Archive | August, 2014
Sunday, 31 August 2014

Offline

Back in 2005 when we did our first road trip across the US wifi was rare, mifi was unheard of and cellular data was not yet for the common people. Connecting to the world – which usually just meant picking up emails – was done through a good old telephone lead plugged into the laptop, or at savvy places like Starbucks who would provide free wifi which justified paying for overpriced bad coffee.

English Hubby and I shared a single laptop, and we would fight like teenage girls over who would get to plug in to the magical-inter-world-wide-wonder-web first. After a few “you got to use it longer” “but I need to finish this email” squabbles we came to an agreement that a timer would be set for 30 minutes and like the contestants in Master Chef, once your time was up, it was hands in the air and your fingers could no longer touch the keyboard. This was the only way to equitably ration precious stopover time at Starbucks, as a lot was at stake – the connection to the big world beyond just the two of us.

Our friends who pioneered a road trip before us kept in touch with the world at large by phoning a special service that would read out emails that were sent to a specific email address. It didn’t take long for Uncle Phil’s brother to realize he could have a bit of fun with this bleeding edge technology and started leaving provocative messages that a robotic voice would then relay!

Fast forward nine years and everyone who’s anyone is walking around with a mini supercomputer in their pockets. We now have Facebook, Instagram, Skype, MMS, texting, FaceTime, IM, personal blogs and the list goes on. Between the two of us (Baby Boy O doesn’t count in this one) we have nine devices – two iPhones, one Samsung, two iPads, two laptops and two kindles – and still only two hands each with which to operate them all. With 10 gigabytes of data that we can play with each month, this is a whole lot of connectedness.

 

Tech devices including laptops, phones, kindles and more

Tech frenzy

 

With a touch of three buttons, a photo can be taken, uploaded on Facebook and shared with all and sundry. Feedback is near instant with likes and comments whizing back at the speed of light. It makes me wonder what being so available and connected actually means?

There are countless articles and opinions written on this topic, from all different angles and schools of thought. Mine is just a personal first hand account of what’s different between our first road trip and this current one.

Firstly, it is a slippery slope from sharing a significant treasured moment with loved ones to performing like a well trained dolphin. I’m a big subscriber of being in the moment. Appreciating a scenic view with all your senses before reaching for a cell phone camera to click and capture. Regardless of actively practicing mindfulness, I find myself slipping into performance mode. It gives me a thrill to know that my audience is applauding (a.k.a. the number of likes on Facebook) and enjoying my theatrics. Isn’t this cool – snap. I’m having so much fun – snap. My kid just made a cute face – snap, snap, snap. You know you’re on that downhill slide into instant gratification when you are constantly checking Facebook not for new stories from friends but rather for notifications of who liked your post and what comments you’ve received. Been there, done that, and now in a self imposed quarrantine to restore the balance in the Facebook enabled narcissistic universe.

Secondly, I’ve realized the value of a secret. In September of 2005 English Hubby drove me out to the middle of nowhere Utah, sat me on the edge of a cliff with a 1000 foot drop and proposed. We were engaged under the stars with only a cheap disposable wind and click camera to memorialize the occasion. It was an excruciating three hour drive back to civilization and decent phone reception before we even had the option to tell anyone. We chose to hold our moment only between the two of us for a little while longer before breaking the news to our eagerly awaiting family and friends. The wait made it even more special. It was ours and ours alone. It wasn’t broadcast instantly, replicated across channels, pinned, tweeted, posted or liked. It wasn’t for anyone but us. But now in today’s world there is an underlying current that sweeps along even the most diligent of us and that few would openly admit to…so here it goes – like the proverbial tree falling in the forest on deaf ears, if events aren’t shared, do they legitamately exist? I fear we have forgotten the art of treasuring a secret, holding a moment in our mind’s eye for no other reason than to savor it ourselves.

