Monday, June 20, 2016

4 o'clock

By 4pm, I am heading towards maximum capacity when it comes to MOTY applications. The kids get shooed outside and I follow a few minutes later with a speaker, a computer, and -- most importantly-- a beer.

qI break my cardinal guideline of drinking before 5 and have a beer. Let's not start judging, it's one beer, I'm here by myself with three kids, and well... some might say I am on vacation... though we all know that I am on a trip.

The yard was fenced in when Nephew was born, probably the greatest thing that happened to the beach house since the internet and the washer/dryer. Laugh all you want, but I know what it is like to live without cable, central a/c, and having to walk to a pay phone before cell phones. We had an ice box here for the longest time. No kidding.

I digress.

The girls run in circles, fight, forget what they were fighting about, play, have races, and in general- get the willies out. Fuzzy goes between chasing them before finding a ball and getting distracted. I sip my beer and write a blog, play on the internet, or think about my next move as a parent in this day. What will we fix for supper? Will we go to the beach this evening? Golf cart ride? Those sorts of questions are what I ponder while they continue to play on boogie boards in the grass.

The music is both the music I remember my parents listening to when I was their age (Allman Brothers, Al Green, Bob Marley, Marshall Tucker, etc) and the music from when I was a young (Dave Matthews, Robert Earl Keen, Counting Crows, and Outkast for good measure).

By 4 o'clock, regardless of what we have done, they are tired. Exhausted, really. For instance, today we slept in late and only spent about 2 hours at the pool, pale to the all day fiascos we are used to. After showers (which answered the question if we will go to the beach tonight. NO-- showers are few and far between here), we are outside for our 4 o'clock rendezvous with the yard. And I can tell that they are tired. Fuzzy will walk until he can't walk anymore, lie down- face first in the grass and stay that way for about two minutes until he has the energy to get up and walk some more. Birdie wants to drink about 17 juice boxes, which is her "tell" when she is tired-- she's thirsty. And Bennie, bless that sweet middle child. She is your typical three year old when she is tired-- bipolar.

It's 5:10 and I have ordered Birdie's school supplies for the coming year and her summer camp trunk. Fuzzy is starting to cry about a boogie board he is not being allowed to play with, per his big sisters, and Robert Keen comes on the radio. We'll be having chicken and cantaloupe for supper.

The day is winding down and they are telling me that are D-O-N-E with being in the yard:

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Putt-Putting at the beach

Fuzzy is sleeping right now. Bennie and Birdie are watching YouTube and I am procrastinating getting entrenched with another grant. We are at the beach house where we have been for almost a week. Husband basically hog-tied me last week. He told me to get the kids out of the house and go have fun!

We packed five sets of clothes and thanked my parents for investing in a washer and dryer a few years ago. When I was a kid, we had to walk up the street to get fresh water for Ora's Well. Okay, that is an exaggeration. The truth is that my DAD had to walk up the street to Ora's to get fresh water. When I was a kid, we had a large basin sink with hot salt water on one side and cold salt water on the other. We still don't have central heating and air, but we do have internet and cable television. ThankyouJesus!

Before we left for our summer extravaganza at the beach, I made a bunch of "tickets" (Birdie's word, not mine) and divided them into two categories: Inside and Outside. When we grow bored of the beach or it is raining, we pull a ticket. Today, the weather was not stifling so I changed our plans of heading to the pool and pulled a ticket.


When I was a kid, there was a putt-putt course just past where Ora's used to be and an arcade was next to it. Mama and Daddy would hand us old putters, cheap golf balls and send us up the street after hours (or during hours and we would hop the fence and play the middle 9).

Putt-Putt has evolved since the arcade was torn down and the putt-putt course demolished.

For one-- we have to pay and for two-- a parent has to be involved.

Off our foursome goes on our golf cart to the closest course. If there is one paying adult, the kids can play for free.

Excuse me? I can pay for myself to pick up a putter and the kids can play for.... free? Yes, please.

And I even had a coupon.

We were all having fun... until the shortest one found the water hazard... and then the kids started having a whole bunch-a fun and mom was a little, uh, soaking wet from the blue water.

I was assured by the guys who manned their stoner-summer jobs that the water is "extremely clean and the only reason it is blue is because of a very small dye pack." Yeah, sure. Whatever. I just need to know if Fuzzy is going to grow a third eye. If he is, I can bet money it will be a blue one.

Remember when you were a kid and your mom told you it was toilet water/sewer water/anything that tells you that the water is incredibly un-clean and your arm will fall off it you go near it? As a kid, you'd peer at it and wonder if Blinkie will pop out. at least, I did. Turns out, our moms were liars. {nothing personal, Mama. Love you!} You can't get ink poisoning. The water is "very clean with a very small dye pack." And strangers don't, in fact, put hypodermic needles with HIV in the Halloween candy bowl. They just didn't want us to jump in the blue water, color on ourselves, or be rude and grab a bunch of candy from a bowl. Go figure. I know these things now that I am a mother.

Nine dollars, 2 hours, and 22.4 holes later, Birdie made the starling discovery that when your ball drops in on 18, it is gone. She cried. At that point, it was trifecta. Fuzzy cried when I finally pulled him from water- every time I pulled him from the water-- because there was definitely at least four times. Bennie had cried because ... well, I don't really know why she cried.

Apparently, it was lunchtime.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

This Day

I am sitting on the deck of our family's beach house. There is a beer, cold and wet sitting next to me in a pink gingham koozie and my feet are propped on the ledge. The sun will not set for another three hours, but the heat of the day has faded away. Tom Petty is on the radio and Fuzzy is next to me, playing in one of those little kid plastic cars-- the ones with the blue lids and the horn squeaks more than honks.

Layla just came on and the older two are in the front and throwing things up on the deck. Thankfully, they are failing more than they are succeeding.  When I was their age, I thought our front yard at the beach was as large as a baseball field. It's not, but it's flat, the grass is lush and there are little clovers in it. The only other place that has grass as nice as this yard is the Augusta National.

No lie.

We are having hamburgers for supper and I cannot help but think how fortunate I am. Three children before me, my husband-- three and half hours away, working (okay, so that part is not very fortunate), and the sea air in my suddenly curly, unwashed hair.

The kids have been slightly above average, but it is a learning curve right now. The quarters are small and certainly not childproof. The youngest still naps in the afternoon when the girls would rather be getting sunburned and sandy on the beach.

Otis Redding is wafting through the humidity and the beer is now empty. The kids have started throwing those same things at each other, instead of the deck. Neither of them have much of a future in horseshoes. Whoops... Bennie's toy just went over the fence and she is wailing. Birdie saves the day, running with the lightning speed that all 7 year olds have to save Everest, the stuffed puppy that just met his demise.

"Robert Keen" comes on. I cannot help but think of my cousin in Montana and how much fun we always have when we are together.

Life is beautiful and it's a good day. It didn't start out good and there were certainly some low points since the sun rose this morning-- but right now, this moment is awesome.

Fuzzy runs to me, tugs on a t-shirt full of holes from a St. Patrick's Day social in 1999 and rests his head on my leg.

The girls are pink cheeked and asking for a drink.

Sometimes a blog full of nothing can really amount to something.