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Archives for : June1956

Well Excuse Me

The one thing I have learned from studying my friends is that we are all different. Although we all live similar types of lives, some of us are what I like to call “complex” friends. I consider myself to be a simple friend; easy to get along with, not overly demanding or loud. My complex friends often need more attention and will escalate their behavior if they don’t get it. I don’t talk much about her, but in our outer circle is Clarisse Boudin. Clarisse is a different kind of southern than Judy Anne. Judy Anne prides herself on her impeccable manners, which she wears like a shield. The smallest motion of her face can let you know that someone has overstepped their boundary. She is a bad behavior detector and it’s always fun to watch her at the annual block party as she semi-interrogates the newest families.

Clarisse joined our group at the club pool yesterday for some talk time. Clarisse throws in some salty language from time to time, so I usually encourage the children to swim or play cards more when she is around our group. It’s not that we are above using a curse word from time to time – I have a few that just fall off my lips when I accidently hurt myself. In fact, I think most people have their own go-to string of expletives. Clarisse is also what I call a good talker. She barely takes a breath between sentences. She had her head thrown back to sun her face. You couldn’t see her eyes because she had large cats-eye sunglasses on. I noticed that both Mags and I were watching Judy Anne as Clarisse spoke. Judy Anne’s facial twitches were hysterical but she held her thoughts to herself or at least I can say they weren’t shared verbally. I actually lost track of what Clarisse was saying at one point as I watched. It probably wasn’t anything too shocking but it was obviously not something Judy Anne thought should be discussed in public.

Luckily, the lifeguard whistled for the start of the adult swim time. Mags leaned over and grabbed Judy Anne’s hand and quickly pulled her up to join her in the pool. I followed, leaving Clarisse still talking to herself. Maybe that’s all she wanted to do. After Mags, Judy Anne and I were in the pool for a couple of minutes, Judy Anne had cooled down enough to laugh at what had just happened. Mags told her about her face twitching and she laughed even more. All Judy Anne could say was how amazed she was that a Southern girl like Clarisse could talk in such a manner in public. Oh well, I guess we all have different filters. My study continues.

Lake Love

In the grander side of life, Buck and June offered us the lake house for a week again this year. Steve and the kids always have a great time fishing and swimming. The kids were able to explore a little further this year and the long days playing outside made us all sleep better. I tried to make easier meals for lunch and dinner at the lake house, so planning and making a detailed grocery list was very important. Although when it came to breakfast, I went all out to fortify the family. Junior’s appetite has really increased and even Daisy doesn’t pick at her food anymore. Steve enjoyed a second cup of coffee out on the deck after breakfast while the kids rummaged close to the house, picking up sticks and small pieces of wood to use as kindling for our nightly fire. Of course, I bought a couple bags of marshmallows, boxes of graham crackers and chocolate bars for the s’mores. I like my marshmallows partially burned, so it takes some patience for the perfect one.

Steve always seems so patient with the kids when we are at the lake. He takes time to show them how to bait their hooks and talks to them while waiting for a fish to bite. Some days I went along with them on the boat and packed a picnic basket for our lunch. I partially froze some lemonade the night before and added it to the jug in the morning so it stayed cold until lunch. The sandwiches were delicious. Eating out in the open air is such a treat, I decided that when we returned home, we would eat more summer meals outside at the table on the little patio.

Of course, the nights are always the best time for Steve and I to cuddle up outside under the stars. The skies were beautiful and it was peaceful and romantic. It’s important to keep romance in every marriage and the hustle and bustle of our everyday lives sometimes makes it difficult. With two children, I have so much to do everyday that I forget about Steve until just before he comes home. I am determined to be a better partner and plan some surprises for him this summer to remind him of why he picked me. He is such a good provider and cares about his children even when he’s tired after a long day of work. I found a winner.

I have to find a good way to thank Buck and June for letting us use the lake house again this year. Their generosity lets us live it up on our budget, the house is beautiful and something we might want to have one day and it brings us together as a family. It’s a fabulous way to start our summer!

