Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The waxing moon is framed both by my open sliding-glass door and by the dancing silhouettes of leafy tree branches. It is also partially obscured by encroaching overcast. It drew me outside for a few minutes, just so I could more fully experience this unusually cool and overcast July night. I'm back inside now, and I've paused in my reading to write for a few moments. Inspiration to write still hasn't been hitting me as often as I'd like, so I'm taking advantage of my current desire to type before it vanishes into the graveyard of unrealized intentions.

Summer camp has been in full swing for weeks, and the late Spring rains have made a big difference in the presence of local flora and fauna. The grasses and thistles are towering and thick, and I've found a greater variety of small animals than usual. The Summer temperatures have been relatively mild as well and, with the exception of a few hot days, one might think it was still Spring.

I've rented a storage space and I've been busy filling it with belongings that have been gathering webs and dust in my mom's garage. I've also been collecting and sorting my mom's stuff, deciding what to put in storage, what to give away, and what to simply dispose of. Her postage stamp collection is now gone, and several other items have been spoken for. Much remains. I got the bright idea to raffle off some of the stuff at our weekly Summer Camp raffle. So far, I've donated some ridiculously hard jigsaw puzzles and a framed self-portrait I drew in college. The self-portrait was raffled off, but returned because the parents of the camper thought it was "creepy", although I've heard that they now want it back. Strange. Perhaps our raffle needs some explanation: the raffle is a spectacle in which humorous crap, mostly of the flea market and garage sale variety, is bequeathed to young children. It is always highly entertaining and just the sort of place where things like self-portraits and impossible puzzles can be given away for a laugh. The puzzles are actually of good quality, and the humor in this case has to do with their extreme difficulty. For instance, one puzzle, entitled "Green Fog" has pieces which are all exactly the same shade of green. Another has the same image printed on both sides of the puzzle pieces, with one side being rotated 90 degrees. I like to think that my mom would have appreciated the humor of it all.

This week also brought with it the exciting discovery of a couple of creatures I hadn't seen around camp before. The first was a small, tan Praying Mantis in the meadow. It blended in perfectly with the dry grass, and I only saw it because it made the mistake of moving. The second was a Sharp-Tailed Snake, which I found curled up under a section of tree trunk near the front lawn. This was exciting to me because it's the last local snake species I had yet to encounter in the wild. Now I can cross it off my list. The snake itself was much less excited, and indicated its displeasure at being discovered by pooping on me.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

It is nearly 10:30 PM, and still warm. Tomorrow ushers in the fourth week of summer camp (already???) and I have to get up early to make sure Willow is ready in time for us to go get the three older kids at their dad's house and drive up to camp in time for me to help out at the check-in table. The kids have a good time at camp, but I think they all wish they could sleep in.

Jeanine and I got nearly all of my mom's remaining books boxed up today, leaving only a few cookbooks and a series or two of natural science books for later boxing. Not to mention a few other odds and ends here and there, I'm sure. I continue to stumble across and set aside interesting relics of my childhood, and plan on finally renting a storage space later this week. I think that the act of removing all of the things I want from the house will make me feel like I'm closer to being done with the whole process. It's strange and sad seeing the empty shelves and bare sections of floor. A home is once more becoming a house.

Currently listening to: Susanne Roseberg, Christophe Deslignes, Jean-Lou Descamps, & Theirry Gomar "Out of Time and Country", and wondering why they didn't just think of a band name.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Summer is a time of coasting, at least for those of us whose jobs are tied in with the school year. I’ve been spending my time working at Summer camp, hiking dusty trails, splashing in the pond, baking under the Summer sun, amusing children, eating ice cream, and generally living the easy life. In fact, sometimes I think it’s too easy. I haven’t really been challenging myself this Summer, instead I’m choosing to fall back on tried and true activities from past years.

I haven’t really been taking the time to reflect much either. Visitors to this blog, if they haven’t jumped ship due to the lack of recent updates, will notice that I haven’t been posting as regularly. The same goes for my music blog. I just haven’t felt like writing and reflecting lately, and I haven’t been able to work out exactly why.

I’ve also not been putting much effort into looking for a teaching position, mostly because it is Summer, and it’s harder to think about that kind of thing during the time when school isn’t in session. In fact, the only area where I’m making progress is in my continuing efforts to clear out my mom’s house. Even so, I slacked off on doing that for a couple of months now, and it’s only because I now have a self-imposed deadline that work continues.

I’m going to try and get back on track with this blog now. The time feels right.

Currently listening to: Matt ElliottFailed Songs