Quiet Time

I saw a woman at the park the other day who held forth to a group of her friends, no kidding, for at least an hour solid. I kept looking up from my book, in astonishment – Yep, she’s still talking. Her friends seemed content to be her audience. I was equal parts amazed and exhausted, watching her. She was still going, when I left.

It was like watching a creature from another planet. But let me explain. Continue reading


My Swiftly Tilting Planet

On the Tuesday before Christmas, when my husband was on vacation, we took our boys to a water park, located at the Evergreen Aviation Museum in McMinnville.

This is the place where they house the Spruce Goose and lots of other vintage aircraft, in two gigantic, glass-fronted hangars. Last June, the museum opened an indoor water park in a third hangar. There is a wave pool, a water feature for toddlers, a regular pool (complete with basketball hoops), and four huge swirly slides, which begin inside a hollowed-out, 328,000-pound 747, which is perched on top of the building.

Very cool.

Since our boys are only 3 and 5, hubby and I had to go down the slides with them (which meant I had to get into a bathing suit, which is not quite the jolly fun it once was. Alas.) During my first trip down the slides, I got a very strange, light-headed feeling. That’s weird, I thought. Since I had no other choice, I decided to ignore it.

So we kept going down the slides, and into the wave pool, and into a round section of the regular pool that has jets that shoot you around in a tight circle – hubby dubbed it the “toilet bowl.” All in all, it was a very fun day. The boys were in Heaven.

By 5:00 the next morning, I was in Hell. Continue reading

The Littlest Bookworm

A Mama friend recently asked me to recommend some books for her fifth-grade daughter (who is reading at a ninth-grade level, but the teachers apparently want her to stick with fifth-grade books, which sounds to me like some sort of crime against learning, if not against humanity, but never mind.)

The number one thing that fostered my interest in reading, as a child, was something that is not (I’m sorry to say) very practical for the modern family. And that was this:

We didn’t have a television in the house. Ever. From the time I was born, until I went off to college.

This arrangement posed some minor problems, of course. Whenever we went to a friend’s house, we kids would park ourselves in front of their TV and stare, slack-jawed, as though it were a five-headed creature from another planet. We absolutely could not be pried away from it, for love or money or new bicycles or anything. Continue reading