What I Learned Over Summer Break

First and foremost, don’t flip pregnant women over while riding in canoes! It was such a lovely day. The clouds burned off just after noon, leaving the day in bright and warm sunshine sans the uncomfortable buildup of any accumulated heat. We paddled here, we paddled there, passing by baby ducks, perched turtles, many a flitting dragonfly and the occasional fellow canoe. After a picnic lunch up on a nearby bank, and a silly game of tap the buoy, we headed in for the day. Upon reaching the dock, we positioned ourselves up against the edge, parallel alongside it. In standing, turning and trying to exit, the canoe rocked away from the edge and in us both holding onto the wooden posts in an attempt to stabilize the boat, it only further aided in adding to the imbalance and – SPLOOSH! Capsized, we were. A rude ending to a tame trip. Once back on the dock, we took stock of bumps and scrapes, and most importantly any potential harm to my friend’s growing little one. After a mission to retrieve wayward oars and a very wet picnic basket, I remembered the cell phone that lay in my left jean pocket. Dead. The wet camera that lay in my right. It turned on with an unhealthy slow-to-rise, warbly screen and I shot this photo of the aftermath of our water-filled canoe with the thought that it would be the finale in my camera’s short life. Home we headed soaked through and through with the resolve to not do that again, and to nurse our wounds. Friend and baby-to-be are still plugging along nicely! Several days later, the cell phone was back in action with the added bonus of the nonfunctional camera feature oddly restored to fully functional. The camera followed suit and began working a day, or two later, as well.

Canoe Filled With Water

And now, various observations from the summer, not so much with a specific lesson learned, but rather, enforcing the idea that it’s important to get out there and see, hear, smell, taste and feel life!

Over lunch one day, my dad commented that Chinese restaurants never seem to have knives available as part of the table setting and that Mexican restaurants never seem to have spoons. In proof that Mexican restaurants do however provide their patrons with forks, see below. In entering a bathroom stall and turning to shut the door, I happened upon a lone fork laid atop of the toilet paper dispenser.

Fork Sitting Atop Toilet Paper Dispenser

In recent parking lot findings, a hypodermic needle. Near my sister’s car. In our apartment parking complex. In the family section. Sheesh.

Hypodermic Needle On Pavement

In the annual Puyallup Fair trip perusings, these, quite literally, Candy-Apple Red candy apples did quite well to feed my eyes, though, not my tummy. And in further fair fun, Bean and I were thrilled to discover we’d attended on a day exhibiting BUNNIES! A room full of bunnies + Deborah = Big, huge, flippin’ YAY! (No bunnies were harmed in the making of this YAY.) This particular fluffball appeared to be face-free at first glance, but a quick knee-bend later, a nose-to-nose view revealed, well, his nose. Please envision a hefty dose of nose twitchery and the up and down airy movement of wispy bunny bangs from the subsequent bunny breath and it’s almost like you’re there, too. Almost.

Red Candy Apples

White Bunny Face

In recreational park fun, I came across this happy plant/bush thing. The blossoms, they’re kinda reminiscent of raspberries with super fuzzy little sweaters, were raspberries to wear super fuzzy little sweaters.

Pinkish Purple Plant

And this particular park, these fantastic spheres are all situated under a covering of trees grown up and over in an entwining tunnel-like cove ushering visitors into what feels like another, better world.

Morrill Meadows Park

All hail a selection of fine imported English candies! Selected by Shane, purchased by Bean, a tag-team effort produced a bevy of yummy treats for the tasting. And my favorite? Having heard of my once intense affection for Altoids, birthed in late, late nights spent at the computer completing many a design project while back in school several years back, Shane knew the wrapping marked “XXX” would be right up my alley. Initially, I loved that ziiiiinnng to be had once one crunches down on an Altoid and then sucks one’s breath in. Hundreds of Altoid mints later, my taste buds numb, that wondrous ziiiiinnng was no longer to be found. So, I opened the “XXX” package, placed what looked to be a super-duper-sized Altoid, same smell, same texture, in my mouth, and then, without even attempting the crunch down step, took a breath in and – ZIIIIINNNG! “Ooh,” I gasped. Shane laughed, saying that was the reaction he was waiting for. Hooray for ziiiiinnng renewal! I’ve had two since then, this pack is gonna be made to last the whole year through.

British Candies

Red Converse Sneaker

A slew of people I know seem to have combined their munchkin-making in a team effort event which in turn has produced a slew of 5-year-old munchkins with 3-year-old munchkin siblings all being raised together simultaneously (not commune style, mind you, in separate homes and cities, but, you know, together). This means birthday parties and BBQs galore. In a deviation from the pattern, my little friend Sam, had her birthday at a large warehouse housing many an inflatable, some for sliding, all for bouncing and jumping! For weeks before the party, I lamented about how great it would be if the adults could, ahem, bounce and jump, too. How reallly, they should make these things large enough and sturdy enough to accommodate the adults so as to encourage interactive play. (More throat clearing.) Party day arrives. I drive over sporting my red Converse sneakers. I enter. I check in. I place my present in the present pile. I walk down the blue, blue hall and open the bright yellow doors to the party beyond. There, many an airborne adult to be seen! Whoohoo! Glory be and hallelujah! Those inflatables are GIGANTIC! More than accommodating for the likes of 6’5″ men and women (a bit shorter). I see Shawn. Shawn, Sam’s dad, I most often see when he’s arriving home from work. In a suit and tie. Haggard. Beat. Fairly lifeless. I often think of that song, Once In a Lifetime by the Talking Heads, and hope his outward appearance doesn’t reflect his heart. “Deborah! Wanna join me on this thing?” *Bounce, bounce, jump* T-shirt, jeans, and a smile from ear to ear. This is what I wish for every grownup, a playful spirit and the freedom to leave the worrisome pull of adulthood from time to time. *Bounce, bounce, jump* The inner children were all out to play that day, I tell you! ♦

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