching the game, the kids. I talked and talked, saying my things. These ladies are so nice. How kind they've been to me, all these thirteen years we've lived here. How generous with themselves, and their hopes for us, and their love, now given so joyfully to Mimi. So blessed I am.
Yesterday Amelia and I walked all over the place, then down to the cafe for some gelato. She sat on my lap, pressed her cheek to my face, placed with my necklace, touched her nose and forehead to mine, watched the trucks and dogs go by outside, ate mango gelato, pointed at every light on the ceiling (there were many), and snuggled shyly on my chest whenever anyone spoke to her. At home, Greta (dear Greta) assembled Christmas ornament kits in preparation for the Big Release, a date for which we haven't yet set (but I'm really hoping we'll be ready to put them on sale by the end of September). This year — oh lawd — we're going big. Three thousand kits — five hundred of each one we've done for the past five years, and a new one for this year — are in progress. We had the felt cut by National Nonwovens. Over thirty thousand individual pieces of felt. I just broke out in hives, writing that. Piles and piles and piles of felt are taking up every possible inch of space in our offices. We had to do those quantities if we wanted them to cut the felt, and we did. Please buy our kits or I'll probably have a nervous breakdown. That's my sales pitch.
More on them later!
I very, very much like to make chicken stew with sweet-potato biscuits when in need of reliable, terribly yummy stuff.
I'm beyond ready to be finished with the yoke of my Chanterelle sweater. I have four more little sections to go and then I'll scream with glee. Taking too much of my already-sucky concentration. I'm teaching Andy how to crochet today. He wants to make an acorn rattle for Mimi for her birthday. He seems to be better at crochet than at embroidery. So it could all work out just fine.