Thirdly, being offline for the last three days feels like what I imagine rehab to be. We are currently staying at a campground where the promise of wifi is more a dream than a reality, and there is a hole in AT&T’s data coverage. This means patchy to no email, Skype, text, Internet and the other usual accoutrements that accompany our connected lives. I’m getting jittery, crusing locations for a hit of unprotected wifi. No more weather app. Instead we actually have to step outside and look at the sky. No instant blogging. Instead I have three days to think and refine a piece to make it worthy as opposed to a free flow of random, hastily thrown together thoughts. And no more delegated decisions or crowd sourced thinking from Yelp, Google and other information wells. We actually have to take a chance on a restaurant with an outcome unknown, or even worse, actually have a conversation with local folks and ask them where they go.

At the end of three offline days, these are just my observations, not an opinion on good or bad, right or wrong or even whether we have moved forward or backward. I personally would not turn back time and trade in today’s connectivity. I like it, I need it, I want it, but I do choose to be conscious and mindful of how it can sneak up and dilute the moments that really matter. At the end of the day it is a choice, and I choose to kick some old digital habits and mindfully cultivate new ones.

 

Previous post: Long Walks in Owl’s Head and Rockland

Next post: Lookout at Camden Hills State Park

More musings…Crazy Messy Love

 

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Daily Pics: Long Walks in Owl’s Head and Rockland

It has been said for every long journey there are many small steps. Today Baby Boy O took a giant leap – his first full hike in his baby carrier. He pushed past the magic 10 minute mark and managed the head strength and willingness to join us for a proper little hike. Hopefully a good sign of things to come!

 

Yoga mat by the pool

Another small step – morning yoga by the pool

 

Owls head state park sign

Exploring the mid-coast

 

Dad with stroller on a gravel path

Going for a stroll

 

Beach at Owl's Head state park

Where the land meets the sea

 

Dad pushing stroller up a ramp

Up to the lighthouse

 

Steps leading to a lighthouse

Steps ahoy

 

Red steps

The workout continues

 

Man standing next to lighthouse light

Shining steadily over time

 

Baby in a front facing carrier

Baby Boy O’s first official hike…back to the car

 

Burger with pickle

Stopping at the Owl’s Head General Store for a burger voted the best in Maine

 

Baby in car seat

So exhausted after his first hike

 

Sign with puffin information

Learning about puffins in Rockland

 

T-shirt with stud puffin written on the front

Adorable creatures

 

Main Street with movie theatre

Main Street Rockland

 

Baby in a carrier

Prepping for hike #2. All refreshed post nap and feed

 

Baby and dad walking along path by the sea

Off to the second lighthouse of the day

 

Baby and dad walking on Rockland breakwater

Rockland Breakwater goes a mile out to sea

 

Granite stones

Skipping across big granite stones

 

Lighthouse at the end of the Rockland breakwater

Making it out to the lighthouse…

 

Mum, dad and baby at end of breakwater

…for a victory family selfie…

 

Dad and baby celebrating

…making it back to shore. Baby Boy O was such a trooper, with only a few tears at the end

 

Dinner of turkey and apple meatballs and mixed vegetables

Exhausted, happy and hungry by the end of the day

 

Yesterday’s post: Giggles Along Mid-Coast Maine

Tomorrow’s post: Look out at Camden Hills State Park

More musings…Offline

 

 

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Daily Pics: Giggles Along Mid-Coast Maine

A day of exploring the tentacles of Mid-Coast Maine. Rugged, rocky and salty tough. Lobsters everywhere – as common as you like. Mixed up little things with its brain located in its throat, its nervous system in its abdomen, its teeth in its stomach and its kidneys in its head. They were once regarded as the poor man’s protein, fed to prisoners and used as pet food. How quickly things change from rags to riches.

 

Swing with a view over river and clouds

Another glorious morning

 

Man and baby on a swing

Swing time

 

Man with stroller in front of RV

A walk around Saltwater Farm Campground

 

 

Grass meets ocean

Driving along Route 32

 

Maine coastline with sea and rocky coves

Typical Maine coastline

 

Shaw restaurant sign

Lunch stop 

 

Me and baby sitting at table

Glorious sunny day

 

Baby sitting on lunch table held by dad

Happily waiting for lunch

 

Me and baby sitting at the table

Selfie

 

Steamers on a plate

Nothing to write home about, best part of lunch was the company

 

Two lobstermen with lobster catch in boat

At least it was fresh off the boat

 

Baby sucking thumb

Baby Boy O seemed to think it was finger licking good

 

Baby with very dirty diaper

Car park change after a big poopsplosion

 

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse sign at entrance

Off to the light house

 

Pemaquid lighthouse grounds

It wouldn’t be Maine without a lighthouse…

 

Fog bell

…fog bell…

 

Granite rocks leading out to sea

…or a rocky coastline

 

Danger sign warning

Risky business

 

Looking out the window toward the sea

View from the lighthouse museum which houses a stuffed 28 pound lobster

 

Dad walking crying baby around a car park

We took it in turns to see the lighthouse. On return Baby Boy O was wailing. What did daddy do to you?!

