Tuesday, June 29, 2010

::The Little Van That Could & The Very Full House ::

::AY ONE::

There is a phenomenon whereby a finite space seems to be able to hold an infinite amount. {Like the magical tents in Harry Potter}. Our little van just kept on accommodating more and more of our stuff. Aidan would come back into the house shaking his head, but I would have yet another mound waiting for him. Out he would go, only to return again shaking his head. In this way we--oh, let's be honest-- I was able to bring FAR more than I had any right to do. Of course, while the van's frame seemed happy to oblige, its shocks told a different story. During our first half hour on the road, anytime we hit a bump, Aidan would groan; "Poor van!"

The actual layout of children and stuff took some careful thought. Isaiah could not be trusted beside Annorah. Only a week earlier he had fed her a grape that nearly killed her. And Gabriel and Elijah were best kept separate for other reasons, yet similarly, with their better health--and ours-- in mind. No child had any leg room. The back seat was shoved up against the middle seat to provide more trunk space. And Elijah in the middle had to prop up his feet on three weeks worth of clothes, a stroller and a beach blanket.

As we drove, for fun, I began to keep track of pee breaks. Better to make a game of it than get angry at the natural functions of my kids' bladders. Day 1 yielded five breaks. But that was spread over 9 hours. Day 18 took the record with 6 breaks in 2.5 hours. What?! Drinks were confiscated after that.

Much of my driving experience on Day 1 was defined by "Serena," the GPS lady. Aidan paid way more attention to her than me. First, Aidan played around with the vehicle icon. We went from a being represented by a blue sports car to a yellow school bus. Much more appropriate. Then Aidan grew dissatisfied with Serena's British accent and tried Samantha-the-American. He settled on Serena in the end. Everyone loves Queen's English, right?

Serena messed with our heads a few times. She once told us to fly down a side road that looked like a gorge of death, rather than to take the nicely paved road a few meters earlier. Bad, Serena. And everyone knows the Brits don't say their 'r's in the middle of their words, but Serena never got the memo, so she was pronouncing streets in the oddest way. They nearly sounded like gibberish. Kinda like when Steve Martin, as Inspector Clouseau, tries to pronounce 'Hamburger' in The Pink Panther. Funny.

We arrived at our cousins' home around 4:30 in the afternoon. We had been warned that parking would be interesting, as our Great Aunt Jane & Uncle Albert had arrived a few weeks earlier with their behemoth RV. Road parking was not an option as the neighbourhood was plagued by particularly officious ticket-hornets. So up onto the grass we went.

What a delightful family. Seven strawberry blond heads, all willing to let us invade their home. In no time at all our kids were all swept away to various activities, including throwing gravel into each others hair and sneaking into the front yard despite strict orders not to. For awhile Caelah was running around calling after 'Benji,' though none of us had any idea who that might be. Oh, Benita. And Gabriel, always on the lookout for a shortcut, referred to every child as 'that boy'.

We tucked our dirty, gravel-haired bambinos into the tent trailer--our room for the night-- and spent an hour or so warding off curious strawberry-headed spies who wanted to peek into the windows at their cousins. That evening the adults snacked on BBQ fish and spoke deeply about faith. We challenged one another on why we believe what we believe. It was done graciously and well. I crept into my trailer bed ready for sleep, but unable to for a very long time as coffee buzzed through my veins and a train whistle blasted very nearby.


Thursday, June 10, 2010

::Tiny Moments::

omorrow we leave for our very first big family trip. This heralds in me an excitement for the years ahead. Lord willing our family will fill many albums with photos of the experiences we share. I have set aside the camera for months now. That saddens me. I think I got so caught up in the daily grind that the beauty of capturing the everyday was lost on me for a time. I hope that I come home with a fresh eagerness to really see the tiny moments that make up a childhood.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

::Flaming Dishcloth::

t says something about life around here when I scooped up a flaming dishcloth which had been set alight by the gas stove, flicked it onto the porch. Beat it with a block of wood than promptly returned to stirring the onions in the pan. "What happened, mommy?"

"Oh, nothing."

Tuesday, June 08, 2010


omen are beautiful creations, but some artists capture that beauty better than others. I have been exploring art a little of late and came across John Waterhouse. I am familiar with the painting of Psyche Entering Cupid's Garden, above. It has been hanging on my wall for years. But he has painted so many more stunning works--mostly of women. He must have esteemed them, to capture them as he did. I hope to read some biographies on his life in future, but have only learned, thus far, that he was inspired by myth and classical history.

I think I am drawn to paintings from this era because of the way women are portrayed. They look so. . . healthy. And they appear so essentially feminine. Rounded curved, long hair, rosy cheeks. In my current frenzy to harness my body and drop weight, it does my heart good to see the beauty in the softer, less sculpted female body.