20 November 2008

You weren't trying to sleep, were you?

This is the sight I came home to this afternoon. Nothing says "Welcome Home" like a big pile of old shingles, eh?

We've been trying to get our roof replaced for some time now. Actually, we had the work scheduled to be done on the day we had Mason, but the weather didn't cooperate. So, instead of roofers hammering incessantly on an empty domicile, they hammered today on an occupied one. And they jumped. And they threw stuff. And they shoveled, and yelled, and ate lunch. Hey, at least they picked a nice day to get the work done. Carolina blue skies, mid '50's . . can't beat it.

When I asked the company's representative if we'd need to keep our cars out of the driveway to make room for his dumpster, he said "No, we'll just put it out on the street so you can park in the driveway." Apparently the crew didn't get that memo.

I'll be interested to see the condition of my lawn tomorrow morning. They left after the sun went down this afternoon, so I could not survey their work. Mandi laid down the law though. "If it ain't clean," she said, "they don't get their check." Preach on sister! I'm not so much concerned about the big stuff, such as those adorning these bushes. I'm more worried about the six thousand old nails I'm sure to find in the yard getting accidentally lodged into the sole of some non-shoe-wearing 8-year-old I know. Perhaps a quick glance at the status of her tetanus booster is in order . .

The guys on the crew seemed pretty good, although what would I know. They didn't accost Mandi before I got home, they didn't park 18 low-riders in front of the house while they did their work, and they did not utter any Spanish profanities when I came outside to take pictures. Yeah, I know them all . . I did work in restaurants, remember? All they said, as I took this last shot, was "Otro, otro!" Apparently they wanted me to take more pictures. I figured one was enough.

17 November 2008

Remember doing this?

I have a lot of memories from my childhood. Some are vivid, some are vague. Not surprisingly it's the memories that not only have pictures associated with them, but smells, sounds, tastes, and tactile sensations that tend to stand out.

I've said before that Fall is my favorite season of the year. Largely, that's because it suits who I am today. I don't think I've ever really thought about it in these terms, but many of my best and most vivid childhood memories are from the fall as well. I remember walking through the cemetery next to my grandparents' house in Pittsburgh in the fall, climbing leafless trees and coming back and throwing a football in their back yard with my dad. I remember Fall camping trips with my aunts, uncles and cousins. Most of all, I remember raking huge piles of fallen maple leaves in my friend Chris' front yard and then running down the hill to jump in them. Rake, run, repeat. I can't imagine anything I would have chosen to do instead had there been leaves available for collecting.

I imagine this might have been something like what we looked like all those years ago on Highland Avenue.

I love the fact that my kids choose to go outside and play. They weren't at Mandi's grandmother's house more than 10 minutes yesterday before they started clamoring to go outside and play. Everything seems a little bit more right in the world when kids choose to go pick flowers and run around when there's a perfectly good TV inside to watch. Kids come together in the outdoors. All the things that make them incompatible with each other when they're inside the four walls of a house seem to disappear when they step outside.

Avery and I went camping overnight Saturday too. The battery in my camera conked out after about an hour, so there aren't a ton of pictures to share. Sunday, after everyone else had gone home, we spent a few hours hiking around the park and just enjoying the beautiful Fall day. I really don't like cliches, but Avery is really in her element outside in the elements. We picked berries, wondered about fallen trees, scavenged for wild pecans, and generally just enjoyed our time together. This picture pretty much sums it all up . . Avery, in her pajamas and a warm coat, halfway up a tree.

And we got this Fall fun in just in the nick of time . . tomorrow's forecast high temperature is in the mid-40's. Yikes . . I guess I won't be wearing shorts to work.