 

Laughing baby

Which quickly turned into his first big laugh

 

Old fashioned ice cream stand

It was all rainbows and unicorns and ice cream after that

 

Yesterday’s post: Ice Bucket Horsing Around

Tomorrow’s post: Long Walks in Owl’s Head and Rockland

 

 

Friday, 29 August 2014

Daily Pics: Ice Bucket Horsing Around

Managed to tip a bucket of icy water over my head in the name of charity this morning (thanks Mommy Wolfe!). So thankful for a hot shower in the RV afterward. It was a point A to point B road travel day, getting us to the mid Maine coastline by nightfall. We no longer move as fast with a four month old in tow.

Bucket of ice water

Ice ice baby

 

Woman tipping a bucket of ice water over herself

Stepping up to the plate for the ALS ice bucket challenge

 

Grassy area with pine trees

Staying with one of English Hubby’s customers

 

Lama behind a white fence

A sight you don’t see everyday at a campground

 

Man standing in front of a horse

Having a relaxed morning just horsing around

 

RV in traffic

Stuck in traffic on Route 1 North

 

Baby with a big tear on his face

Big tears from Baby Boy O

 

RV at a gas station

It was a long travel day and we were all in need for a desperate refuel stop

 

RV on a road heading over a bridge

Pushing on, miles to go

 

Yesterday’s post: Old and New in Maine

Tomorrow’s post: Giggles Along Mid-Coast Maine

 

 

Thursday, 28 August 2014

Daily Pics: Old and New in Maine

A day of old and new. New tricks for Baby Boy O who is finally getting the hang of tummy time and lifting up his head. It may be a slippery slope here on in. Rolling, crawling then walking and running is just around the corner. We haven’t quite figured out how to baby proof the RV as yet, so all suggestions are welcome!

A glimpse of old too. Strawberry Banke where the first settlers landed. Named so for the wild strawberries that grew there, and changed later to the more grown up name of Portsmouth. Hard to believe it was once a town that rivaled New York and Boston in terms of influence. How things ebb and flow and change.

 

Baby on his front lifting his head up

Baby Boy O’s new perspective of the world

 

Baby in dad's arms

Getting a lift in dad’s arms

 

Fishing shack in Cape Neddick

Sea shack

 

Boats resting on the ocean floor in low tide

Waiting for the turn of the tide

 

Lighthouse on an island

Adding one more picture to the most photographed lighthouse in America – Nubble Lighthouse

 

Baby sitting with dad on rocks overlooking the sea

Enjoying the morning view

 

Sign for Warrens Lobster House

In search of more lobsters for lunch

 

Dining room at Warrens lobster house

Old school dining

 

Sign for Strawberry Banke Museum

Taking in some history

 

Old White House with gardens

With a step back in time

 

Dining room in an old house

Preserved perfectly

 

View from a window of gardens

Keeping the past alive

 

Barrel maker with barrel over fire

Traditions continue

 

Baby with old telephone

Steve Jobs meets Alexander Graham Bell – will Baby Boy O ever know what this is?

 

Old bicycle in front of store

Things old are often new again. May the cycle continue

 

Yesterday’s post: A Walk Along Perkins Cove

Tomorrow’s post: Ice Bucket Horsing Around

 

 

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Daily Pics: A Walk Along Perkins Cove

Traveling in a tiny house in wheels still means household chores. A day of laundry, changing bed sheets, grocery shopping and cleaning was rewarded by an evening walk along Marginal Way near Perkins Cove. We managed to score a couple of insider tips – The Shack is a great place for seafood and parking is free after 6pm. We did keep an eye out for seal pups, but none were to be found. Sigh.

