Monday, March 29, 2010

Tour de Willden

So, my mom was here for a few weeks and we played and played and PLAYED! We all had varying degrees of colds and the weather was generally pretty icky, but still managed to have fun. One Saturday I woke up to find that Greg and Grandma had decided that it was a good day for a bike ride. I wondered at Grandma's enthusiasm for the plan, but it seemed genuine, and I'm always up for a bike ride so off we went to the mission trail. Natalie had her first ride in the trailer, and I pulled it for the first time EVER (I am SO TOUGH), while Ella cruised behind her dad's bike on her new Schwinn Runabout. Have you seen these things? They basically create a tandem bike--Ella loved it. And Grandma? Well, she made it to the first hill and decided she would find a comfy spot in the shade and wait out the rest of the ride. We picked her up when we were done.

The helmet didn't last--it was way too big. And she was sitting in a pool of snacks by the time we were finished.

Greg and Ella took the lead on the trail and Ella shouted warnings to me as they rode: "Bridge!" "Big bump!" "Going uphill!"

I eventually fixed Nat's straps and removed the helmet so she no longer looked like a little slumpy mushroom.

Fortunately for Grandma, she had her cell phone with her so she could make some calls while she waited for us at Mission San Juan.
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Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Love Darts

Natalie and I just got back from a walk, and it is a gorgeous day--warm, blue skies, mild breeze... As we walked, I caught a scent in the air that took me straight back to my elementary school playground, a smell that can best be described as "hot weeds". It made me smile, and suddenly I was thinking about love darts. Did anyone else make these or were they peculiar to Walnut Acres Elementary? During recess, we would run around picking weeds, specifically a hard, round yellow one (which I am pretty sure is chamomile because that's part of the "hot weeds" smell) and a feathery green one that we thought looked like a stalk of wheat. We stuck the feathery one into the yellow one, and voila! A love dart! I don't remember the exact magical powers of the love dart, but it had something to do with the boy you hit falling madly in love with you forever. (We were VERY careful with our aim, believe me!)

Which led me to think about Eddie Rathbun, my first boyfriend. We were 6 years old, and quite the hot item of the first grade. In the third grade we suffered through a unit of square dancing together and had to HOLD HANDS, which was mortifying, but in the first grade everyone knew we liked each other, and that was pretty much it. Well, except for the day I kissed him. It was recess and I was at the water trough (remember those?), probably on a break from running around, throwing love darts at boys. I was trying to have a peaceful drink, but Eddie was pestering me. I tried to think of a threat that would make him back off, and this is what my 6-year-old mind came up with: "If you don't leave me alone, I'm going to KISS you!" The pestering continued, and what can I say? I couldn't back down--I had to kiss him! I chased him, caught him (he was shockingly easy to catch), and planted a smooch on his cheek. But it didn't work! He didn't go away! Ah, the power of love darts. I'll have to warn Ella, who is now a first grader, that kissing boys as a way of getting them to leave you alone may not have the desired effect.

And check this out--a genuine picture of me in a play in the first grade! I was a gypsy, can you tell? (Nice handiwork, Mom.) And Eddie is in the picture, too--he's the kid in the back with his head down.

Here's one more of me, age six, minus the fetching kerchief and beads.
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