To Snack or Not to Snack

Finally, pool time! My favorite time of year. Junior and Daisy were both taking swimming lessons this year, so I was speeding through my housework early in the day to take them to the club later in the morning. I generally sit with the other mothers as we quietly watch our young fish splash about in the shallow end of the pool. The sun isn’t too hot yet so I’m able to get a little base color on my pale arms and legs as a benefit. Sometimes after the lessons we stay for a while and set up in the area that is reserved for my squad. It’s not really reserved formally, but it’s where we all sit everyday and no one else tends to grab the chairs there.

I always pull up a chair for Mags next to mine so we can talk while I keep an eye on the kids. The lessons are really paying off and Junior’s legs are looking leaner and he is getting taller. His little man muscles are super cute. Daisy uses the lessons to be more social and asks a lot of questions from the instructor. The weekdays at the pool require me to really plan better. Besides getting the housework done early, I try to pack lunches for the kids. They are really hungry after swim lessons and the snack bar food is fairly expensive. I don’t mind an afternoon ice cream run as a treat, but I try not to load the kids up on food they wouldn’t eat at home. The mama bears take good care of their cubs.

The weekends at the pool are very different. With the men in tow, the dynamics change. We still sit in the same area but next to our spouses. The men rarely use the chairs much because they tend to be in the pool either standing around chest deep and talking, tossing around a ball or throwing the children around. The papa bears enjoy their cubs too.

On the other hand, the snack bar is the go-to food venue. The kids get whatever they want as long as they order and get their daddies’ food too. The sunshine and pool play makes everyone extra hungry and the guys often make a trip over to the snack bar for a cold beer when it’s available. After eating, the kids sit on their outstretched towels and play cards behind us. Adult swims are fun for all of the big people as we gently glide around the pool together while the kids reluctantly wait on the sidelines. The club manages to satisfies all of the many needs of our family. Everyone seems happy there according to their own interests. Although I have always pined for a backyard pool, I’m not sure I could replicate the fun that everyone has as a group at the club pool. Maybe it’s better to have to wait for some things; it gives you time to think about your wishes.

Spell It For Me

School would be over soon and our card parties would be taking a summer break too. Edie had volunteered to hostess the final one and we were all looking forward to getting a chance to explore her home a little more. Although I probably had more secret information on Edie than anyone else, I looked forward to watching my squad quietly check out Edie’s. Edie’s house was thoughtfully decorated and like Mags’ home, she didn’t have to worry about displaying precious treasures or constantly wiping down everything that little hands can reach.

Edie did not disappoint. Fresh flowers spilled from two vases. One giant bouquet was placed on the dining room table which was beautifully set and the other shorter arrangement was placed on the glass-topped coffee table. A glass top; I shuddered at the responsibility that involved.

There were bowls of candies too. Little multi-colored jellies that were sugary and shiny. Milk chocolates whose swirling tops held a code for the candy center. Edie’s tablescape had food displayed at different levels on cake stands and her cut crystal was lovely. Edie’s jello creation had fruit suspended perfectly. I wanted to take a picture but I didn’t bring my camera. After our first cocktail, we all sat down to play but there were no cards on the table. Edie disappeared for a minute and returned with a box of Scrabble. We looked quizzically at each other, laughed and opened the box to play. It was great unexpected fun. It had been a while since I had played but made a good showing. It was fun to mix up our game. Edie provided a giant dictionary for reference for questions over “pretend” words that shouldn’t be counted in the scores. I wondered if her giant dictionary was the same one she used in her romance writing. After all, how many ways can you say something without looking up a synonym or two?

After several hands, we ate and walked around admiring Edie’s home. I noticed that the door to the sunny office was closed. Edie maintained her secret identity.

At the end of the afternoon, we sat around comfortably and thanked Edie for the fun. She is really remarkable. I’m going to have to be more creative to keep up, but it’s a good challenge!