 

Pile of laundry

Laundry, yuck!

 

Man pushing stroller at Perkins Cove

My boys, yum!

 

Blue wooden house with bird boxes

Harbor master’s house

 

Rocks by the sea

Looking for seal pups

 

Man walking stroller along beach path

A walk along Marginal Way

 

Man and baby sitting on seat overlooking sea

Watching the tide roll out

 

Baby's feet in hands

So very teeny tiny

 

Beach along Perkins Cove walk

Sunset over the beach

 

Funny no trespassing sign

Ok, it’s the poison ivy that does it!

 

Perkins Cove drawbridge

Drawing the evening to a close

 

Yesterday’s post: Lobster Rolls

Tomorrow’s post: Old and New in Maine

 

 

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Daily Pics: Lobster Rolls

Every time we ask people what not to miss in Maine, there is one consistent reply – lobster rolls! Plucked fresh from the sea, these tasty morsels are what summer afternoons are about. Bright sunshine, fresh air, delicious chunks tossed in a light mayonnaise sauce, encased in a beautiful lightly toasted bun. People are right. This was the best lobster roll we’ve ever had.

Baby smiling in the morning

Waking up fresh as a daisy

 

Baby in stroller at Trader Joes

Picking up supplies at Trader Joes

 

Out door dining at Bobs Clam Hut

An impromptu stop for lunch. Lured in by the promise of lobster rolls

 

Cute baby sitting on an outdoor table

Waiting in anticipation

 

Baby looking upward

Baby Boy O is entertained…

 

Trees and fairy lights

…by trees and fairy lights

 

Lobster and clam rolls with fries and coleslaw

Heaven on a plate – lobster roll, fried clam strips, fries and coleslaw delights

 

Big fat smiles from baby

How we felt after lunch!

 

Sign for York Beach Campground

Our campground near the beach

 

Short Sands Beach

A short walk to Short Sands Beach

 

Old car with fishy plates

Seaside town quirks

 

Bacon dipped in chocolate

Another Maine speciality?!

 

Lobster roll tshirt

Think we’ll stick to lobster rolls

 

Yesterday’s post: Lazy Day Discovering Hands

Tomorrow’s post: A Walk Along Perkins Cove

 

 

Monday, 25 August 2014

Daily Pics: Lazy Day Discovering Hands

Baby Boy O has made a marvelous discovery – four lovely fingers and two suckable thumbs. It was a perfect day to go for a walk, spend the afternoon in bed, soak up the view and just play. So many smiles from the little one. Poor English Hubby had to work, but he didn’t miss out on all the fun.

 

Baby spread out on a bed in the RV

A glorious nap

 

View of river and trees from back of RV

With an equally glorious view from the bedroom

 

Happy smiling baby

Baby Boy O woke up happy

 

Baby in a carrier

Going for a walk around the campground

 

Pier and dock in Piscataqua River

Down to the Piscataqua River

 

Dad playing with baby in bed

Playing with dad

 

Mum and baby hands pressed together

Hands are so much fun!

 

Yesterday’s post: Treehouse Fun

Tomorrow’s post: Lobster Rolls

 

 

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Daily Pics: Treehouse Fun

A lovely stay with Boston N + K where we boondocked in their driveway. They had family visiting from abroad, and we found ourselves in a household with three little ones, all under the age of two. Picked up lots of parenting tips for times to come and also got put to work on a treehouse construction project.

 

Big lake

A morning walk around the big lake

 

Muffins in trays

Rewarded by a morning muffin treat

 

Three men standing around a treehouse

Put to work after a delicious egg and bacon fry up

 

Three men tilting a treehouse

Some deliberation, then action

 

Four people moving a big treehouse

Things started rolling when Boston K got in on the action

 

Three men around a treehouse with a dolly in the foreground

Getting it in place for Sweet Little L

 

Four adults and one baby on a treehouse celebrating

Declaration of victory…but wait, where’s the roof?!

