Okay, okay, no more crocus pictures! FINE. But sometimes the devil you know is better than the one you don't, right? Or so I've heard. Anyway, we are home from the beach. It was the usual collection of sand, pop rocks, frigid water, wine, bingo, arguments, running, rocket launching, howling, shopping, peeing on the beach and trashy television. I'll leave it to you to sort out the kid activities from the canine fun from the adult pursuits. I bet you won't get it right, either, but it doesn't really matter, now does it? Because we're home and what goes on at the beach stays at the beach. And that's all I have to say about THAT.
On the way home, we stopped at Doraville. As you may know, Doraville is what my mother's grandfather, Josef, named his homestead, after his wife, Dora. Josef spent years clearing trees to build his house. The picture on top is of an apple tree located at the original orchard near where the house stood, and the second one is the view down the hill from near where the house was. When Josef first claimed the land, it was thick with old growth fir that he cleared by hand. He was quite the writer, Josef was, leaving us, among other efforts, years of journals detailing his exploits. One of my favorite stories is this one about the winter of 1887 when he was nearly killed by giant trees crashing to the ground in hurricane force winds.
Perhaps slightly ironically, then, the homestead is now my uncle's sustainable tree farm. While we were there, they were logging a stand of fifteen year old trees with a super cool machine that clips them off near the ground, strips off the limbs, and lays them down, ready to be placed smartly into a self-loading log truck.
I thought the boys would like the tree clipper; because who doesn't love diesel powered equipment? I have no idea what's it's really called, but I think tree clipper is pretty suitable, so that's its name from now on until I die. We watched it for a little while, and then the boys ran off to the true attraction on the farm: thick, sticky red-brown mud. Seriously, that stuff is nasty. I wouldn't even let them in the van, and you know my standards for car cleanliness are pretty low. Plus the van was already full of the remnants of all the questionable beach activities noted above, so you'd think a person with substandards like mine might feel that a little mud wouldn't hurt anything. But you would be wrong; that's how bad it is. I knew before I let them play in it, of course, because I spent almost every summer of my childhood there, along with many, many weekends, and I was often coated in the stuff myself. I don't like to stifle their creativity, though, and feel strongly that a willingness to get filthy is an admirable trait that will serve them well. Still don't want it in the car, though!
So I made them strip down and roll around in the wet grass and wear trash bags the rest of the way home. I figure that's good for them, too, because coming from Josef's family, they are definitely meant to be country boys and there's not always a hose or even a rusty cattle water trough when you need to wipe the muck off, am I right? Oh yes, I'm a country girl, you didn't know that? As long as the country has wine and a thrift store, I'm good. But I have to admit, it's good to be home to the 'burbs where there's a Starbucks and an eco-friendly dry cleaner on every corner. Have a good weekend, my friends! I'll be doing laundry and picking caked-on red brown clay out of little tiny crevices. And drinking wine.