Vinegar Girl by Anne Tyler


He was pretty good at cutting up beef jerky with the kitchen shears.

Apparently, I took a few weeks off.

Shall I catch you up?

The kids got out of school for the summer, finally, just in the knick of time before we all imploded with the stress of homework and scheduling and healthy dinners. Summer vacation has been exactly the kind of relief it is meant to be. We go to bed late, we wake up late (some of us – others of us wake up early so they can be guaranteed an hour of relative peace) we eat a lot of fruit and corn flakes. It’s blissful.

(Except when it’s not. Except when I feel guilty for trying to manage work, mom jobs, spouse time, and, oh yeah, being alone with a book or dumb TV show. But it all comes out in the wash. Only some if it is pink and only some of it is shrunk.)

What else has happened? We cleaned the porch and managed to actually plant flowers in the railing boxes, and we hung plants along the front porch and I found a package of cilantro seeds that I tossed into some pots with some dirt and voila, there they are, rewarding my modest efforts with abundance.

And the puppies are actually getting a little bit trained. They’ve stopped attacking the large trucks that dare drive past our house and I haven’t found a poopy gift in the house for at least three days.

We are also preparing for departure. We are driving forever to a beach house to reunite with M’s family and we are all excited. There will be music, long hours reading by the pool, excellent food shared with excellent company, a chance to connect with people I hardly know though I’m sure I will love.

Oh! And a new dishwasher arrived! This one actually cleans dishes, which is an improvement.

Is there anything bad that I can report with my distinct mix of self-deprecation and jolly pessimism? Well, the ticks are pretty bad this year. And last night on our way to the movies we passed a family that had obviously served as J Crew models and I couldn’t help but realizing that the T-shirt I was wearing was older than my youngest son and that my oldest son had paired black polyester dress pants with sandals that the dogs had shredded the other day, but were apparently still serviceable. We were a motley crew.

But honestly, we are so good at motley, why fight it?

I might be a sparse poster this summer. There are books to write. And read. And miles to go before I sleep. And I really need to stare off into the blue, blue sky for a while. Love to all.



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