 

Little girl taking a sandpit

Sweet Little L helping with sandpit construction

 

Baby in a stroller with little girl in a sun hat

Baby Boy O makes a new friend…

 

Baby with big stuffed toy dog

…and another one that’s big and squishy

 

Baby sleeping

Downtime after too much excitement

 

New Hampshire road sign

Off we go zooming through New Hampshire

 

Maine road sign

Quickly scooting into Maine

 

Camping sign in the woods

Ready for some camping in the woods

 

Father holding son over his shoulder

Baby Boy O gets some daddy cuddles

 

Baby on table looking at lake

Enjoying the river front view

 

Sunset over Piscataqua River

Beautiful sunset over Piscataqua River

 

Yesterday’s post: Crazy Messy Love

Tomorrow’s post: Lazy Day Discovering Hands

 

 

Saturday, 23 August 2014

Crazy Messy Love

Being invited into someone else’s family is like watching a reality TV show. You know the people, you get to sit back and be entertained and there are clear moments of truth that cast light on your own life. We’ve just spent dinner and breakfast with our old friends Amazing Mom and Christmas Pudding Dad. The last time we had met they had one sprog, now they have four wonderful healthy fun-loving game-playing kids.

Waffles on a plate

Tacos for dinner, homemade waffles for breakfast

 

It’s a household where there is always someone talking, laughing or fighting. Sometimes all three at the same time. A home where the washer and dryer is always running, the playroom creeps into every corner of the house and shoes are constantly being outgrown. Where imagination runs wild, crafts are done, toys are broken then put together again. It is a place of raw beauty and reminds me of my own crazy messy family.

Watching the kids – minecraft, sweet tooth, eyeball and Spider-Man – at play today was a trip down memory lane. Growing up with three sisters can be described with every adjective in the book. There was never enough room, yet we all managed to create our own space. Meals were at the dining table, but it was like feeding time at the zoo. Noise was a constant – whining, screaming, shushing, negotiating – and smiles could turn into floods of tears and back again in mere seconds. New alliances and enemies made, battles own and lost. Yet at the end of the day blood is always thick.

Girl on sofa with kids in background

Saturday morning family fun

 

In the midst of growing up with all this crazy I remember wishing for order and neatness, matching plates and cutlery, and non-plastic cups. That perfect family you would see in the movies that would make civilized polite conversation, then listen to each other’s reply. That other grass lawn seemed so green, yet now I would trade it all in a heartbeat.

Today was a time warp circa the 80’s. Dear friends, enjoy sitting on your big green couch making rainbow loom jewelry, playing with marbles, setting up tower after tower of Jenga on a Saturday morning.

Girl making a rainbow loom bracelet

Weaving a beautiful rainbow bracelet, ring and necklace

 

Cherish the scrap fights, button pushing and wearing of pajamas late into the day. For one day your siblings may be scattered to the four corners of the world and even endless sessions on Skype cannot recapture those magic moments where you live on top of each other and anything you say or do will be forgiven in a heartbeat. A time when moments would weave seamlessly together and life felt messy in a good way.

 

Previous Post: Detours

Tomorrow’s Post: Treehouse Fun

 

 

Friday, 15 August 2014

Detours

So the original plan was to pack up the apartment, put everything in storage, pick up the RV from the dealership, head to Cape Cod and keep motoring north through Massachusetts and Maine. In some strange time warp continuum this would ideally happen in 10 days. How wrong we were!

Man and baby looking at full storage unit

Packed to the rafters

 

Of course we had a Plan A (aforementioned), Plan B and Plan C. Little did we know that we would run out of alphabet as we shifted gears from city living to life on the road.

Missing paperwork meant we would remain RV-less for a few more days, so we headed up to the Cape via old fashioned automobile. Thankfully so, as the road leading to the vacation house would never have been able to accomodate a 32ft long, 11ft tall RV.

This detour also gave us the opportunity to swing back past Manhattan to check on the painters who were patching up our apartment, ready for tenants. Luckily so, as we had discovered they had unplugged the washing machine drain pipe. Major flooding avoided. Phew.

Paperwork eventually came through, check was handed over and we finally became proud new owners of a tiny house on wheels. We spent a couple of nights camping in the local area to test out all the RV contraptions before we hit the road full pelt. Surely enough the “need to take back to dealer to fix” list steadily grew. Add to that a tire recall, putting our Go North plans further on hold.

