We’re ten weeks into summer vacation now. The boys are enjoying themselves immensely. They drift through the days, adventuring, squabbling, eating, and swimming. They spend one day a week with my mother and one day a week with Ian’s mother. Sometimes they’re with me, sometimes they’re visiting friends. Or friends come to play here. They’ve come to accept summertime chores as something they can’t get out of. Most of the arguments about chores have died away, as we’ve been pretty good about keeping the bar high. We’ve raised our expectations of them and mostly they’re rolling with it. There are plenty of interpersonal arguments to fill the space. Lucas and Asher are presently best friends and worst enemies. Somewhere there is a happy balance between planned activities and unstructured rambling time. We find it and lose it and find it again, week by week.
So, they’re having a great time. I’m really ready for school to start. Two more weeks to go. What is it about August? The heat, the drying up of my garden, the looooong summer. It’s not my favorite month. I seem to always have junk to confront. And yet, there’s plenty of deliciousness to celebrate.
On Sunday of last week we took an impromptu drive up the hill. The four of us packed the dog and some snacks, and let the car take us somewhere new. We were without a plan and it was a great feeling. We stopped by a little town call Dutch Flat to see what there was to see. It’s a gorgeous little place—very picturesque. I wanted to get some shots of the homes, both because they are beautiful and quaint and also because I feel they will be great references for future paintings, if I ever get good enough. Which I will!
See what I mean? So simple and beautiful.
This is the main street. It was hot while we walked around and I looked for someplace to spend a little money to support the local economy, like an ice cream parlor or something. Alas, I couldn’t find anything and I’m not sure how this town survives.
This is the hotel. It was lovely from the front and from the back, where we were able to peek over the small fence to see the deck and garden.
Great homes. White picket fences everywhere. Plenty of fruit trees in yards and baskets full of flowers hanging from porches. I’ve rarely seen so many American flags on display.
Anyway, we continued on our way up the hill and ended up at Donner Lake. The temperature was far more pleasant than at home in the valley. We walked a little through the state park and enjoyed a rest at the edge of the lake. I would love to go camping here.
Naturally the boys wanted to swim. It was beautiful and very satisfying to say “yes, of course.” Next time, I’d like to rent a canoe and paddle about for a while.
It was a perfect family adventure day. Just what I needed in August.