RV parked at a tire repair store

Getting new wheels

 

Gratefully our lovely friends SydneyGal and Jaybo took us in for a night, which quickly extended to two. Our impromptu Monmouth Beach detour was a perfect opportunity to reconnect with old friends, break bread, explore a beautiful town and enjoy the sun and surf with fabulous company.

 

Beautiful colorful flowers in a box

In full bloom at the Monmouth Beach farmers market

 

Even in our wildest dreams we could never have imagined a moment like this a year ago. Two mummies, two strollers, two babies. How kindly fortune has smiled.

Two little babies in two strollers

Stroller friends

 

So now we are two and a half weeks behind schedule, and about to finally head north. Although itching to get on the road and make the most of the Summer, I can’t ignore the feeling that it is the univese’s way of allowing us a much needed refuel, restock and recouperate break.

Tomato, eggs, bacon and avocado breakfast platter

Well fed and watered by our lovely friends

 

It is nice to know that things don’t always work out as planned…sometimes they work out even better.

Road leading to river with stop and caution signs

Wherever the road may lead

 

Previous Post: Magic Happens

Next Post: Crazy Messy Love

 

 

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Magic Happens

A year ago magic happened.

Two cells became four, four became eight, eight became sixteen and on and on and on. Life took hold. Our long awaited Little Baby O came to us. So wanted, and much loved even though we had not yet met him. We knew him in our dreams and now he is so much a part of our lives.

 

100 cell zygote

Just the beginning

 

It has been an exciting year, and many years leading up. Looking back, the journey felt like a rough voyage across an ocean, searching for the fabled lost continent – out there, but without guarantee of ever setting foot on land. It had never been plain sailing, but with time it is easy to forget the wave after wave of sadness, the depths of despair where it felt like I could not breathe, the countless interventions of which none were pleasant.

Box full of used syringes

Happiness comes with three pricks a day

 

My saving grace came in two forms, English Hubby who held my hand every step of the way, and a little friend called perspective who in my darkest hours allowed me to remember that we have so much to be grateful for regardless of the outcome.

Halloween costume of X-ray with baby

Shouting from the roof tops

 

Fast forward through more injections, cravings, borderline narcolepsy, thankfully no morning sickness, misread ultrasounds, seven weeks of bed rest, ups and downs, midwife, doula, sadness, fear, happiness, the best OBs in the world, deep breathing, cesarean birth and three months later here we are.

Little baby sleeping

Our bundle of joy

 

I cannot thank the universe enough for the twists and turns, roadblocks and speed bumps, rough and smooth that led our son to us.

 

Previous Post: An Ocean of Kindness

Next Post: Detours

 

 

Monday, 4 August 2014

An Ocean of Kindness

In a world where news headlines scream death, destruction, war, planes that fall out of skies and so much sadness, it is nice to pause and be reminded of everyday kindness and love.

The Dalai Lama once posted (yes, on Facebook!) that at every moment countless mothers (fathers and caregivers) around the world wake to feed their babies, regardless of how tired they are, they nurse and provide for their children. These moments don’t make headlines. The true depth of this love and kindness may not even be noticed or fully understood until the child one day becomes a parent themselves. And it just happens, minute after minute, day after day, year after year, since the very beginning.

We have been the recipients of an ocean of kindness of late. Aunt Steph who babysat Baby Boy O, giving us a precious last New York City date night out. Irish Lass and English Andy who poured a much needed glass of cold white wine, dished a delicious dinner and prepped a cosy bed for the night after a very long day of moving. Family style fun with JJ, N + C in Cape Cod. Stylish sixth floor neighbors who housed our extra boxes and fussed over us endlessly.

Table set with dinner

The way to one’s heart

 

Add to that the random acts of kindness from people – the girl at the supermarket who held the door open, making it easier to navigate the beast that is our stroller, kind words from little old ladies, a great suggestion from the waiter. The list could go on and on, and for every dear family, friend, acquaintance and stranger mentioned there are a hundred more who deserve to be shouted from the mountaintops.

In the quicksand of sensational and ‘newsworthy’ headlines, this is what I wish to remember – acts of kindness are always there and may they help us keep in perspective all the things that happen around us.

 

Previous Post: Happy Times in Cape Cod

Next Post: Magic Happens

 

 

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Happy Times in Cape Cod

We’ve been invited to Cape Cod by our dear friends JJ, N + C. It’s a magical way to begin our journey, hanging out with people we love. We arrived on Tuesday and the days seem to have blurred into a flowing rhythm of wake, play, eat, beach, fun, laughter and sleep. It feels like the long luscious summers we use to have as a kid, where each day was whole and simple, each moment true and pure. That precious period before the concept of time and grown up priorities seeps in. A time when you remembered to make lists of things that make you happy.

Book on a shelf

A great reminder

 

So in an ode to this tradition, here is a sprinkling of the big and little things to celebrate and cherish:

Steak, salad and a bottle of 2004 St Hugo’s.
An ability to wind in ‘particle accelerator’ into any conversation.
Throw back to the Miami Vice theme song with Crockett and Tubbs.
Learning random Trivia Pursuit facts, like Massachusetts, Kentucky, Pennsylvania and Virginia are Commonwealths, not States.
Shooting stars.
Red crabs.

Baby on floor with two toy red crabs

Crab attack

 

Decaf coffee.
Fresh baked morning glory muffins.
Grapes.

Muffins and grapes on a table

What’s the story morning glory?

 

The thought of Gerard depardieu in a speedo (cringeworthy, yet strangely funny).
Spending quality time with dear friends.
Delicious 14 month old cousin E.
JJ’s orange PJs.
Red adirondack chairs.

Red adirondack chairs on a deck

Prime position

 

Sun deck, which miraculously transforms to a star deck at night.
Baby boy O in a Baby Bjorn rocker.
White linen pants.
Long lashes on a sleeping baby.

Sleeping baby

What it looks like to sleep like a baby

 

Old fashioned General store.
Fresh corn on the cob.
Pomi diced tomatoes.
Freshly baked baguettes.
Drivers who indicate before turning.
Coolers with giant wheels.
Ham, tomato, sweet pepper and Swiss cheese sandwich with waffle chips on the side.
Cold coconut water.
Boppee cushion under a beach umbrella.
Sand between toes.

Sand on baby toes

New sensations

 

12 year old girls who are fascinated with babies.
A dip in the water.
Green balls.
Sharing photos on Facebook with faraway family and friends.
Art.

Painting of a bouy on a blue background

Visual delights

 

Nice hot showers.
Nice smelling moisturizer.
Fruit bowls and fresh vegetables.

Avocado and red peppers in a bowl

Shiny and bumpy

 

Taking photos.
Travel crib.
Drinking water.
Cheese and crackers.
Playing Bocci.
Big family style clam bake dinner with steamers, big juicy lobsters, baked potatoes and butter.

Big red lobster with baked potato and corn on a plate

Not a good place to be a lobster

 

Peanut butter ice cream.
A game of salad bowl where Clarissa and licking of lips prompted the answer Hannibal Lecter, crazy lady from Alaska = Sarah Palin, that punk kid = Justin Bieber

Names written on pieces of paper

Who am I?

 

Falling into a deep sleep.
Sunrise.
Smell of sun dried towels.
Ham and cheese croissant.
Breakfast all over cousin E’s face and hands and nose and hair and chair and floor and…
JJ’s mums boy racer car.
Swimming in a fresh water pond.

People sitting on a beach beside a pond

Dip and swim

 

Freshly fried clams.
Lobster rolls with a side of coleslaw and sweet potato fries.

 

Lobster rolls, chips and coleslaw

Really not a good place to be a crustacean

 

Afternoon naps.
Breeze on the deck.
Conversation.

People sitting under a sun umbrella on a deck

Early evening soirée

 

Trees.
Chirping birds.
Sunset.

Sunset from a balcony

Scintillating ball of hydrogen gas

 

Glow worms.
Chicken with amped up barbecue sauce.
Grilled asparagus.
Perfectly cooked hamburgers.

Hamburgers on flaming grill

Flaming goodness

 

Dancing.
Live music.

Drink and limes on cutting board

Night cap

 

Requests for Tom Petty that go unrequited.
Dream feeds.

It may not be a list of 14,000 things, but it is a good beginning.
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